Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2, #3
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee.
September 9, 1944
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
The school bell rings out once more, and the roads teem with starched and combed youngsters on their way to school or battle-scarred, tired stragglers on the way home. Several of the silos are full, and others are being filled as rapidly as the crews can get together to do the job. Surplus corn stalks are being woven into snow fences. Most of the gardens have done well in spite of the drought, and shelves of canned goods give promise for the winter.
Once more we have sad news to tell you first. Mrs. Mark Bass died Wednesday afternoon at a hospital in Hartford, after a complicated appendectomy. The funeral was held this afternoon. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mr. Bass.
G.M. 3/c Eddie Merritt has written to us from France, where he has been since D-Day. He has now taken part in three invasions, and we are glad it turned out to be a lucky instead of an unlucky third. Eddie, we cannot sent you the addresses of Sonny Covell and Julian Krzewski in this general letter. However, John will send them to you in a personal letter soon,. Let's hope your luck holds, Eddie, and do write us again.
From Pfc. Duane Faulkner, in the Pacific Area, comes news that he has been wounded and has had malaria. He has now returned to active duty, and we hope he stays clear of mosquitoes and bullets from now on. He says the Japs are plenty tough. "This infantry is sure a rugged life. I wouldn't trade the Infantry for anything." Duane has managed to acquire a Jap flag, which he is planning to send to Andover, together with its history. He can't be enjoying life very much, for he says, "The monsoons are here, and it rains all the time." 'Twas a good letter, Duane. Let's have some more.
Our hearty thanks to Mrs. L.B. Whitcomb, who sent us a clipping, presumably from the Camp Gruber newspaper: "Wild Life Bivouac Notes: Co. D's Pfc. Louis Whitcomb 'throwed' a calf that invaded the company street, while Cpl. Antone Muniz, Co. C was seen roping a'sported' horse."
Pfc. Eddie Sheehan sent a good letter from the South Pacific, in which he speaks enthusiastically about the Newsletter. He misses Nate Gatchell, who has left his battalion. "To find a friend over here from home was really something...but to lose one like Nate was just tough luck." He feels that it will be a long time before it's his turn for a furlough, but he's looking forward to the time when he'll get back where the town is small but the hearts are big.
Albert E. Heinz writes from England: "After being overseas twenty-one months, we get pretty well browned off (English for fed up) at times. Your newsletter does much to help me out of that rut." Such a note is good for our souls, too, because it makes us feel that the Newsletter is answering at least in part the purpose for which it was started.
Pvt. George Bonkowski is at Camp Stewart, Georgia, and anything but happy about the whole thing. He says it's HOT, and there's small consolation in the Georgian's remarks about how lucky they are that it's not as hot as usual. He says training consists mostly of night hikes and the tough business of digging for gun positions, camouflage before daylight, etc.
For good news closer to home, we may tell you that Cadet Nurse Betty Shepherd and William Andrews of Stratford and the U.S. Navy are engaged. We haven't heard whether the wedding date has been set, but we hope they'll have all the happiness a grand girl like Betty deserves.
The Army trucks of the Rainbow division stopped rolling last week and won't be operating again until September 20th, or thereabouts, for Pfc. Ed Whitcomb is home on leave. Ed drives a ten-wheeler in a manner that we imagine surprises even the Army. Although the trucks have governors that hold them down to 45 mph, we have it on good authority that Ed's truck would do 60 until an inspection and a couple of M.P.s caught up with him. When we saw him, he was wearing a Driver's medal and a good conduct ribbon.
Pfc. Andy Kukucka and his bride have been home for a week. They have gone to New York now, and Andy will be back on duty next week.
Major Lionel Faulkner visited his mother on August 8, and since then Mrs. Faulkner has had word that he has arrived safely in Australia.
Pfc. Charlie Michalik has moved from Camp Livingston, La. to a New York APO number.
Frank A. Paro, Jr., MM 1c writes that the old Newsletter sure helps the morale, and although he has noticed in the letter that several servicemen from Andover are in his area (South Pacific) he has been unable to contact any one of them.
Julian M. Krzewski MoMM 3c says that he has been across the channel so often lately that the waves are now bowing each time they meet. He hasn't had much luck in contacting Eddie Merritt, but he is going to keep on trying.
