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The World War II Photo of the Week
for 28 May 2001


Hey, It's War Bond Willy! ...

   A young man wearing a jacket with a USAAF insignia dubbed "War Bond Willy" does his part for the soldiers in combat, holding up a card (dated January 1944) addressed to school children that reads: "CREDIT CARD ... To School Pupils: Ask your relatives and friends to Buy War Bonds to provide ships, food, guns and planes to help win the war. Give one of these cards to each person who promises to buy a bond and ask him or her to take it any Savings Bank anywhere he wishes. More cards may be had at school or any Savings Bank. The Savings Bank will certify to the purchase, and send the card to your school so that you may have credit. Do it once! — Do it now! — Help win the war!"

Two classic War Bond posters (reprinted courtesy U. S. Savings Bond Consultant).

   The war bond campaign was a unique fusion of nationalism and consumerism. Seeking to stir the conscience of Americans, it invoked both their financial and moral stake in the war. The sale of war bonds provided a way in which patriotic attitudes and the spirit of sacrifice could be expressed, and became the primary way those on the Home Front contributed to the national defense and war effort. One observer noted, "It was a program that instead of seeking to eradicate differences ... would make them a source of strength and unity by finding a common cause in which all could work for the financial security of themselves and of their country." While the initial goal of the war bond campaign was to finance the war, the positive impact on the morale of home-front Americans was perhaps its greatest accomplishment.

   But one question remains — who was War Bond Willy? If you know, write us! From the Webmaster's collection.

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