You could not compare World War II and the Great Depression in financial terms.
I had a paycheck when I joined the Army, and my wife received an allotment check from the Army for my son. I received about $100 a month, and my wife $50 a month. The Army fed and clothed me, so all my money was sent home.
This was in no way a hardship as compared to the Depression. The morale was very high.
I was driving with my wife and both sets of parents in my new Hudson. We were on our way to Cape May on Beach Drive when the radio announced the attack on Pearl Harbor. The beautiful Sunday drive was suddenly shattered that Dec.7, 1941.
The first six months I was assigned as an Air Raid Warden, covering a six-block radius in my home town of Wildwood. The local people were scared. The sirens were constantly going off.
The German submarines were sitting off our coast. I witnessed one or two. They would wait for the huge ships from the Philadelphia oil refineries to come down the Delaware River.
They managed to sink 89 large ships off the Wildwood, Cape May coast. The tarballs from the ships would wash up on our beaches. One could not walk on the beach with all the tarballs.
My job as the air raid warden was to make sure when the sun set, all blinds were drawn, the headlights on the cars were painted half black and the street lights had tin cans over the light so the light shined straight down, and not outward.
When I enlisted in the Army, I was used stateside as an instructor in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and transferred to Cape Crowder, Missouri. I do recall we captured a German submarine off the coast of Wildwood. Locally, the war helped to create the canal that cut through from the Atlantic Ocean to the Delaware River, and the Wildwood Naval Air Station in Erma was one of the largest in the world - Mr. Robert Bright, Sr., historian, Wildwood Historical Society.