Part 4: "The Home Front" Transcript
[narrator] Utah World War II Stories: The Home Front was made possible in part by:
The Stephen G. and Susan E. Denkers Family Foundation
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
The Cleone Peterson Eccles Endowment Fund and…
The Willard L. Eccles Charitable Foundation.
Additional funding was provided by:
The Stewart Education Foundation
The C. Comstock Clayton Foundation
Kennecott Utah Copper
The University of Utah
The Utah Humanities Council and…the contributing members of KUED.
Emmett “Cyclone” Davis: Really the driving force of winning at war was the civilians here in the United States, when they all reacted to what they had to do, and they changed their jobs to build airplanes and to build ships and to build tanks. And you know, in 1942 we couldn’t build automobiles so we started building tanks and to give those American boys something to fight with. And so when you get a whole nation all pointed in the proper direction, you know, they couldn’t do anything except achieve victory.
Barbara Tanner: You were willing to do whatever you could to save those boys, and of course we didn't know for sure if we'd win the war, but everybody felt positive we would because, after all, we had great confidence in America and we were working and sending all kinds of materials over. But there were a lot of precarious times in that war.
Gayle Macey: But it was a real effort on everybody’s part, because we, we knew that we had to fight a war to keep our freedom.
[narrator] There’s not just one story of World War II…there are as many stories as there were men and women to fight. Over 70,000 Utahns served…and for each one in uniform there were thirty men, women and children back home willing to change their lives to create a means to win.
Rick Randle: As the United States entered WWII, everyone in Utah found themselves swept up by world events and thrown into extraordinary circumstances. The government called for sacrifices large and small. Rationing of food, gas, and raw materials, and a massive increase in production of munitions, tanks, ships and planes all played a great part in our victory.
Hello, I’m Rick Randle. Tonight KUED proudly presents the last of our four part series, Utah WWII Stories. Utah citizens share their remarkable stories from the Home Front.
Gayle Macy: Before December 7th, I was a young teenage girl just having a great time playing with my friends in the neighborhood. I was only 14 at the time and when Pearl Harbor was bombed we were in church, we came home from church and we heard the news on the radio and it was like it was in our own backyard—we were so devastated.
Norma Day: I grew up in Monroe, Utah, and at the time of Pearl Harbor our postmaster's son was on the Arizona. Everybody felt kind of like it was someone in their own family because, you know, this was so unusual. You didn't know people who had been killed in a war.
Gayle Greetham: I didn't at that time know where I was and particularly didn't care. However, you know, like all children who are twelve years old, I was immediately unhappy with the Japanese for having done that.
Howard Randle: I was thirteen years old when the war started, so I came home and listened to President Roosevelt give his day of infamy speech and called my friend on the phone and we talked about the war and we decided that we could beat those Japanese in about two weeks.
Rick Randle: So you thought that it wasn't going to take that long?
Howard Randle: No (laughs)
LauRene Buswell: We were at Brigham Young University when the war broke out and we were on campus at the time. Everyone around us, we were aware those men were wanting to get their names on the list and go wherever. It was a very patriotic time.
Norma Day: All the men and, well the boys in my class then were eager to go.
LauRene Buswell: And it was a heart-rending situation for parents to have their boys leave and and yet they wanted to. Those who were 4-F's because of health or whatever, felt bad.
Howard Randle: That was the day when certainly all of our lives started to change.
Click here to read the rest of the transcript