Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee.

Andover, Connecticut,
February 5, 1945

To the Service Men and Women of Andover, Greeting!

Able Seaman John Fitzgerald Phelps, 8,994,425, left on January 31, 1945 (his 27th birthday) for the Naval Training Center, Sampson, N.Y. We can only hope that description, “Able” is accurate!  Thus endeth his editorship of this here sheet, and we must say that he did a conscientious, faithful job, and we shall miss him.  His swan song was Vol.2 #7, which he did alone, and we thought that was the best issue sent out so far.

We take great pleasure in introducing Johnny’s successor on the Newsletter, John V. Gasper.  He was chosen for the job, because he knows nearly all of you personally, and he will be glad to sit down to talk with you once each month.  So it’s “So long” to one John and “Hello” to another.  More power to them both.

In keeping with our custom of telling bad news first, we must report three deaths among the older residents in Andover.

Paul Litwin, who lived here for about eighteen years, passed away at his home on the Hebron Road.

Frank A. Paro, Sr. died at his home on the Boston Road during January.  He had lived here for eight years.  His son, Frank A. Paro, Jr., is with the U.S. Navy, stationed in California.

Allen H. Newton died at his winter home in Hartford, after a short illness, on Saturday, February 3.  His daughter, Sally Wilkinson of the State of Washington, and his son, Kent, are coming home for the funeral.  His daughter, Natalie, makes her home in Andover and in Hartford.  Many of you will remember the delightful paintings Mr. Newton kept in his studios, many of them scenes of Andover.  We wonder what will become of his works now.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families and friends of these honored citizens of our town.

Turning to a happier subject, we can report that the Mile O’ Dimes campaign to raise funds to fight infantile paralysis, raised $50.45, with the drive still incomplete.  Editha Birmingham was chairman of the drive.  The school children collected a total of $23.38 in the three rooms, and the Boy Scouts contributed about $25.00.  The Boy Scouts got it the hard way, going from house to house for donations.  They collected an additional $7.45, which was sent to Hartford, and therefore now counted in the local total.  An orchestra, led by Bobby Friedrich, known as the Junior Songsters, put on a minstrel show at Town Hall.  Members of the orchestra are Punky Carlson, Roger Parks, Kenny Hilliard, and Kenny Ericson.  They even have red cardboard signs, with the initials J.S. to complete their outfit. The minstrel was performed with spirit, and the orchestra played for jiggerbugging after the show.  We think the youngsters showed great initiative and the very best spirit in working so hard for the Mile O’ Dimes.

Charlie Michalik’s parents received word that Charlie was missing in action.  On the same day, they received a letter from him, saying that he had been wounded, and was in a hospital in England.  It has since been rumored that he returned to battle and was wounded again.  We are anxious to hear what really happened, and we hope that the War Department’s information was inaccurate.

Pvt. George Bonkowski reported from England during January.  He had a dreadful time on the trip across the Atlantic, and it would have been worth a pretty penny to see him race for the railing.

Bib Gatchell is still in France, and his mother has some good pictures of him taken over there.

That long-legged shadow lying over sunny Andover has been as busy as ever.  On January 20, 1945, it stopped over the Tedford Homestead, summoning Barbara to the Hartford Hospital.  About noon that day, Mr. and Mrs. Willis Covell became the parents of a son, William David Covell.  Mother and son are already at home and doing well, but Papa hasn’t been heard from yet.  Are you just a long way off, Sonny or was the news too much of a shock?

Later on that same day, Barbara’s sister Betty took out for the same institution, and she had a bouncing boy named Donald Campbell Dowling, Jr.  Daddy Dowling, of the marines, is passing out cigars in California.  What a household that must be! It would help if the babies cry together, rather than in shifts.

Mr. and Mrs. Warren S. Patrick, newcomers in town, are the parents of a baby girl, their second daughter, who was born at the Hartford Hospital on February 1.  The little lady is Sally Patrick, and she will be welcomed home at the Brown place on the Hartford Road later this week.

A check with the Merritt families finds Eddie assigned to an LCI, (L.#421). Whit has progressed from S 1/c to AMM 3/c.  Congratulations, Whit.

Bill Merritt is now stationed at Lido Beach, L.I.  He was home for a short leave on January 28.

Others recently on leave at home were Corp. Lawrence Moe and SF 1/c Paul Bramhall.  Lawrence has returned to Utah and Paul to Rhode Island.

