Muralists Jenny Roesel Ustick and Atalie Gagnet discovered Elizabeth “Libby” Gardner’s story while researching for the Rockford CRE8IV art festival. Gardner, a 1939 graduate from Rockford High School, flew for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) during World War II. The WASP Archive at Texas Woman’s University provided a photo of Gardner in a B-26 Marauder. The mural at 221 E. State Street is based on the photo. Source: Rockford Register Star, May 19, 2019
Elizabeth “Libby” Gardner was one of the women pilots during World War II. The Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS), was organized in 1942 by Jacqueline Cochrane, world record-holding pilot. Source: Rockford Register-Republic, Sept. 6, 1977
The morning newspaper put out an extra edition to announced the invasion of Normandy 75 years ago today. General Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower told his men they were on a great crusade. It was the largest invasion of all time. Source: Rockford Morning Star, extra edition, June 6, 1944.
“Your Advance Fuel Oil Ration” letter, May 15, 1943, from the Office of Price Administration, Rationing Division, Seattle, Washington. When received, the letter would have included Fuel Oil Coupons, which would have been used to heat the home. The letter included tips for conserving as much fuel oil as possible. Found in a 1943 East High School Yearbook; no ration coupons found, as they would have been used.
During World War II, Dr. Lilburn S. Greenwood served as a Lt. Col. in the Pacific. He had served as the Winnebago County physician from 1935-1939. After the war, he returned to Rockford to open a medical office in the Trust Building. Source: Rockford Morning Star, Sept. 10, 1944, Feb. 19, 1947.