Blog Archives

The Harrowing Job of Mapping Bougainville

Before the Marines would land on Bougainville, the mapping of the island needed to be accomplished.  The B-17, “Old 666” was assigned the mission – one that proved far more dangerous than first expected….

Short video.

 

Contributed by The Old Mainer.

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Presidents Day – Back in the Day – can be seen HERE!  washington

Have a great celebration!!

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 Canadian National Flag Day – Animated-gif-Canada-flag-waving-on-pole-in-front-of-water-picture-moving

The Royal Union Flag, which is also the flag of the United Kingdom, was used as the official flag of Canada until 1965. Various designs of the Canadian Red Ensign were used between 1868 and 1965 but Canada’s Parliament never officially adopted them. The National Flag of Canada’s current design results from a period of discussion, debate and political maneuvering in the early 1960s.

George F.G. Stanley designed the current flag, which is inspired by the Royal Military College of Canada’s flag. The multi-party parliamentary committee formed to select a new flag unanimously chose the design on October 29, 1964. The House of Commons passed the design on December 15, 1964. Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965, and it was inaugurated on February 15 in the same year.

Celebrate!!!

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Military Humor – us-navy-navy-air-force-military-demotivational-poster-1266120498

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Farewell Salutes – 

Gerald Bliss – Great Falls, MT; US Air Force, Vietnam, P-61 Black Widow pilot, Bronze Star

Ann Caracristi – Bronxville, NY; US Gov’t cryptologist, WWII, Japanese codebook, NSA Chief

Donal Douglas – Seattle, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWIItribute

Agapito Gonzales – Sante Fe, NM; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Mary King – Toronto, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Don Lovetinsky – W.Liberty, IA; US Army WWII, ETO

Stuart Moore – Hot Springs, AR; US Army, WWII

Sylvia Schachne – brn: Notts, ENG/Tom’s River, NJ; British Women’s Land Army, WWII

Edward Swiski – Halboro, PA; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Colin Thomson – Hawkes Bay; RNZ Army # 205205, Hawkes Bay Regiment/22nd Battalion

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Home Front Memories

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When America was catapulted into World War II, life on the home front changed in ways it never had before—and probably never will again, according to people who lived through those times.

“So many people don’t know what it was like then. Everything was for the war effort,” said Shirley Compton, a vivacious 80-year-old who lives in Colonial Beach. “Everyone was close and loving and patriotic. I remember that feeling most of all.”

She grew up in Arlington, where families were encouraged to rent out rooms to workers who flocked to Washington to keep the war machine chugging.  Her childhood memories are of air-raid drills at school and blacked-out windows at home. She confesses she “did carry on a bit” when factories that made Coca–Cola and Double Bubble Bubble Gum shifted their focus to war supplies and stopped making her favorites.

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But even 6-year-old girls quickly learned to support the cause when everyone else was doing it, she said. “I never saw such a good feeling about everything, people working together,” she said. “I remember that still.”

So does Wayne Colton, a 78-year-old with an incredible memory for detail. Perhaps he paid so much attention to adults because he was an only child.  His family lived on the outskirts of Fredericksburg when it was still rural enough to be considered the country.

He was only 4 when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, but he sensed the seriousness of the situation—and the subsequent four-year effort to defeat Japan and Germany.  “I knew it was a life-and-death struggle,” he said. “It made a profound impression on me.”

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To those in the city or country, an account of life on the home front starts and ends with one word.  Rationing.

Processed and canned goods were shipped overseas for Allied soldiers; gasoline was used to transport troops and supplies instead of food; and sugar and coffee were limited due to war-related restrictions on imports.

Because of the shortages, the government established a system to make sure the few items available were distributed fairly.  Each American got ration books with stamps for particular items, such as cooking oil, shoes or meat.

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Living in the country, Colton and his family raised chickens and got pork from relatives who had a farm. They were able to grow most of the food they needed, unlike city-dwellers who relied on the market.

The mere mention of meat brought up a subject that made Compton cringe. Spam, a spiced ham served in a can, became popular during the war to supplement the meat shortages.

