The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 1993, Volume 39, Number 4
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

by Kimberly A. Hall

Images from this article

World War II brought dramatic, sweeping changes to San Diego, converting it from a slow-paced tourist town into a hustling aeronautical manufacturing city. The arrival of thousands of soldiers, sailors, and marines, coupled with the development of the aircraft industry had a profound and lasting impact on San Diego women.

By 1943, San Diego defense plants employed 107,000 people.1 The need for workers opened job opportunities for women, as in the case of “Rosie the Riveter.” However, this experience was not the norm for women during World War II. Homemakers and those who followed a traditional female role also experienced great changes.

The expected role of a woman in the 1940s was to create a comfortable home for her husband and properly raise the children. The majority of women upheld these expectations during the Second World War. In 1942, there were 28 million homemakers in the United States.2 At the war’s peak, 23 percent of the labor force consisted of married women.3 In San Diego, the employment of women aircraft workers did not exceed 40 percent of local aircraft employment.4 This refutes the popular image of “Rosie the Riveter.”

Historians Karen Anderson and D’Ann Campbell acknowledge “that the real prestige was conferred only on women who assumed previously male responsibilities, not on those who performed traditionally female functions.”5 Women who maintained these traditional functions have not been adequately recognized. The challenge to women was acute, especially in San Diego, where the war brought unusually difficult conditions. Like other cities that boomed during the war, such as Seattle and Norfolk, change created problems.

The research for this study was conducted mainly through oral interviews of women who lived in San Diego during the wartime era. The women were selected randomly and hold different experiences. They were wives of aircraft workers and military men, as well as single young women. Statistical information and circumstances relating to women were gained through newspapers, women’s magazines, and secondary sources on women’s history as well as San Diego’s history. The following experiences are suggestive of white, working, middle-class women; women of various ethnic backgrounds are another subject, worthy of more research.

A major housing shortage caused difficulty in providing a comfortable living situation. Many women had small children to raise, which put additional pressure on producing a satisfactory home life as well as finding day-care. Aside from these concerns, women were expected to bolster morale, do extra chores for the war effort, and conform to the dominant notions of upholding beauty and attractiveness. Food and material rationing added dilemma to their roles. Furthermore, anxiety pressured their lives from fears of possible attack by Japan. Worry also prevailed because of loved ones fighting overseas, who often could not convey their whereabouts.

The social expectations of the day were prominent in the media. Propaganda encouraged women to maintain a comfortable dwelling for their men and children. San Diego women were told of their responsibilities–nationally and locally. The San Diego Union pointed out that a woman’s “main job right now is seeing to the needs of her husband and growing children, putting them first.” The newspaper suggested homemakers “keep up family morale by keeping up family and home standards.”6

The housing shortage made these standards difficult to uphold. Although the Federal government appropriated funds to construct thirty thousand dwellings during the war, people were forced to live in cramped and inadequate quarters.7 The city government encouraged residents to rent available rooms in their homes. Additions were built on homes, and garages were converted into living quarters. Popular magazines suggested other alternatives, such as living in a barn.8

The largest housing project, Linda Vista, consisted of 3,500 dwellings constructed in early 1944.9 Although the neighborhood was planned to be self-sufficient, it lacked many necessities. The city supplied water to the area, but only a single ten-inch pipe connected the water supply of a town of thirteen thousand to the outdated San Diego city water pipes. A similar problem existed with sewer lines. Plans for a shopping center, quality roads and schools were never carried out, creating hardship for residents, particularly homemakers. Kay Hill walked three miles to the closest store and bought her groceries in two-week periods. “One of the constant features of life in Linda Vista was a kid at the back door saying, `My mother wants to borrow a cup of sugar…’.”10

Other families lived in trailer camps. Six hundred and fifty trailers were constructed through government allotment. Life in the camps created assimilation problems. People from thirty different states had gathered in one tight area attempting to go on as they had before. Uncomfortable conditions caused irritability and hardened attitudes. Children, reflecting their parents anxiety, worsened the situation by being noisy and wild. A recreation program alleviated the situation, helping the residents work together and creating a touch of harmony. Women worked together to make one another’s job easier, “now I can wash in peace at the community laundry without worrying every minute if one of the kids has fallen in the bay.”11

