Our Texas World War ll legacy, a contribution to end tyranny that is unmatched by any other in the nation, is on display throughout the state-in museums, municipal airports, military bases, at churches and businesses, in architecture, monuments, and history books. When the Allied nations declared war against the Axis powers-Japan, Germany, and Italy-over three quarters of a million Texans answered the call-to-arms, despite the fact that the state's population represented only five percent of the nation's total.
Texas was home to 175 major military installations including Army airfields, naval bases, Army forts, and prisoner of war camps and hosted over a million and a half military trainees who came from all over the country. We served with distinction, holding rank as brigadier generals and rear admirals among the tens of thousands of service men and women who ultimately won us the war. Thirty-three Texans were awarded the Medal of Honor and more than 22,000 died. Our war effort transformed Texas from a rural, agrarian province to a thriving, urban industrialized player, contributing influence and power to the nation's growing economy.
Thousands of personal histories and legacies arose from the sacrifices Texans made and triumphs we championed during the war years. We can learn all about them by listening to our grandfathers and grandmothers, our neighbors, and fellow Texans, or exploring their letters, photographs, films, and documents. All this and more is hanging across museum walls such as the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum in Abilene and Huntsville's H.E.A.R.T.S Veterans Museum, or experienced in the interactive exhibits at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. These stories, each one at once unique and universal, are among our greatest gifts from the Greatest Generation.
Explore World War II history with the following Texas Historical Commission travel resources:
Texas Time Travel website – Use the map and links below to explore World War II historic sites in Texas.