The Homefront Fight to support U.S. Troops during World War II
From Girl Scouts, to movies stars like Bette Davis, Greer Garson and Rita Hayworth, to the sports world offering special events, many gave their time and talent to entice Americans to buy war bonds. Thus, all worked together toward supporting the troops with much needed supplies.
In 1941 as the war began, Norman Rockwell’s series of illustrations spearheaded the advertising for the precious bonds. Irving Berlin wrote “Any Bonds today?” the theme song for the Treasury Department’s national Defense Savings Program.
While the estimates for the cost of World War II very greatly, some say upward of 288 billion, in 1940 dollars, was spent by the U.S. to cover their battles in the Pacific and Europe.
So, when Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto spoke his famous words, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve,” he was verbalizing the correct prediction of how America would respond.
The efforts and advertising to sell Victory War Bonds totaled an unparalleled victory for half of the population — 85 million Americans—who bought bonds totaling approximately $185.7 billion. A feat that has never been accomplished since.
As Captain Winslow Buxton, US Coast Guard, Retired, age 102, recalled the attack on Sicily and the German bombs falling on the ships around him, you can imagine how the image of the blasts of the sinking ship would impact readers back home. (See War Bonds video)
War bonds may have played on the emotions of those on the homefront, but their popularity and sense of duty paid off in the end.
War is ugly. But World War II was shouldered by more than just the men and women who faced deadly combat, but also by those who loved them from a far. It was a war with a purpose. More importantly, all those who gave their lives, their pennies and their time toward the defeat of those who struck out against the U.S. should never be forgotten.
Things to consider.