Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Wartime Wednesday: Government Agencies Created During WWII

Wartime Wednesday: 
Government Agencies Created During WWII

Photo: Pixabay/Jacqui
Here in the U.S. dozens of governmental agencies were formed during World War II to handle the logistics of operating during wartime. Many were disbanded at the end of the war, while others merged into other departments or grew and took on new life. Here are just a few:

Applied Mathematical Panel: Who knew there was such a need? This organization was created near the end of 1942 and headquartered in Manhattan, New York as a division of the National Defense Research Committee. Workers' responsibilities were to solve mathematical problems associated with military efforts. According to the Defense Technical Center: Investigations include statistical studies of various bombing problems, a summary of principal results of probability and statistical aspects of three torpedo studies, three mine clearance investigations, and an extensive study of the performance of heat-homing devices. 

Public Domain
The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, (later known as the Office for Inter-American Affairs) was responsible for promoting inter-American cooperation during the 1940s, especially in commercial and economic areas. It was started in August 1940 with Nelson Rockefeller as its head, appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  The agency's function was to counter Italian and German propaganda in the region. The FBI trained the secret police of friendly nations. By 1943, the OCIAA had a budget of $38 million and 1,500 employees.

The National War Labor Board was established on January 12, 1942, by an executive order ofPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt, to mediate labor disputes as part of the American home front during World War II. The twelve-member board had a tripartite structure and was comprised of four members from each of industry, labor, and the public. Acting as an arbitration tribunal, the board had the effect of replacing normal collective bargaining during the war, as it had the authority to intervene in any labor dispute that it saw as endangering "the effective prosecution of the war" and put into place a settlement. The Board also administered wage control in national industries such as automobiles, shipping, railways, airlines, telegraph lines, and mining.

Library of
Office of Strategic Services
 was the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was founded in June 1942. The organization was based largely on Britain's Special Operations Executive, and William "Wild Bill" Donovan was appointed by President Roosevelt as head. Responsibilities included coordinating espionage behind enemy lines, propaganda, subversion, and post-war preparation. More than 35,000 individuals served in the OSS and included such notables as director John Ford, baseball great Moe Berg, actor Sterling Hayden, chef and author Julia Child, and historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 

Writers' War Board was the main domestic propaganda organization for the U.S. Interestingly, it was privately organized and run, using writers with government and quasi-government agencies. Author Rex Stout founded the organization two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor at the request of the United States Department of the Treasury. Originally part of the Section of Volunteer Talents of the Office of Civilian Defense, the WWB worked through the Office of War Information and primarily handled promoted government policy.


A Love Not Forgotten

He can't remember. She can never forget.

Allison White should be thrilled about her upcoming wedding. The problem? She's still in love with her fiance, Chaz, who was declared dead after being shot down over Germany in 1944. Can she put the past behind her and settle down to married life with the kindhearted man who loves her? 

It's been nearly two years since Charles "Chaz" Powell was shot down over enemy territory. The war is officially over, but not for him. He has amnesia as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, and the only clue to his identity is a love letter with no return address. Will he ever regain his memories and discover who he is, or will he have to forge a new life with no connections to the past? 

A Love Not Forgotten was formerly published in the Let Love Spring collection that is no longer in print.

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