Pearl Harbor Day

A story by Elsie Johnson

December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor Day will always be in my memory! I had just started my nursing career and had Sunday off. I had a friend who lived nearby so went to visit her and her family. We had a pleasant day when the news came over the radio of the bombing of Pearl Harbor!! It was hard to believe! Needless to say, we talked of nothing else - finding it hard to realize how it would effect our lives. I went on to finish my nurses training thinking I would join the Navy Nursing Corp. I did become a Cadet Nurse toward the end of my training but was never assigned to a hospital. I did however, join the Navy via marriage to a Navy pilot I met during my training. Nursing assignments expanded since so many doctors were called into duty. We did many of the procedures that were done by interns and doctors only. I remember how rationing became part of our lives. Some food and clothing was hard to obtain - we were issued Ration Books that could be used for certain products. I used to trade my mother sugar stamps for her shoe stamps. Nylon stockings were hard to find and always had a seam up the back. We used a tan terrible liquid to apply our legs which was supposed to resemble stockings! [and drew lines up the back of our legs to resemble the seams!] The liquid would get on the hem of our skirts and was a mess! We went barelegged most of the time! Gasoline was another rationed item. It kept travel very limited! You had to give up your travel space if a Service man needed it. Troop Trains would come through our mid-western town. When they made a stop, citizens got the word and would come to treat the men on the train to food and gift items and cheers. It was a bittersweet time! Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7th 1941, certainly made many changes in many lives. I know it did mine.

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 gasoline,Navy,nurse,nylon stockings,ration books,shoes,sugar
  Perry, Iowa
Dec 07 1941

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