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Texas Army Airfields History

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    TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION

    TEXASinworld war Ii

    TEXASinworld war Ii

    UNITED BY DUTY,HONOR AND THE FIGHT

    FOR FREEDOM

    This travel guide is made possible throughthe Texas Historical Commissions partnershipwith the Texas Department of Transportation,

    Office of the Governor Economic Developmentand Tourism, Texas Parks and Wildlife and

    Texas Commission on the Arts.The Texas Historical Commission, the state agency

    for historic preservation, administers avariety of programs to preserve the archeological,

    historical and cultural resources of Texas.

    The Texas Heritage Trails ProgramThe Texas Historical Commission is a leader inimplementing and promoting heritage tourism

    efforts in Texas. The Texas Heritage Trails Programis the agencys award-winning tourism initiative.

    For additional copies of this brochure,

    call 866/276-6219.

    P.O. BOX 12276 AUSTIN, TX 78711-2276

    PHONE: 512/463-6100 FAX: 512/463-6374

    www.thc.state.tx.us

    Copyright 2005, Texas Historical Commission. Printed in Texas. 8/05-2 00M

    Inset: World War II Officers Service Cap Insignia

    Inset photo credit: THCBackground photo credit: U.S. Department of Treasury

    Its like a whole other country.

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    TEXAS IN WORLD WAR IIne of the most significant events of the 20th century, World War II was the broadest and most destructive warof all time. It divided nations, redefined international alliances, devastated populations, ethnic groups andeconomies, and ushered in an era known as the Cold War. From 1941 to 1945, Americans and particularly

    Texans rallied to supply unprecedented levels of manpower and equipment, while sacrificing much to support

    the wartime effort.

    As with any major conflict, the causes of World War II were complex. They largely stemmed from a failure to ensurea lasting peace following World War I (19141918) the war optimistically dubbed the war to end all wars.Limitations of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations, coupled with entangling internationalrelationships and the renewal of nationalism and imperialism, set the stage for war around the world. European eventsin the 1930s provided the spark, and by the 1940s fighting had spread worldwide.

    On December 7, 1941, a surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. naval fleetat Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, pushed President Franklin D. Roosevelt to swiftlycall for a formal declaration of war. Soon, the U.S., alongside otherAllied powers Britain, France, Russia and China were at war onmany fronts against the Axis powers Germany, Japan and Italy.

    When the war officially ended on September 2, 1945, the world and Texashad changed forever, socially and economically. Texas had shifted froma rural and agricultural state to an increasingly more urban, industrialone. Social changes occured as military and industrial opportunitiesincreased for minorities, leading to later civil rights achievements.Women embraced new roles and forever changed the traditionalworkplace.

    This brochure recounts the story of Texas involvement in World War II.It is a unique and compelling story because Texas, perhaps more thanany other state, played a pivotal role in attaining victory.

    O

    Ninety-nine Marine volunteers leavingSan Antonio from the Southern Pacific Depotthe largest group to leave from a single stationin the southern recruiting district.

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    191831 193540 1941 1942

    w o r l d w a r i i t i m e l i n e

    November 11, 1918World War I armistice

    June 28, 1919Treaty of Versailles signed.

    July 29, 1921 Adolf Hitlerassumes control of Nazi

    Party in Germany.

    January 1925Benito Mussolini emergesas dictator in Italy.

    September 8, 1931Japaninvades Manchuria.

    worldwariitimeline

    October 3, 1935Italy invades Ethiopia.

    July 1936 Spanish CivilWar begins; Germany andItaly send assistance.

    March 12, 1938

    Germany invades Austria.

    September 30, 1938Munich Conference held;ends with appeasement.

    October 15, 1938German troops occupyCzech Sudetenland.

    September 1, 1939Germany invades Poland.

    September 3, 1939Britain and France declarewar on Germany.

    July 10, 1940Battle of Britain begins.

    War expands globally.

    December 7Japan attacksU.S. naval fleet atPearl Harbor.

    December 7Wacos Doris Millerdisplays heroism on boardthe USS West Virginia

    during the attack.

    December 8 U.S. declareswar against Japan.

    December 10 Germany andItaly declare war against U.S.,which reciprocates.

    December 22Japanese forcesinvade the Philippine Islands.

    December 31Adm. Chester W. Nimitz ofFredericksburg assumescommand of Pacific Fleet.

    In Texas, existing trainingoperations accelerate the pace;planning for new facilitiescontinues.

