Food fight

One of the pleasures of a trip into town was a big hamburger with real beef, and the men would buy up as many as they could carry to take back to camp. The problem was, with food rationing this often left the restaurant meatless after a large-scale assault by hungry army personnel. And the local citizens were not happy.

One day dad and a buddy were carrying their big bags of burgers back to camp when a small crowd of angry townsfolk started to gather. They were herded down an ally, had their backs to the wall of a building and were taking off their belts (wrapping your web belt around your fist, belt buckle out, was a recommended fighting technique) when the Sheriff pulled up, shotgun in hand.

An appeal to patriotism and supporting the soldiers may or may not have been effective with the town's hamburger supply in jeopardy, but the shotgun effectively settled the argument. The crowd grudgingly dispersed. The Sheriff provided a ride out of town along with some good advice to avoid returning for a little while - and to moderate hamburger purchases when they did.

Robert Hawks on a pass in a small Idaho town in 1943

Dad on a pass in a small Idaho town - not necessarily the scene of the Battle of Hamburger Alley
photo from the Hawks collection