Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee.
Andover, Connecticut,
December 5, 1944

To the Service Men and Women of Andover, Greeting!

Merry Christmas to all of you, wherever you are!  We wish you could all be with us, but since that’s impossible, we can only hope that you have Christmas dinner with all the fixin’s, lots of mail, and success in whatever you are doing.  We will have you in our thoughts while we make our holiday preparations, while the children open their stockings, and all through the day.

The long-legged bird seems to be fairly hovering over Andover these days, looking for good landing fields.  Sharon Irene Billings arrived on November 16, 1944, to cheer the lives of Frances and Leslie Billings.  We hear that they are all getting along very well.

MMS 1/c Frank Paro arrived in Andover on November 3, after a thirty-day trip from Green Island to Andover.  He is wearing a beautiful ring that a New Zealander made for him from pieces of a Jap Zero.  Frank says he spent three hours of October 13, at Pago Pago, American Samoa in the process of casting his absentee ballot.  He will leave for Camp Parks, California, on December 6.

GM 3/c Eddie Merritt has had a stroke of bad luck, and is now in the Washington, D.C. Dispensary recovering from appendicitis.  He expects to be out again in a week or so.

S 1/c Whit Merritt is now working in the airplane repair department at Corpus Christi, Texas.  He finds it pretty hot down there.  Whit reports that he recently heard from Ted Watts, who is now located in Pensacola, Florida, in Ships’ Service.  Ted’s wife and father are living in Florida, too, now.

A/C Walter Parks has moved from Santa Anna, California, to Deming, N.M., where he is training as a bombardier.  His brother, Pvt. Donald P. has just returned from a month of manoeuvres, and is now with the armoured field artillery at Camp Bowie.

Pvt. George LaChance wrote a newsy letter from New Guinea, where he says he’s living the life of Riley.  He’s hoping to get closer to Tokyo soon, but in the meantime he has had a chance to visit with Joe Gasper.  George wishes to remind  Johnny Bausola of a certain wager made back in high school days that the first of three young men to get married would pay off.  Johnny won! ‘Twas good to hear from you George.  Do it again.  Johnny P. will send you Eddie Sheehan’s address in a separate letter soon.

Corp. Mortie Friedrich is in command of a half track, hitting the bull’s eye somewhere in Germany.  He sent home some pictures that he took in Belgium.  He picked up a black and white fox terrier named Minnie, who sleeps at Morty’s feet and does very nicely about keeping him warm.

Harry Bonkowski was recently home on leave, looking hale and hearty.

We have a good letter from George Bonkowski, who is still in Georgia.  He says the picture of the Andover Baseball flashes shows some good material for the infantry, if the war continues that long.

Sgt. John Kukucka writes from Fort Crook, Nebraska, where he is taking a six weeks course, that he hopes to be home for a ten-day leave.  Then he’ll probably return to Texas.  “I wish they would send me the hell out of Texas, where I could live like a real man.”  His chief complaints have to do with the weather and the bow legs on the cowboys.  John has promised to send us a picture of his outfit for the decoration of the fire house or for the local war records.

SF 1/c Bud Bramhall is now stationed at Davisville, R.I., after spending some time in Andover since his return from England.

Pvt. Buster Hutchinson is somewhere in Germany with General Patton.  He must be leading a fast life, in such company.

Pfc. Walter Smith and his bride are in Andover for twelve days. When he returns to Pennsylvania, he will begin setting up communications systems.

The Andover Fire Department held its Annual Turkey Raffle and Ladies’ Night at Town hall on November 20.  Ellsworth  Mitten was on hand with his trumpet and his orchestra.  He conducted a musical quiz, which was a huge success.  The Hall was filled to capacity, and there was round and square dancing with Vic Samuels prompting.  Of eight turkies raffled, only two went out of town, and that’s almost a miracle, judging from past experience.  The local winners were Louise Gasper,   .C. Patrick, Mrs. Milburn, “Swede” Jillson, Paul Kralovich, and John F. Phelps.  Harold Smith won the prize for selling the most chances.  Refreshments were served by a committee consisting of George Nelson, Harry Sheldon, and Art Savage.

Pvt. Bud Brown is home on leave until the 14th of December, when he will return to South Carolina.

GM 3/c George Tedford was at Leyte Gulf for the invasion of the Philippines.

ARM 2/c Willis Covell writes that he had a jolly Thanksgiving Day.  He has been on leave for six or seven days, and has been seeing the sights of London.  Having been transferred from one crew to another, he has come in for two leaves recently.

Major Nate Gatchell has a display of war trophies in a store window in Willimantic.  We’ll go have a look at it soon and report more in the next letter.

We hear that Major Bertram Wright is located at Camp Stewart, Georgia, and that Master-at-Arms Carol Wright is still at Fort Huemene, California.

Corp. John Bausola, Jr. has an A.P.O. number.

Pvt. Frank E. Montie, Sr. of Coventry, who is well known to many of the Andover men, is at Camp Lejene, No. Carolina.  His wife and son, Frank, Jr., who is now 18 months old, are now in their new house in Manchester.

Corp. Al Hugelman, formerly of Bunker Hill, Andover, has returned from the South Pacific, and is recovering from malaria.

Lt. Lloyd Gray of Hebron, a former schoolmate of many of you, has been awarded the Air Medal and oak leaf cluster for meritorious service.  He is with the 8th Air Force, piloting “The Gray Eagle” over Central Germany.

The school children are hard at work on the Christmas play, and the Community Council is preparing for the annual Christmas tree.

We look forward to you letters and we hope to have lots more of them during the next month.  In the meantime, catch as much Christmas as you can, and Happy New Year!

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor and John F. Phelps

Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters