Veteran's Day Observation
During the time period of World War II our Club had its challenges as did any other organization in the U.S. at that time. Here are some excerpts of members writing about the war.
From D.S. “Spurge” Hood, President from 1942 - 1943: “World War Two had truly become global. It was unlike any war that had been fought since history began. Our country was facing its greatest crisis. By January 1943 Texas had more than 300,000 men in uniform. Those were the days when the one thought uppermost in everyone’s mind was ‘Winning the War.’ And what a war!! It was a war of machines and mass production.
In 1941 an aviation plant had been built at Grand Prairie at the unheard of cost of $7,000,000 and was employing 12,000 workers. By 1943 this plant had been enlarged to $35,000,000 and was employing 50,000 workers. Instances like this were taking place all over the country.
During my administration, naturally the question uppermost in the minds of this club and every other similar club was Win the War, Buy Bonds!! Consequently our programs for the year emphasized these efforts. Suffice to say, your club did its part and then some!
From Happy King, President 1943-1944: “I do not remember any members that may have died or dropped out of Rotary for other reasons that year. However, I recall that Barney Barnes and Dan Kiber were away on leaves of absence to serve as officers in the Army. I was a general foreman in charge of engine assembly at North American Aviation for that year in addition to being an automobile dealer. At approximately the middle of my term as president, I had to call on my good friend and vice president, Joe Bailey, to preside the remainder of my term in order that I might work 7 days a week in the war effort.
Due to the strife of war, our club did not accomplish anything outstanding. We probably were fortunate to keep intact. Many service clubs had to disband.
In years past we were fortunate, honored and privileged to know and hear first hand stories of Rotarians who were members of our Club. Please take a moment to remember them and in some cases thank their families. Unfortunately no records were kept of members served or lost in service but the ones I remember are Fred Bondurant (Barry’s father), Rusty Di Sciullo and Emory Estes. Although not a Rotarian, Marty Bondurant, Fred’s wife and Barry’s mother, served in the Army Nursing Corps and attended surgery for 72 hours straight at the Battle of the Bulge.
Let me know of any others for our archives.