Andover Newsletter, Vol. 2, #9
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
March 11, 1945
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
Spring has started a major offensive. We are prepared to have Winter counter-attack with decreasing force during the next month or so, but Spring will win out in the end. Skis, sleds, skates are stored in the tool sheds, and the children track in mud, instead of snow. Marbles and skipping ropes are the fashion at Center School. Driveways are impassable, and even the tarred roads are breaking with the frost. The farmers area getting ready for the rush season, and visions of flower beds, home gardens, and preserved foods are swollen with enthusiasm born of warm sunshine.
Many of you will be grieved at the passing of one more of Andover's well-known citizens during the past month. Mrs. Guy Bartlett died quite suddenly on February 21. Our sincerest sympathy goes out to Mr. Bartlett, Martha, and Guy.
We've had a few dandy letters this month, and we'll pass parts of them on to you for your enjoyment, beginning with one from Andover's latest inductee, John Phelps.
"...I can understand now even better than before why the boys like it (The Newsletter) so....Well, the Navy life isn't too bad except that I miss Ruth and Sandra and the rest of the folks a great deal. Upon arriving here at Sampson, the recruits are herded (and I mean herded) into the reception hall...where they are numbered and started through the Sampson physical. The first thing that happens is a haircut, and what a haircut! They take everything but your scalp. After that the physical begins. Then clothes are issued and tried on. Two trucks drive up to the back door, clothes into one, men into the other, a ride which only Joe Gasper could duplicate and the recruit is at his barracks ready to begin training.
"Up at 5:30--sometimes 4:30--and going all day long until hit the sack (bed) at 2130 (9:30). Drilling, classes, PT (physical torture), drilling, drilling, classes, PT, hit the sack, hit the deck, chow call. You get immune to the hustle and bustle after the first three weeks and your reactions become automatic.
"...Sampson is really a ##!**! (Pardon me!) city. It has just about everything a medium sized city has."
Johnny's letter goes on from there with a long description of the training center, which description ends with: "Damn sight easier for me to send a picture." Well, John, why don't you send a picture for us to keep in our local war records?
"...P.S. A pat on the back and a little write up for John Yeomans for all those issues of the Newsletters he's printed without complaining", to which we respond with a hearty "Amen!"
"PPPs. Pass on the word to all the fellows in the Navy that it will be o.k. for them to correspond with me, but tell all those fellows in the Army that unless they hold the rank of 2nd Lt. or higher, it will require a special order from the War Department before they can write or talk to a Navy Boot. After all, the Navy is winning this war. The Army is just in the way. Ha-Ha." We are looking forward with keen interest to the replies that last paragraph from Johnny must certainly bring forth!
V-Mail brought us the following from PFc. Walter Smith: "...At present I am in London, eating swell chow and feeling great. This really isn't a bad town except that in the evening it is rather difficult to find your way around because the dim-out makes things pretty black." We have noted the new address, Walter, and hope the Newsletter keeps up with you wherever you go.
George Bonkowski is somewhere in England, and he's in line for some congratulations. His new rating is Private, First Class.
Wedding bells rang out once more at St. Mary's Church, South Coventry last month. This time the bride and groom were Dorothy J. Bausola, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Bausola of Andover Lake and Waldo Nichols, son of Mrs. Naomi Nichols of Fayette, Me. The attendants were Mr. and Mrs. John Yeaton, sister and brother-in-law of the bridegroom. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols will be at home at 1075 main St., Manchester after March 15.
Betty Shepherd, Cadet Nurse, was granted a week's vacation last month, because she had become excessively weary from overwork. It was fun to have her around for a week, and we hope she went back with renewed energy. She expects to finish her training at Massachusetts General Hospital in October, 1945.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crowley and their children have gone to Los Angeles, Cal. to live. They have sold their Andover house to Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt Boyington. Yes, DeWitt is State Trooper, Ralph Boyington's brother.
Mr. and Mrs. Everett Pease have sold their home on the Boston Road. We haven't heard yet what their plans are, but if this keeps up, you won't know the Boston Road when you come home.
The real estate business seems to be booming. Rufus Grant has sold his home on Andover Lake to Marion and Tubby Levitow. Many of you will remember Tubby (A former U. of Conn. football star) as the heaviest tackle at that unconventional softball game which was the gruesome highlight of the first annual barbecue of the Sportsmen's Club and AFD. We don't know yet where the Grants will make their home after May 1.
Warren Jurovaty has passed his physical examination, but he hasn't received his classification yet.
A/C W.S. Parks, 31378430, Cadet Detachment, Box 984, LUAAF, Las Vegas, Nevada, writes: "...I have moved several times. I left Santa Anna for Deming, N.M., where I started Bombadiering School, but did not finish school there as the 4th Air Force took over the field. Then I moved to Minten Field, Calif. We were there just till they could find a new base for us. They shipped us here where we are taking gunnery and have only a week more of school before completing the course. This place is the worst I've ever been in.... Things are indefinite as to the possibility of going to advanced bombardiering. We'll probably be cadets for the duration at the rate we're going."
Clara Savage Ursin is in charge of the Red Cross membership drive, with a goal of $432 to make. A house-to-house coverage which is going on throughout the town should do the job. The school children are contributing, too.
The Andover Branch, Columbia Chapter, American Red Cross elected the following officers: Chairman, Arnold Hyatt; vice-chairman, Gertrude Seyd; secretary, Helen MacNeill; treasurer, Lewis W. Phelps; auditor, John Gasper; member executive committee, Lina Bathrick, Max Asher, Hedwig Savage, Ella Smith, John Gasper, Ethel Nelson; home service chairman, Ramona Yeomans; surgical dressings, Barbara Grant; production, Doris Hutchinson; disaster and relief, Pearl Parrish; women's service, Clarice Yeomans; first aid training, Clarice Yeomans and John Hutchinson.
