HomeOutdoorsNewsNational Park Service Names 18 New American World War II Heritage Cities

National Park Service Names 18 New American World War II Heritage Cities

by Amy Myers
Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Ahead of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on Wednesday, December 7, the National Park Service has added 18 new communities to its list of American World War II Heritage Cities.

Back in 2020, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 set out to recognize cities and communities that played an important role in the U.S.’s domestic involvement in World War II, starting with Wilmington, North Carolina in September. Thanks to the Wilmington Relief Association and the opening of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, the city helped revive the region’s economy during the war, stamping it as “The Defense Capital of the State.” 

Now, the National Park Service has recognized fellow communities that supported our nation’s efforts from familiar ground.

“Contributions by a city to the World War II home front war effort include  defense manufacturing, such as ships, aircraft, uniforms, and equipment; production of food  and consumer items for Armed Forces and home consumption; volunteer participation; and civil defense preparedness,” the NPS explained in an official release.

The 18 new World War II Heritage Cities (and communities) are as follows:

  • East Hartford, Connecticut 
  • Pensacola and Escambia counties, Florida 
  • Savannah and Chatham counties, Georgia 
  • Evansville, Indiana 
  • Wichita, Kansas 
  • New Orleans, Louisiana 
  • Springfield, Massachusetts 
  • Pascagoula, Mississippi 
  • Lewistown, Montana 
  • Paterson, New Jersey 
  • Los Alamos County, New Mexico 
  • Montgomery County (City of Dayton), Ohio 
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
  • Oak Ridge, Tennessee 
  • South Texas Bend area and Corpus Christi, Texas 
  • Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and West Richland), Washington 
  • Manitowoc, Wisconsin 
  • Casper and Natrona counties, Wyoming 

National Park Service Recognizes Sacrifice of Communities For World War II Efforts

Of course, the role that these towns and neighborhoods played in the domestic effort during World War II was not without sacrifice. In the announcement of the 18 new heritage cities, the National Park Service recognized the obstacles that workers had to overcome in order to support our troops.

“Individuals and families relocated to industrial centers for good paying war jobs and out of a sense of patriotic duty. Many industrial centers became ‘boom towns,’ growing at phenomenal rates,” the NPS shared. “Workers from around the nation had to intermingle with each other and overcome differences in order to meet war demands, forever changing the cultural landscape of the United States.”

Among the new World War II Heritage Cities is New Orleans, Louisiana. According to the National Park Service, New Orleans played a critical role in the transportation of goods and supplies.

“New Orleans served as a Port of Embarkation for tens of thousands of soldiers and millions of tons of cargo and supplies to be transported overseas,” the NPS stated. “Over one-third of the 16 million Americans who served in the war traveled through Louisiana or New Orleans for training and/or deployment. As a result, New Orleans experienced a huge influx of people from rural communities from across the region.”