Monday, December 31, 2018

Sycamore Down to Two Newspapers Because of Paper Shortage

From the December 19, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Effective  this week Sycamore will have but one newspaper, published twice each week, under the general management of Frank Dean, who has been publishing one of the papers for several years.

"The new publication will be issued tomorrow and the policies and much other interesting information will be found within its columns.  The city has supported two newspapers for many years but with the present acute shortage of paper, the consolidation was deemed advisable."]

Even Newspapers.  --GreGen

About Those Christmas Decorations

From the December 19, 2018, MidWeek.

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"American people  are being asked by J.A. Krug, director of the Office of Utilities,  to confine Christmas lighting decorations to the Christmas trees inside private homes.   It had has been asked that street decorations, Community Christmas trees, exterior home decorations, and interiors and exteriors of commercial establishments dispense with decorations this year insofar as lighting is concerned.

"Government and industry have combined in a nationwide conservation campaign to save critical fuels and materials necessary to produce and consume electricity.    Electric light bulbs are particularly short at present and strict conservation of them is necessary."

The War Impacts Christmas.  --GreGen

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Gas Shortage Almost Idles Fire Truck

From the December 19, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Gasoline will again be available for the city fire truck at Earlville and the residents of the community are again able to breathe easier.

"Application for renewal of the gasoline allotment had been refused by the Peoria district office of ODT and the residents had been planning to resume the old bucket brigade."

No Fire Trucks?  Shortages Getting Serious At Home.  --GreGen

An Enemy Walking Stick Sent Home

From the December 12, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Louis Lloyd is walking with a cane at the present time, but not by force, however.  He recently received a box of trophies from his son-in-law, Lieut. Com. George Milles who is on a hospital ship, and a cane directory from one of the foreign fighting theatres was included.

"The walking stick has the appearance of  teakwood and handsomely  engraved and feted with  shells and bits of glass and ornaments.  Mr. Lloyd states that he has many other interesting articles  which have been taken from the enemy by Lieut. Com. Milles."

Love Those Souvenirs.  --GreGen

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Manpower Shortages on the Railroads

From the October 31, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"After several months preliminary work and delays caused by the shortage of manpower and many other difficulties, the Chicago Great Western railway company today started repairs on the Sixth Street crossing.

"Work was held up until rightful owners could be determined as to the adjacent property, and whether the tracks belonged to the railway company or private concerns.  This investigation required several months' time, and eventually included the transfer of property back to the Great Western."

Manpower Shortages Everywhere.  --GreGen

Rumors of Coffee Rationing Again

From the November 7, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Many were asking today if coffee is to be rationed again after discovering that stamps in the ration book Four marked coffee.  The answer is no.

"The new ration books were printed while coffee was still being rationed. and the rumors that coffee is again to be rationed are unfounded."


Friday, December 28, 2018

A New Trailer Housing Project for Housing Shortage

From the November 21, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Construction work on the 50 family trailers, which will be built on the Evans lot on East Lincoln Highway is reported to have been started today.

"The contractor, Elmer Gus, of 100 East New York street, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has been awarded the contract, and he is in DeKalb at this time and will start work on the war housing project immediately."


Hemp Very Profitable in DeKalb County in 1943

From the November 28, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Hemp raising in DeKalb county, although in its infancy this year, is going to prove a profitable project for farmers, its first check presented this week to Orville Olson, of Corrtland, is a criterion.

"Mr Olson raised ten acres of hemp, which was graded as number one,  and after all deductions had been made for seed, planting, harvesting, and hauling to the mill at Kirkland, he was presented with a check for $1,883.89.

Which Explains All Those Rumors of Wild Marijuana Growing Along Roads In DeKalb While We Were At NIU In the 1970s.  --GreGen

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Shoe Repairs Backed Up in DeKalb Because of Shoe Rationing

From the October 31, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Due to the rationing of shoes, repairs have become so numerous that shoe men of DeKalb will not promise repair work of any consequence for a period of three to five weeks.

"Repairmen in DeKalb say that never  before have had so much rebuilding of all  of footwear since they have been in business."


