[Marker Panel No. 1]:"When you go home, ? ? ? ? ?
With their lives before them, they left everything - their families, their loved ones, the serenity and security of their homes - to fight for a just cause. They departed on a journey to places they had never heard of to confront dangers they could not imagine - and never wavered or faltered in their duty.
[Marker Panel No. 2]:
This memorial is dedicated to the men and women of Maryland who served their country and the cause of freedom in World War II. It is a unique tribute, for it honors not only the memory of those who accepted duty in sworn service to the nation, but also the effort of those who contributed to victory on the home front - in the factories, the shipyards, and the fields of Maryland. Together, they played a heroic role in the greatest military effort the world has ever known.
Beginning on September 1, 1939, World War II lasted seven years and four months. It engulfed fifty-seven nations with armed forces totaling, at peak strength, more than 99 million. Of the 12,123,445 men and women sent forth by the United States of America, more than 297,000 paid the ultimate price and approximately 671,000 were wounded.
More than 287,000 sons and daughters of Maryland - 14 percent of the state's population at that time - answered the call to duty. Nearly 6500 gave their lives. With their comrades from across the nation and from lands around the world, they prevailed over the forces of darkness and preserved the blessings of liberty.What stands here signifies the boundless esteem and respect of a citizenry eternally grateful for their service, valor, and sacrifice.
[Marker Panel No. 3]:
War Clouds Gather
Since 1929, when Wall Street crashed, the United States had been mired in a deep depression. Millions were unemployed, many banks had failed, and many corporations were limping along to keep solvent. Economic difficulties touched nearly everyone. Families were extremely fortunate if they could keep their homes and eat regularly. The government employed thousands on civic and public works projects to provide minimum income to destitute wage earners.
In 1939, as the depression engulfed the entire world, Germany invaded Poland. This caused Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany in fulfillment of their protective treaty with Poland. Shortly thereafter, Germany overran Europe.
As War erupted in Europe, the United States began mobilizing its military and industrial resources. Congress enacted legislation to provide for a Selective Service System.
The nation entered into a Lend-Lease agreement with Great Britain, exchanging 50 destroyers for military bases. But despite its large reserves of manpower and production facilities, the United States could muster an army of only 190,000 men, ranking 17th in the world. Its Army Air Corps personnel numbered only 20,000, and most of its 1700 aircraft were obsolete.
In Europe, France fell before the onrushing German war machine, and the British army escaped devastation only by a massive evacuation of the troops from the Dunkirk beaches. Despite its escape, the British evacuation force suffered tremendous loss of equipment. The United States then found itself in need to re-equip ten British divisions while expanding its own military resources.
[Marker Panel No. 4]:
Maryland Prepares for War
Maryland's contributions to the preparation for war were significant. Among the earliest was the 1941 federalization of the National Guard's 29th Infantry Division, which later distinguished itself in combat. Responding to a call from the Army Surgeon General, the Johns Hopkins Hospital organized the 18th and 118th General Hospitals and the University of Maryland School of Medicine organized the 42nd and 142nd General Hospitals. These were assigned to the Pacific and saved countless lives of Americans wounded in the jungle fighting of that theater. Another medical unit, the 56th General Hospital, was later formed by a group of Baltimore physicians and nurses who performed similarly valuable service in England.
Maryland itself housed twenty-nine camps, bases, and detachments performing functions vital to the war effort. Several were still active at the time that this memorial was being built including the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Andrews Air Force Base, Ft. George G. Meade, Ft. Detrick, Ft. Ritchie, the Patuxent Naval Air Station, the Army Map Service, the Naval Powder Factory, the U.S. Coast Guard Yard, the Naval World Wide Radio Station, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
In addition, the state's industries produced a huge portion of the material necessary for the successful prosecution of the war. This included aircraft by the Glen L. Martin Co., troop and cargo vessels by the Bethlehem Fairfield and the Maryland Drydock Company shipyards, electronics by Westinghouse, Bendix and many others.
Such monumental contributions of military and civilian personnel alike reflect lasting credit upon the Free State of Maryland and her people.
