Discover the World War II History of Arkansas in North Little Rock

Arkansas played a significant role in World War II, and North Little Rock has several historical sites and landmarks that commemorate the critical events that took place during that time period. From poignant memorials and museums to landmarks that once held top-secret military operations, there’s plenty to explore and discover regarding Arkansas’s involvement in the war.

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum

For a remarkable experience exploring World War II history in North Little Rock, Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is an ideal stop! Here, you can find a fascinating collection of historically significant naval vessels. Two of the most remarkable ships on display are the USS Razorback and the USS Hoga.

The USS Razorback is a Balao-class submarine that served during World War II. This sub had an impressive career, sinking 10 Japanese ships during her time in service. Visitors can tour the interior of the sub and explore what life was like for the 70-man crew during the war.

The USS Hoga is a tugboat that was on-site at Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7, 1941. Here, visitors can see the incredible tugboat that played a vital role in extinguishing the fires that raged on the USS Arizona.

The MacArthur Museum

Another must-visit historical site in North Little Rock is the MacArthur Museum. This museum is housed in Tower Building 80, which served as a makeshift hospital during World War II. Its namesake, General Douglas MacArthur, was born at Little Rock’s historic Arsenal and graduated first in his class from West Point Military Academy before serving in both world wars.

Inside the museum, visitors can learn about MacArthur’s life and military career in addition to the significant contributions made by women during World War II. Exhibits also highlight the contributions of Arkansas companies, particularly those that supplied goods and services to the military during the war.

Camp Robinson

During World War II, Camp Robinson was a significant military operation in central Arkansas and was home to over 50,000 soldiers and other personnel at the height of its use. The camp served as a training ground for the Arkansas National Guard, and many soldiers were deployed to fight on the front lines in Europe.

Today, the Arkansas National Guard Museum is housed on the grounds, showcasing the history of the guard throughout its more than 200-year history. Exhibits include paintings, uniforms, and personal artifacts of those who have served in the guard.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

While Arkansas has many historical sites focusing on military history, there are several important contributions made by Arkansas’s African American communities during World War II. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is an excellent place to explore these contributions further.

The center is dedicated to sharing the African American experience in Arkansas, but during World War II, the Mosaic Templars of America provided support to families of black soldiers who were serving overseas. Visitors can see historical artifacts that tell the story of this support network in addition to learning about the significant contributions made by African American soldiers who served during the war.


Arkansas played a critical role in World War II, and a visit to North Little Rock allows you to explore and discover this history first-hand. From historical sites and museums to landmarks and memorials, there’s much to explore and learn about the contributions of Arkansas’s citizens throughout the war. Whether you’re a history buff or only casually interested in the past, these sites are well worth a visit!

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