John William (Buck) Durrance


May 14, 1942

Flagler County has 74 men in the various branches of the armed forces at this time ..... the list up to date is as follows: JOHN WILLIAM DURRANCE

August 27, 1942


A number of men from Flagler county are now serving in our armed forces in foreign fields; it is believed, because several have lately notified their families that mail should be sent in care of the postmaster in New York or San Francisco.

Brady Wadsworth, Richard Tucker and BUCK DURRANCE, Marines, present address is care postmaster. San Francisco, Clare Biddle, army flyer, is being addressed care post: master, New York City.

Others, whose foreign field is already known include: Ralph Harbert, New Caledonia; Virden Knox, and Franklin Thompson, England.

October 1, 1942

BUCK DURRANCE of Flagler Beach and Raymond Smith of Haw Creek are somewhere in the Western Area, their mail going in care of Postmaster, San Francisco. Buck is a Marine and Raymond is in the Seabees.

January 21, 1943

Holis Parker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parker of Flagler Beach and who is with the Marines on Guadalcanal, wrote home recently that he had 'received 52 letters in one day. He also said The Tribune had been coming through to him. JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE, also of Flagler Beach and on Guadalcanal, had not been receiving his paper but has been reading the ones received by Holis.

June 3, 1943

JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE, still "somewhere in the Pacific" wrote his parents this week that he is still getting alone fine. Buck is a Marine.

July 29, 1943

It seems as if Marine Corporal Richard Tucker stands by and waits awhile and first thing you know another guy from Bunnell comes along "somewhere In the South Pacific." BUCK DURRANCE, also a Marine, told his father, John Durrance of Flagler Beach, in a letter a few days ago that he had just seen Tucker. Recently Tucker, Howard Bankston, Holis Parker, and James Crews ran into each down there and held a "reunion." We are glad Buck is now included.

September 30, 1943

Mrs John Durrance, mother of Marine JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE; has a letter this week from some or Bucks friends saying he is getting along fine, and that Buck is still in the South Pacific.

October 7, 1943

Also saw a picture of Marine JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE who is in the South Pacific. The picture, sent to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Durrance of Flagler Beach, showed Buck and a very nice looking girl. Buck said he was OK, and that "the people here certainly are nice to us."

November 11, 1943

BUCK DURRANCE with the Marines in the Southwest Pacific, writes his parents at Flagler Beach that he is still OK. He also told them he is getting The Tribune pretty regularly.

December 2, 1943

In a round-about way we hear some more good news about Flagler county men in the South Pacific area. Mrs John Durrance, mother of BUCK DURRANCE who is down in the Pacific, sends us a letter about seeing Mrs. Willie Weeks who lives near the Bulow orange grove. Mrs. Weeks has a letter from her grandson, Marshall Weeks who spoke of Jean Bowers, Hazel Holton’s husband (? ? Talbort), George and Charles Akins and Ray Malphurs (of Ormond) are in a tent and went fishing together, getting lots of sharks, mullet and other fish.” Mrs. Durrance also said she had a letter from BUCK a few days ago. He is OK and said to tell everybody hello. Also that he hopes to come home “flying but may come in a car. But hold everything until I get there.”

December 16, 1943

First off, take a look at that guy above. Know him? Well we are indebted to public relations section of the Marine Corps, Atlanta, Ga., for the picture of "Corporal H. I. (Holis) Parker of Flagler Beach, Florida, (as he) buckles on his tree climbers while stringing lines somewhere in the southwest Pacific where his engineering unit of a Marine Corps division is stationed." Holis is the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Parker of our beach town and he enlisted in the Marines (along with Brady Wadsworth and BUCK DURRANCE) in January 1942. As you know, Brady is a casual at home from Guadalcanal where he and Holis served. BUCK and Holis, both are still somewhere in the southwest Pacific. (Our thanks to Marine Corps public relations Atlanta)

March 2, 1944

Another V-Letter, but this time around the world from the one above. It is from Holis Parker, in the Marine Corps in the "Pacific area." Holis writes: "I know I should have written much sooner but just couldn't seem to get started. I have received several papers in the past few weeks. You can't imagine how much it means to me over here. There is so little one can write about over here that I hardly know what to say. I met several of the boys from home over here, BUCK DURRANCE, a few days ago and William Tinsley yesterday. Will say thanks a million for the Tribune. Will drop you another line when I can. Hope everyone in Bunnell is OK. As ever, Holis Parker.”

April 20, 1944

Howard Bankston, down in the South Pacific, writes his father here that he, Jimmy Crews, BUCK DURRANCE and Richard Tucker were together at Cape Gloucester. (Incidentally, Tucker was wounded in that area; his parents here have been informed)

June 8, 1944

Just got a letter today from Marine BUCK DURRANCE who is still in the Pacific. Buck says: "Bet you are surprised to hear from me. I am sorry I haven't written sooner but just haven't had time. I certainly enjoy reading the paper, and I want to thank you again for sending it to me. I like to know where all of the boys are that I know. I surely hope it won't be long before we can all get back to see you folks back there, You can't realize how much I miss seeing all of the folks, but I have sort of gotten used it now (Buck went out there with the first group of Marines). He added "I get the paper pretty regularly. Also, I see Holis Parker every day or so."

