Chewing Gum, Candy Bars, and Beer
The Army PX in World War II
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Missouri Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
For Warrant Officer Paul E. Wesely of the 334th Harbor Craft Company stationed at Rouen, France, it was a fine day. In early May 1945, two weeks earlier, he had gone to Paris for a few days, and while there visited the Post Exchange (PX) and bought a new hat and a pair of GI shoes. He went to the Paris Officers’ Club and then to eat at the Red ...
1. From the Sutler’s Tent
Today every Army, Air Force, and Naval base has a PX, a Post Ex‑change, or Base Exchange. It is the soldier’s department store, selling everything from clothes to cleaning supplies and television sets. By the end of the twentieth century most Army and Air Force installations had a PX that resembled fashionable civilian shopping malls. The...
2. Preparedness and War
George Catlett Marshall became the Army chief of staff in September 1939. A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute in 1902, Marshall attracted the attention of his superior officers and was the star of the staff of the 1st Infantry Division in the Great War. His staff work as the division’s operations officer during the fight at Cantigny, which was ...
3. Regulations and Agreements
Staff Sergeant Charles B. Linzy of the 459th Mobile Anti‑Aircraft Battalion was on maneuvers in Louisiana. Linzy had heard rumors that his unit was about to go overseas, but no one seemed to know where. On a hot August day near Shreveport, Linzy, who was from Little Rock, Arkansas, was disgusted. He wrote to his wife, Sibyl, that ...
4. Expansion and Shortages, 1943–1944
Sergeant William E. George worked in the headquarters of the 415th France. He was a constant visitor to the Post Exchange and found that some items were always in short supply. He wrote to his parents in Little Rock, Arkansas, that toothpaste and tooth powder had not been in stock for several weeks. However, he did tell his mother and father ...
5. No Beer!
It had been a very good day for Master Sergeant Elmer Franzman of the Headquarters Squadron, 329th Service Group, who was by June 1944 in India. This young man from Cannelton, Indiana, had served in England, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and now in India, in the China, Burma, and India theater of operations. He wrote to his parents, “We ...
6. To Final Victory
T-Sergeant Charles B. Linzy of the 459th Mobile Anti‑Aircraft Battalion tried to write every day to his wife in Little Rock. For two weeks he could not find the time to communicate because his battalion had been attached to the hard‑fighting, fast‑momentum, 29th Infantry Division. His battalion had entered France at Omaha Beach, ...
7. 1945 and V-Days
It was an especially hot and humid Easter weekend of 1945 in the Philippine Islands for Captain William C. Hurt of Company C, 108th Medical Detachment, 33rd Infantry Division. His division, formally of the Illinois National Guard, had fought in New Guinea, and after landing at Lingayen Gulf on February 10 went into combat against an ...
8. Consequences and Aftermath
Sergeant William George of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron was stationed near Darmstadt, Germany, and with the war in Europe over friends with British families and became something of an Anglophile, and he wanted a visit before his unit left for the United States, when‑ever that might be. He went to the local PX, and “I bought me one ...
Page Count: 198
Illustrations: 15 illustrations
Publication Year: 2009
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