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Posts Categorized: WWII Articles

Port Chicago – the Explosion

In the worst Home Front disaster of World War II, an explosion at the Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California on July 17, 1944 killed 320 men, of whom 202 were black. The tragedy was followed by a work stoppage and a controversial mutiny trial. This sent ripples of change through the segregated armed forces…. Read more »

The Port Chicago Disaster – Introduction

In the worst Home Front disaster of World War II, an explosion at the Naval Magazine in Port Chicago, California on July 17, 1944 killed 320 men, 202 of whom were black. The tragedy was followed by a work stoppage and a controversial mutiny trial. This sent ripples of change through the segregated armed forces…. Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s – Labor Counts

On Labor Day I thought it was appropriate to honor the vital role of production in the Allied victory in World War II. The United States was well situated to become the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Other than a few random bombings from Japanese submarine-based planes and shellings from submarines, America was free from damage. The… Read more »

Historical Polio

For months, Helen had lain in the county polio ward. No matter how hard she’d concentrated, her legs wouldn’t do what she asked from them, demanded from them, pleaded from them. In my novel Blue Skies Tomorrow, which takes place during World War II, Helen Carlisle deals with many repercussions of a childhood bout with… Read more »

Happy V-J Day!

Sixty-six years ago, on August 14, 1945, World War II came to an end when Emperor Hirohito of Japan signed his acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration demanding unconditional surrender to the Allies. The surrender was announced in the United States at 7pm Eastern War Savings Time. The following day, August 15, was officially proclaimed V-J… Read more »

World War II War Bonds

Wars are expensive. The Second World War cost the United States $300 billion dollars, with the federal budget rising from $9 billion in 1939 to $98 billion in 1945. How was the nation to pay for that? Taxes were increased with an additional 5 percent Victory Tax. To assure payment, on June 10, 1943 the government approved… Read more »

Make It Do – Metal Shortages During World War II

Imagine going to the store and not finding batteries, thumbtacks, alarm clocks, or paper clips on the shelves. During World War II, both metals and factories were needed for military purposes. Ships and planes and jeeps and guns and ration tins and helmets took precedence over civilian products. After the United States entered the war, factories… Read more »

Never Forget

Today we commemorate the 67th anniversary of the D-Day landings. On June 6, 1944, the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Nazi power. In August 2007, I was privileged to stand on Omaha Beach on a misty, overcast morning not unlike the men faced that historic day. As I stood… Read more »

Sheep in Chutes

Conducting research for historical fiction is usually interesting, sometimes dull, but occasionally yields an odd or funny story. I found this little story while reading The Army Air Forces in World War II, Volume 1: Plans and Early Operations: September 1939 to August 1942 by Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate (Washington DC: Office… Read more »

Flying in a Fortress

On Monday, May 2, I had the privilege of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress. The Experimental Aircraft Association (http://www.b17.org/) visited Buchanan Field in Concord, California with their beautifully restored B-17G, Aluminum Overcast. I’ve enjoyed walking through this plane every year and always dreamed of taking a flight. This year one of my readers, who volunteers… Read more »