Myrle Arliss Young Karr
WWII Civilian

Myrle Arlis Young Karr was born in Canton, Missouri to Lois Eckler and Edward L. Young. Myrle's father was a messenger and general employee of the Union train station in Des Moines, Iowa. He read extensively but did not graduate from high school. Despite that, he took the entrance exam to Culver-Stockton University in Canton, Missouri, was admitted and earned a B.A. degree. He also attended Vanderbilt where he received M.A. and Bachelor of Divinity degrees. Myrle had one sister and one brother. Many times during the Depression the ladies of the Disciples of Christ church paid her father, the minister, with food that had been canned. Myrle did not remember feeling deprived but she would see people lined up in the bread line because jobs were hard to find and people did not have money or food. During the Great Depression, hobos, usually unskilled migratory workers, looked for the chalk mark that had been placed on their fence to signal that her family would always give them a hot plate of food and some water. When her family lived in Greenville, Kentucky, her father enlisted as a chaplain and he served from 1941 to 1945 in the 30th Division Artillery. When they moved Fort Jackson they saw German submarines off the coast of Florida just before the subs were captured and when they were at Columbia, South Carolina all school children had to wear identification tags that had id information and immunization records. They also had air raid warnings, went to designated areas in the school and had blackout coverings on all of the windows. Her father moved the family to various bases including Camp Blanding, and Fort Benning. While at Gainesville, the family ate at the officers mess hall on Sundays and rode with the colonel in an army. They moved to Camp Forest, Tennessee and her father was last transferred to Camp Atterbury before he was sent overseas. Their mother first took the children to her grandparents farm in Lenox, Iowa thendecided to rent a house in Frankford, Missouri. They had a victory garden and raised chickens to supplement war ration coupons. When her father wrote about the lack of supplies in England, her Mother used the ration stamps to buy sugar, syrup, flour and Hershey bars to send to him and the English family with whom he became friends. Myrle remembers using feed sacks for clothes, rolling bandages for overseas use, saving foil and string and Gold Star plaques hanging in windows. She has many fond memories including bobsledding, ice skating, building bon fires, hayrides and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Her father entered France three days after D-Day at Omaha Beach and was overseas for two years and the family kept a map on the wall to follow the progress of the troops from radio broadcasts. When her father was discharged from the Army, he became pastor at Jackson Avenue Christian Church and her mother taught Sunday school. Myrle and her sister went to high school there and later, Myrle attended Kansas City Junior College, worked at the Advertising Pencil Company, Evans Transfer & Storage Company and then attended Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas. She met her husband, Admiral Dale Karr, at the church and they married in 1951. Myrle and her husband have two daughters, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Meryl has written We are Survivors, for those who were born before 1945.