I grew up between Charlton and Huntington WVA. and my home front changed in a big way because of rubber, which was needed for the war.
George Amblerton b. 1932
All of us in West Virginia, like everywhere I guess, were getting used to the news about all the new programs and plans to mobilize for the war effort. Rubber was one of the things the government really needed. In our town we could turn in old tires for a penny a pound at the gas station. My cousin William and his friends used to go up and down alongside the roads looking for old tires.
When the government said they were going to build a rubber plant near us we couldn’t imagine why. It turned out it was for synthetic rubber and I figured the coal was important.
All our local boys and men who weren’t in the service got hired on in lots of different jobs to help build the factory. Women, too got hired on, and not just for secretary jobs. Some people worried that it would take too long to build the factory and we needed rubber right away.
But what happened is what I like most to remember – and that is that everybody pulled together to get it built. “Just get it done!” everybody said. The US Rubber Company opened the factory less than a year after construction started. I was about 10 years old.
We were proud to make such a big contribution to the war effort. It was a good feeling. I still feel pride when I think back on it.