World War II Central Illinois Stories

Wartime Decatur


(Aired on WILL-TV's "Prairie Fire" on April 10, 2008)

In World War II, soldiers from Decatur, Ill., served in North Africa, Italy, the Philippines and Germany. Local volunteers rolled bandages, collected food, and recycled bales of paper and heaps of scrap metal. Citizens planted victory gardens and bought war bonds and savings stamps. Dan Guillory's book, "Wartime Decatur: 1832 & 1945" documents the vigorous wartime culture based on community involvement and a strong sense of patriotism. Prairie Fire talks to Guillory about his stories of service both on and off the battlefield. Then producer Denise La Grassa recounts the experiences of Decatur's Carl Mocabee, who was a master sergeant in the Army stationed in the Philippines and New Guinea. He received a Purple Heart and Silver Star during his service.