YEARS OF VALOR, YEARS OF HOPE:
TULARE COUNTY AND THE YEARS 1941-1946
TRANSCRIPTS OF TAPED INTERVIEWS

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

ALL-DOE

 

 

Please click on an individual's name to read their interview.

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Bill Allen, 10 years old in 1942, living on a ranch east of Orosi, who said the war united us. Our country became the world leader. The war encouraged patriotism in children. Interviewer: Anne Marks

Margaret Allen, 11 years old when the war started, living on a farm in Visalia, going to George McCann School. She said the war made people more willing to accept other cultures and made everyone more aware of the price for freedom. Interviewer: Tania Martell.

William Allen, 10 years old when the war started: life in Visalia before and during the war. He said there was a pent-up demand for whatever money could buy when the war ended, especially cars, houses, clothes and vacations, and this is still continuing. Interviewer: Marvin Demmers.

Maureen Anderson, 6 years old in 1941, living on a ranch in Taurusa, 7 miles north of Visalia. Planes from Sequoia Air Field fascinated her. Visits to the Visalia Public Library. She said women had more opportunities after the war, and innovations developed for the war effort crossed over to civilian life, which meant mechanization increased dramatically after the war. There were more jobs since the farmers had made more money during the war. Interviewer: Judith Wood.

Allen Arnett, 10 years old in December, 1941, living on a ranch near S. Chinowth and Tulare Avenue. Economically we are a lot better off partly because of the technology developed during World War II. Interviewer: Lois Owings.

Bruce Baird, A cadet in the Army Air Corp. who trained at Sequoia Air Field. He talked about his training and visiting Visalia. Bruce edited a book called “Propwash” about the various classes at Sequoia Air Field. Interviewer: Karen Feezel.

Morris Bennett, 19 when the war started, working for a hardware store in Woodlake. A glider pilot for the Army Air Force, who flew a glider into Normandy on June 5th, 1944. He also talked about watchtowers, the Japanese in Woodlake, and rationing, and training to be a glider pilot. Interviewer: Catherine Doe.

Tenella Bostard, 15 in 1941. Talked about having to tell her parents about the death of her oldest brother during the invasion of Leyte. Her parents owned Lovelady’s Grocery in Tulare and she discussed rationing and what would be in that store. She also talked about the Blue Moon Swimming Pool and Skating Rink in Tulare. She said the hard times brought people closer together. Interviewer: Carol Demmers.

Solon Boydston Jr. was an Army Air Force Navigator in England, entering the service in June, 1942. He came home to Tulare County and his parents’ ranch in September, 1944. He said the war caused some economic growth because of the Army installations here. Some of the military stayed here and married local girls. He talks about the war’s affect on the ranch, such as no new tractors, etc. Interviewer: Karen Feezel.

William (Bill) Braly was a junior in High School in December, 1941 and lived on a ranch in Ducor. He was needed on the ranch after he graduated, and was drafted in 1945. There was an air base in Porterville. He talks about the aircraft watchtowers and how farms supported the war effort. Interviewer: Karen Feezel.

Anna Belle Brown was 20 when the war began. She provides recollections of the city of Tulare and of her experiences as Senior Administrator for the Rankin Field “flight office.” Her interview includes a copy of a letter of recommendation from the general manager of Rankin Aeronautical Academy. Interviewer: Michael Tharp.

Barbara Brown was 8 in December 1941. She lived in Ducor and moved to Terra Bella four years later. She has vivid memories of watchtowers, school air raid drills, blackouts, victory garden, the Nagatani family, finding the box they buried before they left for the internment camp and what happened to their farm. She felt that the economy of this area was improved due to the military personnel at the air bases in Porterville, Rankin and Sequoia Academies as well as the farms supplying the food for the military. Interviewer: Kris Gray.

Mae Louise Buckwalter was 15 in December, 1941. Being a teenager in Visalia during the war. She feels that the two training airfields, Rankin and Sequoia, and also the small squadron at the Visalia airport, improved the economy of Visalia as they would come into town. Interviewer: Carol Demmers.

Charlotte Chrisman was 30 in 1941, and married Jack Chrisman, the Tulare County Recorder, in 1940. She was the Deputy County Recorder during the war. Traveling to San Diego to visit her husband, rationing, having a baby in 1944 and having trouble finding a crib, stroller, etc. As far as the war affecting change, she feels the change would have happened anyway. So much as changed since she was a young girl. Interviewer: Ginger Curtis.

Richard Clore was 13 in 1941. He feels the shortages, rationing, lack of tires, etc. was the government’s way of letting the people realize we were at war. The distribution of food and supplies meant that the citizens of this country would also suffer along with the troops. He talks about the hardships for Japanese American families, and also talks about prejudice in general. He feels one affect of the war was to lessen prejudice against other ethnic groups. Interviewer: Carol Demmers.

Marjorie Coghill was 8 when she heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. She talks about being frugal and about a knitting group (picture from 1942 is on page 9A), about V-Mail from family members, about the Lutheran Church, seeing a picture of a mushroom cloud near the end of the war. Her family was German Americans, and they did not feel any prejudice during World War II. She talked about hitchhikers, and how soldiers coming home wanted to get on with their lives, and many of them went to college, and this affected the prosperity of this county. Interviewer: Catherine Doe.

Verna Curtis was 23 when she arrived with her husband in Three Rivers, Tulare County. They were Quakers, and had a Conscientious Objector status. Her husband, Russell, lived in barracks at Ash Mountain and worked in Sequoia National Park in 1944-1945. She formed a “buying club” that was the beginning of the Valley Oak Credit Union. The change due to the war, she felt, was the new rock walls and signs that the C.O. group did, most of the walls and signs are still there today. In this interview, she talked about the different groups in Three Rivers when she was there. Interviewer: Ginger Curtis.

Darold L. Davies was working for the post office in Woodlake when the war started, and trained at the Visalia/Dinuba School of Aeronautics at the Sequoia Air Field. He did not finish that program. He taught link training to servicemen who needed to learn the instruments and controls of the airplanes, in Bakersfield. He talks about the library being in the telephone office: three sets of shelves filled with books, and about working in a watch tower sometimes. He said there was a great demand for goods, cars, tractors, etc. that happened right after the war, all over the country. Interviewer: Catherine Dow.

Roy Lee Davis, Jr. was ten when the war started, living on a farm near Woodlake. He helped run his father’s pack station near Mineral King and helped take visitors on tours using mules. He feels the small community in Woodlake where everyone knew each other and what everyone was doing has disappeared now, due to new technology. Interviewer: Ginger Curtis.

Ruby Depaw had just started working as a surgical nurse at the Lindsay hospital when war was declared. She talked about the operation of the hospital when there were shortages during the war, and about the Lindsay town which was much bigger then. She talked about her husband’s farm that had oranges. She said that before the war, the produce mostly stayed in this country. During the war the produce went overseas to the servicemen. That opened up new markets overseas, and changed the way Tulare County marketed their produce. Her obituary is at the end of this transcript. Interviewer: Catherine Doe.

Russell Doe was ten when the war started. He was a paperboy and lived on a farm just west of Visalia. He said Sequoia Field leased a strip of land on that farm and put a runway in. He also talked about the whores in Visalia due to the pilot training fields and about the releasing of children from school to pick crops. He feels that all of California was affected, as the servicemen would come out here and see California, and after the war the population started to explode in this state. The end of the interview is about being a driver for the German POW camp in Tulare. Interviewer: Catherine Doe, his daughter.