Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workday Wednesday: The Family Pitches in for the War Effort

During 1943, my family was doing a lot to fight WWII. Not quite single-handedly, of course, but they were in the service AND in defense industries. For example, my Auntie Dorothy Schwartz, shown above, was a WAC and during 1943, her service training took her to Daytona Beach, FL, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, Camp Polk, LA, and Ft. Devens, MA. She ended the year in Scotland.

Dorothy's first cousins were in the Army Air Corps, in the Army, and stationed around the country and around the world. Family members visited sons, daughters, and siblings whenever they could. The family regularly bought War Bonds (and those who had stores, including my grandparents Teddy Schwartz and Minnie Farkas, also sold War Bonds to customers). One of my great-aunts was also a "Rosie the Riveter," working at an aircraft factory during the war.

To lighten the mood, the family's newsletter of 1943 doings says that the military members of the family "still have time to gain one of these titles: Corporal Punishment, Major Calamity or General Nuisance."

In 1944, according to family tree newsletters, Sgt. Dorothy Schwartz was temporarily assigned to Oxford, England for a week's training at Oxford U. By 1945, Sgt. Schwartz was in Belgium and she wrote about celebrating V-E Day.

Meanwhile, my father Harold Burk (left) and his brother, Sidney Burk (the taller brother), were in Europe with the U.S. Army. Harold was with the Signal Corps, in a support role behind the lines in the European theater.

Harold and Sidney were in Europe on assignment when their father, Isaac Burk, died suddenly of a heart attack in 1943. They weren't able to return for the funeral, which must have made things even sadder for their mother, Henrietta Mahler Burk.

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