Legacy Created on: September 2008
Legacy on until: January 2012
Legacy availiable via archive until: January 2016
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Where were you born?

I was born in Swansea, Massachusetts. When I was 8 years old my family moved to Michigan.  My dad was a fisherman in Massachusetts and I remember that was what we lived on: fish. We ate a lot of fish during those days.  I remember making the trip to Michigan. My dad had a truck and in it we had me, three sisters, a brother, and my parents. I remember that they made me ride in the back of the truck with the girls.  When we got to Michigan it was during the Great Depression, and we had a home that was about the size of a single car garage. There were only two bedrooms. One was for my mom and dad and the other was for the three girls.  My dad said that he was not going to put a boy in the same room as those girls. At that point he wanted to adopt me out to another family as at that time there was not enough room or food to go around.  Walter HickeyEventually things got a little better. I stayed with my family and went to high school.  In 1941 when the war started I was working for a bomber plant making B-24 bombers. I was 17 at the time and I was what was called a bucker. I would crawl up inside of the wing and help to rivet the plane together. I did that until I was 18. 

Do you remember the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed?

When Pearl Harbor was bombed I was in what was called the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).  The CCC was a lot like the army. We had a uniform and had duties that were expected of us. I was in Camp Cusino in northern Michigan and we would build bridges and roads.  I was there for 6 months. We were paid by the government 30 dollars a month. Of those 30 dollars, 15 dollars was sent by Uncle Sam to your mother and father. The government also matched that amount so there was really 30 dollars going home to mom and dad and that left 15 for me. But of course I didn’t end up getting $15. They only actually gave you half of that. The other $7.50 went into a bank account that was set up for us. 

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