Artifact of the Month
Souvenir Pillow Sham
Donated by Pam Redfern
In observance of September 2 as V-J Day, our September 2016 Artifact of the Month is a pillow sham sent during World War II from Private First Class (PFC) William C. "Bill" Lewis of Vale (Washington County), to a family friend and neighbor, Mrs. Walter (Ora) Smith.
PFC Lewis trained at Camp Hood, Texas, and served with the 609th Tank Destroyer Battalion in the European theater. Camp Hood, now Fort Hood, was the training center for all tank destroyer forces. The 609th entered action on September 27th, 1944, at Moutiers, France, and remained in the theater through the end of the war. The logo in the center of the sham is the emblem for the United States tank destroyer forces.
Vale was located south of Fayetteville—today the area is within the Fayetteville city limits, south of Baum Stadium near the intersection of Cato Springs Road and Razorback Road. The Vale post office was established August 27, 1901, and remained in operation until 1951. From 1887 until 1911, children in the Vale community attended a rural school named Dowell's Chapel.