Date of Interview
Gerald Wakefield was born 28 March 1920, on a farm by Forest City, Minnesota. One of three boys, he attended country school through eighth grade, and then graduated from Litchfield High School in 1940. In August 1940, Gerald volunteered for the US Army, and was assigned to the Coast Artillery. In December 1941 he was serving with the 59th Coast Artillery in the Philippine Islands, on the island of Corregidor, when the United States became involved in the Pacific War. Gerald was among the thousands of US troops that surrendered to the Japanese on Corregidor in May 1942. He spent the remainder of the war, until August 1945, as a POW of the Japanese. US forces evacuated POWs from Japan at war's end. Gerald then spent several months recovering from his years as a POW, and was not discharged from the Army until April 1946. Again a civilian, Gerald returned to Litchfield, Minnesota, got married in 1947 (wife Donna), and was largely self-employed.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Gerald Wakefield" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 80.