Civilians in war

Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Interview with Harry Brown about his family, childhood, and education in Kansas City, Missouri, working for the William Volker Company, and later being joining the civilian war effort by working for North American Aviation and Technicraft assembling and inspecting aircraft and aircraft components at their Fairfax Airport facilities. Mechanical aspects of the job and test flights are discussed in detail. He also discusses his day-to-day life as an adult, his rejection from the draft, and the 1951 Flood.

Video Recording

Interview with Joseph F. Moore about his experience growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, during World War II. Moore discusses being very young when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and seeing his uncles go off to war in various branches of service. He describes civilian practices at home, including stars hanging in the windows of homes; seeing sailors coming home through Union Station; rationbooks, scrap drives, and small coin banks used to support the war effort; and an in-home daycare run by his mother for young mothers working while their husbands were overseas. He also discusses American views toward Japanese and German people, and how (or whether) those views changed after the war, and discusses the difference in public support for wars and leaders in the 1940s vs. present day.

Video Recording

Interview with LeRoy Gore about his career in the Merchant Marines during World War II. He discusses growing up in Independence, MO, going to bootcamp in Florida, and then shipping out to Africa and Europe on the liberty ship George Taylor (and later John Hathorn), from which they transported aircrafts, munitions, and other supplies to ports throughout the Mediterranean. He discusses aspects of the ships and cargo, attacks from submarine torpedos and airplanes, visiting Naples and Pompeii while in port, and bringing German and Italian prisoners of war back to the United States, with some going to Camp Clark in Nevada, MO. Gore also discusses leaving the Merchant Marines in 1944, meeting his wife, his later work at Standard Oil and DIT-MCO, and his family.

Video Recording

Interview with Louise Gregson about her experience as a pregnant young women in Honolulu during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. She describes riding in a cab driven by a Japanese driver, en route to church, while seeing Japanese planes flying overhead, strafing the highway, and seeing the bombing of the USS Arizona. She further describes the reaction at her primarily-Japanese church, and helping her aunt and uncle to seal tar paper over their windows to block out light in case of further attacks. Gregson was later a resident of Oak Grove, MO.

Video Recording

Interview with June Neal about her life and civilian work for the Army during World War II. She discusses growing up on a farm in Brown County, Kansas, during the Depression, and taking a job with the Army Effects Bureau in Kansas City in 1941, processing personal items for soldiers killed in the war. She also talks about her five brothers surviving their military service, the death of her first husband and life as a widowed young mother during the 1950s and returning to work at the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City, and about a photograph appearing on the front page of the Kansas City Star of her kissing a serviceman during VJ Day celebrations near 12th and Main. The photograph later appeared in Life magazine, resulting in calls and letters from soldiers.

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Audio Recording

Interview with Elaine C. Wills about her experience as an aircraft sheet metal mechanic during World War II. She discusses attending the Aviation Institute of Denver with her husband, and their move to California to work at two different aircraft manufacturers until her husband was drafted into the Army Air Corps. She mentions moves to Nebraska, Texas, and back to Kansas City, and describes her experience repairing aircraft damaged in the war and as a woman working alongside men and as a mother managing childcare while working. Elaine later worked for Luzier Cosmetics in Kansas City and was working on finishing her college degree in her 80s, and also discussed rationing, what she enjoyed in her personal time, and her education, marriage and family life.

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Audio Recording

Interview with Esperanza Amayo about her life as a daughter of Mexican-American immigrants in Kansas City, Kansas, during the Great Depression; about her brother, friends, and neighbors being drafted into the military; and the discrimination she and other local Mexican-Americans faced in the community. She also discusses her husband Lou's service in the army and his experience at the Battle of the Bulge, and the assimilation of Mexican-American families in the United States.

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Interview with Georgene Stinnett in which she describes her childhood on an Iowa Farm, taking the civil service exam, and moving to Washington, DC, to work at the Pentagon during World War II. She discusses being a stenographer in the Signal Corps, taking dictation from officers and working with classified documents, having lunch while bands played in the Pentagon courtyard, and recalls Franklin D. Roosevelt's death and funeral. She also recalls measures taken by her family and others on the home front, and working as a USO hostess, where she met her husband, and notes improvements in medical care during the war years that benefited her during her pregnancies.

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Interview with Willis Leroy Shumaker about his experiences as a civilian aviation engineer during World War II. After finishing his degree at the University of Missouri, he got married, he worked for Curtiss-Wright and McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, and later came to Standard Oil in Sugar Creek. He discusses his feelings about having been a civilian during the war, various aircraft he worked on, and daily life during wartime.

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Interview with Elizabeth Cipolla about her experience as "Lizzie" the Riveter, building B-25s at the Fairfax plant during World War II, and her husband and other family members' service in Europe during the war. She also discusses making skirts and curtains out of fabric from sugar bags, civil defense practices, rationing, war bonds, and other aspects of life on the homefront, as well growing up in the Northeast area of Kansas City before the war, and her family life after, including a period of time when her husband was hospitalized with what would likely later be understood as post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Audio Recording