Born in 1940 on the Wye Plantation in rural Queenstown, Maryland, Arthur Wright grew up working on the Houghton family farm.
In this interview, he dioceses his sentiment on how the war often felt distant, but yet, he was reminded of it when listening to overhead planes on their way to the newly established Dover Air Force Base. He recalls people who were either drafted or enlisted into the military during the war, both African-American and other.
Family and Friends in the Service
We had an uncle in the service, who then come back home. And then we had a neighbor [whose] name was Litfacet. He was in the war and came back and would tell stories. They would tell us how scared they were. And then one guy who was in the war, he actually had to kill some of the enemies. They were scared but it was a duty, you know. They felt honored to go and serve the country.
The airplanes, they used to come over. They used to fly toward Dover Air Force Base which is north of us right now. They would come over at nighttime, and it would be a lot. It would seem like it was a thousand. It probably wasn’t a thousand but it would make so much noise. And we would have to turn our lights down — we didn’t have electricity, but we had a lamp – to make sure they didn’t see any lights and stuff like that. The airplanes were more scary than the thunder and the lighting because it was so loud. We were scared because we knew about the war, and we thought they were going to come over and get us.
African Americans in the Service
I know my uncle was drafted, but the other guys, Lit and Mr. Griffin, I don’t know. I just know they were in the army. They were mostly in the army. The guys I just named, they were into the army. You didn’t find too many guys going into the air force or the navy at that particular time. And to get into the marines it was a great honor; it was a tough outfit.