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Online Exhibit

World War II Resources - The Online Exhibit

Selections from the collection of World War II memorabilia of Darrell English. Darrell English presented his display of selected materials from his collection on Tuesday, September 25th. English, a lifelong collector whose materials have been featured in exhibits at many institutions, including the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center in Springfield, described and discussed these items with visitors. These photographs are of items that were displayed on the day of the event, as well as some of the items that were exhibited in the library for a limited time.

4 H V Day cap.

Prisoner of War certificate and memorabilia of Bataan Death March
Included here are a welcome back letter signed by FDR and a Prisoner of War certificate sent to families to notify them that a soldier was in a camp. Also included are insignia patches, medals, and soldier's mess kit knife. These items were sent to Bataan Death March survivor, Marcario Villalobez. The Bataan Death March was one of the most difficult events of the war in the Pacific. 75,000 allied soldiers were force marched 90 miles through horrendous conditions. 54,000 of the 72,000 reached their destination. The Filipino soldiers were eventually released but the approximately 11,000 Americans endured further horrors at Cabanatuan and prison camps in Korea, Japan and Manchuria.

Blackout Poster.

Blackout poster announcing the regulations for darkening businesses and homes in the event of an air raid. Blackout drills were conducted frequently in the United States and Great Britain as a precaution and a way to prepare citizens for possible enemy attacks.

100 Pound Practice Bomb.

A chocolate mold of a storm trooper.

Club Advertisement.

African Americans played an important part in the war efforts. While they served in almost all areas of the armed services, memorabilia from this time can be rare. This is an advertisement for a Chicago club that catered to African American service men.

Election ballot and envelope from the 1932 election of Adolph Hitler.

People forget that Hitler was actually elected to office. In 1932 Hitler defeated the incumbent Reichs President Hindenburg, the first person to be elected to the Presidency of the Weimar government seven years earlier. Hitler received 37% of the popular vote, and the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei found itself the largest single political party in Germany. Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933. The other item here is a small sign to be placed on the door of a Hitler supporter. "Mit Uns" means "with us".

Gold Star Flag

A small flag displayed by United States families who had lost a loved one in battle.

FBI Poster

After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, FBI agents aided national defense efforts by placing trained agents at key military and defense industry sites. To further strengthen their operations, the FBI established special counterintelligence units for covert operations. The FBI also stressed the need for the general population to be vigilant in their day to day lives, and to avoid loose talk, or casually revealing any information that might imperil US citizens. Signs and posters like this one were common.


This poster was a reminder that we had allies in many countries.

Boston Post Front Page, 12/8/1941.

The front page of the Boston Post announcing the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day before, December 7, 1941.

A Jewish Star

While the wearing of a patch to identify an ethnic group found isolated practice from the early 17th century on, the Nazis made extensive use of this means of identification. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish people were forced to wear a patch like this one in the 1930's.

Goebbels describes the wearing of the gold star in his speech "Die Juden sind schuld! from " Das eherne Herz (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1943), pp. 85-91. You can read this speech, as well as find information on Nazi Propaganda by visiting the Calvin College educational site on historical events of this period.

Letter to the City Editor of the Herald Statesman in Yonkers recounting the encounters in battle of Yonkers resident Sgt. Joseph Misley in the Pacific.

Marine Corps camouflage helmet.

Pennant commemorating the First Army Maneuvers, Plattsburgh, NY, 1939.

A Purple Heart and Presentation Box

Created by George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart was reestablished by the President of the United States in 1932.

According to the Pentagon website the purple heart Criteria: a. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force who, while serving with the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded.

Examples of Ration Books.

Ration books and cards helped conserve resources for soldiers on the front. For instance, by rationing fuel and imposing price controls, the government was able to buy fuel itself at lower prices while allowing more of it to get to the front. Many items were rationed including food and household items, which allowed factories to produce items exclusively for the military. As more and more items became available to soldiers and the war effort, Americans became more self reliant.

Speed Limit Sign.

One way to conserve gas was to impose speed limits, so that less gas was expended by civilians at home.

Victory Sign.

Constant reminders of hope in the future, including signs like this one, were important to bolster spirits at home. The CD on the bottom refers to Civil Defense.

War Bonds Envelope from the Millers Falls Company, Millers Falls and Greenfield, MA.

War Bonds offered buyers a chance to save and invest in their country at the same time. During World War II, the Series E Bonds were popularized by everyone from Hollywood Stars to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who bought the first bond in this series from then Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau on May 1, 1941. Bonds helped to bolster the war efforts.


Women were needed to work in industry in order to free men to fight during the War. They were also an important and growing part of the non-combative armed forces. For some this presented a drastic change to the previously prevalent social order. Patriotism was one incentive to get women to join in the war efforts. Posters like this one reminded the population that everyone was needed to pitch in and be a soldier in one form or another.

war bond poster by N C Wyeth

War Bond Poster.

Art work is attributed to illustrator, N.C. Wyeth, father of painter Andrew Wyeth.

Zyklon B Paper Can Wrappers.

Zyklon B was originally used as a delousing insecticide. This hydrocanic acid based poison was later used by the Nazis to gas over one million people in concentration camps such as Auschwitz. The label seen here comes from the airtight containers in which the poison was stored. The German word for poison, incidentally, is Gift, hence poison gas is Giftgas.

Counterfeit British Currency Produced in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

The Nazis instituted a counterfeit operation, code named Operation Bernard, Sachsenhausen in 1942. The purpose of the operation was to cause international damage to the allied economies, including that of Great Britain. To read more about the operations at Sachsenhausen, visit one of these sites:Counterfeit Money At Sachsenhausen and The Search For Answers: 60 and Krueger's Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block. The latter was created by author Lawrence Malkin.

Site created, photographed and maintained by K. Carreras-Hubbard.