So you were worried about U-boats, then?
Yeah. We had the ack ack stuff on top, at night and stuff...
Did you have any encounters with U-boats on the way over?
They shot our stuff and made noise, I don’t know what [happened]. We did have a little trouble with them, because there were women on board ship. We had to be put under armed guard at that time because there was a group of disgruntled soldiers on board, and they had a right to be disgruntled, because they were put on after the ship was full and they were going to sail on deck, across the Atlantic for fifteen days. And they slept on deck, and it was not right.
-Well, you know this is something that most of us did not know until after the war was over. That there were actually German submarines right off the coast and that is why, even though we weren’t made aware of it, that is why any building-hotels, homes-anyone that had their windows facing the ocean, and even at night all of the street lights, they had to have their shades pulled and on the boardwalk the big globes were painted black with the side that faced the ocean and it was just a slit, facing the West, that would allow light through. I mean, anybody caught with their shade up or any kind of light, they were subject to arrest at that time, but there were…we found out that there were patches of tar floating up on the beach, there were pieces of what we now know were merchant marine boats that were torpedoed and there’s a very interesting book put out showing how many actually were shot, the submarines, how many were actually destroyed off the coast and we never knew that until after the war.
On time at Virginia Beach a German submarine shot at the beach just to mess with us and to let us know that they could attack us if they really wanted to. In California, there were hot air balloon bombs and if you went near one it would explode. The Japanese would gauge the wind speed and send over hot air balloons with bombs in the baskets. By the time that they crossed the Pacific they would be losing their hot air and land on the West Coast of the U.S.
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