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Crain was born in northern Louisiana. He grew up on a farm. During the depression everyone in his family had to work in the field. He first remembers being in a field at 6 years old. His family did not need to buy much from the grocery store. The depression did not hit Crain's family as bad as other people because they produced their own food.When the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor it made a lot of people mad. A lot of Crain's friends decided to enlist. He was mad at the Japanese and eventually forced his parents to sign for him on 23 April 1942. He was 15 years old. His parents signed for him as a 17 year old.On 7 December [Annotator's Note: 7 December 1941] Crain and his buddy had gone down to swim in a local creek. When they came back to the house they found out that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. He remembers getting his butt whipped for swimming in the wintertime.When Crain joined the navy he volunteered for the amphibious force. He was eventually trained in Maryland at Solomons Island. There he learned how to operate the Higgins boats [Annotator's Note: Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVPs)]. They learned how to load the boats and practiced landings in the Chesapeake Bay.
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