East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

World War II Memories Shared at September Meeting

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on October 5, 2013

On September 28th Marvin Leitzke spoke to our club about living on North Street during the Second World War when he was 10 to 14 years old.  His father was the manager of the meat department at the Kroger Store, 2541 Winnebago Street.  He prepared about 20 display boards for “show & tell”, one of which showed the various types of food and commodity stamps and tokens used to ration items during the war.

Marvin Lietzke shared memories and information about World War II-era Madison.

Marvin Leitzke shared memories and information about World War II-era Madison.

He mentioned that his wife’s family was forced to move from their house when Truax Field wanted the land to expanded.

He asked “Where were you on Dec. 7th, 1941 when you heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked?”  Marvin was coming out of the Orpheum Theater after watching Abbott & Costello in “Keep ’em Flying”. One of the attendees, Eldon Hoel, spoke up and said that’s where he was, too!

Also mentioned were the near east side businesses that produced for the war effort, especially Madison Kipp, Ray-O-Vac and Oscar Mayer.

The Madison Kipp factory produced war materiel.

The Madison Kipp factory produced war materiel.

Marvin explained that during the war families put a banner in their window with one or more blue stars for members who were serving in the armed forces and/or a banner with one or more gold stars for members who had been killed in the war.  Madison-Kipp also displayed a banner on the front of their building in 1945 with a gold star and the number 13 and a blue star with the number 491.

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