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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 10

Broehm 10 
Bea recalls the funeral of a young soldier from her congregation. "His
funeral was a very 
touching experience for me. He was the first person I knew who was killed
in the war." 
The children of the congregation sang for the funeral service. Bea describes,
"we sang 
the hymn "Be Still My Soul," and every time hear that hymn, I still
think of that young 
soldier. ,28 
The practice air-raid and blackout drills also made the war seem more of
a reality. 
"I can remember hearing the warning siren blast.., then we had to turn
out all lights, 
lock all doors, and keep drapes and blinds closed. We took this very seriously
since the 
submarines were built here.",29 Many felt that the shipbuilding along
with the other war 
industry, made Manitowoc a prime target for enemy bombing raids. "Because
of the 
shipyards, we felt strongly that the Japanese could attack us. We believed
that they 
would attack Sault St. Marie first, and then come down and attack Manitowoc.30
Walter 
Koepke, a Manitowoc councilman during the war, said that at one point the
people of 
Manitowoc were so concerned about being attacked, the city council passed
a resolution 
asking for interceptor planes and anti-aircraft guns to safeguard Manitowoc
citizens. 
Koepke said that the request was denied.31 
War industry did have an affect on the community of Manitowoc. Not only did
the shipyards and manufacturing plants provide jobs, but the community took
a sense of 
pride in the war products produced to support the war effort. "My mother
worked at the 
28 Bea Buss, interview by Barbara Broehm, 13 November 2000. 
29 Howard Schmill, interview by Barbara Broehm. 
30 Susan Dick, interview by Barbara Broehm. 
31 Walter Koepke, interview by Dean Brasser, 17 May, 1970, in Dean Brasser,
"Effects of World 
War II on Manitowoc," Manitowoc County Historical Society Newsletter,
1980. 


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