Saucedo, Connie

About | Abstract

About

A civilian employee of WWII-era prisoner of war camp in Lordsburg.

Interviewee Connie Saucedo, female, born in -0001
Date Range 1942-1945
Date & Location August 7, 2001, Saucedo Residence, Lordsburg, N.M.
Project Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture
Region Southwest New Mexico
Number of Tapes 1
Transcribed January 7, 2002
Download Abstract

Abstract

Tape 1, Side A

The consultant learned that an internment camp was to be located in Lordsburg from the local newspaper. It was a fearful time, not knowing what to expect from the prisoners of war, as well as not knowing if the young Lordsburg men leaving to serve in the war "would ever come back."

After attending business college, she took a job with M. M. Sundt and White Construction Company. The company had the contract to build the internment camp. After the camp was completed, Saucedo took a secretarial position at the camp. She worked there until the camp closed. She was a civil service employee.

The consultant had contact with the POWs, but was not frightened of them, as army personnel guarded them. She could communicate in Spanish with some of the Italian POWs. She discusses an Italian POW, an accomplished artist.

Saucedo remarks that the Japanese Americans, who were initially interned at Camp Lordsburg, established a very productive vegetable garden.

She describes activities at the recreational hall where the civilian workers spent part of their lunch hour. They could play Ping-Pong, shuffleboard, or card games with the US Army personnel.

The consultant was not aware of any escapes with the exception of the Japanese American man who was shot and killed near Camp Lordsburg.

Saucedo doesn't remember much changing at the camp when German POWs replaced the Italian POWs except they were a little "harder to understand...language-wise."

She describes town dances in Lordsburg attended by the American G.I.s. She did not keep in contact with the Italian POWs (of whom she has photographs taken at the camp) after the war's end. She discusses where she was and what she felt on V-J Day in August 1945.

Saucedo states that her job was interesting because she worked for many of the "top brass" at the camp. She heard "confidential" information, and realized the importance of not divulging any of it. Colonels Lee, Lundy, and Churchill are mentioned.