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ALSO: Reviving Victory Gardens Battlin' Betties Utah Platoon Living History Re-enactors


MAY 2020


Forgotten Places

Finding World War II in Utah

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26 Contents Is it Time to Plant a Garden for Hope?

Dig for Victory pages 8-13


Finding WWII in Utah

Forgotten Places pages 14-25 Time Travel: One Couple's Quest to Visit WWII Sites Wendover Airfield / Clearfield Naval Supply Depot / Camp Kearns Remington Arms Plant / Manti Parachute Plant / Geneva Steel Topaz Internment Camp / Ogden's Union Station

DEPARTMENTS The Briefing: Safe in the Guard / 2


Service & Sacrifice: Utah Honor Flight / 4-5 Service & Sacrifice: Battlin' Betties / 6-7 R&R: Re-enactors — Living History / 26-29

on the cover :

Members of the Utah Military History Group occupy a "Duck," or DUKW, a World War II-era amphibious vehicle used for beach landings. UMHG celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day at the Stadium of Fire, Provo City's 4th of July celebration. photo courtesy of umhg

WWW.UTAHVALOR.COM UTAH MEDIA GROUP / 4770 South 5600 West, West Valley City UT 84118 / To subscribe: 801-204-6100 / To advertise: 801-204-6300 PROJECT TEAM / Brent Low, Publisher / Megan Donio, Publications Manager / Michelle Bridges, Project Editor / Utah Media Group Creative VALOR: A Salute to Utah’s Veterans and Military is a publication of Utah Media Group and distributed in partnership with Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune. Copyright © may 2020. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without consent of Utah Media Group. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication and assume no liability for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.

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The Briefing U ta h h a s a n e n ga g i n g m i l i ta r y c o m m u n i t y w i t h d e e p r oo t s a n d b ra n ch e s t h a t r e a ch f a r a n d w i d e. O u r m y r i a d o f s to r i e s a r e tol d i n o u r s ch ool s , l i b ra r i e s , m u s e u m s , a c t iv i t i e s a n d h o m e s . E ve r y n o w a n d t h e n VA LO R c o m e s a c r o s s i n te r e s t i n g “ b i t s a n d p i e c e s ” t h a t w e w a n t to s h a r e w i t h o u r r e a d e r s .

FOLLOW US at utahvalormag or online at

SafeUTNG app sees success


he app, known as SafeUTNG, was designed to support Utah National Guard service members and families in crisis. It’s free to download from the Android and Apple app stores, providing service members and their families with a safe, confidential platform to communicate with a crisis counselor 24/7. “I strongly recommend each and every service member download the SafeUTNG app, whether they feel they are in a crisis or not,” said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard. “I have full faith and confidence in the behavioral health providers working behind the scenes at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute to make this app possible. We’ve seen firsthand how it can save lives.” Using the SafeUTNG app, service members can initiate a live confidential call or chat with behavioral health providers to receive help or lifesaving tips. The app is managed 24/7 by the University Neuropsychiatric Institute in partnership with the UTNG. Depending on the severity of the situation, UNI can activate local emergency response. Tips not deemed emergencies will be forwarded to privileged UTNG behavioral health providers. In case of emergency or active crime, the app encourages users to call 911. (Note: It is a crime to send false reports). This app serves as another tool to enable soldiers and airmen to help others or find help for themselves. Every service member who downloads the SafeUTNG app will carry a virtual lifeline in their pocket.

The SafeUTNG app can be download via Google Play: universityofutahhealth.safeutng&hl=en_US or Apple App Store: id1488643677


NOTE: With COVID-19 pandemic social distancing guidelines in effect, please verify event status.








During the early morning hours of Independence Day, witness the unfurling of the "new" American Flag. Ceremony includes cannon fire, music, planes, doves and more. Grove Creek Trail, Pleasant Grove, 7:30 a.m. Saturday. facebook. com/followtheflag1

Fun interactive displays with living history groups, military enthusiasts, military vehicles from WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War and Gulf War. SCERA Park, 600 South State, Orem, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. freedomvehiclesassociation

Celebrate in style at the 6th annual car and plane show. PLUS: Hangar dance with live big band music, 6-10 p.m. Russ McDonald Air Field, 1980 Hangar 38-D, Airport Rd., Heber. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. facebook. com/pg/cafutahwing

Utah state parks offer free dayuse entrance for active military, veterans and their family. Many parks will host events to celebrate like, 5K races, canoe rentals, disc golf tournaments, and more. For a list of events, visit


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onths of paperwork, phone calls and training all come down to a couple hours one morning — often before the crack of dawn. Make no mistake, these hours are filled with excitement. Yet they are also filled with anxiety as you hope every detail you’ve spent months arranging falls into place. You are about to escort 50 aging military veterans approximately 3,000 miles across the country. The experience of a lifetime awaits. Since October 2013, Utah Honor Flight has been ferrying veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to Washington D.C. to see their memorials. So far, the non-profit organization has escorted approximately 1,800 veterans to our nation’s capital. One marvels at Utah Honor Flight’s accomplishments given that, aside from a part-time office worker, the flights are volunteer run. Over the course of several years I was one of those volunteers. The feeling of gratitude you experience from so many angles is exhilarating. It gets into your blood.

SIGNIFICANT SACRIFICE Although I have stepped away from the program to spend more time with my family, I recently caught up with my friends who still organize and execute Utah Honor Flights. Some have planned more than a dozen trips. What follows is a glimpse of what stirs the hearts of these UHF volunteers — and what keeps them coming back for more. I started with current UHF Chair Stephanie Harmon. Her first trip, in 2014, was a family affair. She served as guardian for her grandmother, while two of her cousins were guardians for family members. Harmon’s mother, Judy Lemmons, was one of the flight leaders. 4

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“I was able to hear firsthand experiences from these amazing veterans and I realized how blessed we all are,” Harmon says. “I listened to a World War II veteran tell me about his twin brother being killed at Iwo Jima, about how he found his brother’s body and carried him to wash him, bury him and return to fighting. He was 19.” Longtime board member Celeste Sorensen took her first UHF trip in 2014 when her father Glade Sorensen, a Korean War veteran, was selected. Though he picked his son to be his guardian and only one family member is allowed per veteran, Celeste was undeterred. A nurse by trade, she was selected to participate as the flight medic. “It had an amazing healing effect on my father,” Celeste recalls. “I wanted to help other Utah veterans have that same opportunity.” John Pierce is a board member who has made nine trips; his first experience was as a flight leader. An employee at Nucor, Pierce helped raise $48,000 for a trip out of Box Elder County. “For me it was about giving back to the veterans that paved the way so that my service was less difficult,” says Pierce, a Navy veteran. “Hearing their stories and realizing what they had to endure brings tears to my eyes.” Randi McKay often serves as a flight medic during trips. In 2019, she was part of an all-female flight that included 23 Vietnam veterans. As she stood next to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, she shared a poignant moment with a nurse. “She explained to me the pain in the women’s eyes in the statue,” says McKay, a UHF board member. “I understood what she had gone through to a certain degree as I am an EMT. It was so healing for us to have someone to talk to who understands how it feels knowing that (the person they are caring for is) going to die.” m ay


photos courtesy of david cordero

MIRACULOUS MOMENTS My first UHF trip came as a volunteer guardian for a WWII veteran from St. George. I wrote two articles for the local newspaper and the community’s response was overwhelming. The interest allowed me to help build awareness for the program by attending the next three flights as a reporter. When I left my newspaper job, I was asked to be a flight leader and was eventually appointed to the UHF Board. It was a tremendous opportunity. It also required significant personal sacrifice. You relinquish family time, pay less attention to individual pursuits and sacrifice sleep due to all that requires attention. Look, these trips aren’t as detailed as the Normandy invasion. But charging headlong into our nation’s capital with 100 or more people — many of them in their 70s, 80s and even late 90s — is an exercise in diligence and resilience. Not everything goes according to plan. Once, the ground transportation was incorrectly booked. Not only were the buses smaller than usual — requiring a third bus to be rented — but they lacked space below to stow wheelchairs for the veterans. So in addition to needing three buses, we had to rent a U-Haul. For good measure, a chase car was added to make it a five-vehicle convoy. The setup caused frustrations. It also had its advantages. It allowed us to grant a veteran’s request to see his brother’s grave (KIA in Korea) at Arlington National Cemetery. This is almost never possible during a trip, but because a car was available we were able to make a WWII veteran’s dream come true. We called it a Utah Honor Flight miracle.

