Liberia in World War II

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American troops in Liberia during World War II

Liberia did not become militarily involved in World War II until January 1944, with the election of William Tubman, at which time the country declared war on Germany and Japan. However, even before the start of Liberia's official military involvement, the nation participated in the war for two years under the terms of a Defense Agreement with the United States. Apart from Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) and the Belgian Congo, Liberia possessed one of the few remaining sources of rubber for the Allies. To guarantee a steady supply of rubber from the world's largest rubber plantation, operated at Harbel by the Firestone Company since 1926, the US government built roads throughout the country, created an international airport (known as Robertsfield Airport), and transformed the capital, Monrovia, by building a deep water port (the Freeport of Monrovia).

In 1944, with its entry into the war, Liberia adopted the US dollar and became one of only four countries in Africa to join the newly formed United Nations.


  • Sherman, Frank. Liberia: The Land, Its People, History and Culture. Intercontinental Books, 2010.

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