Mary Jane Babcock had to live in a garage after her marriage in 1942. “There weren’t many places” [available], she recalls. “It was supposedly this two bedroom house and it had a tacked on kitchen and a tacked on bathroom.” Termites later forced Babcock to leave the converted garage in search of a better place after her husband left for war. She was lucky to find an apartment in Ocean Beach, which she and her newborn son shared with another woman and her five-year-old daughter. Babcock’s roommate had followed her husband to San Diego from South Carolina. They spent seven months sharing the tiny apartment while he was housed by the military. She and her daughter slept in a stowaway Murphy bed located in the living room. They did not have a private room. The women improvised by caring for one another’s children and sharing the housework. One stayed home for child care while the other was working or shopping. They formed a friendship and worked together to overcome their problems.12

Luise Johnston had a similar experience after her migration from Oklahoma to San Diego. She relocated because her husband obtained a job with Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. She explained, “I never saw such little apartments in my life. The bed was made into the floor, you couldn’t move it.” Initially, Johnston was lonesome in the crowded city, but she was able to deal with both the housing problem and loneliness. The area where she settled was inhabited by others like herself, young, married women from out-of-state. The women cooked for one another and remedied homesickness with days at the beach. “We had parties and buffets and pot lucks,” she remembered. Their friendships remain strong today.13

Contrary to Johnston’s case was that of Eleanor Fisher. A resident of Ventura County, Fisher spent a few weeks in San Diego to be with her husband who was in the Navy. Although able to obtain a hotel room, it was located downtown near the waterfront. Fisher spent her days indoors because of the chaos of the downtown area. She and her husband felt it was too dangerous to go out. At the time, downtown contained a large red-light district with many bars.14

Many women followed military men to San Diego to say good-bye before they left for war. The city was known as a “Port of Navy Wives.” The women were viewed as a nuisance by the city because they were thought to use up space needed for defense workers. As Collier’s Magazine put it, “San Diego wishes heartily that they’d all go back where they came from…they sleep everywhere.” With insufficient housing, women slept in hotel lobbies, city parks, cars, and theaters. They came with babies who required special feedings or children who needed shelter.15 The women’s needs were not recognized and this negative attitude intensified their problems.

Wives of construction workers also experienced substandard living arrangements. The building rush in San Diego lured construction workers who were forced to live in tents with their families. Housewives in Mission Valley spent their days washing and ironing in the tents while their husbands built houses. In addition, they supervised children in the tiny habitats. This was difficult with such small space. Usually a bed was all a small child had for room to play.16

Children brought joy to women, but further complicated their positions. Women were encouraged to have children, increasing their burdens. Only months before the United States declared war, the San Diego Union published an article entitled “Four Babies Needed in Each Family.”17 That number was needed, the Union argued, to maintain the population. In San Diego the birthrate rose from 18.49 per 1,000 in 1941 to 21.7 in 1945.18 Nationally, the population aged five and under grew 25 percent between 1940 and 1943.19

Raising children during the war was difficult for San Diego women. Babcock supported herself and her son. Her husband was a cadet in the Army Air Corps and unable to provide her with an adequate income. She held a job at the Southern California Telephone Company working nights. Her hours and free time were greatly restricted because of the baby. “A child made a difference in everything…I wasn’t able to just make a decision, everything had to be considered [according to]…my responsibilities for him.”20

Nationwide there was a shortage of day care in booming cities, including San Diego. Mary Jane Babcock found day care difficult to obtain. During her son’s first year she had a woman care for him in return for a place to stay. However, when Babcock moved in with her parents in North Park, she was forced to find another method of day care. The facility Babcock found was very expensive, but she felt fortunate in getting her son into one.21

Children’s clothing was difficult to obtain. Women usually got by with the help of other women. Baby clothes as well as maternity clothes were given away or borrowed. Luise Johnston’s mother sent her first grandchild clothes from Oklahoma. Johnston overcame the clothing shortage through the help of her friends and mother. She also remembered hoarding diapers.22 Babcock recalled that “I used my coupons…for shoes because he went through shoes faster than anything. You could buy shoes without coupons if they weren’t made of leather.” Children’s shoes were available with cardboard soles. But they fell apart after becoming wet.23 Many mothers sacrificed their own needs to fulfill their children’s.

