Arizona during World War II

Last updated
Arizona during World War II
Eleanor Roosevelt at Gila River, Arizona at Japanese-American Internment Center - NARA - 197094.jpg
Location Arizona, United States
Events Machita Incident
October 16, 1940
Thanksgiving Day /Phoenix Massacre
November 27, 1942
Great Papago Escape
December 23, 1944

The history of Arizona during World War II begins in 1940, when the United States government began constructing military bases within the state in preparation for war. Arizona's contribution to the Allied war effort was significant both in terms of manpower and facilities supported in the state. Prisoner of war camps were operated at Camp Florence and Papago Park, and there was an internment camp to house Japanese-Americans, most of them citizens, who had been forcibly deported from the West Coast.


The war years provided great economic stimulus, both because of the numbers of troops at camps in the state, and increase in demand, and the expansion of wartime demand for such materials as copper and other metals. Industries expanded, adding to the state's recovery from the Great Depression.


During the war, Mexican-American community organizations promoted efforts to support American troops abroad. They worked both to support the war effort materially and to provide moral support for young American men fighting the war, especially their young Mexican-American men from local communities. Some community projects were cooperative between Anglo and Hispanic communities, but most were localized within the Mexican-American community. [1] Mexican-American women also organized to assist their servicemen and the war effort; an underlying goal of Tucson's Spanish-American Mothers and Wives Association was the reinforcement of the woman's role in Spanish-Mexican culture. Members raised thousands of dollars, wrote letters, and joined in numerous celebrations of their culture and their support for Mexican-American servicemen. Membership reached more than 300 during the war. The organization stopped operating in 1976. [2]


Army and Air Forces [3]
CountyKilled in
Action (KIA)
Died of
Wounds (DOW)
Died of
Injuries (DOI)
Non-Battle (DNB)
Finding of
Death (FOD)
Missing in
Action (MIA)
Apache 27320151
Cochise 68824101111
Coconino 3114449
Gila 471221787
Graham 314121149
Greenlee 18462131
Maricopa 27735161401514
Mohave 929222
Navajo 36517664
Pima 14513167121239
Pinal 6615322115
Santa Cruz 28113143
Yavapai 47422780
Yuma 556113580
State at Large313338378
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard [4]
Killed in Action (KIA)27
Killed in Prison Camps11
Missing in Action (MIA)17
Wounded in Action (WIA)41
Released from Prison Camps17

Prisoner of war camps

Arizona's Camp Florence, on the Florence Military Reservation, was the first permanent alien enemy camp constructed during World War II. Construction began during 1942 to house 3000 internees, with room to expand to 6000. The initial construction budget was $4.8 million. The United States did not detain numerous enemy aliens here, so the Army used Camp Florence as a POW camp. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Internment of Japanese Americans Internment of Japanese Americans in the United States

In the United States during World War II, about 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific Coast, were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in concentration camps in the western interior of the country. Approximately two-thirds of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

Florence, Arizona Town in Pinal County, Arizona

Florence is a town, 61 miles (98 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County, is one of the oldest towns in that county and is regarded as a National Historic District with over 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population of Florence was 25,536 at the 2010 census.

War Relocation Authority U.S. government agency created to intern Japanese Americans during WWII

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) was a United States government agency established to handle the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. It also operated the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York, which was the only refugee camp set up in the United States for refugees from Europe. The agency was created by Executive Order 9102 on March 18, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was terminated June 26, 1946, by order of President Harry S. Truman.

History of Arizona History of the US state of Arizona

The history of Arizona encompasses Spanish, Mexican, and American periods. Arizona was part of the state of Sonora, Mexico from 1822, but the settled population was small. In 1848, under the terms of the Mexican Cession the United States took possession of Arizona above the Gila River after the Mexican War, which became part of the Territory of New Mexico. By means of the Gadsden Purchase, the United States secured the northern part of the state of Sonora, which is now Arizona south of the Gila River in 1854.

United States home front during World War II Civilian population and activities of the United States during World War II

The United States home front during World War II supported the war effort in many ways, including a wide range of volunteer efforts and submitting to government-managed rationing and price controls. There was a general feeling of agreement that the sacrifices were for the national good during the war.


Royal Air Force Eye or more simply RAF Eye is a former Royal Air Force station located 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Stowmarket, Suffolk, England on the northwest edge of Eye and south of Diss.

Arizona World War II Army Airfields Wikipedia list article

During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) established numerous airfields in Arizona for training pilots and aircrews of USAAF fighters and bombers.

Dateland Air Force Auxiliary Field Abandoned military airfield in Arizona, U.S.

Dateland Air Force Auxiliary Field is an abandoned military airfield located in Dateland, Arizona, 40 miles (64 km) east of Yuma, Arizona. Its last known military use was in 1957.

Angels of Bataan Military unit

The Angels of Bataan were the members of the United States Army Nurse Corps and the United States Navy Nurse Corps who were stationed in the Philippines at the outset of the Pacific War and served during the Battle of the Philippines (1941–1942). When Bataan and Corregidor fell, 11 navy nurses, 66 army nurses, and 1 nurse-anesthetist were captured and imprisoned in and around Manila. They continued to serve as a nursing unit while prisoners of war. After years of hardship, they were finally liberated in February 1945.

