Side A: The Lima Chapter of the American Women’s Voluntary Services Organization established a community-based, free canteen during World War II for troops traveling on the Pennsylvania Railroad and adjacent Baltimore & Ohio-Nickel Plate Railroads. Meeting as many as forty trains a day, the ladies served 2.5 million troops between 1942-1945. Food, coffee, and other items were donated to the canteen from a twelve county area. The “AWVS” disbanded in 1945, but succeeding volunteers continued to provide service throughout the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam War. Lima’s “Servicemen’s Free Canteen” was the longest, continuously operated service canteen in the United States. An estimated four million soldiers, sailors, and marines were served between 1942-1970.
Sponsors: Allen County Historical Society, Lima Community Foundation, City of Lima Utilities Department, Downtown Lima, Inc., and The Ohio Historical Society