"God Bless, and Save America"

Identified WW II USO Canteens

As America mobilized, the United Service Organizations, USO, was formed in partial response to the need for providing Canteen services for the troops. This was 1940, preceding the United States entry into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt solicited six private organizations-the YMCA, YWCA, National Catholic Community Service, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Traveler’s Aid Association and the Salvation Army. Their task was to find some way to meet on-leave recreation needs for the members of the Armed Forces. They focused on the spiritual, religious, educational and welfare needs of men and women in the Armed Forces.

The six organizations formed a joint entity and the USO, was incorporated in February 4, 1941. One place they set up recreation and food facilities was in the railroad stations of larger towns. For troops on layover between trains, such locations were satisfactory. The first one was opened at Cleveland, Ohio, February 4, 1941 at the Terminal Tower. Facilities at the Terminal Tower were not ready for occupancy on that date so the USO opened in a bus station at the corner of 9th and Superior Avenues for a few weeks. This chapter of the USO was founded by Lucy Pierce and Harvey Firestone Jr.

The national USO organization was temporarily disbanded from 1947 to 1951.  It has operated continuously ever since.

The USO (United Service Organization) sanctioned and operated a number of lounges in larger railroad stations and terminals during WW II.  The list below covers many of those facilities and is courtesy of the USO unless highlighted in blue.

These canteens are separate from community oriented canteens and Red Cross canteens.

 

Alabama

    Birmingham

    Montgomery

California

    Los Angeles

    Oakland

    Sacramento

Colorado

    Denver - at Denver Union Station

    Pueblo

Connecticut

    New Haven

    New London

Delaware

    Wilmington - at PRR station, not listed on national USO list

Washington DC - at Washington Union Terminal

Florida

    Jacksonville

Georgia

    Atlanta

    Savannah

Idaho

    Pocatello

Illinois

    Mattoon

Indiana

    Fort Wayne - at PRR station, not listed on national USO list

    Indianapolis - at Indianapolis Union Station, plus two other sites, not listed on national USO list

    Richmond - at PRR station

    Terre Haute - at joint PRR/NYC Union Station

Iowa

    Council Bluffs - at C&NW station, not listed on national USO list

    Oelwein  - at CGW station, not listed on national USO list

Kansas

    Dodge City

    Newton

Kentucky

    Louisville - at L & N station

Louisiana

    New Orleans

Maine

    Portland

Massachusetts

    Buzzard Bays

    Springfield

    Worchester

Michigan

    Battle Creek - not listed on national USO list

    Detroit - at PRR station

    Grand Rapids  - at PRR station, not listed on national USO list

Minnesota

    Minneapolis

Missouri

    St. Louis

New Jersey

    Newark  - at PRR station

    Trenton  - at PRR station, not listed on national USO list

New York

    Albany

    Buffalo

    New York City - at PRR Penn Station and Grand Central Station (?)

    Schenectady

    Troy

    Utica

North Carolina

    Asheville

    Charlotte

    Salisbury

    Winston- Salem

Ohio

    Cincinnati - at Cincinnati Union Terminal

    Cleveland - at Terminal Tower FIRST ONE OPENED IN THE UNITED STATES February 4, 1941.

    Columbus - at Columbus Union Depot

    Dayton - at Dayton Union Station

    Toledo - at Toledo Terminal Station

Oregon

    Portland

Pennsylvania

    Harrisburg - at PRR station

    Philadelphia (2) - at Broad Street station and 30th Street station

    Pittsburgh - next to PRR station

    Scranton

    Wilkes-Barre

    York - at PRR station, not listed on national USO list

Tennessee

    Chattanooga

    Knoxville

    Memphis

Texas

    Dallas

    Fort Worth

    Houston

    San Antonio

    Slaton

Virginia

    Petersburg

    Portsmith

    Richmond

    Portsmouth

    Roanoke - at N & W station

 

 
ANGELS AT THE STATION

Scott D. Trostel

NOW IN PRINT

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

 

 

 

Click on the appropriate tab below to go elsewhere in this site

 

COMMUNITY CANTEENS    *    OHIO CANTEENS    *    MAIN PAGE

 

©Copyright 2007, Cam-Tech Publishing, All rights reserved