Housekeeping was an endless challenge during the war. Women performed household tasks without adequate appliances. The production of washing machines, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines and other appliances stopped in February 1942.24 Many were expected to perform housekeeping chores of the 1940s using methods of the pre-1920s. As Campbell points out, “the housewives’ reports and the national surveys for wives in all classes of society reflected moods of frustration and heroic efforts to meet family needs.”25 Chores were more strenuous and time-consuming, and were often done alone.

Washing clothes by hand was commonplace. “I had a scrub-board and baby diapers and no disposable diapers. I had a big kettle and boiled them in Borax,” recalled Babcock.26 Harriet Daum remembered her mother had a ringer type machine. The ringer would swish clothes, but the women had to squeeze the soapy water out with a crank. The clothes would then be rinsed in a tub and squeezed again.27 Johnston scrubbed her family’s clothes by hand.28

In February 1944, Mrs. Hazel Hart and her husband set up a small laundry service that helped one hundred persons each week from San Diego and the Ocean Beach area. It was set up so women could either do their own wash or have it done for them. It saved time from their busy schedules and allowed them to write letters or shop while their clothes were being washed.29 Help, in the form of advice, also came from popular magazines. Good Housekeeping suggested: “Wash often…it lightens the work…soak dirty clothes…do not boil.”30

Lack of appliances resulted in longer cleaning hours. Babcock lacked a vacuum cleaner and had to use old dust mops to clean the floors. She had her name on a list to purchase a washing machine and a sewing machine, as many women did when production of appliances resumed in 1945.31

Good Housekeeping kept women informed with articles such as “Cleaning your Aluminum Pots and Pans without Steel Wool.” To deal with the metal rationing, the article advised women to preserve their kitchen utensils and pots. Women were told to preserve their pots and pans by keeping stove temperatures low to “prevent burning and boiling over.” “Fill them with water,” the article suggested, “and…soak on the range [after use]…don’t keep them jumbled together in a cupboard…they’ll come tumbling out and be…damaged.” After lengthy instructions on the use of pots and pans during wartime, women were informed that “to do the job right you’ll need time and patience.”32 Apparently, the women’s magazines were unaware of the work required to abide by this type of advice. More important things awaited.

The government rationed sugar, coffee, meat, and butter–preserving these precious resources for the warfront. Sugar, needed for the manufacturing of gunpowder, was the item missed most, it was cut to fifty percent of its normal usage. Like sugar, butter was greatly missed by housewives. They “depended upon butter not only as a spread but also as an essential for baking and cooking.” Coffee was restricted to one pound per person every five weeks. Meat was cut to two-and-a-half pounds per week. In spite of the rationing women had to withstand, they were told to “plan meals for [their families] steadier nerves. Using more liver, kidneys…breads, lamb, and pork.33

San Diego women solved these problems in various ways. Canning was common but the 15 percent rationing of steel cut the availability of can lids. This affected the ability to can fruits, vegetables, juices, and soups.34 The rubber shortage further affected storing foods in jars. Harriet Daum recalled her mother canning peaches: “She used to put them in jars with lids and they would stick, we…ate peaches for days.” The lids stuck to the jar due to the lack of the rubber piece placed under the jar’s lid. Daum claimed her mother’s situation was arduous during the war: “My mother worked real hard…she was always canning fruit…I always swore I would never…work as hard as she did.” Her canning efforts were complemented by her husband’s sea fishing: “He always caught lobsters and fish.” In addition, Daum’s mother kept a garden with “potatoes, corn, and spinach, [we] always had vegetables.”35 Women often traded vegetables and made neighborhood soups, which eased the workload.