“I hate it to this day,” she said. “I don’t ever want to see it again.”

Copper was needed for wiring for every piece of equipment that rolled, floated or was flown in the war, along with the millions of radios being produced.  Zinc replaced copper as the coating on pennies, Colton said.

As much as civilians felt the shortages, they were also keenly aware of the need—and “no one complained about it,” Compton said.   Radio programs, movies and school events stressed the need to support the war because the American way of life depended on it.

“You woke up every day, realizing we were in a conflict,” Colton said. “The war was the predominant theme, and you were totally aware of how much people were sacrificing for it.”

In the months after the Pearl Harbor attack, communities appointed civilians to keep an eye on the sky and water. Volunteer spotters, who learned to identify aircraft from their silhouettes, were posted around the Fredericksburg region.

Guards were placed at the Falmouth Bridge, as well as other bridges and railroad crossings. Civil defense patrols in Fredericksburg had air-raid drills—the same kind Compton experienced in Arlington—when all the lights had to be blacked out. No one wanted to give would-be bombers a target to hit.

As a boy, Colton saw these exercises and the regular troop trains that ran through Fredericksburg, headed for training at Fort A.P. Hill. He was absolutely fascinated by the war machine.

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Woman inspecting bullets…

He learned that the nylons his mother coveted were used to make parachutes, that the metal and paper he and other children saved were used in weapons, armament and posters asking people to buy war bonds and further support the effort.

Even the fat left over from cooking was saved and turned into soap.  “It was significant to see these things,” Colton said, realizing at a young age that this wasn’t normal.

Colton was so fascinated by the military, he eventually joined the Air Force and earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam—the same medal an uncle received at the Battle of the Bulge. He retired after 20 years in the military, then worked as a defense contractor.

Rev. Wayne Colton & wife, Linda.

Rev. Wayne Colton & wife, Linda.

About 25 years ago, he answered a different call of duty: to become a minister. At 78, he’s the senior pastor at Triangle Baptist Church.  Colton never forgot the wartime experiences of his childhood.

“It gave me a sense of pride in the country and the sacrifices men and women were making,” he said. “It was a life-forming orientation.”

cdyson@freelancestar.com 

©2015 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)
Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at http://www.fredericksburg.com/flshome
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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For past detailed stories of the home front check into my category Home Front.

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Home Front & Political Humor –

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Pittsburgh Gazette

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Dorman Smith, Lynchburg News, 1943

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

William Aynes – Columbus, OH; US Army, WWII/ US Air Force, Korea, Vietnam

Paul Barnhart – Endicott, NY & AK; USMC, Korea, Purple Heart Arlington_Burial_Worl_Smit_2_t755_h8a94edf1cc6e40113d3605995d57b0e00c11f81c

Charles Booth – Guildford, AUS; RA Army # 171790, WWII, 82/13th Battery/19th Div.

Bob Falen – Ontario, OR; US Army, Vietnam, Helicopter pilot

Richard Kelly – Wilmette, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ Co/11th Airborne

Walter McCreary – San Antonio, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Tuskegee Airman, POW

Levon Raybon – Showlow, AZ; US Air Force, Korea

Robert Smith – Montgomery, AL; US Army, WWII, PTO

Jock Turner – NZ; RNZ Air Force # 437355, WWII

John Woods – Ottawa, CAN; RC Army, Korea, 25th Canadian Inf. Brigade Group, paratrooper

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An Alaskan Christmas

Aleutian Christmas

Aleutian Christmas

CHIPLEY, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — A 10-inch blanket of snow covered Fort Richardson, Alaska, when Oscar “Buck” Buchanan first arrived in October 1942.

“To some of us Florida boys, this was an experience,” Buchanan wrote in an account detailing his service during World War II that he mailed to The News Herald. “The train was late [to pick us up] and we were told it was due to moose, who would use the tracks for walking through a tunnel made of snow and couldn’t get off the tracks.”

