1Writing of his experiences as a battalion medical officer with the First Infantry Division in Tunisia, psychiatrist Herbert Spiegel concluded that combat troops were "predominantly motivated by love rather than by hate" or by "abstract ideas," such as world peace, individual liberty, or representative democracy. Combined with concern for their own reputations, soldiers' devotion to their comrades and to their combat unit kept them in the field. Survey data collected by the Research Branch of the Army's Information and Education Division confirmed Spiegel's observations. Even in the Pacific theater, where hostility toward the Japanese ran high, hatred did little to enhance soldiers' "combat readiness." Although servicemen generally agreed that the American war effort was "worthwhile," they evinced little knowledge of or interest in official war aims. Combat soldiers reported that they found greater strength in unit cohesion, "self respect," and "sense of duty" than in national ideals.1

2Love of comrades kept men in the field, but the power of this love had limits. Sent by the Army Surgeon General to study psychiatric casualties in Italy, John Appel found that after 200 to 240 days in combat, the average infantryman "became worn out." Noting that British riflemen were able to remain in the field "almost twice as long," Appel attributed this difference to more efficient rotation policies and to stronger combat motivation. The British soldier "fight[s] for survival,"2 Appel observed, whereas the American "fights for his buddies or because his self respect won't let him quit." After several months in combat, there was little incentive for an American soldier to continue fighting. He had already proven himself under fire, and most of the men with whom he trained and entered combat no longer fought beside him. To address this problem of motivation, Appel advocated development of an ongoing orientation program that would "make the goal of winning the war more meaningful to the combat soldier" by focusing on Axis plans to "subjugate [the] United States." Appel believed that this approach would convince the soldier "that he is fighting to protect himself and his family from what he has seen happen to other countries with his own eyes" and thus improve American combat performance.3

3Appel's family-centered formulation of American war aims was intended to help GIs translate national goals into personal commitment, but by focusing on private interests rather than on national ideals, he inadvertently touched on another problem of motivation. Although love of home and the desire to protect one's family from the designs of fascist dictators produced a willingness to serve and fight, this motivation was, as social psychologist M. Brewster Smith noted, "double-edged."4 It was a short step from fighting for home to fighting to go home. Furthermore, domestic concerns might distract a soldier's attention from military matters. Finally, time away from home generated doubts about civilian, and especially feminine, virtue. Nevertheless, soldiers commonly explained why they served and fought in terms of home and family—particularly wives and children—for as the war progressed, the American military increasingly relied on the service of husbands and fathers.5

4This chapter explores how romantic love and familial obligation shaped soldiers' attitudes about military service and how military service affected their expectations about postwar domesticity. In the waiting arms of wives and sweethearts, young men found both a reason to serve and the promise of escape from wartime stress. They idealized the women they left behind and imagined reunions that were at once erotic and domestic. Yet a strong undercurrent of distrust disrupted this seductive fantasy, threatening to undermine military morale and motivation. Nevertheless, GIs shared with the American home front a remarkable faith in matrimony, looking homeward for the peace, security, and affection they craved.

5In a letter home to his wife, one infantryman explained why he risked injury and death in his nation's service. "I am fighting for America," he wrote. "Well, then, what is America? America, to me, is my wife, home, and mother. I am fighting so I can go home to my wife. She is the spirit of Americanism, of truth, purity, love, and devotion." He assured his wife that his comrades felt the same: "Every dogface over here has a sweetheart, wife, mother, or a child that he is fighting for."6 This confusion of women and war aims, of family and nation, was characteristic of servicemen's attempts to articulate their commitment to military service. Historian Robert Westbrook has analyzed such formulations, explaining them as contrived solutions to the problem of liberal obligation. He argues that because liberal political philosophy offered no compelling rationale for sacrifice unto death, government officials and corporate advertisers portrayed women and children as objects of national, as well as familial, obligation. They thus justified military service through appeals to private interest, urging male citizens to fight for their families. Yet Westbrook provides little evidence of how individual soldiers perceived their obligation to family and to state. More important, he fails to explore how familial and sexual "objects of obligation" also served as objects of wartime desire.7

6Although love of family might inspire martial valor, it also was the source of a contrary wish to leave war behind and return home. Infantry lieutenant Charles Taylor's letters to his wife, Barbara, illustrate this conflict of duty and desire. Marriage and fatherhood provided Charles with a personal stake in the war. "I love you and despise this whole mess," he wrote, "and I do so wish it would be over soon and too, I hope we would all be back home soon. I love you a million times I love you, and you and Sandra Lee [their young daughter] are all in the world I am over here for. You know if it were not for you two I would not want a thing to do with all this." He told Barbara that her love and prayers gave him the courage to endure combat and even to take risks. Reassigned to rear-echelon duties, however, Charles's military ardor quickly faded and his longing for the sexual and domestic pleasures of home became more intense. In part, he suffered from feelings of guilt and a sense of diminished self-importance; no longer actually fighting for his country, he deprecated the contributions of noncombat soldiers like himself. But, more important, after three months in combat, Charles felt he had fulfilled his obligation to the nation and deserved to be reunited with his family. Of the possibility that he might be shipped to the Pacific soon after V-E Day, he wrote: "I am one of these 'I-want-to-go-home' boys but bad. I feel that that war is someone else's not mine. Oh, it's mine too, but really and truly I do not want any part of it at all."8

7A strong attachment to home was, at best, an ambivalent source of martial inspiration. At worst, it was an incentive to desert. Soon after arriving in Australia, one serviceman sent a letter to his sweetheart asking whether it would "make a difference to you if I got a dishonorable discharge." "I've just got to get back to you," he wrote. Although this stated preference for dishonor over separation might simply have been a romantic gesture, the man who wrote it tried to evade Army censorship by using a civilian mailbox. The letter never reached its intended recipient; caught by Army censors, it probably caused its sender considerable trouble.9

8Twice as likely as their unmarried comrades to go absent without leave (AWOL), husbands and fathers were particularly reluctant to leave home. The wife of a soldier who had gone AWOL on two previous occasions described her husband's behavior just before he was shipped overseas: "He knew he was going overseas, and when he came home I was expecting trouble. He said he just wasn't going back. I talked and talked to him about not being a deserter. He cried and said I just wanted him to be in the Army. I had to put him on the train twice. I wanted him to do the right thing." Having convinced her husband to leave home and return to his Army unit, this dutiful wife wrote long letters every day they were separated, reassuring him of her love. Although an extreme case, many other men shared this soldier's wish to remain home,10 and, once overseas, the desire for home became even more intense.

9Going home was the central preoccupation of many overseas soldiers, and its hold on their minds increased with time. "From an idea, to a wish, to an all-embracing, increasing and overpowering longing, thoughts of home, home, home finally dominate the soldier's whole existence," psychiatrists Roy Grinker and John Spiegel wrote of combat airmen who longed for the furloughs they could expect after completing their tours of duty. Grinker and Spiegel's observations also applied to ground troops who returned home less consistently and in smaller numbers. Noncombat soldiers, particularly those assigned to relatively isolated areas, such as Greenland or Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, were similarly obsessed. One staff sergeant who served at a weather observation station in Greenland named this mental state "isolationitis." Far away from "civilization" (i.e., white society and commercial recreation), soldiers afflicted with the disease suffered from a keen sense of deprivation and nostalgia. "[T]hwarted by the lack of all those things associated with 'home,' love, admiration, understanding, or just plain pampering," they yearned to escape the dreary monotony and loneliness of small, isolated outposts. The soldier who described this condition eventually succumbed to mental illness.11

10Psychiatrist S. Alan Challman blamed deprivation and isolation for much of the mental illness in the Southwest Pacific theater of operations, where rotation quotas were so low that GIs claimed they were as likely to be struck by lightning as sent home on furlough before the war's end. Yet even without much hope of rotation (in fact during a period in 1943 when the system had halted), servicemen's most pressing question for theater commander Douglas MacArthur was some form of, "When do we go home?" These questions were elicited by a survey of white enlisted men stationed in New Guinea; it asked, "If you could talk with General MacArthur, what are the three most important questions you would ask him about the War and your part in it?" GIs posed only half as many questions about American military strategy and the progress of the war. Single and married men, volunteers and draftees, noncommissioned officers and privates, all believed that they and their comrades had already "done our share." They pleaded for relief from the heat, disease, and poor sanitary conditions, insisting that they deserved or needed to go home.12

11Some psychiatrists blamed civilians for servicemen's lack of motivation. Although cheerful, affectionate letters from home were popularly believed to bolster military morale,13 soldiers' families too often failed to live up to this standard. Some letters needlessly worried the soldiers, mentioning illnesses or other difficulties that the men were incapable of resolving. Others cultivated a debilitating nostalgia. One Pacific area medical officer complained that "mail from home does not promote the 'win the War,' 'kill some Japs for me,' 'we're proud of you' note, but tends to increase nostalgia with the 'wish you could be with us,' 'when are you coming home?' theme." In his opinion, sentimental songs only aggravated the problem. Other medical officers deplored the negative psychological impact of bad news from home—family illnesses, financial problems, suspected infidelity. According to William Menninger, who served as director of the Army's Neuropsychiatric Consultants Division, such problems often "became precipitating factors in emotional disturbances." Looking back on the war, he remarked, "It might have been wise to have had a nation-wide educational course in letter writing to soldiers."14

12Edward Strecker, chair of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's psychiatry department and a psychiatric consultant to both the Army and Navy, was even more strident in his criticism of civilian letter-writing practices. His April 1945 lecture "Psychiatry Speaks to Democracy," better known as "the mom lecture," castigated American "moms" (as distinguished from mothers) for failure to "wean" their male children. Strecker blamed moms for draft dodging and the high rate of military rejections.15 Through mail call, moms' dangerous influence penetrated the military. Letters from moms to sons in the services were typically whiny and gloomy and "heavily perfumed with sickly sentimentality masquerading as love." By filling soldiers' "minds with worries about home," they disrupted the young men's adjustment to military life. Furthermore, moms undermined military motivation by encouraging sons to choose self-preservation over honor—even to the point of feigning illness before combat. A discharge for psychoneurosis was the common result of such missives. Misguided maternal love threatened servicemen's physical, as well as mental, health, as in the case of a marine hospitalized on the eve of battle after receiving a letter from his mom. Medical officers feared that the emotional distress produced by the letter was so severe that the marine "would scarcely have had a fair chance to come through with his life" and might endanger his comrades.16