[Marker Panel No. 5]:
The Cost of War
Like most military conflicts, World War II epitomized the basest and the most heroic traits of the human character. In terms of life and material resources, it was the costliest of all time. The total cost for arms and material alone has been estimated at $1.154 trillion, including these expenditures:
By the Allies
United States: $317.6 billion
Soviet Union: $192.0 billion
United Kingdom: $120.0 billion
By the Axis
Germany $272.9 billion
Italy: $94.0 billion
Japan: $56 billion
This was in addition to the untold billions of dollars in property damage caused by the unprecedented bombing of both sides.
More tragically, military casualties are estimated at more than 15 million dead and over 34 million wounded. More than 38 million deaths as a result of this war were attributed to non-military personnel.
In one of the darkest chapters of wartime history, an estimated 11 million men, women, and children - more than half of them Jews - perished as victims of meticulously programmed genocide. In keeping with an extermination plan implemented by Nazi Germany under Chancellor Adolf Hitler, they were put to death in the gas chambers of several concentration camps and were cremated or buried in masse. Another example of wartime depravity, was the treatment of Allied prisoners in the infamous "BATAAN DEATH MARCH". Japanese captors forced American-Filipino troops to march sixty-five miles to prison camps under deplorable conditions, causing the death of 8600 prisoners on the march alone. With many later dying in the camps. Approximately 40% of U.S. prisoners of war captured by the Japanese lost their lives to inhumane treatment or execution.
World War II was to become the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind.
[Marker Panel No. 6]:
Building an Arsenal of Democracy
The sudden Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor exposed a United States ill prepared for war. In September 1940, more than a year before its entry into the war, the nation initiated its first peacetime draft and federalized the National Guard. U.S. military strength was only 1.8 million at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, compared with the peak of 12.3 million at war's end. The draft and the Pearl Harbor attack touched off a wave of enlistments which expanded all armed forces more rapidly than the availability of equipment for them. Lacking weapons during training, some unites simulated rifles by using broomsticks for close-order drill.
Responding to the needs defined by its military, the United States rapidly converted to wartime production. Weapons soon rolled off the assembly lines to arm Allied forces on land, at sea, and in the air. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for the production of 50,000 planes a year and industry responded by surpassing that goal. By 1944, annual airplane production by the United States totaled 96,300, exceeding the combined output of Germany and Japan. Automobile factories were modified to turn out tanks. Between 1941-1945, the nation produced 61,000 tanks, more than double the total turned out by the enemy. To meet the demand for combat and cargo vessels, one manufacturer established shipyard facilities employing more than 30,000 workers and another stepped up production to build 10,500-ton Liberty shiops at a rate of more than one per week.
America had truly become "the arsenal of democracy."
[Marker Panel No. 7]:
The American Theater of War
On December 7, 1941, a sneak attack hit Pearl Harbor, and has since been known as the "day which will live in infamy." Shortly thereafter, the United States found itself at war with Japan, Germany, and Italy. Worrying about possible attacks on the home front, The American Theater was created to defend the United States; the global aspects of the war necessitated commands known as the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, the Pacific Theater, and the China-Burma-India Theater.
In the American Theater a sense of apprehension spurred plans for the defense of the United States. German submarines had already taken a heavy toll on merchant marine shipping between the U.S. and England. Reports of submarines off our nation's thousands of shoreline miles generated public fears of possible bombardment and landings.
To cover potential avenues of invasion, the American Theater was divided into the Eastern, Western, Southern, and Central commands. A separate command covered the Caribbean and was charged with safeguarding that area against the establishment of enemy bases and ports within striking distance of the mainland.
Army forces set up coastal surveillance and defense. They established beach patrols, manned coastal fortification, and deployed guards at vital bridges, at tunnels along railroads, and along main highways. A Civilian Defense Agency was created in anticipation of possible air attack, espionage, and terrorism. The Civil Air Patrol flew thousands of combat patrol hours, engaging dozens of enemy submarines. Hundreds of Civil Air Patrol members received the Air Medal for their heroic efforts to protect our nation's shores and shipping lanes.
Civilian block wardens were assigned to enforce blackout restrictions. Rationing was imposed to conserve gasoline, meat, sugar, and other products in short supply because of military needs. Boy Scouts and other volunteers collected metal cans and paper, and rendered bacon or beef fat for conversion to the war effort.
In the struggle for victory, there was a role for everyone on the home front as well as in the combat arena itself.
