topic 1939 September

   In early September 1940, we heard on the radio that Hitler's troops had invaded the Danzig corridor in Poland and the troops had marched through Poland. In a few days Poland was occupied and the German Army took over control. This was terrible news.

   If Hitler could do this so quickly ,what else could we expect. It was really frightening. We wondered what the consequences would be? What would our government do about this terrible turn of events? We were very worried . Then we learned around Poland were being bombed and the German were marching through Europe almost at will. Even France was invaded and Paris had fallen in a short time. Marshall Petain surrendered his country very quickly although he was called a traitor. Gaston and I would talk about it and we think Petain wanted to save France from the destruction she had undergone in World War One. Anyway this is how we perceived the events to be. General De Gaulle fled to England and proceeded to rally the French as much as he could. I know that there were many resistance fighters in France who gave their lives trying to fight the Germans. We would hear broadcasts every night from some famous reporters. 'We' were still at peace but worried what was coming next .

topic 1940's

neighbor pilot

   We knew a neighbor who was an airplane pilot and had a route flying to St. Louis and back to New Orleans. Then we read an article on the paper that he was now ferrying planes to England from Canada.

   Churchill, the great orator, gave us astounding news of what was happening.

   We dreaded what was coming.

   Then Pearl Harbor blew everything apart. We were in the War for years. We saw many young men leave us to go to war.

   I recalled World War One and how sad it was when the young men came to tell my family goodbye, especially Aunt Marie's friends. Yes. I do remember that.

   Gaston had a young nephew, just 17, who volunteered for the Marines at such a terrible time. Then Leo's son was drafted a little out of high school and was sent to the Pacific. He did not come back. He was killed on the beaches of Iwo Jima on the first day of the landing. That was on Feb.19, 1945 and his parents did not get the news of his death until April 12 1945, the very same day that President Roosevelt died. So we had very shocking news on the very same day.

   Yes, that's the way it was. May Reulet Gravois April 23,2002