In May of 2002, 6th grade students at Whitman Elementary were hearing, for the first time,
                                                        the story of the heroic fight for Bataan and Corregidor
in the Philippines.

     Their librarian had been conducting extensive research, as part of a Mentoring Program between the Lewiston Police Department and her students. The research was for information on the war years of Camp Fukuoka 17 POW Wayne Petrie, the father of one of the police officers involved in the mentoring program. The result was the discovery of an area of history so neglected that it is almost to the point of being criminal. Adding injury to this obscurity was the neglect of the men of Bataan and Corregidor who fought so bravely, without food, weapons or supplies, to hold off a large portion of the Japanese Imperial Army for almost  5 months. Waiting for "help" that never came.

                              It was through this "unveiling of truths" that I, their librarian knew the accounts of these heroes
                                          and the neglected truth had to be told.
       This web site is a result of that desire. 

       I also hope that this site will continue to give our remaining  veterans a chance to reach out and reconnect with lost friends,
something I have already been blessed to be a part of. I am no longer with the school district and the students, all who volunteered their time, have now graduated, but a few of them still keep in touch, asking about "their veterans." I now work part time managing a branch of a city library and volunteer my research time to help document this abandoned area of history, as well as helping friends and families who seek information on the fate of their loved ones. It has been my great joy to see "some" healing, even peace, come to the descendants when they can receive answers of what happened to their loved one.

Fukuoka 17 Web Masters
Photo 2002

Although several students worked on the research, this is the core of the group, along with their librarian,
who have followed it through and remained dedicated "patriots" from it's beginnings.

To our many new veteran friends and those who did not make it back from the war,
we thank you for what you did to allow us to have this flag we so proudly stand by.

If you would like to contribute, we welcome any stories, information and input our "site guests" can provide.  Contact Us here


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