Letters to our boys

(Editor’s Note: This is another installment of The Express’ “Letter to Our Boys,” written during World War II to let “our boys” know what was happening back in their home towns. The Express will bring the letters to you occasionally, thanks to the efforts of Fred and Anna Snyder, who compiled the letters over several years of research and donated a full copy of them to the Clinton County Historical Society.)

Saturday, June 9, 1945

Dear …

Lt. Joe Hamilton writes from Assam, India, and sends a CBI Threatre patch for Col. O’Corn’s collection.

It was Joe and Charley Shultz who got the collection going. “I’m dickering for the Lido Road Engineers patch which is quite rare, says Joe.

“Since my platoon received this new assignment I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Jug (F/O Lawrence) Strump who is living only a few tents away from me. He is going to China soon. Also met Lt. Col. Jim Costella — the first time since he reported for duty in 1941. It’s sure good to see old faces.

“Jug was in the hospital at the same time Jim was there for minor illness and Jug noticed Jim’s wife’s picture. He then saw Jim and recognized him.

“Also am with my old commanding officer, Capt. Schmitz, of Spooner, Wis., whom I served under for a year in the States.”

Jim Caprio, who served with the Marines in the Pacific for many months, is the first returning veteran to go into business. Jim bought from John Marshall the building in which the men’s clothing store was formerly located and opened a two-story barber-beauty shop employing two women in addition to himself. Marshall moved to the storeroom west of the Rinella fruit market.

Jim, who served a hitch with the coast artillery in the Pacific shortly after World War I, has redecorated his joint from top to bottom.

Cpl. Carl R. Hamberger is with a marine aviation group on Okinawa, having been there since a few days after the invasion started.

A Jap weapon turned up in his area and a fellow from Lock Haven by the name of Ted Smith had his name carved on it, Carl writes.

He adds: “There is a fellow in my squadron who used to work at Piper’s. We have had quite a few talks about good old LH. Still haven’t found any place to compare with it.”

Thanks to G. R. Schroat, SC2/c, for a Third Marine Division shoulder patch. “Each point (on the patch) means a beachhead. Our outfit has a patch also but we have been out here all the time and I don’t have one as yet. We hold the Navy Commendation Ribbon for service with these Marines too.” Schroat offered to try to get me a 20th Air Force patch. A couple of days later one came from Capt. Clifford Weaver, now in the CBI theater. The 20th is the B-29 boys.


Cpl. Herbert Schreiner, with Marines on Okinawa, recovering. S1/c Richard Swope, 19, in the Pacific; now at a San Diego, Cal., hospital.


S/Sgt. Eddie Stimpson, taken in June, 1943. S/Sgt. Clair Young, prisoner for eight months.


Robert Stehman, 21-day leave, after year in the South Pacific. Sgt. Glenn Jones, after 68 months overseas. Tony Magent, 30 days, after 19 months in Canal Zone. Col. Stanley Furst, after 33 months in Europe. Sgt. Arlington Young, 30 days, after 10 months in Italy. Pvt. Jack Stabley, for short visit. Pvt. Russell Shoemaker, Lockport, 21, 60 days; prisoners of Germans.


Pfc. Niles Bottorf, Renovo, with 108 points. Sgt. James Kepler, Renovo. M/Sgt. C. R. Young, Renovo. T/Sgt. Jack Burkey, Howard. T/4 James Clonan, Renovo.


S1/c Frank Bowes to PTRV3/c, at Jacksonville, Fla. William Kirkman to 1st/Sgt., in France. Ernest Herman to T/Sgt. at Colorado Springs.


Pfc. Vance Klepper, Bronze Star. S/Sgt. Merle Goodling, Renovo, Bronze Star. Pvt. Charles Donovan, Bronze Star, for action during liberation of Manila. S/Sgt. Ross Salomone, fifth battle star.


Lt. Thomas Boyce, former TC student to Jane Ritter at Waldron Field, Tex., June 5. Lt. (J.G) Curvin Stein, Jr., to Dorothea Anne Duff Wood, May 23, at Toronto. Robert Dupree, Jr., MM3/c to Ida Lucille Lucas, June 3, at Mill Hall. Lt. Richard Kissinger to Johanna Syrold, Akron, June 9, at Akron. Williuam Kimsey, Scottsdale, Ariz., to Margaret Louise Bowes, May 24, Treasure Island, Cal. Lt. Robert Deem to Marie J. Bisson, Providence, R.I., May 26, in Elizabeth City, N.C.; he is on 30-day leave after duty in the Atlantic. First Lt. Leotta Myers to Major George Hench, March 11, in Florence, Italy.


Daughter to Pvt. and Mrs. Robert Stabley, former Piper employee.


Mrs. Alice Homler Corman, 51, dies after being seriously burned in fire. Infantry to put on big War Bond show here Monday with battle veterans taking part on LHHS field.

Mrs. J Bartley Cook chairman of office staff at Red Cross headquarters. Lowell Club awards short story and poetry prizes to students as organization celebrates 50th anniversary. Million dollars worth of bonds sold in county as Clinton hits three-quarter quota mark. 60 Hand-in-Hand Hose Co. members have chicken supper at Brickley’s cabin on Bald Eagle Creek after making plans for annual festival. Maj. Gen. Frederick Anderson, chief of Eighth Air Force Bomber Command, to speak at Elks Flag Day exercises. Skip Archey, Harry Romig and Harry Sheasley transferred from Mill Hall Sylvania plant to Kingston.

May waste paper collections hit 273 tones in county. Five boys and eight girls graduate from ICHS tomorrow; eight boys and eight girls yesterday at St. Agnes School. Mrs. Elizabeth Moyer Swartz resigns after 20 years as Rotary Club exec-sec. Unless more of you guys and gals apply for military balls for June 19 election before next Friday, the cost of each military vote to Clinton County will be $26.75 each; there may only be five.

Six criminal cases slated for trial starting Monday; three others continued.

In investigating Hodes junk yard robbery, police find truck gasoline stamps are being illegally used here. Mill Hall Fire Company displays $2,080 worth of new accessories.

LH Draft Board calls 13 into service; sends 12 for exams; Renovo 14 and 17. Jane Seitzer gets degree in medical technology at Temple U. 10,000 see Cole Bros. Circus. David C. Saiers, 61, killed, probably by hit-run driver.

Renovo plans July 4 celebration with sports contests for which $1,000 in War Bonds will be awarded; parade and speaking program.


Williamsport joins new scholastic football league which includes two Harrisburg schools, York, Steelton, Lancaster, Lebanon and maybe Reading. Revamped Flemington team of Church Softball League, led by Mike Cillo, former Charlton Gun Club pitcher, back from fighting in Italy, hands Trinity Methodist Evangelical team first defeat. Women bowlers have banquet; join state association; Clarie Wentz re-elected prexy. Pennwoven Tanks win men’s bowling title; County Club takes women’s crown.

Max Cook leaves Tyron to coach football and basketball at Ebensburg.