The American Tent

“Got any gum, chum?”

"...they had tanks, and the ack-ack guns."

"The biggest memory I have-- we had an American-- it wasn't a base. It was a huge tent in the green area near my house, and there was a bunch of Americans lived there. We used to go up there and say, “Got any gum, chum?” Because we couldn't get candies or gum or anything like that. They let us sit in the tanks and showed us all kinds of things. They were very good to us. I guess they missed their own kids, so they interacted with us.

They gave us some chocolate, and, like I said, the gum. And to us, they were all Yanks. They weren't “Rebels and Yanks.” They were all Yanks. Every American was a Yank.

And they had tanks, and the ack-ack guns1, and they had search lights, so when the planes came over, they would get their search lights on and shoot at the planes, so we had a lot of shrapnel everywhere come morning. And my biggest thing was the doodlebugs, the V-2 rocket. And we called it “doodlebug” because when they would come out-- you know they had no pilot or anything-- and they would “doodle-oodle-oodle” and when they would cut off, they would just drift, and they would land. And wherever they would land, that's where they would blow up. And so the Americans had the big ack-ack guns, and they would try and shoot it before it hit the ground. So that was a big memory for me, because we would sometimes stand outside the shelter and watch it, and when we saw they were really getting it, then we'd get back in our shelter."