Thomas A. Hunt

U.S. Army 1954–1956

While lying in bed at night, Thomas Hunt would hear squadrons of bombers fly over his home in New Canaan, Conn., and knew the types of planes from the engine sounds they made. This is just one of the stories Tom recollects about his boyhood days before and during World War II. He talks about his brother, Bob, who served in the Marines and was wounded at Okinawa, and about his own experiences serving the U.S. Army in West Germany during the Cold War in the 1950s.

View in catalog

 

Shirley S. Woods

Shirley Woods graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Sociology in 1943, and went to work as a project engineer at Remington Arms in New York, making five dollars more per hour than her husband, a chemical engineer. She later worked at Columbia University where she oversaw the spectrometer machine helping to build the prototype of cells for poisonous gas. They volunteered to move to Oak Ridge, Tennessee where she and her husband worked on the atomic bomb, although there was a time when she didn’t realize what the testing was for. Shirley reminisces about rationing, bonds, and how all family members did their part and speaks philosophically about the work that she and her husband did for the war.

View in catalog

 

 

Faith W. Peak

When Faith Peak was a high school student, she listened to Lowell Thomas on the radio talking about the war and Germany’s invasion of Poland. As a Senior Service (Girl) Scout, she helped the war effort by dismantling an iron fence, cleaning up the Charles River (for scrap metal and rubber tires) and recycling playing records. Her mother was the air-raid warden for their large apartment building. Faith recalls food rationing, using red or blue stamps, wearing cotton stockings because there was no nylon, and tending a victory garden. She talks all about what life was like on the home front, writing letters to servicemen, saving her salary to buy war bonds, and following news of the war on the radio and with movie newsreels.

View in catalog

 

Charlotte Lastnik

Charlotte Lastnik was a civilian secretary for the Army during World War II and talks about going to area hospitals (including Cushing Hospital in Framingham) to interview former POWs. She also talks about life on the home front, from rationing and gas cards to air raid wardens. After the war she worked for several other government agencies before meeting Abraham Lastnik who served as a PFC in a tank battalion in the war. By the time they married in 1960, he was working as a chemist and design engineer at Natick Labs. He would eventually own twelve patents for clothing he designed and tested

View in catalog

 

Lillian M. Boyd

Like many women of her generation, Lillian Boyd worked in a factory during World War II. Raised in Waltham, Massachusetts, she could walk to the Waltham Watch Company where she worked making radium watches for the troops. Lillian reminisces about what life was like during the Depression, going to chaperoned dances with soldiers stationed in Boston, and the camaraderie with her girlfriends. She expresses the frustration of many women who had to return to the kitchen once the war was over.

View in catalog