13Some data from overseas theaters backs up Strecker's assertions. One Pacific area medical officer, for example, accused servicemen's parents and spouses of using family emergencies as a means to bring sons and husbands home on compassionate furloughs. But because the military situation precluded the soldiers' return, such stratagems simply upset the men they were intended to help. Most servicemen, however, were not innocent of the desire to evade military duty and escape danger. Arthur Sprague, an American Red Cross (ARC)17 field director assigned to the 129th Infantry Division observed that after combat his caseload increased and changed significantly. Before combat, the bulk of his time was spent answering inquiries from wives and parents in the United States about the health and welfare of servicemen. After combat, requests for home condition reports by soldiers predominated. Sprague observed, "In most cases there is that hope that something will develop which will allow the soldier to return home." Roy Grinker and John Spiegel, likewise, noted that many servicemen hid their wish to be relieved of duty behind professions of domestic responsibility: "My (mother, wife, child) needs me."18

14Although few went so far as Strecker, many fellow psychiatrists worried that attachment to and yearning for home weakened the American military. In the New England Journal of Medicine, for example, J. L. Henderson and Merrill Moore blamed dependent, neurotic mothers and absent or alcoholic fathers for their sons' "so-called 'war neuros[e]s.'" William Menninger agreed that loving ties to home could be "pathological." If a man's dependence on his wife or mother was "too great," homesickness might prevent his adjustment to military life, for the Army required a different sort of dependence—on commanding officers and male comrades rather than on women. Yet Menninger stopped short of condemning the nostalgia associated with letters from home, noting that it "added to the emotional value of victory and maintained a sense of emotional solidarity with one's own people," thereby inhibiting identification with enemy soldiers. Abram Kardiner and Herbert Spiegel even credited familial bonds with helping soldiers endure hardship. Roy Grinker and John Spiegel came to a similar conclusion, noting that "a gratified, happy childhood with biparental influences contributes a reserve strength on which a man may draw in times of danger."19 Although anxious about excessive preinduction attachment to mom, Grinker and Spiegel also argued that a preoccupation with family and home—particularly wives and mothers—was an inevitable by-product of overseas military service. Regressive "dreams of a magical home" allowed servicemen to imagine escape from the hostile, threatening realm they inhabited and "rebirth" in a "magical fantasyland."20

15The moment of reunion, particularly between husband and wife, was a major source of wartime fantasy. Most servicemen had rehearsed this event many times in their minds before it actually took place. These imaginary reunions were romantic and typically erotic, as in this dream described by Maj. Albert Spitzer to his wife Freda:

[A]ll I can remember is coming down the gangplank in New York . . . slowly, with a steady step—I didn't say a word, neither did you, but it sure was a long kiss and long hug— . . . soon thereafter we were on a hotel roof of some hotel and dineing, (champagne of course) we never left that hotel for you had reserved a room there . . . but that's all there is to it honeychild—but it really was something, the dancing was superfine as was the waltz—I couldn't ask for anything more . . . it was just you and I—wonderful wasn't it?

Pilot C. Ross Greening imagined this domestic scene while in combat. Freda responded, "Your tale of your dream is almost insupportable. It is so much one of mine—but a waking one—that its hard to take." This dream reunion became a shared fantasy. Albert continued to refer to it in later letters from Europe, where he served with the Ninth Armored Division; he wanted the couple's actual reunion to be as close as possible to the celebration he imagined—just the two of them on a hotel roof, no children.21 Freda had already planned a wardrobe designed to cultivate nostalgia and desire. She would meet the boat in the tweed dress Albert had sent from England, looking "like the glamor gal you may have built me up into." At the hotel, she would wear one of her old evening dresses, "something that has memories for us both." Yet Freda and Albert also shared more domestic fantasies—sitting beside the fireplace, eating buttered popcorn while the children slept; in the master bedroom, "our bed is turned down ready for the two of us."22

16While Albert was overseas, he and Freda began making plans to realize their dream of owning a house in the New Jersey suburbs. Included in Albert's dream home was "a large radio or console, with the best musical recordings, a living room, to live in, a fireplace, the kids, a dog or two, a healthy and happy surrounding . . . not luxury mind you, but the best under the circumstances." As Freda began her hunt for such a house in the summer of 1945, Albert sent letters of advice and packages full of crystal and china from Europe. Although somewhat less refined, Charles Taylor's dream of a ranch "out in the country where it is quiet and nothing bothers us," shared some elements with Albert's. Longing for domestic comfort, both men hoped to make a "better life" for themselves and their families outside of the bustle of the city. Adolph P described a similar fantasy in letters home to his rather skeptical wife. In spite of the fact that he had lived in Chicago and worked as a tool inspector before joining the Army, Adolph dreamed of life on a small chicken farm. "He writes of nothing but it now," his wife told the University of Chicago sociology student who interviewed her.23

17Although she did not share his rural fantasy, Mrs. P believed her husband's love for her had "intensified" since their separation. "He idolizes me," she reported. Freda Spitzer noticed a similar change in her husband. Reserved to the point of avoiding the words "I love you" when at home, Albert began composing ardent love letters to Freda soon after he arrived in Europe. "I've always been ineffable in throwing bouquets at you," he admitted, "but my heart, (oh, if you could only hear it swell) my thoughts hold you in reverence—way up there—you know that place which a man reserves for 'the only one'—'how attractive she is'—'what a head she has on her shoulders'—'what a mother'—'what a woman' . . . " Other soldiers sent equally sentimental letters to the wives and sweethearts they adored but were compelled to leave. Yet as Albert noted after a week of censoring enlisted men's letters, this adoration was often tinged with distrust. Thousands of miles away from home, servicemen worried about betrayal by the women they loved and to whom they hoped to return.24

18Observing the tension between idealization and doubt, Army psychiatrists Meyer Maskin and Leon Altman hypothesized that these two seemingly contradictory attitudes toward women were, in fact, intimately linked and characteristic of military culture. As early as basic training, they argued, wives and sweethearts "assume[d] exaggerated value" as symbols of the soldier's past. This "enhanced desirability," however, also was a source of anxiety for soldiers who feared losing loved women to "more successful and available rival[s]." Another psychiatrist, Albert Mayers, who served with the 94th Infantry Division in Europe, found apprehension about the fidelity of a wife or sweetheart to be common among overseas soldiers. He described the case of one enlisted man whose letters home to his wife were full of "bizarre" and unfounded accusations. Mayers diagnosed the "presence of a delusion of infidelity" and "indications of a paranoid personality" but observed that even seemingly normal men suffered from a similar anxiety. "Most often in the 'normal,' the entire conflict is repressed," he wrote, "but if the question is ever aired, as during a 'bull session,' the conversation becomes charged with considerable feeling." Roy Grinker and John Spiegel noted the same phenomenon. Although less convinced than Mayers that such fears were unwarranted, Grinker and Spiegel reported that airmen who had returned from overseas service were often driven "to confirm real or unrealistic suspicions of their women's unfaithfulness."25

19Charles Taylor's letters to his wife illustrate this dynamic of love and distrust, along with the psychological effects of overseas combat service. Charles was a loving husband and father who doted on his wife Barbara and their young daughter Sandra Lee, but soon after arriving in Europe, he began to worry that Barbara might be untrue. The strain of combat intensified his fear of betrayal. Physically vulnerable and emotionally fragile, Charles became increasingly dependent on assurances of wifely devotion. "I do really need you, honey," he wrote from Germany, "I guess more than I ever thought it humanly possible to need anyone." He declared, "I am only in love with you and I am true to you alone" and pleaded for a similar pledge from Barbara. His apprehension exacerbated by delays in the mail, Charles continued to demand assurances of his wife's fidelity after he was removed from combat. But with time, Charles's anxieties dissipated; regular letters from Barbara, including an indignant reply to his insinuations, seemed to do the trick.26

20With stories circulating about "Piccadilly commandoes," grateful mademoiselles, and promiscuous fräuleins, wives and girlfriends might be equally doubtful of their soldier's fidelity. Yet although male infidelity was a personal problem between husband and wife or soldier and sweetheart, female infidelity was a national concern and a military problem. A woman who married a civilian rather than waiting for her soldier "sabotaged" the nation's war effort. Servicemen complained that in the face of such betrayals, fighting men might come to feel that they had "nothing left to fight for." Speaking from bitter experience, one soldier wrote, "The girls in the states aren't to be trusted. I know that from the way the girls are throwing these guys over, over here to marry some 4F jerk. These guys are sweating and dying for what? The one I thought was waiting on me threw me over for someone else."27 Such complaints of female inconstancy can be found in censorship reports from all American theaters of operations. The fact that these women had once been cherished idols only made the denunciations more bitter.

21 Army Air Force engineers in New Guinea tracked romantic defections on this "operations board." Established at an airbase in India, the "Brush-Off Club" mocked the military cult of American womanhood by institutionalizing evidence of women's infidelity; as part of their initiation ritual, servicemen displayed portraits of and read letters from the women who deserted them. The organization's membership was divided between "just sweating" and "active" members. A "just sweating" member was a man whose last letter from his sweetheart was cool or written far too long ago for comfort; he suspected but could not prove that she had been untrue. An active member was a serviceman who had received a definite brush-off: a "Dear John" letter, news of his fiancée's marriage to another, or reports from family or friends that his sweetheart had been seen with another man. Publicized in both the military and civilian press, the organization spread to Army bases throughout the American theaters of operations, where jilted GIs established their own rituals. In New Guinea, for example, Army Air Force engineers posted photographs of the women who gave them the brush off on an "operations board" with the heading Casualties Sustained on the Home Front.28 Romantic studio portraits or sexy homemade pinups, these pictures had probably once graced bedside tables or footlockers, reminding the men of happier times they hoped to recapture; now they represented a betrayal of trust.

22Although some "just sweating" members of the Brush-Off Club probably overreacted to delays in the mail, others had real cause for concern. The term "Dear John" letter was coined during World War II when some servicemen received letters like this one to an enlisted man named Ahmed:

The time has come to clear things between us. You will have realized, before now, that our marriage was a mistake. I beg of you to put an end to this mistake and get a divorce. . . . As a matter of fact, I have never been yours, but now I belong to someone else, and this finishes things between us.

