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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Courtship and marriage

Lane met her husband shortly after World War II began when he came to the New Bern area to train. They married in August of 1942.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY TURNER LANE:
Well, I think I said earlier that I had been living in Fayetteville at the time, after my graduation from college. It was at that time that President Roosevelt had started the draft. Many young men that I knew came through Fort Bragg to be drafted or to go through officers' training school or something of that kind. So there were many young men there in uniform that we knew. So there was that sort of heady excitement of preparing for war, but not really knowing what war was. There is an excitement that's generated by pulling men together, putting them in uniform, marching them up and down streets and on parade grounds.
PAMELA DEAN:
And it still fitted into the romance that had surrounded it in the past and hadn't gotten to the grisly part because not too many had yet been shipped over and killed.
MARY TURNER LANE:
So in the fall of 1941 I went back to New Bern to my home, and my mother was there then. My father was still in Columbia, South Carolina. His battalion had been called out in 1940, I suppose it was. He was officer in charge of the 113th Field Artillery. He was a Lieutenant Colonel at that time. So in the fall of 1941 I was teaching school in New Bern. I had gotten a job there and then Pearl Harbor came in December of 1941. We knew no one at Pearl Harbor but my best friend's husband was on Wake Island, and he was killed on Wake Island. They brought us the news at a big party that we were having at my house. And that really was the beginning of the reality of war for us in New Bern, because this was a young man who had gone through high school with all of us. We were very close to him. So that was really the beginning of the war. Pearl Harbor was December 9 and the bombing of Wake Island came two or three days after that, and then I guess it was a week or more before the news came to us. New Bern was filled at that time with young men in the Marine Corps, because the all of the Marine Air Corps on the eastern seaboard was collected in New Bern at a very small training camp. Then again in 1941, before Pearl Harbor, the Navy had sent construction officers into New Bern to begin building of the Cherry Point Marine Air Base, which would become the largest Marine air base. They sent seven naval officers, and Tom LANE happened to be one of them. We met, and I was very busy dating a number of people that year, but Tom asked me to marry him and so we were married in August of 1942.
PAMELA DEAN:
When did you meet him?
MARY TURNER LANE:
In August of 1941.