106th Engineers

106th Engineers

This is where Buchanan, a private in the National Guard, spent most of World War II with the Company D, Second Battalion, 106th Engineers.

Two years earlier, Buchanan, then 22, left West Bay with his friend Alex Hinote to enlist.

“At that time, I either had to volunteer into the service or be drafted,” he said.

After a brief honeymoon with his new wife, Juanita Sasnett, he started moving around the country, first for his own training, then to train others.

When the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, everything changed, he said. The unit was told to prepare to ship overseas for combat, their time extended for the length of the war, and they were promoted to general engineers.

Troops on Attu

Troops on Attu

“Our trucks, with a lot of equipment, were loaded onto a train and preceded us to Fort Dix, and sent directly to England. We followed later on Pullman cars — our first train ride — and were scheduled to follow our equipment to England on the Queen Mary,” Buchanan wrote. “While waiting for the boat, another decision was made for us to be sent to Alaska.”

The Japanese had occupied the Aleutian Islands, which fan out toward Asia from the southwestern tip of Alaska, and the U.S. government was worried about the possibility of a mainland invasion from the north.

So Buchanan was sent in the opposite direction of his things.

Along the way, he stopped with a few friends in Olympia, Wash., for 72 hours.

“We visited a ‘service center’ and were entertained by some of the staff. We asked the lady at the piano if she could play ‘Dixie.’ She could and we sang ‘Dixie Land, where I was born’ along with her,” Buchanan, now 95, wrote.

Later in the evening, they tried local oysters, confusing the waitress by asking for them raw instead of in stew.

“When the oysters came, they were the size of a quarter and in a bowl. They tasted like chalk. She said they came from China,” he recalled. “We took the stew.”

Muir Glacier, 1940's

Muir Glacier, 1940’s

The dining reportedly did not improve as Buchanan traveled by a freight boat through the Inside Passage to Alaska.

When they arrived north, the men were outfitted with winter clothes, a coal heater and an A-frame tent. It was an adjustment for those who were used to warmer climates.

“Sometimes the food froze on the plates before it could be eaten,” Buchanan said. “On Christmas Day 1942, the temperature was 43 degrees below freezing.”

At the start of the New Year, the men were moved farther north to an Alaskan base with Quonset huts, where the military had to build an airport capable of accommodating a B-24 bomber as well as a hospital, a railroad and roads. As part of the construction, they had to tunnel through a mountain to get to the harbor.

The men were aided by civilians, and Buchanan became a trained surveyor.

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As it seemed less likely the Japanese would enter Alaska, the work slowed and the American men began to relax. They skied makeshift slopes, visited Mount McKinley, received furloughs back to the States, visited Anchorage, hunted and fished.

When the war ended, the men went home to “no fanfare,” Buchanan wrote. He returned to his wife in Chipley, continued to work as a surveyor, and raised two children. He still lives in Chipley.

To this day, he said on the phone, he feels the 106th Engineer Battalion should have received a little more credit.

“We were called to a defense duty in Alaska and did it well. Even though there were no fatalities in the unit, no credit was given to them for the casualties — civilians as well as soldiers — that were prevented by preparing the Alaskan front for the invasion of the Japanese forces,” he said. “When the Japanese got ‘cold feet’ and fled to a warmer climate, the Florida boys got cold feet but stood their ground.”

©2015 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)
Visit The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) at http://www.newsherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Military Humor – 

Sometimes you just have to keep you equipment on a leash.

Sometimes you just have to keep you equipment on a leash.

Engineer's priority....

Engineer’s priority….

