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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Warren County Citizens World War Ii Efforts At Home

Dallas Bogan on 3 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

This article just touches on the efforts of the Warren County civilians during World War II. One cannot possibly thank the actual men and women participants in the war, but through a combination of all the nations' assignments and enterprises, our country still remains free.
The following was taken from The Western Star during portions of the war years.

Bond and Stamp Drives

A committee of 40 or more citizens, headed by G.F. Brown, called for a pep meeting on May 19, 1942, at the I.O.O.F. Temple, in which a solicitation campaign was held on behalf of a War Bond and Stamp drive. Warren County's quota was $63,000, while Lebanon's portion was set at $25,000.
Solicitors were to make a house-to-house campaign to obtain pledges; every person in the county was urged to give some thought as to the amount of bonds he or she could buy. Each was to give a definite figure when the canvasser called at the home. Many had already signed up for the payroll deduction plan, but they would also be asked to sign pledges.
In July of the same year, Warren County's quota was raised to $104,000, almost 15 percent over the June quota, which was $90,400.


The Star of April 16, 1942, finds that Mrs. Blanche Callon was appointed as chairman of the women's defense activities, selected by Mayor Marvin Young. Her duties included naming of several committees to carry out the program outlined for women by the State Defense Council.
This Council recommended that village council pass ordinate authorizing blackouts and that several blackouts be held in Lebanon. Charles Spencer of the Oregonia Bridge Company, and Harlan Campbell, street commissioner had previously appointed demolition squads.
The Lebanon air raid warning would be a five-minute sounding of the siren. The Orient fire bell was also to be sounded for five minutes. One hundred thirty armbands were to be purchased and worn by local defense workers during the air raid. Council was to back Harry Hill in the showing of a free movie which was to be held at the Town Hall on Tuesday, May 12, its purpose being to review work in first aid, blackouts, air raids and other defensive maneuvers.
The May 6, 1943, issue of the Star reveals that a Lebanon downtown dim-out was successful and plans for a village wide dim- out was to be held on Monday, May 24th. Ray Law, civilian defense commander, revealed that a village wide dim-out would begin at 9:30 and last until 9:45; residents and businesses were not asked to dim-out more than 15 minutes.
Police were to be placed at all in-bound approaches and motorists would be required to dim their lights and drive not more than 15 miles per hour. Air wardens were not to notify residents of the dim-out, according to Earl Carr, chief air raid warden.
Air raid wardens reported six violations on a wet Monday night of May 24th. One infraction occurred at the state highway garage where a light was reported to have burned through the dim-out. Other violations were persons who left their home lights burning or waited until the wardens received their notification. Two motorists were cited for offenses. (During a blackout, wardens had the authority to cut power lines.)
Several inquires were made as to why the siren did not sound notifying the end of the dim-out. The new Civilian Defense ruling stated that the all-clear signal was when the streetlights were once again turned on.
Warren County and Lebanon's first "blackout" materialized on June 8, 1943, and according to Ray Law, only three minor violations were recorded. The operation was declared a success.
During actual air raids, radio stations were to go off the air at the first Number Two signal, and remain off until the all clear signal was given. This was to alert persons living in rural as well as urban sections that "dead spots" in the signaling device occurs.

Rubber Scrap Articles

The rubber scrap drive for the country's defense was instituted in Warren County in June 1942. The rubber drive consisted of everything from babies' rubber ball to mother's old hot water bottle, and dad's old worn out rubber-soled shoes. Lebanon's effort was predicted to be several tons by the end of the month.
The rubber drive was under the direction of the salvage chairman, David Bailey, and petroleum industry chairman, R.E. LeRoy of Franklin. This particular drive was of great importance since it was considered a deterrent factor in gasoline rationing. If sufficient rubber goals were fulfilled to provide a large supply of retreaded tires, rationing of gasoline was probably not necessary.
All discarded or spare rubber was to be taken to the nearest service station or garage where the citizen would receive one cent a pound.

Metal Scrap Articles The Star of May 14, 1942, finds the county had netted 40 tons of scrap, Turtlecreek, Franklin and Massie townships having not reported yet. Clearcreek collected nearly 11 tons of salvage, including rubber, scrap iron and paper. Harlan collected 10 tons of scrap iron, two tons of wire and two tons of paper. Wayne delivered the most with 20 tons of iron, 8 tons of wire, and 7 tons of paper.
An issue of the Star, April 29, 1943, finds the target for Warren County's second scrap drive was set at 1,232 tons. An organization regarding the townships was set to take place the week of May 3. Tonnage quotas were as follows:
Clearcreek, 164 tons; Deerfield, 88 tons; Franklin, 138 tons; Hamilton, 132 tons; Harlan, 138 tons; Massie, 60 tons; Salem, 64 tons; Turtlecreek, 186 tons; Union, 58 tons; Washington, 82 tons and Wayne, 122 tons.

Food Rationing

Nation wide point rationing with the War Ration Book II was to begin March 1, 1943. Canned, dried and frozen fruits and vegetables were the first items rationed. In this book were four pages of blue stamps and four pages of red stamps. Each color was to be used for a different rationing program. Each page contained 24 stamps lettered and numbered. The letters ran from A to Z, which signified the time period.
An allowance of 48 points was to be spent the first month for each member of the family. For each purchase the storekeeper calculated the number of point stamps of the item or items. A low point value was given the commodities, which were most plentiful compared with the usual supply and demand; a high point value was given those much scarcer than usual.
A caution was given to the consumer to use the larger denominations first where possible, keeping the smaller denominations for purchasing low-point items. Another caution was issued stating that the purchaser should always take along their money, because money was still needed.

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