Len Tuskey

 

††††††††††† Len Tuskey was born in the Pennsylvanian railroad town of Susquehanna. His mother, Matilda Rubus, was a registered nurse. His father, Robert Tuskey, married her in 1919. Len was born a year later. Len is the oldest of 4 children. His younger bother Robert was a B-25 pilot in WWII but was killed one day during training when his plane crashed. Anne, the young sister, became a nun for the Catholic Church and is still alive today. Richard Dick, the youngest brother, is dead. Len graduated from Laurel Academy, a Catholic school, in 1938. During the war he enlisted as a pilot for the Air Force. He was supposed to go overseas to bomb Japan but the Atomic bomb was dropped, ending the war before he could see any active duty. In 1944 while Len was on a vacation from his army duties, he married his child sweetheart Jean. They had three sons. Terry was first and Larry was second. They also had a surprise caboose child. Fourteen years after having Terry, Jean gave birth to David. She was forty years old. She had quit her nursing job and became a teacherís aid at A. M. Davis, the school where David attended. Len worked for the federal government in the Department of Defense for 38 years in New York and Virginia. Of those 38 years, 25 were spent in the accounting machine and computer field. Sadly, in 1977, Jean died of liver cancer. Len later remarried Janet Jenkins Antwell in 1981, who lost her former husband to cancer. She had a son named Gary. Janet and Len have been married ever since. The following interview was conducted by Len Tuskeyís granddaughter Megan, in 2007.

Questions

 

Q. Do you think it was right of America to get involved in WWII?

Tuskey: Definitely.

Q. Was the attitude of the nation on Pearl Harbor the same as it was following 9/11?

Tuskey: In my opinion, the entire country was roused when Pearl Harbor was bombed. On 9/11 it seemed that only the east coast was really roused.

Q. Were you drafted or did you join the army on your own decision?

Tuskey: I enlisted because I was about to be drafted.

Q. What was it like knowing that you might have to fight and die?

Tuskey: I never thought much about it because I enlisted in the U.S Air force Aviation Cadet Program and took classes to be a flying officer.

Q. Who else in our family was part of the military during this time?

Tuskey: My brother Robert who was a B-25 bomber pilot. He was killed while training. His plane crashed.

Q. Was it right for America to drop the A-Bomb?

Tuskey: In my case yes because I was training to be in the advanced wave of the attack on Japan. It saved my life.

Q. When you heard about D-Day, what were your thoughts?

Tuskey: It was a huge success because it meant that I was out of the army!

Q. During the war, who or what did you see as Americaís greatest obstacle?

Tuskey: At the time it was Hitler, but history shows it was the Russians.

Q. What did you think when you first heard about the Holocaust?

Tuskey: Definitely happened.

Q. What did youngsters think of the war or what did they do to help?

Tuskey: I canít really answer because I wasnít around youngsters, but I heard that they collected foil and bought stamps to support the war effort.

Q. What do you think was the most important victory or event during the war?

Tuskey: There were two key battles. The Battle of the Bulge, and The Battle of Midway.

Q. Were any of your friends in the army and if so, what division?

Tuskey: Two of my friends were in the army in Europe. One friend of mine named Bobby Dineen was killed during Pearl Harbor. His name is on the memorial wall.

Q. Did FDRís ďfireside chatsĒ help people understand what was going on during the war?

Tuskey: They were refreshing to have the president talking to the nation.

Q. How did FDRís death affect the nation?

Tuskey: His death was not as dramatic as JFKís death.

Q. In your opinion, was it FDRís reforms or the beginning of WWII that ended the Depression?

Tuskey: It was the start of WWII. The factories went into mass production, which led to more jobs.