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Another One for the Boys

Another One for the Boys
By Jeff Jargosch (c) 2013

Union County Coal & Lumber in Springfield hosts trucks from area companies, mostly flatbeds but even a dump is used. It appears to be a successful paper drive. Collection of the Springfield Public Library.


The times were still tough. In mid-winter of 1944-1945 the War was still on in the Pacific, and in Europe. It seemed everyone had somebody in the service, or knew of one. Those guys will have it hard if we make the final push of Japan, but the folks at home have it rough too, what with shortages. Food and home goods were limited. You’re lucky if you can get a gasoline ration card or a tire stamp.

But everyone is willing to lend a hand to help the “Boys over there.” The gang pictured at Union County Coal and Lumber Yard , in Springfield, are all willing to pitch in. Despite the obviously cold weather, a sense of cooperation can be seen. Springfield’s locals have pooled their efforts, and with a mish-mash of vehicles from local industries, manage a paper drive. One of the boys, either home on leave or disabled, is there to lend support. Maybe he’s the son of one of the truck drivers?


The Rahway Valley Railroad has spotted the Seaboard boxcar on the siding at the lumber yard. The boxcar is a forty foot 1932 ARA steel car, one of 1,000 built in 1934 by Pullman Standard Car Company. Number 17928 has a reweigh date of February, 1944, giving us an idea of the date of this photo. Our shipment, which appears to half fill the car, will move to a paper company, perhaps in West Virginia.


Everybody knows it takes guns and tanks, planes and ammo to fight a war, but lots of other material is important too. It was estimated that twenty million tons of paper would be needed. Shells were packed in cardboard, cartons for food and medical supplies, and many other items. Just to supply our Army camps with fresh milk daily, it required 1,000,000 waxed paper cartons. Pulp wood shortages, due to the loss of labor forces being in service, was cause for recycling.


The trucks look about empty and all the available help is looking forward to heading home. Mom’s hot soup will help warm them up. Although knowing they were helping out the “Boys” gives them a warm feeling too.

Head Back to the Station!