Oral Interview with Irene Moon, by Brett Lyons
I interviewed my grandmother, Irene Moon, in concerns to her memories of The Second World War. She was born in 1923 to a rural Michigan, farm family. She and her husband, Robert, had been married four months at the start of Americas involvement in the war. My grandfather was "4F", due to his broken arches and his employment with the Greyhound bus lines. "Bus drivers" my grandma said, were part of transportation, so they often didn't have to serve." Irene was keeping house in Detroit and tending to her three daughters for most of the war. She was primarily occupied with her family at that time; "the war didn't have much influence on my life, I was too young and naive I guess, I just knew it was going on and it was bad." I asked her a few questions and this is what she remembered. To most other questions she responded with, "I really don't remember, that was so long ago. I think we just blocked it out here."
Q: What was your most prominent memory of WWII?
A: "Rationing, it was tight you know. There was limited travel.
We walked every where, cars were not available until after the war."
Q: What do you remember of wartime media?
A: D-Day celebrations, before televisions popularity, "I didn't
go to movies much." Weren't many military films until after the War,
mainly westerns etc. The radio and newspapers were main source of news,
"I remember a picture of the mushroom cloud in the papers."
Q: What did you think of the Japanese and the Germans during the war?
A: "There was a lot of hatred." knew of the "concentration
camps" of the West Coast, had family that worked at Ft. Custer, near
Kalamazoo, they used the German prisoners there for labor but they were
Q: What did you think of the atom bombs?
A: "They were frightening." Did not know what it was until latter "They were warned. If that was the way they had to end it, well, just as long as it wasn't on Detroit."