Helen Tyson was a young girl living in a town called Lansdowne, near Philadelphia, during World War Two. She was born in late 1935 and was about 6 years old when news of Pearl Harbor reached her family. She had two younger brothers and lived with her mother and father. Her mother took care of the house, and her father was a railroad mail carrier, as well as an air raid warden during the war. She had several cousins who were in the navy.
In this interview, Helen recalled several major events as well as different ways the war affected herself, her family, and her community. She focused on her family’s contributions to the war effort such as rationing and saving stamps. She also remembers several key events including Pearl Harbor and the attitude after the attack, as well as the war’s end and the dropping of the Atomic Bombs. Helen also describes the basic fears and concerns she had during the war, particularly the distress that the newspapers and newsreels caused by showing casualty lists from the fighting. She also talked about being pen pals with people in Africa and Europe that she corresponded with during the war.
Interviewee: Helen Tyson
Interviewers: Kelsey Quinn, Fatima Kane, Mason Drummey, Elizabeth Massey
Archival Processor: Kelsey Quinn
Date: September 15, 2018
Location: Heron Point Retirement Community, Chestertown
Session Number: 1
Project: National Homefront Project
Interview Contributor: Washington College
Accession Number: TysonHelen_HFL-OH_091518