Another soldier's faithless fiancée was less direct than Ahmed's wife; she never formally broke off their engagement, but at the end of a long letter, she mentioned that she had recently married a "broadminded" sailor who wouldn't "mind you writing me occasionally." After receiving a series of insulting letters from her GI boyfriend Saul Kramer, Anne Gudis's response was a brief and well-deserved: "Go To Hell!"29

23Like the other letters, Gudis's brush-off message was submitted by the scorned serviceman for publication in Yank. A photograph of her V-mail was printed in the Army magazine and received attention from the New Jersey press. In her hometown of Newark, Gudis wrote, "People could not have had more to say if I had murdered someone." The object of a great deal of unwanted publicity, she received approximately one hundred letters from strangers, both civilians and servicemen, including Kramer's commanding officer who charged her with damaging unit morale. Some of the men who contacted Gudis asked for dates, but most of the letters criticized her behavior, for Americans agreed, "to jilt a solider is a serious offense."30 Despite or perhaps because of the uproar, the couple quickly reconciled, and by December 1943, Gudis promised, "I have cast all other men aside as far as the future is concerned and am waiting only for you." They married soon after Kramer's discharge in November 1945.31

24In the press, popular culture, and private letters, American women were bombarded with the message that it was their duty to be true to the soldiers (even though their husbands and boyfriends might not have been so faithful). Most wives and sweethearts internalized this expectation of sexual fidelity to absent servicemen. One told University of Chicago researchers: "We war wives are placed on a shining altar by our husbands, and it is up to us to keep their faith." In a letter to her husband, Robert, an infantry officer stationed in Germany, Jane Easton likewise professed a strong commitment to marital fidelity. Condemning erring wives and sweethearts as "animals" motivated to cheat by biological urges or, with some compassion, as lonely women looking to love, she reminded her husband that "there are a greater number who are virtuous." "Believe me," she wrote, "there are true mates waiting over here for their soldiers." Jane included herself among them.32

25Dissatisfied with professions of virtue, some suspicious soldiers employed more direct tactics to ensure their wives' fidelity. One requested his mother to "investigate and keep her eyes open to see whether or not his wife might be seen 'with another man.'" The officer assigned to censor this letter wrote, "I howled when I read it—it struck me as very funny, because I happen to know just how jealous this particular soldier is."33 Many women reported that in-laws and neighbors (with or without a soldier's prompting) scrutinized their behavior for any sign of impropriety. In Morris, Illinois, University of Chicago researchers discovered "an alert community-wide network of gossip and informal espionage." One young service wife described this system of surveillance:

The wife of a veteran could do something and everybody in town would be talking about it. . . . Somebody sees you riding down a street, and they say, "uh-huh—she's out." If somebody in service comes up and talks to you they say, "Well she's going with him." The in-laws would do an awful lot of that. . . . They'd see you out with your husband when he came home and then they'd come up and give you little remarks like "Oh, she done alright while you were in service." Or, "oh I see she's with you tonight."34

26Close scrutiny combined with the threat that any apparent misstep would be reported to absent boyfriends or husbands caused many women to modify their behavior in order to conform to community standards. Mrs. G, a Chicago service wife who lived in an apartment above her in-laws, told the sociology student who interviewed her: "[T]hey watch me constantly. . . . My mother-in-law yells when I go out so I keep her from worrying by staying in. Maybe her daughters put ideas in her head. I always tell her that is silly because how could I write to him and think about him all the time if I did not care for him. She still watches me." Mrs. G reported that her days were "wrapped up" in caring for her young child, but her nights were free. Although she longed to leave the house, this young wife passed the time alone reading in her room in order to avoid upsetting her mother-in-law, a woman who deemed it her duty to ensure the fidelity of her son's wife.35

27Community oversight, however, proved inadequate to staunch the flow of rumors about wives and sweethearts who were "running around" in the soldiers' absence. By January 1945, such rumors had become so widespread that the ARC publicly chastised thoughtless or malicious gossips who sent "I thought you ought to know" letters to overseas soldiers. Along with real instances of infidelity, these unfounded allegations, according to ARC representative Margaret Hagan, had created a "serious morale problem" in overseas theaters. Unable to evaluate the situation for himself, a soldier could only worry, and his anxieties might infect his comrades. Philip Tykulsker, an ARC representative on Guadalcanal, reported such a case. According to Tykulsker, a soldier approached him with domestic problems. His wife was reported to be behaving badly. She would disappear from their house, leaving their child all alone, and had been seen in the company of "strange men." It turned out that the source of this information, the soldier's mother, was unreliable. She objected to her son's marriage as "beneath him" and sought to destroy it. Inquiries to the ARC chapter in the soldier's hometown and correspondence with his wife cleared up the misunderstanding and preserved the soldier's marriage.36

28Careless correspondence could be equally damaging to the soldiers' morale. Two unrelated sentences in a letter from a parish priest to an overseas soldier were almost responsible for the latter's divorce. "It's amazing how some war widows behave," the priest wrote. In a separate paragraph, he mentioned that he had not seen the soldier's wife "for quite a while." On receiving this letter, the soldier cabled his parents to begin divorce proceedings. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and the marriage was saved. An ARC investigation revealed that the priest had not seen the soldier's wife, because she worked nights in a defense factory and cared for her children during the day. He had not intended to insinuate that she was untrue and was "horrified" to learn of the trouble his letter had caused. This story, as reported in Stars and Stripes, was intended to soothe soldiers' marital anxieties, asserting that "[m]isleading letters from careless friends and relatives have caused more domestic upsets . . . than has faithlessness of wives at home."37

29Despite such assurances, many GIs remained skeptical; some went so far as to ask the ARC to investigate their wives' morals. In response to such requests, the organization clarified its policy on "marital problems": it would not "under any circumstances assist in collecting evidence of misconduct, infidelity, or other causes of marital conflict to be used in divorce action," nor would it "make loans or grants to enable anyone to collect such evidence." Servicemen, nevertheless, continued to demand these services.38 Seeking to expose and punish erring wives, GIs even appealed to the federal government for assistance. Willing to believe the worst of his wife, one soldier wrote from France to the Secretary of War asking for help in obtaining a divorce; a purportedly trustworthy friend had reported to him that his wife was "running around" with other men.39 Other soldiers contacted the government hoping to deprive unworthy wives of dependency allotments.40

30Particularly galling to servicemen and their advocates was the notion that unfaithful wives might profit from their perfidy. Newark judge James Pellecchia made news when he threatened to jail adulterous service wives brought before him in family court. He promised to suspend the sentences provided the women took prompt action to discontinue allotment payments. Pellechia was quoted in Newsweek as declaring, "If I had my way, soldiers' wives who are unfaithful would be branded with the scarlet letter and have their heads shaven," like French women who took German lovers. In Chicago, Illinois, state's attorney William Tuohy publicly vowed to prosecute servicemen's wayward wives on criminal adultery charges.41 He ordered a review of recent divorce cases to identify potential perpetrators. Tuohy's action was inspired by the widely reported case of wounded combat veteran Stanley Heck. From his hospital bed in Temple, Texas, Heck—a double amputee and winner of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star—filed suit for divorce from his wife Henrietta on the grounds of desertion and adultery, demanding that she account for $2,500 in savings and allotments. Heck also sought $50,000 in damages from his wife's lover, 49-year-old Alvin Schupp, for depriving the soldier of a happy home and devoted wife.42

31In Congress, Sen. Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado introduced the topic of punishing wayward wives at hearings on a bill to increase the allotments paid to enlisted men's dependents. Although the legislation's intent was to soothe soldiers' worries about the financial welfare of wives, children, parents, and siblings, Johnson urged Army administrators to use this opportunity to address "the problem of immoral women marrying soldiers." Gen. Miller G. White, assistant chief of staff for Army personnel, dodged the issue by charging that any policy designed to deprive unfaithful wives of allotment payments might unfairly penalize innocent women, for charges of immorality were often based on hearsay.43 However, the question of whether to punish sexual disloyalty was unavoidable; it resurfaced at House hearings on the same legislation three months later. This time, cuckolded soldiers found a more aggressive advocate in Rep. John J. Sparkman of Alabama who proposed a bill that would allow servicemen to terminate dependency allotments "upon showing good cause."44

32Army administrators were well armed with arguments against such a measure. Gen. Jay L. Benedict of the Joint Army Navy Legislative Board testified that while he had "no quarrel whatever with the principle" of punishing wayward service wives, his concern was the difficulty of assessing the validity of servicemen's complaints. Similarly, Gen. White asserted that it would be impossible to investigate every charge of infidelity, for Army offices were flooded with "all sorts of reports" of wartime infidelity, many of which were frivolous and unfair:

We get letters from mothers-in-law saying that the daughter-in-law is not faithful to Johnnie who is in Africa. We get letters from friends. We get letters from the soldier that somebody has told so and so, who told him, that his wife was not behaving herself. We have plenty of cases, unfortunately, where the soldier grabs at a straw to throw the wife overboard. There probably are many cases where the payments should be stopped, but how we could ever determine the right from the wrong is something I can't answer.

