Cyril Devaux was a modest man who never drew attention to himself. He never spoke about his war years unless asked. Like every aspect of his life, he served to the best of his ability and when the war ended without him being deployed, he quietly moved onto the next chapter of his life. Years later, his youngest son Nick, aged twelve, stumbled upon Devaux’s WWII pilot logbook. Too young to fully appreciate the detailed account of Devaux’s journey of flight, the book’s relevance remined relatively obscure. Devaux died in 1997, and along with him, the finer details of his WWII experience. Gradually however, Nick began to understand the significance of the detailed entries in his father’s logbook. They tell the story of a man who left the tiny British territory of St Lucia and became a fully qualified fighter pilot. With the war in Europe over, Devaux transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service in order to participate in the planned Japanese invasion. History thankfully denied Devaux the chance to see combat. His logbook however, attests to his determined effort to serve.
In 2016, a story about aging Japanese fighter-pilot Kename Harada, inspired Nick to request an autograph in his father’s logbook. Despite sending the book all the way to Japan, Harada sadly passed away before he could sign. Harada’s countryman, Hiroshima atom bomb survivor, Shigeaki Mori agreed to sign shortly after.
Mori’s simple signature triggered an appreciation of the profound gravitas of firsthand WWII experiences and the rapidly diminishing time left to seek them. Thus began The Log Book Project (TLBP).
Over 4 years, 100 signatures, and thousands of miles later TLBP continues to request autographs and accounts of WWII veterans and witnesses around the globe. A secondary but equally important endeavor involves documenting the book’s remarkable journey through the hundreds of hands that have carefully facilitated this unique poignant token, its mission, and all it signifies.
Duty, sacrifice and the importance of family are some of the common themes evident across the varied cultures of the signatories. Veterans universally will ask not to be termed “heroes”. They will however, ask to be remembered. Future generations who encounter the book and the compilation of testimonies, will hopefully therefore appreciate the unspeakable horrific suffering and deprivation experienced by millions – on All Sides – during World War II and the need to strive continuously for peace and reconciliation. TLBP is thus dedicated to all who suffered incalculable and irreplaceable losses and to those who served in order to purchase the freedoms so often taken for granted today.
From inception the project has flourished through the kindness of individuals and organizations who readily agreed to facilitate the book’s progress.
There is a growing list of individuals who extend continuing yeoman support without which, the project would be a shadow of its current self.
A list of these persons will be added shortly.
The Log Book Project attempts to retell the story as accurately as possible – but we are not renowned historians or researchers. We start with the firsthand account as related by each signatory augmented and supported by ongoing online research. We welcome any input aimed at increasing accuracy including pointing out any inaccuracies as may inadvertently occur.
Please contact us through the contact page: we look forward to hearing from you!
TLBP grew out of an intrinsic interest in the history of WWII by project founder Nick Devaux, last son of Cyril Devaux. The project’s growth to date has been entirely organic and voluntary. This website is part of a process to introduce a more formal structure to manage TLBP’s legacy going forward.
One of the many next steps will be the acquisition of formal permission to present these stories in this and other published forums. In the interim any desire to be removed from this website expressed by a signatory or next of kin, will respectfully be honored.
TLBP is privately funded. Donation enquiries can be addressed to TLBP through the contact page.