The city of Lakewood was built all at once between 1950 and 1953 – the same years as the Korean War. That conflict left its mark on the city in one particular street name: Bomberry.
DJ Waldie is public information officer for city of Lakewood and author of "California Romantica." He says, "Bomberry in Lakewood is named after Robbie Bomberry, who was a prisoner of war of the North Koreans."
Waldie says Bomberry's story was headline news at the time. He was a Native American from Oklahoma with just one year of high school. He moved to California and enlisted in the Army. In the first weeks of the Korean War, Bomberry's artillery unit was overrun by North Korean tanks. Eighty percent of his unit was slaughtered. Robbie Bomberry was captured. DJ Waldie says Bomberry was a POW for several months.
"He escaped a massacre of prisoners and eventually made his way to friendly lines and was rescued."
Robbie Bomberry lived another four decades. He died in 1992. Bomberry Street in Lakewood is located not far from All Souls Cemetery.
(Airdate for this story: 11/10/07)