However, justice to women, even virtuous wives and mothers, was not a sufficiently compelling political argument. Military officials achieved their policy goal by arguing that moral investigations would cause the nation's soldiers and sailors to worry unnecessarily about the fidelity of their wives. Indeed, Gen. Benedict compared the effect on morale of the proposed policy to enemy propaganda.45 Everyone involved in the 1943 debate over amending the federal system of dependency allotments asserted that the changes they proposed would protect soldiers' interests while the men were absent from home. When the bill finally came to a vote, without a provision for moral investigations, there were no nay votes in the House.46

33Like their legislators, most Americans—both soldier and civilian—believed that individuals, as well as the state, owed the soldiers a debt of gratitude and, in the case of service wives, fidelity. Wifely devotion, however, was not simply a wartime duty. Marriage to a soldier brought postwar obligations. As the soldiers' return became imminent, service wives came under increased scrutiny and pressure. Beginning in 1944, a whole literature arose on "the rehabilitation of war veterans," much of it aimed at women—mothers, fiancées, and especially wives. Accorded a key, if not the primary, role in the soldiers' "readjustment" to civilian society, women were bombarded with advice from a wide range of experts.47

34Psychiatrist Alexander Dumas and his collaborator Grace Keen described readjustment as a "two-way" process in which the former soldier "must do his part," but like many of this genre, their Psychiatric Primer for the Veteran's Family and Friends emphasized feminine responsibility. Although the authors noted that the majority of American servicemen would be "returning to mothers instead of wives," three of the five representative women around whose experiences their chapters were organized were wives, the fourth was a fiancée, and the fifth a mother. Not surprisingly, given popular anxiety about momism, Dumas and Keen's primary advice to mothers was to "cut those apron strings." Wives, by contrast, were encouraged to organize their lives around the needs of husbands and children. Grace Sloan Overton, author of Marriage in War and Peace, justified this attention to GI marriages by explaining that although most servicemen might return as sons, they would become "the majority of husbands, lovers, and fathers among us if our American family life goes on."48

35With the future of the American family at stake, young wives—whose questionable morals had seemed to threaten military morale and motivation—became, in historian Susan Hartmann's words, the nation's "potential redeemers." Domesticating the returning soldiers was the daunting task that awaited them. This generation of men, professional advice-givers asserted, were altered by wartime experiences. Military service and time away from home made them restless, aggressive, and resentful of civilians. Yet with proper guidance, a loving wife might be "the anchor" that steadied her soldier "during the stormy period of readjustment." In the pages of Ladies' Home Journal, one combat veteran advised women to be patient with their soldiers—to forgive angry outbursts, emotional distance, and sexual indiscretions. Most important, however, a wife might help her soldier and sustain her marriage by becoming the "goddess" he imagined her to be. Similarly, Marine Corps psychiatrist Herbert Kupper called on women to mobilize their feminine wiles in the name of readjustment. Although skeptical of real women's ability to live up to the soldiers' ideals, Kupper advised wives to behave as during the couple's courtship. By temporarily deferring to the soldier's demands and suppressing her own desires, a wife might forestall disillusionment. But as Susan Hartmann has noted, wives also played a more active role in Kupper's rehabilitation plan. A dutiful wife was responsible for assessing her husband's needs and monitoring his behavior. If he failed to adjust after several months home, she should urge him to seek counseling. The goal behind much of this advice was to rebuild the veteran's ego so that he might reclaim his proper role as head of household. Grace Sloan Overton addressed this issue through the instructive story of Marybelle who at first resisted her husband Bob's postservice educational plans by asserting her rights as wartime breadwinner. The training that Bob wished to pursue would require the couple to sell their house and move to another city; Marybelle would have to give up the job at which she excelled. Marybelle pressured her husband to return to his prewar job, but he had no wish to resume that line of work and made no effort to find another job. It looked as though the marriage was "heading toward tragedy," but counselors "help[ed] Marybelle to see that Bob's inspiration was her biggest project." Conjugal peace was restored once Marybelle allowed Bob to take "the lines of the family back in hand."49

36Despite all the coaching, most experts agreed that even the most patient and attentive wife might encounter difficulties. An "epidemic of GI divorces" was an anticipated side effect of the soldiers' return. Wartime separation strained most marriages, and "hasty" war marriages, contracted on the basis of a few weeks or months of acquaintance, were judged particularly fragile. Grace Sloan Overton and others outlined steps to preserve such marriages, but many observers predicted their collapse.50 Indeed, sociology professor Willard Waller, in his influential and alarmist contribution to the literature, questioned whether war marriages were "really marriages" and described hasty postwar marriages as "equally hazardous." In fact, he advised the readers of Ladies' Home Journal that "[s]ometimes the woman in a man's life may help him most by not marrying him immediately after his release from the service." Nevertheless, Waller declared "the personal side of reconstruction" to be "woman's work." Along with good jobs and an extensive system of social services, loving wives and mothers facilitated the process of rehabilitating bitter and "maladjusted" veterans who might otherwise destabilize American society and politics.51

37Press reports from abroad seemed to confirm home front fears and to justify the flood of advice. From a civilian perspective, the prospect of postwar domestic peace looked dim. With the relaxation of news and mail censorship following the Allied victories over Germany and Japan, Americans back home began to learn a great deal about military misconduct abroad. In the summer months of 1945, fraternization between American soldiers and German women, along with the skyrocketing rate of sexually transmitted diseases among American service personnel in Europe, made the front pages of most American dailies. That fall, a new wave of articles explored the question of what to do about an anticipated "spring crop of fraternization babies."52 Stories about GIs and "geishas" soon followed.53 At around the same time, journalists began reporting from Europe that American soldiers had earned a bad reputation as a result of "a general increase in . . . drunkenness, petty robbery, assaults, and destruction of civilian property," not only in Germany but also in former allied nations. Civilian concern reached such a pitch in the fall of 1945 that Edward C. Betts, judge advocate general for American forces in Europe, tried to dispel the "unfounded" fear that the war had produced a "reservoir of potential criminals" in the returning soldiers.54

38Reports of GI promiscuity and misconduct contributed to a picture of potential postwar disaster and fueled a popular movement to reunite soldiers with their families as quickly as possible. In the summer and fall of 1945, the families of overseas servicemen began pressuring the American government to "bring back Daddy" or send wives and fiancées abroad. As early as May 29, Maine congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith responded to press reports on fraternization by publicly urging Secretary of War Henry Stimson to permit American wives to join their husbands stationed in Europe. The policy of shipping women overseas would, she argued, assist soldiers' "rehabilitation" and "prevent further disintegration of the American home and the American family life."55 Soldiers and their families flooded the mail with pleas to expedite the discharge of sons, husbands, and fathers. In September, President Harry Truman estimated that he received one thousand such letters daily.56 By winter, service wives in major cities throughout the nation had organized local chapters of the "Bring Back Daddy Club," dedicated to convincing government officials to release fathers from their military obligations.57 Finally, in January 1946, servicemen in all major theaters of operations took to the streets, organizing mass demonstrations to protest the seemingly slow pace of demobilization.58

39From the fall of 1945 through the summer of 1946, World War II veterans made their way home en masse; that spring and summer thousands of American service wives and fiancées began heading overseas to occupied Germany and Japan. Reunited with their husbands and sweethearts at home and abroad, American women served on the frontlines of a national effort to rehabilitate war veterans. The question remained: were they up to the task? University of Chicago researcher Anne Hurley was skeptical. In the spring of 1945, while interviewing soldiers' families in Morris, Illinois, Hurley worried about the "problem of these dangling war wives." Despite all the scrutiny, service wives seemed to receive little or no community support. In Hurley's estimation, they were "unaware of what was going on in the rest of the world" and unprepared for their soldiers' return. Most wives simply sat home and waited, "expecting everything to be just the same when their husbands come home." They had "no conception" of the challenges they would face.59 Carol Bauman Lefevre came to a similar conclusion in her 1948 University of Chicago Master's thesis based on interviews with one hundred service wives. Noting the women's optimism about the stability of their marriages, Lefevre commented, "There may be wishful thinking or lack of realization of readjustment difficulties on the part of some wives." Blanche W, for example, believed that wartime separation had saved her marriage. She and Bill were "on the verge of separation" when he joined the Navy. Blanche complained that before he left, Bill preferred time with his friends to time spent at home. But, she asserted, military service had "taught him to appreciate" his wife and young son; she now hoped that Bill "would stay and be satisfied." The student who interviewed Blanche commented, "This case seemed to me to be the best case of possible un-adjustment in the post-war period, of all the cases I have interviewed."60

40Yet University of Chicago interviews reveal that service wives were not wholly sanguine about the prospect of their husbands' return. Most of the women anticipated conflicts over financial or household management, vocational plans, marital sex, or child-rearing practices. They recognized changes in themselves and expected to find their husbands somewhat altered, though not always in ways they could predict. As she awaited the return of her husband Eli in the summer of 1945, Chicago service wife Roselyn F seemed more concerned than most. Perhaps having read some of the literature on veterans, she commented, "[W]hen a person is away at war you get more nervous and irritable and all that." Friends observed changes in Eli when he was home on furlough, but to Roselyn's eyes he remained unchanged. Nevertheless, she anticipated difficulties. Another service wife told sociology student Mildred Handler that although she had been married four years, the two years apart from her husband made her marriage "seem like a dream." Purportedly eager for reunion, this wife also dreaded the event. She explained, "I want him to come home and yet I'm kind of scared. I'm afraid he'll seem like a stranger." Other women worried less about changes to their husbands than to themselves. One wife, for example, feared that a newfound independence would jeopardize her marriage. The problem, she told her interviewer, was that her husband "wants someone to depend on him. He wants the earth and moon to set on him. . . . And for the first time I've formed an idea of what I want—all kinds of securities, emotional and the like."61

41War brides, who had never set up independent households with their husbands except perhaps temporarily near military bases, faced a greater challenge. In addition to helping soldier-husbands reintegrate into civilian society, these women had their own adjustments to make. Charlotte P, who married Mel soon after he enlisted, confided to her interviewer that after only three months of living together as husband and wife and more than two years of marriage by correspondence, she was "sick of writing letters" and had come to feel that she and Mel did not "know each other any longer." Differences had developed between them during their separation. Fearing the "next war," Charlotte did not wish to become a mother; Mel still wanted children. Other hurdles included setting up and learning to run her own household and helping her husband find a job. Twenty-one years old and living with her parents, Charlotte had "never bought food or cooked, or anything like that," and 25-year-old Mel had "never held down a real job." An instrument specialist aboard a cargo plane, he hoped to find work with an airline but did not have any concrete employment plans.62

42Despite many public and parental concerns, war marriages tended to be far more permanent than anticipated. In fact, sociologists Eliza K. Pavalko and Glen H. Elder Jr. found that servicemen who married during the war were less likely to divorce than comrades who were married before the war began, perhaps because the couple was aware of the risks before taking their vows. A comment by one service wife seems to confirm this insight. She told her interviewer that the "only difficulty" she had encountered was convincing her concerned parents that she was prepared to "cope with marriage during the war." She tried to reassure them by telling them that she loved her fiancé "enough to accept him as he would be after the War, regardless of what the change might be." Although this young wife anticipated that her husband would have problems "adjusting to civilian life" and that the two of them would "have to get to know each other again," she looked forward to his return.63