HONORING HEROES Although UHF has transitioned its focus from World War II and Korean War veterans to Vietnam War veterans, urgency remains. Time waits for no one. Particularly frustrating to m ay


Harmon was UHF had to postpone all spring flights this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They hope to resume in the fall. “The hardest part is the wait,” Harmon says. “I wish we had the time and funds to fly everyone at once so they all could be honored.” Soon, these UHF volunteers hope, their schedules will get busy. Soon, their nights and weekends will be filled with paperwork, phone calls and training. Soon, the logistics will be a challenge. They always are. That won’t matter when the jet is in the air and en route to Washington D.C. The flight leaders will watch years melt from these aging warriors as they are greeted by strangers who recognize there are still heroes among us. Learn more about the Utah Honor Flight organization, visit David Cordero has been a professional writer for more than 15 years. He has won awards on a variety of subjects, including sports, education and military matters. Among his volunteer endeavors he edits American Legion Post 90 newsletter. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y





rawing inspiration from women of the 1940s and ’50s, volunteers for the Battlin’ Betties, a nationwide nonprofit, are dedicated to doing their part to help and support veterans, military, first responders and their families — all while looking the part of “glamorous, vintage women.” Angie Toone, Utah platoon leader and national board member, started and runs the Utah group. She believes dressing in pin-up style clothing represents what the organization does. "We stand for the time in our history when everyone was patriotic, supported the military and the war effort," she said. "We're going back to those times through our dress and with what we do." Battlin' Betties aspire to educate the public about mental health and other issues that veterans deal with while providing community services "wherever they can do the most good as often as they can." Platoon members go to all kinds of events — anything from staffing an information booth at a veterans' car show, greeting veterans on a Utah Honor Flight, helping hands at the Elks Foundation's Little Warriors Camp, to hosting a selfcare retreat for their members. Many organizations ask Battlin' Betties to come to their events because the ladies work hard, care deeply, and are devoted to veterans and their families. They can relate to the people who stop to talk and share their stories because most of the platoons' members are either veterans themselves, married to veterans, have family members who have served, or are caregivers for a wounded warrior. Of course, a pretty dress and a pretty smile go a long way. Stacy Brown, the wife of a U.S. Army veteran, joined the platoon because of the many people in her life who have served in the military and have inspired her. "Growing up I wanted to emulate their strength of character, sense of justice and service to others," said Brown. "Being a Bettie allows me to give back to those who are willing to sacrifice all for us."


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ADVOCATING FOR MENTAL HEALTH One of the most important aspects of the organization is educating people about mental health and providing resources for veterans. Battlin’ Betties member Shelly Hevelone does not like the negative ways the media portrays those who are diagnosed with hidden injuries. The media tends to put those with PTSD into one category, as if they're monsters, leading to misconceptions and unfair treatment and misconceptions. "It just breaks my heart," says Hevelone while stressing we should treat all people with kindness and the way we want to be treated. Clearing up misconceptions and ending the stigma associated with mental illnesses, especially PTSD, is something the Battlin’ Betties strive to do by raising awareness and “being there” for those who need help and support.

POLISHING A PERSONA Being a Battlin' Betties can also be a big self-esteem boost for women within the organization. Often in service organizations and volunteer work, some people tend not to care about how they look and many "don't feel pretty" said Toone. The Battlin’ Betties is a great organization for people who want to help others and still feel good about themselves. Toone says she sees women that want to join the platoon but are hesitant because they don't know how to "dress up" or where to start. "We take them under our wing and help them by teaching them about the 1940s and '50s fashions, how to do their makeup and style their hair," Toone said. The more seasoned members help teach the recruits how to "walk and talk" the vintage lifestyle. As new members develop their persona — be it Rosie the Riveter, June Cleaver, or somewhere in between — and start getting compliments and thank-yous, they "blossom" as m ay


photos courtesy of battlin ' betties

individuals and within the organization. "Many of us have issues and have gone through tough things. We're trying to lift each other up and help pull our ladies out of their shells," Toone said. “It’s incredible to see them grow as they challenge themselves.” Toone says it is important for the volunteers to learn to create a "safe place," for those who share their memories whether good or bad. "A pretty woman in a pretty dress can take a veteran back in time to happier times when they were young, carefree and invincible,” Toone says. “We’re happy to share in those memories.”

JOINING THE PLATOON The Battlin’ Betties are all about advocating and doing good for veterans, military, first responders and their families while feeling good about themselves and having fun. The only requirements to join the Battlin’ Betties are to be a patriotic woman over the age of 18. And you must fill out an online application before finally doing a phone interview with Toone. To stay in the group, a volunteer must attend a minimum of four events a year, which is fairly easy because the ladies often attend multiple events a week. If you want to request the Battlin’ Betties to come to your event contact them through the Battlin’ Betties Utah Platoon Facebook page; or if you want to learn more or to fill out an application go to Alyssa Black was born and raised in Utah with aspirations to be an author of young adult fiction. She is attending Snow College as an English major and hopes to get out of small towns for at least a decade. m ay


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(ABOVE) MOAB, Utah. Harper Keogh, age 6, helps her grandmother Kristin Godwin plant seeds for vegetable starts. Harper has actively helped her grandparents with their gardens and chickens each year. (LEFT) Chickens, Rosie and Choker, help turn under the horse manure in garden boxes that will grow squash this summer in Jeff and Kristin Godwin’s garden. photos courtesy kristin godwin


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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. —Audrey Hepburn

DIG IN FOR VICTORY P EO P L E S OW I N G GA R D E N S F O R H O P E, S E L F-S U F F I C I E N CY D U R I N G G LO BA L C R I S I S by Kristin Godwin fo r va lo r m aga z i n e


he grocery store shelves at City Market in Moab, Utah, were emptied by mid-March. No pasta, no beans, no rice. Milk and eggs gone; potatoes and onions disappeared. Not a single roll of toilet paper remained. I felt a sense of panic as I walked through the aisles of empty shelves. Even though families weren’t yet being asked to self-isolate to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we knew there was a possibility that we would have to make do with what we had. I began a mental calculation of what we had at home in our pantry. We had enough to be comfortable for two weeks. I felt grateful for our chickens that provide fresh eggs daily. And I thought, if we have a garden this summer, we’ll be okay, even if food remains scarce for months. I’m not the only one with that thought. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the return of the Victory Garden.

GROWING GARDENS Victory Gardens began during World War I. Young farmers were sent to Europe to fight and food production in the United States dropped. President Wilford Wilson stated, “Food will win the war,” and the National War Garden Commission was organized to encourage families to grow gardens to provide their own food and to share with neighbors. The idea was that the food supply would be increased and people would be fed all without tying up transportation services that were needed for the war effort. By the end of WWI, five million gardens were cultivated and more than $1.2 billion worth of food was grown. m ay


That effort increased in World War II when one-third of all vegetables consumed in the country were grown in Victory Gardens. Eighteen million gardens were grown across the county, with 12 million of those gardens in cities and suburbs. Even first lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a garden on the White House lawn. The citizens’ efforts lowered food prices, which in turn saved money for the United States War Department to feed troops.

