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world war II

Home Front: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, 1941-1946 - People

These two women are working on an airplane wing at Morris Field. 

(Photo courtesy of the Carolinas Historic Aviation Commission and Museum.)



Below are stories of military personnel and civilians and their experiences in Mecklenburg County during the years 1941-1946.



Don Martin

About Don Martin

Photographer Don Martin (1919-1999) was born in Iowa and worked in Kansas City, Missouri, where he married Elizabeth "Libby" McQueen. When the United States entered World War II, Martin joined the United States Army as a photographer, serving at a base in North Carolina. With the return of peace he decided to pursue his career in Charlotte, North Carolina and began a 35-year career as a photographer.


Twenty-three years after his operation performed by Major William R. Pitts of Charlotte, Richard Tregaskis was still covering the wars. In a letter written in Honolulu on October 31, 1966, in reply to a request for permission to quote passages from Invasion Diary, Mr. Tregaskis granted permission and expressed his delight that the history of the 38th Evacuation Hospital unit was to be published.

Chapter 28

A casual examination of the 38th Hospital's admissions and dispositions records, which survive fortunately in detail, will reveal readily that the award of the Meritorius Service plaque to the unit was deserved. Continue reading chapter 28...

Chapter 27

On May 31 and June 1, 1945, forty enlisted personnel were transferred from the 38th and twenty-two were received from other units of the medical service in anticipation of the forthcoming disposition of the organization. Continue reading chapter 27...

Chapter 26

Five months after the 38th set up its tents at Montecatini the hospital was entering its final days at that location. It had arrived there November 10; it would close its operations officially, the Daily Bulletin of April 20, 1945, would record "at 0930 hours." Major Snyder was administrative officer of the day and Captain Harney was medical officer of the day. Alternates were Lieutenant Brower and Captain Payne.

Chapter 25

As the year 1945 opened, with the 38th still based at Montecatini, Lieutenant General Joseph T. McNarney, from MTOUSA headquarters, sent to the service men and women a New Year's message urging them to exert superhuman effort to insure victory and peace within the forthcoming year. Continue reading chapter 25...

Chapter 24

Christmas 1944 came on a Monday with the 38th Evacuation Hospital still based in Montecatini and 424 patients under treatment in fifteen wards. The returning season brought again a series of greetings from the unit's various commanding officers from Colonel George T. Wood Jr., to the President of the United States. Continue reading chapter 24...

Chapter 23

The story of the 38th Evacuation Hospital's stay at the base at Pisa can be summarized, certainly for those members of the unit who look back more than two decades to those memorable days, with one world: flood. Continue reading chapter 23...

Chapter 22

The four high ranking generals had visited the 38th Evacuation Hospital on December 11. Two days later General Mark Clark wrote to Colonel J. I . Martin, the Fifth Army surgeon, commending the medical service for the excellen work its men and women had been accomplishing. Members of the 38th wondered if, and hope that General Clark's visit to their hospital had occasioned the writing so quickly after his visit of the general letter of commendation.