From Buicks to Bombers

During the war my dad was Traffic Manager at the General Motors plant in Linden New jersey.

By Marilyn Singerle Wood    b. 1937

He was responsible for getting the necessary parts to build the cars. But during WWII, his job changed. General Motors, being adjacent to the Linden Airport, was now also building airplanes, primarily the FM Fighters. He now had to make sure the necessary airplane parts were also available

During the war, the GM plant in Linden, New Jersey enlarged their facility and organized a new division.   On January 21, 1942 Eastern Aircraft was born.   The new Eastern Aircraft division produced 7860 Wildcats and 9839 Avengers.    These airplanes helped the U.S. Navy and Marines dominate the sky over the Pacific during WWII.

(this picture was pulled from https://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/from-building-buicks-to-bombers.html)

 

 

I moved to Framingham, Mass. In 1947 when my Dad was transferred from the General Motors plant in Linden, New Jersey to the new General Motors plant in Framingham.

So many things were in short supply that many things were rationed; gas for cars and many food items – butter, milk and eggs. We had a huge “Victory Garden” in our backyard and grew all kinds of vegetables. My mom and dad spent hours in the garden and my brother and I helped. The most fun was picking the vegetables. After picking the vegetables, my mom and Dad spent several more hours in our basement canning them. Tomatoes straight from the vine taste a lot better than the ones from the grocery store. We also had a few chickens so we had a good supply of eggs and of course the occasional chicken for Sunday dinner.

One thing that was a little scary was when the air raid sirens sounded at night and seeing the search lights moving around in the sky searching for airplanes. In order to keep as much light as possible from being seen from the air, the cars had to have black tape across the top half of the headlights so you could still drive at night, but with a lot less light being seen from above. Also dark shades on house windows had to be drawn when the sirens sounded. I can’t remember how often they sounded, but when they did it was scary. My mom and dad were Air Raid Wardens along with some of our neighbors and they would walk around the neighborhood making sure everyone was following the rules.

When we moved to Framingham I was in the third grade at Jonathan Maynard. I have many fond memories of my school days and the friends I had growing up there, but  the New England accent and some of their words were different than I was used to.

When the principal at Jonathan Maynard, I think her name was Miss Cushing, asked me to get her the green tumbler I had no idea what that was. I quickly learned that it was a glass. Also, I learned that soda was pop or tonic.

 

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