HOPING FOR THE FUTURE But Victory Gardens provided more than food. Growing a garden is an act of hope. The act of growing a garden requires an investment of time and energy with the hope of an increase in the future. It also gives a sense of empowerment and control when the future is unknown. Gardening tends to increase during stock market volatility, or economic downturn. While part of growing one’s own vegetables may be a judicious response to a lack of income, it is also a means of channeling nervous energy with the hopes of a positive outcome. That channeling of energy may be part of the spike in growing gardens. In this peculiar crisis there is a lack of industry as people are asked to stay at home and are unable to work. Being outside in the sunshine, preparing the soil and planting gardens is a way to remain productive and busy when one feels forced to halt their activities. This is also a good choice to improve or maintain mental health. The top ways to combat depression and anxiety are to be va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y




fter America’s entrance into World War II, it became apparent that voluntary conservation on the home front was not going to suffice like in World War I. In 1942 the U.S. government began rationing gasoline and sugar. The next year fresh meat, cheese, fats, canned fish, canned milk and other processed foods were added to the list. Every month households received a limited number of ration stamps with point values for fresh and canned foods. Stamps had to be redeemed with each food purchase. Even with rationing, however, foods were in short supply. Due to changes in the supply-and-demand of various goods, 1940s cooks had to plan their meals carefully, and well in advance. Many nationally branded foods and houseware manufacturers produced cookbooks filled with recipes designed to boost sales by including their own products in the list of ingredients. General Foods Corporation's "Recipes for Today," published in 1943, takes an enthusiastic, patriotic tone in describing creative fixes and substitutions for rationed ingredients. The section “Cheer for Lunch Boxes" declares that "war-working lunches must offer good square meals." An illustration in that chapter shows the same jolly woman from the cover dressed in red, white and blue. This time, she's bustling around with the essentials of a recommended working lunch, including a thermos, sandwiches, and a piece of fruit. Rationing cookbooks had a "chipper tone" and reassured home cooks that they could make tasty meals with limited ingredients. The books also comment on nutrition, likely another point of concern for 1940s cooks with shortened grocery lists. "How to be Easy on Your Ration Book" has an upbeat, encouraging tone. It portrayed rationing as an important act that every American could do to conserve food and support the war effort, rather than dwelling on the restrictions of rationed foods. For the most part, ingredients found in ration cookbook recipes were simple, and seasonings were sparse. But where they lacked certain ingredients, it seems that they made up for it in creativity and good humor. —COMPILED BY MICHELLE BRIDGES AND ANGIE TOONE



1 cup chopped cooked ham 1/4 cup bread crumbs 1 cup hot milk 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper 2 eggs, slightly beated 2 cups cooked macaroni 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion 1/4 teaspoon salt Mix crumbs and milk; add to remaining ingredients. Turn into greased baking dish and bake in a moderate oven (350˚F) for 1 hour. 4 servings

5 slices (2 1/2 cups) Wonder Wheat Bread or Enriched Wonder Bread broken into find pieces 4 tablespoons melted butter or vitaminized margarine 1 quart sliced apples Grated nutmeg Cinnamon 1/3 cup molasses and water to make 1/2 cup 1 tablespoon sugar Grated rind and juice 1/2 lemon Mix crumbs of Wonder Bread and butter or margarine throughly and lightly with two forks. Cover botton of greased 1 1/2 quart cassarole with 1/3 of the bread, then cover with half the sliced apples. Shake grated nutmeg and cinnamon over the apples. Mix remaining ingredents and pour half of this mixture over the bread and apples. Repeat. Cover with remaining bread. Cover pudding during first half of baking only. Bake 40 minutes in a moderate oven (350˚F). Serve hot or cold. 6 servings. Use a custard sauce or serve with top milk, to whih has been added grated nutmeg and sugar. VARIATION. Toast bread, cut into small cubes.


pound fresh green beans strips of bacon tablespoon flout cup Carnation Milk, undiluted Cut beans through lengthwise. Cook coveredin a small amount of salted water until tender (about 10 minutes). Cut bacon in small pieces. Fry until crisp. Add flour and blend until a smooth paste is formed. Add Carnation Milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour hot sauce over drained beans. Serves 4.


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Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That’s the fun of them. You’re always learning. —Helen Mirren physically active, engage in nature and increase the absorption of Vitamin D through sunshine. Growing a garden may be the key to withstand the worry of COVID-19 and boost morale, just as it did for families who had loved ones fighting in foreign lands during WWI and WWII.

INCREASING INTEREST I’ve seen a surge of gardening interest in our small town of Moab. Our family had two old rototillers in storage that my father used on his small hobby farm: one small, one large. Neither would work in the boxed gardens we chose for our yard. We offered both for sale on Facebook classifieds. They were sold in less than a half-hour. Kelly Oliver of Arches Handyman bought the larger one. He said that he gets a few requests to rototill gardens each spring, but this year was different. He needed a high power rototiller to keep up with demand. “People want to tear out their lawns to plant vegetable gardens,” he said. Kara Dowenrend, owner of Wild Landscapes Nursery in Moab, said that sales have skyrocketed this year. “It has been insane at the nursery,” she said. The increase of vegetable starts and seeds sales are due to new gardeners, or gardeners who’ve decided to expand their garden space this year. Dowenrend and her staff have spent a great deal of time educating new gardeners: how to amend soil, how frost can affect when to plant, and how often gardeners will need to water their plants during the hot summer months. She said there is a bit of panic when new gardeners begin to realize there is far more to know — and do — to keep a garden healthy and productive. Dowenrend has seen issues related with keeping items in stock. Seeds, starts and soil are in short supply. Large plant start suppliers like Johnny’s and Baker Creek are having difficulty filling orders and have several items that are out-of-stock. Many of the larger companies are choosing to restrict sales to commercial customers. The soil she had in stock was “flying out of the store” and when she asks companies for more, it is all on back-order.

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW Jon Olschewski is the administrator of the Facebook group “Moab Gardeners and Farmers.” On average, about 25 people will join the group each year. In the last week of March more than 40 people asked to join, most of them are first time gardeners. Kerry Soliz is one of those new gardeners. She planted tomatoes in 2003, got a good crop and hasn’t had a garden since. This year she put in four new garden boxes and intends to do more. m ay


“I don’t know how to garden,” she said. “My grandmother grew up gardening her entire life. Her entire back yard was a fruit and veggie garden. I should have tried to understand more. She hardened and canned everything.” She’s dedicated to learn how to grow as much of her own food as possible. “This virus crisis has brought home the fact that we as people are way too dependent on the supply chain. We need to develop some better coping skills,” she said. And it’s not just gardens. It’s chickens, too. We have three chickens and a duck that provide us with fresh eggs. We intended to grow our small flock this year with 10 new chicks and a duckling, but getting chicks from the local farm store has proven difficult. Chicks were snatched up as soon as they arrived at the Moab Farm Store; and the store employees stated that it was an “odd year” never knowing when another order would arrive, or how many they would be able to get. We were able to pick up three chicks from the farm store and chose to shop online for the rest. We sent out a public message asking if anyone else wanted to share shipping costs by ordering chicks for themselves. Three of the families that jumped on the offer had never raised chickens before. Our wait for the chicks to be delivered: one month. Even chicks are on back-order nationally.

GROWING FAMILY-STYLE My father taught me to garden. He learned his skills alongside his Swedish grandmother on her Minnesota farm. My husband remembers fondly how almost all the food he ate as a child was grown at home: vegetables from the garden, fruit from the orchard, eggs from the chickens and even milk from a cow. Our children know the love we share for gardening and gifted us heirloom seeds for Christmas that will allow us to cultivate plants for several years to come. And in turn, we get to share that love with our grandchildren, teaching them what they need to know to stay healthy and happy, in good times and bad. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved, there may be new gardeners and urban chicken farmers that found a new and fulfilling hobby and lifestyle even as fears fade and economic stability returns. When the United States government discontinued the promotion of Victory Gardens after the war, many families opted to continue the lifestyle because of the personal satisfaction and benefits of growing one’s food at home. Kristin Godwin gardens and tends chickens with her husband and grandchildren in Moab, Utah. She works as a mental health counselor for Treatment Compass. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y




ome may see these words as a motto to live by today — a way of going green, saving the planet and doing their part. These words used in a more recent vocabulary as part of a waste management system have been around in concept for generations. These same three R’s may be applied during times of war, crisis, and are often done out of necessity as a way for survival and ultimately Victory. “Eat it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without,” a phrase popularized during the First World War carried through the Great Depression. Later adapted for World War II, “Eat it up” was commonly substituted with “Use it up” to reflect the need for a more comprehensive reduction of waste. With the start of a new conflict and wartime industry in December 1941, the U.S. government would need to conserve as many materials and resources as possible for the now uncertain and all-consuming war effort.

A simple concept of waste hierarchy became a way for citizens to fight the war from the home front, empowering our nation to cut out waste, sustaining life at home and supporting the troops fighting for freedom overseas.

REDUCE Reduce was demonstrated through rationing. In January 1942, the government began the rationing of goods and materials such as tires, gas, and a myriad of foods including meat, sugar, and coffee. Citizens were issued ration books with stamps which were redeemed along with money for certain rationed goods. Rationing was not only imposed at home, but notably in restaurants where chefs prided themselves on creative menus that complied with the government food conservation policy. Victory Gardens, reminiscent of World War I, came back into vogue.

