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Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
(December 2000)

World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth,   pp. [1]-30


Page 3

Broehm 3 
layoffs at the shipyards and the aluminum factories. Throughout Wisconsin
there was a 
decrease in farm income from $440 million to $200 million between 1929 and
1933.3 As 
a result, many farmers left the farm and moved to Manitowoc. The New Deal
programs 
brought relief to many county residents. 
World War II brought about important changes in Manitowoc. Farmers across
Manitowoc county responded to the war needs by increasing their production,
and 
industries geared up to meet the wartime orders. Instead of manufacturing
pots and pans, 
the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company produced canteens and other utensils
used by the military. The Navy Department, through its Bureau of Ships, contracted
with 
the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company for the construction of ten submarines.
This 
contract was later expanded, and a total of twenty-eight submarines were
completed 
before the end of the war. 
Manitowoc's war industry not only created jobs for the local people, but
individuals came "from as far away as Minnesota and Northern Michigan
to find 
employment."4 Naval crews also came to Manitowoc for training on the
submarines. In 
cooperation with the Division of Defense Housing, the Manitowoc Shipyards
constructed 
600 housing units in a new subdivision named Custerdale to accommodate the
shipyard 
employees. 
' Paul V. Glad, History of Wisconsin, A New Era and Depression, 1914-1940,
Vol. 5 (Madison: 
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1990), 25. 
4 Dean Brasser, "The Effects of World War I1 on Manitowoc," Manitowoc
County Historical 
Society Newsletter, 1980, 2. 


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