In our long and storied history, our premier award has never been bestowed on the son or daughter of a combat correspondent. This changes in 2012 as Dr. Linda Canup Keaton-Lima, daughter of the late, long-time CC Claude “Red” Canup, and author of “War Is Not Just For Heroes” is awarded the 2012 Denig award.Her book, a collection of 398 “dispatches” and personal letters sent by her dad from the Pacific represents nearly 12 years of tenacity, stubbornness and perseverance. Marine historians are now calling this one of the most complete accounting of Marine aviation in World War II.
Given that “Red” had pack-rat tendencies and saved a copy of everything he wrote, it is doubtful these “flimsies” would have seen the light of day except for Linda’s stubbornness. “In 2000 I began bugging my brother Buzz in Texas, to send Dad’s works to some Marine connection. He finally sent them to me in 2009 after they were nearly destroyed by a water leak.”
After sorting through them, Linda contacted her Dad’s old friend, CC Past President Keith Oliver for advice: “Could they be published?” More importantly, “would anyone read them?” Keith assured her they would be read and suggested she contact the Naval Institute, publisher of the Proceedings.
Keep in mind Linda did not just hand the box over to the Institute. First they had to be sorted for historical relevance, many had to be edited. Linda soon found herself awash in the military jargon of World War II and contacted CCHQ for historical support. Then the Institute dropped the effort and Linda again found herself editor-without-publisher.
Not willing to abandon the project she then contacted the University of South Carolina Press in Columbia, SC, not far from her home in Tega Cay. For the next two years it was a back-and- forth between editorial board challenges and Linda’s perseverance. Both Keith and Executive Director Jack Paxton were in on it from beginning to successful end late last year when USC finally agreed to publication.
On the book’s dust cover, Dr. Charles Neimeyer, Director and Chief, USMC History Division says “the Marine Corps historical program owes a debt of gratitude to Linda Keaton-Lima for bringing to light an invaluable treasure trove of wartime material and commentary…”
Jim Lehrer, retired executive editor and anchor at PBS and himself recipient of a past Denig Award, said “Red Canup was the real deal – a real Marine, a real reporter. That combination made him the premier chronicler of the real world of World War II combat for the Marine aviators who went into the skies over the Pacific. His daughter has collected and curated Red’s individual Marine stories to tell the bigger story of what it was like for those brave men who attacked, defended, and died. This is a terrific book.”
For all of the above, Dr. Linda Canup Keaton-Lima has been named by the USMCCCA Board of Directors as winner of the 2012 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig Sr., Distinguished Memorial Performance Award.