REUSE Reuse was a common solution as shortages affected most goods. Items such as clothing were handed down and often refashioned. Books and records were collected for soldiers' moral, and trinkets were gathered for bartering. Even eyebrow pencils were repurposed to draw lines up the back of womens' legs to mimic the seam-effect of wearing hosiery since both silk and nylon were consumed by the war effort.

RECYCLE Recycle was a way to break down collected materials and turn them from one form into another: metal from tin cans and pots and pans into guns, tanks, planes, and ships; silk and nylons into powder bags and parachutes; and household fats into glycerine for explosives. Items such as paper, rubber, and rags, among others were collected through salvage programs and drives. For example, community dances were organized where the price of admission was a pot or pan,w or a movie ticket in exchange for a certain amount of hosiery. As our nation takes on the war against COVID-19, we can use the strategic decisions of the past to inform our way of life and the ways in which we may assist the country in a time of limited resources and mobility. How will you reduce, reuse, recycle? —BY BEAU BURGESS FOR VALOR, FORT DOUGLAS MILITARY MUSEUM


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endover Airfield beckons: “Walk where they walked.” Once, thousands of bomber crews painstakingly trained here so they could take their weapons, including the atomic bomb to the fight. Due to “fear and prejudices” generations of Japanese American families were forced from their homes to live behind fences at Topaz. On the platforms of Ogden’s Union Station, Red Cross canteen volunteers served up “cookies, coffee and smiles” to the masses passing through enroute to differing destinations. Known for industry, the Beehive State was uniquely positioned as a key support to the nation’s war efforts during World War II. Utah offered an inland location, open spaces, roads and rails, proximity to natural resources, and an intelligent and willing workforce. In all, 14 noted military installations operated in Utah and created nearly 40,000 jobs boosting the economy.


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Flight crews perform a "wing walk" on a B-17 Bomber in front of Hangar 3 at Wendover Airfield. More than 1,000 bomber groups trained for bombing missions with B-17s, B-29s, P-47s and cargo planes. courtesy historic wendover airfield museum

Now 75 years later, the physical places where the “Greatest Generation” stepped up and did their jobs are morphing, fading or being lost to time — just as those who lived through this era, serving on the battlefront and the home front, are rapidly passing. Many communities and museums have taken up the cause to remember the voices, connect the stories, preserve the memories and act as portals to understanding the time, spaces and places of these events. In reflection of the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII, VALOR encourages you to make the effort to learn from those who came before, visit locations where they “thrived and survived” and make the effort to keep history alive. Take time to talk with a veteran. —VALOR

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t was after watching the Rob Sibley-produced “Utah in World War II” video documentary (2014), that Russ and Nancy Price of Taylorsville, Utah, decided to undertake their own adventure to document World War II sites in the Beehive State. In the spring of 2018, they set out to visit as many sites as possible with WWII ties and document their travels with beforeand-after photos, historical writings and personal reflections. The couple also wanted to honor those who fought on the battlefront and to pay respect to those struggling on the home front. “Several sites caught our fancy,” Russ said. “Some were obvious and others were more obscure. Either way we were ready to see what was still out there.”

DELVING INTO HISTORY The most obvious place to start was Fort Douglas Military Museum and its nearby historic cemetery. The museum is the repository of Utah’s rich military history stretching from the fort’s Civil War beginnings to the Desert Storm era when the fort was deactivated. The museum still collects artifacts and stories from the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. “In our tour, we wanted to learn about WWII prisoners of war and how they came to Utah, who they were, how they lived and how they interacted with the locals,” said Russ. “I was especially interested at how they were disbursed to various camps to help with agricultural crops like sugar beets.” The Prices contacted information centers of towns surrounding of known sites to inquire if there were any local historians or others who had information about the camps and were willing to talk to the couple. Or if any museums existed that could shed some light on the camps. After much research, they found 12 POW camps and were introduced to the Topaz Japanese Interment Camp. 16

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Inevitably, the Prices were put in touch with local historians who shared pictures, newspaper clippings, local folklore and introduced them to individuals who had their own stories to tell. The historians were able to fill out the Prices’ itinerary with military installations and businesses located in big cities and small towns, mostly along the Wasatch Range.

SEARCHING UTAH’S POW SITES The Prices attempted to explore all 12 POW camps but found several were inaccessible because they are within the boundaries of active military bases, others were marked by simple historical monuments, some have been swallowed up by time and yet, a few have their histories laid out in community museums. At the Orem Heritage Museum, the Prices chatted with curator Ryan Madsen about both the town’s agriculturebased POW camp and the Geneva Steel Mill built by the U.S. Department of Defense in support of the war. The actual location of the POW camp is identified with just a historical marker; today, Canyon View Jr. High School occupies the spot. In Tremonton, the couple discovered nothing remained of the POW camp; the site now houses a branch of Utah State University and the Box Elder Nursing Home. They met Roberta Fronk, then 91, a docent at the Bear River Valley Museum, who told them about the town’s “German POW camp.” But more importantly she introduced them to Allen “Ace” Christensen, 98 at the time. Ace was himself a WWII POW in Japan. After the war, Christensen and his wife served as missionaries in Japan. “Spending time with Ace and hearing his stories was amazing,” said Russ. “In spite of his wartime imprisonment, his love for the Japanese people was very strong.” Russ and Nancy thanked him for his service and in a quiet voice, Christensen replied, “It was worth it.” Which Russ interpreted as Ace was proud to serve. m ay


At Wendover Airfield, Russ and Nancy Price were able to take an original photograph, recreate it by putting themselves in the setting, then put the photos side by side for comparison. “It made it like we were there, a part of history,” said Russ. umg photo / michelle bridges

UNDERSTANDING TOPAZ On the desert flats about 15 minutes outside Delta, are the remains of the Topaz Japanese Internment Camp. Cracked cement slabs and dusty markers help orient visitors to what life was like in the harsh environment. A monument tells about the Japanese Americans who were held there by “paranoia because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor” as Russ relates. To have a “fuller understanding” about the WWII internment of Japanese Americans, Russ and Nancy strongly recommend a visit to the Topaz Museum in Delta.

SUPPORTING THE WAR EFFORT Long known as the “crossroads of the West” the Ogden area became a vital logistics terminal during WWII. Union Station, the Defense Depot Ogden and Hill Field were instrumental in storing, moving and maintaining military supplies, equipment and personnel. A number of manufacturing plants also operated in Utah during the war, including Geneva Steel in Orem, both Remington Arms Plant and Dalunite aluminum processing plant in Salt Lake City, an oil refinery north of the capital city, a vanadium plant in Monticello, and a parachute plant in Manti. In 1942 Utah Gov. Herbert B. Maw brought the Standard Parachute Company to Manti. It was a boon for the financially struggling towns of central Utah — it was truly a life-saving operation. The factory employed hundreds of women who sewed and packed ’chutes. The Prices located the original manufacturing building but learned it was due to be demolished to make way for a new county justice complex. m ay


Historic Wendover Airfield was the highlight of the Prices’ adventure. They were able to take a behind-the-scenes tour offered by the Wendover Airfield Association, an organization tasked with preserving the airfield’s buildings and its history. The couple were able to ride in an authentic WWII truck, see the hanger where the Enola Gay was stored, and walk around the “ground pit” where more than 150 dummy bombs were loaded in trial runs to make sure the atomic bomb would work.

