Legacy Created on: September 2008
Legacy on until: January 2012
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What do you remember about VE Day ?

On VE day I was in the hospital, and it was not that eventful for me.  I was wounded about two or three days before the war in Italy ended and shortly after that the whole war in Europe ended.  VE day involved a mini celebration in the hospital, but it wasn’t Times Square by any means. But VJ day, I remember that better.  I was home then, and went down to a friend's house.  We listened to the radio and hear them announce that the war was over. We then went outside and everyone was shooting their guns into the air in celebration. And it was not a shot that was aimed or intended because you couldn’t have done it in a million years, but somehow my friend managed to shoot the electrical wire off his house, and then had no electricity.  Of course everyone wanted to celebrate, but they had closed all of the bars to try to keep people in control. I had a few bottles at home, so we all got together and had a celebration.  VE day I don’t remember as well and it was not nearly as exciting with me being in the hospital.  I had an arm I couldn’t use and a friend of mine could not use his left arm, so we sat together and carved the meat and helped each other eat because I had my right arm and he had his left arm and together we were able to have a meal. 

So VJ day was special to you both because of the victory of your country and because it meant you would not be going back into combat?

They dropped the bomb when we were on the ship coming home from Europe and we heard reports that things were going to change.  I got home that day, not from the army, but I was on furlough that day. I have mixed emotions about that bomb; people can argue about whether or not it is right to drop an atomic bomb.  If you look at it from a humanitarian point of view, you look at the fact that you killed thousands of people and then you say it was horrible thing to do.  My interpretation of the whole thing was if we hadn’t done that we would have killed that many and maybe many more, trying to bring the war to a close.  We didn’t start the darn war anyhow, and as I recall it Pearl Harbor was not too nice either.  We knew nothing about the atomic bomb before it was dropped, the average civilian back home also knew almost nothing and they sure were not going to publish it in our army newspaper overseas.  We couldn’t begin to comprehend what it was all about, and they didn’t tell us an awful lot.  Of course at that point they didn’t even know a heck of a lot about it either. The few people that developed it knew something, but the media had to kind of guess what it was all about.  It was tragic that so many people were affected by it that really didn’t have anything to do Christmas Letterwith the war. Some kid, a housewife, or some guy going to work where all they knew about the war is what they were told. They figured that their country was right, just like we thought ours was right.  Yet they were killed or injured in some way, and in many ways a part of a whole generation was wiped out. But then again there were a lot of people in Pearl Harbor that didn’t deserve what they got either.  I just hope that nobody has to do it again, that’s all.    

When I got back to Omaha, I was still in the army and had some time left to do.  I was in charge of the service club and I had a couple of POWs working for me. One of them when he returned to Germany wrote a Christmas letter to me.

Tell me a little bit about your wife

I actually had two.  The first turned out to be a mistake, although one blessing I did receive from it was my oldest daughter, who I am living with now.  In 1955 I got married again to a girl that I knew in high school, just briefly.  It Storey and Wife Edithmust have been meant to be, because Edith and I were married 53 years.  She had a boy previously, and I had a girl, and we had a daughter of our own who now lives in Pennsylvania.  During those 53 years we traveled all around the country. We would go to Army reunions out in Colorado, Sun Valley, and very nice places all over the country.  It was a good marriage.  Her health got worse as the years went by and the last few years she was in a wheelchair, but we still traveled.  We made regular trips up to the Northeast. Her favorite spot was Vermont. Two of the von Trapp boys live up there. You may know them from the Sound of Music. Two of them were in the 10th Mountain Division and through the years I became friends with most of the family.  They weren’t just people in a movie, they were real people to me, and my wife and I loved to go up there for a few days and spend time with them. We had a very good life together, 53 years, and now she is buried back in Charlotte where I lived before.





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