Published 2:10 am Saturday, November 14, 2015


“The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son Sergeant Curtis L. Cagle has been reported missing in action since twenty-six August over Germany. If further details or other information are received you will be promptly notified – the adjutant general.”

The telegram Minnie Cagle received 16 days later that September of 1944 must have made her one of the happiest women alive: “Report just received through the International Red Cross states that your son Sergeant Curtis L. Cagle is a prisoner of war of the German government. Letter of information follows from Provost Marshal General.”

Cagle and Wes Courson, also of Andalusia, were at the same POW camp, but did not know each other.

However, both Cagle and Courson kept diaries of and letters written by and to them during their experiences, excerpts of which are on display this month at The Gallery, located at 116 E. Three Notch St.

The Lower Alabama Arts Coalition has had portions of the diaries enlarged as exhibits, and also has uniforms for World War I, World War II, and the current wars on display. The World War I uniform was worn by the great-grandfather of the young man who wore one of the uniforms on display in Iraq. There also are gas masks used through the years, and other memorabilia.

The exhibit also features a variety of patriotically-themed artwork for sale.

The LAAC, together with John Vick, will present a reception honoring veterans at 5 p.m. this Tues., Nov. 17, at The Gallery. Excerpts of a video created this summer of local veterans sharing their stories will be presented. As well, Lt. Col. James Lawrence will be on hand with his book, “American Veterans,” and John Givhan will have copies of his book.