Photo: Library of Congress
70 years ago the U.S. was transitioning from an epic financial crisis — one that brought high unemployment, plunging farm profits and lost opportunities — to one of the world’s deadliest and most destructive wars. We’ve written about the Library of Congress’ incredible collection of colour photos from the early 1940s before. We decided to take another look, this time highlighting how the country mobilized for World War II.
Men and women prepared for jobs in the Army by learning things like how to create camouflage maps based on aerial photographs
Kids, like ones at the Farm Security Administration labour camp in Robston, Texas, were left to their own devices
America needed to manufacture for the war effort with the help people like John Kelseh, a blacksmith in Blue Island, Illinois
And Elizabeth Little, mother of two, who is seen spraying small parts for the U.S. Army Air Corps in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Even high school students received training for specific contributions to the war effort, like learning about propeller characteristics
Men like Jesse Rhodes Waller, A.O.M., third class, prepared for a fight by installing and testing 30-calibre machine guns on Navy planes at a base in Corpus Christi, Texas
Other women workers riveted A-20 bombers at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant at Long Beach, California
Women helped assemble a lot of the planes that soldiers flew, including the wing of a B-17F heavy bomber shown here
Marines at Parris Island, South Carolina, trained to become pilots on the planes built by their peers
So much was new that instructors were explaining the operation of a parachute as student pilots were just learning how to fly in Fort Worth, Texas
Soldiers practiced shooting the 30-calibre Browning machine gun on a pedestal for anti-aircraft protection
This Coast Guardsman was already serving his country as he stood guard over new items like a 78-foot torpedo boat in New Orleans, Louisiana
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