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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Wait 'til you hear what they collected next...

On September 10, 1942, the Sumner Press introduced a new Youth Group. A group of forty-two Sumner boys and girls formed the Sumner Commando organization to do war work at home by aiding various supply drives as needed. The first Saturday after the group was formed, about thirty of the Commandos met at City Hall and after receiving directions from their captains, they journeyed to various parts of the city and brought in material of all kinds, rubber, copper, iron, the pieces varying in sum and kind. Wagons, bicycles and various other means of transportation were used.

Two months later, on November 5, 1942, the Sumner Press once again reported on their activities:

‘Early in October, in the first sale of scrap, the Commandos turned in to the government 4,870 pounds of materials. Last week 1670 pounds was hauled away, and on Monday this week the largest shipment so far, 5,990 pounds was marketed. On Wednesday, 480 pounds of rubber was put on the market. In addition, several pounds of copper, brass and special metals have been gathered. The total scrap brought in exceeded 13,000 pounds or 6 ½ tons.

“Promotions have been earned by several Commandos while others will be promoted in a few days. Sgt Bill Scaggs gained the first promotion, and is now a Master Sergeant. Gene Griffin won the second promotion and is also rated as Master Sergeant now. Wilberta Griffin is captain of the east side, David Westall captain of the west side. Money earned by Commandos is converted into war stamps, which will be returned to members of the organization.”

The Sumner Press on December 3, 1942 reported that Sumner Commandos were quite successful with their drive for materials to donate to the day rooms at George Field that are used by service men for recreation purposes.

Enough money was collected to buy a used radio for one of the rooms, and curtains were to be made for one recreation building. A number of magazines were collected. Games such as ping pong, checkers, cards, or any game of interest were requested.

But, Readers, wait till you see what the Commandos collected next!

The call came from national headquarters to state, county and city organizations for old hose, silk and nylon, from which gunpowder could be manufactured. Lawrence County joined in the drive and in Sumner, the Commandos sponsored the collection. They specifically stated that they only wanted CLEAN hose. (I bet even some of the Dads helped in the collection of this item....just doing their part for the war effort of course.)

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