Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth, pp. -30
Broehm 12 off the edges and make rings for us kids... all the neighbor kids had one!",37 Will recalls that his dad worked as a guard at the shipyards. "In fact," he said, "my dad was actually commissioned into the Coast Guard. This gave him more authority as a guard, and it was necessary to maintain very strict security."38 The background of each employee was always thoroughly checked, and some workers were released as a result of these searches. To enter or leave the shipyards, each employee had to wear an identification button with his picture. No visitors were allowed, and lookout towers on the docks were constantly manned by guards who kept watch for people who might sneak into the yards from across the river. Secret service agents were always present at the yards.39 "My brother and sister-in-law met at the shipyards ... they were both welders.'4 During the war, 500 to 600 women were employed and trained as machinists and welders.41 However, no African-Americans were included in Manitowoc's war industry. "Negroes never had a chance to get a footing here," laments a homefront teenager. "If a Negro was spotted in town, the police shipped him back to Chicago or Milwaukee. The owners of the Shipyards and the Aluminum Goods saw to that.42 Naval crews were also stationed in Manitowoc and would train on the submarines for approximately six months. A homefront teenager comments that with so many guys from her class in the service, some girls dated the sailors. She said, "I worked at the 37 Kul Kappelman, interview by Barbara Broehm. 38 Howard Wilsman, interview by Barbara Broehm. 39 Dean Brasser, "The Effects of World War II on Manitowoc," Manitowoc County Historical Society Newsletter, 1980, 2. 40 Howard Wilsman, interview by Barbara Broehm 4' Nelson, 36. 42 Arthur Nickels, interview by Barbara Broehm.
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