REMEMBERING A JOURNALISTS REMARKABLE LIFE
“We sit by the side of a Bataan roadway waiting — our visions of past months of war are vivid, clouded only momentarily during this waiting by thick sheets of Bataan dust rolling off the road every time a car or truck races by. We wonder for a moment when we will return — and how….” -Melville Jacoby, March 17, 1942
Melville Jacoby cabled these words from the island of Cebu, while he and Annalee Whitmore spent the first months after their wedding like many couples do: cruising from island to island through the Pacific. But that’s where the similarities to honeymooners end. Both World War II era journalists, the newlyweds traveled alongside one another on the decks of tiny freighters as they eluded Japanese submarines and destroyers, survived bombing raids on the island of Corregidor, and witnessed the pitched battles on Bataan during the first dark months at the outset of the war.
Their island journey began when they jumped hand-in-hand from a burning dock onto the last boat out of Manila Harbor on New Year’s Eve, 1941. After threading their way through the Philippines, traveling only by night, they finally made it to the open Pacific and on to Australia and safety, where they prepared to go home after years working in wartime China. Before they left, though, Mel took a short hop with an army air corps general to see the military’s preparations for the long battle ahead. It was a routine assignment after months of danger and close calls. But then …
Help me share what happens next and describe the amazing life that led to this moment in a book combining the memories of two of Mel’s cousins — my grandmother and her sister — with extensive research into Mel’s personal life and career at the center of the biggest story of the 20th Century.
Your help allows me to complete the research and produce a book that does justice to this remarkable young man. In addition to the print book, its electronic version of this book will be published in a variety of formats, including Kindle, iBook, Nook and PDF. I may also use digital platforms like the Atavist to craft interactive narratives. Your funding enables me to digitize Mel’s old radio broadcasts, develop interactive maps and timelines describing his reporting and historic events surrounding his life and career, and produce audio and video clips of interviews with sources. Your support also enables the less glamorous work involved with producing and sharing these materials. To tell Mel’s story properly means to tell it professionally, and that means bringing the right team together to help me hone and develop this project. That means hiring an editor, collaborating with designers on cover art and typesetting, and enlisting other aid to print, distribute and market this project. It may also mean investing directly in printing, distribution and marketing. In other words, your support -- no amount is too small or too big -- determines whether this fascinating journalist’s unique perspective on a war that determined the course of history can finally be shared or will be lost forever.
This is a story about adventure, romance and tragedy during a time of great global upheaval. It’s a perspective on a moment of history as seen from the eyes of one young journalist, and a glimpse at how that moment colors our world today.
(Learn more about Mel's story at www.lascheratlarge.com/melville)
*Note, donations are not tax-deductible.