Across America women were encouraged to raise food in their yards. “Victory Gardens” connected women’s work with winning the war. Tight housing conditions in San Diego still permitted plenty of empty space to raise gardens. Luise Johnston remembered the small garden she shared with others in her apartment complex. Mary Jane Babcock raised carrots, tomatoes, and other vegetables in the empty lot behind her house. Rose Zolezzi and Dorothy Corrao relied on their garden as an important source of food for themselves and many others in their neighborhood: “there were empty lots where you could make your own garden, if you had your own property.” They grew tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and other vegetables, mostly destined for assorted vegetable soups.36

Zolezzi and Corrao, the wives of fishermen, also counted on their husband’s daily catch. Corrao reported that “as far as rationing was concerned we ate fish they brought. Nowadays it is a luxury. They brought lobster, anchovies, tuna.”37

In spite of an availability of fresh vegetables and fish, most were affected by the rationing. Johnston “learned to eat peculiar things…make-believe meat that looked horrible…I don’t think I suffered, but I was conscious of it all the time.” She used her stamps mainly for her baby and traveled from one grocery store to another seeking bacon to feed her son.38

While her husband was in service, Babcock was solely responsible for fixing meals for herself and her child. While her child ate baby food, she improvised by surviving on Chef Boy’ardee, Shredded Wheat cereal, and tea made from re-used tea bags, “anything but a balanced diet.”39

Some women hoarded to overcome the shortage. Johnston used her rationing stamps to purchase everything possible, regardless of need; she particularly hoarded sugar.40 Marge Harvey remembered sugar rationing as a problem but realized her luck in knowing a local shopkeeper, who allowed her to purchase the sugar she desired. Harvey claimed: “I didn’t load up but I got what I needed.”41

A gray market existed in San Diego, by way of Mexico. Women crossed the border to obtain needed items. Arline Hales remembered the practice was illegal but not always stigmatized by San Diegans. Doris Trenton recalled a restriction of seven dollars per person by the customs officers before crossing the border. Upon re-entrance to the United States, they were checked for the possession of superfluous goods.

Trenton and her husband often went to Tijuana for breakfast. They would eat foods not easily found in the United States, such as bacon. Arline Hales described women who traveled to Tijuana to purchase shoes, which were often taken away after they crossed the United States border.42 Johnston recalled women who were arrested for crossing the border wearing as many as 150 pairs of hose stockings.

Although some thought hoarding and the use of underground markets acceptable, others frowned upon the practice as unpatriotic. Babcock strongly opposed it and believes most people she interacted with felt the same. “If they patronized the black market, that was terrible, if they cheated on the rationing, that was awful…I knew people who did but I didn’t want them as friends.”43

Nationwide women were under constant pressure to do something for the war effort. Propaganda was everywhere–in motion pictures, store windows, newspapers, and women’s magazines. This obligation added to the hard task of housekeeping, shopping, and other responsibilities. Many San Diego women were busily trying to do their share. Some took jobs while others did volunteer work.

Johnston took a secretarial job for Consolidated Aircraft to help with the war effort. She remembered, “I was so thrilled and I thought I was helping to win the war.” Johnston refused to go home to Oklahoma to attend her brother’s wedding because she felt her services were needed in San Diego. “I wouldn’t leave to go to his wedding,…I really thought that I was winning the war because I was giving some woman or man a chance to go into the service and I took their place.” Johnston fulfilled a major need. Everybody was doing something for the war effort. “It was all we’d talk about.” Johnston remembered people doing various tasks, volunteering for the Red Cross, working in factories, or even knitting.44 The San Diego Women’s Club did its part by converting its arts and crafts section into a Red Cross department. The women “could not be happy just creating beautiful things for their own pleasure in this emergency.”45