[Marker Panel No. 8]:
North Africa, Sicily, Italy
The global nature of World War II developed quickly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on the Sunday morning in 1941. On the next day, December 8, the United States responded by declaring war on Japan. In rapid succession, Japan's partners in the Axis Pact - Germany and Italy - declared war on the United States, the United States declared war on them, and Great Britain declared war on Japan.
Other major members of the Allied combination included the Soviet Union, which had been attacked by Germany in 1941, and China, which had been invaded by Japan in 1931 and was continuing its resistance against that aggressor.
While still struggling to recover from its great loss of personnel and naval forces at Pearl Harbor, the United States joined Great Britain in challenging the German ground forces for control of North Africa. British and Axis forces had been waging a see-saw contest there for 32 months. At stake in this struggle was control of the Suez Canal and access to Mideastern oil. In November 1942, the Allies landed 85,000 American and 24,000 British troops at three locations in French Morocco and Algeria. Squeezed by the British attacking from the east and by the newly landed Allied troops from the west, the Germans abandoned the North African contest in the spring of 1943. Their casualties numbered 620,000 compared with Allied losses of 260,000.
With North Africa secured by the British and U.S> forces, the Allies then focused on driving the enemy from Sicily and Italy. By July 1943, virtually all Axis resistance in Sicily had been destroyed or withdrawn. Heavy German resistance slowed the advance of Allied troops up the boot of Italy, but the Allies kept the enemy occupied while preparations proceeded in England for the invasion of Northern France.
[Marker Panel No. 9]:
The Advance Across Europe
In history's greatest military operation by land, sea, and air, the Allies crossed the English Channel and stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 which later came to be known as D-Day. The first phase of this operation was executed by some 250,000 fully equipped combatants and 4000 vessels of all types. The 29th Infantry Division was the only National Guard division engaged in the initial assault. From this invasion foothold along 40 miles of the Normandy coast, the long-awaited Second Front was opened and the liberation of Europe began.
With the Allied invasion in France, Axis forces in Europe faced combat on two fronts which restricted their ability to mount the offensive operations they desired. The Allies employed carpet or saturation bombing, penetrating the German lines and permitting the Allied Armies to quickly overrun all of northern France. The 29th Infantry Division was one of the divisions remaining in Brittany after leaving the hedgerows of Normandy. There they accepted the surrender of Brest and its huge submarine pens. Afterwards, they returned to participate in the attack on the German homeland.
By the end of August 1944, France was overrun and the Germans had suffered approximately 500,000 casualties, including 200,000 prisoners of war. In the same month, new Allied landings were carried out in Southern France. Troops from that operation linked up with forces from the earlier invasion, forming a solid Allied front across Europe and signaling the final chapter of the war on that continent.
[Marker Panel No. 10]:
Air War over Europe
The airplane became an instrument of warfare in World War I. With the development of range, speed, size and load carrying capacity, the airplane was refined into a maximum destructive weapon in World War II. The British commenced their efforts with "precision bombing", in which bomb loads were dropped on specific targets. Due to limited success with this strategy, "area bombing" was employed in order to strike the primary target and secondary targets as well.
The first American Airman arrived in England in the spring of 1942. By the end of the war, American forces had installed 60 air bases. The Americans bombed in daylight, making sound use of the highly accurate Norden bomb sight, while the British continued their bombing at night. This strategy subjected Europe to bombings around the clock. For a time, the bombers were without fighter coverage as there were no fighters possessing sufficient range. Prior to the availability of fighters, one of the costliest bombings was on the Axis oil refinery center in Ploesti, Romania. German fighters and anti-aircraft were responsible for shooting down 53 of the 177 B-24 Liberators involved. Upon availability of the P-51 fighter, bombers were escorted throughout entire missions. During the first such bombing run in January 1944, the American P-51s shot down 15 German fighters without a loss.
As the Allies gained more ground in Italy and bases could move further north, the Air Corps developed shuttle bombing, enabling the bombers to continue on to England, Italy, and additional sites. As the ground forces advanced on the continent, many of the advance warning stations were overrun, minimizing warning time to the German enemy. In the fall of 1944, an all out offensive was mounted against the Germans that would continue until April 1945. More than half of the total bombs dropped on Germany fell during the last seven months of the European war. Overall, the bombing phase of the air war was costly to both sides, with the Allies losing 15,000 heavy bombers and 87,000 crew members and with German military and civilian deaths totaling some 300,000.
