In the Fall of 1941, with Europe already at war, United States Army draftees are drilled at Fort Lewis, Washington. Fort Lewis, named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is one of the largest and most modern military reservations in the United States.
As World War II loomed in the future, Fort Lewis became more active. Between May 1939 and March 1941, the post population grew from 5,000 to 37,000 troops. To house the new soldiers, a 2000-acre North Fort Lewis complex was completed by August 1941. The bombing of Pearl Harbor sent a tremor of fear through the West Coast. Troops from Fort Lewis helped secure McChord Field, Camp Murray, and Fort Lewis itself. As time went on, the nervousness eased, and the post got down to wartime business. Before the end of World War II the post had trained the 3rd, 33rd, 40th, 41st, 44th and 96th Infantry Divisions, plus many brigades and smaller size units. A camp for prisoners of war was established in July 1943 and was continued for 3 years.