Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters
Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2 #5
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
Andover, Connecticut
November 12, 1944

To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!

The first snowfall of the season was recorded here on November 6, but though it snowed all morning, and hard, it didn't take.  So little of it remained on the ground that you couldn't find a cat track in it, and the weather prophets couldn't use it for making predictions on the severity of the winter which is just setting in.  It has been damp and windy and gray, after a particularly beautiful autumn, and Andover has settled down to winter conditions.

We must report, first of all, on the death of one of the town's old residents.  Mr. F.H. Hoffner died on October 11, after a short illness. Our sympathy goes out to Mrs. Hoffner and his friends.

We heartily commend the twenty-six soldiers and sailors who sent in their absentee ballots for the recent election.  We realize that it took genuine interest and, in some cases, considerable trouble to get that job done.  Most of you have undoubtedly heard the national results, but we will give you the winners as they appear on the local ballot.  Andover will again be represented by Chief Merritt (R), who defeated popular Winthrop White.

Four hundred and fifteen of Andover's 458 registered voters cast their ballots on November 7, 1944.  Of these votes, 203 were straight Republican, 160 Democratic, 3 Socialist, 42 split tickets, and 7 rejected ballots.  Those elected are:  President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (D); Vice-president, Harry Truman (D); Governor, Raymond E. Baldwin (R); Lieut.-Governor, Wilbert Snow (D); Secretary, Charles J. Prestia (D); Treasurer, William T. Carroll (D); Comptroller, John M. Dowe (D); U.S. Senator, Brian McMahon (D); Representative-at-large, Joseph F. Ryter (D); Representative in Congress, Mrs. Chase Going  Woodhouse (D); Senator, 35th District, Eugene W. Latimer (R); Judge of Probate, Clayton E. Hunt (R); Representative, George A. Merritt (R); Justices of the Peace, Ellsworth L. Covell, Rachel B. White, and Ruth Benton (R) and Harold Smith, T.J. Birmingham and John F. Phelps (D).

It must have been a considerable shock and a pleasant surprise for John (Sprout) Bonkowski (somewhere in France) to hear that his wife, the former Mildred LaVigne of South Coventry, had presented him with twin daughters, early in October.  The little girls weighed a little over five pounds each at birth, and are off to a fine start.  Milly is busy but well, and we hope Johnny has recovered completely.

Congratulations are in order for Pfc. Walter Smith, whose parents told us the good news that he and Carol Ruth Pease were married on October 21, at the Fourth Congregational Church, Hartford.  Here's wishing them a short war, many furloughs, and many happy years when the fighting is over.

Corp. Lawrence Moe, who returned from England last month, is now at Kearns, Utah, near Salt Lake City.

We had a card from Capt. E.H. (Bib) Gatchell, who says that he never seems to run into people from Andover in Paris, but that he often sees classmates of  Benny Ray's.

We have news of three Dougan brothers at once, this time.  Pvt. William D. has returned to the U.S. after eight months in Italy.  He is now going to school at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., after having had a 22-day furlough in Andover.

T4S Stewart Dougan is doing radio work somewhere in England.

Corp. Earl Dougan has been in Iran with the Signal Corps for the past two years.

Pvt. Howard Chudoba, who now belongs to the A.E.F. (Americans exiled to Florida) writes  that he hit that state two weeks ago in the midst of a tropical hurricane.  He expects to be at his present location for at least four months.

Some of you received copies of the Annual Town Report before the supply ran out.  We have been able to secure a few more, so if anyone who didn't get one before wishes to have one, just drop a line to J.H. Yeomans. 

S 2/c Morse B. Pringle, Jr. was home on leave recently, with all of his six feet three inches in tip top condition.  He had rolled up quite a record for himself while in boot training in Sampson, having served as Master at Arms, Apprentice Petty Officer, and Company physical director.   He is now at the Navy Physical Instructors' School in Maryland.

Mrs. Whitcomb sent us a copy of "Rainbow Reveille", in which we find the following gem:  "Pfc. Louis Whitcomb, Co.D had better get himself a card to Musicians Union 802,.  After driving the Division band around during the Physical Conditioning Tests, Whitcomb's buddies greeted him with 'And now presenting Pfc. Whitcomb, his truck and his orchestra."

P.E. Bramhall, SF 1/c, who is now in Andover on leave, sent us a card from England a few weeks ago.  He had just made a tour of Wales, where the hills reminded him of New England, but where the towns were in a class all their own.  He said at the time that he'd gladly trade one day in Connecticut for a month in England.  Evidently he found a taker, for he is home for thirty-two days.  He will report to Davisville, R.I. on November 30.

Pvt. George LaChance is now located in New Guinea.  George says he doesn't mind the climate, but the bugs really get in his hair.  Wherever he goes, he is escorted by something that either creeps, crawls, walks, or flys.  He's decided to become a bugologist, if he hasn't been eaten up before V-Day.  George has had jolly reunions in New Guinea with Joe Gasper and with his cousin, Al Creasy of Providence.

