World War II

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Living witnesses to the forced relocation of West Coast Japanese-Americans during World War Two are growing fewer every year. Many who were incarcerated are in their 80s and 90s now. Their descendants -- and historians -- want to preserve the memory and lessons from the unjust internment. Some take an annual pilgrimage to the Minidoka internment camp in southern Idaho to find out more.

Rex Ziak

Some aging veterans of World War Two are embarking on one more mission related to that long ago war. In some cases, wives or children are taking on the mission if the vet has passed away. The object is to return Japanese flags taken as war souvenirs from Pacific battlefields.

Catch-22 is widely considered a great novel; until now, it has been a disaster as a play. Though Joseph Heller adapted his work for the stage decades ago, every production had been a failure. Now, however, a new production of his play seems to have broken the curse: It is touring the UK and receiving strong reviews.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of western Europe. And this year’s D-Day will be especially meaningful for World War II veterans in Oregon. The state's long-awaited World War II Memorial will open on that day. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one veteran of the conflict who plans to attend the dedication ceremony.

In the world of fiction, World War II is well-trod territory. Author Anthony Doerr will freely admit that.

"There are so many books written about the war, supposedly if you drop them on Germany it would cover the whole country," he jokes. He even says that he worried about that as he was writing his new novel, All The Light We Cannot See.

More than 400,000 Americans died in World War II, but thousands of them were never found. Some died in a prison camp, and others were lost behind enemy lines — and some were on planes that were lost in the vast Pacific ocean.

On Sept. 1, 1944, a massive B-24 bomber carrying a crew of 11 people went down in the South Pacific. Its wreckage remained undiscovered, and the fate of its airmen unknown for decades. Then an American scientist, Dr. Pat Scannon, became obsessed with the mystery of these missing GIs.

City of Richland workers recently rediscovered many documents from the Manhattan Project era. They are finding old records from when the southeastern Washington city was a high-security government town that sprung up to build the Atomic Bomb.

The City of Richland recently hired a public records consultant. It needed help sorting out just what to keep, what to throw out and how to organize it all.


A collector of World War II memorabilia has succeeded in a daunting quest thanks to help from the Japanese government. The veteran from Clarkston, Washington has found the right person to receive a Japanese war flag taken in battle nearly 70 years ago.


Years ago, memorabilia collector George Koller bought an inscribed "good luck flag." It originally belonged to a Japanese fighter pilot killed in combat. Last year, Koller asked the Japanese consulate in Seattle for help to give the flag back.


PORTLAND - During World War II, a popular song called "Rosie the Riveter" turned female assembly workers into icons. Women filled in at places like the Boeing airplane factory in Seattle and the Kaiser shipyards in Portland while the men went off to war.


But one famous guitar company allegedly tried to hide the fact that it was using female replacements to keep making its musical instruments. Now, seven decades later, a Portland guitarist is helping to tell that story.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Wednesday will mark the 67th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to end World War Two. With each passing anniversary, there are fewer and fewer living witnesses to the event. Correspondent Tom Banse reports time is also running low for an aging U.S. Marine veteran who wants to return a captured Japanese war flag.

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