Early 1940's

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With lingering memories from the first Word War in everyone's minds, there was a great deal of pressure within the United States to maintain an isolationalist foreign policy and avoid becoming involved with the emerging global conflict. However, on December 7, 1941, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that the United States had entered what came to be known as World War II. Several of the most important events which would ever happen to Bernie were tied to that war.

As President Roosevelt kept the nation informed about the progress of the war thorough his Fireside Chat broadcasts on the radio, 3.9 million men joined the ranks of the Navy. Bernie packed his belongings in 1942, and headed for his military induction, otherwise known as Boot Camp.  After training in San Diego, he was posted in Piney Point, Maryland where he held the position of Torpedeoman. At Piney Point, he spent his time learning to live the life of a sailor during wartime. He made several good friends including Pappy Lehman, Eddie Vargas, and Al Morgan.  The adaption to the military lifestyle was difficult and he developed a severe case of ulcers.

Life in the Navy

It comes as no surprise that Bernie's best memories about his life as a sailor are about playing baseball with the Navy team. In 1944, the Piney Point baseball team boasted 28 wins and only 12 losses.


Grandson Also A Sailor
Margaret's son who was named after Bernie also joined the Navy about 60 years later. He was also stationed in San Diego.
Son-in-law, Keric Ashley, shows us a San Diego monument that pays tribute to WWII sailors. Bernie was here in 1942!