Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters
Andover, Connecticut Newsletter #2
sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
August 6, 1943

To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!

Well, here we go again!  We know how busy the armed forces keep most of its members, so we certainly appreciate the time many of you took to write, letting us know that you received and enjoyed the first newsletter  Remember, we are as interested in what you are doing as you are in the activities of Andover.  We pass on to you what we have received.  Major Bertram Wright, 21 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.  According to the Major, the Boston newspapers do not seem to have any live-wire reporters covering the Andover front, but he is glad the Andover reporters do.  We thought he would be interested in the battle over the purchase of special equipment for the firehouse, because he was the first President of the AFD.  It's a long time since has heard from any Andoverites, so why not drop him a line?  As for you, Major, let us (the editors) know more about your activities that are not military secrets, and we'll pass the information along.

Cadet M.B. Hutchinson, Co. A., Barracks 17, 3303 A.S.T. unit State College, Pa.  He thinks the army is swell, and, although he would rather see action than study mechanical engineering, he is doing the best job he can where he is.  Hutchy landed in Texas with a corporal's rating, and was soon chosen for Cadet training.  He returned to the east and took up preliminary studies in Pa.  Another Andoverite who is going to make the air hot for the enemy.  Good luck, Hutchy!  Let's hear from you again.

Willis Covell, ARM 3/C F.A.W. 5 Hedron, N.A.S. Norfolk, Va.  Sonny reports that the newsletter hit the spot with him, and that he is in the best of health, although things are very quiet.  We expect more from you, Willie, soon.

From Charles Kukucka,  European war zone; "Would like to hear from some of the boys.  And where are they stationed?"  He expects the WACS to begin wearing long pants before long.  As for trousers on the womenfolks, Charlie, see below.  "What about Larry (Sheehan)  and Eddie Sheehan, Max Hutchinson, Jr., Eddie Merritt, George LaChance, John Bausola, etc.?"  We'll forward any letters to him or to any of the other boys and girls you wish to contact.

Private Andrew Kukucka, O.P. 89, US Army, Wakefield, Va., c/o Mr. Livesay.  Perhaps we aren't listening at the right time, but we hear of no local controversies of a personal nature, even over the relative merits of victory gardens.  Let's hear more about yourself.

Private William Dunnack, H.R.P.E.  M.P. Battalion, (Prov.) Co. C., Norfolk Army Base, Norfolk, Va. Drop over to the Navy base and see Sonny Covell sometime.  Bill is in the best of health, and expects a furlough soon.

From Ed Gatchell, European war zone:  He wishes he could personally congratulate Joe Gasper, and he hopes he'll be assigned to the eighth air force, so that he can show him around London some night.  Bib has seen Bob Hope and found out that Errol Flynn's license number is RU 18.  Ed is stationed near Lawrence Moe, but he hasn't found time to look him up yet.

To all of you who wrote, your hearty response did our hearts good.  Anyway, we're darned glad you're glad.

We are pleased to announce the following promotions that have been brought to our attention:  They are now Third Class Gunner's Mate Edward Merritt; Private First Class Charles (Morty) Friedrich; Private First Class Edward Sheehan.

Lt. Joe Gasper has returned to Texas for further training, as a transport pilot now.  The local citizenry certainly enjoyed seeing him when he was on leave in July.

Lt. Walter and Margaret Krozel are the happy parents of a baby girl, born in Florida in July.  She is Alexandra Gail Krozel.  Walt is back in the Ohio hospital, but he was in Florida for the big event.  He flew down, and you can know that he is making a splendid recovery by the fact that he was at the controls on that trip. 

We hear that Major Nate Gatchell is in tip top spirits.  We approve his landscaping the home grounds, especially the terrace on the east side.  No doubt he and Avis will carry out those plans in the near future.

Auxiliary Coastguardsman John Gasper is busy on the farm and working for the rationing board.  He's one lad who can be counted on to turn out a good performance wherever he lends a hand.  But he can't seem to keep out of the way of his tractor.  One day a while ago he cranked the darned thing while it was in gear.  It ran right up his leg and pinned him against the barn wall amid a pile of lime bags.  His leg was anchored between the two front wheels, but he held it at bay while the hind wheels dug a trench.  He says he let out a yelp, and Stanley (Gasper) made a partial rescue by turning off the motor and summoning Andrew.  The front wheels had to be taken off before Johnny could move that leg.  We have no accurate record of the conversation while Andy (Gasper) moved a saw rig and a tool bench before he could even get to his bruised and bleeding brother.  John held a wrench at awkward angles to assist in the removal of the wheels.  He is still black and blue and scraped, but he passes it off lightly, saying:  "The worst of it is that the nice table I'd just finished building for the rationing board got smashed all to hell right there beside me."

