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B-29 Production

By Joe Kirby

When Maj. Gen. Curtis Lemay, the hard-driving commander of the Twentieth U.S. Air Force based in Guam, decided to change tactics in early 1945 to boost the effectiveness of the B-29 Superfortress, it was the Bell Aircraft plant in Marietta, Georgia, that ultimately provided him with the stripped-down bombers that played such a key role in ending the war in the Pacific. Read more

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Sinking the USS Reuben James

By Joseph Connor, Jr.

When the destroyer USS Reuben James (DD-245) was assigned to convoy duty in the North Atlantic in the autumn of 1941, its crew had a sense of foreboding and feared the worst. Read more

Against the odds, Detroit defied reality to help win World War II.

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Ford’s Willow Run Factory

By Samantha L. Quigley

They said it couldn’t be done. Doubters chided Henry Ford for declaring that his Willow Run Bomber Plant could turn out a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber every hour. Read more

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The U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 4th Marine Divisions: Uncommon Valor at Iwo Jima

By Nathan N. Prefer

“You know,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates to a war correspondent on the eve of Operation Detachment, the invasion of Iwo Jima, “if I knew the name of the man on the extreme right of the right-hand squad of the right-hand company of the right-hand battalion, I’d recommend him for a medal before we go in.” Read more

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Japanese Internment: Behind the Barbed Wire in America

By Richard Higgins

“We were stunned when we entered the camp,” Yoshio “Yosh” Nakamura said, remembering the day when he and his family, from El Monte, California, were herded through the main gate at the Gila River Relocation Center—a Japanese American internment camp 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona—carrying only suitcases into which their worldly possessions had been crammed. Read more

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Women of the Air Force

By Amy Goodpaster Strebe

In 1941 two events took place on opposite sides of the world that forever impacted the history of women in aviation. Read more

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A Soldier Remembers the Pearl Harbor Attack

By John Sanford Baird

At about 8 am on the morning of December 7, 1941, I stood on the third-floor deck of a red brick barracks that looked across the Schofield Barracks golf course toward the infantry barracks that housed much of the U.S. Read more

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Against the Odds: Jeanette Rankin

By Martin K.A. Morgan

An Associated Press report described “a chorus of hisses and boos” that echoed through the chamber when the Congresswoman from Montana cast her vote. Read more

In August 1944, the Allies followed up the massive Normandy Invasion with another in southern France known as Operation Dragoon.

Japanese

Rampage on the Riviera: Operation Dragoon

By Glenn Barnette and André Bernole

Early in 1944, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the defeated hero of North Africa and now head of Army Group B in France, was tasked with strengthening the Atlantic Wall defenses against Allied invasion. Read more

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Attack on the USS Panay

 By Chuck Lyons

For some Americans, World War II started early. In December 1937, four years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into the war, Japanese planes attacked an American gunboat, the USS Panay, on China’s Yangtze River, strafing and bombing the boat, sinking it, killing three American crew members, and the wounding 45 others. Read more

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Deadly Dash Forward

By Gene Eric Salecker

By the time the attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II, Japan had been preparing for an all-out offensive in the Pacific for months. Read more