Along with the constant encouragement to participate in the war effort, women were given hints in popular magazines on conserving energy and materials. Ladies Home Journal detailed instructions for women on “how to rinse, bleach, hang and iron sheets to cause the least fabric stress.” Dusting light bulbs was recommended. Dust, women learned, could cut light by 20 percent, so “many women dutifully dusted their light bulbs.”46

In various ways women fulfilled patriotic duties. Arline Hales was a young woman during the war and a student at San Diego State College. An active member of a sorority and other groups, Hales completed a variety of tasks for the war effort, including scrap drives. She claimed she was “always doing something…they had drives at school for everything…a drive for violins…books, all sorts of things.” She and her peers would often go to dances and bake cookies for the servicemen. They joined the United Services Organization (USO) and danced with the servicemen in town. “We weren’t suppose to date them, just have fun,” she recalled. Hales also had a job going door to door in residential areas, asking women to work for the war effort and put their children in day-care facilities. She reported that the mothers “were very resistant to leaving their children.”47

Like many young women, Hales sold war bonds outside the Spreckels Theatre and Marston’s Department store.48 Others sold them before showtime at the theaters. Harriet Daum sold war bonds at the Fox Theatre in downtown San Diego. Thousands of dollars worth of bonds were sold each night at the movie theaters. Daum remembered people working for the Red Cross, tearing sheets and wrapping bandages. She also remembered that “we all donated blood. I gave as often as I could.” Further work included letter writing, including “V-Mail”,49 and mailing packages to men overseas.50

Patriotism included keeping an attractive appearance. The San Diego Union encouraged women to maintain their looks and reported on women who pledged: “We resolve to be fragile and faintly perfumed . . . where weary men gather . . . to be diverted from their hard tasks of the day.” These fantasies were nearly impossible to fulfill, especially with shortages of cloth. Numerous articles instructed women on how make old, drab clothing appear fashionable.51 Rayon was suggested as a substitute for leather (including shoes) and silk. Belts and wraparound ties were substitutes for zippers. Improvisation with cloth and fashion were part of everyday life.

While performing their chores, women dealt with anxiety and fear over the possibility of a Japanese attack on San Diego. “I was frightened to death all the time,” recalled Johnston.52 The city dealt with the situation by enforcing blackouts, positioning camouflage nets of chicken wire and feathers over major parts of the city, and holding air raid drills. The presence of blackout curtains and camouflage netting were constant reminders of the city’s vulnerable position.

During the early days of the war San Diego did not have an established plan of defense and used these tools for protection. The first blackout was on December 7. Others followed days later when Japanese aircraft carriers were reported off the coast, followed with a report of a Japanese submarine near Point Loma.53 Blackouts, later replaced with dimouts, took place until February of 1943.54 Harriet Daum recalled “everyone putting up black, dark shades on their houses.”55 Johnston remembered walking past an ice-cream parlor and seeing “the shadows of the people eating and their hands going up and down, there were no lights on.”56 Headlights on cars were reduced forty percent.57 Returning from Los Angeles one night, Johnson discovered that her windshield had been hit by sea gulls. The birds could not see the poorly lit car.

To disguise the aircraft factories, camouflage netting was placed over Pacific Highway and portions of downtown. Dummy trees and rooftops were placed above the netting. The purpose was to distract Japanese planes so they could not accurately bomb the area. Isabel Tinkham, remembered the chicken wire netting over Pacific Highway as “the creepiest thing–you couldn’t see daylight, you couldn’t see the sun, it was just awful riding under that….58” The camouflage was used until 1944.59

Air raid drills particularly alarmed civilians. “I was frightened to death all the time…afraid of a bomb…we had drills, we were under our desks more than we’d be sitting at the desks,” remembered Johnston.60 San Diego State College student Arline Hales was informed about possible air raids and instructed on actions to be taken during class.61

Anxiety intensified with concerns of loved ones on the war front. The emotional strain women faced was tremendous. It was a constant pain which could not be put aside or completed as a task. A national problem, Good Housekeeping counseled women with articles such as “They Will Come Back.”62

