What challenges and sacrifices did the residents of Coronado face during World War II? How did the war years change the community? These and many other questions will be answered in a most engaging way when "Coronado on the Frontline: 1942-1945" opens at the Coronado Museum of History & Art on Friday, March 9.
Visitors will get a glimpse through a "window in time" to see how the town responded to the war effort after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Little-known details about the courage and pluck of Coronado residents, and their considerable contributions to the war effort are brought to light.
Displays comprised of photographs, documents, letters and postcards from the Museum's archive will be on view, as well as personal artifacts, including clothing, loaned by local residents. In one photograph, President Franklin Roosevelt can be seen visiting with his two sons who were stationed in Coronado. The President and First Lady were welcomed here on more than one occasion. One surprising detail revealed in the exhibit is that there was briefly a German P.O.W. camp located on the Naval Amphibious Base.
Vintage living room furniture sets the scene. People are able to pick up an old telephone and listen to audio clips of Coronado residents talking about growing up here during the war. Or browse through a scrapbook on the coffee table made up of letters, photos and newspaper clippings about Coronado High graduate Herbert C. Jones, 23, who died a hero on the USS California during the Pearl Harbor attack. Ens. Jones was posthumously awarded a national Medal of Honor 70 years ago this month. His medal has a special place in the exhibit, courtesy of his sister, Coronado resident Lyn Shinn.
One particularly poignant display features objects owned by Japanese Americans living here in 1942, but forcibly removed in April of that year to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona, for the duration of the war. Video clips of interviews with Allan Koba, Motoo Tsyneyoski and Akira Takeshita, now senior citizens, who as children were interned with their families, bring another dimension to the Frontline exhibit with the help of an interactive kiosk. Seeing and hearing these real people talk about their experiences growing up in Coronado, and later in the camp, personalizes their moving history. Objects and the kiosk in this section of the exhibit are on loan from the collection of the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.
"Coronado on the Frontline: 1942-1945" opens on Friday, March 9, and will remain on display through October 2012.
The Museum is located at 1100 Orange Avenue.
For further info, log onto www.coronadohistory.org, or call 619-435-7242.