Private Johnny (Sprout)  Bonkowski and Mildred LaVigne were wed at the church in Coventry Friday morning, August 6, 1943 in the presence of their families and close friends.  The bride's sister, Dorothy, was maid of honor, and John Gasper was best man.  The honeymoon was short, as Johnny had to leave on Saturday to report back to camp in California.  Best of luck, Johnny and Mildred and may you resume the honeymoon soon.  Alice Yeomans Moe greeted a soldier boy, who was looking for his family, one night recently.  The family had moved to Andover since the soldier's induction.  He asked Alice, "Where is Andover, R.F.D. #2?"  That covers some 40 miles of Bolton, Hebron, and Andover, but Alice soon located the home, at the Misovich place on the Hebron road.  Greetings to the Kraal family and their soldier.  May Andover soon seem like Home to you.

The old town has been a placid place ever since the July 4th Barbecue.  Dungarees are still the fashion for both sexes, and conversation runs mainly to canning problems, insect sprays, and "Aren't your tomatoes ripe yet?  We've had 7 from our garden!"

The Boy Scout troop here is doing a bang-up job on scrap metal and paper collection.  Some of them are doing farm and flower garden work, too.  There are about 15 of them--nearly all 2nd class.  Eight of them are at Camp Pioneer for a week or two.  Their leader, Harold Rankin, is Private First Class, in the State Guard.  Another fellow doing about 99 jobs--all of them well.

Pat (Mrs. Everett) Pease leads the Girl Scouts with her usual competence.  Their program of hikes, overnight camping and study will prove a great benefit to the future of our Town.

State Policemen are searching for a small boy with a dreadful stomach ache.  A crop of cultivated blackberries was stripped from a local garden the other night.  If a small boy is not the culprit, we hope each individual berry provides a stomach ache and a burn in the conscience of the thief.  A plot of string beans, all ready for canning, received a similar treatment.

Changes on the home scene;  The Litwins have moved to Glastonbury, and the Samuels have taken over that house.  The Misoviches have moved to Manchester,.

Roscoe Talbot is enjoying a leave of absence from the railroad.  He is farming now, and slimmed down to there.

The situation concerning the special equipment for the Fire House will be remedied as soon as the town constables can catch up with Chief George Merritt.  An old cover and seat were found back of the fire house, and the Chief volunteered to take them home for a redecorating job.  To date, they are still absent.  Could be the Chief found a use for them.

Ed Whitcomb leaves for the Army August 19, and the best advice we can give is for the Army to keep him out of Maine, if they want any deer left up there.

The Grangers indulged in a little hayride in place of their regular meeting on July 19.  Frank Chase supplied the horses, wagon and hay,.  Ray Goodale did the driving.  The route covered quite a distance, starting at Bass' barn, proceeding to the Hilliard's, thence to George Nelson's, and from there to Pete Mortlock's, via Wales Road, and then to Town Hall for a picnic supper.  The ride took three hours, and 20 or more.  Grangers made the night air vibrate with songs and laughter.  Those who failed to keep an eye on Judge Covell lost their shoes.

Lois Helmer is married and she and her husband have gone go California to live.

Last week the 9 a.m. train arrived in Andover at 2 p.m.  Investigation disclosed that a few rocks had rolled onto the tracks at Bolton Notch.  No serious injuries.  The next day the same train hit an army truck in Willimantic, and a few days later, that same train took a door off a refrigerator car.  That engine must be No. 13.

We heard on good authority that "Doc" Savage is the same old "Doc".  He purchased an old car in Honolulu for $20 fixed it up a bit and then sold it at a nice profit.  How about it Clarence?  Send us some news about yourself.

Wait till you see the Andover Servicemen's and Women's Plaque.  Big board for everybody to see-- glassed in.  Pretty swell, huh?  To be located--don't know yet.  Committee, E.L. Covell, J.R. Thompson, Mrs. E.M. Yeomans, and others.

We send our deep sympathy to the LaVesque brothers whose mother passed away recently.

John and Dot Marchant have a new baby girl.

Howard Sprenkle is home from the Massachusetts General Hospital where he had a serious spinal operation.  Doing well.

Town Treasurer Lewis Phelps is enjoying his retirement from active service for the State.  Granddaughter Sandra Jean keeps him happily entertained.

May we remind you that this newsletter is intended as a means of exchanging information as well as a source of news from home.  Good luck to you all.

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor
John F. Phelps