World War II

Connecticut Women's Land Army, University of Connecticut
Connecticut Women’s Land Army, University of Connecticut, 1943 – Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries

World War II (1941-1945)

In 1939, as war dawned in Europe, Connecticut debated. Those dubbed isolationists urged US detachment while internationalists favored a united response to the Axis. As pro-war sentiment grew, state industry prospered and, after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, it boomed—a welcome state after the Depression. By 1945, Hamilton Propellers, Electric Boat, Pratt & Whitney, and other Connecticut companies had fulfilled over $8 billion in war contracts. Prosperity, however, came at a cost. The influx of laborers, for example, overtaxed housing, schools, and hospitals, and the war’s end brought job loss (particularly for women), food shortages, and strikes. Today, memorials honor those who served and several archives work to collect letters, oral histories, and other first-hand accounts from those who experienced the war at home or abroad.

FEATURED

Thomas Dodd (at podium), Nuremberg trial, ca., 1945-46

Connecticut Lawyer Prosecutes Nazi War Criminals at Nuremberg

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Thomas Joseph Dodd, a Norwich-born lawyer from Connecticut, served on the United... Read more » …[more]

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Websites

“World War II.” CT Monuments, 2012. Link.

Video

Fraser, Bruce, Larry Rifkin, Rich Hanley, and Jeremy Brecher. Home Front: Connecticut During World War II. DVD. Hartford; Middletown, CT: Connecticut Public Television, 2001.

Documents

“Bradley Field World War II Activities, 1942-1945 - Digital Archive.” Connecticut State Library, 2017. Link.
“Research Guide to World War II Service Records.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.
“World War II - Connecticut Veterans Commemorative Booklets.” Connecticut State Library, 2012. Link.

Books

Bristol Goes to War: As Recorded in the Pages of the Bristol Press, 1939-1945. Verplanck, NY: Historical Briefs, Inc., 1992.
Cottle, Henry E. Bristol, Connecticut, in World War II, Depicting the Part Played by Our Brave Men and Women Who Dedicated Their Services to Their Country, as Well as the Mobilization of Our Home Life and Industries in Support of the War Effort, 1939-1946. Bristol, CT: World War II Historical Committee, 1947.
Bingham, Robert Kim. Courageous Dissent: How Harry Bingham Defied His Government to Save Lives. Greewich, CT: Triune Books, 2007.
New Canaan. War Records Committee, and New Canaan Historical Society. New Canaan’s Records of World War II: Honor Roll and Service Records and the Home Front. New Canaan, CT: War Records Committee and the New Canaan Historical Society, 1951.
Kilpatrick, Archie. World War II History of Manchester, Connecticut. New York: Hobson Book Press, 1946.

Articles

Schlund-Vials, Cathy. “Wartime Relocation Brings Japanese Americans East.” Connecticut Explored, Autumn 2013. Link.
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