Nevada During the Second World War

Nevada During the Second World War
In honor of Veteran's Day this week we temporarily turn away from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and look briefly at how the Second World War affected Las Vegas and the state of Nevada.


Prior to America's entry into World War 2 on December 7,1941 the population of Nevada, according to the 1940 census, was 110,247 people, included in the number were the 8,422 people who called the small town of Las Vegas home.

After America's entry into World War II Senator Pat McCarran was successful in convincing the War Department and the U.S. government to open new military bases throughout the state. The ample open spaces in Nevada, easy access to railroad connections and the close proximity to California made Nevada the ideal location for the training of future Army Air Force pilots. The Las Vegas Army Airfield, now Nellis Air Force Base, and the Tonopah Army Airfield were converted from existing civilian airports and additional airfields were built throughout the state between 1942 and 1945, including the Indian Springs Airfield (current Creech Air Force Base), the Reno Army Airbase (current Reno Stead Airport), and Naval Air Station Fallon (current home of the TOPGUN Fighter Training School).

With the increasing demand for strategic material for the war, the copper and silver mines in Nevada thrived again as the production from these mines more than doubled during the war years and the nearby town grew in size as workers by the thousands moved into Nevada to fill newly created jobs.

Mining and the military industries were not the only business to flourish during the war years. The casinos of downtown Las Vegas saw increased profits as soldiers came into town to spend their cash and gamble in the casinos. The brothels of Nevada's Red-light districts also garnered so much attention from the service men for Nevada and nearby California that in 1943 the U.S. Military applied enough pressure on the Nevada government that they were all closed for the duration of the war.

During World War 2 a total of 545 Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from Nevada lost their lives in the service of their country.

Nellis Air Force Base NCO Club Chips

Nellis Air Force Base was known as Las Vegas Army Airfield during World War 2. Throughout the war, it was used as a facility for pilot and gunnery training.  It was renamed Nellis Air Force Base in December of 1950. 
These chips are from the Nellis Air Force Base's Non-Commissioned Officer's Club (NCO).  
Military Challenge Coins 
 
These Challenge Coins make the perfect gift for a family member, either retired from the military or still actively serving in the military.  
 
In addition to the U.S. Air Force (shown), we also have Challenge Coins for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines Corps.
300 U.S. Military Poker Chip Set
 
Show your pride in the armed forces with this military themed poker chip set.
 
300 U.S. military 9 gram poker chips + 300 chip aluminum case with logo, 2 new decks of cards, 5 Dice and 1 dealer button.

Set is available with Army, Air Force and Navy design on the chips and case.

Chip color breakdown: 100 White Chips 100 Red Chips 50 Green Chips 50 Blue Chips.
WWII Bomber Girl Chips
 
These chips honor some of the planes of the U.S. Army Air Force that helped the Allies win World War II.  Each chip has a picture of either a P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt,B-17 Flying Fortress or B-24 Liberator and the Nose Art of a pin-up girl that so commonly adorned the planes during the war.
Fallon Nugget Casino
 
Naval Air Station Fallon was built in 1942 as part of a defensive network of military bases to defend against a feared Japanese invasion of the American west coast.
The existing town of Fallon, Nevada grew exponentially during the war.  These chips from the Fallon Nugget honor the nearby Naval Air Station, the current home of the Navy Fighter Weapons School.
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