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World War Two In Tucson World WarTwo brought on change to our town of Tucson like nothing else ever had - Joanna R Said my 70 year old Grandmother who has lived in Tucson most of her life including World War Two The War had effects on Tucson that no major event has ever had or will ever have From The time World War Two started in December 1941 until it ended in December 1944 what seemed to some rsidents like a million troops passed through the town of Tucson In order to hold all of these troops Tucson let the Navy take over the Universities gymnasium the Army Air Corps turned a strip of desert into a flying school locals rented out their houses or spare rooms to Generals and people had to learn to live in moderation and use stamps for things like coffee sugar shoes Just about everything it seemed required a stamp The city itself benefited greatly the economy was doing better than ever with money from war bonds Tucsons population grew steadily from its new guests the soldiers For 26 months during World War Two the University of Arizona Bear Down Gym becme a home for more than 10000 naval officers The officers came through in groups of 1000 for 60 days of training at the campus The Gymnasium quickly got the name of the USS Bear Down The Gym contained 500 double bunk beds A new mess was hall built next to the Universitys old one while the old one became a sick bay Showers and latrines were built around the gym and a ships store and barbershop were also built under the baseball stadium The transformations the Navy made at the university were similar to Army Air Corps changes to Ryan Field Ryan Field was a strip of desert with no electricity or plumping was turned into the Army Air forces newest flying school It
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