Andover Newsletter, Vol. 3, #2 Victory Issue
Sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee
To the Servicemen and Women of Andover, Greeting!
THE WAR IS OVER!
That glorious headline shrieked from the fire siren and rang with the church and school bells at 7 p.m., on August 14, 1945. It echoed in the hearts and voices of your people back home. People tied the horns on their cars down to honk and honk and honk. The evening train roared through the wilds between Bolton and Willimantic with the whistle wailing constantly. Friends gathered at each others' houses and many went to church. Liquid refreshments were not lacking, and youthful spirits were expressed by dragging tin cans and galvanized iron tubs up and down the road. No bonfires were started, and the youngsters therefore showed either admirable restraint or remarkable lack of imagination.
Peace--it's wonderful! And yet none of us forgot the ones who did not live to celebrate the victory. We pay humble tribute to George Wilson, Bill Johnson, Rusty Friedrich, Maurice Levesque, the many, many who gave gone with them, and to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Neither are we unmindful of the long, long time some of you must wait before you will be released from the services. There are still so many problems to settle, so much work to do, and so much time to wait that we are not yet satisfied, yet, with the shooting officially over, we're all yelling "HOORAY!".
The Democratic Town Committee has been planning a clam bake at the Gasper Cabin for Saturday, August 18. People were expecting to have a lot of fun there, but now that peace has come at last, it will probably be more than that--a whiz bang victory party. There will be a clam bake master on hand to prepare clam chowder, steamed clams, lobsters, roast corn, potatoes, etc., and there will be plenty of beer. There will be sports events and musicians. The Democrats have invited the entire public, and they guarantee that the Republicans who attend will be neither barbecued nor lynched. It is safe to predict that many who attend won't be home until morning.
Mr. and Mrs. Willis, who now live in Rockville, had a grand surprise when Lt. Irene 'phoned them from South Carolina. She has been doing her diligent bit in the E.T.O. for thirty months, and has been in the service for 33 months. We hope the 'phone call is a forerunner of a visit or even a discharge for Irene.
MM 2/c Russ Murray, whom many of you remember from school days, arrived in San Diego, California on Saturday, August 11, and his wife, the former Skipper Cunningham, is living in hopes that he is on his way home.
Mr. and Mrs. Ned Merritt are proud to announce that both their sons have new ratings. Ed is now Gunner's Mate 2/c (after three months in gunnery school in California) and Whit is Aviation Machinist's Mate 2/c. Congratulations to them both.
Glenn Griswold has completed boot training, and has been home on leave.
Frank Norris, Mariner "A" Class, was last reported in New York City, on his way home.
Paul Kraal is home on emergency leave.
The local Republicans interrupted their celebration long enough to hold a caucus on the evening of August 14, and they nominated the following for town offices for the October election:
Assessor, Montague White; Board of Tax Review, E.K. Seyd; First Selectman, Peter Mortlock; Second Selectman, Edward Merritt; Town Clerk, Ellsworth Covell; Treasurer, Lewis W. Phelps; Agent of Town Deposit Fund, Mr. Phelps; Grand Jurors, Lincoln Bathrick, Arnold Hyatt, Elwood Hudson; Collector of Taxes, Rachel H. Stanley; Constables, Harry Erickson, William McCarroll, Jr., Gustave Dexter, J. Russell Thompson; Registrar of voters, Lillian Hamilton; Board of Education, Virginia Brown; Board of Finance, E.K. Seyd; Library Director, Marie Hudson; Norton Fund Commissioner, Gertrude Seyd; Fire Commissioner, Arnold Hyatt.
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Birmingham have heard from their son, Aerographer 3/c Tommy B. that he was in Manila early this month, He had been aboard an aircraft carrier, and was expecting to ship on a new assignment at any moment.
We are very pleased to hear that Clarence Goss, who has been a patient at Uncas-on-Thames for several months, is improving rapidly, and he expects to be back in Andover by November.
Charlie Michalik has received the purple heart and the silver star, according to a communication received by his father, Adam Michalik. We are proud to hear it, Charlie, and here are our congratulations.
Speaking of decorations, it seems that Capt. Joe Gasper is a modest fellow, for his family had to read a newspaper account of honors he has received. We quote: "A news release...from the Far East Air Forces, Southwest Pacific, stated that Captain Joseph Gasper...was recently promoted from the grade of first lieutenant at his base in New Guinea. Captain Gasper is a member of the twice cited 37th Troop, Carrier Group, oldest unit of its kind in the Southwest Pacific.
"During his 18 months overseas, Captain Gasper has piled up an impressive total of more than 2200 flying hours, many of which were logged over enemy territory, while transporting troops and weapons to forward battle areas. For more than 100 hours of exceptionally dangerous flying in Nip-infested skys without armament or fighter cover, Captain Gasper has received the Air Medal, which he wears in addition to the coveted Presidential Unit Citation and the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with battle stars for the New Guinea and Philippines Campaigns...." Well, hooray for Joe!
Johnny Phelps is back in the old home town with a medical discharge from Uncle Sam's Navy. He was honor man in his company at Sampson, and was sent on to Chicago, where he came down with scarlet fever. After ten weeks in the hospital there, he was sent home to recuperate. Now after a few weeks of sunshine and both ocean and country air, John has reported back to work at Pratt & Whitney.
Walter and MargaretKrozel and little Gail have spent some time with John and Margaret Yeomans this month.
Andover has a way of going over the top with a vim in any kind of a worthy drive, and during the first six months of 1945, over ten tons of paper, or 136% of quota, were collected. Only 11 other communities in the state made such an excellent showing. Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Schatz make the collections on the first Monday of each month, and the total would indicate that they've tossed an awful lot of paper around.
