World War II

December 7,1941 to August 14,1945

Many citizens from Jackson County were already serving in the armed forces when the Japanese attacked on December 7,1941. Some of them were stationed at Pearl Harbor itself; others were serving in the Philippines. The hometown newspapers had local tragedy to report from the very first day of the war, of death by enemy action, of injuries, and of capture. The newspaper accounts would continue until August of 1945 and beyond, as Jackson County citizens waited weekly for reports of fresh tragedy, as well as early embracing news of heroism and of homecomings. It is estimated that over 1,500 men and women from Jackson County served in the armed forces during World War II. They did not form a single volunteer unit and march down Main Street to the cheers of their neighbors. They enlisted, or answered their Country's call through the draft, in individual response and in small groups. They took the train from the depot in ones and twos, and threes and fours. Many bid their families farewell in the early months of the war in 1942, but the farewells continued for four more years. Youngsters barely in high school on Pearl Harbor Day still got their chance for danger before the war was over, and faced it bravely. The contribution could be tallied by the number of service stars in the front windows of the homes. The cost could be assessed in the growing number of stars that were gold. Jackson County citizens fought in North Africa, Italy, and France. They fought in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Malaysia. They sailed every ocean and flew in every sky. Some never returned and none returned unchanged.