World War II Stories

Expand/Collapse World War II Stories


More than 276,000 Iowans went into military service during World War II. 8,398 never returned. Thousands more who remained at home played major roles in winning the war. The sacrifices of each of these Iowans helped determine the political and social conditions that would exist once the war ended. Iowa Public Television's production of Iowa's World War II Stories preserves some of the memories of those who put their lives on hold in the fight against the Axis powers.

  • World War II Stories Video Gallery | World War II Stories

    More than 276,000 Iowans went into military service during World War II. 8,398 never returned. Thousands more who remained at home played major roles in winning the war. The sacrifices of each of these Iowans helped determine the political and social conditions that would exist once the war ended. Iowa Public Television's production of Iowa's World War II Stories preserves some of the memories of those who put their lives on hold in the fight against the Axis powers.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Attack on Pearl Harbor | World War II Stories

    The attack on Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) on December 7th, 1941 changed the course of history and triggered the involvement of the United States in World War II. The attack destroyed much of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and killed nearly 2,500 Americans. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWll Stories features historical film clips as well as interviews with survivors of the attack.

    Grades: 5-10
  • America Responds to Pearl Harbor Attack | World War II Stories

    Within days of the attack on Pearl Harbor, war was declared against what were now being called the Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan.  As the shock of the attacks in December wore off, the American government began mobilizing to fight back. Across the country, able-bodied men either volunteered or were drafted. Thousands of women joined the military or entered the workforce. Those men already in uniform were gathered and sent to attack the axis powers. Learn more with the videos from the World War II Stories series. 

    Grades: 5-10
  • American Factories Change to Support World War II | World War II Stories

    The decision by the United States to join World War II required mass production of goods and increased services to support the war effort.  Within weeks the country was changing course and retooling existing factories to support the needs of the war. The United States needed to produce more airplanes, ships, vehicles, guns and ammunition for the war. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and profiles an Iowa company that retooled to support the war effort.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Impact of World War II on the U.S. Economy and Workforce | World War II Stories

    America’s involvement in World War II had a significant impact on the economy and workforce of the United States. The United States was still recovering from the impact of the Great Depression and the unemployment rate was hovering around 25%. Our involvement in the war soon changed that rate. American factories were retooled to produce goods to support the war effort and almost overnight the unemployment rate dropped to around 10%. Women went to work to fill jobs that were traditionally held by men. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and profiles how a civilian from Ankeny, Iowa supported the war effort.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Rationing During World War II | World War II Stories

    To help prevent a shortage of food and goods necessary during World War II, the federal government began to ration everything with a strategic value. Special coupon books were issued to every man, woman, and child in the united states. Without the coupon books, you could not buy certain items like sugar, meat, tires, or fuel oil. Americans were asked to turn down their thermostats to conserve fuel in colder months and grow more food in their backyard gardens. Learn more with this segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa's WWII Stories

     

     

     

    Grades: 5-10
  • Experiences of a Female Nurse during World War II | World War II Stories

    As World War II waged on, many women in the United States volunteered to do their part and support our troops by becoming nurses and medical support people in the war.  Nurses played a vital role in helping care for the wounded and providing moral support to American troops.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Bataan Death March | World War II Stories

    Following their surrender to Japanese forces at the Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, tens of thousands of U.S. and Filipino troops were forced to march 60 miles over six days as prisoners of war. Prisoners were provided no food or water, and many who fell or stopped were killed. Thousands died before they could reach their destination. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa WWII Stories includes historical footage and interviews with survivors of the march.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Landing at Omaha Beach: D-Day | World War II Stories

    On June 6th, 1944, Allied troops invaded Normandy, France in what would become known as D-Day. That day, over 150,000 troops stormed the coastline in a matter of 24 hours and set the world on a path to ending World War II and the reign of Nazi Germany. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa's WWII Stories includes historical footage and an interview with a veteran of the invasion.

    Grades: 5-10
  • Tuskegee Airmen Experiences in World War II | World War II Stories

    The Tuskegee Airmen, officially known as the 332nd fighter group, were the first African Americans to fly planes in the U.S. military. Although they faced severe discrimination in the country and mandates of the Jim Crow laws in the south, they volunteered in large numbers to help fight in World War II. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and profiles an Iowa veteran and member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

    Grades: 5-10
  • A Veteran’s Experience in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) | World War II Stories

    Created during World War II, the Women's Army Corps (WAC) was the women's branch of the United States Army. 150,000 American women served in the WAC during the war. For many, the WAC challenged perceptions of the traditional role of women in the workplace and in the military. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and an interview with a WAC veteran.

    Grades: 5-12
  • The Last Days of World War II | World War II Stories

    World War II was a long and brutal war. After three years, eight months and eight days, the fighting for American forces was over. It is estimated that more than 60 million people were killed in the conflicts, many of them civilians.  Sixteen million Americans had been sent to war; 406,000 never returned. Soon the focus could change from sacrificing to rebuilding. This segment of Iowa Public Television's Iowa’s WWII Stories includes historical footage and interviews with two Iowa veterans.

    Grades: 5-12

Contributor: Iowa Public Television
Funder: Iowa Communications Network