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Brightwood Boys, The History of the Men from the North End of
Springfield, Massachusetts, During World War II
by Christopher P. Montagna



On the home front, common people were called upon to undertake uncommon tasks.1  Eager to join the fight along with his brothers,  Edward "Eddie" Montagna, the second eldest of the Montagna brother's, learned that he was unable to enlist in military service due to colitis.  Like millions of Americans, Eddie served his country on the home front working at the American Bosch Corporation in Springfield, MA. 

With the declaration of war, the factories in Springfield changed from civilian to military production.  The Bosch produced aircraft & tank magnetos, diesel fuel injection pumps and nozzles.  Likewise, the Van Norman Machine Tool Company geared its production to producing milling machines and oscillating grinders for the war effort.


Frank and Fini MontagnaIn order to fill the void created by the departure of military aged men, both men and women from all walks of life worked in the war effort.  Some came to the position without any mechanical experience, but were eager to do their part for victory.  To many their job was the most important part of their contribution to the war program.  The workers gave their all and sometimes a bit more to help end the war.  Their efforts to achieve victory extended beyond the factory.  The buying of war bonds, scrap drives and the planting of Victory gardens kept the reality of the war in focus.

Certificate awarded to Shirley Piela for her service to the School Savings ProgramThe children from local schools took up the call.  One such student was Shirley Piela  who was living in a duplex on Orchard Street.  Shirley aided the cause by participating in the School Savings Program while attending Brightwood School.