Library Converting From Fuel Oil to Coal Because of Fuel Oil Shortage

From the April 26, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Members of the library board are elated over the arrival of the coal stoker for installation in the Sycamore Public Library, the plan being to convert the heating system from fuel oil to coal.

"This action was decided last year when the fuel oil shortage became acute here and the library could not be properly heated seven days a week with the supply provided by the rationing board."

More Shortages Hit the Home Front.  --GreGen

Another Manpower Shortage in Garbage Pickup

From the November 14, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"With the man power shortage prevailing at the present time residents of the city are asked to cooperate with the rubbish and ash pickup crews and not place all their rubbish out and expect the crews to haul it away.

"The crews are shorthanded at present and find it difficult to keep up with the ordinary collections but in a number of cases large pules of weeds, cabbage plants, tomato vines and other garden debris have been set out for the city crews to haul."


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wartime Christmas Cards in DeKalb

From the November 28, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Christmas greeting cards are being brought to the DeKalb Post Office where they will be held for holiday delivery.

"An appeal was made a couple weeks ago that the greeting cards be  brought in as soon as possible and the response to date has been  most gratifying."

So, the post office had asked for everyone to bring in their Christmas cards early so they could be shipped out when available transportation found.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Lt. Whipple (Former NI State Teachers College Student) Is German POW

From the November 21, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Mr. and Mrs, H.C. Collin of 223 Gurler street this week received a card from Lieut. Donald E. Whipple, better known as Gene, a former student at Northern Illinois State Teachers College, now a prisoner at a German camp.

"Lieut. Whipple was a member of the air forces and was shot down over Bremen.  He was reported missing April 15 and the card received this week is the first word his DeKalb friends have had of his whereabouts.  The card was written on July 12 and was received in DeKalb on October 27.  He states that he is feeling well, is being treated satisfactorily and desires to hear from his friends in the vicinity."

I was unable to find out anymore information on this man.


Monday, December 24, 2018

Relief Apartments at the Theater in Sycamore

From the September 26, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"To further relieve the housing shortage within Sycamore, work has begun on the construction of apartments in the State theater building on West State Street.

"The bulk of the studding for the apartments is in place and reports were that  other construction work on the several living quarters will be pushed rapidly to completion.  The apartments in the theater building, it is understood, will be four room affairs, and many inquiries have been made as to when they will be ready for occupancy."

Severe Housing Shortages.  --GreGen

The Clydesdales Come to DeKalb Raising War Bonds

From the September 26, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Residents of the DeKalb community will have the opportunity to see the famous Clydesdale team when it visits here Saturday of this week to do its part in raising bond sales.  The team is owned by Wilson and Company and its visit is being sponsored by the United States Treasury Department.

"The DeKalb County War Finance Committee is offering this special attraction.  The internationally known six-horse hitch of massive Clydesdale geldings will be on exhibition with the greater part of thee exhibition to take part on Locust Street."


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Welcome Home G.I.s

From the November 14, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."


A large "Welcome Home GIs" billboard was in place at the corner of First Street and the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb.

With stars across the top, it also said "Thanks A Million."


Help Needed In the Sewing Center in DeKalb in 1943

From the September 12, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Mrs. Clarence Swanbum, chairman of the production department of the DeKalb chapter of the Red Cross, is making an appeal for women to help in some of the work at the sewing center on the second floor of the Chronicle Building.

"Production this year is lagging because of the scarcity of helpers and any women who are able to devote some time to this work will be welcomed."

Sew, Sew, Sew Your Way for the Boys.  --GreGen

A Huge Flag Pole and Flag for Sycamore Anaconda

From the September 12, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"The south mill of the Sycamore Anaconda is a genuine 100% war industry.  A new 60-foot,  steel flag pole was installed there.  A flag will adorn the pole early next week.

"It must be set in concrete a few days before being vibrated by Old Glory waving in the breezes.  Installation of the pole created major interest for war workers at the mill.  Already they  express a feeling of pride over it."


Friday, December 21, 2018

Wartime Transportation Problems in Sycamore

From the September 12, 2018, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, IL)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Strain's Food  Mart is the latest retail establishment in Sycamore to be hit by the wartime transportation problem.

