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Bailen, Louis

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Louis Bailen was born 18 October 1921 near Benoit, in northern Wisconsin, one of ten children. His parents both died when he was young; as a result, Louis lived for many years in an orphanage in Superior, Wisconsin. In the late 1930s he spent about eighteen months in CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] Camps in northern Wisconsin. In April 1940, Louis enlisted in the US Navy and was trained as a mechanic. In late 1941 Louis was stationed at Cavite Naval Base at Manila, in the Philippines. Japanese military forces attacked the Philippines on 8 December 1941. Louis was captured on 9 May 1942, with the American garrison of Corregidor. He spent the period until September 1945 as a POW of the Japanese, in the Philippines (at Cabanatuan), on Palawan Island, and later in Japan. Liberated, Louis spent more than six months in stateside military hospitals, recovering from his ordeal as a POW. He was discharged in 1946. Postwar, Louis lived in the Twin Cities area and worked many years as a custodial engineer for St. Paul Public Schools.


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Louis Bailen - Transcript.pdf (796 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Louis Bailen