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Col. Jesse Traywick: “I could listen as long as you could talk…”

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In late February 1946, Colonel Jesse Thomas Traywick, Sr. visited his niece Jean’s class at the Goode Street School, an elementary school in Montgomery, Alabama. Hardly half a year had passed since Traywick had been released from over three years of imprisonment by the Japanese. Some of the children wrote Traywick thank-you letters, including his niece Jean, whose letter (pictured in the center below) stated “I appreciate you coming here very much. One little girl said I was lucky to have an uncle like you.”

Traywick had served in the Philippines as Gen. Jonathan Wainwright’s G-3, or Assistant Chief of Staff and was entrusted to deliver a handwritten letter of surrender to Maj. Gen. William Sharp. Although Wainwright had agreed to surrender, General Homma wanted assurance that the forces under Maj. Gen. William Sharp would also put down their arms. Traywick was held as a prisoner of war  by the Japanese from the fall of Corregidor on 6 May 1942, until the end of hostilities in August 1945.

Gift of Jesse T. Traywick III, 2005.169

Post by Curator Kimberly Guise

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