In the fall of 1943, nearly 4 million men and women of the United States Armed Forces were deployed in Europe and the South Pacific as the fighting in World War II escalated.
Nancy and I and our classmates at Lincoln school in Gettysburg were supporting the war effort in numerous ways. For example, during October and November of ’43, students set school records for War Bonds and Stamps sales totaling $1,890.50. During a Bond Drive the following March, our students raised $6,556.70.
In March of 1943, students at Lincoln School collect 28,903 tin cans for the war effort, more than any school in Adams County. We also collected rags, paper, rubber, scrap metal, aluminum foil and milkweed pods. At home we saved bacon grease. The glycerine in recycled fat was used to make ammunition and some medicines.
When an air raid siren sounded during school, Nancy and I remember leaving our classrooms and going out into the inner hallways, sitting on the floor and putting our hands over our heads.
When the air raid siren was heard at night, no light could be seen from any part of our houses. Nancy’s father was an Air Raid Warden during the war, responsible for checking every home in his sector in Gettysburg during a drill.
Betty Weiland, the wife of a classmate who lived in the country during the war wrote that she lived on a farm, and they were also required to turn off lights until the all-clear was sounded
World War II impacted our lives in many ways, and the question asked regularly in movies shorts, posters, radio and in our schools was, “Are you doing everything you can?” I like to think we tried our best.