READYING FOR WHAT'S NEXT The great thing about doing their project, Russ said, “was connecting with interesting people all along the way who just seemed to pop up.” When Russ told his sister-in-law, Julie Jensen Price, about their WWII project, she mentioned that her grandmother, Annie Price, once worked in the parachute plant in Manti and her father, Joseph Jensen, had clothing his mother had made from surplus parachute silk. The Prices were eventually able to encourage Joe and Glo Jensen to donate the items to Fort Douglas Military Museum — a small bit of the war effort from the home front. The project has produced five large photo albums from nearly 600 hours of travel and research. Next, the Prices will take time to organize and edit their materials. Overall, Russ and Nancy want to develop a presentation that they can share with others. Has the project been worth it? “Yes! We’ve loved it!” A native of St. George, Loren R. Webb has been a reporter in community journalism and a teacher of history and English in southern Utah and Nevada. An avid historian, he and his wife look forward to retiring so they can chase stories throughout the West. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y




hen the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan invaded countries in Europe and the Pacific region in 1939, the U.S. Army Air Corps began strategically building military depots across the United States. An airfield on the Utah-Nevada border at Wendover was selected and 1.8 million acres were designated as a bombing and gunnery range. Col. Thomas E. Gwyn, a U.S. District engineer in Salt Lake City, said his directive for the base "was to provide for a garrison of 350 men and about 2,500 men for summer training." This was lost; the Wendover camp had about 7,500 people (closer to 20,000) at its peak on 265,000 acres (actually 1,822,000 acres). In September 1940, the construction of runways and buildings began. Originally a subpost of Ft. Douglas in Salt Lake City, Wendover Airfield became an Army Air Corps base in 1942. Living and working space at Wendover Airfield was at a premium during this time with 668 buildings being constructed. The drone of B-17s, B-29s, P-47s and cargo planes were a common sight as over 1,000 bombing groups trained here. The 306th Bomb Group was the first to train in Wendover, and later became the first bomb group to fly over and bomb Germany.

THE 'GADGET' Col. Paul Tibbetts, commander of the 509th Composite Group, is quoted as saying he chose Wendover for their training. However, James S. Petersen, president of the Historic Wendover Airfield Foundation, said in actuality, the Army Air Corps chose the base for the atomic mission and then they notified Tibbetts. The 509th was designated for flying atomic bomb missions. When the 509th was created there was not a hangar on the base large enough to house the B-29 aircraft, so plans for Building 1831 were developed, and the new hangar was operational by March 1945. Prototype bombs were loaded into B-29s using a pit constructed next to the runways. Bombs would be placed on a trailer, and then a military wrecker would pick the bomb up and lower it into the “bomb pit” onto a hydraulic lift. Crews would back the plane up positioning the bomb bay directly over the pit. The 5-ton bomb would be hoisted into the airplane. One of the goals at Wendover Airfield was to make it so the atomic bomb would explode at an elevation of roughly 1,800 feet above sea level so it would cause the most damage to enemy structures below. About two-thirds of the test drops of the cement-filled prototypes were done over California’s Salton Sea and one-third were dropped over the Wendover bombing range. 18

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The project to turn the engineered atomic bomb into a deliverable weapon was called Project Alberta. During this time, 155 atomic prototype weapons were constructed under the name “Project W-47,” but they never called it the “bomb.” They called it the “gadget.” As a result of all of these tests, the design of the bomb tail fins was changed to make it more aerodynamic. According to airfield lore, President Harry Truman (once he learned of the successful test of an atomic bomb detonation at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945) sent the Japanese an ultimatum to surrender. When they refused, Col. Tibbetts flew from Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands to Japan in the Enola Gay (named in honor of Tibbets’ mother) B-29 airplane where, on Aug. 6, 1945, he dropped an atomic (enriched uranium) bomb, weighing 9,700 pounds called "Little Boy," on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, the airplane called "Bockscar" dropped a second atomic bomb ("Fat Man") on Nagasaki, Japan, resulting in the subsequent surrender of the Japanese on Aug. 14, 1945, and ending World War II.

AFTER THE WAR Between 1945 and 1975, there were various Air Force base trainings under the direction of Hill Air Force Base. One of the projects consisted of ground to air pilotless aircraft, which was the first supersonic rocket that the U.S. tested. m ay


The restored Service Club serves as the museum's Event Hall.



pon his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, James S. Petersen came to Wendover Airfield and had a strong impression that somebody needed to save this place.

"Part of our objective out here is to restore enough so when people come out they can really see the facilities like they would have been back then, and get a feeling for stepping back in time," said Peterson, president of the Historic Wendover Airfield foundation.

(TOP) Ground crew for the Enola Gay on runway on Tiniain Island in the Pacific Theater before Col. Paul Tibbetts (center) is scheduled to drop the atomic bomb. (ABOVE) A flight crew readies for preflight check before training run. (RIGHT) A Wendover Airfield challenge coin. photos courtesy historic wendover airfield museum

In 1975, the Wendover Airfield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wendover Airfield is the only operating airport with six original WWII hangars and fire station still intact. In 1977, Wendover Airfield was turned over to the city of Wendover and military exercises continued.



352 E. Airport Way, Wendover 435-665-7724 Check for dates and times.


Petersen noted there were seven original hangars, but one hangar burned down in 1946. All six hangars continue to be used today, although Hangar No. 4 needs some serious restoration, Petersen said.

"Wendover is a hidden gem among World War II history sites. Thousands of airmen passed through this rural, desert base," said Landon Wilkey, museum curator. "We have artifacts and images in our museum, and there is an impressive number of period hangars, buildings and other structures still standing around the base — this includes sites intertwined with the Manhattan Project."

Museum resides within restored John T. Brinkman Service Club. There are several exhibits and memorabilia displays. Private tours of buildings on request.

Then in the early 1990s, a casino gambling charter flight started up at the airfield, and that resulted in one to two daily flights to various cities. That flight program continued until 1996. Tooele County then took over the operation of the airfield in 1998. From 1998 to 2005, operations remained about the same, said Petersen. When Petersen arrived in 2003, he began negotiating with the Wendover casinos and got the casino charter flight program going again in 2005 and that made the airport profitable. "They bring about 50,000 people a year into Wendover," he added. m ay

In 2001, the Historic Wendover Airfield, Inc., a non-profit foundation was formed to raise funds to put into restoring the World War II buildings including the officer’s club building that now serves as a museum. Of the 668 buildings constructed in World War II, 90 buildings remain, and about a dozen have been restored.

“I enjoy bringing it (the airfield) back to life,” Petersen said. “Most of the World War II veterans are gone, but the ones still alive, who tell us about their experiences at Wendover, it’s gratifying that we are saving their training base. We need to have everybody, especially the younger generation, understand the sacrifices that they went through during World War II for us to enjoy the freedoms that we do today.” —BY LMBRIDGES va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


CLEARFIELD NAVAL SUPPLY DEPOT LOCATION Freeport Center, Clearfield THEN Shortly after WWII began, the Naval Bureau of Supplies and Accounts purchased land on which to build storage facilities including a site in northern Davis County. Farmers in the area protested the taking of their land, but the Ogden Chamber of Commerce supported the decision — national war effort took priority over local concerns.

(ABOVE) 1942-43. Truck-mounted cranes to lift and stack buoys at the Clearfield Naval Supply Depot. (LEFT) World War II matchbook cover from the depot.

The success of the Clearfield Naval Supply Depot depended on access to rail transportation. Workers used large overhead cranes to unload and reload railroad cars on the main tracks. Every large warehouse on the site had rails courtesy fort douglas military museum on one side of the building, a road on the opposite side, and bay doors on each side for efficient movement of materials. Also, the location gave quick access to air transportation via Hill Air Force Base. The facility operated 24 hours a day and received, stored and shipped an immense variety of naval goods, including war materiel, clothing, electronics, musical instruments, spare parts, beds and tools. NOW Declared surplus in the early 1960s, civilian companies bought most of the property. The Clearfield Freeport Center is home to several large manufacturing, storage and distribution businesses. —BY LRWEBB

CAMP KEARNS LOCATION 5662 South 4800 West, Kearns THEN In 1942, Kearns Army Air Base was built on 5,450 acres of farmland southwest of Salt Lake City at a cost of about $17 million. Originally known as “Basic Training Center No. 5,” by 1943 nearly 1,000 buildings were constructed. It was used as a basic-training site for pilots and ground crews to learn to use grenades, bayonets, gas and rifles and trained in camouflage and airdrome maneuvers. By the time the base closed in 1947,its name had changed to Camp Kearns,and more than 90,000 soldiers had trained there. NOW Little remains of Camp Kearns and it is marked with a historical monument. Presentday, Kearns Elementary School sits on the site of the military hospital and the Utah Olympic Oval is built on the military practice range. —BY LRWEBB (ABOVE) An Army Air Forces sew-on patch for Utah's Camp Kearns. (RIGHT) A box of .30-caliber cartiages with case manufactured in Utah. courtesy fort douglas military museum


