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Support for the WWII Online Exhibit is provided in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and The Century Fund.

 

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WW II Home Front - Civil Defense and Volunteer Work

By July of 1942, 40% of American citizens were involved in war-related volunteer work. In case of enemy bombing, they were trained to don protective helmets and help firemen and emergency medical personnel. Volunteers also mounted rooftops to search the skies for airplanes, whether friend or foe. They reported all airplanes to the Army Filter Center, which kept track of all airplane traffic.

 

     
  Plane spotting became a popular activity for children and adults alike. Decks of playing cards showed silhouettes, so that card players would learn the airplane models while playing.
     

The Red Cross mobilized. Women and children learned first aid and volunteered to knit stockings and roll surgical bandages. Some women trained as part of the Volunteer Nurse’s Aide Corps and wore their blue uniforms as they served in hospitals. By taking over the simpler tasks from nurses, these Aides freed nurses to join the armed services.

  The American Women’s Voluntary Services also provided a wide range of community services in support of the defense effort. They helped with air raid precautions, canteen service, motor corps work, and savings bond drives.