Most women did not know their husband’s location during the war. A letter or a phone call from a loved one made a big difference in their lives. Mary Straubs reported her sister’s sudden happiness after a phone call from her husband. She thought he was in Iceland until the unexpected phone call was received from Boston.63 Although some were blessed with a sigh of relief from time to time, others felt cursed. Mrs. Florence Durkee faced days without knowledge of her husbands survival until she was faced with the report of “lost at sea”.64

The pressure on women to face such tragedy with stoicism was strong. Women were told by newspapers to “Face it…always show a smiling face, learn to bear the unbearable.”65 The woman was viewed as a role model who should remain unafraid. Her emotions and needs were to be subordinate to those around her.

One San Diegan remained apart from her husband after he was drafted in 1942. He was sent to England and later transported to a hospital in Santa Barbara, where he recovered from a wound. He also became romantically involved with a nurse. “That was the end of our marriage,” the woman declared, “as a single mother I had a hard time.” She had a newly born daughter and worked to support her. Although the relationship with her husband deteriorated, they wrote frequently. The letter writing did not make up for his absence and the separation caused much emotional trauma.66

The absence of Babcock’s husband also made it difficult for her to raise her baby. Babcock moved in with her parents after living on her own for several years, where the baby received too much attention from his doting grandparents. This caused a lack of discipline, which he would have received if they had their own home as well as her husband’s presence.67

Although these changes affected women in a negative manner, most successfully coped with the challenges. Mary Jane Babcock’s accomplishment was substantial and gave her much confidence. A newlywed when her husband left for the Army Air Corps, Babcock was pregnant and on her own. Knowing she would not receive financial support from her husband, she found a job. Faced with inadequate housing, food rationing, her spouse’s absence, and the responsibility of a baby, Babcock improvised and overcame these difficulties. The result was a new feeling of independence and the self-reliance. She stated that “it made me very, very, self-confident…very pleased with myself…it made me almost cocky about being able to tackle most everything that comes along. I’d much rather be that way than to be fearful.”68

Luise Johnston felt a similar sense of accomplishment. Her migration to San Diego during the chaotic war years greatly affected her. Being the only daughter of a well-to-do family, her lifestyle changed drastically. Johnston remarked “my whole life was turned upside down…it gave me a greater sense of assurance that I could go through that…I just gleaned a lot of self-confidence.”69

Doris Trenton felt much the same, remembering “we learned to sacrifice because we knew we had to…we’d substitute and make do.” Trenton also added another aspect: “it made us stronger and our marriages stronger [although divorce statistics reveal the opposite] because we would work things out.” She further benefitted from her experiences because “it gave us a new sense of appreciation for life and our friends because we knew friends who were being killed.”70

For others it was simply the beginning of a chapter in their active lives. Harriet Daum did not have spare time during the war, as a teenager fresh out of school she immediately picked up various volunteer activities. She claimed that “I always did a lot of volunteering to occupy my time.”71

Daum and other previously cited women imply transitions experienced by white, working to middle class women in wartime San Diego. Women who followed conventional roles faced transformations during the Second World War. The experiences of these women demonstrate strengths in adapting to the situation. The mainstream attitude was to improvise. The women each recalled they just “made do” or learned to “do without.” They upheld the domestic sphere of society and maintained household standards through hard work and help from one another. Whether by running a household under restrictive conditions, supporting themselves and a child, or volunteering for the war effort, amidst the anxieties of fear, worry, or the loss of a loved one, wartime society changed San Diego’s women. The women improvised, adapted, and overcame wartime problems.



1. “Boom Antidote,” Business Week, 23 February 1943, 44.

2. “American Housewife-20-Job Woman,” Look, 14 July 1942, 41.

3. Karen Anderson, Wartime Women, (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1988), 4.

4. Maurice Albert Tompkins, “Military and Civilian Aspects of San Diego During the Second World War” (Master’s thesis, San Diego State University, 1982), 99.

