After her father’s death at 94 in 2008, Peggy Ludwick (’70 Bacterio.) read all of his wartime letters. She compiled them into a book, complementing his missives with her own World War II research as well as his military documents and old photographs. The project was a labor of love. She discusses the work in this Q&A.
What did you discover about your dad in the process of reading and organizing his letters?
In reading my father’s wartime letters home, I discovered a young homesick, lovesick, idealistic, and romantic army officer, thousands of miles away from his new bride of just two months, desperately … » More …
The mission of the Fallen Cougars Project is to create a digital memorial to the 250 Washington State College World War II war dead. By researching and displaying short biographical portraits, the Fallen Cougars Project aims to reintroduce these largely forgotten WSC students into the 21st century Cougar Nation.
Through historical film footage and interviews, student researchers and project director Ray Sun, associate professor of history at Washington State University Pullman, explore the meaning of the project and what it means to them personally.
Visit the Fallen Cougars Project website.
Also read about the project, veterans, and some … » More …
During World War II, the US Navy manufactured anti-submarine and anti-torpedo nets at Naval Magazine Indian Island in Puget Sound.
These nets, supported by large buoys similar to the one used as an oven at the Washington State University Bread Lab, protected the munitions at Indian Island, among other ports.
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 …
The Fallen Cougars Project aims to honor the legacy of former students who served in the Second World War and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Some 200 servicemen with ties to Washington State College—now WSU—died in World War II. Learn about a little more about their lives, deaths, and service to America here.
Charles Noble Kirkham
Charles Noble Kirkham (x’45 Mech. Eng.) was a pilot aboard the U.S.S. Shangri-La at the beginning of June 1945 when the aircraft carrier was preparing for the invasion of the Japanese island of Kyushu. During that series of airstrikes, Shangri-La’s airmen faced their strongest resistance to date—and suffered their heaviest casualties.
… » More …