Evansville Named an American World War II Heritage City by National Parks Department
The National Park Service named Evansville, Indiana an American World War II Heritage City. Evansville is one of eighteen new cities across the United States to receive the designation.
Nineteen Cities in Total
Nineteen cities across the country now hold the designation of American World War II Heritage City as Evansville and seventeen other cities join Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington was the inaugural city to hold the title and was appointed as such in September 2020.
What Exactly is an America World War II Heritage City?
World War II was a time like no other in American history, and many cities across the country became center points of manufacturing for goods needed by the United States Military. The war became part of life for evert American alive at the time. Because of the historical importance of the contributions made by cities across the county, the Secretary of the Interior has the opportunity to designate one city from every state and territory with the title of American World War II Heritage City.
Evansville, Indiana During WWII
Evansville, Indiana has a rich history when it comes to World War II with the LST 325 docked on our riverfront. In addition, Evansville was home to the P-47 Thunderbolt factory owned by Republic Aviation Corporation. According to Indiana.gov,
Republic Aviation Corporation, located on this site, was an essential part of Evansville's World War II defense industry. Over 5, 000 men and women manufactured 6, 242 P-47 Thunderbolts, 1942-1945. P-47 was principal WW II fighter plane, known for its speed, durability, and reliability.
Evansville as a Heritage City
There is no doubt that Evansville played a critical role during World War II and it is only fitting that it too, receive the designation of American Heritage City. [If you would like to see some amazing photos from the WWII era in Evansville, the EVPL has an incredible collection you can view] According to the National Park Service, Evansville employment boomed due to the increase in defense manufacturing in the city.
World War II catalyzed Evansville into a leading defense manufacturer, resulting in 80 factories transitioning to war production and manufacturing 330 different goods for the war effort. The military recognized the high production levels achieved by awarding 15 businesses in the region with Army-Navy “E” Awards. Factories recruited thousands of workers to meet high demand. As a result, employment dramatically increased from 18,000 in 1940 to 60,000 by the middle of the war.
Other Cities on the List
Other cities in the region to make the list include Dayton, Ohio and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. To see the full list, and learn more about the World War II American Heritage Cities, visit NPS.gov.
LOOK: 100 years of American military history