The War in Kentucky

More than 300,000 Kentuckians served in World War II, and more than 7,900 died.

Kentucky at War

The two-hour documentary Kentucky at War uses interviews, archival film footage, and letters to tell the story of how communities from the mountains of Appalachia to Western Kentucky river towns were altered forever by World War II.

The film is built around a chronological overview of the major battles of WWII in the Pacific and European theaters, with comments from Kentucky combat veterans. Those segments are interspersed with views of how citizens of the Commonwealth experienced the war back home: As factories and businesses switch over to war production, the need for workers energizes the state’s economy and greatly expands the roles of women in the workforce. Everyone from adults to schoolchildren copes with shortages and rationing and learns to scrimp, reuse, and recycle for the war effort. The construction of Fort Campbell and Camp Breckinridge and the expansion of Fort Knox transform the landscape in their regions of Kentucky. And through it all, families and friends keep up with the war news, cherish letters from their loved ones serving overseas, and wait anxiously for those loved ones to return.

Kentucky at War is a 2007 production of Creation Films of Louisville, commissioned by KET as one of several local productions accompanying the Ken Burns film The War. Major production funding for Kentucky at War was provided by Hilary J. Boone Jr., Alice Sparks, and the Marshall Charitable Foundation.

The Kentucky at War documentary is available on DVD or videotape from KET. Call (800) 945-9167 or e-mail for information.