"Starting next Tuesday that store will restrict  its delivery service to one trip a day except Saturday."

Gas rationing, you know.


About That Top Secret Plane Built in DeKalb in 1943

From the September 19, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1993, 25 Years Ago.

"Fifty years after the former Wurlitzer and International plants in DeKalb built an airplane that was top secret at the time, the puzzle of what happened to the plane after it left DeKalb is being pieced together by local residents."

So this would have been a secret plane during World War II, 1943.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Renters, Take Care of Your Landlord's Property

From the September 19, 2018, <idWeek  (DeKalb County, IL)  "Looking Back.

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Tenants occupying homes in the DeKalb Defense Rental areas, were admonished by Acting Director John J. Ryan to treat  their present abodes as though it was their own property

"Many landlords are renting residential  accommodations at very reasonable rental and the least a tenant can do is respect the property of his landlord who is making a direct contribution to the successful prosecution of the war."

The Ingrates.  --GreGen

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rent Control Necessary: Lack of Housing Due to War Industry

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"Rent control became necessary in vital war production areas to keep workers from migrating to escape excessive living costs, and to help sustain the war effort., John J. Ryan, area rent director explained.

"The value of rent control in these centers already has been demonstrated.  Control of indiscriminate  eviction also became necessary to prevent eviction of war workers from their home to favor those willing to pay higher rents."

Housing was also a problem in Goldsboro and Wilmington, North Carolina and pretty much every war industry town and city.


Lack of Labor Endangers Corn Crop

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek   "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"The Sycamore Preserve  Works tolled through the week end to pack corn.    On Saturday an emergency call was sent out through the Sycamore Chammer of Commerce for 100 men to work Sunday.

"Harvester Street was  jammed with wagon loads of corn waiting to be poured into the  canner plant.  The crop is apparently heavy.  There seems to be no end to the tons of ears being hauled in."

That Pesky Labor Shortage.  --GreGen

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

HMS Undaunted at Normandy

From the D-Day Overlord site.

The HMS Undaunted had only been in British service for just over three months at D-Day.

Its first action was escorting a convoy to destroy the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway.

In May 1944, it joined Bombardment Force K, which became part of Bombarding Force G  as part of Operation Overlord.  It escorted convoys across the English Channel on the night of 5 June 1944,heading for Gold Beach.  On D-Day it participated in fire support of English troops.

On June 7, the Undaunted embarked General Eisenhower, Admiral Ramsay and part of Overlord's staff to Portsmouth.  It then patrolled  on the Bay of the Seine and across the English Channel while occasionally pursuing its mission fire to the benefit of land forces.


HMS Undaunted and Ike's Flag-- Part 2: Indelible Pencil Dipped in Whiskey

This is the inscription that goes along with the flag:

"Flag presented to the Officers and Men of the HMS Undaunted by General Eisenhower.  During the afternoon of 7 June 1944, HMS Undaunted embarked General Eisenhower, Admiral Ramsay and their staffs, whose ship had grounded.

"This flag was hoisted on the starboard yard arm.    General Eisenhower signed his name across two of the stars, using indelible pencil dipped in whiskey."


Friday, December 14, 2018

HMS Undaunted and Ike's Flag-- Part 1: Crudely Made

In the last post I mentioned that the HMS Undaunted had come to have the flag of General Eisenhower after it took him and other top military personnel off the HMS Apollo after it ran aground during the Normandy Invasion.

I have not been able to find a picture of it.  But a General of the Army flag would consist of four white stars on a red field.

From Wikipedia.

The flag of Eisenhower is now property of the National Trust for Scotland at Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland, in the Eisenhower exhibit along with some other items belonging to the general including his presidential flag, shirt, jacket and tie.  The flag is thin and crudely made.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

HMS Undaunted Took Eisenhower Off the HMS Apollo After It Grounded on D-Day

This all started with the obituary of Courtenay Wright that I wrote about a couple days ago.

From Wikipedia.

The HMS Undaunted was a U-class destroyer commissioned 3 March 1944.  Its first operation was an attempt to destroy the German battleship Tirpitz then it took part in the D-Day landings.

It was here that the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower boarded the ship after the ship he was on, the HMS Apollo grounded while he was inspecting the beaches.

