“It was an amazing time. I shall never forget that day when I was walking home from church, back to my dorm, and someone yelled, ‘Pearl Harbor’s been bombed!’ And we thought, ‘Pearl Harbor, where is Pearl Harbor?’ No one had ever heard of it.
“But going back upstairs, there was a mad rush to get to the phone – we only had one phone on every floor – to call home and see what we should do. That was an unusual day.
“There were about five people in front of me (to use the phone), and it took a while. But my parents said, ‘well, do what you want to do; if you want to come home, do.’ And there was a mass exodus from college at that time, and I left school and went home.
“I heard there was going to be a base built close to my home town and so I went down to the location where it was, and the only thing there was a man in a little hut. And so I walked across the field to talk to him and he said that he needed somebody to help him. I said I’d do that. And so I was his secretary and helped him until they got all the buildings built at Camp Swift.
“After that I was well-known because I had met everybody that came on the base and so the post engineer, who was the person who ran the camp, asked me to be his secretary. So I was his secretary, and we trained soldiers all during the war. That’s what I did during World War II.
“Once we got the barracks built, we began getting people in to be trained as soldiers. And of course, as I was the post engineer’s secretary, I saw it happening, and we just trained many, many boys to become soldiers and then sent them out, and that was our job.
“My brother joined the Air Corps and he flew about 48 missions over Germany. My younger brother was too young to go into the service, so he stayed home. It was an unusual time.”
-Mary Ann Lind, Buckner Villas resident
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