Archive for August, 2015

August Announcement for the Utah Westerners

      “The Salina Utah Massacre”

Mike Rose

 During World War II Utah was home to approximately 15,000 German and Italian prisoners of war distributed across the state of Utah in camps.  Camp Salina was one of ten, small, temporary branch camps occupied by approximately 250 German soldiers from 1944 to 1945.  Most camps were built in isolated areas, but the Salina camp was located within the small town’s borders.  To compensate for the many American soldiers who were serving in the military the Germans had been placed in the town to help with the harvest.  On the night of July 7, 1945 (two months after the war ended in Europe), Private Clarence V. Bertucci, open fired on the camp killing nine German prisoners of war and wounded twenty others.  The event is remembered for being “the worst massacre at a POW camp in U.S. history,” and Bertucci’s eventual conviction made him one of only three American soldiers prosecuted for killing German prisoners.  Rose will detail the events leading up to the tragic evening as well as the aftermath of the incident–including the fate of Private Bertucci.  He will discuss life in the Salina camp, and the POW’s relationship with the Salina residents.  He will also discuss what happened to some of the German survivors after they left the camp.

Mike Rose

Rose was born on the Island of Oahu, in the late1930s.  On December 7, 1941 he was playing in the front yard of his family’s home when a squadron of Japanese planes flew overhead on their way to Pearl Harbor.  Ten weeks later, Rose along with his mother and younger brother were evacuated to the United States on a British troop ship and six months later his father joined them.  He grew up in California and after retiring from his career as a graphic designer moved to Utah eleven years ago.  He researches and writes history as well as works part-time for the Jordan School District teaching and lecturing on history.

He posts a monthly historical story for a network of 200+ history enthusiasts on three continents.  He was written four books including Salina Utah Massacre.  He and his wife Lucy have been married for fifty-five years and have one daughter and three sons




August 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

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