43Whether newlywed or long-married, most young couples were unprepared for the difficulties that accompanied even the most successful readjustment. The oft-fantasied first moments of reunion tended to be as tentative as they were passionate. Naval officer Jerry C reported that although he and his wife Evelyn exchanged daily letters and many photographs during their twenty-two month separation, he was initially "surprised at the way she looked." Commenting that "[a]nticipation is always greater than actual reality," he described their "sexual adjustment" as slower than when they first married. Other conflicts revolved around housekeeping and in-laws, but a year after Jerry's return to the United States, the student who interviewed the couple judged their adjustment to be almost complete. Evelyn and Jerry were expecting their first child and sought to move out of her parents' house. Evelyn, who had been employed as a social worker, was now a full-time homemaker. She had become "more domestic" since Jerry's return and had come to see "the home as a center of our life." Jerry, only recently discharged and now the family's sole breadwinner, was debating whether to resume graduate studies or to enter the civilian workforce right away.64

44Although Evelyn and Jerry seemed to affirm the strength of the traditional family, the case of Bess and Harold W exemplified civilian fears about the war's impact on marriage. Bess found Harold much changed by his experiences as a prisoner of war. She described him as argumentative, impatient, profane, and distrustful. He told her that while he was in prison, "he heard all sorts of stuff about what the wives of prisoners were doing." Some women asked for divorces "so that they could marry this year's hero rather than last year's prisoner. Others asked for money so they could have babies with other men." Harold, nevertheless, became extremely dependent on his wife, who seemed determined to make their marriage work. Initially "nervous" around other people, Harold preferred to be alone with Bess. Unsure about what he would do for a living, he allowed his wife to convince him to go back to school for accounting courses. At the time of the interview, Bess expressed some doubts about the future of her marriage but was doing her best to avoid arguments with Harold. The interviewer shared Bess's doubts but commended "the wife's desire to help her husband in any way she can," concluding that the marriage would probably survive.65

45Bess and Harold's marriage illustrates the weight individual Americans placed on domesticity as a balm for war wounds. Harold did not participate in this interview, but we know from Bess that, like many others, he had been eager to wed before leaving for overseas service so that he would have "something to come back to." Like Jerry and Evelyn, Bess and Harold were expecting their first child and searching for a home of their own. It seems likely that the baby was planned and was intended to cement the marriage, for advice-givers like John Mariano characterized children as a "stabilizing force which tends to cause marriages to hold." Impending parenthood certainly seemed to focus Harold's restless energy. He read as many baby books as he could find and even planned to take charge of the baby's nighttime feeding for fear that Bess would be too tired to mix the proper formula.66

46Although sometimes reluctant to become parents during wartime, most young couples believed that children would strengthen marriage bonds. One wife, for example, deplored childless marriages, commenting, "There's no sense in getting married if you don't have children." However she also worried that an absent father might find it difficult to love a child he did not know.67 Many wives sought to remedy this potential side effect of separation through correspondence. A baby or young child was typically the main topic of letters to soldier-husbands. Mothers also sent regular snapshots and other mementoes, such as baby's first shoes, overseas. They taught their children to recognize portraits of "daddy" and to behave in a manner that would make their fathers proud. Freda Spitzer, for example, admonished her 2-year-old son Bobby to "eat nice so that when Daddy came home he would be pleased with the way he ate." An absent father often became part of a child's imaginative world. Once as Freda was writing to Albert, Bobby pretended to greet his father as he walked through the door. According to his mother, 3-year-old Sherman P conversed with a portrait of his father "for hours at a time." Another soldier's child said her evening prayers before a photograph of her father. Like Sherman, she often spoke to the picture, asking it questions such as, "Can I go out and play?" Her fantasy father's answer was always, "Yes."68 But when the time for reunion came, children were not always able to connect the men standing before them with the indulgent fathers they imagined.69 One young boy, for example, was reportedly "bewildered" to learn that "daddy" was a person rather than a photograph.70

47Returning servicemen, likewise, often were unprepared to become fathers to children they barely knew. Morris veteran Tom C was unable to be present at his daughter's birth; he did not meet her until he returned home from overseas service. The child greeted Tom as instructed by her mother but began crying when her father picked her up for the first time. Yet, over the course of several months, the 2-year-old came, in Tom's words, "to act to me like any other kid would to their fathers." Tom told University of Chicago researcher Walter Eaton that fatherhood gave him a new sense of responsibility, and Eaton noted the pride Tom took in his daughter's good manners. Although parental responsibilities seemed to smooth Tom's readjustment to civilian life, for many other first-time fathers, they were complicating factors. To Rick B, for example, fatherhood was a source of frustration. He resented the demands of his young daughter's nap and feeding schedules and complained that the child was spoiled. His wife judged that Rick would have preferred a childless reunion. "He wants it to go on just as it was" before he left, she confided to Eaton. Other wives made similar observations. One explained, "When they want to go, that's all there is to it—they can't be bothered with children."71

48The difficulties Tom and Rick experienced were common to many returned soldiers who also were first-time fathers. At Stanford University, psychologist Lois Meek Stolz became aware of veterans' concerns about their war-born progeny while teaching a course on child psychology; she found that several of the former servicemen in her class were interested in the topic for "personal rather than academic" reasons. This experience prompted Stolz to study how wartime separation affected relations between father and child, based on an experimental group of nineteen veterans of overseas service and a matched control group of fathers (some of them veterans) who had been able to watch their children grow. Compared to the control group, returned fathers were particularly anxious about their ability to assert authority within the family and to establish themselves as breadwinners. One confided to Stolz, "I went through a period of wondering whether I could live up to the responsibilities of a husband."72 Not surprisingly, all of the men in the experimental group experienced some form of rejection—crying, shyness, or refusal of paternal affection—from children who regarded them as strangers; this behavior reinforced the former servicemen's insecurities. In most cases, returned fathers responded by assuming the harsh role of disciplinarian; they thus alienated their firstborn children and produced conflict within their reconstituted families. Years later, as historian William Tuttle has shown, many of these conflicts remained unresolved.73

49The returned fathers who participated in Stolz's study viewed their firstborn children through a negative lens. Compared to the control group, they were twice as likely to find fault and much less prone to praise their young sons and daughters. They described the children as unhappy, demanding, unresponsive, disrespectful, and selfish. All but one blamed the child for interfering in the reunion between husband and wife, and most worried that the mother-child bond had become too strong in the father's absence. A predictable result of such concerns, given popular condemnation of momism, was the servicemen's fear that their sons had become sissies. Complicating the situation was many veterans' ambivalence toward their war-born children, perhaps reflecting unconscious doubts about their legitimacy (and thus wives' fidelity). One father, for example, described his daughter as "sort of an adoption really." Another admitted that initially his son "didn't particularly seem like my child too much." Most of the men in the experimental group found it easier to love their postwar children; only two of the sixteen second-time fathers claimed to love both equally. By contrast, the control group fathers were slightly more likely to report feeling closer to their first than to their second child; seven of the sixteen claimed to love both equally.74

50While married veterans adjusted or readjusted to family life, discharged bachelors pursued the bonds of matrimony with increasing ardor. Walter Eaton's fieldwork in Morris, Illinois, helps explain this phenomenon. A veteran himself, Eaton moved to Morris with his wife Jean in 1945. While there, he drank with his subjects at local taverns, visited veterans in their homes, and spoke with the men several times during their first months back in Morris. Eaton observed that recently returned soldiers were often restless and ill at ease in their own homes. Released from military obligation, soldiers often avoided civilian responsibilities. A recently divorced service wife complained that her former husband would "be gallivanting around all day" and "too doggone tired to make it to work at night." One former soldier described this behavior, "It's sort of a prolonged leave—that's the atmosphere prevailing." Every night and in some cases earlier in the day, veterans congregated in local taverns, such as the Seven Gables, where they could gamble in the back room, drink at the bar, and generally "blow off steam." Nevertheless, after months of renewing old acquaintances and celebrating newfound freedom, most married veterans settled into domestic routines, and many bachelors began to long for married life.75

51Eaton's interviews reveal that some of the least stable veterans sought marital solutions to their adjustment difficulties. Mike T, for example, had lived in his parents' home collecting G.I. Bill unemployment benefits ("rocking-chair money") since returning five months earlier; every night he could be found drinking in one of Morris' taverns. After sharing a couple of beers with Eaton one afternoon, Mike complained that his "nerves" were bad and that he was drinking too much but confided that he hoped to turn his life around. His plan was to leave town, take an apprentice course at a big factory, and marry his girlfriend Margaret. Mike believed that married life would "settle me down quite a bit," observing that it had had a similar effect on other veterans. As a married man, Mike predicted, he would stay home at night instead of going to taverns; he would drink less and become a "steady" worker. However, Mike's plan to achieve stability through employment and marriage was only half formed. Although he had selected a potential mate, he could not answer Eaton's question about where he would find the apprenticeship. Ed M, another "rocking-chair veteran," also shared Mike's faith in matrimony. Marriage, he asserted, "will be the best thing in the world for me. . . . Do me good in every way." He joked that it might even motivate him to hold down a steady job.76

52To Eaton's surprise, by late summer 1946 even John N, a proud former marine who had previously denied any interest in marriage ("No use [buying] the cow when the milk's free."), was engaged to be married. A skilled tradesman with a short temper and a weak work ethic, John had, in Eaton's words, become "troubled and worried by his present behavior." He looked to his fiancée for help and blamed her when his behavior failed to improve, as in one night when Eaton ran into a very drunk John. The former serviceman complained about "that damn woman of mine" and addressing Eaton insisted, "I shouldn't be out like this, you see who I'm out with don't you." The sociologist noted, "The inference evidently was that he wouldn't have been out with these fellows and shouldn't have been out with them—but that he and his girl had an argument and that that was responsible for the trouble." Although skeptical of John's marriage plans, Eaton predicted that if he married, John might "settle down and continue to live in Morris." If not, "he may find himself in six months somewhere in Texas or China, god knows where."77

