Sunday, November 23, 2014

Memories of World War II

Recently a lady told me that she was trying to gather information from folks who may remember what it was like before the war, during the war and after it was over.
It put me to thinking about it. I was only 11 years old when it started but certainly have vivid memories of that time. Our family consisted of daddy and older sister Ione, who was 21 at the brother Charles was 17 and my little sister JoAnn who was almost 3 years old.
Ione was engaged to a young man,Weldon Marr. They married on December 7, 1941. There was rumors of a war but they were unaware of the bombing of Pearl Harbor until the next day. News traveled slowly in those days.
Our lives changed a lot after Pearl Harbor. Weldon was drafted soon brother was still in high school but upon graduation he went to Washington and worked at Puget Sound Naval Yard. Our family was suddenly smaller. American's found ourselves living a completely different life. Suddenly so many things were rationed. People were issued stamps to buy a limited amount of gas..Daddy had a grocery store and this enabled him to have T sticker as he needed to drive more. I did not know Leland at the time but he said he had an A sticker which allowed him to buy the whopping amount of 4 gallons a week..These stickers were put on the windshield and the stamps you were issued matched the amount of gas you could buy. Farmer's had an R sticker..fuel used for this were only to be used for non highway equipment. Certain foods were rationed such as coffee, sugar, cheese and etc. Tires were rationed. They quit making cars in 1942 except perhaps a few that may have been used for staff cars and etc.
Clothing was on the list too..we were allowed two pairs of shoes per person per family a year  and nylon hose were no longer on the shelves.
People were very patriotic too..In almost every business you would see patriotic signs and banners promoting our military..You would see a large V for Victory..we had to win this war. I remember having a pin that I wore..It was a red V had three dots and a dash either beside or under..three dots and a dash..morse code for Victory.
Young boy's that had never been far from home, some right after high school found themselves being trained for a war that would change their lives forever and their families. Some went into the infantry and fought sometime hand to hand with the enemy..other's that had never even been in an airplane learned to fly huge planes, bomb an enemy target and land on moving aircraft carriers.
Families with son's or daughter's in service were given small banners to hang in their windows..these banners had a blue star for each member in service and if one was killed then one blue star was changed to gold.
Leland had 4 brother's in service. One brother, Alton, was wounded in Normandy and one  brother Loyd, was killed. His mom had to have a blue star turned to gold. My brother was on an aircraft carrier and a few months after Leland's brother died Charles was killed when a Japanese kamikize plane flew into the ship. The ship was so badly damaged that it 'limped' back to the State's..It went to Puget Sound Naval Yard for repairs before going back out into battle...The same place Charles had worked before going into the Navy..I still miss my brother and wonder at times just what would his life been like and if we would have had his children to love as we do the other's.
When the war was over and the one's that survived not only the battles but those that spent years in prison camps finally came home their lives had changed..they went away young and carefree and came home happy that it was over but tired and with memories of killed, wounded buddies that they would remember the rest of their lives.
If you live in or around Grayson county, in Fairview park there is a memorial with the names of all the men killed in our county alone...Too many gold stars hung in the windows of these families.
I guess we all know that FREEDOM is not Free..
Jesus tells us in Matthew that there will be wars and rumers of wars ..certainly we see that everyday of our lives.

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