The establishment of the Thirty Second Air Training Detachment at Dickinson College provides a solid context for an examination of the changes which the second world war induced.  These changes not only effected liberal arts colleges, but also had undeniable effects on all sectors of American domestic life.   In order for the United States and its allies to win the War in the Pacific and in Europe, it was necessary for these private and public institutions to make sacrifices to ensure the sufficient preparation of the United States Armed Forces.  From March 1st, 1943 to June 1st, 1944, Dickinson College made their sacrifice with the establishment of the Air Training Detachment.  This Government funded program served dual purposes, however.  It not only aided in the preparation of Army Air Force cadets, but it also had substantial political and economic benefits for Dickinson College.  Economically speaking, the Air Training Detachment saved the College during a time in which its student enrollment could not have provided enough income to ensure survival.  Politically, the Air Corps program reinforced Dickinson's commitment to the overall war effort.  The College went through significant physical changes as a result of the training detachment, including its first ever dining hall, and some of these changes can still be identified today.  In addition to these tangible alterations, the manner in which Dickinson alumni who were here at the time remember their alma mater was to be irrevocably developed as a result of the establishment of the Air Training Detachment.  If Dickinson remembers the men of the 32nd, their own individual accounts of their experiences while enrolled at the College demonstrate that these young men training for the most serious of tasks would remember the College, as well.

Essentially, the Thirty Second Air Training Detachment had numerous social, political and economic effects on the College at a critical time in its history.  It also changed forever the way that Dickinson remembers this history.
Introduction Dickinson and World War II Establishment Termination Remembrance Conclusion


End notes