Thursday, May 8, 2008

Memories from WWII

Hi! I'm baaaaaaack. Sometimes it's hard to think up a subject to talk about. But Sam is getting ready to study about WW2, so as requested, I'm writing down the memories of a 12 to 16 year old girl concerning said war.

On sunday Dec 7, 1941, a news bulletin was heard over the radio that the US Arizona had been bombed. The family was eating sunday dinner together. Being 12 years old my first thought was that the state of Arizona had been bombed. I knew enough geography to know that Arizona wasn't really that far away. A chill went thru me, wondering how quickly they would get to Indiana. My brothers, all being older & more knowledgeable than me, assured me that the enemy would probably not get to our mainland.

One day, soon after, as I was getting ready to leave for school, my oldest brother told me he had joined the Navy & was leaving that day for training as an ensign - known then as "90 day wonders" as their training was completed in 90 days, rather than the years it usually takes. I remember crying all the way to school on that day.

The next brother to go was the youngest. He joined the air force & became an airplane mechanic. More about his job later

Grade school also changed that day. We had air raid drills. During an air raid drill everyone was herded into a school hallway, lower floor, & seated on the floor with our backs to an inside wall. We pulled our knees up, laid our heads on our knees with our arms up over our heads. We also had more fire drills.

As wounded solders becgan filling up the hospitals there was a need for more blankets. This is when the schools pitched in to help. All school childred (in my school) were taught to knit 6 inch squares out of wool yarn. We were allowed to knit during many classes, while we listened to the teachers. After many squares were knit by the school children, in many wild colors, the teachers would sew the squares together to form afghans for the wounded. I always wondered how many thousands were made across the United States.

School children were also encouraged to donate their dimes for savings stamps. After so many stamps were saved, they could be exchanged for savings bonds. But it took more stamps to get a bond than I was ever able to accumulate, but it did get people to donate money for the "war effort".

Tomorrow I will talk about 'rationing'



Kathy said...

I wonder if any of the blankets made by school children survived. It would be interesting if a blanket and its soldier could be tracked and their story told.

Sherry at the Zoo said...

Interesting. I didn't know that about knitting in school.