Welcome! Tennessee is home to many historic sites, but the contributions and sacrifice of Tennesseans during WWII is often forgotten. Seven Congressional Medal of Honor recipients were from Tennessee. Living history reenactors across the state seek to honor all WWII veterans and bring to light their achievements through displays and battle reenactments at area and national events. Come and join us on a very important "Sentimental Journey"!
This is not a hobby just for men. Women held very important roles during WWII, and many died near the front lines and were taken as POW's. If you would like to know more, come and see us.
If you are interested in learning about becoming a WWII living history reenactor, be sure to check out the "links" info. If you are a veteran or a group interested in sponsoring an event in Tennessee, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!
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TENNESSEE WWII TRIVIA- DID YOU KNOW...
**More than 300,000 Tennesseans proudly served in WWII, with 5,731 giving the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
**The 1945 Nobel Peace Prize winner was Cordell Hull, from
Overton County, Tennessee.
**The Manhattan Project, which was the secret government project to develop the Atomic Bomb, had a major research and development center at Oak Ridge, TN, known as the "secret city".
**Coca-Cola was first bottled in Chattanooga in 1899
**"The Memphis Belle" was a WWII B-17 bomber made famous as one of the few aircraft and crews to survive 25 missions. It was named after the captain's girlfriend, Memphis native Margaret Polk.
**Memphis, TN and surrounding cities were host to military bases for all branches of service. Kennedy General Army Hospital was the Army's second largest in the nation, with 4,387 beds by April 1945.
**The first American woman to die on active duty was Cornelia Fort, from Nashville, Tennessee. Cornelia was a pilot who enlisted in the WAFS - Womens Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. The WAFS ferried aircraft from air bases and factories all across the US, participated in training excercises for male pilots, and flew experimental aircraft. Many women were killed or injured in their duties, but received no formal recognition from the government for their service until the 1980's. Cornelia was a flight instructor in the air with a student the morning of December 7th, 1941, and was one of the first witnesses to the attack on Pearl Harbor. She barely avoided a mid-air collison as one of the Japanese Zeros raced past her airplane. Tragically, Cornelia Fort died March 21, 1943 while ferrying aircraft and flying in formation. A fellow male pilot's landing craft clipped her plane, causing her to crash.
**Mary Cullom Kimbro of Nashville, TN was a stewardess aboard the SS City of Birmingham when it was torpedoed by U-202 on June 30, 1942. Ms. Kimbro was 53 when she was killed in the attack. Later in the war, a Liberty ship was named in her honor.
**Tennessee's first defense plant was the Vultee Aircraft manufacturing plant, located in Nashville, TN. During WWII, the plant built dive bomber aircraft, the P-38 lightning fighters, and employed hundreds of women workers, a.k.a "Rosie the Riveters".
**Tennessee established the first state defense organization, the Advisory Committee on Preparedness, in 1940. In January 1941 the state legislature created a Tennessee State Guard, the largest in the South, to provide protection for the state in the absence of the Tennessee National Guard, which had been activated as the 117th Infantry Regiment in the 30th Division. The 117th Regiment served with distinction in Europe until the end of the war.
**Over twenty counties in Middle Tennessee were utilized for the Tennessee Maneuvers, which were headquartered at Cumberland University in Lebanon and officially referred to as "somewhere in Tennessee." Middle Tennessee was chosen for these war games because of its proximity to railroads and federal highways and the similarity between its terrain and that of western Europe. Red and Blue "armies" faced each other in training exercises. More than 800,000 men and women participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers.
**Camps Forrest, Campbell, and Tyson also served as prisoner of war camps for German, Italian, and Austrian POWs through 1946. Prisoners were also held at Tellico Plains, Crossville, Memphis, Lawrenceburg, and Nashville. At Camp Forrest, which was the headquarters for several permanent and temporary POW camps in five southeastern states, approximately 68,000 prisoners were processed. Prisoners in the camps worked in the prison hospitals and area farms, cut pulpwood, and drained malarial swamps. Several POW groups produced their own German newspapers, performed plays, wrote poetry, and often became the object of attention for curious Tennesseans.
**At Halls, in West Tennessee, The Dyersburg Army Air Force Base was the largest combat crew training school built in the early war years. As the only B-17 training base east of the Mississippi river, the school trained pilots and crew for the B-17E's, B-17F's and B-17G's. In addition, the base was home for a medical and WAC detachment.
**The U.S. Army's famous 101st Airborne division is headquartered at Ft. Campbell, just outside of Clarksville, Tennessee on the TN/KY state line.
**Murfreesboro, TN was the childhood home of Jean Marie Faircloth, the wife of General Douglas MacArthur. The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce organized a war bond drive in her honor and
raised over $96 million to benefit the war effort.