The SF Chronicle's Carl Nolte has done a nice piece on the impact our entry into WWII had on the Peninsula. Well worth a read on this 75th anniversary of the Day That Will Live in Infamy. Here are a couple of teaser excerpts
San Mateo County was pretty much a sleepy suburb in 1941, with just over 110,000 residents. “By war’s end, 10,000 of them would be in the armed services,” said Mitch Postel, president of the historical association. That’s 1 person of every 11. Three hundred never returned from the war.
Pearl Harbor turned the Peninsula into an armed camp. Overnight, sentries with rifles appeared at the San Francisco airport, on the Crystal Springs Dam, and at the Western Pipe and Steel shipbuilding plant in South San Francisco. Coast-watcher posts sprang up on the county’s 40-mile-long Pacific shoreline, keeping an eye out for the Japanese fleet. The military began round-the-clock beach patrols. Concrete fire-control bunkers near Devil’s Slide went on full alert. Their role was spotting for the huge guns guarding the Golden Gate farther north.
Coyote Point in San Mateo, now a park, became a basic training camp for the U.S. merchant marine and graduated more than 5,000 officer cadets.
You can see the exhibit discussed at the San Mateo County History Museum is located in the Old County Courthouse in Redwood City.