Skating goes to War

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Kenneth Chancellor Chase from Dayton, Ohio was the 1942 Men’s Senior Figure Skating Champion. Chase joined the Navy in 1943 and became a naval pilot. He was killed in action over the Philippines in 1944.

World War II touched every part of American life including roller skating. Skaters faced equipment and parts shortages and rinks dealt with blackouts and problems organizing regional competitions. Many young men and women hung up their skates and joined the military or took jobs in factories. Some, such as Kenneth Chase (left), gave their lives.

Recognizing its importance, the government encouraged people to skate to keep up the nation’s morale and physical fitness. Rinks and skaters responded by welcoming soldiers, buying bonds, and embracing a patriotic spirit. When peace returned in 1945, despite the war’s challenges, skating was as popular as ever.

Learn more about Roller Skating during World War II as well as Kenneth Chase by visiting "When Skating Goes to War" at the Museum today.