ANDOVER NEWSLETTER #10
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
To the Service Men and Women of Andover, Greeting!
Andover is pulling out of the spring mud, and the tractors are beginning to hum up and down the road, busy about plowing and all the season’s chores. The daffodils are in bud, and we alternate between light snows and balmy days. Near the end of March, we had the only significant snowfall of the winter, when we woke to find about eight inches of the white fluff over everything. It disappeared in a few days, amid gleaming icicles and the bluest sky you ever saw.
We must give you some bad news first: Master Sergeant Eugene Edgerton, a gunner on a Flying Fortress, lost his life on a mission over France, during the past month. His father is Frank Edgerton, who works for Arthur Savage.
On the other side of the ledger, we may announce a blessed event for Captain and Mrs. Mercer D. Barefield (Emily Yeomans). They have a son, Howard Russell Barefield, who was born at the U.S. Army Hospital, Coral Gables, Miami, Florida, on April 6. He weighs seven pounds and two ounces.
“A Sleepy night nurse”, Lt. Irene Willis writes from Africa that her outfit just had a bang-up dance to celebrate its year over seas. She says that her hospital is very busy, and that she is on duty from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. She has become and ardent and active bicycle fan, relying on her bike and her feet for all transportation. She sounds well and happy, but she, too, is looking forward to the day when she can come back to take a personal look at that honor roll Muffy Bartlett photographed so well. Alma Smith is now cooking for the officers in her outfit, doing everything from planning the menus to doing the baking. They keep her so busy that she hasn’t had time to take the examination which will qualify her for an advance in rating, for which she is fully prepared. The Andover Branch, Columbia Chapter, American Red Cross went over the top in the War Fund Drive, with a total of $798.05 collected to date. The quota was $700 for Andover. Mrs. George Nelson was in charge of the house-to-house canvass, with the following captains assisting: Max Asher, John V. Gasper, Lillian Hamilton, Mildred Hyatt, Doris Hutchinson, Ruth Snyder Krzewski, Imodale Richards, Mrs. E.K. Seyd, Rachel White, and Margaret Yeomans. An auction of miscellaneous merchandise, ranging from onion sets to sofa pillows, was held at Town Hall on March 31, with George Nelson as auctioneer. That netted $92.00. Another good addition to the fund was the $15.00 contributed by the school children. Arnold Hyatt, chairman of the Branch, was master of ceremonies. He presented a program of songs by the school children, ballads by Elwood Hudson (accompanied by Ruth Phelps), guitar solos by Charles Peckham, and cowboy ballads by Mrs. Kral, as well as a comedy skit, starring, Mrs. And Mrs. Lincoln Bathrick, Marie Hudson, and Doris Hutchinson, and Donald Smith. Another feature of the Red Cross Benefit was the presentation of a captured German helmet for excellent results in the recent war bond drive. Mrs. E.M. Yeomans, chairman, and John V. Gasper, co-chairman, presented the helmet to Mr. L.B. Whitcomb, who accepted it for the town. Ed Whitcomb and Charlie Kukucka, home on furlough, lent color to the occasion, by modelling the helmet and saying a good word for the work of the Red Cross. The helmet was given into the keeping of Arnold Hyatt, chairman of the Library Board, for preservation in the Library building.
Some of you will be interested in learning that Lloyd Grey of Hebron has been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Force, and he is now stationed in Florida undergoing training as pilot of a Fortress.
Chief Merritt has gone out to see Bill over the Easter holiday. The last report is that Navy Bill is attending Diesel School at Dearborn, Michigan.
Pvt. M.B. Hutchinson is now stationed at Indian Town Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania.
Corp. Morty Friedrich has arrived safely somewhere in England.
Lt. Lucien Levesque is in Spartenburg, South Carolina.
Pvt. Alfred Heinz, somewhere in Italy, writes that even though he has been over seas for fifteen months, he still has twinges of homesickness.
Pfc. Bill Dunnack writes from Norfolk, Va. That Doris and Bill, Jr. are enjoying the Virginia sunshine.
Pvt. D.E. Faulkner dropped us a card, saying that Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he is now stationed, is the best camp he has been in.
T/Sgt. Eric A. Neilson, who is now in East Africa, writes that although he has been in the Army for three years, with over a year in Africa, he has yet to meet one of the boys from the old home town.
Pvt. John Bonkowski, somewhere in England, tells us that he finds it pretty foggy, and that he is willing to trade any part or all of it for a little piece of New England, U.S.A.
Lt. E.L. Gatchell writes from England that his British friends were very much amazed at the Pop-corn that “Bib” received from home. Most of them had never seen any. Bib has been in England seventeen months, but he sees no indication of being sent home for quite some time. It took out last Newsletter a week to reach him. He says he would be glad to send home anything that isn’t rationed. He also complimented Muffie Bartlett on her picture of the honor roll and requested more. Bib, that roll is established on the lawn at the Andover Public Library.
George Tedford, GM 3/C is out in the Pacific, seeing plenty of action. Congratulations on the new rating!
Clifton E. Davenport, Jr. isn’t supposed to tell where he is, but his father has figured it out from his last letter. We’ll tell you about it as soon as it is permissible.
Ted Watts will be married on April 15, 1944 to Miss Elizabeth June LeMay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred LeMay. The fatal step will be taken at St. Peter’s Church in Hartford.
Mrs. Dowling (Betty Tedford) is out at Santa Anna, California, with her hubby—Marine Staff Sergeant Donald C. Dowling.
