Second World War: Scrap Metal Drive

Iowan remembers a scrap metal drive she participated in while a college student during the Second World War.


| Good Old Days


During the Second World War, I was a college student at the Central University of Iowa, there to obtain an elementary teaching degree. 

As girls stood in line near dormitory mailboxes, there were often shouts of joy, intimate smiles and heart-breaking tears. We waited patiently, and prayed for any kind of a letter, note, post card or picture from our classmates, boyfriends and brothers who were serving in the U.S. military forces far away.

There was much excitement when a weekend leave was permitted. There was also great disappointment when shipping-out orders were announced, many times to an unknown destination. We said fond farewells, never knowing where, when, or if we would be together again.

One day our college classes were dismissed for a citywide scrap-metal drive in Pella, Iowa. There were not many young men left in college; they had enlisted or been drafted for active military service.

I was one of the droves of girls who walked the city streets, knocking on every door asking for any scrap metal.

We collected such things as old kitchen utensils, clocks, pans, skillets, tools, irons, buckets, toasters, coffeepots, waffle makers and even children's toys!





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