Porky joined the Army Air Corps in October 1940 with six high school buddies out for a good time, adventure, and an escape from their Depression-era hometowns. Determined to go to Hawaii and the Philippines, they live a life straight out of their fantasies - until December 7, 1941 changed their lives forever when Japan attacked Hawaii and soon afterwards U.S. outposts in the Philippines.
Like a grown-up Tom Sawyer thrust into the brutal machinations of a world at war, Porky survives adventure after adventure often with a trusted companion by his side. Porky perseveres through the Battle of Bataan and the Death March - where thousands die - as well as in the malaria and dysentery infested POW Camps O'Donnell and Cabanatuan.
|Porky (standing left) and his home-town friends. |
Philip "Pinky" Dower (left front)
Along with suffering at the hands of enemy forces, to his surprise Porky is helped on occasion by an unlikely source - the enemy. Later, in a dramatic twist of fate, while working at the copper mines in Ashio, Japan, Porky saves the life of the 4-year old son and only child of one of the village guards which earns him the respect of friend and foe alike.
|Porky (left) and friends during a stop off in Hawaii (pre-war)|
G. Thomson Fraser holds degrees in theater/playwriting and communications. She is a former editor of a weekly news magazine, an investigative journalist, exhibits developer, environmental writer and former aide to a state senator. She has served both as college staff and faculty.
|Philip "Pinky" Dower and Franklin "Porky" LaCoste |
at a Drama Circle reading of "In the Claw of the Tiger" in 1999.