Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kids in WWII

The following story is taken from Ellice Smart from New York. She was seven years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

I had rheumatic Fever as a child and had to stay on my back all day. My father was a graduate of the Naval Academy and re-entered the service shortly before the war started and was sent to Norfolk, VA. My illness made the move rather difficult but soon after we got there, I was healthy enough to walk again.

My father was sent to Trinidad and he and my mother wrote to each other every day. They numbered their letters to make sure that every one made it.

During the winter we would sled down the hill across from our house until our mittens were too wet, then we would come home and set them on the radiator to dry and pick up our other pair to go back out.

I remember coffee being rationed, it was very precious to my mother. My uncle was a Seabee and when he came to visit we had a special dinner with nice little blue containers for each person's salt. My uncle thought it was sugar and dumped it into his coffee. He was very distressed and insisted that he not have any more but my mother gave him another cup anyway.

Dad was coming home for a brief time and mom told him to take a taxi from the airport; she was worried she would be too excited to drive. Right as he was supposed to get there, I ripped the hem from my dress. I had to stand in front of the couch looking for him out the window while Mom hemmed it, she told me she would get as much done as she could before he got there and then she would just end off her stitch and leave it. He got to the house while she was still hemming; I don’t remember how much was finished.

Dad came home after the war ended in Europe. He returned while my brother and I were at camp. My parents picked us up early and we started our next move, to California. From there, my dad was transferred out to the Philippines but the war with the Japanese ended while he was on his way over. He came home that fall.