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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 - Wartime Production

Industry nationwide turned from civilian to wartime production. With so many men gone to fight, a shortage of labor developed. To fill the manpower shortage, women also began working at jobs once held only by men. The Lehigh Valley played a critical role. Bethlehem Steel was a major supplier of armor plate and ordnance products. Mack Trucks shifted to wartime production of military vehicles. One Mack Truck plant was turned over to Consolidated Vultee, a firm that produced aircraft assemblies. Local textile mills produced silk for military parachutes. Smaller companies helped, too, as did “Soldiers of the Soil”—farmers. Agricultural production was critical to feed the troops.