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REMINGTON ARMS PLANT LOCATION 6000 West 2100 South, Salt Lake Valley THEN In 1937 the U.S. government requested that Remington collaborate on a peacetime plan for the potential expansion of military ammunition production in time of national need. When the plan was activated in 1940, Remington agreed to build and operate plants in Denver and Salt Lake City. The factory, known as the Utah Ordnance Plant, manufactured .50-caliber armor-piercing, tracer and incendiary ammunition and .30-caliber ball, armor-piercing and tracer bullets And in the process created 10,000 new jobs. The plant closed in 1944 due to overproduction and converted into a subdepot of the Ogden Arsenal with responsibilities shifting from manufacturing to the reclaiming of used war materiel. NOW Land ownership transferred to Utah Fish and Game Commission (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources) and was used as a shooting range for the Lee Kay Center for Hunter Education. —BY LMBRIDGES m ay


GENEVA STEEL WORKS LOCATION 1600 North and Geneva Road, Orem THEN Geneva Steel was built to produce steel for World War II. Built between 1942 and 1944, it subsequently became the largest and most significant of several defense-related industries developed in Utah during WWII. The Orem site was far enough inland as a precaution against a West Coast invasion, and yet close enough to railways needed to transport product to shipyards. It was also within reasonable distance to necessary raw materials such as coal deposits in Carbon County, iron ore in Iron County, limestone and dolomite near Payson, and water from Deer Creek Reservoir. courtesy fort douglas military museum


LOCATION 41 North 100 East, Manti THEN During 1942-44, the Standard Parachute Company of San Diego chose Manti to expand its manufacturing operations and brought employment to the struggling communities of central Utah. The company produced silk and nylon parachutes used by paratroopers in combat. The operation provided hundreds of jobs on the home front and saved thousands of lives on the battlefront. It was a natural fit for the local women who came from surrounding farms and ranches and were well acquainted with hard work. They applied out of patriotic duty, others for economic reasons. The women knew their work was crucial and they were empowered by the experience. Most were happy to do their part to contribute toward the war effort. With wartime rationing and many resources in short supply, Americans made use of what they could get their hands on, and little went to waste. It wasn't long before the "beautiful whites and startling reds" of the parachute materials began popping up in local households. The fabrics were often repurposed into bedding, linens, clothing, even treasured wedding dresses. NOW After the war, the narrow industrial-type factory found purpose manufacturing sports clothing. Recently, the buildings are scheduled for demolition to make way for a proposed county justice complex. —BY LMBRIDGES m ay


When the plant first opened it was hard to fill all the positions because most men were off fighting the war. Thus “Wendy the Welder” and "Rosie the Riveter” were born. Since its construction, Geneva has had a significant impact on the local economy. It provided thousands of well-paying jobs and attracted a number of ancillary industries. After more than 40 years of operation, the steel mill closed in 2001. NOW The site encompasses 1,700 acres of land set aside for redevelopment as a master-planned community by Anderson Geneva Developers. Another 125 acres were sold to Utah Valley University for future expansion. —BY LMBRIDGES

IF YOU GO OREM HERITAGE MUSEUM 777 South State Street, Orem 801-225-2787,ext. 1030 Check for dates and times.

Over 75% of the materials used to build Timpanogos Harley Davidson dealership in Lindon were recycled from Geneva Steel, railroad bridges, and other early Utah industrial buildings.

Unique collection including WWI to Korean War displays of uniforms, equipment and weapons; WWII POW camp display and historic memorabilia from Geneva Steel.

umg photo / michelle bridges




nti-Asian attitudes, particularly along the West Coast, were in place long before Pearl Harbor, according to Jane Beckwith, president of the Topaz Museum Board in Delta, Utah. Prejudices against people of Japanese ancestry were experienced as early as 1900. As early as 1905, the City of San Francisco did not allow Japanese students to attend public schools. In 1912, the U.S. government decided that anyone who was not a free black man or a white person could not become a citizen. The Cable Act, passed by Congress in the 1920s, stated that if an American woman married a person who was not a citizen, she would lose her citizenship. “You can see how dark the racism was,” Beckwith said. “All of these forces were coming down on people of Japanese ancestry, and when the attack occurred on Pearl Harbor, it validated some people’s prejudice.” Ultimately, the impetus for rounding up the Japanese Americans came from Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the order giving the Army the power to evacuate anyone they deemed necessary. Lt. Gen. John DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command, had the sole power to carry out the order as he saw fit. Fear, prejudice, and a failure of political leadership all went against the minority, and the government began rounding up Japanese Americans. Within days of Pearl Harbor, leaders in Japanese American communities were incarcerated. By March the roundup began in Washington State and worked its way down the coast through Oregon and California. Temporary assembly centers or holding areas and then 10 internment camps housed about 110,000 persons.

This doll, made at Topaz by a traditional Japanese American doll maker, was given to a young girl when she was living at Topaz where her father worked. from the davis palmer collection at the topaz museum , delta utah / photo courtesy topaz museum


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FAR FROM HOME The War Relocation Authority had been looking for places for the permanent camps that were cheap and had access to railroads, power and water. One of the first places chosen was Tule Lake in northern California. Another site, Manzanar, was in southern California near Death Valley. Other Japanese Americans were placed on Indian Reservations called Poston and Gila in Arizona. Military authorities came to Utah to look at locations. They looked at a site near Delta and rejected it until a local realtor convinced the WRA it would be a good location. The Topaz camp consisted of 19,800 acres or 31 square miles and was originally called the Central Utah Relocation Center. Over 600 buildings needed to be built in the desert 16 miles northwest of Delta. After spending six months at the temporary facility at Tanforan, Japanese Americans were taken by train to Topaz even though the camp wasn't finished. People in Topaz were hired to finish their barracks and put up the barbed wire fences. The barracks had no foundations and were only sitting on blocks of wood. They had potbelly stoves, but they weren't connected. Temperatures in the winter in the desert can be bitterly cold, and so it turned out to be a freezing, dusty, miserable place to live. At the height of the Topaz operation, there were about 200 administrators and their families working at Topaz. Two elementary schools, a junior/high school, and a hospital were built. Residents took adult education classes in music, art and tailoring, and also Japanese, American Red Cross and civic lessons. Topaz opened on Sept. 11, 1942. Military authorities brought about 500 people from California until the end of October, resulting in a population of about 8,100 people. By the time the camp closed on Oct. 31, 1945, over 11,000 had come through the camp. People could leave the confines of Topaz to start news lives, but they could not return to California. This was a very difficult time for a group of Americans who had been marginalized. “People lost their businesses. They lost their houses. They couldn’t graduate from college. They were also accused m ay


Topaz Museum tells the history of Japanese Americans who were interned 16 miles outside of Delta during WWII. Opened in 2015, displays includes half of a recreation hall used as Boy Scout Lodge, recreated barrack room, artifacts and stories from Topaz. photo courtesy topaz museum / brian buroker


(TOP) A family is pictured standing outside a tar paper shack at Topaz, Utah, in this undated photo. utah state historical society (AOVE) Pamoramic view of Topaz. photo courtesy topaz museum

of siding with the enemy, something they had not done,” Beckwith said. “In truth, the United States violated their civil rights. That is one of the things that we need to learn from Topaz.” People were encouraged to have jobs at Topaz and were paid between $14-19 a month, depending on the skill level of the job. Topaz was supposed to be selfsufficient so internees worked at the camp cattle ranch, pig farm, chicken and turkey operations. People could leave for seasonal work on farms throughout Utah and Idaho. They could also come into Delta and make the prevailing wage.


TOPAZ MUSEUM 55 West Main, Delta 435-864-2514, Check for dates and times. Admission by donation. Visit the museum before going to the original internment site and watch two introductory films narrated by people who were in Topaz. A self-driving tour of the Topaz site is available.

The 100th Infantry Battalion, organized in Hawaii, eventually became the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed of Japanese Americans who were willing to fight and die for the United States even if their families were in internment camps. Of the 400 or so soldiers from Topaz, 21 were killed in battle. 2020

“So, I decided to have the students interview people who had worked at Topaz and were living in Delta," said Beckwith. “The students were fascinated with the history they had never heard before. Once the students started their interviews, people in Delta started talking about Topaz.”


Before America’s entry into World War II, Japanese Americans had been serving in the Army. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, a moratorium was placed on any Japanese Americans enlisting. However, as the need for more soldiers grew in the U.S. military, Japanese Americans who could speak and read Japanese were sought out for the Military Intelligence Service. The Japanese government was not encoding transmissions in the Pacific, so the MIS personnel were important to the war effort. Yet, U.S. military officials were afraid of placing Japanese Americans into regular military units because it was felt they would not be accepted unless they were segregated.

