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Size Matters: 1943

Size Matters: 1943

February 1943. "Mrs. Mary Betchner measuring 105mm howitzers at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plant of the Chain Belt Company. Her son is in the Army; her husband and daughter are in war work." View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information.


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Service Age

The average WWII serviceman's age was 26 according to the Westmoreland papers. The average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam was 22.

Chain Belt

Apparently the company is now known as Rexnord, and is still in Wisconsin with facilities in other areas around the country; it does aerospace and industrial manufacturing now.

Re: Young Mother

I believe the average age of a soldier or Marine in World War II was nineteen. I know of one fellow who joined up at sixteen, fought in North Africa, transferred to the airborne, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and died in France at twenty, a grizzled veteran of three years hard combat.

Mary looks so young!

How could she possibly be old enough to have a son in the Army? Beautiful!

I can't resist...

"Feeling inadequate?"

Big gun go boom

You can have your howitzer any color you want as long as it's olive drab.


I hope she's not wearing purple socks like those other wartime workers and therefore delegitimizing herself.

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