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WW2 effects: Colorado

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by JJWilson, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone, today I will be giving you all a WW2 effects near and dear to my heart, about the beautiful state of Colorado. Colorado is one of only 3 states I have ever lived in. I lived in Monument, Colorado (just 20 minutes outside of Colorado Springs) from 2004-2010, and it was a fantastic 6 years. The Recession back in 2008 is the primary reason why we left (Dad was let go, and found a great job here in AZ), but ever since 2010, we've visited every 2 years and will be going back again this summer. Even though I've spent just about 8 years here in Arizona, Colorado in many ways is my state. I am extremely proud of the states history, (not just WW2) and I really enjoyed learning more about the states contribution in the second World War. Previous WW2 effects: Illinois http://ww2f.com/threads/ww2-effects-illinois.70504/#post-820454

    Colorado Pre-WW2

    Colorado before WW2 was an up and coming state in the Southwest with a population of 1.3 million (75% of which lived in small towns and ranches). With few gold and silver deposits, Colorado's main source of income was (and still is) agriculture. Colorado's unique geography made it so that a vast quantity of good could be grown and harvested. Unfortunately, Colorado's agricultural economy took a massive hit with both the depression and the Dust bowl. Hundreds of farms and ranches were subsequently foreclosed, and unemployment was severe throughout the 30's. Denver was trying to replicate the diversity and size of other Western cities like San Francisco and Seattle by making a vast amount of factories and plants.

    Colorado WW2
    Immediately prior to WW2 in 1940, Colorado began ramping up production in all sectors for potential war, and Butts Army airfield was constructed. With the start of WW2 for the U.S, Colorado's production exploded. Millions upon millions of rifle and Artillery rounds were made in Denver. Colorado's agricultural department reported in the early 2000's that production during WW2 was the most productive and successful period (1941-1945) in Colorado's long Agricultural existence. Various units and military branches set up training units to Colorado. The U.S Alpine troops trained at combat skiing in Aspen, while tanks and vehicles trained in the sand dunes. Along with training facilities, Colorado housed multiple POW camps (mostly Germans), and unfortunately, Japanese-American interment camps. Camp Amache was among the largest, housing at one point 7,000 Americans unjustly. Located in Granada, in the Far eastern part of the state, Camp Amache (A place I managed to visit in 2007) would not be a pleasant place to be interned.

    Colorado Post WW2
    Colorado came out of the conflict forever changed, along with the nearly 250,000 Coloradan's who fought in the war. 2,697 citizens of the state were killed during the war. The state not only recovered from the dust bowl and the depression, but rebounded in an astonishing fashion. Denver came out of the conflict bigger and more modern than ever. Small towns became considerably more urbanized, and modernized over time. The state as a whole has been a hot spot for tourism and large companies. In 1954, the Air Force academy was established a few miles south of Pikes Peak, and only about a 30 minute drive from where I lived.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  2. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Thanks for history JJ. I am enjoying these.
     
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  3. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you KJ, I try and do one every Wednesday, next up is Minnesota!
     
  4. Natman

    Natman Member Patron  

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    Hey JJ. I lived in Palmer Lake back in the 70's. The AFA is between Monument and C. Spgs. The 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale which is about 15 miles north of Leadville. A number of ski areas in the U.S. were started by former veterans of the unit. Vail Ski Resort used to have TV ads featuring Pete Seibert, a 10th Mtn. veteran, who was one of the original founders of the area.
    If you get the chance, try to visit Amache again. The Amache Preservation Society maintains the site with local high school student volunteers and in recent years they have placed a nice group of kiosks with info and photos as you enter the site. A barrack's building and guard tower have also been re-created and sit near the original water tower.
    Amache.org | Remembering the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans I agree, not a good place to live!
    You mentioned tanks and vehicles training at the sand dunes. Can you point me to your source for that info?

    Steve
     
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  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Steve, nice to meet a fellow Coloradan. Nice to hear they have fixed Amache up a bit for tourism, I'm not sure if I'll be able to work another visit in again this year, but hey you never know. As for vehicle training in the dunes, I visited the Colorado Springs Military Museum in 2016, where the guide told us they drove Jeeps, half-tracks and other armored vehicles in the dunes in preparation for fighting in Africa? As to whether it is true or not, I couldn't confirm. The guide was a Vietnam vet, and seemed to know his stuff, but that doesn't mean it could have been wrong.
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    I was going to mention that 10th Mtn stuff too. It also had a huge impact on the Ski Industry, at least in my neck of Colorado (Aspen) where they set up the beginnings of the Ski Resort here in the 1940's etc etc.
     
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  7. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I did mention Aspen was the base of training, but I didn't realize I forgot to mention the 10th Mtn. division that actually has a statue at the foot of the slopes.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Natman

    Natman Member Patron  

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    Attached Files:

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  9. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    That's great! good digging there Steve! I'll have to check it out
     
  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    A Dust Storm in Colorado 1936
    [​IMG]
    Denver 1940
    [​IMG]
    Alpine trooper Monument in Aspen
    [​IMG]
    Camp Amache 1945
    [​IMG]
    The Air Force Academy- Founded in 1954
    [​IMG]
    I just had too.............
     
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  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    You Americans don't do things by halves do you!?
     
  12. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean CAC? :)
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The size of everything...the attention to detail and quality...
     
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  14. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Well thank you CAC, I'm used to hearing............."The American way, half-ass"-Homer Simpson
     
  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Homer needs to get out more...
     
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  16. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right he hasn't gotten out much since the 80's. I actually have only seen 1 full episode of the strange show, and it happened to be the episode where he said that. Stupid, but unfortunately semi-true statement.
     

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