In 1935, Chicopee was a small city struggling to emerge from a crippling depression and economic collapse. In 1936, the Connecticut River flooded, turning Chicopee’s Willimansett section into a giant lake, and on September 21, 1938, a storm roared up the Connecticut Valley with winds of over 100 miles per hour. Rain flooded the already devastated streets and wiped out the Chicopee Falls Bridge. Between these disasters, the U.S. Congress passed the Wilcox Act, and in 1939, Secretary of War Harry W. Woodring announced that the tobacco plains of Chicopee had been selected as the site for the Northeast’s Army Air Corps base. The super base, named Westover Field, was the largest air base in the country by 1942. During World War II, Chicopee would be one of four cities in Massachusetts to produce over a billion dollars worth of war materials, and following the war, the city grew and prospered at a record pace.
About the Author
Stephen R. Jendrysik, a lifelong resident of Chicopee, taught history at Chicopee Comprehensive High School for 40 years. In Chicopee in the 1940s, he tells the story of the first decade of the relationship between a giant military installation and its host city. This book chronicles life on the home front during World War II, a decade that witnessed the unprecedented economic revival of a depression-ravaged city.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Chicopee in the 1940s, Massachusetts (Images of America Series) based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Good history of Chicopee, Ma focusing much on Westover Field influence on the growth of the city and it's economy. Recommend it anyone wanting to learn more about the area and time.