World War II began in Europe in September 1939, when Hitler made an unprovoked attack on Poland. The United States became involved on December 7, 1941, when Japanese carrier planes bombed U.S. ships and installations at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The Coos Bay area saw many military units arrive in the area. Coast Guard vessels and some Navy vessels came to the Port. The North Bend airport was developed as a training base for carrier planes. Local shipbuilders built small Navy vessels, and many of Coos County’s industries turned to war production. Food and gasoline were rationed. Housewives and retired people served as air raid wardens. The talk will cover the war years, both locally and around the world, and will also cover the post-war effects on Coos County.
John Whitty was born in North Bend, and was almost 9 years old when the U.S. entered the war. Seven of his uncles served in the military, in both the European and Pacific theaters. John has lived in the Bay Area since birth, except for two years in the U.S. Air Force. John became a lawyer in 1956 and has practiced in Coos Bay for more than 60 years. He has also had a lasting interest in World War II and has a large library of books about the war (more than 32 lineal feet). John is also a student of local history, with one book “Coos County Bench, Bar & Beyond” and a shorter booklet “The Coos Bay Area from 1940 until now” for sale in the museum’s gift store. John is working on two more books about the history of the Coos Bay area.
Doors open at 6pm
Museum exhibits and store open until 8:30pm
Free with paid museum admission
CHM Members get in free
First Tuesday Talks are sponsored by Al Peirce Company with additional support from The Mill Casino.
All events subject to change.