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VIRTUAL LURE SHOW XXX

 

BOMBS AWAY!
Creek Chub Bait Company’s #6500 - #6700 Bomber Series
1942 – 1953

After December 7th, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, the United States officially entered WWII. Although the U.S. wasn’t war-ready, our government immediately began emergency programs for civilians and the military in response to this threat. A revised federal agency known as the War Production Board was formed on January 16, 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An untold number of manufacturers were contracted by this board, often directed to switch from civilian goods into products needed desperately for the war effort.

Americans everywhere realized their lives had changed dramatically overnight. Patriotic citizens knew they needed to pitch in and do whatever possible to defeat the enemy. It may have been in the form of buying war bonds or stamps, volunteering at a blood bank, or going the extra mile at work for those overseas. Simply, the response was overwhelming.

When we reflect on those years, we quickly realize not only the incredible sacrifices made by our armed forces, but on a different level, those at home did without many basic necessities for the greater good. When our minds float back to those difficult times, we tend to think of symbolic snapshots such as: Big Band music, Victory Gardens, Rosie the Riveter, FDR and his fireside chats over the radio, USO Clubs filled with service men and women, civilian rationing for many types of goods such as gasoline and tires. Even the movies were dominated with intrigue and war stories. Tom Brokaw once dubbed these men and women “our greatest generation.”

The government allowed Creek Chub to continue producing quality lures. Although CCBCo didn’t provide wartime products,
they wanted to show fellow Americans their involvement in a classic manner. In 1942, the company introduced three new
Bomber series. These baits were obviously named after our military bombers that were eventually deployed with great effect against the Axis powers. The Bomber trade name and a victory pattern in two color combos are among the most conspicuous examples of Creek Chub’s patriotic zeal during this period.

A lure patent was applied for on March 5, 1942. The U.S. patent papers were finally approved on March 30, 1943.
The patent was assigned by Sam Davenport to Creek Chub. He developed many baits during this period and was the sales manager
for the firm for several years. It should be noted, CCBCo was producing Bombers before the patent was ever granted.

These lures were a true byproduct of the times. If you study a Bomber, you’ll quickly notice their isn’t a metal lip.
Most types of metal were needed for the war so CCBCo fashioned the wooden mouth of the bait into a diving lip.
Glass eyes were normally imported from Germany as well as hooks from Scandinavia. This was no longer possible from
an enemy or any war torn county, so the glass eyes were replaced with either painted eyes or none at all.
CCBCo evidently found another source for their trebles or had a sufficient stockpile.

All three sizes of Bombers were originally available in the same six major color combos: #00 Pikie, #01 Perch, #02 Red Head & White Victory,
#04 Golden Shiner, #18 Silver Flash, #29 Red Head & Yellow Victory. As you will see, the #6600 Series Dive Bomber was the only series that employed t
wo different variations within the #02 Red Head & White and the #29 Red Head & Yellow. During the war the #02 and #29 patterns were available on all
three series with a unique design known as the Victory Pattern. The side of the lure had a stenciled motif that included
a V (Victory) and dot, dot, dot, dash (Morse code for V). Oddly, the Baby Bomber had the code backwards!


After the war effectively ended in 1945, the company decided to discontinue the Baby and Big Bomber series. Only the middle size #6600 Dive Bombers were continued until 1953. However, it was decided to delete the Victory pattern on the #02 Red Head & White plus the #29 Red Head & Yellow. If you count both variations of these two patterns, twenty total lures are needed in the combined three series to have a complete set of catalog color Bombers.

Bomber Series Breakdown

#6500 Baby Bomber Series

Produced from 1942-1945. 2-1/2” long, 3/8 oz. There were thoughts of resurrecting this size after the war but a shortage of materials forced the company to concentrate on the best-selling lures in the line and discontinue the marginal ones. These little guys are generally tougher to locate than the standard size #6600 Series Dive Bombers, but not as scarce, overall, as the #6700 Big Bomber style. Locating the correct boxes for the Baby Bombers is a difficult task.

#6600 Dive Bomber

Manufactured from 1942-1953. 2-7/8” long, 5/8 oz. The original name for this size was Dive Bomber. After WWII the series name was first changed to Bomber and later Kreeker. This was the best-selling series of the three sizes. Painted eyes were the order of the day except for the two Victory color combos. Eyes were virtually never added to these designs on any size Bomber. The exception is shown in the Specials section below.

#6700 Big Bomber

Advertised from 1942-1945, 3-3/4” long, 7/8 oz. They were never a good seller due to their larger size. It seems most anglers decided the Dive Bomber was a better size for most inland game fish. I believe the #02 Red Head & White Victory is the rarest pattern in the Big Bomber.

Boxed Bombers

Finding the correct boxes can be just as difficult for collectors as locating exceptional Bomber baits. If you are assembling a boxed set piece by piece, you’ll also want a hang tag which mentions all sizes of Bombers, a correct era order form, and a pocket catalog. IF your lure is a wartime issue, you’ll want a 1941 or 1942 pocket catalog since they were the last ones produced before they were discontinued until 1950. If it is a color in the Dive Bomber series that was produced into the 1950s, you may opt for an early 1950s pocket catalog. It should be noted, I’ve never seen a pocket catalog with an illustration of any type Bomber.

SPECIALS

There are very few special order Bombers. Some Specials are depicted in the CCBCo books by Dr. Harold Smith.
Frog pattern seems to be the most “common” Special and is known in all three sizes of Bombers.

#6611 Victory:

I’m told the #6600 Diver Bomber Special (#6611)  shown here is an example once owned by a former Creek Chub employee. It has four different special features: Black & White Victory paint, gold plated hooks, painted eyes (not standard on Victory patterns), and glitter on its back!

WWII Memorabilia

Once we entered into WWII, literally thousands of patriotic products were sold to the public.
Shown here is a sampling of goods worn by our men and women as a symbol of their love of country.
Many depict “V” (for victory) and Morse Code for the letter. Also, there are a few military examples,
including an ID bracelet and dog tag worn by my father, who served in Germany with the U.S. Army.

After the War

Some may assume everything returned to normal once the war was over. In the matter of common materials that we would normally take for granted, there were still great shortages while manufacturers retooled for civilian production. For instance, Creek Chub explained in their late 1940s catalogs that quality paper and printing inks were still in short supply for some reason.

Certain Creek Chub lures/colors often reflect the era in which they were made. Look at the wild Psychie (for psychedelic?)
finish on the late 1970s Pikies or the fluorescent paint on the Rainbow Fire lures of the early 1950s
(following the fad of fluorescent color clothing).
However, I don’t believe any series or paint patterns describe the times better than the
Victory patterns of the 1940s Bomber Series.

Next time look for a study on the #6800 & #6900 Striper Pikie Series. Stay tuned.