World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)

So Others Might Fight


The most vital weapon employed during the war was often a wrench wielded by the soldiers who served as mechanics. An “ambidextrous corps of worker-fighters,” these men and women did whatever was necessary to maintain and repair vehicles and weapons systems. “Without them,” noted National Geographic in 1942, “not a wheel could turn . . . not a tank could run or a plane fly.” Mechanics were vital to naval operations as well.

Ordnance mechanics in New Guinea
Loading ammunition
Servicing trucks
African American mechanics

Related Artifacts