Thanks to a grant from 4Culture, we are halfway through conducting our most recent oral history project, “War on the Homefront.” For this project, we are interviewing former West Seattle High School students who were in school during WWII –primarily focused on the classes of 1944 and 1945. We have completed eight interviews this year, halfway to our target of sixteen. Here are a few things we have learned so far:
- Roxhill bog was accidentally set on fire by servicemen on leave and the fire broke out again for many years after
- There were 400 Italian POWs held in West Seattle, and their official translator was a 17-year-old WSHS alumna
- While many churches had programs to match families to host soldiers for dinner, the Fauntleroy church prioritized African American soldiers
- Classes previously only for boys were open to girls, such as drafting and electrical work. One girl that took the drafting class went on to become a world-famous architect
- A young man that worked at Admiral Theater after school dedicated his career to movie theaters and eventually ran theaters across Washington State
These are only a few snapshots of the rich history we are gathering to preserve and share with our community. We look forward to seeing what treasures the next eight interviews contain!
If you or someone you know attended West Seattle High School during the war, we would love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 206-350-0999.
Want to help us keep doing programs like these? You can support us by making a donation, becoming a member, or volunteering! Visit https://www.loghousemuseum.org/get-involved/ to learn more.