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Arizona Goes to War
The Home Front and the Front Lines during World War II
By Brad Melton; Dean Smith
233 pp. / 7.00 in x 10.00 in / 2003
Cloth (978-0-8165-2189-0)
Paper (978-0-8165-2190-6)
  
Related Interest
  - Western History
  - Western Americana / Regional Interest


It was a cold, gray morning in northeast France when Pfc. Silvestre Herrera's unit came under heavy fire from a Nazi artillery barrage. Armed with only a hand grenade and his M1 rifle, Herrera fixed
A true period piece . . . a highly accessible examination of World War II from our vantage point in the Southwest.

—Arizona Daily Star

A book that presents the war and the home front in a much more relevant and exciting way. . . . An incredible collection of period photographs bring the war and action on the home front into sharp focus. Dozens of profiles and sidebars add to the rich detail, underscoring the regional flavor of Arizona during that period of history.

—Tucson Citizen

While providing a solid general survey of the impact of the war on the Grand Canyon state, Arizona Goes to War also provides in-depth snapshots of various aspects of the period. . . . In addition to being fascinating the book is useful, offering a visitor's guide to World War II sites in the state.

—Arizona Republic

A fascinating and captivating book . . . carefully mixing in-depth analysis with excellent selections of stories.

—Journal of Arizona History

his bayonet and mounted a one-man charge, single-handedly capturing eight German soldiers, then killing two more and pinning down the enemy despite having had both feet blown off by a mine. A few months later he was back home in Phoenix when the telegram arrived notifying him that he was to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Herrera was just one of Arizona's sons and daughters who answered their country's call in World War II. Their exploits—and the adventures of those on the home front—are now celebrated in a book that brings that era engagingly to life. Arizona Goes to War takes readers back to a time when military installations sprang up all over the state as thousands of airmen arrived to train in Arizona's clear desert skies, and when soldiers destined for North Africa came to get their first taste of desert sands. In its pages, readers will learn not only of the green recruits who passed through Arizona, but also of the state's Native Americans who registered for the draft in record numbers, of Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated in desert detention centers, and of ordinary citizens who did their bit for the war effort. Included in the book are some of World War II's most incredible stories, such as the testing of tank engines in Arizona dust storms for the North Africa campaign, the interrogation of Japanese consular diplomats from Honolulu at the Triangle T Guest Ranch near Dragoon, and the escape of 25 German POWs from a detention camp outside of Phoenix—called the greatest escape by Axis prisoners from a U.S. compound during the war. A separate chapter pays tribute to Arizona's war heroes: not only Silvestre Herrera, but also fighter ace Grant Turley, Midway hero John C. Butler, and Pima Indian Ira Hayes, who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima. A host of profiles and sidebars bring people and events of the wartime era to life, and a useful appendix provides a traveler's guide to Arizona's World War II sites. World War II may have transformed Arizona more than it did any other state; not only did Arizona's industry blossom, its population did as well when servicemen who had been stationed there returned to put down stakes. Arizona Goes to War recaptures the glory and spirit of that era and reminds us that the people who lived through those years are well worth commemorating.


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