America in WWII

Articles from Vol. 1, No. 1, June

A Conscientious Objector's War
My great uncle Lloyd Mills Korn of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed away on January 2, 2005. He was 81 years old. With roots springing from a deeply religious family, Uncle Lloyd was opposed to war. He was drafted, however, and applied to serve as...
A Generation's Moment
1941 WAS A GREAT TIME TO BE AN AMERICAN. Big bands belted out sassy swing in dance halls, in towns as big as New York and as small as Gallitzin, Pennsylvania. Cars had curves, they were built of real metal, and gas was cheap. Cigarettes weren't bad...
A Solo Flight to Remember
US Army Air Corps Cadet Daniel Ewing McCafferty, my late father's little brother, was the star of our family. He was a straight-A student and, I'm told, an all-state athlete in basketball and tennis. He set a kickoff return record for his high school...
Big Mamie's Place
For months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Elarbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the US Pacific Fleet was crippled. Eight critical and costly battleships--along with 12 other ships and nearly 200 aircraft--had been sunk or severely damaged. In one...
From Slugger to Cannon-Lugger
The following entries are excerpted from a diary kept during the war's final months in France and Germany by my father, Technical Sergeant Edgar Thorp Longacre of the 397th Infantry Regiment's cannon company. A native of Swedesboro, New Jersey, he...
Getting the Story: A Recorder, a Few Guidelines, and a Little Patience Are All You Need to Collect Gripping, Eyewitness History from the WWII Vets in Your Life
AS ANYONE WHO ATTENDED the May 2004 dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, can attest, there are many WWII veterans still among us. All of them have stories to tell. You just have to ask. Pick your time and place. You'll want...
Home-Front Warrior
A BANNER WITH TWO BLUE STARS hung in our living room window, one for each of my brothers in the service. I went to see war movies and roared with laughter and relief when the Germans or the Japanese got their just desserts at the end of the films....
"I'll Say Nucoa Is a Food for Defense!" Says Mrs. Lloyd Miller, Wife of Skilled Worker Making Precision Tools for Uncle Sam
"Looking after the family's health with balanced meals that taste good and don't cost more than we can afford--that's where we women come in on defense!" declares Mrs. Miller. "And that's where NUCOA comes in too--with its low-cost calories, delicious...
Loose Lips
Not every American who brimmed over with war spirit could serve his or her country in uniform. There were other ways to contribute to the war effort, though. Home-front warriors could volunteer as air raid wardens, participate in scrap drives, or start...
May-June 1945
May 1 Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide after poisoning their six children. The Allies land 18,000 men at Tarakan, off Borneo. May 2 Soviets capture Berlin, Germany's capital. The British reach Germany's Baltic coast,...
Okinawa: The Bleeding
As America celebrated victory in Europe, hell erupted on Okinawa. But this horrific, history-shaping battle got lost in Iwo Jima's shadow. SIXTY YEARS HAVE PASSED since the Battle of Okinawa--decades whose succession of wars seemed to mock World...
Our Mothers' War: American Women at Home and at the Front during World War II
Our Mothers' War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II, by Emily Yellin, Simon and Schuster, $26. Few things are as frightening to most of us women than the prospect of becoming our mothers. In fact, if there's one statement...
Plane-Spotting to Save America
IN 1944, MY FATHER was overseas with the US Navy, and my mother, brother, and I were living with my maternal grandparents, Ann and Adolf Ordway, in the little farming town of Newman, California, in the San Joaquin Valley. There was a program of volunteer...
Rationing, Gold-Starred Flags, and Japanese Pows
My husband, George Zolyak, was in the army as a military policeman and rifleman from February 1943 to October 1944. His rank was corporal. His honorable discharge papers say he was with the 4471st SCU, Military Police Detachment, in Nashville, Tennessee....
Right on Time
THE TIMING was just right for Les Brown and His Band of Renown's recording of "Sentimental Journey." With the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, the end of the war was in sight. GIs spread over Europe would soon be on their way back to the United...
Screaming Eagle General: Hard-Driving General Maxwell Taylor Jumped out of a Plane on D-Day and Led His 101st Airborne Division All the Way to Germany
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944, the commander of the 101st Airborne Division landed heavily in a French pasture near the village of Ste. Marie-du-Mont in Normandy. Major General Maxwell Taylor had no time to reflect on the fact that he...
Seeing the Sights
Airman John W. Kushlan (far left) had never been to New York City, nor did he plan to go. But in summer 1944, the 9th Air Force decided it was time for Bill, as his friends called him, to see the Big Apple. The 22-year-old from the outskirts of a western...
Ship-to-Shore Flashlight Chat
I ENLISTED IN THE NAVY at 17 years of age, with parental consent, after I finished school. After attending radio repair school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I was sent to Bainbridge, Maryland, for basic training. I applied for radio operators' school...
The Boys of Winter: Life and Death in the US Ski Troops during the Second World War
The Boys of Winter: Life and Death in the US Ski Troops during the Second World War, by Charles J. Sanders, University Press of Colorado, $29.95. The history of World War II is the story of campaigns and strategy, of bombs and bullets, tanks, planes,...
The End: Hamburg 1943
The End: Hamburg 1943, by Hans Erich Nossack, translated from German by Joel Agee, University of Chicago Press, $20. In 1943, Hans Erich Nossack was a 42-year-old unpublished writer who made a good living in his father's coffee import business....
Training and Teamwork Brought Us Back
by Capt. Charles S. Grant As Navigator of the B-26 bomber, So Sorry, Capt. Grant flew 37 combat-mission in the Southwest Pacific theater. Here is the Captain's story of his most unforgettable flight. THE So Sorry was dishing it out that morning...
Twelve O'clock High
Twelve O'clock High, directed by Henry King, starring Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, and Dean Jagger, Twentieth Century Fox, 1949, black and white, 132 minutes. IT DOESN'T require much imagination to understand the strain World War II...
Ve!
ROOTING OUT POCKETS OF NAZIS ONE BY ONE, AMERICAN TROOPS AND TANKS ROLLED STEADILY ACROSS THE RHINE AND ON TO VICTORY IN EUROPE. THEN THE CELEBRATION BEGAN. THE OUTLOOK WAS BLEAK FOR GERMANY in early 1945. Its luck to the east had given out. In...
Victory Spread
People who were children in the 1940s remember the triumph of margarine. It was often their job, after all, to turn the white, lard-like stuff into something resembling edible. "You got a little capsule that you broke that had yellow color in it, and...
'You're Ruining My Terrace!'
A FEW DAYS BEFORE Christmas 1944, I am leading my company of M-36 Tank Destroyers (of the 702nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, 2nd Armored Division) southward from Aachen toward the Ardennes, where the Germans have stuck out their neck--a long and powerful...
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