Family At War

I was ten years old and eventually the only help my father had to operate a farm and a herd of sheep.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. We officially (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) declared war on Japan. Because Japan and Germany were Allies, we also declared war on Germany.

Being born in 1931, I was ten years old and eventually the only help my father had to operate a farm and a herd of sheep. Three of my father’s brothers were called to serve the U.S.A. One of them, Hal, was in the U.S. Navy, and Worth and Reed, my other brothers, were both in the army.

We were all listening to the radio news when we heard President Franklin Delano Roosevelt say, “We have just been attacked in the back. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor,” etc. I was still ten years old when the first of my brothers, Worth, was drafted, and maybe 11 years old when the last one entered the service.

Hal served in the U.S. Navy in all parts of the world. He ended up in Kodiak Island, part of the Aleutian Islands at the top end of the Aleutians. There are no trees on Kodiak Island, so Hal and his Navy buddies made one and stuck it up in the snow. Worth was with General Omar Bradley and the Twelfth Army. He was an M.P. (military policeman), and was in all parts of the European Theater.

Some of my brothers served a minimum of two years and others for four and five years. Everyone who had members of their family that were in the service suffered greatly. We all had to do the work of those serving in the armed services. It was not easy. I’ll give you one example. As you know, it is illegal to drive an automobile without a driver’s license. One day I had to drive to the farm and back to the Summit corrals where I was to meet my father. I was told to keep to the back roads so as not to be seen by an officer of the law. My route went past Adams’s farm of which L. Adams held a share. L. Adams was a highway patrolman, and guess who was on the opposite of the street at a stop sign. You guessed it–Mr. L. Adams. He, being mindful of our situation (all my brothers gone from home and I having to do a man’s work), looked in the opposite way while I, in shock, drove past him and on to Summit corrals.

To those of you who know about what work is required in the lambing season, I need only say that it is a pretty awesome job for someone between 11 years old and 16 years old! Also, it gets pretty lonely when you herd sheep in the summer months, all alone. I got so homesick I could barley stand it after only a couple of weeks between visits from Dad. Then there was the problem of hiring good help to load hay on a wagon and stack it in a hay stack. All the good help was serving in the armed services.

It was a very difficult time and I’m sure I could tell many more true stories concerning World war ll!

To make matters worse, there were the O.P.A. (Office of Price Administration) who gave out ration stamps for nearly everything. I’ll name a few: tires (because the military needed all they could get. The rubber supply in the Islands from rubber trees, was limited),sugar, gasoline, anything made of nylon. Because the government needed more money to fight the war, they produced tokens and mills that were far less than a penny so one could pay sales tax on even a nickel. This same cause instigated an excise tax which taxed everyone a large per cent to buy any luxury items.

All the experiences, as tough as they were, did have some very good outcomes to them. We all who went through these ordeals became stronger, more self sufficient, learned to help others, were more patriotic, learned to rely on the Lord, and appreciated our families a whole lot more than if we hadn’t gone through the hardship of the war. I can’t remember any prayer in church that they didn’t ask for the protection of our boys (servicemen from Parowan) and for the war to come to an end! It just goes to show that the Lord listens and answers prayers!

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