National Archives at Atlanta
Training and Sustaining the Force
The U.S. military was woefully unprepared for World War II, and their deficiencies in training, personnel, and materiel manifested themselves in early struggles on battlefields in the Pacific and North Africa. To close the gap between their preparedness and that of the Axis powers, U.S. government and civilian workers built hundreds of new military installations across the country, including many in the southeast. The missions of these installations were diverse, from tactical training of new pilots and ground soldiers to producing weapons and ammunition, but each of them made an impact on the war effort and their surrounding communities. Scattered throughout the southeast in urban centers like Atlanta, Charleston, and Jacksonville, or in more rural communities like Kingsport and Sylacauga, these air stations, ordnance plants, shipyards, and training camps trained and sustained the force for victory.