December 08, 1991|By Carleton Jones and James Bock


Went to Boot Camp -- Twice

"I was a 14-year-old basketball player for Corpus Christi school, but I was nearly 6 feet 1. The day after Pearl Harbor I started planning a goal -- get into the service and see some action. I went down and got my birth certificate and doctored it. It didn't work. The Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and even the merchant marine all spotted it as a phony. Then I backed into the service. I joined the Maryland State Guard, domestic volunteers who guarded bridges and railroads and such. From there I registered for the draft. The Marines figured I was of age and took me . . . to Parris Island boot camp. My mother blew the whistle and brought me home, but I re-enlisted as soon as I could in May of '43. The Marines made me go back to boot camp at Parris Island! It was worse the second time around . . . and I never saw any action." -- A retired auto dealer, Mr. Lansinger lives in Timonium.

"We lived in Howard County, seven miles out of Ellicott City. We had three or four acres, pigs, chickens and a goat. I was 9 years old. On Pearl Harbor day, I remember standing by our Atwater Kent radio, and I cried. I was actually petrified. I couldn't sleep all night, and I was especially petrified because in 1939 I had seen a picture on the cover of Life magazine of a little girl saying a prayer, wearing a gas mask. I was convinced the Japanese were coming here to fight. The next day the teachers (( at West Friendship School talked to us. They got the patriotic songs out, starting with 'The Halls of Montezuma' (The Marine Hymn). My mother told me President Roosevelt had declared war, but she promised me they would not come to our country and fight. After that I felt better." -- Ms. Amoss lives near Taylorsville in Carroll County.

"I was 21 and lived in Towson with my mother at home. I got a job in the [Glenn L.] Martin engineering department cutting off blueprints at the end of the blueprint machine. The salary was 40 cents an hour. I went to work Monday morning [Dec. 8], and here were guys in trenches, soldiers with helmets on their heads, and machine gun emplacements. You had to have your badge or they'd send you home. They put a net over the parking lot to camouflage it. P-40 fighter planes were in the air 24 hours a day at Martin airport. Later, they built false homes and buildings to make the area look like a farm. I went into the Navy [in 1943] and flew bombers made by Martin as a Navy pilot. I've had four kids, and there was no way I could relate the way I felt about World

War II. It was really something where everyone wanted to pitch in." -- Mr. Sachse is a real estate broker and lives in Sparks.

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