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War Effort on the Homefront - February 10, 2017

 A Crusader I tank emerges from a tank landing craft (TLC 124) during tests of a portable concrete roadway, in this case laid on the beach, 26 April 1942. (Wikimedia)

Q: Perhaps you've driven along the Harry Darby Memorial Highway that runs through Kansas City? That highway is named after Harry Darby, a Kansas City, Kansas, businessman and U.S. Senator from Kansas. Back in the day, Darby ran a steel company in the West Bottoms. During World War II, his company was known for making... what? In fact, the Darby Steel Corporation made MOST of these used during the war. What were they?


 
A: landing craft tanks (LCT) - also acceptable: tank landing craft (TLC)
 
Harry DarbyWyandotte County native Harry Darby was a successful Kansas City businessman. He was also a patriot. Darby served as a captain in the U.S. Army during World War I. A couple decades later, his company built most of the landing craft tanks (LCT) used in World War II. 
 
The Darby Steel Corporation, in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, made the famous vehicles used in numerous amphibious invasions. His plant, which built one craft a day, floated them more than 1,000 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, prompting their nickname: Prairie Ships. When U.S. Senator Clyde Reed died in office in 1949, Kansas Governor Frank Carlson appointed Darby to fill the vacancy. But Darby wasn't too interested in politics. He resigned his seat less than a year into the job. 
 
In 1961, Darby was named "Kansan of the Year" by the Native Sons and Daughters. Darby was born, raised and died in Kansas City, Kansas (1895-1987). In 1990, a highway was named after him. The Harry Darby Memorial Highway - also known as Interstate 635 - runs for 12 miles through Kansas City, on both sides of the state line. 
 
Today's Kansas Trivia Question is brought to you by Yello Sub in Lawrence.  

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