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Family Matters: Relatives at War

The Vila Family

During World War II, many families sent multiple sons off to serve—but the Curry family’s military legacy stands out even within this context of wartime sacrifice. Six Curry brothers—Wayne, Keith, Arl, Kent, Thad, and Carroll— served during World War II. Kent was the first to enlist. After joining the Navy, he spent the war aboard the USS Grayson in the Pacific Theater. Arl and Carroll also wore Navy blue, though they were stationed stateside. Soldiers Wayne, Keith, and Thad fought in the European Theater, while a seventh son, Robb, served during the Korean War. All wrote letters home to their sister, Ruth, the oldest sibling in the family. Ruth served as the hub for family correspondence, sending letters to each of her brothers and then circulating their responses to the rest. Fortunately, all seven brothers survived their time in the military. Arl was the only one of the family to be injured; a Navy pilot, he was wounded during a carrier landing at Great Lakes Naval Base.

Image of Denio Vila

"We never knew where we were going, where we were gonna be."(Video interview, 12:28)

Denio Vila's story

Image of Hector Vila

"My heart dropped to the floor."(Video interview, 11:10)

Hector Vila's story

Image of Joe Vila

"Everybody thinks they can win war but it’s not true. Both sides lose." (Video interview, 27:16)

Joe Vila's story

Image of Robert Vila

"I was happy to be home after four years." (Video interview, 11:48)

Robert Vila's story

Image of Willie Vila

"He said, ‘Where he goes, I go.’" (Video interview, 6:15)

Willie Vila's story