Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters
Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2, #4
Sponsored by The Democratic Town Committee
Andover, Connecticut
October 6, 1944

To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!

October 2 dawned bright and windy; with gaudy trees gleaming against a blue, blue sky.  Gleaming frost gave way before the sunshine, and the sumac hedges were a sight to wonder at.  Bright leaves romped down the highways ahead of hurrying cars, and the voters romped through Town Hall, doing their civic duty with a determined gleam in their eyes.  When the counting was over that same evening, the winnahs were The Republicans, excepting, of course, members of the bi-partisan boards.  Our new and returning Town officers are:  Assessor, Donald W. MacDonald; Bd. of Tax Review, Arnold S. Hyatt; Selectmen, Louis B. Whitcomb, Peter Mortlock and Conrad Schatz (D):; Grand Jurors, Lincoln M. Bathrick, Charles R. Pease, Frank  Chase, (R's) Clifton E. Davenport, Sr., F. Irving Pease, and William E. Palmer (D's);  Constables, William McCarroll, Jr., Harry Erickson, L. Edward Whitcomb, Raymond W. Libby (R's) Ellsworth Mitten, John Bausola, Sr., and Frank Vignone, (D's); Registrars, Lillian L. Hamilton (R), and Katherine W. Phelps; Bd. of Education Vacancy for 2 years, Donald Smith (D);  Library Director for a 1-year vacancy, Helene MacNeill, (Non-partisan, endorsed by the Democrats); Bd. of Finance, Harry Daggett (R) and T.J. Birmingham (D); Norton Fund Commissioner, Hedwig Savage (R) and Waity Brown (D); Fire Commissioner, J. Russell Thompson, (R) and Harold L. Smith (D).

Of the 341 ballots cast, 155 were Republicans, 139 Democratic, 36 split, and  11 rejected.

The Annual Town Meeting (business division) was held the same evening.  It was just as wordy as usual, more good-natured than usual, and downright funny in spots.  It was highlighted by the acceptance by the Town of Andover of certain roads near Andover Lake and by the establishment (by unanimous consent) of a School Building Fund by a levy of two mills in taxes.  It was voted to maintain the Observation Post, the top half of which belongs to the Town and the bottom half to Mrs. H.A. Thompson until six months after the war is over.  It was also voted to hold the business meeting of the Annual Town Meeting on the Saturday preceding election day.

Now that election day and Town Meeting are over, we can't see any appreciable changes.  Andover goes merrily along, as usual
                    Continued on October 10, 1944

Montague White, as moderator of the Annual Town Meeting, has appointed the School Building Committee, consisting of the chairman of the Board of Education (not yet elected for the coming year), Rachel White, Carl Carlson, Editha Birmingham, Donald MacDonald, Peter Mortlock, Dorothy Lockwood, and I.B. Dunfield, Supervisor of Schools (ex-officio).  They have a big job ahead of them.

September brought the long-legged bird to our town twice--Steve and Clara Savage Ursin have a husky young son, David, who was born at Hartford Hospital.  Mother, son, and father doing very nicely, thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Chase are receiving congratulations on the birth of a daughter, Jean.  With five brothers here ahead of her, the little lady must be the center of gallant attention.

Dan Cupid has been working on the Lake Road, for Mr. and Mrs. John Bausola have announced the engagement of their daughter, Dorothy Jane, to Waldo Nichols of  Fayette, Maine.

On September 13 and 14, storm warnings were hoisted along the coast, and the weather forecasters gave storm warning of a hurricane coming.  Farmers were out nailing down everything that was loose, home-owners along the coast hauled in small craft, nailed up windows, and took to high ground.  Andover waited and listened to the wind.  A good, gradual rain soaked into the parched ground.  About ten o'clock on the night of the 14th, the gusts of wind began to tear into the trees and houses with a will, and Andover stayed awake.  The rain increased to whirling, driving torrents, and the AFD kept vigil at the Fire House, in case of major catastrophe.  One by one the phones and lights went out. windows creaked, roofs groaned, branches and old trees crashed to the ground, and not a few timid souls quaked in their shoes,.  About two o'clock in the morning, the wind subsided, and the hurricane passed on to harass the populace farther north.  Bright morning found us safe and almost unharmed, and, in a few days, utilities were restored to normal working order.

Corporal Lawrence Moe has come home after more than eighteen months in England.  He was stationed in an area frequently visited by buzz-bombs, but he is being very quiet about his actual experiences over there.  He tried to get in touch with Larry Sheehan, but Larry took out for France before they could get time out at the same time to meet in London.  Lawrence seems well, and he's mighty glad to be home.  When he goes off for "redistribution" at the end of the month, his wife, Alice Yeomans, may go with him.

Pvt. Howard Chudoba, who is now at Chanute, Illinois, expects to be sent to Florida within the next two weeks for advanced study.

Somewhere in France, sitting in the mud, is an Andover doughboy, sweating out the next Newsletter.  So says Pvt. M.B. Hutchinson, who has found that his high school French is standing him in good stead.  Hutch reports that the French people really think that the Yanks are just about the best thing that ever happened.  The Paris newspapers are nearly entirely devoted to Americans, their equipment, and their accomplishments. We'll be waiting for that "stuff", Buster!

F 2/c Joe Remesch is at the Naval Training School in Gulfport, Mississippi, where he is attending engineering school for the next eight weeks.

