Snow, William

Bill Snow was born September 13, 1922 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.  He grew up in that small community alongside his five sisters.  Bill recalls that his father was a fisherman – but that he did many other jobs in the off season.  Bill went to school but left in Grade 8:  work was available and

Cooke, Kenneth

Kenneth Cooke was born August 8,1925 in East Kirkby, Nottinghamshire, a coal mining district.  He indicated that he had a rough early life growing up:   there was a general strike, and there was no income.  He attended school at age 5 and completed his education at age 14, and then had to find employment. 

Cosgrove, Stephen

Stephen Cosgrove was born June 5, 1926 in Liverpool, England.  He was 13 when the war began, and he remembers the schools shutting down in the early days of the war:  there were fears of a German attack, and authorities did not want a school to get hit.  Stephen remembers classrooms set up in people’s

Kingsland, Howard

Howard Kingsland was born October 4, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, the son of a Great War veteran.  He grew up in the city’s north end, and he recalls that while the Great Depression was difficult, the family was able to make ends meet.  Howards completed high school and went to work for the CNR, and

Foy, John

John Foy was born October 12, 1925 in Rochester, New York.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, in a large family of ten children where four of the brothers would serve during the war.  In the 30s John went  to school and did all the normal things for a teenager

Chouinard, Robert

Robert “Boots” Chouinard was born December 21, 1923 in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  He was the youngest of 8 children.  His father was employed in a paper mill and as a barber.  Robert attended various schools, including Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia, where he played football on a scholarship.  He said that he went from being

Sienkiewicz, Henry

Henry Sienkiewicz was born January 4, 1923 in Syracuse, New York.  He grew up in a working class neighborhood, where his father worked in the local foundry.  Henry worked a variety of jobs himself in the prewar years, helping the family to make ends meet during the Great Depression.  When the war came Henry knew

Balabanow, Bill

Bill Balabanow was born February 17, 1926 in the little town of Blue Ridge Summit in southern Pennsylvania, though the family moved to Lancaster in 1931, and that is where he spent most of his childhood.  Bill’s parents divorced when he was an infant, so his parental and family memories come mainly from his mother’s

Beissel, Henry

Henry Beissel was born April 12, 1929 in Germany.  It was a period where Germany was still struggling to recover from the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which were at the time of Henry’s birth coupled with the impacts of the Great Depression.  Henry grew up in Nippes, near Cologne; both parents were

Palimaka, Jozef

Jozef Palimaka was born May 9, 1926, in Czaple Male, a village not too far from Krakow, Poland.  His parents had a small farm there, though they made the decision to relocate to Czarne Konce, near Lviv, a few years later, when they purchased a larger farm with an orchard.  As Jozef was the oldest

Davis, Frank “Tex”

Frank “Tex” Davis was born August 24, 1926 in Sackville, Nova Scotia.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, second youngest of eight children, and Tex’s mother died when he was only ten years old.  Tex remembers his father doing what he could to keep”the wolf from the door”.  Tex’s family

Bihl, Clayton

Clayton Bihl was born September 9, 1923 in Buffalo, New York.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, attending Bennett High School and Canisius College.  He and some friends enlisted in the army in 1938, and Clayton went through all the regular training.  He decided though that the army life was

Drake, Emily

Emily Drake was born July 4, 1925 in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.  Her parents had emigrated from Vilna in the period before the First World War, and Emily remembers growing up speaking Polish at home.  Her childhood took place during the Great Depression, but – too young to be aware of pressing economic and political matters- she

Pouder, George

George Pouder was born February 18, 1923 in New York City.  He grew up in the Bronx during the difficult times of the Great Depression, a period that impacted his family and the neighborhood.  George recalls that the quality of his schooling varied,  but that he took full advantage of the city, exploring it with

Forster, Wolfram

Wolfram Forster was born October 22, 1925, in Berlin, Germany.  He grew up in that city during the interwar years, witnessing the political changes that were taking place around him as he attended school.  Wolfram’s father was a Great War veteran who became a police officer, and who later fired when he refused to join

