I also grew up in New England during WWII, but before that, we were at Hickam Field, Hawaii, from 1939 to 1942. You know what that means. We were THERE on Day One of the US entry into WWII.
Jacqueline Holcomb b. 1933
My father was in the Army Air Corps. He was a crew chief in charge of the maintenance of the B-17, Flying Fortresses, while they were on the ground at Hickam. On December 7th, 1941, my father was at the hangers on duty. My mother and we 6 kids were in our quarters not far from the runway. We were situated on a path from the bombers to the battleships at Pearl. The Japanese flew right over us, so low you could see their faces. A bomb from one of their planes landed in our quarters in a closet. It didn’t go off because the plane was flying so low when the bomb was dropped that it didn’t have time to detonate. Lucky for us.
My mother was remarkable. Only 29 at the time with 6 kids ranging in age from 4 to 9 (set of twins in there) she kept her composure while trying to keep us safe. She (unsuccessfully) tried to fix breakfast. But when a bomb exploded one street over, it shattered all the windows on the side of our house where the kitchen was, so she herded us into the hallway, removed a mattress from a bed and placed us on it and covered us with another mattress. After a while, a soldier came in a Jeep to evacuate us from the base.
We spent a week or so (I have no idea how long) with friends in Honolulu until we were allowed back on base. Our windows had to be replaced and then covered with blackout shades. There were bomb shelters dug into the ground in our backyards, etc. We had a lot of air raid drills and had to go into the bomb shelters. Since we went to school on the base, there was no school for us until we returned to the states at the end of February, beginning of March. Our school, among most large buildings were commandeered for troops, etc, coming over from the mainland.
We travelled from Hawaii on a Navy ship to San Francisco (11 days) and by train to Boston (4 days). My mother was a Bostonian. We stayed there until my father returned in May. He was stationed at Grenier Field in Manchester, NH.
He was a New Hampshirite. My dad was TSgt. George T Lord when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was a Warrant Officer when he returned to the states. He retired a Chief Warrant Officer in 1950 after 34 years in the Army Air Corps/United States Army Air Corps/United States Air Force.
My two younger sisters and I followed in his footsteps and joined the Air Force. My husband and the husband of one of my sisters served over 20 years in the USAF. For several years I have given my story to civic groups (Civitan, Rotary, DAR, etc), Veterans Day programs, schools and colleges. Now, I only speak to the 6th graders of the local Middle School. I was 8 years old when we were bombed, so I am really up there in years now and can barely get around.
Your book arrived in the mail this morning so I haven’t had time to read it yet, but I wanted to share my story.