Reunions in the Pacific seem to be the fashion, for Joe Gasper located Nate Gatchell, also in New Guinea.  He took Nate for a ride in his plane, and was looking forward to seeing him again at the grand opening of an Officer's Club.  Joe was really having a hand in the construction of that Club, since he was running a bulldozer on the project.

S/Sgt. Larry Sheehan, sent wifie Eleanor Covell S. a birthday box from Paris recently.  It contained part of a German supply chute, French rouge, a bottle of Christmas Night perfume, a pair of French kid  gloves, and an embroidered luncheon set.  What have you been doing, Sarg--playing deuces wild, or is it the galloping dominoes?

A/C Walter Parks is now going to school at Santa Anna, California.  Walt's brother Donald is located at Camp Bowie, Texas.

The Andover Fire Department is proud to present its first Manual.  A copy of it goes out with this issue of the Newsletter, with the compliments of the AFD.  In the short period of its existence, the AFD has earned a reputation here and in surrounding towns which commands respect and admiration.  Hats off  to the AFD!

Corp. Charles Johnson was home on a 72-hour leave early this month.  He is an Aerology instructor at Cherry Point, N.C., and he is enjoying his work very much.  Congratulations on that new rating, Charlie!

Pvt. John Bonkowski wrote us that he feels fine for a fellow who has gone across three countries--France, Belgium, and Holland.  John expects to make Germany number 4 on the list, if his luck holds out.  Evidently he hadn't heard about the twins when he took time to write us a line.

Hi Schildge of the Merchant Marine has found the weather in Northern England damp and cold, with the sun shining through occasionally.  His outfit travels around quite a bit, so he has had opportunity to see a lot of country.  Hi has experienced some plain and fancy tossing on the Channel, which, he says, can kick up quite a stir on occasion.  That address you asked for, Hi, is Pvt. Lewis A. Brown, Jr., 31378415, Sub Unit (H)  113th AAF Base Charleston, So. Carolina, U.S.A.

The busiest spot on the home front is the new slide on the Center School grounds.  There is a also a popular new horizontal ladder, but the slide is the thing that really gets the work-out from 8 a.m. till dark.  The outstanding Halloween prank of the year, so far as we have heard, was the thorough coating of the slide with soap.  Two little girls spent their recesses on the next day carefully undoing the damage, only to have the prank repeated on the following night.  The same little girls cleaned it off again, and the culprits must have decided then that it was more fun to use the slide than it was to watch the scrubbing process.

The hot lunch program at school, sponsored by the PTA, was begun on November 6, with 72 pupils enjoying the delicious food prepared daily in the school basement by assorted mothers.

Another PTA project, which is meeting with enthusiastic response, is the dancing class conducted every Monday afternoon at Town Hall.  A large number of school children are participating.

Margaret Yeomans was in charge of a very successful Halloween party at Town Hall for the children.  This, too, was sponsored by the PTA.  About 80 youngsters turned out for a noisy good time.  There were prizes for costumes and games, movies, and good food.

Among those recently home on leave were Bill Dunnack and his family and George Bonkowski.

Frank Paro, Jr. is home after a long, long time in the Pacific.  He has a Japanese detonator, which he will present to the Town of Andover soon.

Pfc. Andrew Kukucka now has an APO number.

Capt. "Benny" Barefield has returned to Camp Rucker, Alabama,  after a ten-day furlough with his wife, Emily Yeomans.

Verna Schildge took a picture of the baseball team to send to Hi, and we thought you might all like to see it.  So here 'tis!  Front Row, left to right:  Glenn Griswold, Stanley Gasper, Andrew Gasper, Steve Ursin, Elton Ursin, John Gasper.  Rear Row, left to right, Bill Thornton, Bill Ursin, Russell Thompson, Joe Carter, Leslie Billings, JohnPhelps.  Standing in the rear, Wally Tedford.  We're sorry Coach Tedford  (Walter, Sr.) doesn't appear with the team. 

Julian Krzewski is home from England, and we hope to have more news about him for the next Newsletter.

Sgt. John Kukucka, 6150148, 164 Ord. Bn., 474 Ord. Evac. Co., Camp Hood, Texas, still doesn't sound any too well pleased with the Lone Star State, and it's our guess he'll be glad when this war is over.

The AFD is running its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Raffle, and the chances are selling fast.  The OPA tells us that holiday birds will be scarce, because the available supply has been almost entirely absorbed by our armed forces.  Well, here's hoping you all get a drumstick, several slices of white meat, plenty of stuffing, and all the fixin's, wherever you are.  The holiday will be a solemn one for most of us, and we will count the work you are doing among our greatest blessings.

Don't forget that we are anxious to hear from all of you.

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor & John F. Phelps