The Undaunted took the general and Admiral Ramsay back to Portsmouth and his flag was a wardroom "trophy" until 1969 when it was  presented to the National Trust of Scotland.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

HMS Apollo At D-Day With Eisenhower

From Wikipedia.

An Abdiel-class British minelayer operating in home waters during World War II and took part in the Normandy Invasion.

Detached for "Operation Neptune" the Normandy Invasion and on June 7, 1944 had Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, Naval Commander  in Chief Admiral Bertram Ramsey, General Bernard Law Montgomery and staff members from SHAEF tovisit the beaches.

Unfortunately, the Apollo grounded hard and her passengers were transferred to the destroyer  HMS Undaunted.

It was involved with laying mines afterwards.


Deaths: Courtenay Wright: D-Day With Eisenhower

COURTENAY WRIGHT, 95     (1923-2018)

Physicist Saw Normandy Beaches With Eisenhower.

November 27, 2018, Chicago Sun-Times.

Worked with some of the world's greatest military and scientific minds during his life.

As a 20-year-old Royal Navy radar officer, he decoded the message that made him one of the first in the world to know about the launch of D-Day.

The day after that, he was on the bridge of the HMS Apollo when General Dwight D. Eisenhower urged the captain to go full speed ahead so he could inspect the Normandy beaches.  The ship ran aground and "nearly decapitating the general."  Eisenhower's "startled face was inches from his own.

After the war, he was brought to to the University of Chicago by renowned physicist Enrico Fermi, a leader in the Manhattan Project.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

After the Mission-- Part 2: The Bandage

In the scene of the painting, the American intelligence officer is taking notes.  Over his shoulder is his British counterpart.  The waist gunner standing second from left stares pensively toward the viewer, his expression suggesting emotional trauma from the recent stress he has endured.

His right hand is bandaged, perhaps from the bolt of his .50 caliber machine gun repeatedly slamming into it.

The tail gunner, a young man still in his teens, glances out the window wondering if his buddy in another aircraft will return.


After the Mission-- Part 1: Intel Gained

From the Paralyzed Veterans of America 2018 calendar featuring the aviation artwork of Gil Cohen. December.  I am going to miss this excellent calendar with all the realistic paintings by this artist.

Safely back home and exhausted, it's time for bomber crews to debriefed the details of their mission.  The table is laden with simple items:  aerial maps, strike photos, coffee mugs, cigarette packs (Lucky Strikes) and ashtrays.

But the lessons learned and intel gathered and shared here will prepare them for some of the command's next important tasks.


Monday, December 10, 2018

What Were They Smoking On That Hemp Tour in 1943?

From the September 5, 2018, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois"  "Looking Back"

1943, 75 Years Ago.

:Over 200 DeKalb county farmers attended the hemp tours held at the Kirkland and Shabonna hemp mill  areas in DeKalb County.

And, What Were They Smoking.  --GreGen

Lutherans Supporting the Military

From the May 9, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1943, 75 Years Ago.

"An interesting window display furnished through the courtesy of the Immanuel Lutheran church, has been placed in the window of the Riippi store in DeKalb and has been attracting widespread interest.

"The theme of the display is 'They Shall Not March Alone' and shows some of the many things which are supplied the men in service by the Lutheran Army-Navy Commission.  In the window are the Service Prayer Book and other reading materials which the commission furnished to the boys serving in the armed forces.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

WW II Service of George H.W. Bush-- Part 2: Back to the San Jacinto and Discharge

In November 1944, George Bush returned to the USS San Jacinto an participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States.  By 1944, he had flown 58 combat missions.for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and the Presidential  Unit Citation awarded to the San Jacinto.

He was then reassigned to a training wing for torpedo bomber  crews at the Norfolk Navy base, Virginia.  His final assignment was to the new torpedo squadron VT-153 based at Naval in Station Gross Ile, Michigan.

He was honorably discharged from the Navy  in September 1945, one month after the surrender of Japan.

While he was still in the Navy, he married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York, on January 6, 1945.


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Pearl Harbor In My Other Blogs Yesterday

Since yesterday was Pearl Harbor Day, I wrote about it in all my blogs, as I do every year.

