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, Jan. 6, 1945

Dear …

Much has been said about the strikers on the home front and it is with pleasure that Col. O’Corn wants to tell Clinton County boys in the service about something brighter.

On New Year’s night a gang of 800 Philadelphia carpenters waved goodbye to a trainload of war supplies so badly needed that the men worked 14 hours every day, seven days a week, three straight weeks. They gave up Christmas, New Year’s eve and New Year’s day.

Half of the work was out-of-doors — rain, snow or shine.

Many of those carpenters were not so young. Some of them fathers of boys in the armed forces; some of them are fathers of boys who won’t come back.

Right here at home the employees of the Pennsylvania Woven Wire Company promptly responded to the call of Maj. Gen. Norman Kirk who asked that they work New Year’s day to speed screen cloth to the Pacific where it is badly needed.

It is nice to know that some people on the home front know there is a war on and no section of the whole U.S. has been so singularly free of labor troubles than has your own Clinton County.

We have had a few minor riffs, yes, but, all in all, the workers here have been doing a grand job.

Time marches on and it is tough to think about the boys who a couple a years ago were delivering The Express and selling War Stamps and who are now in the service.

Such a guy is Pvt. Bill Swope. He helped this newspaper pile up the excellent record it has in the drive for war funds; now he is in California and may go overseas.

Bill was such a good War Stamps salesman that he was one of three of our boys who earned a trip to Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

He writes from Camp Cooke that he got a three-day pass which will have to serve as a furlough. He won’t get a chance to get home soon again. He planned to go to Los Angeles and the Hollywood Canteen.

Killed — Sgt. Ivan Kunes, 29, Blanchard, previously reported missing in Germany Dec. 11; son was born Sunday.

Wounded — Pvt. William Sylvis, Avis, in France, Dec. 10; now in England. T/5 Phil English, Renovo, former Express correspondent, seriously, in Holland, date unknown. Pvt. George Cross, Hammersley Fork, rumored wounded; no confirmation other than he is in hospital in Paris, according to Dec. 22 letter to his wife; may have been sick. Pfc. Harry Walker, slightly, in Germany, Dec. 5 (previously wounded in France in July) Mervin Johnson, Beech Creek, slightly, Western Front, Dec. 4.

Missing — Pvt. Richard Myers, Pine Creek Township, in Germany, Dec. 10. Cpl. Harold Keen over Czechoslovakia, Dec. 16, as B-24 gunner. Sgt. Harold Weaver, Loganton RD 1, over Yugoslovaia, Dec. 18.

Prisoner — Pvt. Daniel Slovich, Stouts Hill, of Germans; previously reported missing, Oct. 4. Sgt. Elmer Williams, North Bend, of Nazis; previously reported missing.

Back — Pfc. Michael Bonadio, Mill Hall, who was wounded in left leg in France Nov. 15. S2/c Franklin Rickert, Orviston, on leave after eight months overseas where he took part in invasions of Sicily, Italy and Southern France. Pfc. Norman Caldwell from Augusta, Ga., on furlough after long illness. Sgt. Eldon Myers, Flemington, honorably discharged, after eight months in England with AAF. Pvt. Wayne Lyon, Woolrich, honorably discharged, after four months in Army. MMS3/c John Berry in Long Island hospital for heart condition after six months in Atlantic and Mediterranean. Cpl. Frank Marzzacco, Jersey Shore, former TC boxer, after long period of service in South Pacific; recurrent injury to left leg and malaria downs Frankie at Fort Dix, N.J.

Decorated — Capt. R. French Dickey, Bronze Star, after 13 months in Eurpose with AAF. Pvt. Clifford Heverly, Purple Heart, for wounds in Germany Sept. 10; now back in action. Pfc. Ivan Wetzel, Mackeyville, Purple Heart, posthumously; killed in France Sept. 19. S. Sgt. Emory (Pete) Probst, Purple Heart, for wounds in France Nov. 9. Pvt. William Brown, South Avis, Purple Heart, for wounds in Germany Nov. 8. S. Sgt. Kenneth Dale, of Flemington, Expert Infantryman, at Camp Cooke, Cal.

Promoted — Alfred Weaver, Salona, to seaman, first class, as baker with Pacific Fleet. Ardell Glossner to first lieutenant with AAF in Europe. Harris Brickley to sergeant in South Pacific. Jack Thornton to sergeant with 26th Division, Third Army, on Western Front. Dale Martin to sergeant at New Castle, Del. Richard Crispen, Mill Hall, to second looey of Marines at Quantico, Va. Charles Weber to sergeant in England with Medics. Harold Ward to second lieutenant with Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Wed — S1/c Don Welch, stationed at Bunker Hill, Ind., to Rose Goodnight, Rochester, Ind., at Peru, Ind. Dec. 14. Pfc. Paul Nestlerode, stationed at Camp Hood, Tex., to Betty Jane Harris here Jan. 2.

Born – Daughter to Pvt. and Mrs. Howard VanHorn Dec. 23; sixth child for the soldier.

Short Takes — Express stages dinner for 50 so that merchandise prizes can be awarded to clerks who sold most War Bonds in sixth drivee with sales 23 percent over $250,000 quota. Edward Lamont Myers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lamont Myers, Farrandsville, winner of Express’ annual baby derby getting many prizes for being first born of 1945. Judy Lynn Rogers, born here to Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rogers, Money is first girl baby. Music Club plans program for benefit of YMCA Building Fund. Eastern Clinton Red Cross to make 144 more kit bags for servicemen.

Yesterday’s Express includes three pictures — showing Pfc. Jimmy Laskaris, formerly of LH, and Cpl. John Wilson, Monument, squatting in front of their tent in South Pacific; Sgt. Clinton Schrack, Castanea, carving turkey in Corsica, and M/Sgt. Edward Long sharing cigarettes with buddies at an AAF base in England.

Churches observe Week of Prayer. Express check of cost of crime shows Clinton County paid $19,786 to maintain delinquents in 1944. Two local draft boards call 58 in early January; lots of “old timers” among them.

City income for first 11 months of 1944 is $142,697 or 167 more than estimated. At 5 below here, Wednesday second coldest day of Winter. LeRoy Fox elected city health officer. Waste paper salvage 13,185 tons for December.

Sports — Sol Wolf to speak at LHHs football banquet Jan. 17.

Whitey Tolbert paces Inter-City Bowling with 194 average in 51 games. Vandals steal and break traps which Boy Scouts use to take wild rabbits from city to be placed in woods for restocking.

Clinton County Fish-Game Association plans feeding program for starving game with 25-35 inches of snow in woods; will use Cub planes.


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