War rations were once part of life


I still have my own “War Ration Book” from when WWII was going on!! Somehow, I have saved the book of rations since it was given to me on Oct. 25, 1943. I was in the second grade of school at that time.

I’m sure I didn’t know the real value of it but my mother did, and she kept it for me. I’m sure she gave it to me as a keepsake after the war was over. It still contains 96 individual rations. On the back of it are some important instructions:

1. This book is valuable. Do not lose it.

2. Each stamp authorizes you to purchase rationed goods in the quantities and at the times designated by the Office of Price Administration. Without the stamps you will be unable to purchase those goods.

3. Detailed instructions concerning the use of the book and the stamps will be issued. Watch for those instructions so that you will know how to use your book and stamps. Your Local War Price and Rationing Board can give you full information.

4. Do not throw this book away when all of the stamps have been used, or when the time for their use has expired. You may be required to present this book when you apply for subsequent books.

The cover is in almost perfect shape and has my name written across the front. Forty-eight of the rations have pictures of boats on them, and the other 48 have pictures of tanks. You can tell that five pages of rations are missing.

In the previous article, I had written about taking the rations to the corner store, by myself, and bringing home some sugar.

In the summer of 1944, just as the war was ending, we moved from Galion to Delaware, Ohio. It was great to feel safe living in Delaware and knowing that WWII was over.

Somehow I knew to keep track of my ration book, and I am very glad to find it this morning so as to write about it now. I had put it away in an envelope with my maiden name “Kay E. Grandstaff” on it this whole time.

This article started out being an extension of an article I wrote a couple of years ago that was titled “Second Grader’s View of WWII.”

In that article I wrote about the music that was playing during those years. One is the first time that Kate Smith sang “God Bless America.” Also the band music that was either “Yankey Doodle Dandy” or the “Over There” song. If you like that type of music, just put “Over There” in your search, and you will find them all.

And I will end this with the wish for everyone, Eeverywhere, and that one big word is “PEACE.”


By Kay Conklin

Contributing columnist

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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