Pacific Paratrooper by GP Cox

Third interview done 4.2.17 … GP’s update

My blog is about the Pacific War and dedicated to my father, Everett “Smitty” Smith and his unit, the 11th Airborne Division.

GP is blogging strongly with great conversations in his comment section!

I met GP Cox, his writing name, on Pacific Paratrooper soon after I started blogging. His historic documentation of conflict focuses on the personalities, letters, photos and cartoons from those involved. Always ending with a list of those who have passed since his last blog. This is his first interview and as he likes to retain his mystique we carried out these conversations in our comments sections …


Hi GP can you tell us a little about your life?

I was born on the island of Broad Channel, NY, grew up in Nassau County and had a great childhood before moving to Florida. That was 47 years ago and I’m still here complaining about the heat – as my regular readers can attest to! I’m a bit of a loner who reads a lot. I’ve had so many hobbies, it’s as though too many subjects interest me and so I’m always running out of time to do everything that I want to. I have my father’s curiosity and his dry sense of humour.

I did not serve due to my father putting his foot down, and not being alive during WWII. I prefer to keep a low profile and remain in the background, much as narrators are during documentaries. I make every attempt to keep my own opinions out of the posts. I suppose that’s why IMO appears so often in the comments. I love my country and the current lack of unity saddens me.


Why did you start blogging these historical and often very personal details of service, letters, photos and cartoons from defence personnel?

I had started compiling a manuscript for a book about Smitty, my father, long ago. During this time obtaining ‘permissions to reprint’ from publishers grew to such proportions that it was beyond my capacity to do the book justice. It would have been titled “They Pay You More in the Paratroopers!” because when I pressed Smitty for a reason this is what he volunteered. You see, Smitty actually hated to jump, he thought of the gliders as death traps and was 8-10 years older than everyone in the 11th Airborne except for two officers. But his mother needed to supplement her bookkeeper’s salary.


A WordPress blog offered me a free method of electronically preserving the scrapbook before age and climate destroyed it. The more popular Smitty became, the more inquiries I received from readers, children and grandchildren of our Greatest Generation and gradually the present format of Pacific Paratrooper evolved. I have a wonderful group of regular visitors, my friends, who not only comment to me and add data that they are privy to, but also talk between themselves. Due to this interaction I feel excited that my site can be a gathering place for the exchange of many ideas!


How do you get your lists of deceased personnel?

They come from the readers themselves, newspapers, websites – wherever I can find them. Each one did their part in a long chain.


And where do you find your cartoons?

They come from many places: The Bill Mauldin’s book “Up Front”; Reader’s Digest; Chris’ blog “Muscleheaded”; AOL images; and too many other websites too long to type.

42 thoughts on “Pacific Paratrooper by GP Cox

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      1. That’s exactly why I started this particular blog … many, and especially GP, are too humble to say much so I like to dig a bit deeper. But then they need encouragement to mention it to their followers …

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I own a book titled THIS IS YOUR WAR by Ernie Pyle, the great WWII war correspondent who was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on an island west of Okinawa on April 18, 1945. Quoting from the book’s dustcover: “Out of the foxhole he shared with them, and from his own heart straight to the folks back home, comes Ernie Pyle’s story of our soldiers’ first big campaign abroad. He takes you to live with them on the great adventure of their lives, and tells you the thousands of little things you want to know about how they are living this war from day to day.”

    That is exactly how I feel about the posts on GP’s blog.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Though my writing does not even come close to Mr. Pyle’s, I greatly appreciate the fact that you visit my site are part of group. I want the readers to know it is their blog too – their relatives – parents, grandparents, etc were all part of the history.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice to see GP featured, in his usual understated and humble style. He not only has his own great blog, but is also a committed ‘community blogger’, who never fails to comment on other blogs that he follows. We could do with more like GP!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. While I deal with the past, you grabble with the present [and try desperately to teach me how to write!! haha] I appreciate all you do for me and for honoring my site with your visits.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It was good to have a bit more detail fitted in, sparse though it may still be. He has done and is doing a wonderful job of documenting much that, otherwise, might have faded into obscurity, and all with objectivity and sensitivity.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great interview, Kate! I love GP’s blog and his responses to my comments. He’s taken me to parts of WWII that have only received partial notice in history books, and he often does it through the men in the trenches.
    Well done, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

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