Blair Leads the Way in WWII Support

Life Comes to Blair to Tell the Nation About Blazer Pride in  Supporting Our Troops

 With World War II nearly a year old, the entire country was focused on a truly united effort to support the troops in any way possible. Schools across the nation initiated all kinds of activities to provide not only moral support but also tangible support. They created Victory Garden areas of their school property, went to classes for half days and then worked in jobs that allowed others to serve in the military, etc., etc. In November of 1942 LIFE Magazine, at that time the leading weekly photo journal, chose one school to showcase as a representative of the help America’s schoolchildren were providing to the war effort.

Guess which school they choase?

From the November 9, 1942 edition of Life Magazine

US high schools train students for specific roles in war effort

This fall the War Manpower Commission requested US high schools to organize their students into Victory Corps to ‘give them the opportunity to take a definite place in the war effort through a voluntary enrollement plan.’  On this and following pages are pictures of the Victory Corps at Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Md. which was one of the first schools to mobilize students on a military basis.  According to US Commisioner of Education John W. Studebaker, it is also one of the best.

The student body is organized into one battalion, divided into companies, platoons and squads.  Corps members must spend an hour a day in military drill and calisthenics.  The curriculum includes intensive courses for boys and girls in metal work, blueprint reading, airplane riveting, and drafting.  At noon daily, 60 seniors leave classes to work in factories, stores, restaurants and on farms.  Other student act as school janitors, bake and cook, run nursery schools, collect scrap, learn first aid.  When they graduate, each Victory Corps member will be prepared to make a specific contribution toward winning the war.

Pre-sea service students

Pre-sea service students learn to transmit Morse code.  Victory Corps has six divisions to train members for land, air, sea, production, community or general service.
Victory Corps Sewing Class
Sewing class for girls has been given the task of making caps for the Victory Corps.  Each cap bears the emblem of the particular division to which the wearer belongs.

Victory Corps Clean Up Squad

Clean-up squad reports for duty in the high school’s cafeteria.  Each day one squad is assigned to do cleaning and sweeping so that school has virtually no janitor service.