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World War II, Nebraska Trailblazer #21, page 5



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Nebraska war industries

Cornhusker Ord. Plant [National Archives]
Several Nebraska communities were selected as sites for government defense factories. Omaha became the location of the Martin Bomber Plant which manufactured B-26 and B-29 airplanes. Grand Island (shown here), Hastings, Mead, and Sidney had ammunition manufacturing and storage facilities. These defense industries created thousands of jobs for Nebraskans, particularly women. Before the war, it was uncommon for women to work outside the home.

Photo of prisoners of war  [T467-21]
Nebraska was considered a good location for housing prisoners of war. Twelve thousand German and Italian prisoners were held in twenty-three camps across Nebraska. The largest camps were in Scottsbluff, Fort Robinson, and Atlanta. The prisoners were often used to help area farmers. These German prisoners worked in the mess hall at Fort Robinson.

Photo of dog and trainer  [R659-598]
Fort Robinson also became the country's largest K-9 (canine) Corps reception and training center, where thousands of dogs were trained for war duty. Dogs were used to act as guards, to sniff out mines, to carry messages, and to pull sleds. Do you know what canine means?

Photo of military air base at Scribner
[Omaha World Herald]

Eleven Nebraska towns became home to military air bases or satellite airfields during World War II. Bases were located at Ainsworth, Alliance, Bruning, Fairmont, Grand Island, Harvard, Kearney, Lincoln, McCook, Scottsbluff, and Scribner. These bases were used to train crews to fly. The base at Scribner was unusual because it was entirely camouflaged (disguised) to look like a farm.

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