Beer & the Military in WWII

Pacific Paratrooper

Happy G.I.s w/ their beer!

During WWI, the U.S. struggled to supply “the comforts of home” to the Doughboys.  The Red Cross and various other groups helped, but it wasn’t enough.  During WWII, the U.S. government was determined to do a better job and reserved a certain percentage of comfort items, such as beer and cigarettes, for the servicemen.

Service members could buy such items, along with gum, pop, candy, books, etc. at a PX.  When feasible, small mobile PXs were set up, sometimes in the back of jeeps, to supply such items to those on or near the front.

Breweries were required to set aside a 15% of their production for military use.  The prohibitionists were still around and active and tried to convince the military to ban alcoholic beverages totally.  Instead the military supplied only 3.2% beer to servicemen instead of the 4-7% alcohol content.  Theoretically, servicemen could…

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