During my interview with Mary Wood, I was struck by just how greatly World War II had affected her and her family. Obviously this was true for many families during that time, but actually sitting down with someone who had lived through that chaotic time and spoke so vividly of her experiences was an enlightening experience. Going into the interview we already knew that Mrs. Wood had been a member of the Red Cross along with her mother. Additionally her father was a Provost Marshall in London, in charge of discipline for American forces in London and her brother served as a pilot in the Pacific.
Before the interview we were under the impression that Mrs. Wood had spent most of the war with the Red Cross away from Chestertown but we found out that she moved to Kent County after marrying in 1942. She and her husband started selling broiled chickens on their small farm outside of Centreville. One of the stories I found most interesting was when she described being on plane spotting duty with her husband at 3 in the morning.
We got our best answers when we asked her about her emotions at key points during the war. She described in great detail her families’ reaction to Pearl Harbor and the fear and anger that was prevalent in the days after the attack. Looking back I wished we would have probed Mrs. Wood more on the relationship between her and her father and whether the tradition of military service in her family had influenced her actions during the war. Overall Mrs. Woods was insightful, engaging and forthright about her wartime experience and it was a pleasure to hear her memories of that tumultuous time.