In Spokane during World War Two, the Gold Star Mothers met for a monthly luncheon at the Crescent. Mothers whose children died in the war received gold star pins, and sometimes banners, in honor of their sons who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Many of these women joined the Gold Star Mothers group to have a community of people to help them through the trauma of losing a child.
These pins and banners not only honored the sacrifice of these families, but they were also important for keeping up public morale. By the end of 1943 6000 men were killed and wounded each month, and the Baxter Hospital in Spokane had 3000 wounded soldiers as patients. The Spokesman-Review featured articles about the Gold Star Mothers regularly.
One mother given a gold star pin was Gertrude Evers. Her son Wilmer Evers entered military service on May 7th, 1942 as a private in the 440th Ordnance Company, 19th Bombardment Group, V Bomber Command. He was stationed in the Philippines, just before the Japanese conquered the islands. Evers was captured and kept in the Japanese Prisoner of War Camp #2 Davao in Mindanao. In February 1944 he died of internal hemorrhage and malaria just ten days before his 24th birthday.
Spokane lost nearly 400 servicemen in the war.