Help From the Homefront

       The amazing selflessness and service by Loomis students during World War II was best exemplified through student interactions with other schools and young people (specifically refugees) during the Second World War.  Interestingly, the general tone and spirit of nearly all Loomis Log articles during wartime was centered on patriotism and enthusiasm.  Log writers encouraged other students to donate to charities such as the Newington Home for Crippled Children, writing, “We should feel proud of the fact that we have had the opportunity to help these charities… We should feel proud of the great service we have done for our country” [1].  Students also aided interned Japanese-Americans during the war. They were not only champions of patriotism on campus, but also put in incredible effort toward other schools and kids.

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A picture of a Loomis Log issue remembering World War II [3]

While Loomis students were fortunate enough to help and serve the country during the war, students at Avon Old Farms were sent home, as the school was forced to close during World War II, and was used as a rehabilitation facility for wounded army veterans. One 1945 Loomis Log article titled, “Bind up the Nation’s Wounds”, detailed ideas regarding how Loomis students could offer help to these wounded veterans.  The writer explained, “We don’t see why it wouldn’t be perfectly possible for the students to get some sort of entertainment together…Are there any volunteers?” [2].  Again, students provided their community and the country with more than merely bodies, but rather energy, ingenuity, and benevolence.

       Loomis also undertook the responsibility of sponsoring a French school in need, called “Ecole du Montcel” near Versailles through the Save the Children Foundation. Loomis contributed a minimum of $150 yearly to the school, often donating much more. Loomis had a connection with the Montcel school from 1928 to 1938, when exchange students were sent there, so the donations seemed to have a truly meaningful purpose. During the exchange program, about five Loomis boys traveled to France every summer to study at the school for six weeks. One of these students commented, “We have come to know how valuable is the association of American and French boys together in the same school. This summer has made us realize how great a means it is in bringing two countries to know and understand each other.”[4]

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A Class at Montcel [6]

       Both the Loomis and Chaffee schools became the foster parents of a 14 year old Italian refugee named Rosaria Lantrieina, made possible by the Foster Parents’ Plan for War Children. Loomis and Chaffee remitted $15 a month for the girl, and they received a photograph and description of the girl and her life. This description stated, “…for the last eight years her mother has been a poor struggling widow, and most of the time it was impossible for her to have Rosaria with her at the home in which she worked.”[5] Rosaria’s home was almost completely destroyed by bombs, and she was one of the few survivors of her area. Rosaria managed to escape even though the Germans attempted to force everyone to stay put.

 

[1] The Loomis Chaffee Log, October 28, 1944

[2] The Loomis Chaffee Log, January 12, 1945 no. 12

[3] The Loomis Chaffee Log, December 7, 1945, vol.31

[4] The Loomis Chaffee Log, April 6, 1945, no. 20

[5] The Loomis Chaffee Log, March 2, 1945

[6]http://copainsdavant.linternaute.com/photo/ecole-du-montcel-jouy-en-josas-129a-me-ra-c-giment-d-infanterie-4114511

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Introduction to Student Experience at Loomis During World War II

During World War II, a time of immense confusion and turmoil on the American home front, Loomis Chaffee and its young students put in enormous effort to help the Windsor community, the war effort, and those most affected by war.  However, could students truly help if they were not on the battlefield?  The answer to this question was a definitive yes.

        Students fervently accepted employment at farms to help support scarce food resources, accelerated or put on hold their classes to fight for the United States, and, importantly, expressed their often-impassioned opinions regarding Word War II.  One student strongly asserted, “You help kill a man everytime you waste a nickel.  If you’re not buying war bonds, you’re killing the soldiers”.[1]

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A United States World War II war bond [5]

            An April 1945, Loomis Log article describes that students picked over 50,000 bushels of potatoes during the school year, and four times as many students participated in the tasks than the year prior.  The writer stated, “Efficient planning and good organization from above and hearty cooperation among student workers has resulted in a fine record”.[2]  It was incredible that students could duly focus on school, community service, and the stresses of war during this period.

    Loomis also prepared its students for the war effort, and established the, “Loomis Military Drill Unit”, where students were introduced to the, “basic ideas of military courtesy and the manual of arms”.[3]  Many Loomis students were recruited by both the Navy and local Connecticut towns like Milford, as both the military and farmers needed able bodies desperately.

      Specifically, we have discovered interesting information about the namesake of the “Carey” room in the snug. Fred Moody Carey (‘39) and James Clayton Carey (‘40) were brothers and students at Loomis during World War II. After graduating, they enlisted in the United States Army Air Force, both First Lieutenants of the 11th bomber squadron. On June 20th, 1945, 23 year-old James and 24 year old Fred were deployed on a mission to destroy multiple bridges in Indochina. James piloted a B-25J plane with Fred as his co-pilot. While bombing at a low altitude, the Carey plane appeared to fly out of control and crashed near a target bridge in Quang Tri, Vietnam.[4] James and Fred each received the purple heart and air medal to honor their service to the country. The brothers were originally buried in Honolulu, Hawaii, but were later repatriated  to the Long Island National Cemetery in New York.

Left: Carey headstone in Long Island Cemetery    Right: article about and picture of Carey brothers’ mission

Images: Findagrave.com Lieut James C Carey

        The incredible efforts of students acted as the glue that held Connecticut and the country as a whole together.  They served as more than merely numbers; students diplomatically expressed their opinions on the war and were great motivators for the American war effort.

[1] The Loomis Chaffee Log, October 28th, 1944

[2] The Loomis Chaffee Log, April, 1945

[3] The Loomis Chaffee Log, May 18th, 1945

[4] Findagrave.com: Lieut James C Carey

[5] http://armedforcesmuseum.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/US-Bond-1-WS.jpg