The American Legion Serves On The Side Of The Nation That Had The Oil

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“God was on the side of the nation that had the oil.” – Prof. Wakimura, Tokyo Imperial University. It seems, even in a world of turmoil, that we get so busy living our lives and the day to day events that we start to take for granted our situations, lifestyles and the many comforts we enjoy. Even though each day has its struggles, my life is good. I grew up in a relatively secluded and peaceful area, in a country I feel very blessed to be part of. In our small community in West Central Utah, patriotism is alive and well. The American Legion serves almost tirelessly from high school flag ceremonies, community events to Veterans Day Programs. But I grew up with a bonus - I had the opportunity to listen to a World War II gunner, Ken…show more content…
“I had two guns and it was my job to protect everything in the rear.” (interview) Over 60% of Ken’s sorties were to destroy the oil fields of the Axis forces (German, Italian and Japanese). Germany itself did not have large oil reserves and most of its oil came from France, Romania and the Soviet Union. The real cost of WWII was great, greater than many realized - in lives, supplies, and oil to allow either side to fight. This modern war was not fought on the bellies of the soldiers as in wars past, but relied heavily upon the gas tanks of the airplanes, submarines, ships and tanks. Every country involved in the war understood the importance of oil. This is a lesson that was learned well in the First World War. Hitler understood better than most what it took to win a war and the supplies that would be needed. Between 1933-39 the production of oil was increased by immense proportion nearly tripling their production of crude oil (Antonucci). The United States Air Force, including Ken Porter and the rest of his crew, with their attacks on the oil fields and certain locations along their transportation routes, were able to make a huge difference in this great war. Limiting the oil and stopping the forces from receiving supplies, including gasoline, was a vital part of winning the war. Ken spent most of his missions, 42 sorties (credited with over 50 missions), going after oil refineries. Oil became one of the most
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