Romance has come to the Boston Road, and that proud grin on Warren Jurovaty means that he is engaged to Miss Wanda Salukak of Willimantic. No wedding date has been set as yet.
S.F. 1/c Paul Bramhall of the CB's is on twelve-hour daily duty in England. He isn't particularly pleased with the spot where he is staying. He goes to London whenever he gets leave, and he says the robot bombs have done a great deal of damage.
Pvt. Howard Chudoba graduated from radio school at Truex during the last week of August, and he has been sent to Chanute Field to study electronics. His first impression of Chanute Field was a pleasant one. Here's luck to you in your new venture, Howard. Let's hear from you again soon!
Major Nate Gatchell sent another "railroad" letter to John Yeomans from New Guinea. He sounds in good spirits, eventhough, because of that special kinship between railroad enthusiasts, the note was more RR than Nate.
Clarence (Doc) Savage and his bride have been home in Andover for a couple of weeks recently. Doc's brother-in-law, Steve Ursin, is sporting a bright yellow printed silk shirt from Honolulu. Clarence made a big hit at a meeting of the Sportsmen's Club when he gave a talk on salvaging operations at Pearl Harbor. Mr. and Mrs. Savage have now gone to San Pedro, California, where Doc will work at the Navy Yard.
Major Bertram Wright and his wife have been visiting at the Wright homestead. Bert gave further testimony to the ties that bind Andover lads together in his recital of the chat he and George Bonkowski had one night just as George had returned from a forced march.
S 1/c Arthur Wood and S 2/c William R. Wood, who once made their home with the Tedfords, rated a write-up in the Hartford Times' Sentry Box this week. Arthur is stationed at Key West, Florida, and Bill is now serving in the Pacific.
Pvt. Maxwell Hutchinson writes that "England isn't so bad, but I'd give my right arm and a front seat in hell to be back in Andover." Sorry, Hutch but we can't send overseas addresses in this letter, but we'll try to send them along in a personal note. We quote Hutch further: "I offer my sincerest sympathy to George Levesque. Anybody in Camp Maxey needs it....Sonny is right about the money changing. It only takes 4 poker hands to learn it, and good too!...Best to all. Hutch".
The Republicans and Democrats have completed their nominations for this fall, with the exception of Judge of Probate. They are:
Office Democrats Republicans
Assessor Carl Carlson Donald McDonald
Bd. of Tax Review Benjamin SanGiacomo Arnold S. Hyatt
Selectmen Joseph Krozel L.B. Whitcomb
Conrad Schatz Peter Mortlock
Grand Jurors C.E. Davenport, Sr. Lincoln Bathrick
Irving Pease Frank Chase
William Palmer Charles Pease
Constables Ellsworth Mitten William McCarroll
Frank Vignone Harry Erickson
John Bausola, Sr. Edward Whitcomb
Joseph Carter Raymond Libby
Registrar Katherine Mitten Lillian Hamilton
Bd. of Finance T.J. Birmingham Harry Daggett
Fire Commissioner Harold Smith J. Russell Thompson
Bd. of Education Charles Phelps Howard W. Sprenkle
Bd. of Education (vacancy) Donald Smith
Library Board Helene MacNeill Elizebeth Sprenkle
Norton Fund Comm. Waity Brown Hedwig Savage
Representative Lewis W. Phelps George A. Merritt
Justices of Peace T.J. Birmingham Ellsworth Covell
Harold Smith Ruth Benton
John Phelps Rachel White.
Mr. Phelps has informed the Democratic Town Committee that he positively cannot run for Representative, and the Committee is faced with the task of filling the vacancy on the ticket.
Turning from politics to sports, we find the Hartford Senators clinching the Eastern League pennant last week--the first pennant in more than a dozen years for a Hartford team. They are now trying to set a record by being the first team in the Eastern League to win 100 games in one season. They stand at 97 wins at this writing.
The American League race continues red hot with the Yankees leading, tonight, by 1/2 game, the St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers tied for second, and the Red Sox holding down the 3rd spot three games behind.
In the National League the St. Louis Cards lead the Pittsburgh Pirates by 17 games, and are considered in.
Willie Pep notched another win in his belt by beating Joey Peralta at Springfield last week. Pepie fights Cabey Lewis in Hartford September 14, and after that it is expected a championship match with Chalky Wright in Madison Square Garden will be in order.
Note: In 1886 the major leagues played their last game on Thanksgiving Day. In those days they played until there was snow on the diamond.
