SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(News4Utah) Yesterday was Vietnam Veterans Day. Today we are getting a glimpse at what life was like in Utah during World War II. It’s detailed in a book called ‘Weber County in World War II.’ Sarah Singh and Melissa Francis, both authors of the book, joined Brian Carlson to talk about what’s in it.
As part of this project, Singh and Francis conducted over 60 oral history interviews with Veterans and those who served on the home front. They collected hundreds of photographs, letters, diaries, uniforms, and memorabilia.
The stories told include those who served on the war fronts, but also the men, women, and children who kept the war effort going at home. WWII changed Northern Utah from primarily an agricultural community, to a place where federal money came in to build Hill Field, Defense Depot Ogden and the Clearfield Naval Supply.
Victory workers came by the hundreds, and that lead to the need for housing developments, expanded store hours, and even adjusted public transportation routes.
After the United States joined World War II in 1941, the men and women of Weber County heeded the call to fight for victory at home and overseas. Over 10,000 Northern Utahns served in the armed forces,
while back at home, new military installations, such as Defense Depot Ogden and Hill Air Force Base,
employed thousands more. Women’s clubs held bond drives, high school students learned first aid and
harvested crops, and children gathered scrap metal. It was a community-wide response that changed
Weber County forever.
Many of the images and stories can be viewed at the Ogden Union Station until June 2. You can read more about the book and purchase it, at ArcadiaPublishing.com.