Pvt. Charles Johnson is at Paris Island, going through Marine Boot training. Reports coming from his mother reveal that Charlie is really enjoying it, and is tapering down to a mere shadow of his former self. How about a letter, Charlie?
Willis Covell, ARM 2/C is attending Radio Technician school at Hutchinson, Kansas for the next eight weeks.
Donald Parks went into the army on March 25, 1944.
At the annual meeting of the Andover Fire Department, held at the Fire House on March 14, 1944, all the officers were re-elected. They are: Chief: George Merritt; Assistant Chief, George Nelson; President, Harold Smith; Vice-president, Percy Cook; Secretary, Bob Seyd; Treasurer, Arnold Hyatt; Directors, Erskine Hyde and Bob Seyd. Following the meeting George Nelson and Harry Sheldon put on a good feed, and the boys played cards-just for fun, of course.
The AFD has had considerable exercise during the past month. In one weekend, they had three fires. The Randall house was all ablaze when the boys arrived, but the boys worked fast, getting water from a nearby brook, and saved the first floor. Two rooms upstairs were pretty completely gutted. John Hutchinson got a thorough soaking when the big nozzle was accidentally opened. Everybody’s wondering who planned that accident.
An incinerator fire on the Coleman property (formerly Ratti’s) burned over some grass and escaped over onto the Pinney land, where it burned over a large area of grass. The fire crew arrived in time to find the fire well under control.
Dale Smith’s motorcycle caught fire when he was riding past the Howard Stanley home. A small grass fire was started by the same blaze, but the local smoke-eaters had the situation well in hand in a short time.
Mr. and Mrs. Savage have a picture of Clarence S. and Joe Gasper, taken in Honolulu. Joe is based at Australia now.
T/S George W. Brown (That’s Bud’s brother) has written saying that he is with a heavy maintenance ordinance co., specializing on AA directors, and also working on a great many of the optical instruments. He would like to hear from anyone in/from Andover especially Bib Gatchell, Monk Wright, Nate Gatchell or Bert Wright.
F 1/C Edward Jurovaty is attending a Diesel school at Richmond, Va. His fiancée, Janet Heimer, is visiting him at Richmond this weekend.
Pfc. Walter Smith is home on a 15-day furlough, which expires April 13. He is stationed in Baltimore with the Holabird signal department, where he finds the work very interesting. Walter wrote to us from Camp Murphy, Fla. during February, and this transfer indicates completion of courses at the Southern Signal Corps School there.
John Kukucka is pleased to be once more in touch with Joe Gasper, for he had lost track of him during his training in Latin America. Corp. K. doesn’t indicate his reasons for disliking Texas, but he seems to think that he’d prefer life in a jungle any day, or, better still, a good long stay in Andover.
Walter Parks reports from Coe College, Iowa, that all is well with him, and, although the training is pretty tough, he is enjoying it.
Julian Krzewski, F 1/C, tells us that he is getting along great, mainly because they have a good cook where he is. He feels that he is getting acquainted with some of the boys through the Newsletter, and, although he is a newcomer in town, he speaks of them as “the boys from home”. Good luck to you “Son of the Navy”.
S/Sgt. William Heimer is now located at Avon Park, Florida, and his brother, Pfc, Edward Heimer is a cook, for the M.P. Battalion at Fort Custer, Michigan. We get the impression that he’s a fairly good cook, since he weighs only 210 pounds.
Pvt. L.A. Brown, Jr., has swapped Mississippi mud for the South Carolina variety. He’s now “just another grounded grease monkey”, with his eye on gunner school. Well, Bud, we hope you realize that furlough soon. A few sixty-hour weeks should put you in shape for a good rest.
The children are preparing a pageant of holidays for the Spring Festival of the Center School. The youngsters are taking this war very seriously, and they buy war stamps, conserve paper, contribute to the Red Cross, etc. with a solemnity that would do your hearts good.
The Board of Education has renewed the contracts of our three excellent teachers, Miss Bowman (Little Room), Miss Adams (Middle Room) and Mrs. Chamberlain (Big Room) as well as those of Miss Branch (art teacher) and Miss Danehy (nurse). The Board has also engaged Mrs. Flora Binks of Coventry as music supervisor.
Mildred Hyatt, librarian, announces that the Andover Public Library has sent 50 pocket editions to the Naval Library.
The Board of Finance has laid a tax of 18 mills on the grand list of $847,884.00, which will keep the town running in good shape for another year.
John Yeomans has been elected grand exalted ruler of the Rockville Lodge, Order of Elks, and will be installed in that office on April 13.
Your Town Clerk Ellsworth Covell has blanks, which he will send to any of the young men and women in the service who are now eligible to be made voters, upon their written request. These blanks, properly filled out and returned, will make you voters as citizens of Andover.
The Corsairs. (Boy Scouts of America, Andover Troop) draped themselves over the fenders and over the back of John Yeomans’ old Model T last Friday, and collected three huge loads of scrap paper for the salvage heap. They had a grand time and they were the funniest sight Andover has seen for some time.
Cadet Nurse Betty Shepherd has been relieved of night duty at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and is now working in the children’s ward. We expect to see her in the home town any weekend now.
Whitney Merritt, Steve Ursin, and Dave Yeomans have all successfully passed the scrutiny of Uncle Sam, and will probably be joining you any day now.
We remind you again that we are delighted with your good letters, and that we’d like to hear from more of the boys.
P.S. We just heard that Major Nate Gatchell has had a seven-day vacation, and he is now back at more chores designed to worry the Japs.