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Arizona during World War II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arizona during World War II
Eleanor Roosevelt at Gila River, Arizona at Japanese-American Internment Center - NARA - 197094.jpg
LocationArizona, United States
EventsThe Machita Incident
– October 16, 1940
The Phoenix Massacre
– November 27, 1942
The 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. Although far removed from the frontlines in Europe and the Pacific, Arizona's contribution to the Allied war effort was significant.


During the war Mexican-American community organizations were very active in patriotic efforts to support American troops abroad, and made efforts to support the war effort materially and to provide moral support for the young American men fighting the war, especially the young Mexican-American men from local communities. Some of the community projects were cooperative ventures in which members of both the Mexican-American and Anglo communities participated. Most efforts made in the Mexican-American community, however, represented localized American home front activities that were separate from the activities of the Anglo community.[1] Mexican-American women organized to assist their servicemen and the war effort. An underlying goal of the Spanish-American Mothers and Wives Association was the reinforcement of the woman's role in Spanish-Mexican culture. The organization raised thousands of dollars, wrote letters, and joined in numerous celebrations of their culture and their support for Mexican-American servicemen. Membership reached over 300 during the war and eventually ended its existence in 1976.[2]


Army and Air Forces[3]
County Killed in
Action (KIA)
Died of
Wounds (DOW)
Died of
Injuries (DOI)
Non-Battle (DNB)
Finding of
Death (FOD)
Missing in
Action (MIA)
Apache 27 3 20 1 51
Cochise 68 8 24 10 1 111
Coconino 31 14 4 49
Gila 47 12 21 7 87
Graham 31 4 12 1 1 49
Greenlee 18 4 6 2 1 31
Maricopa 277 35 161 40 1 514
Mohave 9 2 9 2 22
Navajo 36 5 17 6 64
Pima 145 13 1 67 12 1 239
Pinal 66 15 32 2 115
Santa Cruz 28 1 13 1 43
Yavapai 47 4 22 7 80
Yuma 55 6 1 13 5 80
State at Large 31 3 33 8 3 78
Total 916 115 2 464 108 8 1613
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard[4]
Type Total
Killed in Action (KIA) 27
Killed in Prison Camps 11
Missing in Action (MIA) 17
Wounded in Action (WIA) 41
Released from Prison Camps 17
Total 113

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. Large numbers of alien enemies did not occur, so Camp Florence was used as a POW camp.[5]


See also


  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.
This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 11:50
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