Minnesota's Greatest Generation

War in Europe

The U.S. entered the war in Europe after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. American soldiers alongside the British in North African front, and later in Italy, Germany and France. The Germans surrendered in May, 1945.

Learn more about the War in Europe.

Fighting for The Right

The U.S. was at war in Europe from December 1941 until May 1945.


Experiences Abroad

Minnesotans serving abroad during World War II had many extraordinary experiences beyond those of combat.


Shipping Out

Leaving home was a new experience for many soldiers. Most saw military service as a duty, some as a grand adventure. Many would not return. Those that did would have a greatly expanded perspective on their world.


POWs and Liberators

To many American soldiers, becoming a Prisoner of War was a fate worse than death. Soldiers who liberated the concentration camps at the end of the war experienced trauma.


V-E Day and Coming Home

When Germany officially surrendered on May 8, 1945 Americans became cautiously optimistic that a Japanese surrender wouldn't be far behind.


Flying Coffins: MN-Made WWII Gliders

Early in the war the German army began to use a new - and silent - weapon: motorless glider aircraft. The U.S. and Britain quickly began to produce their own gliders, which would play an important role in both European and Pacific Theaters.