World War II letters capture Mimi Gough’s Dad

Mimi Gough was very lucky to rediscover all the letters that her Dad sent to his family during his military service in World War II. And the book she has written, From Fledgling to Flyer, published by Maine Authors Publishing, shares those letters with us.

This book includes a lot more than those letters. Mimi actually tells stories throughout the book that connect us with her family, herself, and for sure, her Dad.

Mimi is a world traveler, having visited 40 countries, enthusiastic teacher, history buff, and a storyteller. She has written newspaper columns with travel tips and destination related articles. She claims that because of all the traveling, she lost her Maine accent. So sorry to hear that Mimi!

But perhaps that is a good thing. It reminded me of how ineffective I was in Italy speaking Italian with a Maine accent.

Mimi’s Dad spent time at several training centers and became an airplane bomber. As World War II progressed, he ended up in a plane that actually dropped bombs on Japan the day before the nuclear bombs were dropped there.

As she read her Dad’s letters, Mimi came to many realizations. They were well described in this paragraph:

And what did I discover? Quite simply, that my father left me a greater gift – more than anything he ever said in his letters – a profound gift that all along, he really has been with me every step of my life. I realized that I have lived my life doing what was right, and to me that meant being honest, ethical, loving, and giving. Life will never be easy, but joy can be found every day, if you just look for it. My father has been my parking angel, my conscience, and my guide in life. He only stood next to me for 14 years on earth, but his spirit has been right there with me ever since.

Well said Mimi. Thanks for sharing your Dad’s wisdom and stories with us.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.