Published May 27, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – Before Cpl. Thomas "Cotton" Jones was killed by a Japanese sniper in the South Pacific in 1944, he wrote what he called his "last life request" to anyone who might find his diary: Please give it to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved.
Davis did get to read the diary — but not until nearly 70 years later, when she saw it in a display case at the National World War II Museum.
The 90-year-old Mooresville, Ind., woman said she didn't know the military diary she gave Jones had survived him. She said seeing it after so many years brought tears to her eyes.
Jones was killed on the third day of the U.S. assault on the Pacific island of Peleliu (PEL-uh-loo).