Love and War
While World War II produced innumerable soldiers, tanks, and warships, it also produced something else – marriages! With the uncertainties of war, couples across the country rushed to the altar before men were shipped overseas to enter the war. The 1941 marriage rate, 12.6 per 100,000 population, was the highest recorded rate ever in the United States.
Anniston, AL was no exception. The Anniston Star reported in January 1942 that during the month of December 1941 alone at least 150 marriage licenses were issued and about three marriages occurred daily. The 27 Division from New York was preparing to depart for the Pacific warfront, and the men were eager to marry before leaving. Many married hometown sweethearts, and others married Alabama girls they met while training at the fort. Wartime romances were often sincere, but others were impulsive and fleeting, as shown by the increased postwar divorce rate.
In December 1941, Edward N. Burke of Fort McClellan and Lila Marie McCary of Anniston were married. James Joseph Sergio of Fort McClellan and D. Virginia Knight of Anniston were married, and Herbert Dorman of Fort McClellan and Alice Virginia Williams of Anniston were married to name a few. I wonder what happened to these wartime lovers.