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World War II

Spring 2011

Nicole Braux Taflinger ’66, ’68—Season of Suffering

Nicole Braux (now Taflinger) was 13 years old when Germany invaded France in 1940. Years later, having survived the occupation with her mother, married an American airman, and moved to Pullman, she has written a lovely and moving memoir.

First written for her children, Season of Suffering: Coming of Age in Occupied France, 1940–45 (WSU Press) recalls the occupation of Nancy, the severe shortages, collaboration, disappearances, and despair and hope from the perspective of a teenage girl.

“The first week of the war ended my childhood,” she writes, “as if a fairy touched me with a magic wand.”

Stationed … » More …

Fall 2010

Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck ’33—Recognition at last

In March of this year, a special Congressional action signed by President Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the “WASPS” of World War II. Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck ’33 was awarded the medal posthumously.

Jeanne graduated from Washington State College with a degree in English. President Roosevelt had funded the start of construction on the Grand Coulee Dam, and Jeanne was an early hire. She married a young engineer on the project, Ed Norbeck.

Later, Jeanne and Ed became managers of a large plantation in one of the outer islands in the Hawaiian chain. Given the lack of transportation … » More …

Winter 2007

Secrets & Spies

The Office of Strategic Services, our country's first centralized intelligence agency, was formed during the Second World War to train men and women in the arts of sabotage and espionage and then to send them around the world to protect our nation's interests. Among the many Washington State College students and alumni who served in that conflict, five friends and classmates trained together in the OSS, then went to North Africa, Italy, England, and China to help win the war.

» More ...
Winter 2008

Carol Edgemon Hipperson – Writing History

When Carol Edgemon Hipperson was growing up in Coulee City, the eastern Washington community was too small for a library. However, every other Thursday during the summer, the Bookmobile from the North Central Regional Library pulled into town. “I was allowed to check out as many books as I could carry,” says Hipperson ’75. “I’d go straight home and curl up with my books until dinner time.”

The idea that one day books with her name on the spine would appear on library shelves and in book stores didn’t occur to her. “I never intended to become a writer,” she says. “I just wanted to … » More …

Summer 2006

WSU Military Veterans: Heroes and Legends

With three engines lost on a B-29 bombing run over Tokyo December 3, 1944, pilot Robert Goldsworthy and his crew bailed out. For the next nine months, he would endure brutal beatings as a Japanese prisoner of war. Far worse, he said, was the cold and starvation. Goldsworthy and his older brother, Harry E. Goldsworthy Jr., both flew World War II combat missions. They retired as Air Force generals with five stars between them. Their contributions to the war are among the 120 case studies chronicled in C. James Quann’s new book, WSU Military Veterans: Heroes and Legends. The author relates military experiences of former … » More …

Winter 2001

The War Years: A Chronicle of Washington State in World War II

Most Washingtonians don’t realize that their state—with a wartime population of just over 1.7 million—did as much or more per capita than any other state to help win World War II, says James R. Warren.

The WSU alumnus (’49 Speech/Comm.) and Bellevue resident is author of a new book, The War Years: A Chronicle of Washington State in World War II.

The state’s 15 shipyards were busy building warships. Boeing turned out thousands of B-17 and B-29 bombers. Pacific Car and Foundry produced hundreds of Sherman tanks. And Hanford purified the plutonium for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by B-17s. When the war started … » More …

Fall 2008

During the War Women Went To Work

How often have you heard a group of women in their eighties reminisce about their service in World War II? My guess is—never. Out of all the interviews, books, films, and commemorations about World War II, female voices have seldom been heard. This video, funded by the Washington State legislature for use in the schools, and created by Bristol Productions under the direction of Karl Schmidt ’81, remedies this oversight. In it, more than 50 Washington women talk about their service in the state’s shipyards and aircraft factories, as WASP (Women Aircraft Service Pilots), in the Army (WACs), and the Navy (WAVES), as nurses, and … » More …