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, October 20, 1945


Col. O’Corn’s “Letter to Our Boys” was first written three years ago this week. It has appeared every week since it was first suggested by Joe Hamilton, now a first lieutenant, who for a year has been “vibrating” between India and Burma. One week — V.E. Week — it appeared twice.

Three Lock Haven sailors have a get-together in the Philippines — S1/c Howdy Yufer, Radarman 3/c George Fox and Chief Specialist John (Bootsy) Kalinowski, former Mt. Carmel High quarterback, who was later signal-caller at LH TC.

When George hit the islands, he wrote Howdy a letter. Yufer got a three-day pass, went to Tacloban to pick up Kalinowski, then on to a “deep-sea hitch-hike” visiting three ships before finally finding Fox’s ship. George was not there. However, he was only visiting another ship getting radar equipment and soon returned. But Fox’s commanding offier would not give him leave that night.

Yufer and Kalinowski slept on another ship, the whale-boat Dixie, while George hit the sack on his destroyer escort, the Connolly.

Next day, however, George got leave and the trio went ashore at Tacloban and they made a day of it covering the waterfront and stowed chow at Kalinowski’s base.

They returned at 3 p.m. to find that Lewie Emery had been there to see George. They met the next day on another ship in the harbor.

While George, Howdy and Bootsy had trouble making connections on the occasion, they did all right. On a previous occasion, Howdy flew from Samar to Leyte, picked up Booys and hunted George all over the place, riding everything down to a buffalo cart. But George had shipped out the day before, they learned later.

Harry H. Pinge, 405 East Church St., received the following letter from his son, Bud, who is serving the Second Marine Division now located in Tokyo:

“If I had all the silver I helped guard in Haratsuka the last few days, I could buy a house, get a few maids, eat, sleep and drink for a month and never mind it. Some place over here. Some job — at last a jeep and 30 miles to patrol. These people are sure in a tough spot; not much to eat, always begging for something — cigarettes they love! We are not permitted to speak to them.

“It sure was a different beach-head we took this time. No fireworks, no planes dropping their eggs, but we went in loaded for the kill. All we saw was a city of broken and smashed homes. Those B-29’s sure raised hell.

“This is the farthest I’ll ever get from home. I may see you by next year, I hope. Sure am homesick to see old Lock Haven — three years, gee, Dad, that’s a long time.

“I could write more, but paper could not hold it. Give my best to the gang and Frank at The Express. My legs hurt me lately, coming out of a hot country into this climate is probably the cause.

“We missed the big hurricane by five hours. Are we glad — waves like we never saw. Some ships in our pack could not see because of the waves. Well so long Lock Haven — see you in the Spring, I hope.


Mary Eleanor Leathers, PhM1/c, Howard. Pfc. James Guisewite, Avis. T/5 Claude McCloskey, R. D. 1. Pfc. Ralph Leister, Howard R. D. 2. S/Sgt. Robert Jones, R. D. 1. Albert Lachat AM2/c, Lock Haven R. D. 1. F/O Anthony Grotzinger, Renovo, released from Army Air Forces. Pfc. Clair Duck, Mill Hall. T/Sgt. Elmer Spotts, Renovo. S/Sgt. Herbert Fisher. Sgt. William T. Griffith. Lt. Col. Frank Gilligan. Pfc. James Conti, Renovo. Pfc. John Fetter, D. 1. Pfc. John Packer, released from Army Air Force. Edward Lachat GM3/c. S/Sgt. Richard Haines, Howard R.D. 1. S/Sgt. Morton Fromm. Pfc. Glenn Geisewite, Woolrich. T/5 Clair Beightol, Howard.

Pfc. David McCloskey. S/Sgt. Angelo Poleto, Renovo. Pfc. Gerald Young, Renovo. Sgt. Jeremiah O’Donovan. T/4 William Pletcher, Howard. Sgt. Walter Condo, Beech Creek. Pfc. Beezer O’Neill. T/4 Paul Catlin, Renovo. Pfc. Leonard Kelley, Renovo. S/Sgt. John Terrill. Cpl. John Simcox, Loganton. Pfc. Chester Walker, Howard. Pfc. Chester J. Seibert. S/Sgt. Burtus Miller. Sgt. Donald Livingston. Pfc. William Grawley, Jr.

Pfc. Charles Wordon, Avis. Sgt. Raymond Piney. Pfc. Richard Coffey, Renovo. S/Sgt. Chester McLaughlin. Paul Parish, MM3/c, USNR. Pfc. Boyd Leupold. Pfc. Harold Yarrison, Jersey Shore R.D. 2. Lt. Paul Mack. Sgt. William Carpenter. Sgt. Randolph Holter, Howard. Pfc. Wilbert Hess, Renovo. Cpl. Kenneth Neidigh, Howard. Pfc. Dan Bassinger, Castanea. T/5 Thomas Kanocz, Renovo. Pfc. Richard Boob, Mill Hall. T/Sgt. Ray Kreidler.


Raymond Lupold, Avis, to Cpl. Joseph Blood, to Cpl. William Lee, to EM, 3/c. Dale Blesh, to EM, 3/c.


Richard Bowers, aviation boatswain’s mate, 3/c, Bronze Star.


David Decker, TM3/c, to Dorothy Bathurst, Howard, Oct. 12. Lois E. Barner, Y2/c, Lamar, now at Washington, D.C. to Edwin Wenig, Washington, Oct. 12.


Daughter to Pvt. and Mrs. Ned Lehan, Jersey Shore R. D. 2, at Jersey Shore Hospital Oct. 14; daddy in Naples, Italy.


75 at Lions Club dinner-dance. $830 added to LH Police Pension Fund as state sends city’s share from casualty insurance tax on out-of-state firms. Dye Works and Woolrich Mills among 102 state firms notified by state to clear streams to prevent pollution.

City has $82,000 for post-war project use; about $10,000 of it has been spent. Warren Ohl elected city engineer at $3,000 a year, up $600 from pay he got before he joined Seabees.

Myrl Eckert burned about eyes and face in explosion at Dye Works; improving. Jersey Shore and Williamsport to vote on Sunday movies — which we have had for a long time; Harrisburg won’t vote as defective petitions were given the heave-ho at the insistence of the Harrisburg Patriot and Evening News. John Barry, Woolrich principal, heads the county teachers association.

Jacob Henry Dershem, 45, Fairpoint, and his brother, Calvin Ellsworth Dershem, 35, Farrandsville, accidently electrocuted while operating coal loader at local brick works.

Henry F. Duck, 40, Loganton R. D., dies after being injured as tractor upsets. Air scout troop to be formed here.


LHHS JV’s remain unbeaten, downing Howard 14-7. LHHS plays Milton today; TC at Bloomsburg after beating E. Stroudsburg 18-6. Bedford heads the Western Conference; DuBois second; Huntingdon third.


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