Hiding the Lockheed Plant during World War II

Hidden in Plain View during the forties. Lockheed aircraft company camoflaged their plant from any enemy aircraft that might have flown over California. None ever did of course, but it was a good precaution.


"Rosie the riviter dies"

At 17, a young factory worker named Geraldine Doyle unwittingly inspired J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We

This Day in History

The "original" Rosie the Riveter, who inspired Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb to write the 1942 song of the same name, was Rosalind P. Walter, who came from a wealthy New York family and worked as a riveter building fighter planes on the night shift.

In 1942, a United Press International photographer visited a metal pressing factory outside Detroit and took a snapshot of a slim, fresh-faced brunette leaning over a machine. The picture enchanted the graphic artist J. Howard Miller, who had been hired by the Westinghouse Company to design a series of motivational posters aimed at boosting female factory workers’ morale. He incorporated its pretty young subject’s face and polka-dot headscarf into one of the posters, which features a determined-looking woman flexing her right bicep under the slogan “We Can Do It!” Decades later, the poster became one of America’s most recognizable emblems of women’s empowerment, spawning countless imitations and reproduced on everything from mugs and magnets to postage stamps.

Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the real-life inspiration behind the iconic poster, died on December 26 in Lansing, Michigan, at the age of 86. Just 17 when the photographer captured her, she had taken a factory job after graduating high school, one of 6 million women who entered the workforce during World War II to plug gaping holes in the industrial labor force. An aspiring cellist, Doyle left after just two weeks of employment when she learned that the machinery had badly injured another worker’s hands. She found a position at a soda fountain and bookstore, where she met her future husband, Leo, in 1943. The couple had six children and ran a successful dental practice.

More than four decades would go by before Doyle learned of the poster’s existence and discovered that her likeness had inspired a pop culture reference. Paging through a magazine one day in 1984, she spotted a photograph of the poster and recognized her younger self. In a 2002 interview with the Lansing State Journal, Doyle, who began making frequent appearances in Michigan to sign posters, explained that motherhood and daily life had kept her too busy to realize she had become the face of Rosie the Riveter. "I was changing diapers all the time," she said.

Unlike another famous depiction, painted by Norman Rockwell and featured on a Saturday Evening Post cover in 1943, the “We Can Do It!” poster was not originally intended as a portrayal of Rosie the Riveter, who was first immortalized in a 1942 hit song and starred in numerous government-sponsored recruitment campaigns. One of many in Miller’s series, the poster was barely seen outside Westinghouse factories in the Midwest, where women were making plastic helmet liners. It was not until later, when feminists rediscovered the poster during the 1970s and 1980s, that it achieved its iconic status and became associated with the World War II-era character.


The war was almost over

VJ (victory over Japan) was in September 1945. This magazine had an issue date of August 18, 1945. It was all over but final surrender by that time. Everyone knew it was over, finally over. The well known Jeep would be converted for peacetime use. The cover illustrates a family still intact after four years of fear and angst whenever the doorbell would ring. I can only imagine if they were a real family what thoughts would have gone through their minds. How anything, how any dream is now possible to dream.


2 months before WWII started. typical downtown in the forties

Amsterdam NY
Submitted by Grego on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 12:46am.

Most of downtown Amsterdam's a ghost town. A good size chunk of it was demolished to build a big mall, which is now 90% empty. Sad, really...

Urban renewal at its worst.


Grand Central Station 1941

Key Largo

In the forties Key Largo was a big movie. Radio was still huge, so listen now to Key Largo on the radio, and your imagination will provide the pictures.


I served in the military overseas in Japan 1956-57. Being very young and not the brightest bulb in the package I ran up against a conundrum. How could the Japanese behavior in peacetime be so opposite of what it was during the war years? I know they were a defeated army, but their overt behavior towards the American military was not what I expected. It wasn't until later in my life that I discovered a simple answer, what you don't know, you can discover by reading. The Jekyll and Hyde of the Japanese war behavior and their postwar conduct was explained in one word, Bushido.

Japanese Military Culture

At the outbreak of the Pacific war, the Japanese armed forces combined modern technology -- including ships and aircraft equal to or superior to their Allied equivalents -- with a military spirit that remained feudal. Termed Bushido (The Way of the Warrior), that spirit gave rise to behavior that Allied soldiers found bewildering as well as barbarous and fanatical.

Based on peculiar perspectives on Confucianism and Zen Buddhism, Bushido demanded unquestioning loyalty and sacrifice. The Japanese soldiers' written code ordered them to keep in mind that duty was "weightier than a mountain," while death was "lighter than a feather." Indeed, death was idealized as something to be welcomed. Thus, soldiers, sailors, and airmen willingly sacrificed themselves in banzai charges, kamikaze aircraft, and kaiten submarines.