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

James Beavers – Marion, IN; US Army, Vietnam

Vincent Capodanno – Staten Island, NY; USMC, Vietnam, Chaplain, Medal of Honor, KIA

Milton Crenshaw – Little Rock, AR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Tuskegee instructor0083f165f66161f63454e92890403bcd

Henry ‘Red’ Erwin – Adamsville, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Sgt., B-29 radioman, POW, Medal of Honor

Kenneth Howarth – Chester, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers/11th Airborne

Yvonne Mole – Victor Harbor, AUS; A Army Medical Womans Service # SFX 24647, WWII

Paul Oskolkoff – Ninilchik, AK; US Navy, Vietnam

Frederick Scott – Gainsville, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 mechanic

Harry Shipman – Hamilton, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO, 48th Highlanders

Dwayne ‘Doc’ Wise – Storm Lake, IA; USMC, WWII, Korea, Lt. (Ret. 22 years)

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Alaska Films

Alaska – 1942-1943, contributed from Pierre Lagacé, 43 minutes

 

Kiska, 10 minutes

 

What remains on Alaska… 3 minutes

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Military Humor – 

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Patriot Day – 9/11/2001

Some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of

some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the Pentagon

AFTER FLIGHT 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, the following incident occurred:

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that never made the news:
“A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.

Pentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial

“There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, “Well, here we are, on our own.”
About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac.

Pentagon Memorial benches w/ names on each one.

Pentagon Memorial benches w/ names on each one.

“Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing – they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.
“The chaplain then said, “I don’t think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.

Pentagon Memorial at Arlington Cemetery

Pentagon Memorial at Arlington Cemetery

“It’s the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and are currently serving our country, and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.”

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Farewell Salutes – 

James M. Barrett – MN; USMC, WWII, PTO, 6th Marine Division

Walter Brandes – Kenosha, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, SSgt., gunner

John Dawson – Whitinsville, MA; US Army, Afghanistan, KIAplaying-taps

Michael Donahue – Columbus, OH; US Army, Afghanistan, XVII Airborne Corps, Major

Ating Emine – Lawrenceville, GA; Afghanistan, Sgt.

Millie Linehan – Wichita, KS; US Navy WAVE, WWII, yeoman 3rd class

John Mark – NYC, NY; US Army, Kuwait, Pentagon, Captain

Donald Olliver – Dover, DE; US Army, Korea

Herbert Stevenson – Atawhai, NZ; RNZ Army # 395530, WWII, 23rd Battalion

Ned Teaque – Stanley, NC; US Navy, WWII

Andrew S. Villolovos – Toledo, OH; US Navy, cryptologic tech. Seaman

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Hellfire Pass – Eye Witness Account

A memorial in Hellfire Pass

A memorial in Hellfire Pass

Out in the jungles of Thailand, far from home and far from the Singapore base where they had been captured, thousands of men now found themselves working as slave labour for the Japanese army. Work on clearing the jungle to lay a railway track was now in full swing. Now based in remote camps in the forest with the most basic facilities, every single man was now suffering from the effects of malnutrition and starvation. The death toll was mounting, As Dr Hardie had recorded at another camp on Christmas Day, even before the men began their hard physical labour.

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Alistair Urquhart was working on one of the most notorious sections of the railway, one that would later be dubbed ‘Hellfire Pass’ by the Australian troops who worked on it. The early stages meant clearing a path though the trees, with a designated width and distance to be cleared every day. If it wasn’t done they had to work into the night. These was only limited scope for some respite:

Another squad were tasked with removing the rocks, trees and debris, another separated the roots to dry them out and later burn them. Meanwhile on the pickax party some men were going hammer and tong.

I said to one chap near me who was slugging his pick as if in a race, ‘Slow down mate, you’ll burn yourself out.’ ‘If we get finished early,’ he said, puffing, ‘maybe we’ll get back to camp early.’ But the soldiers would only find something else for us to do. And then the next day Japanese expectations would be higher.

Personally I tried to work as slowly as possible. The others would learn eventually but I soon discovered ways to conserve energy. If I swung the pick quickly, allowing it to drop alongside an area I had just cleared, the earth came away easier It also meant that while it looked as if I were swinging the pick like the Emperor’s favorite son, the effort was minimal.

Nevertheless under the scorching Thai sun and without a shirt or hat for protection, or shade from the nearby jungle canopy, the work soon became exhausting. Minute after minute, hour after hour, I wondered when the sun would drop and we could go back to camp.

