As the first bombs and torpedoes were being released toward the U.S. Navy’s sleeping fleet at Pearl Harbor early on December 7th, 1941, nearly half of Americans were determined that never again should the nation be involved in another foreign war. Before the smoke of the attack cleared, the sleeping giant of the United States had awakened and was filled with an angry resolve that the nation as a whole must rise up and achieve total victory against the axes forces. Indeed the effort was led by generals and admirals, but the actual fighting, movement of materials and war production was done by regular folks who stepped up and became part of the team that saved the world from tyranny.
Where my previous World War II and the Great Lakes book looked at the factories and war production, this book focuses on the individual people. It is but a microscopic sample of the overall effort, but represents a clear example of those who answered the call to duty.
My focus in historical narratives has always centered on the Great Lakes region and so it is that this book looks at examples from that region. After all, when FDR referred to “the Arsenal of Democracy” he knew that the heart of it was the Great Lakes. There are names listed here of folks you have probably never before heard of. Yet, if you look closely, you just may find someone to whom you are related. This is real history minus any fictional drama and it will take you from the Saginaw River to the beaches of Normandy to the carnage of Okinawa.
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