‘The Boys From Boston’

Vallejo Times Herald Editor Wyman Riley reported in his October, 1962 Sunday Notebook column that “there was probably no community in the United States so affected by troops stationed within its city.” He was referring to the deployment of the 211th to Vallejo during World War II.The famed 211th Coast Artillery Anti-Aircraft Regiment from Boston, Massachusetts arrived into the City of Vallejo a few days after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Its job: to protect Mare Island Naval Shipyard and the City of Vallejo from any further Japanese attacks. They set up their anti-aircraft guns on every hill, and then waited for what fortunately never came.

The “Boys From Boston,” by author Gary Cullen is a compilation of stories that tell of that time, when 1800 soldiers came to the Vallejo community bringing their good looks, Army green uniforms, east coast charm, Bostonian accents and capturing the hearts of the Vallejo community. After the war, many of the Boys would eventually return to Vallejo to marry, to raise families, and to start new civilian careers. Cullen, a native Vallejoan, and son of one of those “Boys” hopes to share their story in his new book citing testimony from many Vallejoans who witnessed first hand the soldiers life in VallejoIn his first book, Cullen tells the tales of the Boys; their induction into service in Boston, training in Texas, deployment to Mare Island and the community of Vallejo and finally how they were received by the citizens of Vallejo.

A passage from the book reads: “Virtually all of Vallejo life was dictated by the declaration of war on that infamous day in December. That dictated life style lasted until peace was declared four years later.With a quiet calm and a bit of cold anger, the community would quickly start to measure its needs to prepare for the war. Vallejo was different than other cities in the country at the time, with regards to preparing for war. Vallejo not only experienced an incredible population growth with the onset of World War II, primarily due to the influx of defense workers, but also experienced first-hand, the immediate deployment of military defenses within its boundaries. The war movement was everywhere. The Boys set up their anti-aircraft guns throughout the city, along with the spotlights and sound detectors. Later, those were coupled with the barrage balloons batteries of the 309th.”

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Date(s) - Sat, Apr 16, 2016
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum
734 Marin St, Vallejo

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