World War II

John D. Lukacs

Nearly 70 years after World War II, a little known story of war-time heroism is surfacing. The book “Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War” and the documentary film “4-4-43” tell the story of ten American soldiers and two Filipino convicts who escaped a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

A Holocaust survivor says efforts to stop people from committing atrocities against others still has a long ways to go. 

Eva Schloss and her family were held in the Auschwitz Concentration camp during World War Two and her father and brother died there. Schloss plans to speak about her experiences Thursday night in Jackson.   Schloss has worked hard on causes aimed at reducing prejudice and bigotry. Her goal has been to prevent events like the Holocaust.

A collection of World War II memories from Wyoming.

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Dick Sedar grew up in Casper, in a working-class neighborhood called “the Sandbar.” His parents emigrated from Croatia in the early 1920’s to seek work in the coal and oil industries. Dick was one of 16 children and tells the story of his childhood in Casper.

One of Dick’s Sedar’s brothers, Mike, worked in the Douglas Prisoner of War camp during World War II.  Dick remembers his brother’s experience working with the prisoners, and the lasting friendships he made.

Tommie Butler was just a kid when World War II began, but he remembers the effect that war-time  retrenchment had on his home town of Gillette—times that were both hard and rewarding.

Sixty-two-year Sheridan resident Mary Burgess spent much of her youth in the Philippines where her father was a politician. As she tells her friend Val Burgess, when she was thirteen, she was living at an Episcopal boarding school in Baugio when she, her sister, and two other women decided to take a long walk north.

Mary Burgess moved back to the US for college, and eventually joined the WWII effort as a part of the American Red Cross. In this story, she tells her friend Val Burgess about her experience as a woman behind the front lines.

UW Professor of history Phil Roberts tells the story of how Thomas Boylan—the late owner and operator of The Fossil Cabin outside of Medicine Bow—protected the identity of local Japanese Americans from relocation officers during World War II.

Willow Belden

During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody. Heart Mountain was one of 10 internment camps across the U.S.

There is now a museum on the site, and each year, the Heart Mountain Foundation hosts a pilgrimage. During this year’s pilgrimage, Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden sat down with several former internees and produced this piece.

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Willow Belden

Raymond Uno is a former judge from Salt Lake City. He was one of thousands of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, near Cody, during World War II. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Uno and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

LaDonna Zall is the acting curator for the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. Her family moved to Powell when she was 10. That was during World War II, when thousands of Japanese Americans were confined at the nearby Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Zall and her parents didn’t know much about what was going on at the camp, but she vividly remembers internees leaving after the war ended. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Zall and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

Shigeru Yabu and his family were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center when he was 10. While there, he strove to make pets out of insects, worms, amphibians, and finally a bird. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Yabu and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.

Willow Belden

Sam Mihara is a rocket scientist who worked for Boeing and later started his own high-tech consulting firm. He was incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during World War II, and he now travels around the country speaking about that experience. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden interviewed Mihara and produced this Wyoming Stories piece.