Home Front: Texas in WWII
by Mike Vance
The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members
The Texas home front during World War II was the beginning of a shift that would change Texas from rural to urban as half a million Texans moved to cities to fill industrial jobs. Manufacturing in Texas quadrupled during WWII. Pipelines, refineries, aircraft factories, synthetic rubber plants and Liberty ships sprouted across the state. Women, still not allowed to serve on a jury, were suddenly doing essential work for the war effort, in factories, air fields or petrochemical labs.
The state was home to a myriad of military bases. Training took place from one end of the state to the other, especially for the Army Air Corps, be it pilots, aviation mechanics or aerial gunners. All along the coast were anti-aircraft guns, concrete bunkers and even reconnaissance blimps. German U-boats did indeed ply Gulf waters, looking for Allied shipping at the same time that captured Germans picked Texas fruit and tended Texas livestock.
Mike Vance of The Heritage Society is producing a documentary about this subject and has interviewed over 80 Texans who experienced the war years first hand. He will share some of the personal stories of sacrifice and change that make this one of the most fascinating times in Texas history.