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Fighting Badgers
A Refuge During World War II

What is now considered the quiet Lakeshore path was once filled with the sounds of marching boots. During World War II, military servicemen, who resided in the dormitories on the west end of campus, used the Lakeshore path to march to and from campus and Memorial Union. More than 2,000 Army and Navy personnel dined at the Union daily and used the space to socialize with other servicemen and women as they prepared for the line of duty or returned on leave.

"The Memorial Union...proves to be the hub of all activity when the sailors emerge on weekend liberty...The lonely sailor can always count on meeting a girl at the Union." —1945 Badger Yearbook

The Union became a refuge for many soldiers, sailors and students—never closing for a single day during the war. It was reported that many "Fighting Badgers" overseas wrote letters home to Wisconsin Alumnus editor, Jeanne Lamoreux, asking her to "give their regards to the Union Terrace and Der Rathskeller."