Entrance into Service

Stationed in China

Postwar Life


Chris Daley was born in October 1923 in Lafayette, Louisiana. He grew up in a small town. His father owned a wholesale fruit and produce business. The Depression [Annotator's Note: Great Depression; a global economic depression that lasted through the 1930s] affected them severely. His father was out of work, but had enough savings to get them through a couple of years. Daley wanted to be a pilot, but his vision did not let him do that. He heard about Pearl Harbor [Annotator's Note: The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 December 1941] while he was walking home from college. He heard the broadcast through a neighbor’s window that the country was going to war. Daley volunteered for the service against his parents’ protest. Basic training was rigorous. They needed everything they learned. He thought the war was necessary and was glad to be a part of it.


Chris Daley was sent to Los Angeles, California for administrative training for three months. Then he was transferred to Colorado where he started his administrative work. He went overseas in 1944. He was exhilarated because he was going to participate in the war. He was worried he would be put into a position where he would have to kill someone. The European war was the most important to him. His parents lost communication with their relatives in Greece during the war. There were five thousand troops on the ship he was on. It took 30 days to get to Australia. From Australia, they went to Singapore, then they went through India to the Himalayas. This is where the supplies were going over the hump to help Japan. They were there for nine months. They supported the aircraft bringing the supplies into China and Japan. The area was populated, but there were no nearby conveniences. They lived in tents. They had buildings with thatched roofs. They were prepared to go into the active area. Armistice [Annotator’s Note: World War Two ended on 2 September 1945] was declared and they did not get into the real fight. He was disappointed because he wanted to get into the real fight. Daley would report to his various workstations. He worked in finance. They paid the bills and were in charge of payroll. They would change the money into the current currency. The Japanese were their enemy and they did not like them. They flew from India to China. It was an eight-hour flight. They were stationed in Shanghai for nine months.


Chris Daley thought the atomic bombs [Annotator's Note: nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 6 and 9 August 1945] were inhumane. He had a sense of humanitarianism. They celebrated when the war was over. They had beer rations once a month. They had enough beer to celebrate the end of the war. After two or three days, they came back to reality. He worked in an office like he would at home. The Chinese were happy to see them. They had enough money to make some of the prices get out of control. Daley was very happy to get home. He landed in the Seattle area [Annotator’s Note: Seattle, Washington]. He wanted to go back to civilian life. He wanted to finish his education and get on with his life. He bought a home with the G.I. Bill [Annotator's Note: the G.I. Bill, or Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, was enacted by the United States Congress to aid United States veterans of World War 2 in transitioning back to civilian life and included financial aid for education, mortgages, business starts, and unemployment]. He got married instead of going back to school. He went into the service at 17 years old. He was 21 years old when he got out. Patriotism played the largest part in his joining the service. Many of his friends were in the service. He would correspond with them and it sounded like a great adventure. The war helped him understand other people. They had to help other people. Daley went to work for the Veterans Administration [Annotator's Note: United States Department of Veterans Affairs; also referred to as the Veterans Administration]. He is proud of the fact that he was in World War Two. He was disappointed he was not in the actual fight. He is grateful he made it out of the war unharmed. He thinks it is great to have a place that remembers the sacrifice. World War Two caused millions to lose their lives. It is not to be treated lightly. It is something to be remembered and not repeated.

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