The United States entered World War II when Japan attacked their military equipment in Hawaii. Involvement in the war was expected because the US was against Japan’s entry into Middle East, and colonization of Africa and certain regions of Europe by Germany and Italy. The US was greatly perturbed after the invasion of Poland and the fall of France.
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Many Americans opposed direct participation of US military in the war. However, they supported a decision to offer military aid to nations that were fighting aggression. In addition, they wanted improved security by eradicating the possibility of being attacked. Texans were in full support of the decision to offer aid to their allies in order to guarantee their security. Role played by Texas and Texans
Texans supported the Lend Lease bill that offered war supplies to nations that opposed aggression. Senator Thomas T. Connaly facilitated enactment of the act into law. At the time, Connaly was the chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He convinced fellow congressional representatives to vote in favor of the act. Only Thomas Mansfield declined to support the act. Texans reacted swiftly to US’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
After a short while, Connaly declared war on Japan and its allies including Germany and Italy. Texas governor Coke Stevenson’s contributions were monumental because he convinced Texans to offer any aid they could afford whether financial or material. As a response to the governor’s call, many Texans went to recruitment camps to volunteer for military service. They were so enthusiastic that 7% of soldiers who participated in the war were Texans. The largest portion of people in the armed forces was composed of Texans.
Texas served as a center for military operations during the war. Texans offered support to military troops in terms of voluntary service, foodstuff, and moral support. More than 20,000 flyers and thousands of gunners were trained in various training camps located in Texas.
In addition, Texas housed prisoners of war from Germany, Japan, and Italy. These prisoners worked as clerks, carpenters, farmers, and mechanists because many people had abdicated their jobs to join the war. Others worked in the medical field where they assisted the few doctors and nurses left in hospitals because many medical professionals left their jobs for better paying ones with the military.
The fact that Texas was the center for military training and operations had great impact on Texas. Money was used to build new military camps and renovate existing ones. Farmers worked hard to increases agricultural production that enabled the US provide food to its allies in the war. Many people left their professions for military jobs that were paying highly. High schools and colleges created patriotic programs in support of the war.
Many teachers and students abdicated school for military service. Clent Breedove and Dagley were monumental in training pilots for war. They were part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which Harold Humphries headed. George Brown, James Abercrombie, and James Elkins provided technological assistance to the military. Companies focused on manufacturing rubber and petrochemicals that were highly useful during the war.
Texans played a significant role in supporting the US in World War II. They volunteered for military service, produced products such as synthetic rubber and fuel needed during the war, and supported the president’s decision to support countries that opposed aggression. In addition, Texans provided war supplies that sustained soldiers during the war and joined the war as nurses, trainers, and doctors.