"God Bless, and Save America"

Identified WW II Community Based Canteens

CLICK HERE to return to the Main Canteen Page

Mobile, Alabama -- Red Cross canteen on Louisville & Nashville Railroad, no other details

Martinez California -- No details available    

San Mateo, California -- No details available     

Bridgeport, Conn.  -- No details available   

Boise, Idaho -- On Union Pacific Railroad, operated by the Red Cross near the Union Pacific passenger station. Opened September 17, 1943 and closed April 2, 1946.  For the first year it operated as a mobile canteen from a  trailer with volunteers standing outside to serve troops on passing trains.  Moved into a "modern kitchen equipped building" in October 1944.

Pocatello, Idaho -- On Union Pacific Railroad, operated as a USO canteen at the passenger yards of the Union Pacific Railroad.  Fed about 2 million troops between April 1942 and mid-1946 when closed.

Streator, Illinois -- Volunteers served approximately 1.5 million troops at the Santa Fe Railroad Station. Founder of the canteen was Mrs. Plimmer, along with two others. The sponsoring organization was the Parents Service Club. Volunteers came from 47 communities in nine counties around Streator. Thirty service organizations in Streator supported the canteen. Troops were fed by volunteers who boarded the train, The canteen opened in November 28, 1943, often serving over one thousand troops a day.  It closed in May 28, 1946.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Elkhart, Indiana -- Operated at New York Central Railroad Station.     

Evansville, Indiana -- From June 14, 1942, until closed on Jan. 1, 1946, nearly 2,000 canteen volunteers served 1,618,000 servicemen more than 1 million sandwiches, 480,000 donuts, millions of cups of coffee, 30,000 pies, 20,000 pounds of potatoes, 8,000 gallons of ice cream, thousands of gallons of chili, soup and vegetables, and thousands of cakes, cookies, rolls and other dishes, all donated by Evansville area citizens.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Richmond, Indiana - U.S.O. operated info booth at PRR station and passed out free magazines, newspapers, cigarettes, drinks and cookies on the station platforms to troops on passing trains.  From time to time served full meals at the station in box lunch style.

Terre Haute, Indiana -- Operated as a USO canteen at the joint Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central Railroad station.     

Clinton, Iowa --  Clinton Chapter, 255, Sustaining Wings of Iowa, began its canteen project in August 1943, by meeting trains with lunch baskets packed with food. They met all trains between 7 a.m. and midnight each day.  From 3,500 to 4,000 service men and women pass through Clinton on trains each day.  Closed March 30, 1946.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Waterloo, Iowa -- Started at the Illinois Central Railroad station on August 8, 1945, by United Service Women. Hours of operation were 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Operated a mobile service for other stations on the Rock Island and Chicago Great Western in town.  The first donation to start this canteen was made by Mr. Tom Sullivan, father to the five Sullivan brothers (USN) killed at Guadalcanal.  Mr. Sullivan was a freight conductor on the Illinois Central Railroad.  Closed May 25, 1946, after having served a 30 car troop train. Final total estimated at 200,000 served. Featured a mobile post office at the IC station.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Oelwein, Iowa -- A community based USO canteen opened May 2, 1943, at the Chicago Great Western Station. Hours of operation were 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily  Charged for foods made available to passing troops.     

Dodge City, Kansas -- Daughters of the American Revolution, Dodge City Chapter, operated a canteen at the Santa Fe railroad station where volunteers provided magazines, books, candy, fruit, beverages and snacks to passing troops.

Newton, Kansas -- Canteen on the Santa Fe Railroad.  The Harvey County chapter of the USO was organized on April 10, 1942, in combination with the Red Cross Canteen on East Fifth Street and they jointly opened a canteen. Up to forty troop trains a daily passed through Newton. During the four years and five months that the USO was open, 194,176 service men and women made use of the lounge, while another 2,217,385 were served on the trains that stopped at the Newton Station.

Neodesha, Kansas -- Perhaps the first WW II canteen. It was started in June or July 1941, by Loraine Greenwood and Mary Kate Johnson. The canteen served over 200,000 men during World War II, closing in late 1945 or early 1946.  It was reactivated for the Korean War on August 25, 1950 and was closed in 1953.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Bowling Green, Kentucky -- Operated by War Mothers at the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Station.  No other information.     

Louisville, Kentucky - At the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Station. No details available.

Ann Arbor, Michigan -- Mobile Red Cross Canteen met morning trains of the New York Central Railroad with coffee and sandwiches between mid-1942 and late 1945.

Springfield, Missouri -- War Dadsí Canteen, at the Frisco railroad station.

