by Jack W. Mills
I was living in Oklahoma in 1941 with my parents and I remember the Day that Pearl harbor was bombed by the Japanese. It was December 7, l941 on Sunday, a day that will live in infamy, as President Roosevelt said. We had just set down to dinner (noon) when it came over the radio that Pearl Harbor had been bombed, (now I had never even heard of Pearl Harbor and didn't have the faintest idea where it was or what it was) and it was later announced over the radio, that the Japanese ambassadors were in Washington, D.C., talking peace at the very same time that the bombing was taking place. They claimed to have no knowledge of the plan to do the bombing.
There had been no news that we were even remotely going to be involved in the shooting war, other than being on the side of our allies, but we were not involved in active fighting and was staying neutral although we were against the expanionist aims of the Axis Powers. I don't know if we would have gotten in it if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor, and it was done in such a sneaky, dastardly way. We probably would have gotten in it but maybe not as quick. That was what whipped the nation into a frenzy and brought the production of the factories in to high gear and started the military equipment rolling off the lines. England was wanting us to get into it and trying everything to draw us in and bombing was what did it.
I was just past 19 years old and my only interest in life then was just getting along with my life and having enough to eat. We were just coming through the worst depression the country had ever known and just surviving was the primary concern in every ones mind. The depression was just beginning to wind down a little. I remember the depression well and it was really rough.
The announcement came over the radio and my mother burst out crying and said they will take all of my boys. There was three of us boys that had to go. My oldest brother was past the age limit which was 38 and he was just passed the limit a little, 39 I think or close to it. Three of us were sent to Europe, Raymond, Sylvester and me. Sylvester went to Italy and spent most of his time there somewhere. I guess he was in the Army Air Force, because I remember him telling me that he was flying over the Alps and hit an air pocket and dropped about a 1000 or so feet before coming out of it. He said that he was laying on some mattresses that was stacked on a Jeep in the plane. He said that will nearly trigger you bowels.
Denver was too young to go in at the time of the war and it was over by the time he graduated from high school and he later enlisted in the Air Force and he served his time stateside.
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Document Last Modified: Saturday, 01-Nov-1997 18:27:29 UTC