Second World War: Bond Drives, Blackouts and Air-Raid Drills

Woman recalls life during the second World War, including bond drives, blackouts and air raid drills.

Content Tools

My first realization that we were in the second World War came when some of the boys in our high school class of 1940 quit school and enlisted. You hear about war, but until someone you know or love is involved in it, it doesn't have much of an impact. 

We had the usual U.S. bond drives, blackouts and air-raid drills, even though I lived in a small town.

While working at J. C. Penneys in 1941 and '42, there were shortages of silk hose, denim overalls and many other things.

I met my husband, Bob Holmes, in 1943 while he was stationed at Fitzsimmons Hospital in the medical corps. In May of 1944 we were married in Chicago, his home town, during a five-day delay before he left for the European Theater of War. The next day he left on his extended tour of duty, and I returned to my home in Paonia to await his return.

Those days and months were long, lonely and sad. Many of my letters from my husband were censored and parts of them cut out. If he wanted anything sent to him I had to show his letter of request to the postmaster before they would accept the package. Sometimes he wanted cheese and crackers, but mostly letters and pictures from home. I tried to write every day. I became very frustrated and frightened when I didn't get a letter - sometimes for weeks - but now I know when you're fighting a war and on the move, you don't always have time for letter writing.

While my husband was in Germany, he stayed briefly with a glass blower's family. He sent me a wine decanter and two beautiful wine glasses that this glass blower had given him. He also saw the German people rolling large wheels of cheese down the road, probably to a market.

When he returned to the United States he had a 30-day delay en route to the South Pacific. It was in Chicago that we heard the news of the bombing of Hiroshima and the end of the War. I shed many tears that day; first, for the ones who would never come home and their families; next, tears of joy that my husband did come home safely to me. Even though many war-time marriages didn't last, we've been married almost 47 years, and we praise the Lord for these years together.

Carrie Holmes
Grand Junction, Colorado

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.