Japan's leaders now believed surrender as unthinkable for Japanese and contemptible in enemies, thus justifying abominable treatment of prisoners after prior years of very decent treatment of prisoners (also attributed to Bushido). In keeping with the samurai tradition, they also revered the sword, which led to the beheading of their captives. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East blamed Bushido as a contributing factor in Japanese atrocities.

Atrocities were part of every major Japanese land operation and were directed against both combatants and civilians. The demeaning training and disciplinary regimes in the Japanese services featured corporal punishment and probably contributed to the brutality of their personnel. The Japanese army employed ruses that their enemies considered unacceptable, including wearing enemy uniforms, booby-trapping corpses, and feigning surrender in order to kill would-be captors.

The atrocities could be blamed on other reasons. The Japanese were fighting a losing war, combating insurgencies, and trying to survive amid starvation. However, the atrocities had begun when Japan was winning the war.

Japanese servicemen were repeatedly told that their martial spirit was superior to that of their materialistic enemies, who would eventually succumb. Initially, the combination of Japanese ferocity and skill was frighteningly successful. However, the ultimate defeat of the Japanese discredited their cultural prejudice.

Flying Tigers

Undoubtedly the most macho looking fighter at the beginning of WWII was the Curtiss P40 Warhawk better known as a flying tiger. The group was a voluntary American group assembled in China, headed by Gen. Clair Chennault.




Note. There were differences in rationing between the various countries in the war, and variations over time. In addition to rationing by coupon, some products were simply not available for civilian use (for example nylon), and others were often hard to find (for example, photographic film and good quality paper).


Many things were rationed. Foodstuffs like bananas were scarce and many things including sugar, meat, butter, cheese, eggs, milk, tea, chocolate, clothes, fuel oil, rubber, typewriters, cooking oil and many other things were rationed. This happened because the Nazis were sinking ships importing these foods and materials.


Nearly all food products were rationed. Cloth, wood and metal, as well as rubber and leather, were all rationed so that the armed forces would have enough for their needs.

Gasoline, oil and grease, as well as kerosene and industrial alcohol, and ink. Paper, carbon paper, pencils, pens and typewriter ribbons, as well as erasors and paperclips and envelopes.

Automobile tires, parts and belts were all unavailable during the war, as the factories were sending all their production to the military's needs. Nylon and silk were used for parachutes, not women's stockings.


Rationed items: gasoline, tires (or just impossible to get?), sugar, coffee, shoes, meats hard or impossible to get: chocolate, nylons, butter, some spices, cheese, cigarettes, candy bars, things containing rubber, sheets and pillow cases, linens (used flour sacks in place of dish towels).


Tires and fuel for sure. However many things were just not made as U.S companies were told what to make. For example, Studebaker made trucks, Ford made jeeps and liberty ships and so on. So rationing was twofold with entire types of manufacturing shifted to war production.


It varied from country to country and from year to year and even from month to month - and sometimes even from week to week. Most countries continued rationing for a time after the end of WWII. In Britain, for example, even bread (!) was rationed for a while in 1946-47.

Things in short supply throughout WWII in most countries included foodstuffs (especially animal products, ranging from milk to meat) and also oil.


In Great Britain, the weekly ration per person got smaller and smaller as the war dragged on in to its second and third years. Almost every type of food was rationed; some things were simply not available, like oranges and bananas. Eggs were scare and sugar was limited to one ounce a week, per person. Powdered milk and eggs were the usual things for breakfast.

Clothing was rationed, so were paper, ink and soap. Gasoline was limited to those who had a job that was essential to the war effort. Most people parked their car for the duration of the war. Coal and oil was severely rationed in Great Britain, as was all most everythinh else.


Because so many things had to be brought to the UK by a ship, and the German U-boats were sinking many of them as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean from North America. In order to send much-needed supplies to Great Britain, people in Canada and the USA had to give up SOME of what they were used to, but the rationing here was no where as bad as it was in Great Britain.

An entire generation of British kids grew up undersized and sickly due to a lack of vitamins during their first few years of life during the war years.


Actually, great efforts were made in Britain to ensure as far as possible that the next generation did not grow up 'undersized and sickly'. In my schooldays we were given milk and A and D vitamins every day at school, and sometimes further supplements. We also ate a higher proportion of vegetables than was usual before or after rationing.

Take a look at Britons born between about 1935 and 1947 and see if they show any obvious signs of being stunted. :)

In Britain rationing continued till 1954, though clothing was taking off rationing in 1949 and bread was rationed for only about 12 months in 1946-47.
A 1940'S PIN-UP and A GOOD ACTRESS TOO. ("you know how to whistle, don't you Steve? Just pucker up and blow".) Bogie didn't stand a chance. Oh I almost forgot, it's Lauren Bacall, did I have to add this line? Naw. She and Bogie got married in my hometown, cool.


Battle of Okinawa