By Richard Beard
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Extra info for From Calcutta with Love: The World War II Letters of Richard and Reva Beard
Frequently calling and writing my mother, I 5 From Calcutta with Love tried to help from a distance. Reva visited Richard three times a day in the health center. Her health was quite frail, and I feared that caretaking was wearing her out. Finally, I prayed for my father’s release from his tedious, confined, and apparently senseless existence. In a few days, he died of a stroke. The loss of him was a terrible blow: I plummeted. Even in his Alzheimer’s-altered state, I wanted him back. A year after my father’s death, my mother sent me a tribute printed in the spring issue of the University of Virginia’s Alumni News.
Yet, like many of his students who benefitted from his presence, I will miss him. The irony of life, its bittersweet experiences, never ceases to amaze me. I am deeply sad about having lost a wonderful father, but I am happy to have had him in my life. I miss my father more than I ever imagined I would, but I rejoice in his 6 A Letter from the Editor wonderful letters. It is my hope that they will stand as a memorial not only to his unique way of serving in World War II but also to the remarkable man he was.
Once there, illness and wounds took huge tolls. The Marauders were succeeded by the Mars Task Force, who captured the remaining territory held in Northern Burma by the Japanese. The Flying Tigers, Hell’s Angels Squadron, helped try to win the battle of Rangoon, but were not successful. When the British forces, assisted greatly by American supply air drops, drove the Japanese out of Rangoon, the enemy was forced to abandon Burma and retreat into Thailand, thus clearing the way for a land route, the Ledo Road to China.