Several years ago, journalist Mitchell Zuckoff came across an article about a World War II plane crash in New Guinea that had all the elements of an unforgettable story: There was a terrible accident in a harsh landscape, three survivors, a hidden world with a Stone Age existence, and a heroic rescue mission. During World War II all sorts of essential and non-essential foods were rationed, as well as clothing, furniture and petrol. Before the war, Britain imported 55 million tons of food, a month after the war had started this figure had dropped to 12 million. They were books which contained coupons that shopkeepers cut out or signed when people bought food and other items.
The government was worried that as food and other items became scarcer, prices would rise and poorer people might not be able to afford things. Rationing was introduced to make sure that everyone had a fair share of the items that were hard to get hold of during the war. On National Registration Day on 29 September 1939, every householder had to fill in a form giving details of the people who lived in their house. Using the information gathered on National Registration Day, the government issued every one with an identity card and ration book. Each family or individual had to register with a local supplier from whom the ration would be bought.
The books contained coupons that had to be handed to or signed by the shopkeeper every time rationed goods were bought. By the summer of 1941 greengrocers in the towns were taking their lorries into the country to buy vegetables direct from growers. Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight on 4 July 1954, when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted.
One point that your pages on rationing did not bring out was, that in most families at least one person was working & consequently relieved the ration situation at home by eating out. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Rumor had it that the local tribes were cannibals and headhunters, so McCollom was initially cautious as he approached their leader. It was felt important that children had fruit, the full meat ration and half a pint of milk a day.
These details were stamped in the book and you could only buy your ration from that supplier. Because of the shortage of staff, her lunch break was too short to go home so she eat at a restaurant (Often Lyons, where Welsh Rabbit (cheese on toast) cost 4d or a hot meat pie 7d).
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The exact cause of the crash is unknown, but low-lying clouds obstructed the pilot's view and the plane slammed into the side of a mountain.


As a lieutenant, McCollom was the highest-ranking officer to survive; he was also the only passenger not to be injured.
Zuckoff says that McCollum quickly took charge and made all the right decisions a€” even though his twin brother was among the dead.
After much consideration, it was decided that the only aircraft that could get in and out of the valley were gliders.
At the time of World War II, much of the island was uncharted a€” hundreds of planes crashed there, and few were ever found. The air grew bitter with the stench of burning metal, burning leather, burning rubber, burning wires, burning oil, burning clothes, burning hair, burning flesh. Kenneth Decker, on an arduous trek in search of a clearing, where they would have a better chance of being seen. After a journey through a dense jungle and down a steep, treacherous gulley, they finally reached an open area where they were spotted by rescue planes. Many years later, Hastings would tell an audience that when you have no choice, you have no fear a€” you just do what has to be done. As a result, although fire rushed through the cabin, the Gremlin Special didn't explode on impact. When he came to, he found himself on his hands and knees halfway up the cabin toward the cockpit, surrounded by flames. Reporters joined the flights that showered provisions on the contingent of survivors and rescuers on the ground. And finally one day, documentary filmmaker Alexander McCann parachuted in, emboldened by a few drinks. He crawled toward the light, landing on the scorched earth of the mountain jungle, disoriented but with barely a scratch. He thought about his twin brother and the twenty-two others on board a€” all trapped inside and dead, he believed.
She knew it wasn't rational, but as she tumbled she took it personally, indignant that her dreamed-of trip to Shangri-La had been spoiled by a plane crash. She tried to move, but before he died the man had somehow wrapped his thick arms around her. Whether he'd tried to save her or simply grabbed on to whatever was closest to him wasn't clear.
She had no idea whom she was leaving behind or which way she was heading a€” back toward the missing tail or ahead toward the crushed cockpit and into the inferno. As she crawled toward her hoped-for salvation, she didn't see anyone else moving or hear anyone speaking or moaning inside the burning cabin.
Without hesitating, the Eagle Scouta€“turneda€“Army lieutenant scrambled back inside, crouching beneath the smoke and fire, avoiding and ignoring the heat as best he could.


McCollom placed the WAC sergeant on the fire-seared ground, turned around, and headed back inside the burning fuselage.
Still, he couldn't go back for a third rescue mission a€” the fire raged higher and hotter, and one explosion after another echoed from inside the wreckage. He recognized Sergeant Kenneth Decker a€” McCollom supervised Decker's work in the drafting room of the Fee-Ask maintenance department. Margaret saw a bloody gash several inches long on the right side of Decker's forehead, deep enough to expose the gray bone of his skull. He would never regain any memory of what happened between takeoff at the Sentani Airstrip and his deliverance into the jungle.
Later, McCollom would find a hole on the side of the fuselage and conclude that Decker had escaped through it, though he also thought it possible that the sergeant had been catapulted through the cockpit and out through the windshield. Only later would she learn that Decker was born on May 13, 1911, and this really was his thirty-fourth birthday. He set aside his hollowness, his feelings of unspeakable grief at being alone for the first time in his life. McCollom was the least injured among the five survivors, and though he was only a first lieutenant, he outranked Decker and the three WACs. The bubbly young WAC private from rural Pennsylvania didn't seem to be in pain, but Margaret knew it was too late to help her.
The fire had seared off all her clothes, leaving Eleanor with vicious burns over her entire body. He scrambled around the right side of the plane to a spot where he could see Captain Herbert Good lying on the ground. Affable as always, McCollom asked Good, a member of General MacArthur's staff, whether he had afternoon plans.
Good didn't seem to hear him, so McCollom started fighting through the smoldering undergrowth in his direction. Decker followed, not fully alert but instinctively wanting to help or to stay close to McCollom.
McCollom never learned whether he'd been killed by the explosion or from previous injuries suffered in the crash. When McCollom reached Good's body, he learned why the captain hadn't moved when McCollom first called: his foot was tangled in the roots of a tree. They left Good's body where it fell, hunched on the ground amid brush and branches a few feet from the wrecked plane, his head tilted awkwardly to one side.



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