As America went to war, Long Islanders answered the call by heading off to fight in Europe and Asia. On Long Island, though, signs of the war effort were everywhere. The war effort could be seen at Nassau's Mitchel Field and Roosevelt Field all the way out east to Yaphank and Westhampton. For civilians, rationing, calls to buy war bonds and news from the front were constant reminders of the war. Grumman's Bethpage plant, meanwhile, continued to turn out F-6 Hellcat fighters as civilians strived to do their part. Here are some scenes that take us back to the 1940s and wartime Long Island.
Long Island goes to war
Answering the call to service, soldiers line up at the Mineola Station in 1942.
There was plenty of military activity on Long Island during the war. In 1942, Civil Air Patrol squadrons were established at Westhampton Beach and Roosevelt Field. Here, enlisted men spend leisure time reading and relaxing in their bunks at Roosevelt Field when it served as a miliary base in 1942.
Camp Upton in Yaphank
Camp Upton in Yaphank, circa 1940s, was built for use as an Army induction center. Later it was converted into a convalescent hospital. After the war was over, in January 1947, the facility became the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The chapel at Camp Upton during the 1940s.
The Coast Guard gets ready
Members of the Coast Guard practice artficial respiration techniques at Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Tiana in Southampton. An African-American crew manned the station between 1942 and 1944, according to the Coast Guard,
Roosevelt Field revs up
Mechanics work on a plane at Roosevelt Field in 1942.
Aircraft at Roosevelt Field military base in 1942.
Trainees at Roosevelt Field march to witness aviation demonstration by World War l pilot Maj. Al Williams on Aug. 18, 1943. The men were said to be singing songs such as "She's a grand old flag," while marching.
Air Force mechanic trainees give Major Al Williams rousing applause after his remarks.
The trainees march back to their classes after the Roosevelt Field flying demonstration by Major Al Williams.
Mitchel Field in Uniondale
First lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the debarkation hospital at Mitchel Field in Uniondale on Oct. 3, 1944. "No one can go to Mitchel Field and not come away with a deep sense of pride in the men themselves, and also of gratitude to the doctors and nurses who do such a magnificent job," she wrote a day later in her account, "My Day."
Soldiers train near Mitchel Air Force Base, which was an integral part of mainland defense in 1940 and during World War II.
Civilians do their part
Grumman's Bethpage plant turn out F-6 Hellcat fighters on Oct. 8, 1944. By war's end Grumman would produce 12,270 of what was considered the best Navy fighter plane in the war.
Employees of Aerial Products in Merrick observe a moment of prayer, led by their president, Martin Dwyer, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
The Ocean Beach ferry docks on July 14, 1944, at Maple Avenue in Bay Shore.
D-Day at the Hempstead USO
At the Hempstead USO in June 1944, Pvt. Howard Stelzer of Bradley Field, Connecticut, reacts upon hearing the news of the D-Day invasion.
The war in Europe ends
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the cessation of hostilities during a radio address that riveted a war-weary world. "The German war is therefore at an end," Churchill said. "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. Today is Victory in Europe Day." As word spread to the United States, hundreds of thousands of reverlers, including Long Islanders in Nassau, were among those celebrating on May 8, 1945.
Long Islanders here celebrate as the nation got its first taste of victory on May 8, 1945, when President Harry Truman proclaimed V-E Day.
Celebrations break out in Nassau on May 8, 1945, after both Britain and the United States celebrate victory in Europe.
Joy filled Nassau streets after victory in Europe was declared.
For many Long Islanders, reaction to the end of fighting in Europe was more muted as fighting continued in the Pacific war against Japan.
For some Long Islanders, home from the battle, V-E Day marked the beginning of the struggle to return to the lives they left behind.
LI celebrates as WWII ends
Long Islanders fill the streets of Hempstead to celebrate V-J Day in August 1945 when Americans could finally celebrate the end of World War II. All across Long Island, the celebrations began on Aug. 14, 1945, although Japan's formal surrender did not occur until Sept. 2.
For Long Island children growing up in a world at war, V-J Day would bring joy and a new beginning.
War-weary Long Islanders prepare for life after V-J Day.