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Handbook of Texas Online
Welcome to our latest Texas History Quiz! Our eleventh quiz focuses on World War II and the role Texans played in that conflict. The Lone Star State provided many prominent members of "The Greatest Generation," and Texas-based units were in the thick of the fighting in the European and Pacific theaters. The war brought major changes on the home front as well, affecting industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and race relations in Texas.

We had an enthusiastic response to our tenth quiz, which focused on the history of Texas colleges and universities. Congratulations to Evelyn Crocker, whose entry was the first perfect score received, and Steve Zscheck, whose entry was chosen at random from among the other perfect entries received. Each winner received a $50 gift certificate for TSHA publications or membership.

While some of the questions below are more difficult than others, all of the answers can be found in the Online Handbook.

The Questions

Question 1:

Preparedness. When the Pacific fleet of the United States Navy was ordered to rebase from the mainland United States to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1940, this admiral, a Paris, Texas, native, opposed the move, asserting that the fleet could be better kept in a state of readiness at home and that the navy was not ready for war with Japan.

"> Chester W. Nimitz
"> Ernest J. King
"> James O. Richardson
"> Douglas MacArthur
"> Horatio Nelson

Question 2:

The Lost Battalion. In November 1941 a Texas National Guard artillery unit of the Thirty-sixth Division was shipped out to the Pacific. This "Lost Battalion" was captured in the initial wave of defeats suffered by the Allied forces, and its members suffered in prison camps for the rest of the war. Which island were they attempting to defend when captured?

"> The Philippines
"> Hawaii
"> Guadalcanal
"> Australia
"> Java

Question 3:

D-Day. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Allied forces began the liberation of France. The Second Ranger Battalion played an important role in the invasion, climbing the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc to capture a key German gun emplacement. Who was the Texan who commanded the unit, and then went on to become president of Texas A&M?

"> Audie Murphy
"> Dwight D. Eisenhower
"> Thomas Otto Walton
"> James Earl Rudder
"> Courtney Hodges

Question 4:

Pearl Harbor. Doris Miller, the first African-American hero of World War II and a native of Willow Grove, Texas, earned a Navy Cross for manning a machine gun on the battleship West Virginia during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. What was his usual assignment on board the ship?

"> Captain
"> Bosun's Mate
"> Mess Steward
"> Anti-Aircraft Gunner
"> Radioman

Question 5:

Military Training in Texas. Following a pattern introduced during World War I, Texas became a major training area for the various branches of the armed services during the Second World War. How many U.S. Army divisions were trained in Texas between 1941 and 1945?

"> Ten
"> Twenty-three
"> Twenty
"> Fourteen
"> Thirty-two

Question 6:

Shipbuilding. Texas shipbuilders experienced a major boom during World War II. Ships of all sorts poured forth from the Orange-Port Arthur-Beaumont area and Houston. What kind of vessel was the first one completed by a Texas shipyard during the war?

"> Submarine
"> Cruiser
"> Battleship
"> Liberty ship
"> Amphibious landing craft

Question 7:

The Medal of Honor. Of the thirty-three Texans who were awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for heroism presented by the United States, Audie Murphy stands out as the most decorated soldier in American history. He was awarded his Medal of Honor while fighting in which country?

"> France
"> Germany
"> Italy
"> Belgium
"> Burma

Question 8:

The "T-Patchers." The Thirty-sixth Division, a unit of the Texas National Guard that was sometimes referred to as the "T-Patchers" and as the "Texas Army," was in the thick of World War II. The unit was in combat nineteen months, fought in five major campaigns, engaged in two amphibious assaults, and captured more than 175,000 prisoners. The division suffered among the highest casualties for any American unit: 3,717 killed, 12,685 wounded, and 3,064 missing in action, or 19,466 total. Perhaps the most controversial of its actions was the failed assault on which river?

"> The Rhine
"> The Meuse
"> The Arno
"> The Rapido
"> The Somme

Question 9:

An Aristocratic Heroine. One of the more exotic denizens of the Texas Hill Country was Rumanian Princess Catherine Caradja, who lived in Comfort after the Second World War. During the war she heroically sheltered American airmen shot down on the costly raids conducted against which strategic target?

"> Bucharest
"> Budapest
"> Sarajevo
"> Jassy
"> Ploesti

Question 10:

The Bracero Program. On August 4, 1942, the United States government signed the Mexican Farm Labor Program Agreement with Mexico, the first of several agreements aimed at legalizing and controlling Mexican migrant farmworkers along the southern border of the United States. Managed by several government agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, as a temporary measure to supply much-needed workers during the early years of World War II, the bracero (Spanish for manual laborer) program continued uninterrupted until what year?

"> 1946
"> 1964
"> 1992
"> 1952
"> Still going