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Memories from the Home Front

Goodloe H. Yancey III remembers life in Georgia during the early 1940s as a teenager living in Albany. His father, L. D. Yancey, was running Yancey Tractor Co., the Cat dealer in South Georgia.

"I remember the scarcity of items, such as gasoline and tires," Goodloe says. "My father served on the local Ration Board in Albany and citizens would have to make appeals to purchase many items, including tires for their vehicles. My Boy Scout troop helped in the war effort by going out on weekends and collecting aluminum to be recycled and used in artillery shells and the war effort."

Gas, tires, and aluminum weren’t the only scarce commodities. Construction equipment and their operators, plus mechanics to work on the equipment overseas, were also in short supply. By 1942, 85 percent of machines produced were being shipped to Europe and the Pacific for U.S. and Allied troops. Very few machines were available for sale in Georgia, and most able-bodied men in our state were called up into the armed services either fighting or supporting the troops overseas. Construction and road building projects in Georgia came to a virtual standstill.

On January 1, 1944, Yancey was allowed to assume management and operation of their shops and again accept civilian customers’ work. While military and government equipment took priority through the end of 1945, Yancey was once again in the business of keeping customers across Georgia up and running in their Caterpillar equipment. When the "special purpose" project came to an end in December 1943, Yancey Bros. Co. owner Goodloe H. Yancey Jr. sent letters to customers across the state informing them the Atlanta shop was once again open to take care of their equipment needs.

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