World War II in the Pacific
August 27 @ 9:00 am - August 28 @ 5:00 pm
This living history event brings to life the experiences of fighting in the Pacific Theater and the home front during World War II. Guests will have the opportunity to learn from living historians portraying soldiers who fought in the Pacific Theater and about a number of different aspects of a soldier’s life to include weapons, signals and communications. Impressions will range from U.S. Army and Marines to those of British and Russian allies. Civilian living historians will portray goings on at the home front and USO activities stateside. Demonstrations will include weapons and a 1940’s military uniform and civilian fashion show. A special display of vintage pre-war cars will take visitors back to this pivotal time in America when the transition from peacetime to war took place.
Partner museums to include the MacArthur Memorial, U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum, U.S. Army Ordnance TSF, U.S. Army Women’s Museum and the Virginia War Memorial will have displays and more for visitors to see and experience. Presentations by authors and historians will be made on the following subjects: U.S. 11th Airborne Division and the Los Banos Raid by Jeremy C. Holm, Japanese Armor by Eury Cantillo, “Freedom and Food:” Civilian Experiences in the Philippine Internment Camps of WWII presentation by Jennifer Cottle and Propaganda Poster Art by Colin Romanick.
Jeremy C. Holm is a renowned expert on and historian for the 11th Airborne Division and is the author of the much-acclaimed book WHEN ANGELS FALL: FROM TOCCOA TO TOKYO, THE 511TH PARACHUTE INFANTRY REGIMENT IN WORLD WAR II. Jeremy is an experienced speaker and lecturer who has traveled around the world to inspire, educate and entertain audiences from Fortune 500 companies to small community gatherings. Jeremy also curates the 511th PIR’s online historical museum, www.511pir.com, and is laboring to build a similar online education center for the 11th Airborne Division at www.11thairborne.com. Jeremy is also excited to announce that he is currently working to produce a two-part series that will cover the full history of the 11th Airborne Division in World War II.
Eury Cantillo began a museum career shortly after college graduation, first working as a historic interpreter at Plimoth Plantation, later sailing a replica of one of Columbus’ ships through the Panama Canal, and then working as the Outreach Coordinator at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA. At the height of the war in Iraq, he decided to enlist in the US Army. Cantillo served as an Artillery Officer in the 3rd Infantry Division, which included a 15 month deployment to the city of Ramadi in Western Iraq. In addition he lead a variety of supply convoys through the desert, and finally ended the deployment as a Battery Fire Direction Officer involved in the field testing of the Excalibur GPS guided artillery round. He then used the GI Bill to earn a Master’s degree in education, and began working for the National Park Service at the Lexington and Concord battlefield, the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC. He then worked as the Director of Education for the Navy’s Submarine Force museum, moved to CMH as the Curator at the Army’s Aviation museum before becoming the Curator of the Army’s Ordnance Training Support Facility, the first operational TSF in the system.
Jennifer Cottle is a Museum Attendant and Museum Specialist working with the MacArthur Memorial and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation. Since becoming a staff member she has worked with material in the museum collections to help share the stories of the thousands of Allied civilians interned in the Philippines during WWII with the public through virtual outreach and education programs. Jennifer graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Anthropology in 2014 and worked in the field of archaeology for several years before joining the staff at the MacArthur Memorial. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in Public History and plans to incorporate the food history of the WWII internment camps into her capstone project.
Colin Romanick is the current Director of Marketing & Development for Pamplin Historical Park and has worked in the museum field for over 20 years in the areas of education, finance and marketing. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration. Romanick worked for the City of Newport News, Historic Services Division for 13 years. During that time he conducted educational programs, tours and assisted in the acquisition of artifacts for the Virginia War Museum. Romanick is a published author and contributing writer of numerous historical articles for various periodicals. Prior to joining Pamplin Historical Park, he has worked as an educator for the US Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee and conducted tours at historic Endview Plantation and Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, VA.
Viewings of the Virginia War Memorials’, Virginians at War: Pearl Harbor which combines original footage with first-hand accounts to tell stories from the “day that will live in infamy” will be shown over the weekend in the park’s Education Center.
Children will enjoy craft activities to include World War II coloring books and making a take home project of the Roosevelt’s Scottie Dog “Fala.”
World War II, which was fought between 1939 and 1945, cost an estimated 85 million casualties both military and civilian worldwide. The United States military casualties amounted to 416,800. While many were thankful for the surrender in Europe on May 8, 1945 the war in the Pacific raged on and was far from over. The battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the first half of the year gave a glimpse of the carnage awaiting invasion forces set to strike the Japanese home islands. A planned Allied invasion on the island of Kyushu was set for November 1st. There 500,000 Japanese troops were in position and another 6 million were under arms or able to be called into service. This invasion did not come to pass. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Imperial Japan to accept an unconditional surrender. The terms were accepted on August 14, 1945 and a formal document signing ceremony took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd.
All event activities and programs are included with regular daily paid admission and separately, beverages and food may be purchased from vendor Deacon Daddy’s on Saturday, August 27th.