WWII Family Story
My Interview With My Great-Grandma: Arlene
I wanted to post my family story so it will never be forgotten.
How old were you when the war started?
I was 15 years old when the war started.
How did you react to Pearl Harbor?
I was devastated and very angry because it happened on our land and it hurt lots of our people.I was also older and it me more than anything that had happened before in the war.
How did you feel about the Japanese people?
I was mad at the Japanese for a very long time for what they did to us.It has taken me a long time to not be so mad at them for the pain they caused us.
How did you react to the U.S. joining the war?
I was very sad because I knew that a lot of people were going to die and that it was going to be a very hard time.
Did you know anyone in the war?
Yes, I knew many people that were in the war.Many people that I knew in school enlisted before we graduated and then left right after we graduated.Many of my family members were also in the war.
Did you ever receive any mail from family or friends in the war?
Yes, I did receive letter from family members in the war.They were no actual letters they were called V-mail.V-mail was a letter but it was a copy of the original. It was a copy because it had to be read through before it was sent to the United States.It was check for information that was not supposed to be given out by soldiers.
Did your family buy any war bonds?
No, we did not have very much money so we were not able to buy any bonds.
Did you work in any bomber plants?
No, but I worked in the factories where bullets were made for the war.I worked at American Chain and Cable and Hurd Lock in Adrian.At American Chain and Cable I inspected the inside of the bullets to make sure they were made right.I worked there when I got out of high school in 1943.I worked at Hurd Lock in 1944 and I put the caps in the bullets that were made there.While I was working there many people lost fingers because the machines used to make the bullets were dangerous to work with.
Did you know of any places where German prisoners of war were held?
Yes, in Blissfield there was a camp where young German soldiers were held.They were there to work in the fields for people and pick their crops.They actually worked in my parents fields and picked their tomatoes.Even though you were not supposed to be nice to the German soldiers, my mother spoke German and she would talk to them.She would sometimes give them treats because she felt bad for them; she knew they wanted to go home and not fight anymore.