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Legacy Initiative

chaser book cover

Next Publication Available To Order

  • US Submarine Chaser #38 in World War I: “My Dad in the Motor Boat Navy” Gunner’s Mate First Class Raymond K. Featherstone (Spring 2021)     

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This might especially appeal to Navy veterans, individuals with an interest in WWI history, or tourists who have visited many of Britain’s charming seaports along the English Channel, Rotterdam and the Orkney Islands. Follow this wartime account via Featherstone’s personal letters, the ship’s deck log, maps, and WWI era post cards. His 110’ wooden boat pursues German submarines and later tackles the dangerous task of ridding the North Sea of thousands of sunken and floating mines. This books also honors his son, Raymond Featherstone, Jr., who grew up in Indianapolis and was a Korean War era veteran. He generously allowed the Legacy Initiative and our students to work with his father’s wartime collection in order to develop this publication.

Below are some words from an individual whose family WW1 history is included in the book:

"I am having great conversations with my mother every single day about the book. She is absolutely thrilled and loves the details even more than I do. She only reads a page or two each day, savoring the information and then discussing it with me. She told me something I had never heard before.  I knew that my grandfather had visited his old friend and shipmate "Rat" Dominy in New York after the war [WW1]by6.  What I didn't know is that those bus trips to see his friend occurred several times a year for at least 30 years after the war.  My mother said that "Rat" was part of her father's "family" from the war.  Reading his bio and seeing for the first time in this book her dad's best friend's face was very moving for her.   

I dearly love this treasure of a book, but what it means to my quite beyond the word "treasure." 

I sent her the book a month before her birthday, because at age 95 there is a more urgent reason to get it to her quickly. She is in good health, but 95 is 95!

I hope there are other SC-38 descendants who know about this remarkable story and will read it too!

This was well worth waiting for and I thank you!"

- Glenn Jones, FL



Major John G. Emery in World War I – Early Leader of The American Legion book cover

New Legacy Initiative Book Now Available for Purchase

In mid-June, the Legacy Initiative Project at Park Tudor School published Major John G. Emery in World War I & Early Leader of The American Legion. Our publication benefited from the support of PT parents and alumni as well as the advanced praise the Legacy Initiative received for this publication, notably from: Krewasky A. Salter, Executive Director of the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park (Illinois); Brig. Gen. Stewart Goodwin, Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission; James W. Oxford, National Commander of The American Legion;  and former PT parent Randall T. Shepard, former Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.

This monograph is based on Emery’s personal letters, military papers, journals, his personally authored American Legion magazine articles, and two albums of photographs. It offers an intimate look at soldiers' day-to-day life on the battlefields of France and their poignant encounters with French citizens in war-torn communities.

This hardcover 8 ½ x 11 book is 180 pages and includes an index. It features more than 250 of his photographs, dozens of original maps, personal letters, and reminiscences about his WWI experiences in the 18th Infantry, 1st Division, of the AEF.  After the war, Emery who was from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the 3rd commander of The American Legion. He led and similarly documented the Legion’s 250-man delegation to France in 1921.

Students with the Legacy Initiative Project were helpful in completing initial research into the 18th Infantry at the National Archives, as well as reviewing photographs and maps, and proofing materials.

John G. Emery’s extensive and remarkable WWI Collection adds significantly to the history of the 18th Infantry Regiment in the First Division. It is also important because it documents the American Legion’s pilgrimage to France in 1921 to dedicate memorials to the war dead. We are especially pleased that this book has received advance praise from numerous individuals, especially from organizations that relate to WWI history and The American Legion.

For more detailed information about ordering this book, please contact Kathryn W. Lerch, editor. 


A limited quantity of books is still available. Due to restricted access to our campus buildings and in order to have virtually contactless order & delivery, please send preliminary request to reserve a copy or copies via email to Kathryn Lerch

Ms. Lerch will confirm availability and request payment via check. Depending on availability, you may then reserve one or more copies to be mailed to you; the cost per book is $30.00 plus $5.00 media mail and handling fee. Mail checks to Kathryn Lerch at 711 E 58th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220. Make your check payable to “Park Tudor School” with “Legacy Initiative” on the memo line.

