Like the rest of the nation, Georgia felt the sting of the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. Georgians joined the rest of the nation watching eagerly as President Roosevelt gave his famous “Declaration of War Speech” the next day. World War II was underway and Georgia became a vital part of the war effort. Following the declaration of war, Georgia mobilized and became a key industrial center during the war. The Piedmont region was perhaps the most exposed area to the war because it was the most developed area in the state.
Georgia’s famous Piedmont region contained Atlanta and much of the most developed and industrial areas in Georgia. The state received a great deal of federal funding during the war in order to become a military industrial center. Of the different geographic regions of Georgia, the Piedmont received the most military bases. It also contained the famous Bell Bomber plant which became well known for manufacturing B-29s late in the War. Metro Atlanta had three bases emerge in its’ general location. These included Fort Gillem, Fort Mcpherson, and Rickenbacker Field, which was later renamed Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The rest of the Piedmont had three more bases, including Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, and Robins Air Force Base. These bases sprung up almost overnight and immediately became integral parts of the United States war effort.
The Piedmont’s large number of bases erected during World War II caused it to become integrally connected with the war effort. Some 320,000 Georgians served during the war and because of this Georgians had a vested interest in their nation’s struggle.