Silent Voices Of World War II - When Sons of the Land of Enchantment Met Sons of the Land of the Rising Sun
By Everett M. Rogers, Ph.D. and Nancy R. Bartlit
When World War II began, New Mexico was one of the least populated of the 48 states. Yet, New Mexico and New Mexicans played a key role in the outcome of the War in the Pacific. The New Mexico National Guard was the first U.S. military unit to fight the Japanese, holding on for four months on Bataan, and then suffering through years in POW camps. The atomic bomb was developed at a secret laboratory in Los Alamos, and tested at a site near Alamogordo. Navajo code talkers helped capture bases from which B-29s bombed Japanese cities. Finally, several thousand Japanese Americans, classified by the FBI as dangerous enemy aliens, were interned in a camp near Santa Fe. These seemingly separate events were related through unique qualities of the arid, spacious land.
The authors have provided a voice for the previously silent heroes of these wartime events: Special Engineer Detachment (SED) enlisted men and women at Los Alamos who actually fabricated the atomic bomb, Navajo Marine privates, National Guard enlisted men, and Japanese American internees. Their stories, obtained through personal interviews supplement the historical record, illuminate the patriotism, human suffering, and courageous humor in these important World War II events.
Paper: 356 pp.