If it is more convenient and to avoid cost of mailing and possible delay, you may arrange to pick up book(s) for $30 each from her home address in exchange for a check.


Forthcoming and Future Publications

  • “Dear Stellie! Major Pierce W. Powers, A WW2 Field Surgeon’s Letters from England, to D-Day in Normandy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Czechoslovakia

More than 250 love letters were written by Powers to his French-born wife, Estelle. He served with distinction as the chief surgeon in the 4th Auxiliary Surgical Group. His surgical team moved as close as five miles to the front lines—including Omaha and Utah beaches in Normandy to the action along the French/Belgian/Luxembourg frontier during the Battle of the Bulge. His unit eventually crossed the Rhine and moved through Bavaria, Austria and Czechoslovakia when the war ended. The Powers Collection also includes military records, photographs, and materials copied from military records by PT students at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Estimated publication date: Late Spring / early summer 2021

  • From Nuremberg to Nuremberg—Oral History account of Ernie Lorch, a German Jew who fled Germany after Kristallnacht and served in Allied Military Intelligence in WWII

Nuremberg-born Ernie Lorch shares his personal eyewitness account of events in Nuremberg on Kristallnacht, his emigration to the United States, and his service in the US Army. Because of his German/English language skills, he was recruited by both US and British military intelligence and served in North Africa, Italy, and France. At the end of the war he was at SHAEF headquarters in Belgium and was able to interview some of the captured German war criminals, including Herman Goering. He finally escorted prisoners to Nuremberg for the Trials. Account also includes military records gathered by PT students at the National Archives 2018, and in Nuremberg in July 2019.  Estimated publication date: late Spring 2021.


"Hands on History Through Research and Writing"

A November 1999 New York Times article, "In wartime letters home, the eloquence of common men," was the inspiration for a special history project at Park Tudor School. The Times article was about Washington, D.C. author Andrew Carroll and his efforts to collect and publish original letters written from the front and from home, "letters that had been written in wartime and had survived in attics and at the bottom of drawers, the buried testimony of men and women who had known war too well."

We saw an opportunity to actively engage our students in the study of humanities. As a result, a collaborative initiative was conceived among members of the History and English departments in the Upper School, whereby students have an opportunity for hands-on history, through research and writing. Students work from copies of original primary sources. They have the opportunity to develop history research skills, learn how to select and organize diverse materials for the publication of an anthology, and use their English skills to document and edit primary materials. Four hardcover anthologies have been published to date.

Thus, this is an appeal for copies (not originals!) of family-held, unpublished documents from any of the wars in which Americans fought - from the Revolution to Afghanistan. This may include letters, diaries, photos, maps or drawings. Documents in a foreign language are also encouraged.

Since 2002, the Legacy Initiative has partnered with the Veteran History Project and Senator Richard Lugar's office in Indiana. The Veteran History Project is a part of the Library of Congress' effort to document veterans' oral histories. Our students will be available to assist in completing oral histories on site at Park Tudor and at local libraries. Completed oral histories will be submitted to the Library of Congress. The Legacy Initiative will also select the best oral histories for possible inclusion in our next published anthology. We also encourage veterans to share with our project their photographs and other wartime documents.

Our anthology will help preserve the legacy and heritage of these wartime writers, and we would also like to help those donating documents with preservation guidance.

PDF Legacy Initiative Project Brochure

Kathryn W. Lerch
Legacy Initiative Director


  • To engage students actively in the study of history
  • To develop critical thinking and writing skills in the humanities
  • To generate an awareness of self-sacrifice through "Duty, Honor and Country"

Goals of the Legacy Initiative

  • To build a connection between generations
  • To build a connection with the community
  • To locate and help preserve original letters and documents
  • To share oral and written histories with the community
  • To value responsibility, ethics and citizenship

What We Offer Interviewees

  • An opportunity to share their story through a digital recording (in person or by phone, if long-distance) or through a video filmed at Park Tudor School
  • A transcript of the interview
  • A digital recording (CD with audio files or DVD) of the interview, if requested
  • Scanning and archiving of photos, letters, diaries, etc. onto CDs
  • For interviewees whose stories are published in our anthology Words of War, a copy of the book and recognition at book signing events