53Like Mike, Ed, and John, most Morris citizens (veteran and nonveteran alike) tended to classify married men among the best adjusted or most settled of the returned soldiers. Given a set of cards, each bearing the name of a former serviceman, unmarried veteran Tony L arranged them into three piles based on level of satisfaction since returning home. The best-adjusted men enjoyed some form of financial security; many were happily married, and all had "something to come back to." Among the second group (veterans whose adjustment Tony judged average) were men who had steady jobs or who were attending school but whose future was unclear. Tony included many of his married acquaintances among this group, explaining that these men were "forced into being halfway contented." Tony, who worked for a local manufacturer and planned to enter Springfield Junior College, placed himself among the third group of veterans, men who were dissatisfied with their civilian occupational status or unhappy in their marriages. When asked to perform the same task, Roy B, a married nonveteran who until recently had seemed a confirmed bachelor, explained that in his opinion the best-adjusted veterans benefited from wifely encouragement and a feeling of familial obligation. Less settled veterans "[p]robably . . . didn't feel their family obligation quite as strongly."78

54A source of military motivation and a panacea for postwar ills, marriage accompanied by parenthood and homeownership represented security, stability, and satisfaction to young men and women whose lives were disrupted first by depression and then by war. Although the economic crises of the 1930s inhibited nuptiality, war and peace inspired high rates of marriage and fertility, confounding demographers' forecasts and temporarily reversing long-term downward trends.79 The men who served in the nation's armed forces were in the forefront of this domestic revolution. They represented three-quarters of the male population between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine in 1947, when the median age at first marriage was 23.7 years old. Although disproportionately single when they entered military service, these men proved more prone to marry than their civilian counterparts. The federal government facilitated this marital propensity through military dependency allowances and a broad array of veterans' benefits,80 but economic incentives alone cannot account for servicemen's and veterans' enhanced desire for domestic bliss. Along with government subsidies and economic prosperity, popular faith in the beneficial—even restorative—effects of matrimony helped propel the marriage and attendant baby booms.

55Although the transition from soldier to husband, father, and breadwinner could be rocky, the anticipated epidemic of broken homes never materialized. A sharp but brief postwar upsurge in divorce was dwarfed by an even greater and longer-lasting increase in matrimony. In places like Morris, older veterans, born between the years 1916 and 1918, returned home to try to take up where they left off. Most of the bachelors married while in service or soon after being discharged. Returning husbands readjusted to the families they had been forced to leave behind. As a group, these men made little use of GI Bill benefits, but four years after the war's end and roughly three years since their discharges, they had almost matched the economic and domestic achievements of peers who did not serve. Military service seemed to have temporarily disrupted but not significantly altered the course of their lives. By contrast, war was a turning point in the lives of the youngest Morris veterans, inducted in their late teens and discharged at around age twenty. By 1949, 43 percent had already left town or planned to leave in pursuit of educational and employment opportunities not available in Morris. Although sociologist Robert J. Havighurst emphasized "continuity" in the behavior and accomplishments of these young men, Glen H. Elder Jr. and his colleagues found that the majority of men who entered military service before the age of 21 believed that "their life has followed a different and more rewarding course as a result."81

56With wife and often baby in tow, the younger cohorts of veterans were "pioneers" of a mass migration in search of affordable and child-friendly housing. They left small towns and overcrowded cities for places such as Park Forest, south of Chicago, or Island Trees, later Levittown, on Long Island. Thanks to Levitt & Sons' recruitment strategies and to government-backed home loans, by 1951, close to 90 percent of the men who rented or owned property in Levittown were white World War II veterans; their modal age was 29 years old. The developers of Park Forest—home to Fortune magazine editor William H. Whyte's "organization man"—also sought to populate the town with white veterans and their families, promising them an escape from the noise, dirt, and crime of the city.82 "[H]arbinger[s]," in William Whyte's words, "for the way [America] is going to be," these family-centered housing developments also satisfied the former servicemen's desire for domestic comfort and security.83


Note 1: Herbert Spiegel, "Psychiatry with an Infantry Battalion in North Africa" in Medical Department, United States Army, Neuropsychiatry in World War II, vol. 2, Overseas Theaters (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, 1973), 111 n2, 114, 125; Samuel A. Stouffer et al., The American Soldier, vol. 1, Adjustment during Army Life (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1949), 431–8; Samuel A. Stouffer et al., The American Soldier, vol. 2, Combat and Its Aftermath (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1949), 107–11, 157–67. See also Ellen Herman, The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 69–71, 99–100; Robert B. Westbrook, Why We Fought: Forging American Obligation in World War II (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2004); Ben Shephard, War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), 243–5. back

Note 2: Ruth Jamieson, however, has shown that the British military also worried about the "tentative and fragile nature of men's resolve to subordinate their private and personal interest to the public and general good." Ruth Jamieson, "The Man of Hobbes: Masculinity and Wartime Necessity," Journal of Historical Sociology 9 (1 March 1996): 19–42. back

Note 3: John Appel, "Prevention of Manpower Loss from Psychiatric Disorders (Report of a trip to North African Theater of Operations, 17 May–29 July 1944)," file: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Manpower, NATO, Prevention of Manpower Loss from Psychiatric Disorders—1944, Box 1343, Office of the Surgeon General World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, National Archives, College Park, Md. (NACP). back

Note 4: Stouffer et al., American Soldier, 2:169. back

Note 5: On marriage and the World War II military, see John Modell and Duane Steffey, "Waging War and Marriage: Military Service and Family Formation, 1940–1950," Journal of Family History 13 (1988): 195–218; William M. Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War": The Second World War in the Lives of American Children (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 18–27, 31; Research Branch, Information and Education Division, "Who Is the American Soldier" [ca. 1943], George Marshall Foundation, http://www.marshallfoundation.org/library/publications_soldier_thinks.html (accessed 1 February 2007). back

Note 6: Base Censorship Detachment #1, "Special Examination of Mail from 36th Division and VI Corps Headquarters" (12 September 1943), File: 311.7/319.1, Special Morale Reports, Box: Morale Reports #1 thru #2, G-2 Headquarters Records, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, RG 492, NACP. back

Note 7: Westbrook, Why We Fought, chapters 2 and 3. back

Note 8: Judy Barrett Litoff et al., Miss You: The World War II Letters of Barbara Wooddall Taylor and Charles E. Taylor (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1990), 225–6, 237, 240–3, 248, 257–8, 263–4. back

Note 9: Comment Sheet TC-455 (12 August 1942), File: Comment Sheets TC-301 to 500, Box T-1418, G2 Theater Censor, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP. See also David J. Flicker and Paul Weiss, "Nostalgia and Its Military Implications," War Medicine 4 (October 1943): 380–7. back

Note 10: Evelyn Millis Duvall, "Loneliness and the Serviceman's Wife," Marriage and Family Living 17 (Autumn 1945): 79; Lee Kennett, G.I.: The American Soldier in World War II (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1987), 112; Stouffer et al., American Soldier, 1:119–21; "The Married Soldier," What the Soldier Thinks (December 1943), George Marshall Foundation, http://www.marshallfoundation.org/library/publications_soldier_thinks.html (accessed 1 February 2007). On married servicemen and the problem of absenteeism in Britain, see Jamieson, "The Man of Hobbes," 27–9. back

Note 11: Roy R. Grinker and John P. Spiegel, Men under Stress (Philadelphia: Blakiston, 1945), 181–2, 184–5; William C. Menninger, Psychiatry in a Troubled World: Yesterday's War and Today's Challenge (New York: The Macmillan Co.), 71; Unnamed author, "Isolationitis" (n.d.), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Psychoneuroses, Anxiety Reactions; Stephen W. Ranson, "Psychiatric Deprivations in World War II," File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Psychiatric Deprivations in World War II; both in Box 1318, Office of the Surgeon General World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. On mental health conditions in the Aleutians, see Medical Department, United States Army, Neuropsychiatry in World War II, 2:690–97. back

Note 12: S. Alan Challman, "Report of Medical Department Activities in Southwest Pacific Area" (13 September 1945), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Interviews, Miscellaneous Interview in the Pacific, Box 1349; S. Alan Challman, "Treatment of Psychiatric Casualties in New Guinea" (12 July 1944), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) NP Consultants, Ebaugh, Box 1347; Research Branch, Special Service Division, A.S.F., War Department, "Survey of Soldier Opinion in New Guinea, August-September 1943" (29 October 1943), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) Surveys, Survey of Soldier Opinion in New Guinea, August–September 1943, Box 1351; all in Office of the Surgeon General World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. See also Geoffrey Perret, Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of General Douglas MacArthur (New York: Random House, 1996), 394–5. back

Note 13: See Judy Barrett Litoff and David Smith, "'Will He Get My Letter?': Popular Portrayals of Mail and Morale during World War II," Journal of Popular Culture 23 (Spring 1990): 21–43. back

Note 14: Untitled neuropsychiatry excerpt from Essential Technical Medical Data (ETMD) reports (n.d.), File: 730 (Neuropsychiatry) EMTD's, NP Excerpts POA, Box 1347, Office of the Surgeon General World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112, NACP. Medical Department, United States Army, Neuropsychiatry in World War II, 2:483; Menninger, Psychiatry in a Troubled World, 66. back

Note 15: Twelve percent of all recruits, or over 1.8 million men, were rejected for neuropsychiatric reasons. Menninger, Psychiatry in a Troubled World, 341–2, 347. back

Note 16: The British military was equally prone to blaming civilian women for malingering by servicemen. Jamieson, "Man of Hobbes," 33. Edward A. Strecker, Their Mother's Sons: The Psychiatrist Examines an American Problem (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1946), 5, 13, 18–21, 23–4, 33–5; Edward A. Strecker, "Psychiatry Speaks to Democracy," Mental Hygiene 29 (October 1945): 591–605; "Moms' Denounced as Peril to Nation," New York Times (28 April 1945). On soldiers, psychiatrists, and momism, see Rebecca Jo Plant, "The Repeal of Mother Love: Momism and the Reconstruction of Motherhood in Philip Wylie's America" (Ph.D. dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, 2001), 183, 193–200. back

Note 17: Through its Home Service and Military and Naval Welfare Service programs, the ARC facilitated communication between servicemen and their families and conducted investigations into home conditions, such as a family illness, the birth of a child, or a financial problem. back

Note 18:  "Neuropsychiatry" (5 July 1944), File: Neuropsychiatry (730) Pacific General, Box 1351, Office of the Surgeon General World War II Administrative Records, Entry 31 (ZI), RG 112; Arthur S. Sprague, "Narrative Report" (20 July 1945), File: 900.118 FETO, Camp Service Monthly Report, July 1945, Box 1550, Group 3, ARC Records, RG 200; both in NACP. Grinker and Spiegel, Men under Stress, 248. back