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ane Beckwith was teaching English at Delta High School when the Intermountain Power Plant was being built. Many students whose parents were working at the plant enrolled in the school. They didn't know about the area or Topaz.

“Those students confirmed that the history of Topaz was worthy of a museum,” Beckwith said. To protect the site, a non-profit organization was created in order to raise funds. The organization’s goal was to purchase 640. Today, the Topaz Museum Board owns 633 acres of the original Topaz internment camp land. It is missing six acres of original Block 42.

The Topaz Museum was housed at Great Basin Museum in Delta until both museums grew and constructed their own buildings that are now next to each other. Visitors notice its modern design and watch two introductory videos narrated by people who were in Topaz. The museum also contains half of a recreation hall that was used as the Boy Scout meeting lodge at the Topaz site. The museum also displays artwork from the Topaz adult education classes. Another exhibit at the museum is a 20 by 20foot recreated room that would have housed a family of four. Greasewood has grown over the site so it is difficult to fully imagine what it looked like when it was in operation. Topaz is a National Historic Landmark and no objects or artifacts should be removed from it. Additionally, there are two plaques erected by the Japanese American Citizen League at the site. Plans are to leave the site as-is. —BY LRWEBB va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y




p until World War II and the emergence of Hill Air Force Base, the railroad was Northern Utah’s largest employer. Ogden’s Union Station, located on the main east-west line, serviced both freight and passenger traffic as both civilian and troop trains moved along the rails. During World War II, Ogden benefited from America’s increased railroad traffic and wartime spending. The new influx of money, diversity and density coming to Ogden through Union Station brought prosperity to Weber County during a difficult era.

PASSENGER SERVICE The 1940s brought as many as 120 Union Pacific trains per day through the station. An underground passageway that led from the station to the passenger platforms helped passengers get to one of the 17 tracks without walking across the other tracks. LeRoy Johnson, a Red Cap at Union Station for over 40 years, recalled, "… One time, during World War II, 62 passenger trains left the depot every day — streamliners from all over the nation carrying presidents, kings, ambassadors, movie stars, doctors, lawyers, authors, poets and just people, thousands of them, every day, from all walks of life." During that time 18 Red Caps, like himself, "worked around the clock to help all these people on and off the trains." Angus Hansen, who worked as a carman and welder for the Union Pacific in Ogden said of the war years, "… they had freight and passenger train service. I don't think you could go down to the depot anytime, night or day, that you didn't find that depot full of people wanting to ride the trains. Of course, during the war, there was a restriction put on travel to a certain extent, because they didn't have enough passenger trains to handle the service or military personnel."

FREIGHT SERVICE The efficiency of operations at the Ogden Depot is shown in an account of the movement of freight. Lemar Belnap, a worker at Union Station, remembers trains loaded with gas coming into the depot, and when they stopped they were immediately surrounded with armed guards to protect

(ABOVE) From 1869 to 1969, Ogden, Utah was the main junction point for all passenger and freight cars going from San Francisco and Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Portland and Salt Lake City for the Union and Southern Pacific companies. (LEFT) Red Caps brought a new level to passenger travel. Red Caps (front row l-r) LeRoy Johnson, Roy Goodwin, Johnny McGee, Charles Johnson; (back row l-r)William White, Walter Epps, George Johnson, Charles Jakes, Elmer Davis. courtesy museums at union station archives

the cargo. Another time a train carrying gold bullion came to Ogden. The bullion was shipped in special cars with U.S. Army written on it and had a little platform on the sides for armed guards to sit on outside. Aside from directly impacting the local economy, the railroad also laid the groundwork for thriving centers of commerce in Ogden during the 1930s-40s, like the American Can Company, the Ogden Union Livestock yards and the sprawling, military installation, Defense Depot Ogden. Rail spurs were built into the depot for shipping supplies and goods.

OGDEN UNION STATION TODAY The Ogden City preserves the Station for future generations and to be a leader in historic preservation, the interpretation of diverse points of view, and community engagement.

The Museums at Union Station is a proud supporter of the Blue Star Families program. For more information, visit


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The ladies, through their words in the daily log book, wrote how proud they were to be serving the boys who had given so much to them. courtesy weber state university / stewart library special collections



gden’s Union Station Red Cross Canteen, which was built on the platform of Union Station was one of the busiest in the nation. From 7:30 a.m. to midnight or later, every day, volunteers would serve up hundreds upon hundreds of cups of coffee, rolls, sandwiches, cookies and the like. The canteen experience for the volunteers was about being able to help soldiers passing through with smiles and friendly service. One soldier, grateful for the service received, sent a postcard to the canteen: "This from the last soldier that was in there Saturday night. Arrived O.K. and everything here was O.K. … I want to say thank you all, and will never forget you all and the coffee and cookies. Very best regards and wishes to all on Red Cross." The Ogden Standard-Examiner wrote many articles about the numerous thank you letters the canteen received over the years. On October 17, 1943, Walter Mann called the Ogden Canteen a bright spot for traveling servicemen because of the thank you letters that had been received. One soldier wrote asking that the workers not lose the recipe for the rolls he was served. One article stated that Ogden was becoming well known around the United States and other countries because of the amazing service and home-cooked meals provided at the canteen. Another mentions of how a British sailor took the time to teach the canteen workers how to make a proper cup of English Tea. This would come in handy as there were many British, Scottish and Irish sailors passing through who preferred tea over coffee. When the war ended and "the boys" started to come home, the canteen began to see even busier days. This was due in part

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IF YOU GO THE MUSEUMS AT UNION STATION 2501 Wall Avenue, Ogden 801-629-8672 / 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday Union Station houses four museums: Utah State Railroad Museum, John M. Browning Firearms Museum, Browning– Kimball Classic Car Museum, and Utah Cowboy Western Heritage Museum and two art galleries: Gallery at the Station and Myra Powell Gallery. In addition, Union Station contains a research library and photographic collection. because many of the service members throughout the country knew the canteen well either from personal experience, or word of mouth. The volunteers took this in stride, rolled up their sleeves and kept working, looking forward to meeting all the troops coming through. Red Cross Canteen volunteers wrote in a daily logbook, which included statistics on food served as well as the general impression of the day. In her final report on the Red Cross canteen, Annie Maude Dee Porter, a member of the prominent Dee family and the driving force behind the Ogden Canteen, reported serving 1,644,798 members of the armed forces in its four years of existence. Supplies purchased included 15,960 pounds of coffee, 527,545 half-pints of milk, 32,334 loaves of bread and 12,680 pounds of meat. —BY LORRIE RANDS, WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


(ABOVE) Museum Curator Chuck Mood ( left ) conducts drill exercises at a youth history camp at Camp Floyd State Park Museum in Fairfield, Utah. History camps for youth are held each summer of what camplife was like for soldiers with the 5th Infantry during the Civil War. photo courtesy camp floyd state park (RIGHT / BOTTOM RIGHT) Vernette Anderson portraying a laundress accompanying the Mormon Battalion. Michael Anderson ( left ) and Jared Cornell, portraying Mormon Battalion soldiers at the Cove Fort Days celebration in Cove Fort, Utah. (BELOW) Volunteer Michelle Tucker portrays an officer's wife at the Stagecoach Inn at Camp Floyd State Park in Fairfield, Utah. photos courtesy loren r . webb


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rying to find how people did things in a certain way or what they wore during a particular period in time, is the challenge of historic re-enactors. Historic re-enactors say they do what they do because they want to preserve, for the public, that part of history they are attempting to portray through living history.


catering to historic re-enactment started with old work clothes and blue jeans and they offered limited types of muskets for sale. Over the years, the selection of products has widened and detailed reproductions from the cloth to the leather works are available. “It can be an expensive hobby,” Mood said. “Depending on how much you want to do, costs can add up.”


For instance, if you are trying to recreate the Civil War, figuring out how people held a weapon a specific way and the steps to loading that weapon is important, according to Chuck Mood, who works as a park ranger/curator at Camp Floyd State Park Museum. The park concentrates on interpreting the Utah War, the Pony Express and the Civil War, all of which play a part in the park’s history.

