MOBILIZATION ON THE HOMEFRONT Americans join the war effort
5 million volunteers Soldiers • Selective Service Act added 5 million more • G.I. – “Government Issue” - first applied to uniforms, weapons, equipment; to the soldiers
WAVE Radio OperatorJohn Falter Women Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFs) Less pay, rank and benefits than men 250,000 served
Hispanic Americans Los Angeles – 1/10th of city’s population but suffered 1/5th of city’s casualties Post war, many veterans used the G.I. Bill to earn a college education.
Segregated units: mostly non-combat roles African-Americans • Upon receiving a draft notice ---- “Just carve on my tombstone, ‘Here lies a black man killed fighting a yellow man for the protection of a white man.’” • More than a million served Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, U.S. Third Army commander, pins the Silver Star on Private Ernest A. Jenkins of New York City for his conspicuous gallantry in the liberation of Chateaudun, France. October 13,
33,000 in uniform Asian Americans 13,000 joined; one of every five living here Served as interpreters throughout the war. Some spies were discovered. Radio Intercept Section, 6th AAF Radio Squadron Mobile 10th AAF, CBI Theater, September 1944.L-R: Teiho Chena, Ted Tdukiyama, Tom Goto, and Mark Akisada
Native Americans • 25,000 • Opportunity to leave reservation and meet non-Indians “We would not need the Selective Service Act if all volunteered like the Indians.”
Life on the Homefront
2. Bedspread manufacturer – mosquito nettingand explosives Conversion of Factories to Wartime 1. Mechanical pencils – bomb parts 3. Soft drink manufacturer – filled shells with explosives 4. Liberty ships built in four days by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser 5. Henry Ford – jeeps, trucks, tanks (last civilian car -’42 Pontiac)
Women Rosie is provided by Curtis Publishing. Permission Requested. Labor a. 6 out of 18 million workersb. Earned 60% of a man’s salaryc. 2 million minorities
Labor African-Americans - mostly menial jobs Roosevelt’s executive order – “To provide for the full and equitable participation of all workers without racial discrimination.”
a. Pesticides (DDT) – insects and lice Scientists As a pesticide, DDT was first used during WWII. It was so effective as an insect killer that some called it the "atomic bomb" of pesticides. After WWII, the U.S. realized that DDT could also be used on farms to control some common agricultural pests.
b. Atomic bomb – Manhattan Project Developed by American scientists, the first atomic bomb was detonated at the Trinity test site near Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. The test convinced the United States government that such weapons were viable in warfare.
c. Penicillin The technique to produce large amounts of penicillin was perfected by an American drug company. This technique allowed the Allies to produce enough penicillin to aide throughout the war. A magazine ad for penicillin during WWII
d. Blood bank In 1938, Dr. Charles Drew, a leading authority on mass transfusion and blood processing methods, set up a blood plasma system. In September 1945, the American Red Cross had collected over 13 million units of blood and converted nearly all of it into plasma. An American medic administers plasma to a wounded soldier. NARA
a. Propaganda films – Frank Capra’s “Why We Fight” series Entertainment b. Public tired of propaganda; switched to musicals, romance, comedies for an escape
Entertainment d. USO shows Bob Hope and his USO group in Guadalcanal.
e. Celebrities – 1. Jimmy Stewart and Stan Musial held up their careers to serve 2. John Wayne booed by Marines on a USO tour for not serving
A. Japanese internment Government takes Control B. Office of Price Administration (OPA)1. Froze prices, rents and wages to curb inflation2. Rationing – foods such as meat, sugar (needed for explosives), butter, cheese, coffee, and vegetables
1. Rationing fuel and materials vital to the war such as nylon, gas, oil, metals, rubber and plastic C. War Productions Board (WPB) 2. Decided what companies would convert and allocated raw materials 3. Organization of scrap drives – iron, tin cans, paper, rags, cooking fata. School childrenb. Boy Scouts
F. National War Labor Board (NWLB)1. Limited wages2. Workers could not change unions D. Department of the Treasury1. War bonds2. $18.75 at purchase 3. Bonds were worth $25 in ten years E. Limits on the right to strike G. Office of War Information
The armed forces’ demand for textiles led to shortages of wool and rayon, causing fashion changes at home. The WPB banned ruffles, pleats, and patch pockets, favoring the single-breasted, vestless “victory suit” over the baggy “zoot suit” in vogue at the time. To conserve silk, women painted seams up the backs of their legs to make it seem as if they were wearing stockings. Interesting facts:
When professional baseball players like Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams traded in their baseball cleats for combat boots, women’s teams got a chance to keep up the country’s morale in the game.