Robert Ohio Weible | World War II on the Homefront
Yesterday’s post shared the coverage around my great-grandfather Robert Ohio Weible’s death.
It’s humbling to read of the accomplishments and service of my ancestors, and R.O. was no exception.
In addition to holding various leadership posts in Republican political organizations and fraternal and service organizations including the Masons, Elks, etc., he was active in shepherding the salvage effort during World War II back home.
Though he had already served as assistant purchasing agent for the state of Ohio during John Bricker’s governorship (1939-45), R.O. took a turn as executive secretary for the salvage division of the War Production Board as well.
Probably the fact that he had lived through World War I, and that he had a son and son-in-law serving overseas in the Navy (my great-uncle, Robert Colt Weible and my grandfather, Robert Earl Ley Jr.) had more than a little to do with the extra fervor with which R.O. attended the role.
There are dozens and dozens of articles from the period 1942-43 that quote or make mention of his efforts. Here are three.
Rounding up Resources for the War Effort
Salvage Group to Meet Here Friday
Salvage committeemen, city and county officials, and representatives of lodges and civic organizations from Zanesville and Muskingum County are urged to attend a district Salvage for Victory conference to be held at 8 o’clock Friday evening in the council chamber in this city.
Bernard T. Mast, chairman of the Zanesville salvage committee, will preside at the meeting. Robert Ohio Weible, of Columbus, executive secretary of the State Salvage of Defense, and C.L. Schultz, of the Follansbee Steel Corp. of Pittsburgh, will attend the conference — the first held in District Ten, comprising Muskingum, Fairfield, Morgan, Noble and Perry counties.
Mr. Weible said that all phases of the Salvage for Victory campaign, particularly scrap metal and rubber, will be discussed. Although a number of communities in this vicinity have had considerable success with their campaign, Mr. Weible pointed out that there is imperative need for intensified drives without delay.
Rubber Campaign Disappoints Weible
Results of the state scrap rubber campaign, termed “very disappointing” by Robert Weible, executive director for the drive, were disclosed today, showing Coshocton County’s total collection to be 96,525 pounds.
Scrab rubber collected in Holmes County amounted to 74,000 pounds, while Tuscarawas County had reported 299,294 pounds.
Weible said the scrap rubber turned into gas stations thus far amounted to less than half of what expected. He urged all Ohioans, between now and July 10, to hunt out every scrap of rubber that remains.
From the Lima News (Lima, Ohio), Nov. 6, 1942:
Open Letters to War Chest Workers
To Salvage Committee Workers:
Our hats are off to you and to the 70,000 or more Allen County residents whose cooperation made possible the winning of a victory pennant for Allen County scrap collections.
The words of Robert O. Weible of the WPB’s Ohio Salvage Committee that such a success was only to be expected because of “your fine personnel” can well be echoed by all of us who know of the long work and hard hours behind your achievement.
And please be assured that most Allen County residents realize the scrap metal must keep flowing to the mills if war goods are to keep flowing to our boys in the “tough spots” overseas.
And when our victory pennant flutters from atop the courthouse, I wonder if our county commissioners won’t blush every time its shadow falls upon the cannon which served our country once, but which seems barred from being of service in an even more critical era?