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, April 21, 1945


I doubt if you notice the little heading above but Lt. Barbara Devling, honorably discharged Army nurse, who saw plenty of service in the Pacific, tells me that nurses in that quarter who got a gander at Col. O’Corn’s letter objected to the fact that nurses were not mentioned.

Well, now they are mentioned and I have asked Barbara to write her friends to notify them that the Colonel is very sorry.

In fact, the title, “Letter to Our Boys” is a misnomer. It is also a “Letter to Our Girls” in the service but since today’s is No. 130 – which means that this column is exactly two and a half years old – having been published weekly since October, 1942 – I won’t change it now.

Before I forget it, thanks to the following for adding patches to Col. O’Corn’s collection which is growing steadily: S/Sgt. Earle McCloskey, Cpl. Fred Jamison, Pfc. Daniel H. Wolfe, Pfc. Edward Conklin, Pvt. George Miller, Seaman Art McCloskey, Pfc. Joe Rizzo, S1/c Jimmy Croak, F1/c Sam Walker, PhM3/c Robert Harvey, Pvt. M.W. Condo, of Orviston, Lt. Harold Ward, Pfc. Bill Sayers, Lt. Paul Mack, Pfc. Johnny Myers, Lt. David O’Hara, of Pittsburgh, Cpl. Ray Kreidler, Lt. Tony Coloccino, Cpl. Harry Masterson, Lt. Lou Hurst, Pvt. Dick Smith, Pfc. Ralph Condor, S/Sgt. Ed Stehman, Pfc. Francis Severino, Lt. Jack Cohen, of Baltimore, Pvt. Bob McCaslin, Cpl. Harry Winters, and T/Sgt. Dick Tyson.

Lt. Johnny Quigley, San Angelo, Tex. Field, asked for some information regarding a flying buddy with whom he had served in Europe. Sorry, I was unable to get the dope. Quigley’s old ship is missing and he thought one of his buddies might have been on it. He has a picture of the king and queen of England christening the bomber.

Pfc. Don Allen writes from France that so far he has run into only two guys from Clinton County – Vito Dorio of Renovo, and Butch Rager from Lock Haven. All three are in the same outfit – Co. C, 62nd AIB. (I would appreciate that 14th Armored Division patch, Don).

Having read about Joe Rizzo in this column Dick Tyson says he knows with whom he can hash over the war in Hurtgen Forest. He said he expected to see John Terrill who, with Dick, is in the Fifth Armored. Dick was promoted to technical sergeant since I least heard from him. His brother-in-law, Dan Quilty, husband of Betty Tyson, is serving in the Pacific and is now a full lieutenant.

Ralph Condor writes from the Pacific to say he met “two fellows from LH – Nicky Barzona and “Harp” Long. (Long has since been killed on Iwo Jima). Condor and Long shipped out together. Ralph is serving in a Marine outfit.

S/Sgt. Bob Burkett, in India, received a month’s Expresses in one bundle six months late but he enjoyed them, he says. He has traveled over the biggest part of India. He said they had a terrific storm there with hailstones “as big as baseballs. So help me it is true and even I could not believe my eyes when they first fell. When they hit you coming through the tent, you realize that is no dream.” Ray is flying a Piper Cub, I gathered, despite the censorship.

Thanks to F1/c Horst Reinsch for a picture of several local boys – Clark, Rupert, Bagley, McCloskey, McGill, and Knisely.

While it was a fair snapshot, it was not good enough to reproduce here. It was taken at an amphibious base near Honolulu. Reinsch was in Europe from August to late November and saw Harry German and Jack Pool. He was in South America until January when he went to the Pacific.


Pvt. Leonard E. Behney, 24, Renovo, in Germany, April 1, leaves wife and two children. Lt. Carl Ergott, 21, in Germany, Nov. 22. Pvt. Michael Russo, North Bend, in Luzon, Feb. 19.


Pfc. Frank Lachat, slightly, in Germany, March 31. Donald and Robert Roach, unofficially reported, one slightly, the other, leg amputated.


Pfc. William McKean, previously reported missing, of the Germans. Pfc. William Geyer, 20, previously reported missing, of the Germans. Pvt. Enos Bartholomew, previously reported missing, of the Germans.

Prisoner Freed

Pfc. Frank Frederick Jr. in Germany by American forces, March 31.


Pvt. Paul Miller Jr. to Stark General Hospital, Charleston, after 14 months in Mediterranean. S/Sgt. Archie Shearer, Mill Hall, for 45-day furlough, after two years overseas. Capt. Mike Strok, for 45 days, after 2.5 years in Mediterranean. Robert McCaslin, Honorably discharged, served in South Pacific. Pvt. Stanley Wetzel, Mackeyville, after three months in Europe.


Sgt. Chalmer Toner, Bronze Star, in Europe. Pvt. Thomas Dullen, Combat Infantryman Badge in Italy. S/Sgt. James Rich, Woolrich, fourth Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal in Europe. s/Sgt. Guy Allen, Mill Hall, Purple Heart, in Germany. S/Sgt. A. L. Ripoli, Purple Heart, in Germany.


Joseph Rine, to S/Sgt. George Packer, to T/r. William Giminiani, to Pfc. in Germany. Harold Geise, Woolrich, to Ship’s cook 3/c. Albert B. Fravel, Lamar, to Cpl.


Lydia Elizabeth Sweeley, Salona, to Pfc. Donald Walker, Wingate (former Piper employee) at Mill Hall. He is at Norfolk, Va.


Son to Cpl. and Mrs. Clifford Newman; daddy at Aberdeen, Md. Twin sons to S2/c and Mrs. John Donovan, R.D.1; papa at Pearl Harbor.

Short Takes

Slight damage at LH General Armature plant when fire burns roof. Business and Professional Women’s Club grows; adds 15 new members. Floyd Klobe, Loganton R.D., stabbed in Jersey Shore hotel; not seriously hurt; Hugh Knight, 28, Jersey Shore, held. USO honors 15 hostesses who serve 100 or more hours. Piper Aircraft Corp. gives free use of lot to company’s Victory gardeners. Dye Works enlarging capacity to make more dyes for smoke signals for Army. Sugar Valley Telephone Company may sell. Many hear Rabbi Barnett Brickner, Cleveland, at Inter-Faith Council meeting at LH Sr. Hi. AAF equipment on display at TC. Four criminal trials and one civil case listed for court Monday.

Ellis Fromm to manufacture rug-cleaning soap. Richard Hoy promoted to assistant chief engineer at Piper plant. Plan to beautify and improve airport. Public attitude to rationing program improved greatly,

GPA district man tells Rotarians. Council bans raising cattle and swine in city. Graf Hubbard celebrates 85th birthday. Gerald Weaver, 18, Howard R.D. and Martha Durkin, 16, slightly hurt in car accident near Howard. Irv Peck recovers from heart attack. St John’s Lutheran congregation will burn $12,000 note tomorrow.


Legion Jr. Baseball League starts May 1 with four or five teams. Trout season opens; 34,100 trout stocked in county streams since last season. Jersey Shore wins second-half title in Inter-City Bowling League.


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