Lt. Clifton E. Davenport of the Navy is keeping busy in the Pacific war theatre. He writes to his parents frequently, and he says that he is well, and enjoying fresh cocoanuts. His father has tried so hard to give Andover a tropical warmth this winter that the AFD has been called out twice to extinguish chimney fires at his house. Both fires occurred around dawn, and the last one happened after a night of freezing rain, so that the valiant fire laddies had great difficulty in keeping their feet under them as they scaled the roof and handled the equipment.
We have heard that Hi Schildge of the U.S. Maritime Service met up with one of Adolph's buzz bombs. He was injured on the shoulder and hip, but he is back at work again now.
Captain Harry Fox has been awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. He earned it when his armored division crossed the Siegfried Line last September. They were surrounded by Germans for three days, but decided to blast their way out rather than surrender. Harry carried out the wounded and administered first aid under fire. His brother, Lt. Alex Fox of the Navy, is in the Pacific area.
A Youth Fellowship Group has been organized at the church, with the following officers: President, Betty Lou Van Deusen; vice-president, Richard Yeomans; secretary, Jean Stanley; treasurer, Clifford Erickson. Mrs. Donald Smith is counselor.
Sonny Covell writes from England that he'd like to get in touch with Andover boys who are now on that damp island. We'll send you some addresses in a separate letter, Sonny, and let you figure it out from there. Write again, soon.
Dan Cupid has been working Long Hill, and Mr. and Mrs. George Nelson announce the engagement of their daughter, Jane Christine Nelson, to Harold Warren Corthell, son of Mrs. Wilbur O. Allen of North Reading, Mass.
Andover is very proud of Lawrence Krozel, who "spelled down" all of Windham High School in a spelling bee last month. Lawrence, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Krozel, is a freshman, and we think he rates a big hand for his performance.
Stanley Gasper will soon be rubbing elbows with Johnny Phelps at Sampson, for he enlisted in the Navy last month. He is awaiting orders now, and he expects to leave soon. Stanley was over half way through his senior year at Windham High, and he will be awarded his diploma at graduation time, even though he will probably be doing his studying under Uncle Sam then.
Bud Bramhall has been transferred from Rhode Island to California, and he has a San Francisco FPO number. Now that he is away across the continent, he has been granted a 15-day leave, which he might have used more happily in Andover.
Johnny Kukucka has an APO number, N.Y., now. Speaking of the Kukuckas, whatever became of those wonderful letters Charlie used to write every month? They were some of the best we ever received, and we'd like to get some more, to pass along in the Newsletter.
The Merritt cousins, Whit and Bill, of the Navy had furloughs at home last month.
Lt. Maurice Levesque sent us some Japanese money (the folding kind) and an interesting letter:
"...Made The assault waves in the landing here. (Censored) The people were the happiest that I have ever seen,. They met us as we marched inland and sang, "God Bless America." They know what Jap Domination means. It seems that one of the favorite tricks of these little "sons-of-heaven is to force one to drink gallons of water and then to pounce on one's stomach. This is the method they use to make the people tell where their rice stores were located. They call it the water cure.
"While out with a patrol the other day, I ran into a Jap loaded down with rice. He was all by himself, which turned out to be detrimental, for all I had to do was squeeze the trigger. He was too dumb to try to get away, so now he is a good Jap. I must be getting cold blooded. I put one shot into him for every month he has caused me to be overseas. The poor guy looked more like a screen door than he did a man.
"...We found many cases of this money when we landed, so we used it whenever we go into some village that was till then in Jap hands. It took thousands of these pesos to purchase some item that we could have gotten for an American quarter, but we had the thousands.
"Hope you will overlook the condition of this letter (really, it's a neat letter---eds.) Jap ink and a fox hole are responsible.
Raymond and Florence Gasper Libby, who now live in Cincinnati, went to the movies one night a while ago, and were surprised to see a picture of John (Sprout) Bonkowski flashed on the screen. He was busy with a land mine, and he looked into the camera with a broad grin, although his face was spattered with mud. We predict that Johnny, who has been mastering snowdrifts, deep mud, and swollen rivers with General Patton, will grin even more broadly when he hears that one of his twin daughters has her first tooth.
The Andover Fire Department held its annual meeting and election of officers on February 9. The officers of last year were re-elected as follows: President, Harold Smith; vice-president, Percy B. Cook; secretary, E.K. Seyd; Treasurer, Arnold Hyatt, They are planning to hold impressive Memorial Day ceremonies, complete with parade, this year, and George Nelson, Ellsworth Covell, John Yeomans and Donald Smith are in charge of the preparations.
When the meeting was over, the firemen held an all-night smoker, with refreshments furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Tedford for the good work the AFD did at the fire at their house last July. Several members literally didn't get home until morning, so they must have been having fun.
We have it on fairly reliable authority that John Phelps 'phoned (collect) to the AFD meeting to vote against Andy Gasper. 'Tis said that Johnny will get a bill for that call, and that he'd better be prepared to pay it, along with his dues!
Corp. Morty Friedrich writes that he is somewhere in Germany, and feeling fine.
Now that you are scattered all over the globe, we are more anxious than ever to hear from you, so that the Newsletter can help to keep you in touch with one another. We also invite the families and friends of the servicemen and women to contribute news which we can use in the Newsletter.
Vera Cross Taylor & John V. Gasper, Editors.