October 25, 1873 John North Willys, a leading automobile industrialist, was born in Canandaigua, New York. His original career involved selling bicycles, but all that changed when he saw his first automobile in 1899. Willys (pronounced Will-is), realizing the automobile’s potential, started selling models of that type of transportation instead. By 1907, Willys’ high volume... Continue Reading →

Frank Sandoval, whose U.S. Army service during World War II included taking part in one of the most critical and formidable roadbuilding projects of that military conflict, grew up in a predominantly Hispanic American community on Second Street in the small town of Silvis, Illinois. That street is just a block-and-a-half long and consists of... Continue Reading →

As a nurse, Maria Esperanza Garcia Roach was one of an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 Hispanic Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Her own lifesaving role in this global conflict very much depended on airborne transportation. Maria was born on July 16, 1915, in the city of Piedras Negras... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

During the final year of World War II, the Red Ball Express proved to be a vital truck convoy system after the Allies broke out from the D-Day beaches in Normandy and steadily advanced towards Germany. The Red Ball Express was formally launched by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps on August 25, 1944, and over... Continue Reading →

SS Booker T. Washington, which had been built by California Shipbuilding Corporation, was launched at the company’s yards in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington in September 1942. The ship though it was only one of more than 2,700 standardized, mass-produced Liberty ships built in the United States during World War II to serve as cargo... Continue Reading →

December 28, 1942 The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Northwind, which would have an eventful career under various names and in the service of different nations as well as military branches, was launched just after noontime at Western Pipe & Steel Corporation’s shipyard in the Los Angeles community of San Pedro. Mrs. R.B. Lank, the... Continue Reading →

During World War II, a unique and far-flung reserve force of volunteers under the command of the U.S. Army took shape in the then-U.S. territory of Alaska. The Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) was established in 1942 in response to both the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the occupation of parts of Alaska by... Continue Reading →

Joseph Tezanos was born in the city of Santander in Spain in 1920. At an early age, he moved with his parents to the United States and grew up in western New York. After graduating from high school, Tezanos found work as a crane operator at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s plant in Lackawanna, New York.... Continue Reading →

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