Bell, Wayne

Wayne Bell was born June 6, 1947, in Montreal.  He grew up on Montreal’s south shore, with a strong affinity to the United States, where Plattsburgh offered luxuries such as drive-in theatres.  Wayne and his friends would go there often, visiting the beach and escaping the 1960s political tensions that were emerging in Quebec.  While

Snider, Chris

Chris Snider was born March 19, 1932 in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  His parents were Canadian but were living in the U.S. at the time, and as the 1930s unfolded they moved a few more times, eventually landing in Oakville, Ontario.  The realities of the Great Depression had kept them on the move, as Chris’s father looked

Harbula, Bob

Bob Harbula was born January 2, 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in a working class area there, and he expected to work on the railroad, as had his father and grandfather.  As a young boy he saw the Second World War unfold all around him, and he was inspired by the stories of

Kersh, Mervyn

Mervyn Kersh was born December 20, 1924 in South London. He grew up with two older siblings in a middle class Jewish family in the neighbourhood of Brixton; he experienced significant anti-Semitism at school, until his parents moved him to a Jewish school. They also enrolled him in the Jewish Lads’ Brigade, and Mervyn too

Foreman, Stephen

Stephen Foreman was born August 3, 1946; he grew up near Pittsburgh, in the small town of Jefferson, Pennsylvania.  Life was good in that small, racially-mixed town; Stephen’s father worked at the steel mill, and the family raised its own chickens. Stephen was a boy scout, and later played football and other sports in high

Sprecher, Becky

Becky Sprecher was born in 1950 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky – the Baby Boom had begun. Becky remembers her elementary school teachers saying on the first day of school, “I’ve never had a class this big!”  There were certain advantages in small town America in those days in that the kids could ride their bikes just

Adam, Wally

Wally Adam was born in Winnipeg during the Second World War, where his father was serving in the Army Pay Corps.  He grew up there, and decided to join the RCAF Reserves in his own right when he was in high school. After university, Wally enlisted in the RCAF, serving during the Cold War years. 

Zipperer, Carl

Carl Zipperer was born on May 4, 1950 in Savannah.  He grew up in that part of Georgia, and most of his early years were spent in the country on the family farm.  Carl learned to be self-reliant there, a character trait that would serve him well in future years.  Coming out of high school,

O’Leary, Gerry

Gerry O’Leary was born December 3, 1924 in Tottenham, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm there, one of ten children, doing chores such as milking the cows and spreading manure.  When the time for war came, both Gerry and his older brother joined up, and they were on their way overseas in 1944.  Gerry

Miller, Keith

Keith Miller was born March 11, 1946 in Pittsburgh.  He grew up in small town America in the 1950s, enjoying what life had to offer, from TV to baseball to playing in the street.  It was also the time of the Cold War, and Keith remembers that his childhood was also interrupted by “duck and

Daniel, Philip

Philip Daniel was born July 24, 1925 in Toronto.  He grew up on a farm in the Leaside neighbourhood, where his father – a Great War veteran – delivered dairy goods.  Philip’s father was part of the Canadian Engineers in the First World War, working with horses and keeping the supplies moving; his mother was

Claggett, Rick

Rick Claggett was born March 19, 1947,  not too far from Philadelphia.  Rick grew up against the backdrop of the “Fabulous 50s” – and the Cold War.  By his account he lived a good life, enjoying the outdoor life and just being a child in postwar America.  Vietnam entered the American consciousness in 1964-65; initially

Grubb, Alfred

Alfred Grubb was born October 25, 1921 on a farm near Hanover, Ontario.  Alfred’s father had been a farmer, but when Alfred was three years old the family relocated to nearby Teeswater, where his father took a job at the local creamery.  Alfred attended school up to Grade 8, but he was not fond of

Cottrell, Edwin

Edwin Cottrell was born January 17, 1922 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His parents moved to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania the next year though, and that is where he grew up.  Edwin remembers a good childhood – and one where he played all kinds of sports.  His father – a Great War veteran –  worked at the

Jones, Dorothy

Dorothy Jones was born November 29, 1920 in Lancaster, South Carolina.  She grew up there with her five siblings, against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war.  Her father was a barber, and as Dorothy recalls that meant that he held onto his job during the lean years, but