Index to the Rene Herndon Interview,

Veterans History Project Collection,

Record Group 024

NARRATOR:Rene Herndon

Biography:  As World War II was beginning, Rena Herndon had just married. After her husband Hugh was drafted, she and her first child went with him to Missouri for his military training.

After Hugh was stationed overseas, Rena and her young daughter came back to Henry County, Alabama to live with her mother. Hugh was gone for three years. After the war was over and Hugh was discharged, they lived in Abbeville and operated various retail businesses for many years. After Hugh's death, ten years ago, Rena still resides in Abbeville. She enjoys yard work and is an active member of Calvary Baptist Church.

Birthdate: September 3, 1923

Spouse: Widowed

Occupation: Senior Citizen

INTERVIEWER:  Stacey vanScyoc

Date: July 19, 2003

Place: Rena Herndon's residence Abbeville, Alabama

General Topic of interview: The way World War II affected the life and family of Rena Herndon. She cared for her young daughter while her husband was overseas for 3 years. The impact the war left on her life.

Date processed:   5-2005
Processed By:
M. Olliff


TOPICAL INDEX TO HERNDON INTERVIEW

No. of tapes: 1

No. of sides: 2

Initials

Side

Counter

Topic

RH

A

001

Introduction

RH

A

008

Background information
She begins discussing WWII and her husband's position in the army

RH

A

024

Early married life
She discusses living in Missouri while her husband was in training.

RH

A

053

Traveling on a troop train
She discussed conditions on the train.

RH

A

082

Her husband sent overseas
She came home to Henry County, Alabama to live with her mother.

RH

A

100

Her husband in Japan
He was stationed in Okinawa for 3 years.

RH

A

128

Corresponding
She usually wrote letters every day. For 3 years, their only means of communication was letters.

RH

A

148

Homecoming
She discussed when her husband and brothers came home from the war.

RH

A

163

Brothers
She discussed her 3 brothers and the roles they played in the war.

RH

A

180

Her mother
She discussed how her mother coped with having 3 sons and a son-in-law serving in the war at the same time.

RH

A

188

How they kept up with the war news
She said that they didn't let you know too much. Information would be shared with friends and neighbors.

RH

A

199

How she spent her days
She discussed living at her mother's during the war and performing farm work.

RH

A

211

Rationing
She distinctly remembers the ration stamps for sugar.

RH

A

228

Living in the country at her mother's
She discusses taking care of the animals at her mother's. One of her sisters was also still living at home.

RH

A

253

Brothers
She discussed where her brothers were stationed.

RH

A

265

When the war started
She remembers where she was when WWII started.

RH

A

280

Marrying young
She talked about being married at 18. She discussed the ways in which men were drafted at that time.

RH

A

296

Birth of her first child
Her husband was away when the baby was born. He was excited to see the baby for the first time.

RH

A

303

Having baby at home
They did not go to hospitals to have babies at this time. The doctor came to her mother's house.

RH

A

313

Reflecting on riding the troop train:
She was nervous when she boarded the troop train with a 2 month old baby.

RH

A

326

War bonds
She did buy war bonds.

RH

A

343

What they did for fun
On her mother's farm in the country, there was not time for anything but work.

RH

A

366

Same situation for many
Most families had loved ones serving in the war. Some families had several members who were serving simultaneously.

RH

A

390

Henry County
She discussed how rural Henry County was during this time.

RH

A

396

Abbeville
She reflects on how busy Abbeville was during the war years.

RH

B

002

Families shared information
Friends and family would share information they learned or received about the "boys" fighting overseas.

RH

B

007

Casualties
Thankfully, she did not know of many families who lost loved ones during the war.

RH

B

017

Notice of casualties
She said that a notice was mailed to a family if their loved one had been killed in the war.

RH

B

024

Church Services
She said that they had special prayer time at Church for the troops.

RH

B

026

How war changed her life
The war made her appreciate everything so much more. It humbled people.

RH

B

037

Age of most of the troops
Most of the men serving in the war were young. Her husband was only 19 when he went overseas.

RH

B

042

Sad days
She discussed how much she missed her husband while he was gone.

RH

B

051

Being drafted
Men that were of age and physically able were drafted and immediately reported for duty.

RH

B

060

Husband in Japan
Her husband faced some miserable situations in Japan.

RH

B

072

War Brides
She did not know of any who got married during the war.

RH

B

081

Shortages
It was hard to get many things. They raised most of their own food including meat.

RH

B

095

Black Market
She did not know anything about it.

RH

B

100

Victory Gardens
These were mostly planted by city folks.

RH

B

105

Support for troops
Unlike now, most people supported the troops then.

RH

B

114

Worries about wars of today
She knows that the U.S. has always been on top, but this may not last.

RH

B

120

The war is over
She was so happy and ready for her husband to come home!!

RH

B

131

Postwar life
When her husband returned to Henry County, they moved to Abbeville and operated several retail businesses.

RH

B

143

New home
They built a new home in 1948 and shortly after, had their second child.

RH

B

152

Did not miss war
After returning home, her husband did not miss the war.

RH

B

156

Way war changed her life
It made you appreciate everything so much more, especially the time you spend with your family.

RH

B

167

Wars now do not affect everybody
The wars of today do not seem to affect everyone like WWII did.

RH

B

174

Ending the interview
She will not ever forget the war anxiety and the "not knowing."

RH

B

191

Receiving letters from her husband
Her mailman would drive up blowing the horn when he had a letter to deliver from her husband.

RH

B

202

Depression days
Ways were tight during this time.

RH

B

214

President Roosevelt
What does she remember most about President Roosevelt? Jobs!

RH

B

235

Not affected by shortages
The shortages occurring because of the war did not really affect them that much-they were used to not having much because of the Depression.

RH

B

245

Thankful for what she has now
From her experiences growing up and during the war, she really appreciates what she has now.

RH

B

261

A Different World Today
She is proud that today's generation will not have to experience some of the things that she did.

RH

B

269

An article she just read
She talks about an article she just read about a lady who had experienced many things in life too.

RH

B

287

Reflects on her life
She recalls growing up in Screamer and having it "hard".

RH

B

294

Thanks for the interview

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