Family Stories

Mother’s War Ration Book Two

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In going through mom’s things in the last few months I found her War Ration Book Two.  The book is issued in her name – Catherine Carrico, of Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky.  She is listed as eleven years of age – so the year would have been 1942.  The war was World War II.

Mom talked about the war quite often.  She was young, but old enough to remember some things.  Her oldest brother, Robert, was killed September 14, 1943, in Italy.  So the war was a bitter memory of losing a brother, seeing her mother cry often, and watching another brother go off to war just a few months later.  Only the girls were left on the farm, and for one year they tried to help their dad with crops and livestock, but it was just too hard.  They sold the farm and moved to town.

1.  This book is the property of the United States Government.  It is unlawful to sell or give it to any other person or to use it or permit anyone else to use it, except to obtain rationed goods for the person to whom it was issued.

2.  This book must be returned to the War Price and Rationing Board which issued it, if the person to whom it was issued is inducted into the armed services of the United States, or leaves the country for more than 30 days, or dies.  The address of the Board appears above.

3.  A person who finds a lost War Ration book must return it to the War Price and Rationing Board which issued it.

4.  Person who violate rationing regulations are subject to $10,000 fine or imprisonment, or both.

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Mom’s ration book still has stamps in it – some are red, some are blue.  I’m not sure what was purchased with these stamps, but I do remember she talked about sugar and gas.

The Carrico family had a large garden, raised a few cows and hogs.  There were fruit trees on the farm.  Nothing was wasted – even when there was no war to contend with!  Grandmother canned peaches, berries, all vegetables from the garden.  Hogs were slaughtered in the fall.  Sorghum molasses were also made in fall.  In fact, that was what the family was doing when the news came that Robert had been killed.  When mom saw their parish priest and her Aunt Maggie coming toward them she knew it couldn’t be good news.  It was a sorrowful time.

Mom entrusted me with Robert’s photos, letters and her memories – not only to keep them safe, but to keep them alive and vibrant throughout the family and with whomever would listen.  I’m sure you all have stories such as this – pass them down from generation to generation!

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6 replies »

  1. Wow! This article was so touching and brought back many memories to me also. I was born in 1932, so I remember the ration books myself. We had stamps for gasoline (green I think) for meat, sugar, shoes and Other things which I don’t remember. I remember being sent to the Piggly Wiggly to get meat . I stood in line with our red stamps to get what I could. Also we could get 2 pairs of shoes per year. Luckily I was not hard on my shoes. We did not get enough gasoline to go to Kentucky to visit(we lived in Georgia) until we saved our stamps for awhile. When we did go, our Uncle Charlie Leonard, who owned a store at Rosehill, KY gave my sister and me a whole box of Fleers bubblegum, which we had not had at all during the war. We both had sore jaws by the time we got home At home in Atlanta we had blackouts, where you pulled dark curtains over all your windows and if any light showed the Warden would let you know. During all of this however I did not feel deprived or frightened. It all just seemed normal. There were also many funny as well as touching memories.

    • Marilyn, thank you for sharing your memories! When you speak of Rosehill, Kentucky, are you talking about Mercer County? I know many friends who come from that part of the county! I don’t remember my mother talking about blackouts, but being in central Kentucky was far enough away from anyone seeing lights. Mom always talked about rich she felt – even though they lived on a small farm. But that was her world – acres to walk over, grapevines to swing on, mules to race (when their dad wasn’t looking!), parents who loved them and plenty of food from the farm. We should all be so lucky!

      • Yes, I was referring to Rosehill in Mercer Co KY. My family has lived in Mercer County for over 200 years. It is beautiful country. and the people are so friendly. The blackouts probably only occurred in towns. I lived in Atlanta, GA. which was a large town at that time. I think that loving parents everywhere helped us children feel safe and loved. Please keep up your website. It is wonderful. Marilyn

  2. Hi. I was just going through some old papers and found some cards for my mother, my sister and myself. The cards are dated 1942. My mother was 34, I was 10 and my sister was 4. We all had our finger prints taken (printed on the card) we all had blood type O positive and our height and weight was listed. In addition our sex, race and eye and hair color were listed. I found out many years later that all this information was kept by the government for identification purposes in case Atlanta was bombed or otherwise attacked during WWII.Glad I didn’t know until much later.

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