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Waging War on the Home Front

An Illustrated Memoir of World War II

Chauncey Del French

A co-publication with the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission.

Edited by Lois Mack and Ted Van Arsdol.

7-3/8 × 9-1/2 inches. 153 full-color and b&w illustrations. Bibliography. Index. 240 pages.

2004. ISBN 978-0-87071-048-3. Paperback, $24.95.

The United States' entry into World War II necessitated rapid mobilization of the country's shipbuilding industry. A massive national effort was needed to build ships faster than they were being sunk by the enemy. This book recounts in intelligent and delightful detail how that need was met by the home-front workforce.

Chauncey French and his wife, Jessie, were among the hundreds of thousands of workers recruited by Henry Kaiser under the U.S. Maritime Commission for the nation's wartime emergency shipbuilding program. The memoir that French began while working as a pipe fitter in the Kaiser shipyard in Vancouver, Washington, is a compelling account of how the war changed the lives of those at home. His first-hand stories relate the sometimes tense and often humorous intermingling of people — including women and African Americans in unprecedented numbers — from different backgrounds who learned to work together for a common cause.

The editors have selected and annotated more than 150 illustrations that capture the human drama, teamwork, and camaraderie that made the incredible level of production at the shipyards possible. Introductory essays, an appendix, notes, additional reading, and an index augment the author's lively narrative.

Member of AAUP