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Dear America Wiki

Scott on the cover of the second edition, retitled We Were Heroes

All of the characters that appear in The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins by Walter Dean Myers.

Main characters[]

Scott Collins[]

Main article: Scott Collins

Sergeant Scott Pendleton Collins (August 14, 1926[1] – March 19, 1992)[2] was a military officer in the 116th Infantry Regiment. He fought in the Battle of Normandy during World War II. Scott was promoted to sergeant, before being injured and sent to recover in England. He was best friends with Bobby Joe Hunter, who fought alongside Scott throughout the war.

Supporting characters[]

Angie Gardiner[]

Angie Gardiner Gadsen[2] was a citizen of Roanoke, Virginia. She had "blue-gray eyes and dark blonde hair", and also wore glasses. Angie was good friends with Scott Collins, and had a crush on him. In the summer of 1945, Angie and her family moved to Anniston, Alabama, where she met her first husband, John Gadsen. They moved close to the San Diego Naval Station and had six children. Angie became a school crossing guard, after her husband's death.

Arthur Rowe[]

Lieutenant Arthur Rowe (died June 1986)[2] was the leader of Scott's platoon. He was a strong and capable soldier. Lt. Rowe trusted Scott and recommended him for a promotion. Arthur was wounded at Brest, France and presumably sent home. After the war, he opened a sporting-goods store and coached basketball for twenty-five years. Arthur passed away in June 1986 at a veterans hospital in Martinsburg.

Bobby Joe Hunter[]

Bobby Joe Hunter was Scott's best friend. They went to the same high school in Roanoke, but did not become friends until after joining the army. After the war, Bobby Joe attended William and Mary College and earned a bachelor's degree in history. He married Sylvia Cooke and worked as a teacher for thirty years. Him and his wife opened a used bookstore, after his retirement. He remained friends with Scott for the rest of his life.

J.J. Dandridge[]

J.J. Dandridge (died summer 1990)[2] was a soldier from Max Meadows that fought during World War II. He joined Scott's platoon towards the end of June 1944. J.J. was good friends with Scott and Bobby Joe. After the war, J.J. was stationed in White Sands, New Mexico, until leaving the army in 1960. J.J. became homeless in 1963, when he was arrested for petty theft. He entered into a rehabilitation program, after his release. Later, he married Ellen Custis and became a volunteer counseling for the Salvation Army. J.J. died of leukemia in 1990.

Minor characters[]

  • Alonzo, Bill "Mikey" Micu, Eddie, Tommy Ward, and Wojo were friends of Scott Collins and soldiers in his regiment. Mikey and Wojo were killed in Normandy.[3]
  • Bill Darden and Dave Ewing were friends of Scott's, whom he met during training at Camp A.P. Hill.
  • Cliff, Lee, and Jimmy Wright (died June 1944)[4] were three soldiers in Scott's old regiment. They were all killed in battle between June 6 and June 19.
  • Mrs. Collins ("Mom"; born July 14)[5] was the mother of Scott, Danny and Ellen. She wrote often to Scott. Her and her husband's anniversary was June 19.[6]
  • Crockett (died June 23, 1944),[7] a soldier from Wheeling, West Virginia. He trained with Scott in Virginia and fought in Normandy. Crockett was killed, while searching for Germans in a house.
  • Colonel Dallas was a military officer. He lectured Scott's regiment about the Germans. He later replaced Col. Metcalf.
  • Danny and Ellen Collins were Scott's younger brother and sister. Danny got a summer job at a drugstore, while his little sister played softball. Ellen attended school at Morningside.
  • Doug Kerlin (died June 1944),[8] a soldier, who joined Scott's company at the end of June 1944. He was killed, after receiving orders to go back to England due to his foot infection.
  • Sergeant Draper was a military officer, who fought in Normandy during World War II.
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower was a high-ranking military officer during World War II.
  • Colonel Dwyer was a military officer, who informed Scott about his promotion.
  • Ellison (died June 6, 1944)[9] was a soldier that Scott "sort of knew". He died on D-Day.
  • Gearhart, an American soldier from Martinsburg, who spoke German. He helped translate, when his platoon captured German soldiers.
  • Gordon R. Hunter was Bobby Joe's father. He carried a copy of the New Testament with him, while fighting in World War I. Before Bobby Joe left, he gave him the New Testament.
  • Lieutenant Hanken was a soldier, who fought in Normandy. He was one of the higher-ups in Scott's platoon. Lt. Hanken was badly wounded on July 11, 1944.
  • Heinreich was a German soldier, whom Scott and Lt. Rowe captured to question.
  • Henderson was a wounded soldier that Scott and Bobby Joe helped. He died before the medics arrived.
  • Hightower, a soldier, who trained at Fort Gordon. Scott described him as a "big-mouth gung-ho dude."
  • Hitler (April 1889[10] – April 1945)[11] was the leader of the Nazis. He became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and started World War II in 1939. Hitler eventually lost the war and committed suicide in 1945.
  • Major Howie (died July 17, 1944)[12] was a military officer in Scott's regiment. Scott had a hard time remembering his name. He was liked by a lot of people, who said "he made things simple."
  • James[13] Collins ("Dad") was the father of Scott, Danny, and Ellen. He was an ambulance driver during World War I in France. His and his wife's anniversary was June 19.[6]
  • Jerry Villency was a soldier and friend of Scott's from Roanoke. Scott lost contact with Jerry, after D-Day. They met again towards the end of June 1944. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion.
  • Kesler and Webster (died June 19, 1944),[14] two soldiers that died in Normandy.
  • Mrs. Lucado, a mother whose son was missing-in-action. Scott's mother wrote to her son about it.
  • Maddox (died July 1944)[15] was an American soldier. He died while out on patrol.
  • McFarland, a naval officer, who checked Scott's dog tags, before he left for England.
  • Colonel Metcalf was a soldier, who was wounded. He was replaced by Colonel Dallas.
  • McCormack, a soldier from Martinsburg, West Virginia. He had a girlfriend that lived in Roanoke. McCormack became friends with Scott and Bobby Joe, while fighting in Normandy, France.
  • Paul Huntington (died June 1944)[8] was a soldier from Virginia that Scott knew.
  • Phillip R. Collins was Scott's great-grandfather, who fought during the Civil War in the Confederate States Army. His photo was hung in the Collins' living room.
  • Richard "Richie"[16] was Scott's uncle. He gave Scott a journal at his going-away party.
  • Sandy Froum was a soldier in Scott's company. In June 1944, a dentist had to pull one of his front teeth.
  • Sergeant Wilson was a military officer during World War II. He was in charge of Scott's company.
  • Captain Zappacosta, a military officer, who instructed Scott's company on what to do on D-Day.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Ellen Dandridge (née Custis) was J.J. Dandridge's wife. She was working as a nurse, when she met J.J. Her first husband died during the Korean War.
  • John Bryan Gadsen was a naval officer and Angie Gardiner's husband. He had six children with his wife.
  • Joseph Collins (died 1968)[2] was Scott's and Julia's son. He fought in the Vietnam War and died during aerial combat in 1968. His photo was placed alongside his father's and grandfather's.
  • Julia Collins (née Bennett) was Scott's wife, whom he married in 1952. They had three children and opened a restaurant together. After her husband's death, she turned their house into a group home.
  • Michael and Nancy Collins were the son and daughter of Scott and Julia. Nancy ran her parents' restaurant and Michael worked as a minister in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Sylvia Hunter (née Cooke) was Bobby Joe's wife. They opened a used book store together.


See also[]