Communities found innumerable ways to support the war effort, and locations like this service members’ canteen popped up like mushrooms wherever military personnel congregated in the early 1940’s.
The American War Dads of Springfield produced this postcard to highlight their canteen, located adjacent to a passenger train station, but they also raised funds to sponsor the travel expenses of mothers visiting their sons at O’Reilly General Hospital. Known as “the Hospital with a Soul,” this Army medical center in Springfield, Missouri specialized in reconstructive surgery, plastic surgery, and physical therapy. Between 1941 and 1946, O’Reilly General Hospital provided extended care for injured veterans returning from the fight abroad. Worth a watch, a local news story about the history and fate of the “Hospital with a Soul” is included below.
The major buildings served as a Veterans Hospital (VA Hospital) after the war, but was only used as such for a few years before being left vacant. A small number of the hastily constructed buildings (commonplace at many such World War II installations) which comprised part of the hospital’s facilities remain in private use by small businesses. In 1954, the property was acquired by a private religious group and converted into Evangel University.
This particular postcard, addressed to “Youngster,” mentions corresponding with the boy’s mother and is signed with love, all indicating that it was likely sent to the sender’s nephew.
Stay tuned for another postcard from this sender and location, coming soon in the next blog post, War Dad’s Canteen: Part 2.
How are you this time? Are you being a smart boy? Your Mother says you will be lone some in a few days as Sister will be away at school. Hope to see you soon.
To: Mr. Douglas Scott, Morrisville, NC – Route 1
From: Sgt Marvin L. Ward
O’Reilly General Hospital. Springfield, Mo.
Postcard printed by MWM, Aurora, Missouri.
More about O’Reilly General Hospital
Well worth taking a look, the Springfield-Green County Library in Springfield, Missouri has published a large collection of photos of personnel, facilities and operations about O’Reilly General Hospital on its website.
Featured image: By National Library of Medicine – http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101401904, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62466009
Looking for more?
Check out these other vintage “Lost Greetings” postcards.
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