5. Anderson, Wartime Women, 10.

6. San Diego Union, 4 January 1942.

7. Pourade, City of the Dream, (San Diego: Copley Books, 1977) 8.

8. Dorothy Draper, “No House? Why Not a Barn!”, Good Housekeeping, June 1943, 131.

9. Margot Sheehan, “The Frontier, They Want Us to Forget,” Reader, 10 September 1992, 1.

10. Mary Taschner, “Boomerang Boom: San Diego 1941-1942,” 28 Journal of San Diego History (Winter 1982): 7.

11. “Recreation at Emergency Trailer Camps,” Recreation, 36 April 1942, 16.

12. Mary Jane Babcock, interview by author, 28 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

13. Luise Johnston, interview by author, 29 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

14. Eleanor Fisher, interview by author, 3 November 1992, San Diego, CA.

15. Helena Huntington Smith, “Port of Navy Wives,” Collier’s, 20 February 1944, 15, 75, 76.

16. Frederick Simpich, “San Diego Can’t Believe It,” National Geographic, (January 1942): 47.

17. San Diego Union, 28 September 1941.

18. City of San Diego, California, Department of Public Health, Monthly Bulletin, 1941-1945, Research Archives, San Diego History Center.

19. Anderson, Wartime Women, 76, 5.

20. Babcock, interview.

21. Ibid.

22. Johnston, interview.

23. Babcock, interview.

24. Anderson, Wartime Women, 210.

25. D’ann Campbell, Women at War With America. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1984), 169.

26. Babcock, interview.

27. Harriet Daum, interview by author, 26 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

28. Johnston, interview.

29. Jessee Gnarra, “Laundry Solution: Customers Wash Their Own,” Collier’s, July 1944, 58.

30. Helen W. Kendall, “Doing Your Own Wash,” Good Housekeeping, June 1943, 111-112.

31. Babcock, interview.

32. Helen W. Kendall, “Cleaning your Aluminum Pots and Pans without Steel Wool,” Good Housekeeping, June 1943, 138.

33. San Diego Union, 4 January 1942.

34. Doris Weatherford, American Women and World War II, (New York: Fact on File, 1990), 203-205.

35. Daum, interview.

36. Dorothy Corrao and Rose Zolezzi, interview by author, 28 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

37. Ibid.

38. Johnston, interview.

39. Babcock, interview.

40. Johnston, interview.

41. Marge Harvey, interview by author, 20 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

42. Arline Hales, interview by author, 28 October 1992, San Diego, CA.

43. Babcock, interview.

44. Johnston, interview.

45. San Diego Union, 3 January 1942.

46. Weatherford, American Women and World War II, 207, 209.

47. Hales, interview.

48. Ibid.

49. News Meter, 20 (May 1943): 2-3.

50. Daum, interview.

51. San Diego Union, 3 January 1942.

52. Johnston, interview.

53. Pourade, City of the Dream, 15, 16, 21.

54. Tompkins, “Military and Civilian Aspects of San Diego”, 40.

55. Daum, interview.

56. Johnston, interview.

57. Tompkins, “Military and Civilian Aspects of San Diego”, 39.

58. Isabel Tinkham, interview by Anthony Hubbard, 20 December 1979, Research Archives, San Diego History Center, 14.

59. Tompkins, “Military and Civilian Aspects of San Diego,” 39.

60. Johnston, interview.

61. Hales, interview.

62. Mrs. Eddie Rickenbacker, “They Will Come Back,” Good Housekeeping, March 1943, 23.

63. San Diego Union, 4 Jan 1942

64. Ibid.

65. San Diego Union, 3 January 1942.

66. Anonymous, interview.

67. Babcock, interview.

68. Ibid.

69. Johnston, interview.

70. Trenton, interview.

71. Daum, interview.


Kimberly A. Hall recently received a master’s degree candidate in history at San Diego State University, where her research focused on twentieth century women’s history. She earned a B.A. degree in history from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 1990. Ms. Hall is currently an English instructor in Nara, Japan.