July 6, 1944

Marine Pfc. BUCK DURRANCE, still in the Southwest Pacific, writes home that he is still getting along fine and that he sees Holis Parker pretty often.

July 20, 1944

Another letter this week from Sgt. Holis Parker, "just to say hello to let you know The Tribune has been reaching me regularly. It is the best way I know of to find out what's going on back home. It looks like the county election has cooled down considerably lately. BUCK DURRANCE has been over to see me several times lately and brought Howard Bankston with him one day. They are about the only ones I have seen for quite some time."

August 24, 1944

Mr. and Mrs. John Durrance had as guests recently, Mrs. H. L. Reed from 1532 South Second Street, Jacksonville Beach and her son, Pfc. Harold L. Reed, Jr., USMC, who has been in the Southwest Pacific for 28 months with Pfc. JOHN W. DURRANCE, also a Marine and known to all his friends here as "Buck."

Marine Reed was very interesting in relating where he and Buck had been since they left for the Pacific. He also brought some pictures of Buck to Mr. and Mrs. Durrance.

Others attending the dinner included Mr. and Mrs. Durrance's daughter, Mrs. J. C. Leggett arid three grandsons, James, John and Richard, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Davis, a brother of Mrs. John Durrance.

The young Marine and his mother also visited Mr. and Mrs. Charles Parker whose son, HOLIS, enlisted in the Marine Corps with Buck.

Mrs. Durrance had a letter from Buck, dated August 19, saying he hoped it would not be too long before he could be home.

October 5, 1944


By Sgt. Joseph P. Donahue, a Marine Combat Correspondent

PELELIU, PALAU (Delayed) - Haggard and worn after three days in the front lines, Marine Corporal JOHN W. DURRANCE, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Durrance of Flagler Beach, walked wearily into a beach station. He had been serving as a rifleman and stretcher bearer.

"I'm really an assistant cook," he explained to an officer. "I thought perhaps I'd be able to help out on the chow line for a while." But he was given the rest he deserved.

November 23, 1944

In a letter received from Cpl. .JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE, USMC, by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Durrance, Buck says he is well and very busy. A wire received from Sgt. Holis Parker, USMC, this week stated that he is in California. Both boys were among the first to be sent to the Pacific war zone more than 30 months ago.


Sgt. Holis I. Parker and Pfc. JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE, both Marines from Flagler Beach, have arrived in California and expect to be at their homes within two weeks, according to wires received by their parents this week. Both men have been in various actions in the Pacific for the past 31 months. Both are well.

These two, together with Brady Wadsworth enlisted in the Marine Corps in January, 1942. All three were shipped out to the Pacific about the same time. Wadsworth was wounded in August, 1942 on Guadalcanal, sent home later and honorably discharged because of wound.

The others, Parker and DURRANCE, have been just about all over the Southwest, South and Central Pacific, both engaging in plenty of the tough going in those areas.

They all were members of the famed First Marine Division which has led so many of the initial assaults on various Jap strongholds in the Pacific.

November 30, 1944

Another of Flagler county's Marines arrived home today, JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE. He arrived in the States about two weeks ago. With him also was Holis I. Parker who is expected home any day now. Both have spent approximately 30 months in the various Pacific theaters of war.

December 7, 1944


Marine Sergeant Holis I. Parker, veteran of 29 months in the Southwest Pacific, and Ack. JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE with 31 months in the same theater, arrived home this week for 30 day leaves with their parents at Flagler Beach.

Sgt. Parker enlisted in the Marine Corps with Brady Wadsworth and JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE back in January, 1942, and all got together here again this week for a reunion.

Wadsworth was seriously wounded at Guadalcanal, sent back home and discharged. DURRANCE and Parker have been through a number of major battles without injury and are now home on leave.

Both wear the Pacific campaign bar with four stars and the Presidential citation with one star.

With the arrival of his former comrades in the Marine Corps, Brady Wadsworth has taken Pvt. BUCK DURRANCE and Sgt. Holis Parker under his wing and is showing them the sights of Flagler and Volusia counties, which they have not seen for nearly three years, they having spent 30 months in the Pacific theater of war, and, with the exception of Brady, saw each other at varying times. Brady was wounded in 1942, sent back to the States and honorably discharged.

February 1, 1945

A letter from Marine JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE, now at Camp LeJeune, N. C. Buck said:

"Just a line to thank you for the papers I received. Sorry I haven't written sooner but have been sick with malaria just about every day since I have been back here.

I do wish I could get stationed down there for a while - at least until I have to go back across. I hope I don't have to but if the war doesn't get over with before long I suppose I will.

How is everyone around Bunnell? I know all of you were glad to see Eugene Bowers get back from over there. I know I was very glad to hear that he was back.

I must sign off now with the hope of seeing all of you again soon. Say hello to everyone for me there and to all the boys that are overseas.”

June 7, 1945

Marine Cpl. JOHN "BUCK" DURRANCE was at Flagler Beach last weekend, visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Durrance.

November 1, 1945

Marine JOHN (BUCK) DURRANCE is now a Buck Sgt., his sister informs us. He is stationed at Camp LeJeune, N. C. but expects to be discharged in January.