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WW2- Everyone Contributes

Women in WW2
In many cases, why were women forced to become the primary bread-winners for their family? _______________________________________________________________________ List at least two reasons that women were driven to join the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Where did the WAAC begin their official training? _____________________________________ What was the informal name often used to refer to the U.S. Army nurses? ______________________________________________________________________________

African Americans in WW2


Soldiers were fighting the worlds ______________________, Adolph Hitler, in the worlds ______________________________________________. What all-black group of pilots flew important supply and service missions in N. Africa and Europe? ______________________________________________________________________ New opportunities for African-Americans in defense plants or the federal civil service opened the way for what? ______________________________________________________________ At which famous battle was the Army temporarily desegregated? ________________________

Mexican-Americans in WW2
How many Latino servicemen earned the Medal of Honor in WW2? ______________________ Many Latinos and Spanish speakers of the New Mexico National Guard were specifically selected to fight at what famous battle in the Philippines? ______________________________ What did the new skills and training many Mexican-Americans had acquired while serving in the war allow them to do after the war? _______________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

Bonus (children/teenagers)
As a result of WW2, what did many teenagers do? ____________________________________

American Women during WW2


By 1945, America had sent over 50 billion dollars worth of material to allied countries. Women were responsible for putting these items together and keeping the new war industries under control. In addition to special wartime factories, women became the mass force of labor in most factories nation-wide. During the time of war women were often forced to become the primary bread-winners for their family, as, in most cases, their husbands had gone off to fight in the war. However, this did not mean that women were not taken advantage of financially. Many factory owners saw women as a cheap, widely-available work force, who needed their jobs to support either themselves or their family. As a result, it was not uncommon for women to be underpaid in the factory or other workplace. As well as contributing on the home front, many women desired to become an active part of the war effort outside of the nation itself. Most women felt they had the same right to fight on the battlefield as men did, however this view was not shared by many people. Women were, however, finally officially initiated into the army by a bill signed by President Roosevelt on May 15, 1942 which allowed for the creation of the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). Women were driven by many forces to join the WAAC; some of these being the separation from their husbands, feeling as if they had struck a wall in their job which kept them from advancing, being asked to volunteer and also simply feeling as if their services were needed by their country.
Left: women who were a part of the WAAC during WWII.

Once underway, the WAAC began their official training in Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Here, 440 women completed a six week officer candidate school and 125 enlisted women began their four week training course. By January 1943, the first group of WAACs was ready to fly overseas for their first mission. The women were stationed in North Africa under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and were fighting the German Afrika Korps in coalition with the British army.

Possibly one of the most significant contributions made to the war was by women working as nurses in and around the battle fields. The U.S. Army Nurse Corps (more informally known as the G.I. Nightingales after the well-renowned nurse of the 19th and 20th centuries, Florence Nightingale ) went about setting up training programs in order to recruit enough nurses to sufficiently take care of the injured and sick soldiers throughout the war. Nurses in World War II were required to be closer to the fighting and the gun-fire than ever before. A chain of evacuation was created by the Army Medical Department which meant that nurses worked in field and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and ships as well as on medical transport planes. Field hospitals were often staffed with 18 nurses whose job it was to assess a patients wounds and condition and decide if the patient needed immediate care or was strong enough to travel to an evacuation hospital farther away from the front lines.

African-Americans in WW2

African-American soldiers and civilians fought a twofront battle during World War II. There was the enemy overseas, and also the battle against prejudice at home. "Soldiers were fighting the world's worst racist, Adolph Hitler, in the world's most segregated army," says historian and National Geographic explorer in residence Stephen Ambrose. "The irony did not go unnoticed."
The first group of African-American fighter pilots trained duing World War II were known as the Tuskegee Airmen. They trained at a segregated base in Tuskegee, Alabama. .

Two Armies As the U.S. government called for volunteers to the Army and defense industries at the onset of World War II, thousands of African Americans came forward, but were not given the opportunity to serve in the same manner as white soldiers. As they had been in World War I, black soldiers were relegated to service units supervised by white officers, often working as cargo handlers or cooks After much urging from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in 1941 the War Department formed the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps (later the Air Force) to train a small group of pilots. They trained at Tuskegee, Alabama, and became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The group flew important supply and service missions in North Africa and Europe beginning in 1943.

Black soldiers were generally restricted from combat, but the realities of war would soon blur the lines of race. One major breakthrough came during the Battle of the Bulge, in late 1944. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, faced with Hitler's advancing army on the Western Front, temporarily desegregated the army, calling for urgent assistance on the front lines. More than 2,000 black soldiers volunteered to fight. African-American women also fought to serve in the war effort as nurses. Despite early protests that black nurses treating white soldiers would not be appropriate, the War Department relented, and the first group of African-American nurses in the Army Nurse Corps arrived in England in 1944. On the Homefront On the homefront, the U.S. government desperately needed workers to fill newly created defense jobs and factory positions left open by soldiers who had left to fight. More than two million African Americans went to work for defense plants, and another two million joined the federal civil service. As these new opportunities drew more and more African Americans into cities, they opened the way for economic mobility. Civil rights leaders such as A. Philip Randolph saw the unique situation created by World War II and the acute need for workers as an opportunity to demand equality. In 1941 Randolph threatened President Roosevelt with a 100,000-person march on Washington, D.C., to protest job discrimination. In response, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, prohibiting discrimination in defense jobs or the government. As the war dragged on, it affected American society at nearly every level. It shook up society and disrupted old patterns of social and economic segregation that had relegated African Americans to an inferior role. "[African Americans] made a significant contribution to the war effort at home and abroad," says Ambrose. "It started to make Americans ashamed of their attitudes."

Mexican Americans in World War II


Sargento Jos M. Lopez Receives the Medal of Honor

Latinos in the Military Did You Know?


Both Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals who grew up in the United States served in the military during World War II. Out of 16.2 million Americans in the armed services during World War II, between 250,000 and 750,000 were of Mexican ancestry. In total, thirteen Latino servicemen earned the Medal of Honor After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Units of the New Mexico National Guard, composed largely of Latinos and Spanish speakers, were specifically selected to fight in the Philippines at the Battle of Bataan. Members of these infantry units became survivors of the Bataan Death March, a 90-mile forcible transfer of Allied prisoners of war captured by Japanese forces.

After serving valiantly for the United States, servicemen of Mexican descent were welcomed home as war heroes. This welcome was short lived due to continuing racial discrimination. After the war, Mexican American veterans, both men and women, returned to their communities with new skills they had learned while serving in the war effort. This training allowed them to take jobs that had been previously denied to them. Mexican Americans became welders, plumbers and riveters at shipyards and aircraft plants. In addition, the G.I. Bill allowed veterans to take advantage of new social services and opportunities, such as low mortgage loans, free educational opportunities and job placement, which provided them with the ability to climb the social economic ladder. These benefits improved the lives of the Chicano community in ensuing years. Children and World War II For many children, World War II was the defining experience of their lives. It bred a sense of patriotism and an intense consciousness of being a member of a distinct generation, set apart from those that came before or since. For most children, the war years were a time of anxiety. For many, this was a period of family separation. For some, it was a time of profound personal loss. War infected childrens play and their imaginations. It had a powerful effect on the rhymes they told, the games they played, and the movies they watched. Many children had to grow up quickly during wartime. Many teenagers (itself a new word) left school early to take jobs. Many younger children had to fend for themselves while their mothers worked. Meanwhile, families migrated in record numbers away from farms in the Midwest and big cities in the Northeast to the West and Gulf Coasts, and children had to adjust to new schools and make new friends.