158th Infantry Regiment (United States) Military unit

The 158th Infantry Regiment ("Bushmasters") is an infantry unit of the Arizona National Guard. The regiment has served abroad in World War I, World War II and Afghanistan.

The history of Tucson, Arizona began thousands of years ago. Paleo-Indians practiced plant husbandry and hunted game in the Santa Cruz River Valley from 10,000 B.C. or earlier. Archaic peoples began making irrigation canals, some of the first in North America, around 1,200 B.C. The Hohokam people lived in the Tucson area from around 450-1450 A.D, in a complex agricultural society.

Desert Training Center US Army training centers during World War II

The Desert Training Center (DTC), also known as California–Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA), was a World War II training facility established in the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert, largely in Southern California and Western Arizona in 1942.

New Mexico during World War II

The history of New Mexico during World War II was a period of dramatic change. After America's entry into World War II in 1941, New Mexico became a center for the development of nuclear weapons and an important base for the United States Army. The state's population grew significantly both during the war and in the decades afterwards, a period known as the "Boom Years" in New Mexican history. In 1940, there were just over 530,000 people living in New Mexico and by 1960 there was over 950,000. The development of modern military technology also created a unique relationship between New Mexico, the federal government, and the scientific community, which still exists today.

Nevada during World War II

Nevada during World War II was a time of great change that began immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941. The population of Nevada grew significantly, largely due to an influx of service men who were stationed at several newly built military bases. The economy also improved as the number of workers steadily increased and new jobs became available.

Camp Ross US WWII army base in California

Camp Ross was a World War II base serving as a staging area under the command of the Army's Los Angeles Port of Embarkation. The camp was located in San Pedro, California and Wilmington, California. The United States Department of War leased 31.026 acres of land starting in 1942. Camp Ross was used by the US Army as staging area for troop ready for deployment and for troop returning home. The camp could house up to 3,038 soldiers and 253 officers, but at its peak housed 5,000 servicemen and women. With departure and arrived every day, the camp and port moved 10 million tons cargo and over 700,000 troops and more than 28,000 prisoners of war during its years of operation. Many of the departing and returning Troops use the larger Camp Anza in Riverside, California as a staging area. In 1945, at the end of the war the camp was declared surplus and the lease was ended. For the war ships, on January 24, 1942 the Panama Pacific Terminal's Berths 232-A and B were taken over for the war department Los Angeles Port of Embarkation. Camp Ross was also use for staging cargo to shipped overseas, with Norwegian cargo ship MS Torrens being the first ship to depart with cargo on February 12, 1942. Also built at Camp Ross was the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation Station Hospital also called the Torrance Station Hospital. The Army Hospital had 600-bed to service those arriving and departing the port. The hospital opened in November 1943. The camp hosted a Women's Army Corps (WAC) unit that serviced the camp. Also at the camp was a prisoners of war camp for Italian soldiers, the soldiers had surrendered at during the North African campaign. Italian Service Units of the 11th, 26th, 27th, 127th, 128th and 302nd Italian Quartermaster Service Company worked at the camp. By the end of the war over 28,000 prisoners passed through the camp. The camp was named after Sgt. Karl E. Ross was killed in Belgium in World War 1. After the war the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation Station Hospital became the Harbor–UCLA Medical Center and LA BioMed.

California during World War II Overview of the role of the U.S. state of California during World War II

California during World War II was a major contributor to the World War II effort. California's long Pacific Ocean coastline provided the support needed for the Pacific War. California also supported the war in Europe. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941 most of California's manufacturing was shifted to the war effort. California became a major ship builder and aircraft manufacturer. Existing military installations were enlarged and many new ones were built. California trained many of the troops before their oversea deployment. Over 800,000 Californians served in the United States Armed Forces. California agriculture, ranches and farms were used to feed the troops around the world. California's long coastline also put the state in fear, as an attack on California seemed likely. California was used for the temporary and permanent internment camps for Japanese Americans. The population of California grew significantly, largely due to servicemen who were stationed at the new military bases/training facilities and mass influx of workers from around the U.S. in the growing defense industries. With all the new economy activity, California was lifted out of the great depression. Over 500,000 people moved to California from other states to work in the growing economy. California expanded its oil and mineral production to keep up with the war demand.

DeWitt General Hospital US WWII army base in California

DeWitt General Hospital was a World War II US Army Hospital in Auburn, California in Placer County at the corner of C Avenue and First Street. The hospital was built in 1944 to care for troops returning home from overseas service and troops that served on the home front. The first patient checked in on February 17, 1944. The hospital had 2,285 beds housed in single story buildings over the 284 acres campus. DeWitt General Hospital was three miles north of downtown Auburn.


  1. Christine Marín, "Mexican Americans on the Home Front: Community Organizations in Arizona During World War II," Perspectives in Mexican American Studies (1993) 4:75–92
  2. Julie A. Campbell, "Madres Y Esposas: Tucson's Spanish-American Mothers and Wives Association," Journal of Arizona History (1990) 31#2 pp: 161–182,
  3. "WWII Army Casualties: Arizona" . Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  4. "WWII Casualties: Arizona" . Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  5. George G. Lewis; John Mehwa (1982). "History of Prisoner of War Utilization by the United States Army 1776-1945" (PDF). Center of Military History, United States Army. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  6. Melton, Brad; Dean Smith. Arizona Goes to War: The Home Front and the Front Lines during World War II. University of Arizona Press. ISBN   978-0-8165-2190-6.