Andover, Connecticut Newsletter #9
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
March 1, 1944
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
March has come in like a lion, chasing all the warmth of the good spring sunshine out to sea. Andover is shivering, but hoping that the old proverb will come true.
Hearty thanks to everyone who sent in change-of-address postcards. The response was very good, and we have a large number of cards. There was one casualty, however. The card from Paul Bramhall, somewhere in England, slid quietly down behind the mantle in the John Yeomans living room, and it is impossible to retrieve it without tearing down the fireplace. So will you please send us another, Paul?
The Andover Fire Department roared up to the Grabowski's to put out a brush fire one day last week, just to keep in practice. Incidentally, the "Corsairs", Boy Scouts of America, Andover troop, will soon begin to take instruction in fire-fighting from a teacher provided by the State Forestry Commission. Insurance premiums should go down considerably as soon as we complete our ranks of firemen--every man in town from 12 to 90.
The Fourth War Loan Drive went over the top, with a total of $15,785.95 in bonds and stamps. Mrs. E.M. Yeomans, chairman, JohnV. Gasper, co-chairman, and a corps of canvassers did the work, which piled up that total, $1,785.95 over the quota. Series E. bonds amounted to $7,785.95, and Series F bonds brought in $8,000.00.
You will be pleased to know that Andover is also doing a good job in salvage collection, We had the largest pile of waste paper, per capita, in the State of Connecticut, during February.
We hear that Eddie Merritt is now a Pier Master, in charge of Liberty ships. He has ten Wrens working for him. Billie Merritt has recovered from his illness, and has returned to Ft. Dearborn.
Among those recently home on furlough were Alma Smith (Ship's Cook,3/C), Petty Officer Sonny Covell (2/C) and Clifton E. Davenport, Jr.
Joe Gasper went "flying" in an Austin, somewhere in Australia. They did a ground loop, and the two fellows with him on the trip are now in the hospital.
Peggy Mitten has received letters from two of her brothers, who are both in the hospital. Staff Sergeant Donald Massey was wounded on a bombing raid over Germany, and Bob Massey, M.P. in the R.R. Battalion has a broken wrist somewhere in Arkansas.
Pfc. Dr. Ed Whitcomb reports for Charlie K's benefit that a broken governor on his truck has helped Ed to maintain his accustomed speed. He's been flying around Lonesome Gruesome Gruber (Camp Gruber to you) for three weeks now, with no M.P.'s on his tail. Ed is pretty proud of his new Rainbow soldier, as he calls his son, Louis Bennett Whitcomb, and he hopes that there will be no war when he grows up. Hold the fort, Ed. We are working on that Rainbow information.
A/C Harry Bonkowski is now in pre-flight training at San Antonio, Texas. He writes that he has been issued a 45 automatic, which he plays with on Wednesdays. He hasn't run into Walter Parks yet, even though they are on the same post. Harry has been Officer of the Day, and he finds that he has little time for anything except study.
Cpl. John Kukucka, 6150148 E.C.P. Btry F. Fort Bliss, Texas, would like very much to hear from any of the boys and girls in town, particularly from Joe Gasper.
George Bonkowski has been traveling fast since he took out with the Army. He was at Ft. Devens first, but he was heard from in Georgia (and still going) six days later.
John Gasper had such a good letter from Charlie Michalik, on maneuvers in Louisiana, that he let us in on it. It seems that his chief troubles consist of mud and pigs. "This place is so muddy that the pigs have a paradise here. Somehow or other they have an idea they own the place.....Even at night, without knocking, they come barging through our pup tents. In one side and out the other, grunting 'Howdy' on the run". The whole letter was so cheerful that we wish you could read it too.
We hear that Frank Norris of the Army Trans. Corps is somewhere in Australia, and rather well pleased with the situation. He is continuing his studies in comfortable surroundings.
It seems that Andover has been tending strictly to business during the past month, and so we have neither news, gossip, nor rumor with which to continue. We'll keep our ears to the ground during March, and greet you again in April.
Vera Cross Taylor
John F. Phelps