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Montoya, Lauro Raymond Fresquez

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Memories of Lauro Montoya Jr. and Lauro Montoya Sr. of prisoners of war in Tularosa, N.M., during World War II.

Interviewee Lauro Raymond Fresquez Montoya, male, born in 1942
Date Range 1918-1945
Date & Location June 12, 2000, Tularosa, N.M.
Project Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture
Region Southeast New Mexico
Number of Tapes 1
Transcribed June 30, 2000
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Tape 1, Side A

Lauro Junior's memories of prisoners in Tularosa. His father went into the service in 1943. His mother would prepare food for prisoners when they were working in their area. The prisoners cleaned the ditches and planted cottonwood trees.

His cousin, Chalo Duran, was killed in Sicily. His father was in the Philippines and Japan and a neighbor, Tacho Baca, was in Italy.

No one seemed to mind the prisoners being in town. The camp was near Weed/Mayhill area, north and east of Tularosa.

The two boys, Lauro and older brother, would take the food to a bridge near their home, then run back home and mother would lock the door. When the prisoners had a break they would go and eat the food on the bridge.

Lauro does not remember any negative feelings or comments about the prisoners.

Lauro Junior's grandfather was in the First World War and the family has some photographs and artifacts of that. Lauro Senior spoke about being in the service. Lauro Senior also spoke about working for Gerald Champion and taking lumber, cement and different materials to a CCC Camp near Cloudcroft where the German prisoners were housed. Only one driver could go in the truck and the prisoners would unload it. They were good workers, he said. He could have no conversation with the prisoners but thought they looked healthy and taken care of.