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Frank and Lucy Carrozza Answer Questions about Wartime for School Children

Mom and Dad Mom and Dad (Old Photo)Several years back, Frank Carrozza and his wife, Lucy were the guests of a local school. They were asked to briefly speak about their WWII experience and then answer the student’s questions. My sister was there for the occasion. She said that Frank was very nervous and reticent to speak. Lucy took up the slack. This is not uncharacteristic of their roles in public. The students wrote their questions on index cards so that Frank and Lucy could think about their answers in advance. Here are some of the questions and answers;

Q: Did you meet your wife before or after the war?

A: We met before the war and were married during the war

Q: Do you think the war was worthwhile?

A: Yes! Hitler would have conquered the world!

Q: How did you work up the courage to risk your life everyday?

A: There was nothing I could do about it. It was part of the “game.”

Q: What is your opinion on the killing of innocent civilians in the war?

A: I didn’t think about it. It’s just the way things were.

Q: Why did you enter the Army Air Corps?

A: It wasn’t my choice. I was drafted. I was ok with it, though. It was my time to serve.

Q: What countries were you stationed in?

A: Stansted, England and Cormeille, France.

Q: Were you scared or upset when you first found out you were going to war? Did you ever regret fighting in the war?

A: I wasn’t scared because I didn’t know any better. I’ve had no regrets.

Q: How many people did you know going into the war? How many are still alive?

A: Twelve and three (Carl’s note: I wish he had named names.)

Q: Would you be willing to fight for your country in the present day?

A: Only if our country was threatened.

Q: How did you enter D-Day? Were you a paratrooper?

A: I participated in D-Day in a B-26 bomber.

Q: Did you suffer any major injuries during the war?

A: No

Q: What were the sleeping conditions in the war?

A: Not bad. We lived in barracks.

Q: What kind of weapons did you have.

A: I was a side gunner. We had two 50 Caliber machine guns on each side of the plane.

Q: What kind of plane did you fly in and what sort of bombs did it carry?

A: The B-26 I flew in could be loaded with different kinds of bombs. We used incindiary, time delay, fragmentation, and impact. The plane could hold 4000lbs of bombs. The bombs came in different sizes so we might use 28- 100lb, 16- 250lb, 8- 500lb, 4- 1000lb, or 2- 2000lb bombs.

Q: Was the plane you were in ever hit by enemy fire? Were you ever forced to make an emergency landing?

A: The plane was hit by flak a number of times. Once we ran out of fuel and landed in Normandy after the invasion.

Q: What was your first major operation?

A: My first was D-Day bombing the beaches of Normandy (Overlord). Later the Ardennes, known as the Battle of the Bulge.

My decorations include five offensives; Air Offensive, Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, and Rhineland.

Q: Did you bomb cities in Germany?

A: Quite a few.

Q: While in Europe, did you get bombed in the middle of the night?

A: Yes, by V-2 rockets. (Carl’s note: I never heard any specific stories about V-2s)

Q: Was there any point in time that you asked yourself, “What am I doing here?”

A: Yes. Sometimes it was scarey and I asked myself if this is really happening.

Q: How do you feel about how we are handling 9-11 and Osama Bin Ladin?

A: We should flatten out the country! Don’t play games!

Q: Do you have flashbacks or trouble sleeping at night?

A: No (Carl’s note: Dad showed no signs of PTSD.)

Questions for Lucy Carrozza

Q: During the war what were your days like? Long or short?

A: I was friends with Frank’s sisters. We would go to the movies. I worked in a factory sewing parachutes. At night, I wrote long letters to my husband who was my boyfriend at that time.

Q: How was life on the homefront when waiting for your husband?

A: It was lonely so it was good to keep busy.

Q: What sacrifices did you make during the war?

A: Not much compared to people overseas. Missing your loved ones and worrying about their safe return was the worst part for me. I always had a positive attitude that my husband would come home safe.

Q: Where were you when you found out about Pearl Harbor and what was your reaction?

A: It was a Sunday and I heard about Pearl Harbor when I got home from church. My father heard it on the radio. I never thought the war would last so long. I was 16 years old and Frank was 19.

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