Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Traveling Tuesday: Travel During WWII

Traveling Tuesday: Travel During WWII 

Photo: Pixabay/
Rene Rauschenberger
Until March 2020, when that-which-shall-not-be-named occurred, most people traveled without a second thought. For the most part, airfare and gasoline were affordable, so folks took regular vacations to visit family or simply get away, perhaps going somewhere they’d never been or return to a favorite location. Then lockdown happened, and travel came to a screeching halt. Now allowed with certain mandates and policies attached, trips are no longer the easy excursions they once were. 

Perhaps this has given us some appreciation for travel (and the severe shortage thereof) during World War II. 

Passenger air service continued during the war, but was primarily used for the war effort: either troop transport or civilian travel on defense industry business. The commercial airlines were pressed into military service, so they only way you could travel by air was to receive permission by the military or federal government. The naval situation was much the same with oceanic travel only done by the military (to say nothing of the danger of taking a ship across enemy-filled waters.) 

Photo: Pixabay/
Siggy Nowak
Train travel was available to civilians, but crowded with military personnel who took priority, so it was often difficult to get a seat. There was large-scale migration to industrial centers as people took jobs in the defense industry, and many women followed their husbands to military camp. 

Travel by car was limited by gasoline rationing, so people carpooled or took public transportation (buses or local trains) which again were severely overcrowded. However, drivers who used their cars for work deemed essential for the war effort were classified differently and received additional stamps. Others were limited as follows: 
  • Class A: Three gallons per week 
  • Class B (factory workers, traveling salesmen): Eight gallons per week 
  • Class C (essential war workers, police, doctors, letter carriers) 
  • Class D: Motorcycles 
  • Class T: Truckers 
  • Class X: Politicians and other “important people”
Photo: Pixabay/Cindy Jones
Coupled with the long hours that people worked (often six days a week doing defense work) they generally limited vacation and long-distance travel. In an interesting aside, major league baseball was incredibly popular, and a special letter from President Roosevelt, known as the “Green Light Letter,” approved continuation of the sport, but a directive from the Office of Defense Transportation ordered that all spring training take place north of the Potomac River and east of the Mississippi River to cut down on travel. 

Do you still take travel for granted or has that changed? 


Spies & Sweethearts

She wants to do her part. He’s just trying to stay out of the stockade. Will two agents deep behind enemy lines find capture… or love? 

1942. Emily Strealer is tired of being told what she can’t do. Wanting to prove herself to her older sisters and do her part for the war effort, the high school French teacher joins the OSS and trains to become a covert operative. And when she completes her training, she finds herself parachuting into occupied France with her instructor to send radio signals to the Resistance. 

Major Gerard Lucas has always been a rogue. Transferring to the so-called “Office of Dirty Tricks” to escape a court-martial, he poses as a husband to one of his trainees on a dangerous secret mission. But when their cover is blown after only three weeks, he has to flee with the young schoolteacher to avoid Nazi arrest. 

Running for their lives, Emily clings to her mentor’s military experience during the harrowing three-hundred-mile trek to neutral Switzerland. And while Gerard can’t bear the thought of his partner falling into German hands, their forged papers might not be enough to get them over the border. Can the fugitive pair receive God’s grace to elude the SS and discover the future He intended?


  1. I just bought Spies & Sweethearts. Can’t wait to read it!! 📚