“Wyoming’s nineteen prisoner of war camps held several thousand incarcerated Italian and German prisoners during World War II. Historical records, photographs, and personal stories shared by camp residents reveal details about this little-known part of the state’s history. Local agricultural and timber industries utilized POW labor, while positive relationships developed between the civilian area residents and prisoners. Author Cheryl O’Brien recounts the experiences of the prisoners and the intriguing story of how U.S. military personnel, prisoners and residents-in spite of their differences-collaborated to cope with the challenges of life in a POW camp.”
Cheryl O’Brien grew up in the Hudson Valley in New York State and enjoyed a career with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation before relocating to Wyoming in 2002. O’Brien graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BA in social sciences with an emphasis in history and archaeology. Her article “Camp Dubois, Wyoming: A Legacy of Literature” was published in the Annals of Wyoming: Wyoming History Journal in fall 2015. O’Brien lives in Dubois, Wyoming, with her husband, Bill. She often looks up at the mountains from her home where the former Dubois POW camp was located and thinks about the challenges the camp residents faced at the very isolated timber camp. Cheryl has served on the Board of Directors of the National Bighorn Sheep Center and continues to volunteer with our organization.