Biography of Jan McCormick
Newburgh, New York, U.S.A.
I was only 5 when the WW11 broke so I was not part of the service but did have 3 Uncles and a cousin that served. Two Uncles were in the Army in Europe and saw much combat and were each given the Purple Heart because of combat injury. They did get home battered but did get home. My other Uncle was Navy and he was communications on the WASP. He was lucky to be on the bridge when it was hit with a torpedo and lived to thank God he was alive as he had just left the area that was hit and killed his buddies. My cousin (FEMALE) was a Navy Nurse and she saw results of the war and became the Head Nurse at a the Navy hospital in Minot ND for many years. My Dad was refused service as he had a critical Navy Ship yard job that they would not let him leave to join the forces. He was always sad about that as he wanted to be a SEABEE and had passed all the tests. He always talked about the fact he wished he had the chance to fill his duty. I as a child was very lucky but did not know it at the time.
My relationship to the events were listening to Gabriel Heater and hearing" It's a Dark Night Tonight". Collecting the tin cans, string, milkpods, saving dimes to buy the War Bonds and writing letters to my family. The Air Raid drills we had to have the windows covered after dark and the loud sirens. The man with the Tin Hat and flashlight yelling cover those windows to people who had not followed the directions.
I lived in Newburgh, NY where Stewart Air Force Base was located and saw many of the planes coming and going. The planes, as a child, were something to see they seemed so big, shiny and always loud.
I remember we had a victory garden and my Mon sewed our clothes. We rolled bandages for the RED CROSS and probably other things I don't recall.
I knew the war was important to our family and we did what ever it took to be a good citizen. Not ever knowing at such a young age what the destruction was in Europe. We were seeing the news reels at the movies but at 6 or 7 that didn't seem real.
I have visited the Arizona Memorial in later years on the Navy tour. That really makes you understand the masses that were killed at one time. It is a place you feel the pain and sorrow of the families that lost so many yet pride because we as a country did not let the enemy conquer. We may have made mistakes but our patriots made our country a place everyone wants to be or take away from us.
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