Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, has a long and colorful history starting in 1716, when the first mission, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches, was founded. The people of this rich area have since come together countless times to survive challenges. During World War II, patriotism brought everyone closer as the young men of the area left to fight for their country. College enrollment declined drastically until a masterstroke by its president brought the nation’s first WAC school to the campus. An unexpected ice storm killed valuable timber, bringing Nazi POWs to the area to harvest the pine trees. On the home front, everyone got involved in the war effort. They knitted, rolled bandages, collected scrap metal, bought war bonds, grew victory gardens, and participated in rationing and blackouts; but most of all they sacrificed their sons. They came together during those years and still come together today to celebrate the historic town’s past and to honor its veterans of all wars.
About the Author
Jan Dobbs Barton, an accountant and freelance photographer, teamed up with Peggy Arriola Jasso, a retired banker and local genealogist, to honor their hometown’s involvement in World War II, its veterans, and their families. The two graduated from Nacogdoches High School and are both descendants of first families of Nacogdoches. They met while doing genealogy research.
Table of Contents
1 The Great Depression Ends 9
2 The War Begins at Pearl Harbor 15
3 Nacogdoches County Does Business 25
4 Stephen F. Austin Teachers College Adapts to War 33
5 The Women's Army Corps Marches into Town 43
6 The Nazis Arrive in East Texas 51
7 Schools and Churches Pray for Peace 61
8 The Home Front Does Its Part 69
9 Our Veterans Fight for Liberty 77
10 Let the Good Times Roll 115
Nacogdoches County Casualties 127