You can use the My Blogs section to the right to check out what I wrote.

Civil War Navy:  Death of the oldest Pearl Harbor vet, Ray Chavez, at age 106.

Civil War:  Hiram "Pete" Carter.

Down Da Road:  Pearl Harbor might become a stand-alone National Memorial

RoadLog:  Lt. Jim Downing, USS West Virginia

History:  Clarence Lux

WW II and War of 1812:  USS Nevada

Friday, December 7, 2018

December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor

Continued from today's Not So Forgotten: War of 1812 blog.

Wade was a 3rd Class Gunner's Mate on the USS Nevada on the #1 Turret (the one closest to the bow).  He was a powder man for a 14-inch gun and had to place three bags of powder, each as big as a five gallon bucket.

His ship was anchored near the USS Arizona.

During the attack a ship in the drydock exploded and he thought it was his ship, the Nevada.  He went overboard into the water.  He was pulled out and put back on his ship.

His was the only battleship able to get underway that day.

Afterwards he helped save sailors and pull the dead out of the water.  A few days later he was back aboard the USS Nevada.  The holes had been patched, water pumped out and the ship went back to the U.S. for repairs.  Wade was transferred to the USS Pathfinder, a coast and geographical survey ship.

His action wasn't over as he was at Guadalcanal and Bougainville.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

The WW II Service of George H.W. Bush-- Part 1: Rescue By USS Finback

George Bush was the only survivor and he waited for hours in an inflated raft while several U.S. fighters circled overhead to protect him.  he was finally rescued by the submarine USS Finback.  He remained on that ship for the next month and participated in the rescue of other aviators.

Several of the Americans shot down in the attack on Chichijima were killed by their Japanese captors and their livers eaten.

This experience affected Bush intensely for the rest of his life.  He often said, "Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?"

For more on his World War II service, see my other blogs for today.  All were about him in the war.  Go to My  Blog List to the right of this.


Illinois Bicentennial, Robert Anderson-- Part 2: Killed on USS Colorado By Friendly Fire

From Maritime Quest.

List of men killed on the battleship USS Colorado (BB-45) by accidental gunfire during the invasion of the Philippines at Lingayen Gulf January 9, 1945.

There is a list of 21 men, including Robert E. Anderson.

Some of the others killed that day:

James Edgar Apple

Karl Porter Baum, Jr.

John Paul Bock

Harold Archibald Coates

Kenneth Eugene Davis

Sad.  Friendly Fire?  --GreGen

Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Veteran Robert Emmanuel Anderson, Mortally Wounded By Friendly Fire?

One of the 22,000 men and women from Illinois who gave their lives during the war.

From the Illinois World War II Veterans Memorial site.


Marine Corps, Killed in Action

Hometown:  Norwood Park Township, Illinois

Robert began his service April 12, 1944, after graduating from high school.  After boot training, he received nine weeks of special schooling, and he was stationed at San Diego, California.

He was one of the few men selected to be a member of Mrs. Roosevelt's Guard of Honor.

In November, he left San Francisco as Private 1st Class on a battleship in the Pacific Theater.

During battle on January 9, 1945, his leg was blown off by cannon fire, possibly friendly.  He died the next day.

He would have been 19 years old on January 21, 1945.  He had been anticipating his birthday.

Submitted by Megan McGovern, August 2010.


Illinois in World War II: Illinois Veterans Memorial

Since today is the 200th anniversary of Illinois being admitted as a state in the United States.

From the Illinois Natural Resources Historic Preservation  Division.

This memorial honors the  987,000 Illinois men and women who served during the war and the 22,000 who gave their lives.

Its focal point is a white, 22-ton concrete world globe flanked  on two sides by black granite walls.

Stainless steel buttons on the globe identify major battles and there are quotations by military leaders and Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

The memorial is in Oak Ridge Cemetery on the north side of Springfield.  This is the same cemetery in which Abraham Lincoln is buried.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

President George H.W. Bush (June 12, 1924-November 30, 2018): World War II Veteran

Saddened to hear about his death today.

A hero in every sense of the word.

He was a pilot on the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) during the war.