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Terri Hamer

Terri Hamer was born in Tokyo, Japan on January 24, 1932. Just nine years old when World War II began, Terri, her three brothers, and their widowed mother found their lives upturned by the outbreak of war. Terri’s older brothers joined the Japanese military while she and the rest of the family navigated a city that lived in fear of the wailing of sirens that announced an incoming airstrike. After the war, Terri completed her education and went to work as a typist at Fuchu Air Station, a US military base, where she met her husband Charles A. Hamer. Terri and Charles moved to the United States and eventually retired to San Angelo in the early 1990s.

Terri Hamer with her husband, Charles. Terri Hamer with her husband, Charles.

In this interview, Terri gives a vivid, and sometimes surprisingly matter-of-fact, account of her childhood during the war, including the destruction of the family home in an airstrike, the awkwardness of taking refuge in the homes of family and friends, and learning the news of the Japanese surrender during a long train ride from Niigata to Tokyo.