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Please note, as our exhibitions change regularly, the boats, objects and pictures featured in this section may not now be on display in the museum. Please contact us on 01326 313388 for further information.

Joan and Ray Hietpas

Joan and Ray Hietpas

Ray Hietpas, an American GI posted to Falmouth in WW2, met and married Redruth girl, Joan Hosking. During the war Joan worked at Holman’s munitions factory and one day was involved in an unfortunate accident that ended up with her having her eyebrows blown off.

That evening, Joan attended a local dance and, despite her unusual looks, she met and fell in love with Ray. The couple remained true to each other and, in 1945 the couple married. They moved together to Ray’s home town of Little Chute, Wisconsin, where Joan embraced life as an American citizen. She did not forget her family in Cornwall, however, and she wrote home every week for the thirty years that she lived in America. Ray and Joan had no children of their own, and would send glamorous toys back to Cornwall to their nieces and nephews.

After thirty years, first in Little Chute, and then in California, Joan decided that she wanted to return to Cornwall. Ray agreed, and the couple moved back across the Atlantic to live for another thirty years in Penzance.

Please note, as our exhibitions change regularly, the boats, objects and pictures featured in this section may not now be on display in the museum. Please contact us on 01326 313388 for further information.