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Visual display of the USO Club, Manitowoc, WI

USO Club, Manitowoc, WI

  • 1942
  • Four sailors in uniform stand in front of the window of the USO Club at 901 York Street in Manitowoc, under a large sign "USO Club Rooms sponsored by Manitowoc Citizens Committee in cooperation with the Salvation Army." This photograph was originally published in the October 1942 issue of Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company's newsletter "The Keel Block," which identified the men and their assignments as, left to right: Edward R. McDonald from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Peto); James W. MacMartin from Detroit, Michigan (Ship's Co.); George F. Black from Atlantic City, New Jersey (Pogy); and Wm. Larsen from Iowa Falls, Iowa (Pogy). The club, open 4:00 p.m. to midnight and 2:00 p.m. to midnight on Sundays, had a lounge with a phonograph and a small library, a game room, and a kitchenette. Soft drinks, coffee, sandwiches, and cake were available along with other food donated by churches and community organizations. Submarine sailors stationed in Manitowoc while training aboard submarines built at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company frequented the club, along with Coast Guard and Army personnel. Local women and girls staffed the club in shifts of two as volunteer hostesses, under the supervision of a local USO board. USO stands for "United Service Organizations," a national group of private social service agencies such as the Salvation Army and YMCA which was chartered to provide recreation and other services for members of the armed forces. Nationwide, there were more than 3,000 local USO clubs.