Paula was born in Lone
Wolf, Oklahoma on March 13, 1926. She married Kermit Lay on August 19, 1946. She retired
from a long career in Federal Civic Service as a GS-9 with her last position as a Traffic
Manager in Logistics at Fort Mason, California. She gave unselfishly of herself in keeping
the ex-POWs memories alive with a newsletter and being a contributing factor in Lou
Redas film production "Japanese War Crimes - Murder Under The Sun."
Paula co-founded with Kermit Lay the "Zentsujian Ex-POW Quarterly
Newsletter" in 1980, named after the infamous prisoner of war camp located in
Zentsuji on the island of Shikoku in Japan. The publication ended due to failing health in
January of 1996.
Originally the letter was sent to POWs interned at Zentsuji and grew into a
large nationwide audience as well as many readers in Europe, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand. The readership began with a handful of survivors and grew into a large mailing
exceeding 400 of which many were prisoners of war in various locations in the Pacific
Campaign. As time passed the Newsletter became a true labor of love for Paula who spent
many hours preparing the eagerly awaited information with her readers who enjoyed the
contact with old friends via the Newsletter. Many readers have informed me that the
Newsletter was the only link to those trying days of WWII and appreciated the effort in
its production. Paula always closed with love from Paula (POW) which meant "Poor Old
The "Zentsujians" conducted Annual Conventions with the 1998 site held in
Reno, Nevada in August of this year. In October of 1992 the Convention was held in
Arlington, Virginia. Paula and I had the honor of being selected to place a wreath at the
tomb of the Unknown Solder at the Arlington National Cemetery, an honor Paula and I
It was at the October 1992 Convention that we had the pleasure of meeting Claude M.
Kicklighter, Lieutenant General USA Retired, who was the Executive Director of the 50th
Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee. This ultimately led to a meeting with
Lou Reda, the renowned TV Producer who has produced a number of historical programs for
the Arts & Entertainment and History Channels.
The "Z" Convention was in Dallas in 1995 at which time Paula spent
considerable time with Mr. Reda in pre-production work in the films production.
"Japanese War Crimes
" is a hard hitting, blunt and truthful history
lesson which without Paulas assistance would not have enjoyed its success or perhaps
not have been filmed. Paulas name is listed in the ending credits, which I am
extremely proud of.
I lost my beloved "POW" on August 2, 1997 and appreciate being able to
share her accomplishments with fellow ex-POWs, friends and all that are reading this