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Peter Wygle

Pete Wygle

Santo Tomas Internment Camp.

Photograph of Pete at age 14, his parents, and his sister taken on top of the central tower of the Administration Building, Santo Tomas University in February, 1945

Peter R. Wygle was born in 1930 at the Phelps Dodge copper mine in Nacozari, Sonora Mexico. He grew up in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada and San Francisco, California. Moved to the Philippine Islands in 1940 to join his father who was a mining engineer at the Balatoc Mines in Baguio when the war started. Was evacuated with his mother and sister to Manila in late December, 1941, and captured by the Japanese when they occupied the city in January, 1942. Was placed in Santo Tomas Internment Camp, where his father had already been interned after walking from Baguio to Manila behind the Japanese lines to find his family.

Remained interned from January 1942, to February 1945. Repatriated to the U.S. in April 1945. Graduated from high school in Santa Maria, California, in 1949. Served on active duty in the Army from September, 1950, to May 1952, with the 40th Division, California National Guard and the 34th RCT, 24th Division during the Korean War. Joined the Army Reserve as a corporal in 1954 and remained in the Active Reserve for a total service of 38 years, retiring as a Colonel commanding a 750-bed hospital.

Graduated with a B.A. in earth sciences with emphasis in petroleum geology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956 and worked in the California oil industry in several capacities, most recently as a field engineer for the state regulatory agency, until retirement in 1996.

Joined AXPOW in 1993 and was appointed Chairman of the Civilian Internee Committee in 1995.

Mr. Wygle passed away in September 2003.

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