Around midday the Japanese called for yasume. We downed tools and sat and ate rice, which we had taken with us from camp in the morning. When I opened my rice tin I found the contents had begun to ferment. It was almost rice wine and tasted horrible. But I ate it anyway.

Lunch usually lasted for around thirty minutes at the railway, depending on the officer in charge. If he were sleepy or tired, it might be longer. We used to love it when he fell asleep!

artist: John Mennie

artist: John Mennie

By mid-afternoon we had finally completed the first section. Despite enormous toil and effort over the previous ten hours, our progress had been incredibly slow. We had managed to clear the required thirty-foot width for only about twenty feet.

It was the beginning for us of what would become the most notorious railway construction that the world had ever seen. The Japanese engineer came over to inspect our work. He studied the clearing from several angles, using various surveying instruments, before declaring, ‘No gooda! Do again! Deeper!’

Utterly demoralized we had to go back to the beginning and manually dredge another foot of soil. We were all in various stages of beriberi, pellagra, malaria, dengue fever and dysentery. A new illness had also started to ravage some unfortunate prisoners. Called tinea, it was nick- named ‘rice balls’ because the hideous swelling had the tormenting tendency to attack, crack and inflame the scrotum.

Resource: WW2today.com

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Current News – WWII & Korean War – 

The wreckage of the USNS Mission San Miguel, a WWII & Korean War tanker is finally located…

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Military Humor – Aussie/New Zealand style

OOPS !

OOPS !

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"Get that button done up!"

“Get that button done up!”

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Farewell Salutes – 

Gordon Boyle – Beechwood, AUS; RA Air Force # 80337

Charles Christiansen – Cambridge, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 4311287, WWII, Fiji Leading Aircraftsman

Joy Dowler – Albany, NZ; WRNZ Air Force # W5652, W6055, WWIIAUS_NZ_USA_Flags

Milton Frederick – W.AUS; RA Army, WWII

Ben Kuroki – Hersey, NE & Camarillo, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, POW & PTO

Eliot Lang – New Plymouth, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 432743, WWII

Vernon McIntyre – Kelmscott, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII

Robert Phillips – Auckland, NZ; RNZ Army # 436394, WWII

William Sievers – AUS; RA Air Force # 425977

Kathleen Wishart – Christchurch, NZ; WRNZ Army Nursing Corps # W242634, WWII

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Home Front in Early WWII

Remember a FULL-service gas station?

Remember a FULL-service gas station?

It Was Hard To Keep The Good Times Rollin’

Columnist Marquis Childs said after Pearl Harbor: “Nothing will ever be the same.” Thirty-five years later he added: “It never has and never will be.” We need to remember that in 1941 as much as 40% of U.S. families lived below the poverty level, approximately 8 million worked for less than minimum wage and another 8 million were unemployed. The median income was about $2,000 per year. The government, in virtually fighting two separate wars, entered into civilian lives by raising taxes, rationing, controlling prices and allotting jobs.   Once the war began, truck convoys became commonplace and train depots burst into arenas of activity. The movement was not entirely servicemen as women began to migrate into towns and communities near the military bases and jobs when they entered the workforce. Judy Guion’s (Greatest Generation Lessons) Aunt Jean did just that by going to Florida to be near her husband Dick. Minorities headed for higher paying positions in defense plants and shipyards. 84ece02d2771f49e8d0a3d92e94fd6c4 The greatest annoyance to civilians was the fact that new automobiles were no longer being produced. The public’s status symbol and route to financial and social activities had been curtailed and this caused boot-leg markets to spring up selling tires and taking their chances with the law. The La Salle Motor Company in Indiana was the first firm to be cited by the government. The Office of Price Administration would regulate everything from soup and shoes to nuts and bolts and was responsible for all domestic rationing. J. Edgar Hoover issued warnings about car thefts; alerting owners to be wary of where they parked their cars, especially during evening hours. In Southwest Harbor, Maine, reports of gasoline siphoning were a constant problem. The use of taxicabs grew throughout the world in the early part of the 20th century. In the 1940’s, the taximeter was developed and the new two-way radio was a great improvement over the old callboxes. DeSotos, Packards and the GM “General” were the common vehicles utilized for this purpose. 5l0n4a18x6hnl6 Streetcars were heavily used in the 1930’s, but companies began to fail as gasoline buses (”trackless trolleys”) took their place. The most prominent name was the Greyhound. In 1936, they introduced their “Super Coach” for family travel and it was so well received that within four years, they opened a chain of restaurants called “Post House.” When war began, they became a major carrier of the troops heading to the east and west coasts. Since nearly 40% of their workforce was eventually drafted, women were offered training as bus drivers. Local buses where often late and overcrowded, having standing room only. A person was often unable to keep a reliable daily schedule due to the situation.