Marion Bramhall’s husband, Arthur Tiede, is somewhere in France.  Many of you remember him on his many visits to Andover.

Lt. Joe Gasper writes from New Guinea that his luggage has just caught up with him after fourteen months.  What could he have been wearing all this time?

Buster Hutchinson is somewhere in Germany, and he isn’t at liberty to write very specifically.  He says, however, that it’s a crazy war and he wishes it were over.  His mail reaches him about once in two months, but it’s great to get it even that late.

Look up General Patton, and near at hand you will find Johnny Sprout Bonkowski.  He is really seeing action.

Ed Whitcomb has finally been heard from.  He is somewhere in England.

Hi Schildge, your Newsletters have certainly gone out to you, and we hope that someday soon, when your tug comes to anchor, you’ll find them waiting for you.  Hi sends his regards to the fellows in the AFD.

Capt. Henry Hilliard writes from I.R.T.C., Fort McClellan, Alabama that he and his wife spent two enjoyable weeks at the Ashville Redistribution Center at Grove Park Inn.  He is now in the personnel section of the IETC Hq.  He and his wife are living in Anniston.  His mother sent us his new address.

Eddie Sheehan is in the Philippines, which probably means a lot of action and no soft snap.

Mrs. Moran had a letter from George Levesque, saying that he had just been discharged from the hospital.  He had been burned in a gasoline explosion in New Guinea.  He says that it gave him a much-needed rest to be in the hospital for a while.

2nd Lt. Irene Willis Murray, ANC, has sent pictures of her recent wedding on the Isle of Capri to her friends in Andover.  She is now living in a tent, somewhere north of Rome, and she is thoroughly miserable with the cold and dampness, excepting the one day a week that she can spend in a hotel.

Lt. Leslie Goodenough accompanied Alma Smith to Andover on a recent leave.  He had just returned from thirty-seven months duty in the South Pacific, and he found the temperature in Andover in sharp contrast to the balmy tropic air.  It kept Harold busy night and day firing the boiler to keep the Lieutenant warm. It was only about 10 below zero, with a gale blowing, that weekend.  Why don’t you come to visit us when it’s really cold, Lieutenant?

Bill Kralovich has passed his physical, and is now 1A.

Bill and Martha Thompson are now residing at the Bartlett home in Andover.  Since their wedding on July 8 of last year, they have lived first in Andover, then Columbia, and now Andover again.  Make up your mind, Bill.  Why not stay in this good old town?

We are very glad to report that Mrs. Katherine Mitten, who has been seriously ill for several months, is now much better.

The next time you boys and girls come home you will see a glow on the horizon as you approach Andover.  That’s because of a new coat of paint has been put on the interior of the railroad station.  That, added to the fire that is kept there now, makes the old place almost unbelievably bright and cheerful.

The most recent social event was the farewell party given John Phelps on the Saturday evening before he left to join the Navy.  This time it was not a stag party, and it couldn’t be held in the Gasper Cabin, because of the size of the crowd and the weather. About sixty friends gathered at the Liberty Hill Log Cabin, to give Johnny their good wishes and a purse of money.  George Tedford, home on leave, was among the guests.  There was dancing and general jollification for young and old, and refreshments provided by the wives.  (After all, the women have to pay their way into these parties somehow, and what do they care about what becomes of their red points for such a cause, even if the men have to go without meat and butter during the next few weeks?)  The guests returned to town at all hours of the morning and during the following day.  We shouldn’t forget to mention that there were liquid refreshments not provided by the wives, but we wouldn’t go so far as to say that, while the floors were waxed, some of the guests were nearly oiled.  John, a certain neighbor of yours wants us to remind you that you owe him about six cigars in payment of a certain important wager.

Johnny’s going makes a total of 68 men and women from this town in the services, according to a recent survey.  Of these, three who originally made their homes here have been discharged.  Two other servicemen have come here to make their homes since receiving honorable discharges.  Three men have been killed in action.  Besides these, there are two in the civil service, one cadet nurse, and one in the merchant marine.  That’s nearly ten per cent of the town’s population, and you are going a big job all over the globe.

Safe home!

Vera Cross Taylor and John V. Gasper,

Andover, Connecticut

Hislorical - Democratic Town Committee, WWII Newsletters