[Marker Panel No. 11]:
Victory in Europe
In October 1944, the Allied juggernaut was ready to enter Germany. The U.S. Armies had to slow their advance due to long supply lines. Priority was given to General Montgomery's group with the mission to push through Holland, open the port of Amsterdam, and clear a route into Germany. An Airborne Army was to secure German held bridges, permitting British armored units to push forward and link up with the Airborne units. Determined German resistance prevented this link up and delayed access to the German homeland.
Surprising the Allies, the Germans were successful in launching the Battle of the Bulge on December 16 in the Ardennes Area. Even though they were caught by surprise, the ingenuity and initiative of Allied individuals and small unites rendered the German plan ineffective. By the end of January, the Belgian Bulge no longer existed. The expenditure of German manpower and equipment was devastating. By March the Allies were on the march again and ready to cross the Rhine River. Unexpectedly, the Americans discovered a bridge still standing at Remagen. The Americans were able to force and enlarge a crossing into Germany, indicating Germany's imminent fall. Other Allied Armies were also successful in crossing the Rhine. With unrelenting pressure, the Allies surrounded the industrial Ruhr region and, after securing the area, dashed across Germany advancing as much as 60 miles per day. They penetrated as far as Prague, Czechoslovakia.
[Marker Panel No. 12]:
The Pacific Theater
Within hours after dealing crippling blow to the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese assaulted other key Pacific positions, including strategic islands such as Wake Island, Guam, Hong Kong, Malaya and the Philippines. By weakening or controlling these points and several island chains in the Central, South and Southwest Pacifica Areas, Japan was able to dominate much of southeast Asia and its rich resources in oil and minerals. These were important to Japan because the United States had embargoed exports to that nation after the Japanese invasion of China.
Territory falling to the Japanese in the Southwest and South Pacific areas included much of the major island of New Guinea, just north of Australia, and two nearby island chains astride New Guinea - the Solomons and the Netherlands East Indies. To protect Australia and ultimately to threaten Japan itself, Allied forces needed to establish control of the air and sea and recapture key island positions near Australia and to the north in the Central Pacific. Among the most valiantly defended American bastions in the early days of the war was Wake Island, which was commanded by then-Major James P.S. Devereux of Maryland. But without adequate support by air or sea and with supplies running out, the island fell in the final weeks of 1941 and its surviving defenders, including Devereux, were interned in Japan.
This effort to nullify such Japanese gains involved a basic strategy of island-hopping across the Pacific by means of massive, perilous landing operations and heavy fighting on sharply contrasted terrain. Some island were forbidding, barren atolls combed with underground caves and tunnels requiring the use of grenades, flame-throwers and hand-to-hand combat. Other islands were steamy, vermin-infested jungles harboring tropical disease and deadly snipers. Of 33,000 Americans and Australians committed to one battleground, in Papua and New Guinea, casualties totaled 8500, including 3100 dead. By comparison, 85 percent of the combatants were immobilized by disease.
After a long series of costly battles, the island-hopping strategy proved successful. By early 1943, the Allies had scored enough decisive victories on land and sea to reverse the Japanese advance.
[Marker Panel No. 13]:
The Road to Japan
The means for securing victory in the Pacific revolved around the Allied plans to move their forces closer to the Japanese homeland. The success of these plans was dependent upon the capture of many islands which, scattered across thousands of miles in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, stretched out like stepping stones to Japan.
Many of these islands were nothing more than atolls, some too small to show on maps, but they quickly became known to the American public and the world for the costly and brutal fighting required for their capture.
Among the costliest battles were those for Luzon and Iwo Jima. Luzon, the major island of the Philippines, was taken only after fighting had raged for the better part of a year. The Allied toll was 9300 killed and 38,900 immobilized from disease. More than 200,000 Japanese were killed. Iwo Jima, just south of Japan, was an eight-mile square hump covered with deep volcanic ash. Its capture took thirty-six days of desperate, often hand-to-hand combat that left 12,500 Americans dead and 36,600 wounded. Japanese deathas numbered 110,000.
