Victory in World War II: the New Mexico story

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Rio Grande Historical Collections, New Mexico State University Library, Jul 1, 1994 - History - 156 pages
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No state in the Union made any more significant contributions to victory in World War II than New Mexico. These contributions ranged from extensive strategic research to the sacrifices made in combat by individuals and military units. A disproportionate number of New Mexicans were killed in action or turned up on MIA or POW lists. The New Mexico National Guard was "the first to fire" on Japanese enemies in the Philippine Islands after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Many New Mexicans were forced into the Bataan Death March. Gen. Douglas MacArthur stated that New Mexican bravery accounted for slowing down the Japanese advance so that the nation had time to organize a massive counter offensive for victory. New Mexico and the Navajo Nation made another contribution to the war effort with the Navajo Code Talkers. A contingent of the U.S. Marines, they developed the only secret code that was never broken by enemy forces. The rocket experiments of Dr. Robert Goddard had a significant impact on both German and Allied warfare. The secret research at Los Alamos resulted in the development of the first atomic bomb, the single most important factor in bringing the war to an end. Established near the end of the war, the White Sands Missile Range tested the V-2 rocket and became strategically important in the Cold War and in developments in modern space technology. On the home front, New Mexicans made an all-out commitment to the war effort. The slogan "Food Will Win the War" was nowhere more relevant than in New Mexico, as that rural state more than doubled its agricultural production. Women worked in fields, factories, and military installations, and they planted victory gardens and savedprecious resources. Likewise, the state played a role in the stepped up production of strategic minerals and oil. These topics and more are covered in this book, providing a sampling of the diversity and extent of New Mexico's contributions to victory in World War II. This document represents the first major attempt to assemble materials relating to the involvement of New Mexico in World War II. The complete story of New Mexico's contributions to victory will never be told until each survivor of the conflict records his or her experiences. Through the combined efforts of the Rio Grande Historical Collections and other archival programs in the state, we are attempting to fill the gaps in the documented evidence of this worldwide war. We encourage those involved in combat as well as those who made sacrifices on the home front to help complete this fascinating history.

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Contents

Men of Bataan
6
Reflections of a POW Survivor
12
We Should Not Forget the Lessons of World War II
23
Copyright

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