Trenton contributed mightily to the national war effort in World War I and World War II, mobilizing men and women to fight and to sustain those doing the fighting, and stepping up production in those factories providing materials critical to the military. Cemeteries, parks and public places in the city and surrounding area pay abundant testimony to the many who gave their lives during the two world wars, The War Memorial, completed in 1932, celebrates the memory of soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in World War I by serving the community as a performing arts facility of high caliber.
In 1917 and 1918 more than 5,000 Trentonians were trained at Camp Dix for service in World War I, most being assigned to the 311th infantry regiment of the 78th division. Soldiers from Trenton fought with distinction in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign and on the Alsace Front. Back home, industrial production was stepped up in the city's factories and women workers filled out a labor force already depleted by the departure of men recruited for military service. Trenton area residents also contributed generously to the many "Liberty and Victory" loan drives that raised money for the American Red Cross.
During World War II Trenton was a major registration center with mandatory military service being required of all men aged 21 to 35 and women also being able to enlist in the Army, Navy, Marines and Coastguard. With so many local companies contributing to the war effort the Trenton area was dubbed the "Arsenal of Democracy." From November 1941, the General Motors Plant in Ewing, operating as the Eastern Aircraft Division, produced the Avenger Torpedo Bomber for the Navy at the rate of up to eight per day. The Roebling Company, with more than 50% female labor force, re-tooled its factories to manufacture radio antennae and anti-submarine netting. Among Trenton's many other wartime corporate suppliers were the Delaval Steam Turbine Company, producing engine parts such as compressors, gears and propellers for the Navy, and the Switlik Parachute Company, whose devices are estimated to have saved more than 5,000 pilots during the war and played an important decoy role during the D-Day operations of June 1944.
Link to learn more - War Memorial, Trenton; Fort Dix Museum, Fort Dix, Burlington County