1942

1942

Air travel was certainly difficult with a war in progress and the airlines did not have the systems they have now. Case in point: the Hoover Airport (where the Pentagon building is now), had a major highway running smack through it. When a plane took off or landed, the red traffic light was switched on to halt car and truck movement. l-7xn0ad4j7ggiq3 Trains were the dominate mode of transportation since the transcontinental was completed in 1869 and up until just before the war era when cars and trucks became predominate. The massive movement around the country pressed heavily on the antiquated railroad network. Most of the system had been built in the decades following the Civil War. Accounts of disastrous train wrecks appeared due to the necessity to overwork them, such as the one at Frankfort Junction in Philadelphia. Upon rounding a curve, a bearing gave way and the seventh car shot vertically into the air. The velocity of the car caused it to drag seven other cars with it off the tracks. Eighty bodies were found in one car alone. 1940_schwinn_cover   The Office of Defense Transportation urged people to only travel on “slack days” and take one-day vacations. The Director stated, “Needless passenger movement is getting to the point where it is embarrassing the war effort.” One rail line that came out of Saint Louis, called the “Jeffersonian,” had only reserved seating, but people continued to line up in the aisles. One woman, traveling from Kalamazoo to a defense job remembered sitting on her suitcase the entire trip. In Tallahassee, Florida, a man recalled signs everywhere reading: “Is this trip necessary?” In congested areas, such as N.Y.C., vendors began to spring up to rent out bicycles. In fact, the summer of 1942, when the gas pumps went dry, drivers followed a gas truck to its delivery point, (as many as 350 would line up) so the bicycle business erupted. In California, the state that received the least restrictions, bikes were in such high demand that a certificate of necessity was required for a purchase. When walking became more important, leather for shoes became scarce and shoe rationing went into effect February 1943. In the U.S., three pairs per year was the quota and in England it was only one. By 1944, the U.S. civilian ration was dropped to two pair.

Bell Telephone 1942

Bell Telephone 1942

The old saying, “Let the good times roll” proved difficult and often the stories seem to be from another world rather than another decade. Do any of our readers have stories they remember or were told? How would any of you deal with this lifestyle?

Sources: American Library; KC Library; Greyhound.com; “Americans Remember the Home Front”; by Roy Hoopes; “1940s”, by Louise Gerdes; “Let the Good Times Roll”, by Paul Casdorph; encyclopedia.com; enotes.com; JalopyJournal.com This was originally a Guest Post for Judy Guion Hardy @ Greatest Generation Lessons. Click on images to enlarge. ##############################################################################

Humorous 1940’s Advertisements – double-VD

Pepsi 1942

Pepsi 1942

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pabst Blue Ribbon

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Farewell Salutes – 

Van T. Barfoot – Edinburg, MS; US Army, WWII, Sgt./Korea & Vietnam, Col.(Ret. 34 years), Silver Star, 3 Purple Hearts, Medal of Honor

David Hickman – Greensboro, NC; US Army, “New Dawn” Iraq, 82nd Airborne Division

Bernard ‘Duke’ Krupnik – Riverside, CT; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS BostonEagles with bowed heads

Lou Lenart – brn. Hungary; CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

John Leslie Munro – NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII, ETO, “Dam Buster” pilot

