Pulaski County, Missouri has a long and proud tradition of patriotism. In remarkable spirit, citizens laid their cash on the barrel head in return for Uncle Sam’s war bonds during several War Loan Drives to support the war efforts of World War II. War Loan Drives were held nationwide and Pulaski County stepped up to the plate. The third War Loan Drive was held from early September through early October in 1943 with a national goal of $15 billion and the county quota was $336,000. With Dru Pippin as the chairman from the county, Pulaski County delivered $341,787, almost $6,000 over goal. Adjusted for inflation the money raised by Pulaski County in 1943 would equal $4,604,621.64 today. $75,000 of the monies raised bought a P-51 Mustang which was named “The Spirit of Pulaski County” by local bond buyers. After purchasing a Series E War Bond the buyer was able to submit a naming suggestion.
Pulaski County, always patriotic and dutiful, had seen many of her citizens march off to war, but part of the rallying cry for the War Loan Drives was the memory of Wayne Lynn “Buck” Bandy. A graduate of Waynesville High School, Buck played trumpet for Navy Band Number 22, and was one of the many sailors lost on board the U.S.S. Arizona December 7, 1941.
Dru Pippin said of the successful War Loan Drives:
“This magnificent response to put idle dollars to work for victory is our message to our fighting men wherever they might be, that Pulaski County has gone to War too.”
Many businesses were advertisement sponsors for the War Loan Drives including Long’s Drug Store Sundries, United Army Store, Rigsby Service Station, Baker Hotel, Dr. C.A. Talbot, Owl Cafe, Clark’s Cafe, Chicago Military Store, Prewett Liquor Store, Bell Hotel, Bursons Cafe, Ford Cafe, Copeland Military Store, Sinclair Service Station, Blue Line Bus Service, Tut’s Cafe, Fort Wood Hotel, Ft. Wood Military Supply, 5% Beer Parlor, Safety Service Station and Bell Garage.
Today, over 70 years later, Pulaski County still fervently supports those who put their life on the line to fight for our freedoms. Pulaski County was the first Purple Heart County in the State of Missouri, and several of our cities have received the Purple Heart City designation as well.
Special Thank You to Steven M. Beattie and Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society for their contributions and images.
To plan your trip to Pulaski County, Missouri, home of Fort Leonard Wood, visit http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA, like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA, or order your FREE Official Visitors Guide at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-858-8687.