Jessie Jimenez Alonzo

Route 66 was a primary defense corridor during World War II serving to transport troops, job seekers, families and supplies throughout the country. Among those job seekers were women who were suddenly encouraged as part of the country’s war effort to enter the workforce and fill in positions that had previously been off limits to them. Jessie Jimenez Alonzo found a job working at the Navajo Army Depot (NAD) outside of Flagstaff in Bellemont . The NAD was a massive munitions storage and distribution facility that was believed to be far enough from the West Coast that should the Japanese invade it could be safeguarded.  The NAD quadrupled the size of Flagstaff’s population from 5,000 to 20,000 because there was a great need for man and woman power to help sort and store over 3.5 million square feet of munitions in 800 “igloos”.  Much of the work was done by hand and it was a truly integrated work force consisting of many Native Americans (hence the name of the facility), and also women, Hispanics, African Americans and POWs.

 

 

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