Second World War: Pearl Harbor Day

Pennsylvania woman remembers her brother, who enlisted and went to war on after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during the Second World War.

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I was a little girl during the Second World War, and I remember my mother crying on Pearl Harbor Day. She said my brother, Earl, would have to go to War. 

Earl enlisted in the U.S. Army infantry and had a Black Panther patch on his uniform. Mama would send him "Talelights" and other items from Grit. My Aunt Dorothy was an Army nurse and sent wonderful perfume from France.

Mama wrote Earl often. He said anything was interesting even when Susie, the barn cat, had another litter of kittens. We had a victory garden, and Mama canned a lot. My dad worked on a dairy farm.

When we could, we liked to go to the movies at Binghamton, New York. People would cheer when enemy planes were shot down in the newsreels. Also, there would be air-raid drills, and we were sent home from school. No lights could be shown during a blackout; an enemy bomber could see a lighted match at ground level. It was scary.

Kids collected milkweed insides for Navy fliers' vests.

One thing different then from now is that young and old, men and women could contribute to the war effort. There was this feeling that we were all in it together, and the United States was great.

Helen Williams
Millville, Pennsylvania

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.