80 years young today 1/1/2018
Dear my dear and casual reader,
When I was born in 1938, I got to know all those fantastic mem and women went to war in 12/7/1941. This catching us off guard in the Pacific let over 2,200 young men and womern that died that day.
Be away, my time in the early 40's in the tender ages of almost 4 to almost 9 years old. I saw my families crowned around the radio hearing President Roosevelt delving us into two wars in Europe and in the Pacific. My mother had 3 brothers in their late teens and early 20s and all enlisting into the Army and Navy.
Uncle Enoch was in prelaw school at Alabama and he went to OCS and was in the war in Europe. Bill and Walter enlisted in the Navy and I know bill soon became a 1st class Petty Officer. I don't have pictures of Walter but I know he and his brother Bill were in the thick of things in the Pacific going all the way to the 1st isle in Japan.
We made fun of Enoch ad he was in the Battle of the Bulge and his unit was over run by the Germans and he wad in a prison camp (Oflag 64) in Poland. Before he was captured he was wounded not once but twice and each time sent to Wales then returned to his original unit. His guys kidded him with taunts like "Enoch, can you not get enough of this?" When the allies began turning the Germans around, he and two others hid in a barn on one of the marches moving these guys into Germany. Enoch told me he was in the very railroad cars that took the Jews to their death. It was pretty sobering for me to listen to this story maybe twice and then he kept it in his heart until the died.
Billy and Walter told harrowing stories of going in and out of battles and in some cases got the ships shot out from under them. Walter told me to taking all the troop ships filled with young men not knowing what was in front of them.
Backing up a little bit in my story, I must tell you all these guys put my mother down as the 1st person to contact if something happen to them. Why, my family had a private phone line due to the fact my dad worked for Purina and had a acritical occupation providing dairies and hog and beef farmers seeing they got critical feed stuffs for their animal providing food for our solders. I remember too my dad had a "D" gas sticker on his right windshield giving him all his gas and oil traveling all over Alabama and southern Mississippi. That is another story.
The boys all had the military call my mom or dad in case anything happen to them. I saw mom and dad crying when Enoch was wounded and when he was MIA, missing in action.. Then we get a cable from the German military and our service tell us about his being a prisoner in war.
The bottom line is mom and dad had to break the news to my grand parents about all these things that happen to the boys. I can remember my dad getting a message from Western Union and it was from the military. I remember mom and dad reading these and then us driving to 1908 Clarendon in Bessemer and telling my grands and all the other younger children that might be there.
Today being my 80th birthday and witness this WWII through the eyes of my parents and grand parents. I was about 4 when this started and almost 9 when it was over. VE and VJ days were great times for my family knowing all my uncles will come home after 4 plus years in the two wars.
I think of my personal experiences and maybe one day I will put together another posts witnessing this through only my eyes.
Thanks to all,
Jeff Nutter in Vestavia Hills, Al USA