Alfred O’Brien Jr. – Portland, OR; US Navy, WWII

Arnold ‘Bud’ Rahe – Dubuque, IA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 120th Infantry Reg/30th Infantry Div., Purple Heart, KIA

Arnold Sagman – Vancouver, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Maston Thomas – Port Charlotte, FL; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Lt., communications

Paul Zurcher – Monroe, IN; US Army, WWII, ETO, 10th Mountain Division, Purple Heart ###############################################################################

When Making A Car Was Illegal

The last Packard, 1942

The last Packard, 1942

 

This was originally published as a Guest Post for Judy Hardy at Greatest Generation Lessons.

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered all car manufacturers to cease the production of private automobiles and convert the factories to produce military vehicles, weaponry, airplane engines, parts, etc. But, this would not put an end to man’s love affair with the automobile. A car manual became priceless to a private owner and a truck manual was an absolute necessity for a farmer or businessman. With the rationing of gasoline in the U.S., the “National Victory Speed” was 35 mph and driving clubs were encouraged. (Our modern day car-pools).

The news spread around the world.

The news spread around the world.

Automobiles were produced in massive quantities before the Great Depression and this brought the price down considerably. Then, the stock market crashed and many people were unable to afford the fuel for the cars they already owned. There were some that removed the engines from their vehicles and had a horse pull them. These were nicknamed “Bennett Buggies” in some areas.

"Bennett Buggie"

“Bennett Buggie”

FDR gave a long-winded speech on 28 April 1942 called the “Call for Sacrifice,” where he stated, “…Not all of us have the privilege of fighting our enemies in distant parts of the world. Not all of us can have the privilege of working in a munitions factory or a shipyard, or on the farms or in oil fields or mines… There is one front where everyone is in action and that is right here at home and that is the privilege of denial.” (Can any of us even imagine what would eventuate from a statement like that today?) It was not until June that civilian truck production ceased, except some tightly government controlled heavy trucks produced during 1944 by GMC.

Packard was known as a “company of premier luxury cars.” In 1937, they introduced their first 6-cylinder engine since 1928 – right in time for the ’29 Depression, so they designed the “110” model in 1940-41 to serve as taxi cabs. With the onset of war, air plane engines, such as the Merlin that powered the P-51 Mustang fighter were produced. Many American and British PT boats were equipped with the Packard 1350-, 1400-, and 1500 horsepower V-12 marine engines. During this era, the company also produced ambulances and other military vehicles. All in all, 60,000 combined engines were built by Packard.

GMC had produced nearly 584,000 multi-drive vehicles for use in WWII, the first of which was the amphibious 6×6 “Ducks.” These were sent to the Army for island landings and river crossings. Over 21,000 of these unique vehicles were produced. GMC also built the first 2 ½ ton 6×6 trucks powered by a 270 cid engine which became the famous “workhorse” of the Army.

"Duck"

“Duck”

The Ford Corporation during 1942-45 built approximately 8,600 of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers. They also produced aircraft engines, M-4 tanks, spare parts and the ever-famous Jeep. In England, the Dagenham plant built the Ford military trucks, Bren-gun carriers and more than 30,000 super-charged V-12 engines for the Mosquito and Lancaster bombers.

The transportation department of the U.S. Army performed monumental feats during WWII. They moved tons of food, weapons, equipment and men despite gasoline, oil and lubricants being in short supply. If one delves deeper into this research, they find that Congress was not always willing to loosen the government’s purse strings. As I have mentioned previously on my site, Europe received the majority of the supplies, hence their slogan, “Europe First.” (But, even the ETO had shortages.) I have two specific reports stating that my father’s unit, the 11th Airborne Division while fighting in the Pacific, could not reach the city of Manila before the Sixth Army due to the lack of trucks. 

Since the first automobile sputtered down the street and caught up to a horse, men have defined themselves by their vehicles, showing their cars off with pride and affection. They wash them, wax them and individualize them. It becomes an extension of himself – whereas a woman does the same routine for her home.

