b-blog

Posts Categorized: WWII Articles

Lessons from the 1940s – Have Faith

Here’s a poster you wouldn’t see today: “Strong in the strength of the Lord, we who fight in the people’s cause will never stop until that cause is won.” While researching my World War II novels, I was surprised at the religious tone in the writings. Top Ten songs like “Comin’ in on a Wing… Read more »

If Only They’d Listened

On December 7, 1941, two Army Air Force radar operators on Oahu reported a blip on their screen, which looked like dozens of planes approaching Pearl Harbor. They reported it to Lt. Kermit Tyler, who had been on the job only two days. Tyler knew a squadron of twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses was due to… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Yes, I Can!

My plum tree overfloweth. Right now, two grocery bags full of ripe plums are sitting on my kitchen counter, saying, “We want to jam!” Tomorrow I’ll boil jars, pit and puree plums, measure sugar, and emotionally bond with my ancestors. Something about canning appeals to me. I love my food processor, heavy-duty mixer, and modern… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Look Back for Inspiration

Happy Independence Day! This poster seemed appropriate with its Revolutionary War theme. In 1943, the United States, and the rest of the world, faced its greatest threat. Germany, Japan, and Italy with the other Axis powers, had conquered vast areas of the globe. The Allies were just beginning to make progress, clearing North Africa, invading… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Never Forget

Today, we commemorate the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings. On June 6, 1944, the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Nazi power. In August 2007, I was privileged to stand on Omaha Beach on a misty, overcast morning not unlike the men faced that historic day. As I stood… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Discretion

During World War II, posters like these decorated storefronts, train stations, and other public places. Spies were present. An innocent conversation in the barber shop, the grocery, or a phone booth could be overheard and passed to the enemy. Information about troop movements, sailing schedules, and strength of the armed forces was especially guarded. One… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Liberty and Justice for All?

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Mess Attendant Second Class Doris “Dorie” Miller (pictured in the poster) was collecting laundry on board the USS West Virginia in Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attacked. The alarm for general quarters sounded, and Miller reported to his battle station, an antiaircraft battery amidships. It had already been destroyed…. Read more »

Happy V-E Day Anniversary!

Sixty-five years ago today, the Allies celebrated Victory in Europe. People went to church and prayed. Bells rang. Parades rejoiced through small towns and cities. The cost of victory was high. Tens of millions were killed in battle. More tens of millions were murdered and starved in concentration camps. And more millions perished as civilian… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Woman – “Grown-Up Culture”

The more I look at this poster, the more I see how our culture has changed. In the 1940s, mother-daughter outfits were popular – the daughter wanted to dress just like her mother. Nowadays, middle-aged mothers dress like their teenaged daughters. Something has flipped in recent generations. In traditional cultures, children couldn’t wait to grow… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Woman – Woman’s Work Is Good Work

She’s canning. In a frilly apron. And she’s smiling. To the 2010 woman, this image looks hokey. Doesn’t she know that kind of work is drudgery? A waste of her potential? Beneath her? While the women’s movement opened up traditional men’s work to women, somehow in the process, traditional women’s work was demeaned. Child care,… Read more »