Such heavy loss of life on Luzon, Iwo Jima and a long list of other Pacific battlegrounds - Guadalcanal, Leyte, Rabaul, the Solomons, Bougainville, Tarawa, Kwajalein and many more - prompted a review of basic concepts by President Harry S. Truman and his advisors. They estimated that the ultimate chapter of the island-hopping strategy, the invasion of Japan itself, would cost one million American lives and an equal toll on the Japanese side.
A possible alternative had been under development for years in the form of a new weapon with unimaginably destructive power - the atomic bomb.
[Marker Panel No. 14]:
Victory in the Pacific - The End of the War
The decision to use the atomic bomb had been anticipated since President Roosevelt's 1943 approval of the Manhattan Project, the highly secret code name for the United States nuclear weapons program. Germany had already begun its own similar program and a race was on to see who would produce such a weapon first. The United States won the race, but how and when to use the bomb was not decided until 1945, after much debate by President Truman and his administration.
In both the scientific and military communities, opinion was divided as to whether the weapon should first be demonstrated near, but not on, Japan itself. Proponents of this view held that if the Japanese were notified in advance, such a demonstration could convince them that their cause was hopeless. Then the terrible consequences of using the bomb could be avoided.
Opponents of this position argued that the Japanese, with their suicide kamikaze plane attacks and their refusal to surrender when trapped inside bunkers in the island battles, had indicated a determination to fight to the end. In addition, holders of this position argued that only two bombs had thus far been built, making use of one for demonstration purposes an unwise gamble.
On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, destroying two-thirds of its buildings, killing 78,000 people and injuring 70,000. Many thousands of the injured would later die of burns and radiation. Two days after the bombing, the Soviet Union entered the war against Japan. ON August 9, the remaining atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 and wounding 25,000.
Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri. President Truman declared the end of the war on December 31, 1946.
[Marker Panel No. 15]:
CBI - The Forgotten Theater
Although it was less publicized than the fighting in Europe and on the Pacific Islands, the Allies also waged strategically important warfare in the China-Burma-India Theater. These operations were necessary to the defense of China. They also reduced the possibility of a Japanese drive across Asia to unite with Axis forces in the Middle East and Europe, which could have jeopardized Allied access to the Suez Canal and vital oil resources.
Their presence in CBI also offered the Allies benefits on offense, including bases for aircraft attacking Japanese war vessels, island positions, and the homeland itself. IN mid-1941, several months before the United States entered the war, President Roosevelt approved the formation of the American volunteer Group, popularly known as "The Flying Tigers." This group later became the nucleus of the China Air Task Force and the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force.
American pilots also ferried badly needed supplies to China from India by flying over "The Hump", a perilous route over the 15,000-foot Himalayan Mountains. More supplies were trucked by American convoys over the twisting, monsoon-swept Burma Road which covered essentially the same dangerous, mountainous route between northeast India and Kunming, China.
Such ground became accessible through defeat of Japanese forces by the Allies in the jungles and mountains of Burma. Troops from the United States, India, and China were involved in these engagements. Success in these efforts was jeopardized at times by a distracting rivalry between Chinese government and Communist leaders. Nevertheless, Allied commanders guided their internation forces in accomplishing their valuable mission.
[Marker Panel No. 16]:
Significant Naval Action
Allied victory in World War II required history's most extensive operations on two great ocean fronts by the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Even before this nation's entry into the war, unarmed Merchant Marine vessels carried vital supplies to U.S. allies at great risk. Throughout the Battle of the Atlantic they continued their deliveries to troops overseas, suffering high casualty rates. By the end of the war, more than 6836 merchant mariners - more than 3 percent of the 215,000 recruited - were reported lost. German submarines sent approximately 10 million tons of cargo to the bottom of the seas. The German submarine arm suffered an 86 percent fatality rate, the highest percentage of any service on either side.
Two of the most notable naval actions in the Pacific were the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway. The Coral Sea battle in May 1942 was the first major action fought by opposing aircraft carriers which exchanged aerial attacks without being in sight of each other. Both sides scored heavily, with the American and Australians losing more ships and the Japanese losing more aircraft. Allied strategist considered their forces victorious because this marked the first withdrawal of Japanese forces and caused the enemy to cancel plans for the capture of strategically located Port Moresby, New Guinea.
