Like all Americans, Connecticut residents responded
to the bombing of Pearl Harbor with shock and anger. Men rushed
to enlist and provisions were made for civilian defense, including,
for the first time, protection from possible air raids. The economy
received a boost as war industries increased production. Workers
employed in Connecticuts factories created an acute housing
shortage; commuting increased and as a result Connecticut became
more suburban. Many items became hard to get as supplies were
routed to troops overseas. Rationing of fuel oil, gas, sugar and
meat was imposed and victory gardens were planted. Morale remained
high, in part because wartime prosperity contrasted sharply with
the Depression of the preceding decade.
Army-Navy Bond Drive
American Brass Company,
Photo CD Number 1MG0032-1571
War II, bond drives help to raise money to finance the war, just
like the liberty loan campaigns during World War I. These employees
of the American Brass Company are waiting to sign up for 10% payroll
deduction. The men seated at the table are filling out forms for
Tolland County, 1940s
CD Number IMG0062-1454
of blood types at the beginning of the 20th century made blood
transfusions possible. The first blood banks were
set up in the late 1930s. During World War II, the American Red
Cross collected 13 million units of blood for use by the armed
forces, some of it from these Connecticut donors.
Franklin G. Post
& Son Boatyard
Photo CD Number: IMG0054-4173.PCD
Franklin G. Post
& Son was just one of many Connecticut boatbuilders who repaired
and built coast guard and naval vessels during the two world wars.
The vessels shown here include a sub-chaser tied at the end of
the pier and coast guard patrol boat on the north railway.
Boy Scouts Victory Garden
Norwalk, between 1942 and 1945
Photo CD IMG0091-3151
Boy Scouts and
Girl Scouts participated in the war effort in many different ways.
Boy Scouts took part in scrap drives, collecting tin, aluminum,
rags and tires for recycling into war materials. Girl Scouts knitted
socks for soldiers. The victory garden pictured here provided
civilians with vegetables at a time when most food supplies were
being sent to soldiers overseas.
World Student Relief Drive
University of Connecticut, Storrs, between 1941 and 1944.
Photo CD Number IMG0064-1454
troops abroad may have been the primary focus during World War
II, but the sufferings of European civilians were another grave
concern, especially as the atrocities of the German concentration
camps became known. These students at the University of Connecticut
are raising money for their counterparts in concentration camps.
Connecticut Goes to War, 1860-1945
Civil War, 1861-1865
Spanish-American War, 1898-1899
War I, 1917-1919
for further reading