While famous for the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg has several unique connections to WWII. Notable among them are:
- The site of the Navy secret map-making office.
- A top secret psychological warfare training camp — Camp Sharpe’s “Psycho Boys”.
- A German POW camp established on the Gettysburg National Military Park to provide needed labor for the growing, harvesting and processing of the well-established local fruit and vegetable industry.
- Home of the National Cemetery where nearly 500 WWII veterans are interred.
- General Eisenhower’s only permanent home and the site of the temporary White House at Gettysburg while he was President.
Nearby military and naval establishments were created or expanded, such as Camp Ritchie and Fort Detrick, MD; supply depots at New Cumberland, Letterkenney and Mechanicsburg, PA; the army medical-training school at the long-established Carlisle Barracks; Camp Sharpe in Gettysburg.
In addition, nearby York, PA’s industrial base quickly converted from peace-time products to weapons and other war materials. The “York Plan”, a “model [for] smaller industrial sectors…[to] pool together and snag large military contracts”, paved the way for American industry to band together for the war effort” and become a microcosmic “Arsenal for Democracy.”