Monday, June 09, 2014

D-Day 70th Anniversary Celebration Blog Tour--Home Front Heroines

For a chance to win ALL TEN novels featured on our blog tour, please visit each blog, collect the answers to the questions, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the BLOG TOUR PAGE. You have a new chance to enter each day of the tour! The contest opens June 2, 2014 at 1 am PST and closes June 13, 2014 at 11 pm PST. The winners will be announced on Monday, June 16, 2014. *Note* Several of the titles will not be released until later in the year—these copies will be mailed to the winners after the release dates.

To win the prize of ALL TEN books, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. The winner must be prepared to send ALL TEN answers within 24 hrs of notification by email, or a new winner will be selected. You can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once each day! The more often you visit, the more entries you receive! However, you only need to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once to be entered. But don’t forget…to win, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. To collect the answers, you may download the Word document on the BLOG TOUR PAGE.




Home Front Heroines

The unflappable women who protected the home front while the men waged war in Europe and Asia have always fascinated me. Whether it was cooking meals within the rationed potions or working the graveyard shift at the local bomber plant, these women took their duties very seriously--to provide and protect our country for our men to come home to. So when Mark Hopkins shared this next bit of history with me, I knew I had to share it. I'm going to let Mark tell it:

'In December, 1941, Muscatine Community College in Eastern Iowa had over 250 students, mostly men, studying for associate degrees or preparing to move to the larger Iowa State to further their education. Started in 1929, the school had survived the lean years of the Great Depression, but by the time Christmas Break arrived, their student population had dwindled to barely 25 students. The very real possibility the school would shut down dampened the holiday season for the facility and staff.

Faced with this situation, Louise Gaekle and Willetta Strand, teachers at the school, began brainstorming ways to help the college survive. Aware of the shortage of trained pilots, the two women devised a plan—open a ground school and offer flight training at a local airport. But that meant the women would have to learn to fly themselves. Together, they drove to the Quad Cities Airport and signed up for classes.

When Louise and Willetta finished their training, they requested pilot trainees from the Department of Defense and were sent their first 40 pupils. Over the next five years, these two women taught over 400 men to fly as well as kept the doors to their beloved school open. When the war end, Louise went back to teaching math while Willetta taught history.

Amazing, the strength and faith of these women!



Blog Contest question: What US general commanded an army of balloons to divert Hitler's attention in the days before the D-Day invasion?

Answer: General George Patton
  


17 comments:

Cathy Gohlke said...

Such brave and enterprising young women! I love reading stories about ordinary people who stepped outside their box to do something no one had thought of before. Thank you for sharing the story behind your book, Patty!

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

Fantastic story!
what amazing women - wonderful record of stepping up to a challenge and going above and beyond - TY for sharing it!

RATS SMITH said...

Patty, Thank you for the information on some things that the women were involved in during the war. I did not realize they did some of those things. I wonder if the women of today would do so much...they were all so brave and honorable...I enjoyed reading your review of your book. God bless you!

Carrie Turansky said...

This sounds like a great story, Patty! It's interesting to hear what was happening at home during WW2. Thanks for sharing!!

violin said...

Enjoying hearing the different settings for the D-Day blog tour, my grandmother had a victory garden! My mom's family moved to Kentucky during the war years (one of my uncle's was born there).

Terri Wangard said...

It's amazing the DOD allowed two women to teach men, especially women who had just learned to fly.

Lane Hill House said...

Wow ~ and that they went back to what they had been doing afterwards. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
I hope there was a recognition plaque posted to commemorate them.

Linda Maendel said...

Interesting post! Thanks for sharing it! There are probably many more stories from this era that have never been told.

Kimberly Wallace said...

Sounds like a great book. I like to read about the homefront during the 40s.

Ane Mulligan said...

That's why I love your books so much. You write abotu women doing extraordinary things!

Patty Smith Hall said...

Terri, a lot of the combat pilots were taught by women. The Women Army Service Pilots not only trained newbies for combat, but tested planes and served as targets for ground to air artillery. There were only about 1100 of them; 39 died in service.

Anonymous said...

cant wait to read this one too. love the blog tour. showing me authors i did not know about!

Ann Mettert said...

What an interesting story.

Anonymous said...


Hi Patty. I didn't know about these women, but I remember that war and was living in Houston, Texas. My dad worked in the shipyard and there were even women who worked ther too. My dad said their was one in the welding Department where he worked. I remember how certtain food was rationed to help out and women just made out. Some sewed whatever was needed for the servicemen and some even made socks. Women sent care packages. My 3 older sisters helped entertain at the USO where they men came on short furlough to rest a few days. women raised small gardens whereever they had any spots of ground to help. Everyone supported our boys. Not like the fussing that goes on now. My oldest brother fought in WW ll and some other cousins, and many of our close friends. 2 gave their lives. I was 9 to 11 when we were in Houston. I remember when the war ended. Maxie (mac262(at)me(dot)com )

Anonymous said...

Hi Patty. I didn't know about these women, but I remember that war and was living in Houston, Texas. My dad worked in the shipyard and there were even women who worked ther too. My dad said their was one in the welding Department where he worked. I remember how certtain food was rationed to help out and women just made out. Some sewed whatever was needed for the servicemen and some even made socks. Women sent care packages. My 3 older sisters helped entertain at the USO where they men came on short furlough to rest a few days. women raised small gardens whereever they had any spots of ground to help. Everyone supported our boys. Not like the fussing that goes on now. My oldest brother fought in WW ll and some other cousins, and many of our close friends. 2 gave their lives. I was 9 to 11 when we were in Houston. I remember when the war ended. Maxie (mac262(at)me(dot)com )

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RATS SMITH said...

Amazing, the strength, courage, hope and faith of the women back home! I wonder if the women of today would be that strong!?....Thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful information, most of which has never been known by the world! This is one awesome tour!! Would love to be among the winners of these books. The review of your book sounds like another great one!