Helena, Montana -- Community based canteen started July 10, 1945, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and supported by 27 local organizations.  Service ended on or about December 7, 1945.  Troops served on the platform of the Milwaukee Road station.  An estimated 75 troop and hospital trains were served in addition to troops on regular scheduled passenger trains.     

Grand Island, Nebraska -- No details available    

Lincoln, Nebraska -- The Cookie Jar Canteen.  Started February 8, 1942, as a cookie jar at the Travelers Aid desk at the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Station.  Grew into a full blown canteen service with a hospitality unit that sponsored dinners, dances and other local activities for locally based troops in addition to its work at the C B & Q station. Served over one million troops.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

McCook, Nebraska -- Started by Elks Lodge to pass out cigarettes and magazines during the service stop on the C B & Q.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Norfolk, Nebraska -- No other information.   

North Platte, Nebraska -- The largest known community based canteen in the United States.  Over 51 months, almost 55,000 volunteers from nearly 125 communities served 6 million service men and women. Between 2,000 and 5,000 soldiers and sailors would be fed daily.  Operated from December 25, 1941 to April 1, 1946.  This canteen has an extensive web site click here  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Reno, Nevada -  Community based canteen started September 1942, by the Washoe County Chapter of the American Red Cross to help feed troops on two daily trains Numbers 21 and 22 of the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was originally designated to serve doughnuts and coffee, but grew into a full service canteen with candy, sandwiches, magazines, newspapers.  Became known for sandwiches, drinks and the free bars of soap. Served over 400,000 troops, closed April 1, 1946.   READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Rochester, New York -- Operated at the New York Central Railroad station. No other information     

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma -- Operated by local Red Cross Chapter. No other information.   

Salem, Oregon - The United Service Organization first appears in  May 1943 . The USO was located at 693 Chemeketa with the USO Hostess Committee located at 212 North High and the USO Salvation Army at 357 Court Street. Volunteers remembered it being in a large upstairs room in the Unitarian Church where they served coffee and donuts and the Red Cross had a booth. The USO also appears in the May 1944 and May 1945 telephone directory but is absent from the May 1946 edition.

Connellsville, Pennsylvania -- Opened by local Citizens Service Corps. Started on April 11, 1944, closed April 11, 1946. About 800 women met 600,000 troops who passed through the Baltimore  and Ohio Railroad station. This canteen also served POW trains and war bride trains. Also offered volunteer taxi service and sleeping rooms at the canteen.  READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania -- Operated at the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western passenger station, today known as The Dansbury Depot Restaurant. Canteen was operated by the Auxiliary of the Thomas P. Lambert Post No. 2450 V. F. W.  It opened on August 4, 1943 and closed September 6, 1945.  Foods included sandwiches, a variety of desserts, drinks and cigars. Over 60,000 troops were served at the station.

Emporium, Pennsylvania -- Operated at the Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station during 1942-1945, by Service Star Women. "These women met every train that came in to Emporium, to serve the service personnel with food and coffee.  They bought an old hearse and each driver drove it to the station filled with food.  Of course, they did have to made a few changes in the hearse.  This was a very heartwarming occasion, especially if a troop train stopped and thousands of service personnel were served.  They worked from Mrs. Earl Husted's home; that's where they got the collected food for service personnel."  

Hamburg, Pennsylvania -- Operated by local USO chapter at Pennsylvania Railroad station.

Sayre, Pennsylvania -- Operated by local Red Cross, started April 6, 1942 at the Lehigh Valley Railroad station.

Aberdeen, South Dakota  -- The pheasant sandwich canteen.  Pheasant sandwiches were served to more than 500,000 troops aboard trains passing through Aberdeen. Canteen opened  Aug. 19, 1943, and closed March 22, 1946.  Operated at the Milwaukee Road station on North Main Street.     READ MORE about this canteen in the book: ANGELS AT THE STATION

Corpus Christi, Texas  -- Operated by local Red Cross, started at Southern Pacific Railroad station in 1943. 

El Paso, Texas -- Operated by local Red Cross, started at the railroad station. 

Charleston, West Virginia -- A mobile canteen operated by the Kanawha-Clay Red Cross Chapter from a truck at the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway station.  Mainly provided doughnuts and coffee. 

Parkersburg, West Virginia -- At the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. No information available.



Read selected letters from the soldiers who stopped at many of the canteens CLICK HERE



Scott D. Trostel


One of the most compelling books of humanitarianism ever!

Stories of many of the canteens and the

volunteers struggles to meet every soldier.

Click here for details