Historic Hood River
“Welcome General Wainwright”
This image from November 15, 1945, has quite a story to tell. WWII had just ended. The stage next to the county courthouse at the Butler Bank Building is now called the “Victory Center.” The man speaking is General Jonathan Wainwright.
General Wainwright’s story is fascinating. He had the misfortune of commanding American troops in the Philippines at the outbreak of war in 1941. He was forced to surrender, and suffered extreme hardship until his release in August 1945, shortly before this visit to Hood River. Read this account to appreciate his story. It’s hard to believe he was on the circuit raising money for war bonds just three months after being released from prison camp. You can see he has barely started to add weight to his gaunt frame
The caption mentions General Wainwright is standing beneath the “Service Men’s plaque.” This plaque was the source of Hood River’s national shame in 1944 when the local American Legion chapter removed the names of local soldiers of Japanese descent who were fighting in Europe. Veteran’s groups and newspaper editorial pages across the country attacked this decision, which was eventually reversed. We talked about this episode of local history and Arline Moore and Sherman Burgoyne’s role in this image.
Tags: 1940s, bond drive, Butler Bank Building, courthouse, Oak Street, Wainwright, WWII
Definitely a historical time for the Hood River area and definitely historical since many of the main players are now history.
Reading Wikipedia of all his accomplishments, he was a humble and dedicated man in service to country but also to protect his soldiers to the end. An American
hero who personifies all that is good about our great Americans.