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Sam Matsui was a member of the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. This photo was taken right after World War II when the Corps was sent to Japan with the Army occupation forces.

Music Sparks Memories

The Pacific Northwest found itself in a unique position during WWII. With its aviation and maritime industries and geographic proximity to the Pacific and Japan, the Puget Sound region quickly became a nexus of wartime activity.

Radio was the lifeline to the rest of the country and the world. The music that came out of that radio - heard again and again in factories and on the street, played at dances and concerts, sung at parties and rallies - became an integral part of the war effort. Music was the greatest morale builder of both the troops overseas and Americans back home. It tied the nation together, and in turn, was woven into the very fabric of American culture.

KUOW's Amanda Wilde interviewed Puget Sound residents to capture these musical memories of World War II on the homefront.

Funding for Music Sparks Memories was provided by the KUOW Program Venture Fund. Contributors include Paul and Laurie Ahern and Puget Sound Energy.

Listen to the entire story (MP3), broadcast on Morning Edition, August 2nd, 2005.

Web Extras

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All black and white photos and their captions (with the exception of Sam Matsui photo) taken from The War Years: A Chronicle of Washington State in WW II.

Special thanks to Doug Paterson for audio restoration.