BOYERTOWN PA – The coming Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29, 2023) will be the last dates for “The Home Front 1940-1945: Boyertown Goes to War,” a special exhibit in the General Carl Spaatz USAAF Museum, 10 General Spaatz Ave. It demonstrates how local residents offered daily support for the nation’s involvement in World War II.
The exhibit, which opened April 27, tells the story of a typical kitchen in small-town America, and challenges families faced during war-time rationing. Victory Gardens, painted nylon hose, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese were examples of how homemakers stretched every penny for the war effort.
Throughout the war years, the exhibit notes, the American economy supported the greatest wartime industrialization in the history of mankind, changing lives in every American home. Sacrifices, long waits, and rationing were the norm.
In Boyertown alone, more than 500 homes had fathers, sons, and daughters at war. Most of those who remained “on the home front” were employed in or contributed to the wartime effort. Local employers did their part, too. Several converted equipment to produce military ambulances, special purpose vehicles, and even headlights for jeeps.
One feature of the exhibit is a colorful display wall of “Sweetheart Pillowcases” (at top), a favorite souvenir sent home by servicemen from bases around the world. Learn about boy and girl scouts who were recruited to conduct metal and scrap drives. Visit a home-front candy store display, and see how even the confection industry supported soldiers.
The museum is open Thursday through Sunday daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Photo provided by the General Carl Spaatz USAAF Museum