Note 19: My emphasis. back

Note 20: J. L. Henderson and Merrill Moore, "The Psychoneuroses of War," New England Journal of Medicine 230 (9 March 1944): 273, 276–7; Menninger, Psychiatry for a Troubled World, 48, 82–3, 91, 96–7; Abram Kardiner and Herbert Spiegel, War Stress and Neurotic Illness (New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1947), 23; Grinker and Spiegel, Men under Stress, 8–9, 184–5, 226, 247–9, 455–7. See also Shephard, War of Nerves, 242–3. back

Note 21: The couple had one son, Bobby, and were expecting a second child in February 1945. back

Note 22: Albert Spitzer to Freda Spitzer (23, 30 October, 11 November 1944, 8 August 1945) and Freda Spitzer to Albert Spitzer (8, 14 November, 1 December 1944, 15 January, 15 March 1945), Albert and Freda Spitzer Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. Ross Greening and Charles Taylor described similar fantasies. C. Ross Greening, Not as Briefed: From the Doolittle Raid to a German Stalag, ed. Dorothy Greening and Karen Morgan Driscoll (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2001), 53, 182; Litoff et al., "Miss You," 219. See also Therese Benedek, Insight and Personality Adjustment: A Study of the Psychological Effects of War (New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1946), 69–72. back

Note 23: Albert Spitzer to Freda Spitzer (26 January, 15 February, 12 August 1945), Albert and Freda Spitzer Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries; Litoff et al., "Miss You," 213–4, 252; Interview 2906, File 4, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 24: Interview 2906, File 4, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; Freda Spitzer to Albert Spitzer (8, 14 November 1944) and Albert Spitzer to Freda Spitzer (23, 28 October, 15 November 1944), Albert and Freda Spitzer Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. back

Note 25: Meyer H. Maskin and Leo L. Altman, "Military Psychodynamics: Psychological Factors in the Transition from Civilian to Soldier," Psychiatry 6 (August 1943): 265–6; Albert N. Mayers, "Dug-Out Psychiatry," Psychiatry 8 (November 1945): 386; Grinker and Spiegel, Men under Stress, 187–8. See also John Cuber, "Changing Courtship and Marriage Customs," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 229 (September 1943): 37; Kennett, G.I., 76. back

Note 26: Litoff et al., "Miss You," 197–9, 209, 226–7, 238–9, 249–50. back

Note 27:  "Censorship Survey of Morale, Rumors, Propaganda" (April, July 1945) Box T-1429, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP. On wartime infidelity and the sexual double standard, see D'Ann Campbell, Women at War with America: Private Lies in a Patriotic Era (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), 208–10. back

Note 28: A women's auxiliary to the organization established its own "Rogue's Gallery" of soldiers who jilted their loyal sweethearts. Ed Cunningham, "Jilted G.I.'s in India Organize First Brush-Off Club," Yank (13 January 1943): 5; S/Sgt Polewski to Yank and editor's response (10 December 1943): 18; "Operations Board," Yank (28 April 1944): 7; Louise Cozine to Yank (14 April 1944): 14. back

Note 29: J. E. Lightner, ed., Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (New York: Random House, 1994), s.v. "Dear John"; Ahmed S. to Yank (18 August 1944), 16; Ed Cunningham, "Jilted G.I.'s in India Organize First Brush-Off Club," Yank (13 January 1943): 5; Judy Barrett Litoff and David C. Smith, eds., Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991), 53–7. See also John Costello, Love Sex and War: Changing Values, 1939–45 (London: William Collins Sons and Co. Ltd., 1985), 273–4; Kennett, G.I., 75–6. back

Note 30: An August 1945 Gallup poll survey on the question of whether service wives should date other men while their husbands were overseas found that 85–90 percent of American civilians disapproved of such behavior, women somewhat more than men. George H. Gallup, The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935–1971, vol. 1 (New York: Random House 1972), 518; Ned Nordness, "Gals Back Home Insist They're Loyal to GI Heartthrobs Abroad," Stars and Stripes, London ed. (17 December 1943). back

Note 31: Litoff and Smith, Since You Went Away, 55–63. back

Note 32:  "Remarks on Adjustment of Morris War Wives" [ca. 1945], File 8, Box 15, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; Havighurst, et al., American Veteran Back Home, 38–39; Robert Easton and Jane Easton, Love and War: Pearl Harbor Through V-J Day (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 288, 293, 297–8; Susan M. Hartmann, "Prescriptions for Penelope: Literature on Women's Obligations to Returning World War II Veterans," Women's Studies 5: 231. back

Note 33: Comment Sheet TC-1014 (15 March 1944), File: 726, Box T-1411, G2 Theater Censor, Southwest Pacific Area and U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, RG 496 (USAFFE), NACP. back

Note 34: Researchers affiliated with the University of Chicago's Committee on Human Development studied the war's impact on soldiers and their families in Morris, described as a "typical small Midwestern city." Robert J. Havighurst et al., The American Veteran Back Home: A Study of Veteran Readjustment (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1951), v–vi, 39–40; Walter H. Eaton, "Research on Veterans' Adjustment," The American Journal of Sociology 51 (March 1946): 483–5; Walter Eaton, Interview with "3 Morris Girls" [1946], File 9, Box 101, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 35: Interview 2907, File 4, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; Carol Baumann LeFevre, "The Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions of One Hundred Servicemen's Wives" (M.A. Thesis, University of Chicago, 1948), 30–31. back

Note 36: United Press, "Some Wives Hurt Soldiers' Morale," New York Times (8 January 1945); "The American National Red Cross South and Southwest Pacific Selected Narrative Reports for Month Ending February 29, 1944," File: 900.118 FETO, Camp Service Reports, 1942–1944, Box 1548, Group 3, ARC Records, RG 200. back

Note 37: Dudley Harmon, "Careless and Misleading Letters Cause of Most Domestic Upsets," Stars and Stripes, London ed. (1 June 1944). See also Edward and Louise McDonagh, "War Anxieties of Soldiers and Their Wives, Social Forces 24 (December 1945): 197. back

Note 38: Robert E. Bondy to Harvey D. Gibson, Re: Policy on Requests for Assistance with Marital Problems (2 February 1944), File: 900.61 All Theaters, Activities Other than Health for the Military, Box 1416; Elmer Wood to Charlotte Johnson, Re: Chapter Participation in Moral Investigations (30 May 1944), File: 610.11 Home Service Activities, General 1944, Box 960; both in Group 3, ARC Records, RG 200, NACP. back

Note 39: Benjamin Bowker, Out of Uniform (New York: Norton, 1946), 146–8. back

Note 40: The allowances were drawn from enlisted men's pay and supplemented by the federal government. Officers received no supplement. back

Note 41: Conviction for a first offense brought the penalty of a $500 fine or a year in prison or both. back

Note 42: Heck's case against Schupp led the Supreme Court of Illinois to overturn the state's 1935 anti-heartbalm statute, outlawing alienation of affections, criminal conversation, and breach of promise to marry lawsuits. Army News Service, "While War Took GI's Legs, He Says Civilian Took His Wife" and "Cheating Wives Begin to Pay," Stars and Stripes, Paris ed. (2 and 5 August 1945); "Jail for the Faithless," Newsweek 26 (13 August 1945): 26–7; Associated Press, "Legless Soldier Accuses Wife," New York Times (1 August 1945); Stanley Heck v. Alvin S. Schupp, 394 Ill. 296 (Supreme Court of Illinois 1946). back

Note 43: Committee on Military Affairs, Senate, 78th Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on S. 1131, a Bill to Amend the Servicemen's Dependents Allowance Act of 1942  . . . and S. 1279 . . ., June 28, 1943 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943), 20–21. back

Note 44: Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, 78th Cong., 1st sess., Hearings on S. 1279 and Various House Bills to Amend the Act Providing Family Allowances for the Dependents of Enlisted Men. . . , September 29 and 30, October 1 and 5, 1943 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943), 28. back

Note 45: Ibid., 19, 28, 115. back

Note 46: Enlisted men gained the right to halt allotments to unfaithful wives in 1955. Congressional Record 78th Cong., 1st sess., 1943. Vol. 89, pt. 6, 8466–7; United Press, "Straying Wives to Pay," New York Times (3 May 1955). back

Note 47: Hartmann, "Prescriptions for Penelope," 223–39; David A. Gerber, "Heroes and Misfits: The Troubled Social Reintegration of Disabled Veterans in The Best Years of Our Lives," American Quarterly 46 (December 1994): 545–73; Robert B. Townsend, "'Home Fears Burning': Manhood, Family, and the Returning GI Problem," unpublished paper in author's possession; Robert Francis Saxe, "'Settling Down': Domesticating World War II Veterans' Challenge to Postwar Consensus" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002), chapter 1; Rebecca Jo Plant, "The Veteran, His Wife, and Their Mothers: Prescriptions for Psychological Rehabilitation after World War II" in Diederik Oostdijk and Markha G. Valenta, eds., Tales of the Great American Victory: World War II in Politics and Poetics (Amsterdam: Vrije University Press, 2006), http://historyweb.ucsd.edu/pages/people/faculty%20pages/RPlantVeteransFinal.pdf (PDF) (accessed 26 February 2007). Examples of this literature on the veterans' readjustment to family life and civilian society include: A. H. Edgerton, Readjustment or Revolution? (McGraw-Hill, 1946); Herbert I. Kupper, Back to Life: The Emotional Adjustment of Our Veterans (New York: L. B. Fischer, 1945); Grace Sloan Overton, Marriage in War and Peace: A Book for Parents and Counselor of Youth (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, [1945]); Howard Kitchning, Sex Problems of the Returned Veteran (New York: Emerson Books, Inc., 1946); John H. Mariano, The Veteran and His Marriage (New York: Council on Marriage Relations, Inc., 1945); George K. Pratt, Soldier to Civilian: Problems of Readjustment (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1944); Willard Waller, The Veteran Comes Back (New York: The Dryden Press, 1944); Alexander G. Dumas and Grace Keen, A Psychiatric Primer for the Veteran's Family and Friends (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1945); Dixon Wecter, When Johnny Comes  Marching Home (1944; reprint, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1970). back

