Verona’s War Bonds Hero

By on July 8, 2019


Joseph Bilby is the assistant curator of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ New Jersey National Guard Museum. He is also is an historian awarded the Richard J. Hughes Prize by the New Jersey Historical Commission. Every day on his Facebook page, he writes about a different moment in New Jersey History. On Sunday, July 7, that moment was about Verona:

Today’s New Jersey history photo: Carl Buehler told folks that he wanted to “help see America is still free when I grow up.” In October 1943, the ten-year-old Carl, a Verona, New Jersey resident, was a participant in his school’s war bond and stamp sale and accompanied his parents to a going away party for a sailor at the Verona Inn. Carl used the occasion to make a “sales talk” and ended up selling $1,000 in bonds and $200 in stamps.

Buehler made the papers, and assured a reporter that his campaign would continue, and he would “do something just as good, maybe better” in the future. He “appeared at rallies, on radio shows, and began a door to door campaign” pushing his patriotic product and raising his sales total to $5,450. At one rally he was promised a ride in a jeep by an army officer, but the officer was overruled by his commander. Eager for the ride, Buehler went right to the top with his plea – a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Although his family were Republicans, Carl promised to vote for FDR when he came of age. It worked. Orders came down to give Carl his ride, and on November 10 a jeep showed up at Our Lady of the Lake school, where he was an honor student, and he rode off, as seen in this photo, to the cheers of his classmates. When on the ride, Buehler leaned over and said to the driver, “Now about these war bonds. Could I sell you one?”

By the spring of 1944, Carl Buehler had sold $89,150 worth of war bonds, which. along with another letter to FDR, earned him a ride in the Flying Fortress “Hell’s Angels.” He told a reporter: “I wish I could have been flying over Berlin and dropping a few bombs.”

Carl Buehler went on to move to Manasquan, where he graduated from Manasquan high school in 1950 and then from Rutgers University and served as a US Marine Corps officer from 1954 to 1959. He then moved to Cherry Hill, where he founded a printing company and served as its CEO. Buehler passed away at the age of 68 in 2001.

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