IV. The Greenhill Era -- "As an employee of the Acklin Stamping Company...you are much the same as a member of a large family, working together for the success and happiness of the family group." --New Employee Procedure Manual 1947.


C. Veterans Come Home

AsWorld War II ended many Acklin employees who had left to join the army began to return home to their jobs. Many women who a few years earlier had been working on the "Big Line" producing shell casings left to get married, often to returning Acklin veterans, and started families. The women that remained at Acklin shifted to clerical work or small line production.

The number of men returning to America looking for work was rather large. Many former Acklin employees returned to their old jobs, but as Acklin expanded to meet the demands of the civilian market, including the quickly growing refrigeration and air conditioning industries, quite a few new faces were hired as well.

Bernard Sztukowski worked in the die shop at Acklin before joining the Army's amphibious forces. He spent two years in the Pacific participating in three major and battles and was aboard the U.S.S. Missouri to witness the surrender of Japan on August 14th, 1945. He returned to Acklin in 1946 and married his fianc´┐Że, Lenore Muck, one of Acklin's two nurses in the First Aid room. He would remain at Acklin for the next several decades, continuing to work primarily in the die room.

Steve Przybylski, who had worked at Acklin since the depression, became a corporal with the Chemical Warfare Unit and played a part in four major battles in France, Germany, and the Rhineland during the war, including the Battle of the Bulge. Eugene Chapman also saw significant military action, serving for two full years in the Navy on an Aircraft Carrier in Manila Bay. He took part in seven major battles and his ship was hit twice by Japanese suicide planes.

Not every Acklin veteran saw as much action during the war as Bernard, Eugene, and Steve did, some like Les Carr, who entered in 1943, were bounced around the United States. Les went to Miami Beach for basic training, and then spent six months in Camp Campbell in Kentucky. From there he joined an Military Police outfit and spent the next year and 1/2 between March Field, California and Abilene, Texas. Following his discharge in October of 1945, Les returned to Acklin.

Homer Percival, Acklin's general production foreman and an 18 year Acklinite received a draft exemption based on his importance in and knowledge of Acklin's business. He instead served on the Selective Service Board, sending many of Acklin's employees off to the war, including Robert Keller, editor of the Acklin Press, Acklin's monthly newspaper.

Not everyone returned from the war in the same shape they left for it. Harold Krueger enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and was sent to Machinist's Mate Service School in Dearborn, Michigan. Upon completion of the program he joined a ship and sailed through New Caledonia, New Guinea, and the Admiralty Islands, serving as a machinist. In March of 1943 however his leg was crushed between his ship and a tugboat. He spent over two years in Navy Hospitals in the Pacific, recovering from his injuries, finally returning to the United States in May of 1945. Harold recovered well from his injuries and would remain at Acklin for over 40 more years, eventually becoming plant manager during the mid-1980s.

Bernard Sztukowski

Bernard Sztukowski

 

 

 

Steve Przybylski

Steve Przybylski


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Last Updated: 1/3/12