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A look at the post-war careers of three WWII veterans

John Eilermann. The Second World War was a harrowing period in world history. As many countries strived to rebuild their economy after the war, people started to innovate and build their own careers. Here are three WWII veterans who established successful post-war careers.

Image source: Theguardian.com

Sam Walton

John Eilermann.
Walmart is known for being the largest retail company in the world. But for those who are not familiar with the company’s history, it started out as Walton’s Five and Dime by Sam Walton who served as a former Army intelligence officer. He co-founded what would eventually become a chain of hypermarkets with his brother Bud who served as a Navy bomber pilot. Sam started the company with his savings from the Army and a loan from his father-in-law.

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Yogi Berra

The renowned New York Yankees catcher was called to duty at the start of his career in the major league. But what today’s fans might not know is that he was a veteran of the D-Day invasion as part of a Navy craft that launched rockets at the enemies while they were on Omaha Beach. Thankfully, he was able to resume his career after the war. After playing in 14 World Series and becoming a big league manager, he became a powerhouse in baseball. The legendary American catcher was also known for his memorable statements such as “it ain’t over ’til it’s over” and “when you come to a fork in the road take it”. John Eilermann.

Tony Bennett

Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, the crooner and artist was called to duty in 1944 during the last stages of the Second World War. He joined the front line a year after as part of the 63rd Infantry Division in France and Germany. Later on, he and his team helped in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Landsberg, Germany where other prisoners of war were also held. After the war, he continued to study and practice his vocals. In 1949, as his music career was taking off, he started using the name Tony Bennett. A few years later, he released a string of hits such as “Rags to Riches”, “Because of You”, and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. John Eilermann.

 

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How did WWII impact vehicle designs?

The end of World War II reignited several American industries including automotive. During the war, factories were churning out tanks, jeeps, and planes. All production of cars and trucks were halted. But after the war, the automotive industry received huge demand for new cars. According to World War II enthusiast John Eilermann, it was this surge, as well as working on military-grade vehicles, enabled the industry to come up with new innovation that would change the industry. Here are some examples of how WWII impacted vehicle designs for the automotive industry.

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Power steering: Tanks, as well as other heavily armored vehicles, required assisted steering for them to be driven with better control. Although the technology has been around since the 1920s, it was Chrysler who first introduced power steering in a commercially available vehicle. The original model was called the Imperial, which then ushered the way for the Cadillac which was released a year after the Imperial.

High performance cars using fuel injection: The technology was always there since the dawn of the combustible engine, but it was aircraft engines that utilized mechanical fuel injection to fly in higher altitudes. Later on, the same technology was brought to the automotive industry. Fuel injection setups became a staple in the racing world and was first made commercially available by Chevrolet in their 1957 Chevy 283 V8.

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ABS brakes: Antilock brakes are common in today’s vehicles, but it wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for British bomber aircrafts. According to John Eilermann, the technology originally measured the rotational speed of the plane’s landing gear and prevented the wheels from locking and skidding.

John Eilermann lives in Chicago and is mostly fixated on baseball and soccer. He is also deeply interested in World War II facts and memorabilia. Learn more about Mr. Eilermann and his hobbies by visiting this page.