During WWII the Japanese cut off America’s access to Java plantations where “kapok” was grown. Typically, kapok was the material used as filler for life jackets. When it was no longer available, an alternate fiber was desperately needed. How else could we keep a downed aviator or soaking-wet sailor from drowning?
Scrapping for victory! These Hollywood boys did their bit for Uncle Sam by dragging and rolling all sorts of rubber scrap, including a rubber alligator, to a service station pile after the nationwide salvage drive opened. Scrapping for victory is one aspect of the WWII Homefront that was no respecter of persons.