F 3/c Nook Jurovaty is all ready to go.  He sends a challenge to all the bat boys who played ball in Andover this summer, saying that when he and the rest of the boys come home, they will show the old fellows how to play.  Here's hoping it's soon, Nook!

Pfc. Charlie Johnson is now an instructor in the Marine School of Aerology at Cherry Point, North Carolina, getting a great kick out of it.  Charlie recently visited his sister, Mary, at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

G.M 3/c Eddie Merritt, veteran of four invasions, is on a thirty-day leave with his parents.  He saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, and the Normandy Coast, from the deck of an amphibious landing craft.  he is extremely reticent about his experiences, but we know he has been in on the very worst of it.  He is thriving on Ma's home cooking right now.  He had a pleasant surprise last week , when his brother, Whit, called from Corpus Christi, Texas for a talk with all the family.  Eddie, too, is expecting "redistribution: later this month.

It's now S 1/c for Whit Merritt. Nice going!

Pfc Bill Dunnack reports from Norfolk, Va that he is still fixing things up after the hurricane.  Doris and Bill, Jr. are with him, and all is well.

Sonny Covell, ARM 2/c has had another change of address during the past month, but we believe he is still in England.  He reports that all is well with him.

F 1/c William Merritt is with the Amphibious Training Force at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Va.

It is now Staff Sergeant Larry Sheehan, and we are given to understand that the Sarg is doing the sights of Paris.

The Andover Fire Department gave a sound movie at the Town Hall on September 29, and it was attended by some sixty adults and fifty-five children.  The show varied from "Building a Tank" to sports thrillers.  Refreshments were sold, and the proceeds will be used for future improvements in equipment.

"ESPIRITU SANTO, NEW HEBRIDES:  Here we are, a year older, a year wiser, battleworn, liberty-starved, and 10,647 miles from Boston, U.S.A."  That's how George Tedford, GM 3/c and his buddies aboard the U.S.S.  Erben felt when they wrote "One Year Before the Mast".  No, it's not a book, but it could be one, for the mimeographed pages received by Mr. and Mrs. Tedford from George last month, telling about the experiences aboard the U.S.S.. Erben for one year tell a story that would make even the hardiest of mystery-readers sit on the edge of the seat.

Lack of space prevents our giving you all the facts, but a few samples follow.   Among the hunting grounds of the  Erben are listed:  Boston, Portland, Me., Casco Bay, Bermuda, Panama City, San Diego, Pearl Harbor, Ellice Islands, Marshall Islands, Florida Island, Bougainville, New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, Hollandia, Gilbert Islands, and Aitape.

In the departmental reports of the Erben, each gave statistics pertaining to the work.  For instance, the Communications Division listed officers, men, and a half-man called Joe Gremlin, whom they blamed for getting into the radar gear.  The Radiomen and signalmen used up some 50,000 message blanks, and the sound men sent out some over 6,000,000 pings.  The Yeomen wore four typewriters to a frazzle.

The supply division served over 300,000 meals, using up 300 tons of food.

Well, that's a sample of what "One Year Before the Mast" is about.  George told his folks to save it, but perhaps after the war is over, Fuzz will give the original copy to the Town War Records for permanent keeping.  For the time being, it is in the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Tedford.

We are sorry to report that three of Andover's citizens are in the hospital for treatment of uncomfortable and serious ailments.  They are A.H. Benton, Doris Hutchinson, and F.H. Hoffner.  We are watching for reports on their progress and send them all our best wishes for quick recovery.

Cpl. John Kukucka, 6150148,164 Ord. Bn., 474 Ord Evac. Co., Camp Hood, Texas, would like to hear from some of the fellows.  He sounds pretty sick of Texas, in particular, having trained in five different camps there so far.  You've been in it a long time, John,  and we can understand that you'll be glad when you can come home.

Sgt. R.E. Grenon never did get to see his brother, Bill before he was sent to France.  He is wishing now that he'd studied French harder in High School.  Bob is really proud of his bomber, which has been in combat from the beginning of operations in France.  His chief complaint is about the food, which, canned, dehydrated, and dried, is a far cry from home cooking.  Bob's letter is packed with interesting  information on France and the French, as of  October, 1944, and the methods by which he makes life livable over there.  He speaks a bit wistfully of a certain pretty nurse (and we know who she is!) and signs off with the following:

"I miss the old town, but I'm hoping to see it soon.  This can't last forever, or can it?  Goodby now.  I send my best wishes to all the Andover men in the service.  I know some of the boys are really having it rough, but all I can say is, it takes us all to win this war, no matter how seemingly insignificant our jobs may appear."

Merchant Mariner, Hi Schildge is now in Scotland, and his most vivid reaction to things over there is his disappointment in English bridges.  He expected them to be magnificent, but finds they don't hold a candle to the American variety.

Once more we remind and urge you to send in your absentee ballots for the coming election of state and national officials.  However remote from your present temporary world of war this election may seem, it really is your privilege and duty to cast your vote.  When you have attended to this very important matter, do try to find time to write to us again.

Corp. Lawrence Moe spoke of the tremendous thrill he felt as he saw the Statue of Liberty, as he came into New York Harbor on his way back to Andover.  May you all get that thrill of seeing the home shores soon.

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor & John F. Phelps, Editors.