Joseph Hernandez served in the United States Army during the Second World War. He hailed from the U.S.A.
Hernandez arrived in Northern Ireland on 26th January 1942 aged 22 years old as part of the first contingent of American troops. Along with fellow soldier Dean Cox, he praised the British Army’s smartness and courtesy to a reporter from the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper:
You can’t beat them for trying to make one feel at home. It was grand getting on dry land again, and then to get such a friendly reception.
In a chat with a correspondent from the Belfast Telegraph newspaper on 27th January 1942, Hernandez praised the welcoming British Army despite their uncomfortable beds:
I think the conditions here are going to be more Spartan, and that the training is going to be as rigid as the beds. It will be pretty stiff, and we are looking forward to getting toughened up inside a few months. I think our camps at home are far more comfortable but they were made for peace-time training. The fields are very green. I never thought grass could be so green. I understand now why this is called the Emerald Isle.