Even as the Battle of the Coral Sea raged, the Japanese were completing plans for the invasion of the island of Midway and committed 165 warships to the attack. But because U.S. intelligence experts had earlier broken the Japanese code, American defenders were aware of the invasion plan and were ready with available ships. As a result, The Battle of Midway was one of the most decisive actions in the Pacific.
The Americans lost 307 men, 132 planes, and one aircraft. The Japanese toll include 3500 dead, 275 planes and four aircraft carriers, lessening their ability to initiate major naval action in the future.
[Marker Panel No. 17]:
Maryland's War Production - Home Front
Although one of the smallest states in the nation, Maryland ranked among the highest in percentage of population provided to the armed forces for World War II and in production of material necessary for victory.
Like many wars, this one brought a mixture of tragedy for some and prosperity for others. In the windows of many homes, service flags were hung to represent family members in the armed forces. White with a red border, each flag bore in its center a star - blue for a surviving member of the service, gold for one who had perished. Largely because of busy war plants, Maryland's annual per capita income rose from $639 in 1939 to $1,272 - 15% above the national average. Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant, the biggest tidewater steel plant in the world, produced nearly 20 million tons of steel. The Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard turned out 374 Liberty ships one-sixth of the nation's total. Maryland shipyards repaired nearly 10,000 ships and build a wide range of vessels - navy auxiliary ships, landing craft, tankers and other merchantmen.
Maryland plants operated by Westinghouse, Bendix Frieze, and hundreds of smaller firms produced radar, radio and other electronic equipment, aerial navigation charts and instruments, and meteorological devices for predicting weather conditions. The Port of Baltimore was ranked third nationwide in tons of material shipped. The Middle River plant of the Glenn L. Martin Co. and the Fairchild Aircraft Division at Hagerstown built more than 16,000 war planes. Maryland developed technology that changed the face of ground warfare. Tanks, shells, mortars, cannons, rifles, flame-throwers and anti-tank bazookas came off the design boards and testing fields of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Edgewood Arsenal.
At home, Maryland farmers, with 30 percent less help and with a scarcity of machinery and fertilizer, increased farm production by 40 percent. Nationally, Maryland was first in producing tomatoes and was fourth in production of canned goods. From the assembly line to the battle line, Maryland produced.
[Marker Panel No. 18]:
Women in War
In every United States conflict before World War II, women had served as nurses. But this was a war in which they also served as sworn members of the military. They served in unprecedented numbers and under the most dire conditions. Nurses in Army uniform numbered 60,000. Another 14,000 were Navy nurses. More than 200 nurses died in service, 16 by enemy action. Twenty-six others were wounded.
In World War II, more than 215,000 American women volunteered for non-combat service as members of the Women's Army Corps (WACS), WAVES (Navy), SPARS (Coast Guard), Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS), and Marines. Most highly specialized were the women pilots, who ferried planes throughout the United States and to overseas bases. They also trained other women to fly large military aircraft, to serve as test pilots, and to pull targets for anti-aircraft training. At peak strength, Maryland women in the armed forces numbered 3195. By accepting assignments behind the lines, women freed up the men for duty in battle areas.
On the home front, women stepped forward to boost production in the factories and on the farm in addition to their roles as mothers and wives. Public opinion surveys indicated that two-thirds of the people supported President Roosevelt's call for legislation to draft women for wartime industry, but Congress rejected the proposal. Nevertheless, women accepted the idea in such numbers that, by 1944, they accounted for 44 percent of the work force. Before the end of the war, they numbered 14 million and comprised one-tenth of all steel mill workers and approximately one-third of those in aircraft factories.
The largest civilian organization accepting female volunteers was the American Red Cross, which enlisted some 3.5 million women. Thousands more served as Salvation Army volunteers providing relief to those in the armed forces and their families. Among the most determined groups was the Women's Ambulance and Defense Corps of America. Its 25,000 members were trained to serve as air raid wardens, security guards, and couriers for the armed forces. Its slogan was "The Hell W Can't!"
[Marker Panel No. 19]:
The 29th Infantry Division / "29, Let's Go!"
