b-blog

Posts Categorized: WWII Articles

Make It Do – Sugar Rationing in World War II

What could be more American than Hershey bars, homemade cookies, and birthday cake? During World War II these items were hard to come by. Short on Sugar When the Japanese conquered the Philippines in the early months of 1942, the United States lost a major source of sugar imports. Shipments from Hawaii and Central and… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Freedom from Fear

Seventy years ago, the world was a fearsome place. Nazi Germany controlled most of western continental Europe and pummeled Britain with almost daily bombings, militarist Japan was brutalizing coastal China, and Fascist Italy was making dangerous progress in eastern Africa toward Britain’s vital Suez Canal. The United States wasn’t at war, but faced two terrifying… Read more »

World War II Army Hospitals

During World War II, medical care was required as never before. Medics administered first aid on muddy battlegrounds, surgeons operated in tent hospitals near the front under bombardment, and stateside hospitals provided modern care in sterile environments. All three books of my Wings of Glory series required medical scenes, especially A Memory Between Us, since… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Remember Pearl Harbor

On December 6, 1941, twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses left Hamilton Field, north of San Francisco, bound for their new station on Mindanao in the Philippines. My great-uncle, Roderick M. Stewart, was a second lieutenant with one of the crews. The first leg of their journey would take them to Hickam Field in Honolulu. Weighted down… Read more »

World War II Army Nursing

During World War II, nurses were needed as never before, and tens of thousands of young women stepped forward to serve their country. They served in stateside hospitals, frigid Alaska, Pacific jungles, muddy North Africa, malaria-infested Sicily and Italy, and on the beaches of Normandy. They cared for the wounded and soothed the dying. This… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Freedom from Want

How could I resist this poster for Thanksgiving week? On January 6, 1941, in his State of the Union Address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that everyone deserved four fundamental freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. At the time, the Axis dictators stifled freedom of speech… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Vote!

How many of you will be glad to see election season come to an end? I will. I’m sick of the deluge of phone calls and junk mail and spam, of the obscene quantities of money spent, of cheesy smiles and perfectly coiffed heads and plastic suits. It beats the alternative. While the United States… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Watch out for Stereotypes

During World War II, stereotypes were used in posters, newsreels, and movies to demonize the enemy and motivate people to fight. It’s much easier to fight an enemy you hate. Nowadays, these images make us wince. We’re too enlightened to stereotype people. Or are we? Most of us would be ashamed to admit we have… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Careless Words Kill

During World War II, careless words could lead to needless deaths. A mother chatting in the beauty parlor about her son’s ship leaving San Diego the next day, a spy in the chair next to her – a sub notified, a ship sunk. Posters like this reminded people to watch their words. Recently school bullying… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Don’t Lose Heart

In 1940, things looked bleak in the United Kingdom. Hitler had swallowed up Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In July, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe began attacking British shipping. In August the target shifted to the RAF, and by September 6, the British had lost 466 planes. Then… Read more »