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Avery of Bolton have purchased Percy Cook's store and the adjoining property. Percy has been far too busy with outdoor work for some time to have much energy and enthusiasm left for the grocery business. So Percy will now continue with the work he likes better, and we wish the new owners success in their new enterprise, adding a word of appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Cook for their wartime struggle to keep their customers happy.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kukucka have been visiting here, and Andy is returning to Fort Mead, Maryland for further assignment.
Dr. William Tuthill has resigned as pastor of the Andover Congregational Church, as of October 1, 1945. In the meantime, he is carrying on his work as usual. On the evening peace was declared he conducted a service for our young guests from Florida at the Wellsweep Inn. Then on August 15, he held a victory service at the Church, which was filled to capacity.
We have just heard that Glenn Griswold has been transferred to the Seabees, and he is in training at Davisville, R.I.
The Andover baseball team has had a lot of fun but absolutely no luck this summer. They have played all the surrounding towns and lost every game. The team changes personnel from Sunday to Sunday and from practice to practice, so perhaps the scores are not entirely surprising. The pitcher most frequently on the mound is Bill Thornton, and Steve Ursin majors as catcher. Pop Tedford and Sonny Covell have done some brilliant playing while home on leave, and the rest of the team is made up of anyone ready, willing, and reasonably able who may be around. Perhaps there'll be enough of you home next summer to help improve the record.
Steve Ursin has heard from Uncle Sam that he'll be wanted on August 22.
Here's "Welcome home!" to Sgt. Earl Dougan, who was discharged from the Army on July 20, after spending four years in Persia. He has already gone back to work, and Earl and his wife and two children make their home in Manchester.
T/S Stewart Dougan is still in France, wondering whether he'll go home or to the Pacific T.O. next.
M.P. William Dougan is in Tennessee. Bill spent nine months in Europe.
Bud Brown (Pfc.) is in for a fairly long siege at a hospital in South Carolina. We aren't sure yet just what has him down, but we're hoping they treat him well. Bud, your letter was a good one, even though we could sense that you were a bit down in the mouth when you wrote it. You must have been having as damp a time in Carolina as we were having here. "I am glad to hear that some of the fellows are coming home, and only wish I had been there to see them. But then, I might not have been home long enough to see them. The one trouble with a furlough is that they are not long enough to see everyone!.... I guess there is another one gone from our bachelors circle. But congratulations anyway, Warren, and may your life be a happy and prosperous one!...There is just a steady wave of planes coming in and taking off here now...At this rate we'll never catch up on work..."
Bud Bramhall is on Okinawa, helping to build a permanent naval base, and it looks as if he'd be there a long, long while. His brother, Richard Bramhall, has just joined the Army.
Buster Hutchinson is at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, having had a thirty-day furlough since returning from Europe.
Pfc. George Bonkowski typed a V-mail letter to us, and first we must congratulate him in the surprising lack of typographical errors. Then we'll quote "...anything exciting going on? I have been going to school for the past five days learning how to be an instructor. I'm going to instruct in blue print reading...I'll have to instruct about one hour a day and have the rest of the time off to do a little looking around I hope....How is the haying situation...I kind of missed the corn this year. They don't raise any over here...Flash! latest we will be staying here six to nine months more...I'd like to get caught up with the latest happenings in town. Any of the boys get discharges yet?,.. Well, George, you sound as if things were about all right with you, We're glad to know that, and we'll answer some of the more personal questions at another time.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rankin and their family will move to South Coventry soon. They have sold their home on the Cider Mill Road to John Allen of South Coventry.
Captain Lucien Levesque is in Andover, with his wife and 14-months-old son, Richard, after a year in the E.T.O. He has been wearing that title of Captain for three months now, and our congratulations are hearty, even if they are late. Lucien has been on a tour (not entirely sight-seeing) of Bavaria , Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. He is working and loafing around the home place right now, but must report at Camp Campbell, Kentucky soon. It won't be surprising if he is home to stay in the near future.
Major Nate Gatchell was home for a short time during the past month, and he is now stationed in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Several local men went to Canterbury recently to attend funeral services for George Wilson, who lost his life early in the war. Lt. Bob Wilson was at home at the time, and he told about the ribbing he took when his Newsletter reached him overseas, addressed to First Sergeant Robert Wilson instead of First Lieutenant R.W. Our faces are red, too, Lieutenant, and we'll see that the address list is corrected in your favor before this goes out.
Major Bertram C. Wright is in the Kyushu Islands, doing reconnaissance work, and MM 2/c Carol (Monk) Wright of the Seabees is at Pt. Huenemi, California,
Ted Watts and his wife and baby are in Andover on leave.
John let the Newsletter in on another letter from S 2/c Stanley Gasper, who is in Tennessee. Stanley is up to his ears in radio-construction, code, machine guns, swimming (he can now do a half mile) and some enjoyable leaves in Memphis. He is keen about the Navy, but it's easy to read between the lines to find that half his allegiance is still with the farm back home.
Morse Pringle (Sp (A) 2/c is at Camp Elliott, San Diego, where he is a judo instructor. It was a good letter, Mo, and you can probably find the answer to your question on John Phelps elsewhere in this letter. We'll tell him personally that you were asking for him.
We have a very pleasant piece of news that we are saving up for the next edition of the Newsletter. Be watching for it!
Vera Cross Taylor & John V. Gasper
P.S. Your town clerk, Ellsworth Covell, is ready to send absentee ballots out to you upon your request, for town elections, which will be held on Monday, October 1, 1945. Anyone who is a registered voter in the town of Andover, and who is absent by reason off military service, is eligible to cast a vote in that election, and you need only request your ballot to be given the opportunity to vote.