Second World War: Douglas Aircraft

Farm family took a working vacation in Long Beach with Douglas Aircraft during the Second World War.

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In 1941 we lived on a farm in Elbert County, Colorado, and that year our crops got hailed out. I had two brothers in California, and they suggested we come out there and get a job. We had a public sale, packed our personal possessions in a two-wheel trailer, and left on December 9, two days after Pearl Harbor. 

Since we had entered the Second World War, my husband had no trouble getting a job at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, where my brothers also worked.

Sometimes, when we were coming home from visiting my brothers in Los Angeles, there would be servicemen hitching rides back to the bases in Long Beach. Often we would pick them up.

We met many nice boys and enjoyed talking to them very much – we could never do that nowadays, which is very sad.

At one of the schools, they would have the registration for the ration books. They needed help, so I volunteered once. It was interesting. One day, I was registering an epileptic man, and he had a seizure. It caused some excitement, but he came out of it OK.

When the War was over, we promptly packed up and went back to Colorado to start farming again. That lasted until 1954. When our crops got wiped out again, we moved to Englewood, and then finally to Commerce City where we have lived ever since.

Esther Tweden
Commerce City, 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.