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New book offers firsthand depiction of growing up in a WWII defense housing project

New book offers firsthand depiction of growing up in a WWII defense housing project
Elaine Evans
/ Categories: General News

New book offers firsthand depiction of growing up in a WWII defense housing project

I Grew Up in War Housing: The History of Defense Housing Projects in East Alton, Illinois 1941-1954, a new book by Philip David Walkington, offers a firsthand depiction of growing up in a WWII defense housing project during an unparalleled time in American history.

During WWII, two government defense housing projects were built in East Alton, Illinois. Workers flocked to the newly dubbed “Defense Area” seeking employment with Western Cartridge Company. Population soared and local facilities struggled to keep up. In I Grew Up in War Housing, author Philip Walkington recounts his experiences growing up within a defense village and the vital role it played in the war effort. While researching the book, Walkington discovered the multiple levels of government involvement in the project and uncovered the human element of the war workers and their families, the good and the bad. Only now does Walkington fully understand the unique set of conditions in which he grew up. He says, “Those conditions created an unintentional experiment in social reorganization and a broad and ongoing lesson in community identity.”

About the Author
Philip David Walkington grew up in East Alton, Illinois and lived in the defense area for eighteen years (1943-1961). He has lived in Albuquerque, NM since 1965, and retired from Sandia National Laboratories in 2005 as a distinguished technologist. Over time Walkington realized there was a lack of information on the history of defense housing and penned this book as a means of preserving history as well as the memories of his childhood home and neighborhood. 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Philip David Walkington
E-mail: k.walkington1@gmail.com
Phone: 1-505-831-6974
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