The ever-reliable car manual during the WWII era was a lifeline keeping farmers connected to markets, businessmen to their offices and factory workers to their jobs. What you had, you were forced to maintain or learn to do without. Just try to picture it – a world without rent-a-cars or gas stations at every intersection, no leasing contracts for new cars, no power windows or GPS or Blue Tooth… What do you see?

Jeep ambulance from the David Dunham Collection

Jeep ambulance from the David Dunham Collection

 

Research & Photo Resources:

Military History Online; Internet History Sourcebooks; Ford Corp./history; History of Packard; From the Great Depression to WWII; Wikipedia; Classic Car History; Fine Art America; Lopez Transport 1941; Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society; GMC Trucks

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Deacon Cresswell – Boynton Bch, FL; US Air Force, Korea, 50th Troop Carrier Wing

Gordon Keats – Victoria, CAN; RC Navy, WWIIAmerican-Flag-Eagle2

Kirk Kerkorian – Fresno, CA; RAF Ferry Command, WWII, 33 Mosquitoes from Canada to U.K.

Donnell Nasseth – Valley City, ND; US Navy, WWII, Pharmacist Mate 1st Class

Mary Petrozzi – Wolfeboro, NH; US WAVE, WWII, nurse

Raymond Reitze – Scarborough, ME; US Army, WWII, POW

Bryan Smith – Beverton, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 457th Artillery Reg/11th Airborne

Earl Turner – Lancaster, CA; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

William VanMatre – Green River, WY; US Navy (Ret. 25 years), Master Chief

Alvin Wagner – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, WWII

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Washington & Lincoln’s Birthday – back in the day…

In 1942 the birthday’s of Washington and Lincoln were celebrated separately.  Here is a sample of what your parents and grandparents saw….

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Even back then you had to have shopping advertisements!

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Entertainment

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Casablanca

Casablanca

presidents day

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And memories…

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I believe I need to add here that this is officially a celebration for Washington’s birthday even though the name was changed to President’s Day in 1971.  Congress voted NO to including Lincoln and the rest of the presidents simply jumped on board anyway!

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 Things could be worse…

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This is the Tateyama Kurobe Snow Corridor in Murodo, Japan.  They receive approximately 21′ of snow per year, but there have been times when 60′ fell.  The Corridor can only be open April thru October, so these pictures are not even in the winter!

contributed by William Peacan, now in 0*F weather himself plowing the roads in New England.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Sidney Bashein – Palm Bch County, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO

William Cross Jr. – Shenandoah, VA; US Army, Lt.Colonel (Ret 24 years), WWII, ETO, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Donald Dalton – Mayflower, AR; US Air Force (ANG), BGeneral, pilot945925_391409037634955_1621483807_n

Verner Gaul – Harlan, IA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 101st Weather Group

Levi Lattomus – Milford, DE; US Army, WWII, ETO, Signal Corps

Marie McMullen – WPalm Beach, FL; US Navy WAVES, WWII

William Nevius – Hempstead, NY; US Navy, Captain (Ret.)

George Rawston – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Army # 3515, WWII

Harry Sparks Jr. – Spokane, WA; US Army, WWII, heavy machine-gunner

Dan Woods – Norwalk, CT; US Army, Korea

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Canada’s 50th Flag Day

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LET’S ALL HELP CANADA CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR FLAG!!

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 Click on to enlarge and read.

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Canadian Humor – Brrrr

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I suppose this applies to most everyone these days!!

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Kenneth Berg – Vancouver, CAN; RC Army, Korea, PPCLI

Don Berndt – Edmonton, CAN; RC Air Force, Master Warrant Officer (Ret. 37 years)

Gordon Loverin – Kelowna, CAN; RC Air Force (Ret. 29 years)6181719_orig

John Carr – Victoria, CAN; British Army, WWII

Alan Dalby – Victoria, CAN; RC Army, WWII

A.D. MacDonald – Montreal, CAN; RC Navy, Lt., WWII

Roy Scott – Calgary, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, Parachute Corps

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