More men from New York State died in WWII than from any other state in America. In a way, this should not be a surprise. New York is the fourth largest state in population today behind California, Texas, and Florida. However, in 1940, New York was the most populous, with a population of 13.5 million out of a total national population of 135.2 million. To show how large New York was, comparatively, Pennsylvania was in second place in 1940 with 9.9 million residents.
Despite the remarkable tragedy of the loss of 416,8000 members of the American military in WWII, the U.S. did not take the brunt of deadly battles on its own soil. The only attacks on America were Pearl Harbor and four much smaller incidents by both the Japanese and the Germans.
By contrast, Japan suffered terrible human losses on its own soil. So did many European nations. And deaths in Russia were staggering. Estimates are that the nations with the most fatalities during WWII were Japan with 2 million, China with 3 to 4 million, Germany with 5.5 million, and the Soviet Union with up to 10.7 million.
Many of the Americans killed in WWII never made it home. There are 14 cemeteries for U.S. servicemen outside the U.S. Several in Europe have thousands of graves, a sign of how violent many battles in that theater were. (These are the wars in which the most Americans died.)
Every state in America sent men and in a few cases women, to war zones. It is hard to make an exact count. The Department of Defense breaks out deaths differently, with Army and Army Air Forces deaths measured as killed in action, as well as by injuries or wounds sustained on the battlefield (the U.S. Air Force as an entity independent of the Army wasn’t formed until 1947). The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard assessed their totals as combat deaths, including from wounds and disease. (These are the wars in which the most Americans were wounded.)
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