Traveling Tuesday: North Dakota
Bordering Canada on the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west, North Dakota is approximately three-quarters the size of the United Kingdom. Considered part of the Great Plains, the state’s greatest resource is soil, with wheat grown in nearly every county. The state also has huge mineral deposits.
Primarily populated by Native Americans until the mid-1800s, North Dakota finally began to see white settlers by 1870. A mere twenty years later there were nearly 200,000 farmers and ranchers. By the time World War II began over 600,000 people called the state home.
In addition to sending her young men overseas to combat, North Dakota was the location of four major air bases: Fargo, Bismark, Minot, and Grand Forks, and several smaller facilities. Many of the air fields became municipal airports after the war, while others were torn down and returned to agriculture.
Fort Lincoln Internment Camp in Bismark housed over 4,000 Japanese, Italians, and Germans captured in US waters in April 1941. After the war started, the camp was turned over to the Department of Justice and expanded to make room for US civilians of Japanese and German descent who were arrested on suspicion of fifth column activity.
Perhaps the greatest contribution made by the state was education. Colleges and universities experienced huge drops in enrollment as young men enlisted and were drafted by the armed forces. As a way to help themselves and the war effort, the institutions picked up training programs that educated soldiers and sailors. Coursework included navigation, Morse code, and aerology. Pilot training programs included both ground and flight training, teaching them to land in many different conditions. During the winter months, the planes’ landing wheels were replaced with skis.
Of the more than 60,000 North Dakotans who served, approximately 2,000 gave their lives.
Allison White should be thrilled about her upcoming wedding. The problem? She’s still in love with her fiancé, Chaz, who was declared dead after being shot down over Germany in 1944. Can she put the past behind her and settle down to married life with the kindhearted man who loves her?
It’s been two years since Charles “Chaz” Powell was shot down over enemy territory. The war is officially over, but not for him. He has amnesia as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, and the only clue to his identity is a love letter with no return address. Will he ever regain his memories and discover who he is, or will he have to forge a new life with no connections to the past?
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