Battle of Bataan
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they invaded Luzon, Philippines in January 1942. Despite insufficient supplies, American and Filipino troops were able to fight for three months. Eventually, they surrendered to Japanese troops and were forced into the Bataan Death March—where some of the most horrific war crimes were committed by the Japanese.
Medal of Honor Recipients of World War IIMore from Topic
Clinton M. Hedrick’s Medal of Honor
Born in the Appalachian Mountains on May 1, 1918, in Cherry Grove, West Virginia, T/Sgt. Clinton Hedrick enlisted in the US Army in September 1940 in Columbus, Ohio, before America’s entry into the war.
Jack W. Mathis’ Medal of Honor
Jack Mathis was born the second of three children in San Angelo, Texas, on September 25, 1921.
Morris E. Crain’s Medal of Honor
Morris E. Crain was born on October 7, 1924, in Bandana, Kentucky, on the very western edge of the state.
Recognition after a Long Wait: Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers’ Medal of Honor
Heroism on the battlefield often goes unrecognized for generations, as it did for Staff Sergeant Ruben Rivers.
Honor Deferred: Black Veterans and the Medal of Honor
On August 23, 1945, high-ranking military officials and civilians gathered at the White House to watch President Harry Truman bestow the Medal of Honor among 28 veterans who served with valor during World War II.
Jefferson Joseph DeBlanc’s Medal of Honor
An Ace in the Jungle.
Medal of Honor: Joseph J. Foss, Captain, US Marine Corps (Brigadier General, South Dakota National Guard)
Joseph J. Foss was born on April 17, 1915, outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and became fascinated with flying at the age of 11 when he saw Charles Lindbergh on tour with his aircraft, the “Spirit of St. Louis”, at an airfield in Renner, South Dakota in 1927.
From Oahu to Guadalcanal: Major Charles Willis Davis’s Medal of Honor
World War II ripped millions of men and women from their homes and hurled them around the globe. Americans like Charles Willis Davis discovered, though, under the most extreme circumstances, that they possessed incredible courage and ability.
The Hesse Heist
European Theater of OperationsMore from Topic
II Corps at El Guettar
In the aftermath of the Battle of Kasserine Pass, US II Corps passed to the command of General Harold Alexander’s 18th Army Group. When Alexander took command on February 20, 1943, one of his first tasks was to assess II Corp’s combat readiness after its setbacks during its early engagements around Kasserine Pass.
Kasserine Pass: German Offensive, American Victory
At the Arcadia Conference, held in Washington, DC, from December 24, 1941 to January 14, 1942, the Western Allies agreed to a “Germany First” policy to govern global strategy, but the question where to engage Germany, and when, remained unsettled.
Black Volunteer Infantry Platoons in World War II
Many historians have written about the famous “Buffalo Soldiers” of the all-Black 92nd Infantry Division, who fought with distinction during World War II.
The Casablanca Conference
January 14-24, 1943
World War II saw an unprecedented level of inter-Allied cooperation that led to the formation of new staff organizations like the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the US-British Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS).
Gallantry against Great Odds: LTC George Marshall and Operation RESERVIST
The campaign in North Africa began with a daring Anglo-American commando raid code-named Operation RESERVIST.
Prelude to Liberation: Genesis of American Amphibious Assault in the ETO
The Allied victory against the Axis was a long journey—one that actually took much longer than the war itself.
“Black Thursday” October 14, 1943: The Second Schweinfurt Bombing Raid
The Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) in the European Theater was one of America’s bloodiest campaigns.
An Exercise in Depravity: The Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto
The largest of the ghettos where Eastern European Jews were first confined and, later, deported to extermination camps by the Nazis was set up in Warsaw, Poland.
Pacific Theater of OperationsMore from Topic
Guadalcanal: The Joint Fight
While the campaign marked the first offensive victory for the Americans, it provided more than just a morale boost and a checking of Japanese aggression. This campaign illustrated the powerful synergy of American joint operations.
Technician Lewis Hall and Sergeant William Fournier
Technician Fifth Grade Lewis Hall from Obetz, Ohio, was born March 2, 1895, and was 47 years old at the time of his action.
Born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1913, William Fournier was raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Medal of Honor: Kenneth Newton Walker, Brigadier General, US Army Air Corps
Kenneth Newton Walker, Brigadier General, US Army Air Corps received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a fatal bombing mission over Rabaul, New Britain, on January 5, 1943.
Kenneth Gruennert and Elmer Burr’s Medals of Honor
During the Battle of Buna, two soldiers of the 32nd Infantry Division went above and beyond the call of duty.
Commemorating Filipino American History Month
In 2009, the US Congress designated October as Filipino American History Month, a monthlong commemoration and appreciation for the Filipino experience throughout American history stretching as far back as 1547.
Alexander A. Vandegrift Before Guadalcanal
Alexander A. Vandegrift’s accomplishments during World War II came near the end of almost four decades of service in the United States Marine Corps.
Call for Action and Liberation in the Philippines
As General Douglas MacArthur’s campaign on Luzon was underway, news of the Palawan massacre produced a call to action to save thousands of Allied POWs and civilian internees from a similar fate. With the extraordinary assistance of Filipino guerrillas, four daring raids were launched behind Japanese lines to liberate those camps.
Survival, Resistance, and Escape on Palawan
Incredibly, a handful of American POWs managed to survive the Palawan massacre and with the aid of Filipino guerrillas reached safety.
Home FrontMore from Topic
“Servility Is Just Not for Me”: Robert Brown and the Racial Politics of the Alabama Black Belt
Robert Brown was an educator, civil rights activist, community leader, elected official, and a WWII combat veteran.
The Freeman Field Mutiny
Training in twin engine B-25 “Mitchell” bombers, the 477th never actually saw combat overseas, but fought another battle here in the United States. Formed as an all-Black unit, it became famous not for its combat record, but for its fight against the military version of “separate but equal.”
The Wartime Internment of Native Alaskans
At the outset of the Aleutian Islands campaign, 800 native Unangan were removed and interned in squalid camps from 1942 through 1945.
Making Public What Was Once Secret: Los Alamos and The Manhattan Project
Los Alamos and other Manhattan Project Sites developed across the US in 1942 and 1943.
The War Refugee Board
When President Franklin Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board in January 1944, he tasked this new government agency with rescuing and providing relief for Jews and other groups facing Nazi persecution and murder in Europe. By that time, more than five million European Jews had already been murdered. The War Refugee Board staff used creativity and the near-certainty of Allied victory to aid hundreds of thousands of people in the final seventeen months of World War II.
First Fruits of Exile: European Art at Pierre Matisse 1942
In March 1942, a special exhibit opened in New York City of 14 pieces of art each contributed by 14 artists who had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe.
The Buffalo: 92nd Infantry Division’s Weekly Newspaper during World War II
The 92nd Infantry Division’s unit newspaper earned a place as one of the premier combat division publications in the Armed Forces during World War II.
Love—Guess Who! Valentine’s Letters from World War II
Forced apart by war, newlyweds and expectant parents Richard and Jean Porritt celebrated Valentine’s Day the only way they could: through greeting cards and love letters.