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, August 11, 1945

Dear …

SC2/c G. R. Schroat sends along a 20th Air Force patch which, unfortunately, I previously had, but he tells me there is more than one type of that particular group’s insignia.

So far as I have been able to learn, I have every AAF patch except the 11th, 13th, 14th and one of the two from the 20th.

Thanks to all you fellows who have sent me contributions. Keep up the good work. If the collection becomes large enough, I shall turn it over to the Ross Library for a permanent memento of World War II. How about a little aid? I particularly would like to hear from the Navy. So far, I have maybe 100 patches from the Army, a dozen from the Marines and three from the Navy.

Says Schroat: “There were seven of us together here from Lock Haven — Paul Rizzo, Rocky DiGeso, Ralph Condor, Walter Nixon, Harry Pinge, Sr., (who, since the letter was written, has returned home), the Smith who used to serve at the National Hotel and myself. Walter and I are just across the street from each other. Ralph and Smith are in the same battalion. Rocky is a corpsman up on the hill and Pinge and Rizzo are at sea and at home.

“Since I am cook, I see quite a bit of Walt and Ralph as the Marines eat plenty. Walt and I have both been away from home for two years — 25 months to be exact.

“We first met on Eniwetok, then came home on the invasion as our outfits are attached.”

T/5 Frank Ryan and his brother, Pfc. Billy had a happy reunion recently in Czechoslovakia. Frank borrowed a jeep to go to see him for a two-hour visit. It was the first meeting of the brothers in two and a half years.

Frank is with the 2nd Engineers and was attached to the First Army from D-Day in Normandy until he landed in Germany on V-E day. He wears five battle stars on his ETO ribbon and also received a Presidential Citation. He is due for a discharge but must wait for transportation back to the good old USA. He is married to the former Slyvia Moore who, with their young songs, live in Lock Haven. The one boy is a year and a half old; the other Papa Frank has never seen.

MM3/c Bill Holland, former LHHS football player and wrestler, sends to the old Colonel by way of his father, also a former football player, a program of an Army-Navy football game in New Guinea. Bill did not play. It was much too hot, he said. The contest occurred July 22. Who won did not make much difference.

The only Pennsylvanians were from Philadelphia — Chris Pappas, former Temple U. fullback, and Leonard Quarterman, of the Army, and George Graham of the Navy.

S/Sgt. Tom Hooven, who is right proud of his outfit, the 69th Infantry Division, which was the first to meet the Russians, writes: “Just taking things easy and waiting for our turn to return to the States. I hope it’s soon.”

Tom sent a booklet disclosing the division activities and one fo the group’s shoulder patches.

Marjorie Binder, of Renovo, stationed at Aix en Provence, France, about 25 miles from Marseille with the Red Cross, saw Bill Bittner and Dale Olmstead from Lock Haven and various Renovo boys through her name being in Stars and Stripes.


Cpl. Charles Watach, Renovo, after 37 months overseas. Pfc. Harold Boyce, Flemington, after five months in the ETO. Cpl. Glenn Hackenberg, Rote, after five months overseas. Pfc. Fred Dennison, Rote, seriously wounded overseas. T/5 Hanson Murty, after redeployment through Indiantown Gap. Captain Donald Rathgeber, after two years overseas duty. 1st Lt. Myron Guisewite, Avis, after service in the ETO.


Chester Tressler to S1/c in Philippines. Charles W. Emery to 2nd Lt. at Fountainebleau, France. Edwin Weaver to major in the Pacific. Harris Brickley to T/sgt. Donald Conklin, Castanea, to sgt. Robert Wirth, to S1/c. Harry Stevens to F/O. Maynard Aungst, 24, Avis, to F/O.


T/3 Frank Gillot, Bronze Star.


Pfc. Donald L. Haas, Renovo. T/Sgt. Leslie Campagne. Pfc. Earl Johnson, Renovo. T/4 Robert Boob. T/3 Vito Riccardo. Cpl. Charles Miller.


Pvt. George Puderbaugh to Emma Kulken, Fair Lawn, N.J., at Columbia, S.C. July 21. S/Sgt. Floyd Rupert, Beech Creek, to Evangeline DeHaas, Blanchard, Aug. 5. Sgt. Harrison Rupert, North Bend, to Mrs. Margaret King, Renovo, Aug. 4.


Daughter to Cpl. and Mrs. Russell Judd, Flemington; daddy has sailed overseas. Son for Sgt. and Mrs. Bobbie Cook; pop is serving in the Air Corps. Daughter for Pvt. and Mrs. Thomas Bauman; Tommy is in Alabama.


Lock Haven has possibly had a part in the manufacture of the atomic bomb! For the past eight months some of the products of the Penn Woven Wire have found their way to the Manhattan District project. Officials presume this special product was used in the processing of the bomb and not for the ordinary purposes of insect screen cloth — as supposed. Herlocher’s Cafeteria, the Watson News Agency, Ernie Motter’s pool room and the ration board were robbed.

Ration board lost typewriter; five packs of cigarettes were stolen from the pool room; $5 from the news agency and 50 pennies and a number of bills from the restaurant. Next day Bill Ryan arrested and obtained confessions from two Lycoming County youths.

Over 10,000 enjoyed swimming during July at Price Park beach. Clinton County has topped waste paper salvage goal with 13.51 average. P.O.S. of A. held convention at Carroll. Barbara Beck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Beck, received her cap at Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Richard Faukery, Beech Creek shoe repairman, overwhelmed with work, taking in an average of 50 pairs a day to repair. Twenty-two Boy Scouts from St. Agnes Parish and 11 from Immaculate Conception are camping at Camp Kline. Joel B. Freedman, University of Pittsburgh, has been honored by being appointed a senior-dental intern at Western State Psychiatric Institute.

The Renovo Rivet, official newspaper of the P.R.R. Y.M.C.A., resumes publication. James Maley celebrated his 99th birthday. Mrs. Edmund Baird was hostess to members of Woodward Grange. Service station owned by Paul Richards and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Raemore. Church of Christ and St. John’s Sunday schools have picnics at Price Park. “Pete” Barrett, Mill Hall, killed a six-foot black snake. Williamsport golfers defeated the Clinton Country Club linksmen.


Williamsport Tennis Club was defeated by the Lock Haven girls, 8-1. Lock Haven horses turned in the fastest times in the harness racing at the Clearfield Fair. Don Welch’s Katrina Volo and Luther Hanover, owned by Kline R. Wolfe, of Howard, ran one-two in all three heats of the feature free-for-all.


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