Idaho in World War II (Images of America)

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Although far from the front lines of war, the people of Idaho contributed to the US effort in World War II in myriad ways. Entrepreneurs perfected the dehydration of potatoes and onions that became staples of the rations that sustained Allied troops stationed around the globe. Idahoans mined rare metals and manufactured them into weapons and munitions that allowed US forces to compete with the technologies of their opponents. Local communities organized USO huts that provided coffee, cookies, and warm smiles to homesick troops in transit to and from the war. However, World War II also left an indelible mark on the state of Idaho. On the one hand, the federal government’s ambitious construction of airports, buildings, and roads to support the war effort transformed a rural state that had lacked infrastructure. On the other hand, Idaho soil housed detention camps where American citizens were denied fundamental rights. And loss and heartbreak impacted nearly every community.

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