Michael E. Anderson, a member of the Utah Living History Association, said his organization tries to preserve American military history, specifically the muzzleloader time period which runs from the Revolutionary War to Civil War, about a 90-year period and also includes the War of 1812, Seminole Wars, the Texas Revolution, the Mexican American War, and the Utah War

Mood regularly helps to put on History Camps for youths ages 8 to 11 years old at the park during the summer, as well as help facilitate and interpret the park’s history for visiting school groups throughout the year.

Anderson said from his youth to the present, he has always been interested in history, especially since his father and grandfather both served in the military. From them, he gained an appreciation of family history, Latter-day Saints history and American history.

Mood says he gains a lot of personal satisfaction from doing historic re-enactments and being able to tell the community “something I learned” by portraying a composite of what a Utah Expedition soldier might have said or done. “This is a period of time which always fascinated me and every now and then. You get a glimpse of what it might have been like (back then),” he said. “Sometimes, it involves experimental archaeology — trying to find how people did things certain ways. You figure out how people held guns a certain way and the steps to loading (a weapon). You don’t really get that from books.” The hobby of re-enactment, particularly in the Civil War era, has developed and changed over the years. Mood said companies m ay


It also helped that he had great 5th and 6th-grade teachers, along with a high school teacher who got him interested in personal research. When visiting the LDS Church Museum of History and doing family research, he wondered how people made soap and how they made candles. “One thing led to another and now I portray (historic reenactments) from 1775 to 1865, and that includes the Mormon Battalion, Nauvoo Legion,” Anderson said. Anderson and Jared Cornell created the Utah Living History Association. Cornell is a military historian, gunsmith, historical re-enactor and a firearms expert. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


Anderson said he has spent over 30 years studying original artifacts such as Civil War uniforms and has made every effort to use the same original fabric and original materials of that time period. “If you do historic re-enactment correctly, then you gain a greater understanding of what people of a particular time period went through,” he said. “For me, it’s all about keeping our history alive. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

THE LADIES TAKE A TURN Michael Anderson’s wife, Vernette Anderson, is also involved in historic re-enactments. She first became interested while driving a horse carriage in downtown Salt Lake City in the 1980s. Rather than just being a cowboy sitting on a French carriage in downtown Salt Lake City, Vernette Anderson decided it was all about packaging and showmanship, "so I ended up being dressed as an 18th-century driver, and it paid off." She said people were requesting her carriage rather than other drivers. When she met her future husband, Michael Anderson, she was interested in his involvement in the Mormon Battalion. But she also wanted to know what it was like for a small number of women who accompanied the Mormon Battalion as laundresses, said Vernette Anderson. She participates in a group called the Pioneer Heritage Company that focuses on keeping the civilian skill sets alive in connection with the Mormon Battalion. One of those skill sets is to show what it was like to be a laundress. In that role, Vernette Anderson’s task was to launder and clean the clothes using a wooden washboard. The goal was to see if people of that day could make linen come out white. Vernette Anderson said she has made soap from lye and her personal experience, she said you begin to appreciate the ingredients in a modern bar of soap. Michelle Tucker, who worked at Camp Floyd State Park as part of a college internship program during the 2019-2020 season, is another woman who enjoys historic re-enacting. When she began homeschooling her children after moving to Lehi, she began sewing outfits for homeschooling historic events that she organized. When she visited Camp Floyd State Park, she picked up another idea to sew Civil War outfits in connection with her homeschooling curriculum. While pursuing a Master’s degree in public history, Tucker decided to return to Camp Floyd State Park to learn how to do historic impressions. “To prepare for a role, I research and then I write up what I’m going to say in the first person,” Tucker said. “Then I try to find the accent of the character I’m going to do the impression of.” Jorden Baker of the Friends of Camp Floyd State Park said the Friends group set up canvas tents during Memorial Day and 28

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Labor Day to teach about the Utah War and the Civil War from a civilian's perspective. "Historic preservation is one of the big things we do," Baker said, and dressing up in that time period is beneficial to the public as well as the other volunteers to help them understand the time period. "Many of the portrayals are based on things that we are interested in our modern lives. We can then time travel with them and use them in our historical portrayals and interpretations."

20TH CENTURY CONFLICTS The need to share stories is an innate part of life. Living history is a way to read, research and share stories that have shaped our world, our lives and our personalities. The Utah Military History Group collects artifacts and stories to share with the public, the experiences of service members from World War I through the Vietnam War. Many of the group’s members started collecting because of their own family who served. Their first artifacts and stories came from talking to grandparents and great-grandparents, looking at black-and-white photographs and finding, hung up in back closets or stored in foot-lockers, uniforms and medals. After seeing and touching these tangible reminders of what had been, the questions came easily for members; the answers from the veterans, sometimes not so much. “Research is key to living history,” said Alyse Almond, a group member and high school history teacher. “It fills in the void left by unanswered questions, or the questions that could not be asked.” Living historians who focus on military history have the responsibility to accurately portray those veterans who served. Through research in the National Archives, unit histories, yearbooks, photographs, letters, personal journals and many other items, the group works hard to ensure that the stories being shared are as accurate as possible. “When a family comes up to us at an event and starts to tell their stories about an uncle, a father or grandma who served, a bond is created between the past and present,” Almond said. “Often, some of the family has never heard these stories, and we, as living historians, get to be a tangible piece, a connection to the past.” Most of the living History events the UMHG attend are educational. We wear original or accurate reproduction uniforms to represent a specific person or job at most events. We bring photographs, books, and other accouterments to best represent the stories we are telling. Uniforms, photographs, footlockers and even mess kits help stories to become real for those keeping the past alive for the future. A native of St. George, Loren R. Webb has been a reporter in community journalism and a teacher of history and English in southern Utah and Nevada. Michelle Bridges is project editor for VALOR magazine and fills in where needed. m ay


UTAH LIVING HISTORY ASSOCIATION Interpreters or re-enactors who are dedicated to the preservation of American Military history during the “Muzzleloader Period” of 1775 -1865. In addition to learning by traditional methods, they're dedicated to learning by doing, or actually “living” experiences of our ancestors.

PIONEER HERITAGE COMPANY UTAH Pioneer heritage company is a volunteer group that rein acts what pioneer life was like. We strive for authenticity. We do several events a year. We love and strive to show our passion for some of history.

(TOP) A 10-man flight crew of a B-17 Bomber on the training run at Wendover Airfield during World War II. (ABOVE) Members of the Utah Military History Group "crew up" for a flight crew portrait using the B-17 Bomber "Sentimental Journey"during a fly-in with the Commemorative Air Force Utah Wing. (RIGHT) UMHG members Alyse Almond and Marrin Ricks portray two WASPs, co-pilot and pilot respectively, doing a preflight checklist. (BELOW) UMHG members act as a Navy air crew during the Warriors over the Wastach airshow at Hill Field. photos courtesy utah militaryhistory group

FRIENDS OF CAMP FLOYD CIVILIAN LIVING HISTORY A group of history buffs that support Camp Floyd State Park Museum. Community of local families who want to be informed of activities and programs, learn about the colorful history of Johnston's Army and find more about the history of Fairfield area.

UTAH MILITARY HISTORY GROUP UMHG believes the most effective way to teach history is through all five senses. When one can handle "tangible history," the lessons of the past escape the realm of the textbook and become reality. Our preservation of history is for the benefit of all.

FREEDOM VEHICLES Association promotes patriotism and protects freedom by helping the youth and the public develop a passion for history, education and to honor the active military and veterans who served in the U.S. military. We strive to truly understand freedom. m ay


va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


VIRTUAL CLAIMS & BENEFITS ASSISTANCE NOW AVAILABLE Did you know that Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs offers free claims assistance for Veterans, service members and their families? Our veteran service officers are available to help you navigate federal, state and local veterans’ programs. During this time, we are offering virtual claims assistance using Zoom, a remote conferencing tool. HOW TO SCHEDULE A VIDEO APPOINTMENT If you would like to schedule an appointment with a veteran service officer, please contact us on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. using the contact information below.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Metro Area

Northern Utah: (801) 662-8256 or Salt Lake Metro Area: (385) 2728852 or

Central Utah

Central Utah: (385) 414-0155 or Southern Utah: 435-218-5128 or

Southern Utah

For more information visit

Profile for Utah Media Group

Utah VALOR Magazine - May 2020  


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