Mrs. Adeline Lee Finkle grew up on a family farm in Kingston, New York. As a young woman, she first worked in a factory before being hired by Trailways Transportation. She met her husband, Bob, in 1938 and married him on September 15, 1940. Bob was drafted into the peacetime Army, given a temporary discharge, and then rejoined the Army Air Corps in 1943. During the war, Bob served as a nose gunner on a B-24 stationed in Italy. He completed 12 missions before being shot down on December 11, 1944. He bailed out over Hungary and was taken prisoner, eventually being held in Stalag Luft I. Lee first received notification that he was missing on December22, 1944. She did not know that he was alive until March 10, 1945, and finally received a letter from him in May.
In this interview, Lee Finkle describes her experiences during World War II as the spouse of an Airman, and the sister of five brothers in the service. She explains what it was like on the homefront, dealing with rationing, and keeping up on the news from overseas. She parallels her story with her husband’s, focusing on living with the uncertainty about Bob’s condition. Her description of receiving the telegram notifying her that Bob was missing in action is particularly gripping. She briefly discusses the Great Depression, President Roosevelt, and how she experienced V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.