David Hilliard b. 1937
In 1942 we lived in a large house in Sudbury, Mass. After war was declared in December 1941, the U.S. Army confiscated our property (and 2,750 acres as well!) to create an Ordinance Depot in Maynard, Stowe, Sudbury and Hudson. The facility featured one large building (our house?) and a huge underground building. Some of the facility remains government property to this day with trespassing forbidden.
Our family moved to another house in Sudbury where I started first grade in a wooden school house where grades 1-12 were all taught in one room! What I liked best was listening to the teachers instruct the 11th and 12th grade students. The pledge of allegiance began each day by everyone raising their right arm in salute in a manner which resembled the Nazi salute. With war declared this was quickly replaced by placing our right hand over our heart.
Still in 1942, we moved to Framingham where I joined the first grade class then already in session where I became a lifelong friend of Irving Smith. My dad enlisted in the Army and left for the European front. Dad seldom talked about his wartime experiences except one near the end of the war. He was walking alone on a dirt road near the front when a young German officer came out of the woods in full uniform with his hands in the air. “You look like an honest man” he said (in perfect English!) “can I surrender to you…and my platoon too?” Dad said yes and some thirty German soldiers came out of the woods! Dad lined them up and marched them back to the U.S. camp for processing.
We were glad to have my dad home again