This is a story made from a living World War II young man at the time.
| Account of W.W. II|
I was on the small playground of our small community on Sunday, December 8, 1941. I was ten years old at the time and much like most boys my age I was as mean as a rattlesnake. My poor mother who dragged me by the hair of the head ever Sunday morning for Sunday services at church. I had just come from church service and was ready to catch up with my other buddies on the playground. I spent a lot of time in boy scouts with these boys and did everything together. It was then that everyone was going crazy. The communications back then were quite a bit slow of course without anything but small community phones and radio. When anything important was on the radio everyone went wild. You could hear people running telling all others what had happened. People would be telling people to turn on their radios to hear the latest buzz. It had come across somebody’s radio that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor and there was no calming down our fear stricken community let alone our country. I went home immediately when I heard the reports. I was the one to carry the information to my parents and tell them to turn on our radio. My father couldn’t believe it till he had heard it for himself.
These events brought about the entrance of our country to World War II. My father was a World War I veteran. He Served 9 years in the navy and decided that he was done with that work in 1918 when it was over. He tried to enlist into the current war but they would not accept his entrance because of his age. I first want to tell you how these things affected me personally. As I said before I was in the boy scouts. When you hear the words “boy scouts” you probably think about tying knots, twiddling wood, or making fire with your hands. What we did now was much more important than that though. We started being trained in observational skills of sighting enemy aircraft. There wasn’t anything that my friends and I couldn’t tell you about the Japanese fighter pilots and the German aircraft. We had constant talks how we couldn’t wait to get older and go become war heroes. We would buy model airplanes that related to German fighter pilots and would set their tales afire just for the pleasure to throw and watch them crash in pieces.
I had a lot going on during this time. I had been playing trumpet since I was 5 years old and was in the high school band already because of my talent. The honorable men who went across seas and died where flown back over and buried in their hometowns. Old World War I veterans such as my father would make up the honor guards that would shoot the guns in the services. I traveled a lot around Virginia and played taps anywhere my father took part in services. I am glad that I was as young as I was because otherwise I doubt I would have been able to handle the pressure of the deaths and the sacred ceremonies. Today I can still play trumpet but hearing taps being played is almost too much for me. Memories of crying mother, wives, and children flood my mind and the tragic time when they flew in 21 lined up caskets I will never in my life time get over the suffering I observed.
But this being a World War, I obviously wasn’t the only one affected so I will now tell you a little about everyone else. The need for money was very apparent so there began a lot of rationing during this time. My family wasn’t very affected by it though. We had no car at the time, so the gas rations didn’t bother us at all. We grew and made most all our food also, so the only way my family was affected was through the tobacco rations because my father smoked cigarettes. The town discussion and interest all lead to the war. We loved going to drive-ins to see the newsreels before the movies.
The war was nowhere near as beneficial as it was tragic, but it did bring on a lot of other things that shaped our country as it is. Whether that is necessarily good or not is up to you and your opinion. Women before were meant for the home and taking care of the family while the men went to work, but since the mass majority of men was unable or at war, women had to step up to the plate. I was proud of our country’s women for doing what was necessary for economic balance. The bombing of Pearl Harbor also woke us up to the fact that we were ready to get more equipped for change. Truly, how crazy would it be today to train ten year olds to cite IRAQI or terrorist pilots. After the end of the war the industrial revolution came about, so it could be said that we benefited.
The war had a large influence on me if you cannot already tell by what I have said. Once I was old enough I enlisted and fought in the Korean War. It changed and matured me at a very young age and gave me memories that I cannot hold in without horrible dreams, long periods of thought, and anguish.