Among the most distinctive records compiled in World War II was that of the 29th Infantry Division and its attached units, which Maryland had long shared proudly with Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Tracing their lineage to colonial times, units of the division are among the oldest U.S. military organizations still in existence.
In February 1941, the 29th division was reorganized and was among the first to be federalized. By October 1942, the division was firmly in place at Cornwall, England, preparing for its historic mission as one of the first elements to land on Omaha Beach in the invasion of Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
In its march from Normandy to the heart of Germany, the division lost 19,814 killed, wounded, injured, or missing. Between its landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and the cessation of hostilities on May 8, 1945, the 29th captured 38,812 prisoners.
Among the decorations awarded to its members were two Medals of Honor, 41 Distinguished Service Crosses, 816 Silver Stars, 5151 Bronze Stars and numerous Air Medals. The division was awarded 120 battlefield commissions. The entire division received the Croix de Guerre with Palm and four Infantry Battalions received Croix de Guerre with Silver Star from the French government, as well as the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation. Throughout its service in World War II, the division brought new glory to its name and justified its battle cry, "29, Let's Go".
[Marker Panel No. 20]:
For Our Tomorrow
? ? ? ? ? Tell them of us and say,
?For your tomorrow? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? We gave our today'."
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?- Inscription, World War II cemetery
That message is the essence of this memorial. While it is dedicated to all who helped achieve victory in World War II, it offers tribute especially to those who died in battle, who were lost at sea, who died under imprisonment by the enemy, who survived but suffered atrocity at the hands of the enemy, and those who are still recorded as missing in action.
In six major wars fought by this nation since 1776, more than 500,000 American combatants have been taken prisoner. Many perished under inhumane treatment by their captors, but this toll was especially barbaric in World War II. Of the 120,000 uniformed American who became prisoners in this war, nearly 13,000 died in enemy custody.
A particularly shameful toll was exacted in the Pacific, where 40 percent of the 27,500 prisoners taken by the Japanese failed to survive. Besides the Japanese-driven Death March of Bataan, memorable atrocities inflicted by the enemy include the German massacre of more than 320 American prisoners captured in the Battle of the Bulge. Of these, 120 ere lined up in a field after their surrender and were machine-gunned to death.
To these and to all others who gave their "today", we express gratitude for this "tomorrow" lived in liberty, and for all such tomorrows to come.
Board of Public WorksParris N. Glendening, Governor · Louis L. Goldstein, Comptroller · Richard N. Dixon, Treasurer
Maryland World War II Memorial CommissionJohn F. Burk Jr., Brig. Gen. (AUS) Ret.-Chairman · Edmund G. Beacham, Brig. Gen. (MD) Ret. Vice Chairman · The Honorable William Donald Schaefer, Honorary Chairman
The Honorable Rosalie Silber Abrams · The Honorable Gerald A. Glaubitz · The Honorable Clarence W. Blount · Edward T. Kreiner, Sr., Lt. (USN) Ret. · Thomas E. Bratten, Jr., Capt. (AUS) Ret. · Donald M. McKee · George M. Brooks, Brig. Gen. (MD) Ret. · Calvin E. Patton, CWO-4 (USN) Ret. · The Honorable Mary A. Conroy · The Honorable Joseph I. Pines · Benjamin F. Dean, Brig. Gen. (AUS) Ret. · William F. Surgi, Jr., ADI (USN) Ret. · Joseph L. Edmonds (Merchant Marine) · Bernard Feingold, Brig. Gen, (MD) Ret. · James F. Fretterd, Lt.Gen. (MD) TAG · Maurice D. Tawes, Maj. Gen. (MD) Ret. · Martin W. Walsh, Jr., Col. (USA) Ret. · Edwin Warfield III, Maj. Gen. (USAF) Ret. · The Honorable Fred L. Wineland · Edwin J. Wolf, Col. (AUS) Ret.
Ex. Officio Members
Thomas B. Baker, Brig. Gen. (AUS) Ret. · Marshall M. Meyer · Richard Jorden, CWO (MD) Ret. · Samuel Winik
Department of General Services
Design and Contruction Management
Secundino Fernandez, AIA, Architect · A. Morton Thomas & Associates Engineer, Architect/Engineer of Record · Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Architect/Engineer of Record · Priceless Industries, Inc., General Contractor · Rugo & Carosi, Granite