    Army camps in San Antonio

    * Red dates denote national events. Blue dates denote Texas events.

    February 1 The first of more than3,000 B-24 Liberator bombers built atFort Worths Consolidated AircraftCorporation plant roll off theassembly line.

    March 7 The first five U.S. AfricanAmericans graduate from flight school.

    March 8 The Lost Battalion fromCamp Bowie, Brownwood, is capturedin Java.

    March 17 Gen. Douglas MacArthurarrives in Australia from Corregidor.

    April American and Filipino forces onBataan surrender to the Japanese.

    April 18 Doolittle Raiders bomb Tokyo.

    May 14 Killeen nativeOveta Culp Hobby becomescommander of the WomensArmy Corps.

    June 47 Battle of Midway

    July 4 Claire L. Chennault ofCommerce promoted to major generalwhen Flying Tigers squadron isdissolved in China.

    August 7 Gen. Ira C. Eakerof Llano and Concho countiesleads first heavy bomber raidon continental Europe.

    November 8 British and U.S. troops,including the 36th Division mobilizedat Brownwood, invade North Africa.

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    1943 1944 1945February 2 German forces surrenderat Stalingrad, Russia.

    March 8 Women Airforce ServicePilots (WASP) arriveat AvengerField, Sweetwater, the nationsonly all-female air training facility.

    July 9 Allies invade Sicily.

    September Allies invadeSouthern Italy; Italy surrenders.

    October 13 Italy declares waron Germany.

    December 7 Denison-bornDwight D. Eisenhower namedsupreme commander of theAllied Expeditionary Forces.

    January 22 Allies land atAnzio, Italy.

    June 4 Allied forces secure Rome.

    June 6 D-Day, Allied invasion ofnorthern Europe begins at Normandy.

    August Allies invade South Coastof France; Paris liberated.

    August 6 Mexicos 201st FighterSquadron begins training at Victoria.

    October Americans invadePhilippines; Battle of Leyte Gulf.

    Rosie the Riveter was introduced as asymbol of patriotic womanhood.

    Trick horsemanship fromFort Clarks mounted troops era

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    Texas Medal ofHonor winner,Cleto Rodriquez

    January 26 Audie Murphy of HuntCounty receives Medal of Honor; later

    becomes most decorated U.S. soldierof the war.

    February 19 U.S. Marines land onIwo Jima.

    March 7 Second Infantry Division,headquartered at Fort Sam Houston,San Antonio, fights its way acrossthe Rhine River at Remagen Bridge.

    April U.S. invasion of Okinawa;death of President Roosevelt; U.S. andRussian forces meet at Elbe River;

    Hitler commits suicide.

    May 7 Germany surrendersunconditionally.

    May 8VE (Victory in Europe) Day

    August 6 Atomic bomb dropped onHiroshima, Japan.

    August 9 Atomic bomb droppedon Nagasaki, Japan.

    August 14Japan surrendersunconditionally.

    August 15VJ (Victory over Japan) Day

    September 2Japanese delegation signssurrender on board USS Missouriin Tokyo Bay.

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    n 1940, on the brink of World War II, Texas was far different than it is today.Frontier traditions and rural life remained alive and well in the Lone Star State.

    Demographics tell the tale. In 1940, the states population was only a third of its2000 census figure. New York City had more people than all of Texas. The combinedpopulation of the states two largest cities, Houston and Dallas, totaled far less thanone million, and many counties were only a few decades old.

    Most Texans lived on farms and ranches or in small towns. Most lived, worked anddied not far from their hometowns. School schedules were still set according to

    seasonal agricultural work and about 40 percent of Texas adults completed high school.Only one in five owned an automobile, one in 10 had a telephone and one in sixowned a radio. The era of television, fast food and super highways was years away.

    Most women worked in the home as housewives or labored in the fields, and it wasdifficult for them to buy property, make investments and establish credit, or evensue in court. Texas was a segregated state, and there was little public consideration

    of civil rights and equal employment opportunities.

    Like other states at the time, Texas struggled to recover from the economic depressionof the 1930s. The discovery of new oil fields brought signs of hope, but agriculturelagged behind economically in terms of modernization and mechanization. In particular,cotton farming, long an economic mainstay, remained a gamblers trade.

    I

    t e x a s b e f o r e t h e w a r

    ike other statesat the time,Texas struggled torecover from the

    economic depression

    of the 1930s.

    L

    On the brink of World War II, frontier traditions andrural life remained alive and well in the Lone Star State.

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