The Year of 1941 (I was 14 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and cripples the US Fleet.
- Japan also invades the Philippines and seizes Hong Kong and Wake Island.
- Hitler makes his first major mistake by invading Russia.
- The British Army in North Africa captures Tobruk and drives the last Italian forces from Ethiopia.
- Haile Selassie returns to power.
- The German Battleship Bismarck sinks the British Battleship Hood - and then it is pursued and sunk.
- General Tolo assumes command of the Japanese war effort.
What was happening in the USA:
- FDR declares war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. He pledges full US aid to Russia in their battle against Hitler.
- The US occupies Iceland to prevent German control.
- The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington is completed. It is the largest in the world.
- Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mt. Rushmore dies.
- Lou Gehrig dies.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it is Stanford 21 - Nebraska 13.
- In the World Series, the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 4 games to 1 game.
- In the NFL championship game, it is Chicago 37 - New York 9.
- The Heisman Trophy goes to Bruce Smith of Minnesota.
- The national champion of College Football is Minnesota.
- The National champion of College Basketball is Wisconsin.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was How Green was my Valley.
- Best actor was Gary Cooper in Sergeant York.
- Best actress was Joane Fontaine in Suspicion.
- Other Great Movies were:
- High Sierra (Humphrey Bogart)
- Sea Wolf (Edward G. Robinson)
- Citizen Kane (Orson Wells)
- Belle Starr (Gene Tierney)
Memorable Songs were:
- There'll be Blue Birds over the White Cliffs of Dover
- Accentuate the Positive (Johnny Mercer)
- I'll be with you in apple blossom time (Andrew Sisters)
What was happening in my life:
- I was 14 years old and in the 9th Grade at Roosevelt High. On the day after Pearl Harbor, we sat in the auditorium at Roosevelt and listened to FDR declare war on Japan.
- It was hard to believe that the USA was now fully involved in WW II. We didn't realize at the time how much it would affect all of our lives.
- Dad got a "B" Gas Ration book because he used his Desoto as a taxi to take Betty, Eleanor, and Dorothy (my older sisters) to their war-related jobs around Oakland. Then, he stored the unused gasoline in cans in the garage for use on our one and only wartime trip to Long Beach. At times, he had enough gasoline in store to blow-up half the block.
Dad's "B" gas ration book
Two generations of service
Dad in his WW I Navy uniform and Bill in his WW II Army uniform.
Roosevelt's Auditorium in Oakland
On Monday morning, December 8, 1941, the Roosevelt student body sat in assembly and heard FDR declare war on Japan.
- One of the first US heroes of WW II was Colin Kelly. Three days after Pearl Harbor he sunk a Japanese battleship by dropping a bomb down its smokestack. He was killed in the action.
- We had our first test blackout in Oakland. It was on a Friday night and Rich and I were at the Boy Scout Meeting at Garfield's Auditorium. We walked home up 23rd Avenue and East 19th Street In the blackest black we had ever seen. By law, every light In Oakland had to be off.
- About this time, my little brother Rich went to Alameda High because it had a better scholastic reputation than Roosevelt. From that point on, his schooling was the most important thing to him. Up to that time he and I had done many things together, but after that we drifted apart. He formed a close circle of friends at Alameda High - they called themselves the "13".
- In 1941 when war was declared and Bill was drafted, Dad was 58 with 7 kids. He tried to reenlist in the Navy but they sent him home.
- Bill was drafted in 1941 while he was an Engineering student at UC Berkeley.
- He was sent to Camp Roberts where he became an instructor in training inductees as infantrymen. He was at Camp Roberts from 1941-1944. During this time, he made several trips home to visit at 2253 (19th Ave. in Oakland, CA) in his little green Ford coupe.
- Pat (my older sister) and Bob - They were married in 1941. Bob went to work in a defense job and was never drafted.
What was happening in 1942 ---->
Classmates and memories of Roosevelt High ---->
Classmates and memories of Fremont High ---->
My older brother Bill's letters to Dad from the Battle of the Bulge ---->
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
© 2014 memoir stream, inc. - all rights reserved