Fallen Cougars Project: Preserving a nearly lost legacy
The obituary for her father’s old friend in her hometown newspaper noted he had—like her dad— attended Washington State College for a year and a half before joining the United States Army to fight in World War II.
Kathy Aiken carried the clipping with her when she attended a talk about the Fallen Cougars Project at the Pullman Depot Heritage Center last Veterans Day. After the presentation, she showed it to the speaker, Samantha “Sam” Edgerton (’17, ’19 MA History), a doctoral student, and Raymond “Ray” Sun, the WSU associate history professor who started the project.
“Samantha and Ray looked at it, and said, ‘We … » More …
Fallen Cougars: Meet the student researchers
Three graduate student researchers were hired over summer 2020 to record the lives, feats, and deaths of fallen Cougars from the Pacific Theater in World War II.
And, a recent graduate has volunteered to help with research through the end of the year.
Here are their own stories.
Samantha “Sam” Edgerton
Her interest in World War II started in childhood. Three of Samantha “Sam” Edgerton’s grandparents had connections to conflict, and she wanted to know more.
Her maternal grandfather served in the North Africa and Sicily campaigns with the United States Army. Her paternal grandfather, a first-generation Mexican-American, worked as a barber for the United States Navy, joining in 1944. And her maternal grandmother worked at Camp Atterbury … » More …
Preserving the story of America
Fort Hunt was built during the Spanish-American War on a portion of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to help bolster the Potomac River’s coastal defenses.
It later served as a staging point for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, hosted an ROTC unit for African American soldiers during segregation, and now is managed by the National Park Service.
But until historians began digging, a clandestine piece of the 136-acre site’s military service was so tightly hidden away, it was at risk of being lost forever.
“This started coming together during a tour when someone raised their hand and mentioned their neighbor used … » More …