Student Policy Post World War II

 

As World War II concluded, Loomis students could have reveled in their efforts during the war, but instead decided to continue aiding their community and steadfastly holding their beliefs.  One writer implored students, “Probably some who have worked during the war-time summers think they deserve a rest… With food as scarce as it is… Get a job on a farm this summer.  Help to feed your family and the rest of the world next winter” [1].  The end of the war did not portend the end of community aid and service in Windsor.

The fall of 1945 marked the first peacetime school year at Loomis since 1941. At the time, most students had only known a frantic and hectic wartime experience at Loomis. When this year began, students were excited to create positive change in the world instead of struggling to keep their lives and their community functioning. Students could not wait to experience the Loomis they had heard about from their predecessors, with interscholastic sports instead of military drills or emergency war jobs.

UntitledThe Loomis baseball team resumed play in the spring of 1946, captained by its star shortstop Ed Alger. [1a]

Additionally, Loomis students railed against post-war mandates regarding the draft and war service.  Editors of the March Log issue, Grinnell, Wachsmann, Rooney, Edwards, and Barter, expressed the school’s strong opinions regarding post-war service in the military.  One writer explained, “We have weighed the evidence on both sides and are convinced that such a program… is not only inadvisable, but dangerous… Peacetime military conscription offers a great threat to international security”[2].  The writers described that the whole school debated the issue, and decided that the country would be best served rejecting the proposal.  Never in the article did the writer mention that students did not want to be forced into this; rather, they felt that the country as a whole would be best served denying this proposal.  The writers continue to support their position in incredible detail, suggesting that this required service would send a bad message to the world, one predicated upon mistrust.  Even when the war no longer existed on the battlefield,  Loomis students were still advocating and fighting for justice.  The fate of the school changed forever because of their efforts.  

As previously mentioned, the school, did not “take it easy”. Learning from wartime experience, a Log writer stated, “We learned that when faced with a big job that has to be done we have a lot more energy than we think…, we found time for potato picking, work in the Hartford Hospital, and several other wartime jobs.”[3] Students continued helping out in their community, providing work for as many projects as they did during the war. Loomis boys did settlement work at the Union Settlement and the Mitchell House, worked at the Hartford Hospital as medical aides, and participated in the broadcasting of “The Junior Town Meeting of the Air”, a local radio program.[4] The continued hard work of the students displays the positive effects of the war on their lives. They learned the importance of helping in their community, and the powerful change teenagers can bring if they all work together.

 

[1] The Loomis Chaffee Log, February 16, 1945

[1a] The Loomis Chaffee Log, April, 1946

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

[3] The Loomis Chaffee Log, September 22, 1945

[4] The Loomis Chaffee Log,

 

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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.

 Untitled

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

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