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William Joe Hudson WWII Beaded Tapestry Project www.thankfulgenerations.com

Meet Mr. William Joe Hudson, Parker County citizen, WWII veteran and prisoner-of-war survivor.

I offered to create two tapestries for a “Courage” exhibit for the Doss Heritage and Cultural Center in Parker County, Texas. The first tapestry is of a Parker County resident, William Hudson. I had the opportunity to meet him in March 2017. He shared his story with me, and I shared my completed tapestry with him. Born in Parker County in 1919, Mr. Hudson was drafted into the Army at the age of 21, fought in WWII in Italy, was ultimately injured and captured and was a prisoner of war for 19 months in Germany.

Initially signed up for a one-year hitch, and he was first stationed at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, Texas. His service was extended as of December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. From Texas to Florida to North Carolina to Massachusetts to New Jersey, he finally deployed to Africa. A few days after setting up camp on the edge of the Sahara Desert, troop ships carried them across the Mediterranean Sea for an invasion on Salerno, Italy.

Every tapestry starts with a vintage photograph like this ...

“We made the invasion before dawn on September 9th, 1943. The landing crafts carried us right to the shore, and I didn’t even get my boots wet getting there. Upon landing we moved inland a ways – shortly after dawn everything broke lose. The German’s began to shell us and it sounded as if the shells were whistling just over our heads. I really didn’t know what was going on because everyone just scattered in all different directions. It was a strange feeling having someone shooting at you and bombs going off all around.” – William Hudson on Invading Italy

A June 14, 2017 article in the Weatherford Star Telegram summarized his experiences:

“I was in the 142nd Infantry – Company M,” Hudson said. “We were sure mobile.”

But Hudson’s mobility was short lived when he and his unit were on patrol on a mountain side in Salerno, Italy. Orders came from his captain to “fall back” due to increased German activity.

“Everybody started running. As I headed down the mountain I stepped on something,” Hudson said. “I could hear my leg snap, it was broken.”

He said he’d never forget what happened next when an American medic came by and gave him a shot of what he thought was morphine.

“He said the German’s will take care of you now,” Hudson recalled. In no time German soldiers picked up Hudson and took him to a prisoner of war camp where he’d remain for the next 19 months.

“We all suffered through it,” Hudson said. “I was in six different camps in Germany; the most difficult part was just being there

And now for more on the beading process. Once I have the photograph selected, I create a bead pattern ...

Of course selecting the beads to match the pattern is a critical step ... one mismatch in colors can mean a whole lot of rework ...

Who doesn't like shopping for beads?

This is what happened when I made one wrong color choice ... beads go on the loom nice and neat, but if I have to remove them I end up with a big pile of mixed beads ... Good grief!

Not to worry ... no beads were wasted in the creation of this tapestry!
Each tapestry is built from the bottom up, so as I work, I slowly watch each person emerge

Only a little over half done at this point!

Finishing a tapestry once it comes off the loom is a process as well ...

This can be a tedious task ... because the space inside the beads is so small, not all of the warp threads can be woven back in, so I have to create tiny macrame braids to finish the piece. I guess that's why they call these things a labor of love ...
DONE!
Created By
Maureen Kenney
Appreciate

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