Once America entered the war over 1,400 Chicago-area companies converted almost overnight in a once in history achievement resulting in the placing of the entirety of America’s manufacturing abilities into producing the weapons, foods, medicines, aircraft, ships, and producing a previously territorial army into an unstoppable force of 16.2 men, including 325,000 non-combatant women. Except for Detroit, no city produced a greater variety of the needed supplies than Chicago. The locales included among hundreds of others, B-24 and B-29 engine manufacturing and assembly plants, torpedo assembly, portable radio factories, shell-casing manufacturing, even penicillin and other medicines. But the valiant efforts of the men at war would not have succeeded without the support and total war production from millions on the Home Front. Every man, woman, boy and girl did something.
FACTS OF INTEREST 80-YEARS LATER THE ‘WONDER DRUG’ The first widespread use of Penicillin took place on D-DAY, June 6, 1944, the most important 24 hours of the 20th Century. Every American, British, and Canadian soldier who landed on the five beaches was also armed with units of Penicillin.
SCRAP DRIVES AND VICTORY GARDENS In every vacant lot (called ‘prairies’ in Chicago) in every American city, town, and village, so many vegetables were grown – over 40% of what was needed – that the excess was canned and sent to Europe to feed allies and soldiers. Every city and town had numerous scrap drives, resulting in millions of tons converted into everything from tanks to ships. Everyone did their share and did it enthusiastically.
WOMEN IN THE WORK FORCE Before the war women ‘had their place,’ and it wasn’t doing ‘men’s work.’ The war changed that and proved that women not only had the same skills as men but had equivalent muscle power to do the jobs previously given only to men. Unfortunately they were not paid the same wages, but today’s women in the military do the same jobs as men and all are better because of equality.
THE BOOK CONTINUES TO SELL – BUT NOW BY REFERRAL AFTER 45 MONTHS The author took 40 years of procrastination, dithering, excuses, and even good reasons until finally writing in 2019 his first book with an entirely different perspective on the war that saved mankind. It took years of repeated trips, first-person interviews, photography, and deep research, but the book’s 22 chapters indeed enter the real, existing, and, in most instances, the unchanged places that changed the outcome of the war. That is a first.
Although a professional journalist with a distinct style, for Jerome M. O’Connor, it was a labor of love and an opportunity to thank those of the ‘greatest generation’ who are still with us that their service was not in vain and that what they accomplished indeed resulted in saving humanity from entering a new dark age. The book’s epilogue ends with these two words: honor them.
Now in three forms, hardback, Kindle, and, since February 2022, in paperback, the work continues to sell. After nearly four years since publication, there can be only one reason for continued sales: REFERRAL. The author humbly thanks those who recommended the book to others, and to the 100% professional reviewer recommendation, and also to the 96% of Amazon readers who gave it thumbs-up. Available on Amazon at special prices.