History of “Let’s Buy a Bomber for Uncle Sam” Fund
As it has been truly said that “Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow” so a sincere appeal thoroughly aroused more than 17,000 Americans of Slovak Descent and led them to unite their efforts and combine their contributions in a Fund which culminated in the raising of the sum of $31,231.06 for the purchase of three Fairchild PT-19B Trainer planes to be used in the training of Army Air Corps Cadets.
In mid-January, 1942, Mr. Ladislav Baranovich, of 282 Lincoln Avenue, North Vandergrift, Pa., wrote a letter to the Slovenska Obrana, a semi-weekly newspaper, published in the Slovak tongue, by Obrana Press, of Scranton Pa. He reminded his people of the privileges and blessings enjoyed in the land of their adoption. He urged them to show their appreciation by starting a Fund to buy a Bomber to present to the War Department and offered a day’s pay toward such a collection.
In its issue of January 30, 1942, Slovenska Obrana announced that it would take up voluntary contributions; defraying the incidental expense of the campaign and publishing semi-weekly the names of all contributors, their address, and the amount of their contributions. The article stated that the “Let’s Buy a Bomber for Uncle Sam” Fund had gotten off to a good start with the sum of $178 subscribed by the Officers and Employees of Slovenska Obrana.
So spontaneous was the response that by March 1st more than $1,000 had been subscribed. Those who offered material assistance kept their word; they not only sent in their own contributions, but solicited friends and neighbors for help. Some volunteer workers sent in 8 or more reports; results of their efforts at fraternal and club meetings, at churches, in schools and shops, everywhere Slovaks congregated. To these zealous workers belongs much of the credit for the success of the Campaign.
Scarcely a week passed without finding the Bomber Fund increased by at least another thousand dollars. In all, 16,000 readers of Slovenska Obrana in 37 states made individual contributions to the Fund. Following the suggestion of Slovenska Obrana, the publishers of Osadne Hlasy, a Chicago Diocesan Slovak newspaper, began a Bomber Fund and approximately 1,600 subscribers and friends sent in contributions totaling $3,050.13.
A check for this amount, together with a certified check for $28,180.93 was presented to Assistant Secretary of War for Air, Mr. Robert A. Lovett, in Washington. D.C., on April 15 by Frank and Michael J. Bosak. Jr., publishers of Slovenska Obrana. It was at the suggestion of the War Department that the decision was made to use these Funds to purchase three PT-19B Trainer planes.
At the Cleveland Airport, Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday afternoon, May 29, 1943, at 2:30 P.M., these three Trainer planes will be officially dedicated. As they take to the air, the same sincere sentiments will be in the hearts and minds of very one witnessing the ceremonies: —
“May God protect every brave lad who secures any part of his training in any of these Trainer planes and may each prove himself a real ‘Ace.'”