Well, the Andover Grandfathers won a game--and from Columbia, at that. Yes sir, and what a game! Going into the last of the 9th inning, Andover trailed 11 to 3. With one out, Rus Thompson singled a short right and that was the signal for the boys to uncork the power.
Les Billings banged out a double, Herm Heinz dropped a Texas Leaguer in left, Andy Gasper beat out a roller, Bill Thornton hit a double, Stanley Gasper got on, Wally Tedford layed down a beautiful bunt, then with his eye trained on a right field bushes, Steve Ursin pounded out a home run. With the score tied, the Columbia pitcher settled down and nothing more happened until Andover's half of the 12th inning. Les Billings singled, Pop Tedford, pinch hitting for someone dumped one over second base, sending Les to 3rd. With none out, Fritz Ursin sent a grounder down the 3rd base line, which the Columbia 3rd baseman fielded. Instead of throwing to home, he made a play at 1st, allowing Billings to score the winning run.
Andover's Heroes for the day and why: Steve Ursin's home run; Bill Thornton's pitching; Les Billings' fielding and hitting; Rus Thompson's 3 hits in a row; Wally Tedford's bunt; Stanley Gasper's hit; Pop Tedford, pinch hitting; John Gasper, 2 saves in center field; Herm Heinz, hits; Andrew Gasper---???; John Phelps. water boy.
In the return game August 22, it was a different story, and Columbia came out on top. Last week the boys journeyed to Bolton, but after leading for the first few innings, Andover fell apart at the seams and wound up on the short end of a 8 to 3 score. However, Bolton comes to Andover Sunday for the final game of the season, and we hope the next newsletter will carry the story of victory.
Whoa, back up! Almost forgot to tell you about the Labor Day ball game between the Grandfathers and the Great Grandfathers, composed of Harold Smith, Link Bathrick, Fran Friedrich, Rus Thompson, Pop Tedford, Joe Carter, Eddie Yeomans, and Hermie Heinz. The batteries were Tedford and Carter for the Great Grandfathers, Thornton and Ursin for the Grandfathers. The final score was Great Grandfathers, 29; Grandfathers, 28. Fran Friedrich hit a home run into the center field bushes.
We had a call from Pfc. Walter Smith, and he informed us that he is still connected with the Signal Corps. For the present, he is part of a 6-man team, which travels from camp to camp instructing the men in the control of moisture and fungus on equipment. He is now stationed at Fort Hancock, N.J.
The Walter Smith's, Sr. are entertaining an English boy of high school age, Anthony Perritt, for the duration. Anthony goes to Windham High, and one comment he has had to make on America is that he likes Jazz. He says there's nothing like it in England, excepting a couple of imitators, who aren't like the real thing.
Sonny Covell and Bill Grenon found themselves together in an ice cream line somewhere in England, and had a grand reunion. Sonny is now First Radio man on a patrol bomber. Nice going, Sonny!
T/S George Levesque has moved from Camp Maxey, Fla. to an APO number. Here's hoping we hear from you soon, George.
Lt. Commander John Marchant of the Naval Reserve has been called to active duty on a secret assignment. Dot M. is visiting her mother now, but will carry on on the farm on Bunker Hill.
Capt. Henry Hilliard has returned to Ascension Island after a thirty-day furlough in the U.S. with his wife and mother. Mrs. Hilliard had an At Home for him, when many of his friends called.
SC 2/c Alma Smith of the Waves is head cook in the Officer's Mess at Bronx, N.Y. U.S. Naval Training Center. She has asked for a transfer back to the galley, because her bossing job is too monotonous. She gets up at three o'clock and goes to work at four for a 10 to 15 hour day. She is on duty twenty-four hours, off for twenty-four, then on for 48 hours and off for 48. It sounds like a tough schedule. Alma recently performed First Aid and mothered one of her butchers when the girl sliced her arm instead of a roast. The cut required 6 stitches.
S 2/c Joseph Remish, Jr. has completed boot training at Sampson, and has been home for a week's leave.
Ed Heimer writes from England to say he enjoys the Newsletter, and that he'd like to find some of the fellows from Andover, who are over there.
We had a dandy stack of letters and cards this month. We appreciate them all and hope they'll continue to roll in.
Vera Cross Taylor and John F. Phelps, Eds.