With lingering memories from the first Word War in everyone's minds, there was a great deal of pressure within the United States to maintain an isolationalist foreign policy and avoid becoming involved with the emerging
global conflict. However, on December 7, 1941, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that the United States had entered what came to be known as World War II. Several of the most important events which
would ever happen to Bernie were tied to that war.
As President Roosevelt kept the nation informed about the progress of the war thorough his Fireside Chat broadcasts on the radio, 3.9 million men joined
the ranks of the Navy. Bernie packed his belongings in 1942, and headed for his military induction, otherwise known as Boot Camp. After training in San Diego, he was posted in Piney Point, Maryland where he held the position of Torpedeoman. At Piney
Point, he spent his time learning to live the life of a sailor during wartime. He made several good friends including Pappy Lehman, Eddie Vargas, and Al Morgan. The adaption to the military lifestyle was difficult and he developed a severe case of ulcers.