Note 48: Dumas and Keen, Psychiatric Primer for the Veteran's Family and Friends, 12–3, 16–28; Overton, Marriage in War and Peace, 59–60. On momism and readjustment, see Plant, "The Veteran, His Wife, and Their Mothers." back

Note 49: Hartmann, "Prescriptions for Penelope," 227–30, 232–5; Townsend, "Home Fears Burning"; Frederick Robin, "When Your Soldier Comes Home," Ladies' Home Journal 62 (October 1945): 183, reprinted in Nancy Walker, ed., Women's Magazines 1940–1960: Gender Roles and the Popular Press (Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998), 56–62; Kupper, Back to Life, 182–7, 191; Overton, Marriage in War and Peace, 44–5. back

Note 50: Jere Daniel, "The Whys of War Divorces," New York Times Magazine (3 February 1946): 18, 48; Hornell Hart and Henrietta Bowne, "Divorce, Depression, and War," Social Forces 22 (December 1943): 191–4; Overton, Marriage in War and Peace, 146–55; Dumas and Keen, Psychiatric Primer for the Veteran's Family and Friends, 24–7; Pratt, Soldier to Civilian, 180–94; Mariano, Veteran and His Marriage, vi–viii, 60–62. For more on popular concerns about war marriages, see Alison Lefkovitz, "The Feminine Side of the Selective Service: War Marriage and Citizenship during World War II," unpublished paper in author's possession. back

Note 51: Waller, Veteran Comes Back, 13–5, 132–9, 175, 183–91, 284–91; Willard Waller, "What You Can Do to Help the Returning Veteran," Ladies' Home Journal 62 (February 1945): 26–7, 95; Townsend, "Home Fears Burning." back

Note 52:  "Nothing Else to Do," Newsweek 26 (1 October 1945): 58. For more on censorship and fraternization, see chapter 3. back

Note 53: The 22 October 1945 issue of Newsweek featured a series of photographs entitled "Date with a Geisha," 64–5. For more on the topic of sexual relations between American soldiers and Japanese women, see John Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York: W. W. Norton, Inc., 1999), 123–39. back

Note 54: David Anderson, "Belgians Reprove GI's Lax Conduct" and Drew Middleton, "Veterans Called Law-Abiding Men," New York Times (11 September, 14 October 1945); "No Land of Saints," Time 46 (24 September 1945): 18; "The Idle GI and Liberated France Are Mighty Tired of Each Other," Newsweek 26 (19 November 1945): 56, 58. For more on GI criminality and press reports from Europe, see John Willoughby, Remaking the Conquering Heroes: The Postwar American Occupation of Germany (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 16–9, 137–43. back

Note 55: Margaret Chase Smith to Henry L. Stimson, 29 May 1945, Statements and Speeches vol. 3, p 414, and news articles in Scrapbook vol. 32, pp. 107, 119, 121, 125, 129, all in Margaret Chase Smith Collection, Northwood University; Associated Press, "Army to Let Families Join Troops Overseas" and "Back Soldier-Wife Plan: Many Endorse Proposal that Women Go to Europe," New York Times (16 and 23 July 1945). For more on the decision to send American wives and fiancées to join occupation soldiers, see chapter 3. back

Note 56: Harry S. Truman to Hon. George B. Schwabe (19 September 1945), File: Official 190-R, White House Central Files, Harry S. Truman Library. back

Note 57: Bring Back Daddy Club "To Our Legislators" (ca. February 1946). In December 1945 and January and February 1946, President Harry S. Truman received daily letters, telegrams, and petitions from Bring Back Daddy Club members in Chicago, Duluth, Atlanta, Milwaukee, St. Paul-Minneapolis, Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Mobile, Toledo, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Peoria, and several smaller cities; General File, keyword "Bring," White House Central Files, Harry S. Truman Library. Associated Press, "Demand 'Daddies' Back," New York Times (10 November 1945). For more on this topic, see the conclusion. back

Note 58: For more on this topic, see the conclusion. back

Note 59: Anne Hurley, "Conversation with Mr. Tope of the Methodist Church" (10 April 1945) and "Conversation with Godfrey Berg" (20 April 1945), both in File 8, Box 15, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. See also Havighurst et al., American Veteran Back Home, 54–5. back

Note 60: The interviews used by LeFevre were conducted by University of Chicago students during the final year of the war. LeFevre, "The Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions of One Hundred Servicemen's Wives," 10–11, 124–5, 128–31; Interview 2350, File 3, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 61: Interview 3306, File 5, Box 74; Interview 43 in Mildred Handler, "Ten Cases in the Adjustments of Servicemen's Wives," File 9, Box 131; both in Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; LeFevre, "Satisfactions and Dissatisfactions," 126, 131–4. See also Campbell, Women at War with America, 205–7; McDonagh and McDonagh, "War Anxieties of Soldiers and Their Wives," 198–200. back

Note 62: Interview 3305, File 5, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 63: Eliza K. Pavalko and Glen H. Elder Jr., "World War II and Divorce: A Life-Course Perspective," American Journal of Sociology 95 (March 1990): 1222–4; Interview 3367 in Carolyn Barnes, "Problems of Adjustment of War Marriages" (August 1945), File 4, Box 128, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 64: Interview 4551, File 6, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. On typical patterns of adjustment to reunion, see Reuben Hill and Elise Boulding, Families under Stress: Adjustment to the Crises of War Separation and Reunion (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949), 85–97. back

Note 65: Interview 4445, File 6, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 66: Ibid.; Mariano, Veteran and His Marriage, 54. back

Note 67: Interview 2350, File 3, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, University of Chicago Library, Dept. of Special Collections. back

Note 68: Freda Spitzer to Albert Spitzer (30 April 1945), Albert and Freda Spitzer Correspondence, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries; Interview 2906, File 4, Box 74, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, University of Chicago Library, Dept of Special Collections; Havighurst, American Veteran Back Home, 46–7. back

Note 69: On the fantasy fathers soldiers' children imagined, see George R. Bach, "Father-Fantasies and Father-Typing in Father-Separated Children," Child Development 17 (March–June 1946): 63–80; Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War," 220–21. back

Note 70: Lois Meek Stolz, Father Relations of War-Born Children (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1954), 291. back

Note 71: These and other names of persons interviewed by Walter Eaton are pseudonyms. Interviews with Tom C (17 April 1946), Rick B (8 June 1946), and "3 Morris Girls" [1946], File 9, Box 101, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library; Havighurst et al., American Veteran Back Home, 83–4. back

Note 72: On soldiers' anxieties about postwar domestic obligations, see J. J. V. Cammisa and James Clark Moloney, "Separation Anxiety," Mental Hygiene 31 (April 1947): 229–36. back

Note 73: Stolz, Father Relations of War-Born Children, 4–12, 21–3, 30, 40–50, 291–2; Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War," chapter 12. A similar study by Virginia Van Meter Underwood found that veteran-fathers generally "thought in terms of guidance through showing disapproval [including physical punishment] rather than through showing approval." "Student Fathers with Their Children," Marriage and Family Living 11 (August 1949): 101. back

Note 74: Stolz, Father Relations of War-Born Children, 35–9, 65–74, 287, 290–91, 294–6; Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War," 222–3. back

Note 75: Havighurst et al., American Veteran Back Home, vi, 68–73, 77. Walter Eaton, Interviews with Ray M (13 May 1946) and "3 Morris Girls" [1946], File 9, Box 101, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 76: Havighurst et al., American Veteran Back Home, 75–80, 111–18; Walter Eaton, Interviews with Mike T (29 May 1946) and Ed M (5 June 1946), File 9, Box 101, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 77: Walter Eaton, Interviews with John N (25 May 1946), File 9, Box 101 and Glen H [September? 1946], File 1, Box 102, both in Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 78: Walter Eaton, Interviews with Tony L [spring 1946] and of Roy B (12 June 1946); both in File 1, Box 102, Ernest W. Burgess Papers, Special Collections, University of Chicago Library. back

Note 79: On the origins of the marriage and baby booms, see Herbert S. Klein, A Population History of the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 156–8, 174–81; Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War," 18–27; James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 76–9; Landon Jones, Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation (New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1980), chapters 1 and 2. back

Note 80: United States Bureau of the Census, The Statistical History of the United States from Colonial Times to the Present (Stamford: Fairfield, 1965), 15; Modell and Steffey, "Waging War and Marriage," 196–203, 212–14. On the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill of Rights, see Suzanne Mettler, Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Norton, 2005), chapter 5; David H. Onkst, "'First a Negro .  .  . Incidentally a Veteran': Black World War Two Veterans and the G.I. Bill of Rights in the Deep South, 1944–1948" Journal of Social History 31 (Spring 1998): 517–43; Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (New York: Vintage Books, 2004), 137–46, 156–60, 166–73. back

Note 81: Havighurst et al., American Veteran Back Home, chapters 10, 11, and Appendix; Glen H. Elder Jr., "War Mobilization and the Life Course: A Cohort of World War II Veterans," Sociological Forum 2 (Summer 1987): 215–31; Glen H. Elder Jr., Cynthia Gimbel, and Rachel Ivie, "Turning Points in Life: The Case of Military Service and War," Military Psychology 3 (1991): 215–31. back

Note 82: Levittown had an explicit "whites only" policy, whereas Park Forest developers and residents quietly but effectively excluded African Americans until 1959. back

Note 83: On Park Forest, see the sixty-nine interviews conducted under the auspices of the Park Forest Public Library, "The Oral History of Park Forest: Oh! Park Forest," many of which are available online at http://www.idaillinois.org (accessed 20 March 2007); William H. Whyte Jr., The Organization Man (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor, 1956), part 7; Gregory C. Randall, America's Original G.I. Town: Park Forest, Illinois (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000); Herbert J. Gans, "Park Forest: Birth of a Jewish Community," Commentary 11 (1951): 330–39; Harry Henderson and Sam Shaw, "City to Order," Colliers (14 February 1948), 16–7, 52–4. On Levittown, see John Thomas Liell, "Levittown: A Study in Community Planning and Development" (Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1952); Harold L. Wattel, "Levittown: A Suburban Community" in William M. Dobriner, ed., The Suburban Community (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1958), 287–313; William M. Dobriner, Class in Suburbia (1963; reprint, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981), chapter 4; Barbara M. Kelly, Expanding the American Dream: Building and Rebuilding Levittown (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004); Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), chapter 13. back