Memoirs of a P.O.W.  LbNA # 16875

Placed DateJul 27 2005
LocationPortland, OR
Found By twinkle
Last Found Sep 22 2012
Hike Distance?

A big thank-you to CLoveR for replacing the outer box in 2010 for me. Maintenance done in 10/2011, all is well.

ACCESSIBILITY: The columbarium is accessible to wheelchair and stroller, would need assistance with actual box retrieval.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From I-205 take the Foster Road exit 17 and follow the signs to Willamette National Cemetery. You will be going east on Foster and turning right on 110th Drive; after a long uphill stretch, turn left into the cemetery across from Mt. Scott Blvd.
NOTE: Memorial Day and Veterans Day are not be good times to visit this box, you would not be able to retrieve it unseen.

This box was placed in memory of my late father, David Crawford Conner, Jr. He was an Army Air Corps 1st Lieutenant who, while piloting a B-17 during World War II, was taken prisoner of war and later wrote a book about his experiences called Memoirs and Musings of a P.O.W. Escapee. You can find this book at the Multnomah County, Beaverton, and Tigard libraries here in Oregon. Although what I have is not a final copy and has spelling errors in it, I do have the basic story in electronic format, and I can share the book with you in computer document form if you are truly interested in reading it and don’t want to visit one of the libraries mentioned to check the book itself out. He had a good sense of humor and a way with words that makes the book easy and interesting reading. He died in May of 1999, and his ashes rest in Columbarium II. I have placed the box near where he rests and hope that when you visit you will give a small salute to this man I loved and respected. The cemetery is a peaceful place to go and pay homage to those who fought for the freedom we all enjoy today.

CLUES: You may need a map of the cemetery, which you can get at the main office, but if you prefer to follow clues without one, skip the map. Find the flagpole that has a prominent place in the center of grounds. Take the drive that is named the same as what we sometimes call a podium, and follow it between sections T and G. Keeping G section on your right, follow “podium” drive to the intersection of “podium” and a drive that forms a horseshoe shape (not the drive where you would go shopping). Go through that intersection and stay on “podium” until you come to the intersection of “podium,” Memorial Drive, and a drive named after one of the most famous mountains in the State of Oregon. If you go left you can visit the Korean Veterans Memorial. If you don’t want to take time to do that, go right until you see a loop named after another of Oregon’s mountains, one that is also named after a former president; don’t take that loop, but keep going straight. You will soon find yourself at Columbarium II and can park off the road there. Enter the columbarium area on a gravel walkway (reportedly now paved) through the first break in the walls you see – there are two. Turn to your left and watch for 110. Keep walking. Watch for 230 and keep walking. You will soon pass 280 – see if you can find my dad’s name. At the end of the gravel (paved?) walkway make a 90° turn to your right and walk six steps through the grass. You will see baby bear, mama bear, and papa bear – behind mama bear is the box under a piece of broken cement. Please wait to retrieve the box until no people are around if you can. I find the inscriptions on these walls very thought provoking and have spent long periods of time just walking up and down the rows reading them and thinking about the people who rest there.

This box has been found sitting out in the open by more than one person – please rehide it completely hidden from view.