Sherwood Brock was born and raised in Texas. He graduated high school in the summer of 1941 and moved to Redding, California to find a job.
While he was there, he saw a help wanted ad for a job as an airplane mechanic at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento. He applied, but heard nothing until December of 1941.
SHERWOOD BROCK: "When I was on the way into town to pick up some items at the post office, some mail at the post office. I happened to hear President Roosevelt announce that Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japanese aircraft. And it was just two weeks after that I was called down here to go to work."
Before the war, Sacramento fought constantly for federal money. In the late 1930's, as America's entry into World War Two began to seem unavoidable, federal money started flowing into Sacramento. That money financed the construction of McClellan Air Force Base and the Army Depot, and it revived the dormant Mather Air Force Base.
As California became more critical to the war effort in the South Pacific, these bases hired hundreds of workers. Marcia Eymann is the Sacramento City Historian.
MARCIA EYMANN: "These were educated employees that were coming out to work for the military and they were mainly civilian employees and not military personnel."
The Sacramento region's population also grew more diverse. Migrant farm workers were allowed to live and work in the area under the Bracero Program. Campbell's started production on a soup plant south of the city. More than 100 thousand people moved to the Sacramento Area during the war.
MARCIA EYMANN: "If you look at the history of Sacramento you can really look at two key periods of history that actually created the city and actually boosted its population. The first being the gold rush, when gold was discovered in 1848. The city literally burst on the scene overnight. And the second time was WWII."