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75 Years Ago

Thursday, June 20, 1946


A memorial service was held at the Swago Church Sunday afternoon, June 2, for the three servicemen of that community who gave their lives in the service of our country during World War II, namely, James Howard McNeill, Clarence Blane Cloonan and William Marvin Jeffries.

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Staff Sergeant James Howard McNeill, son of Mrs. Eleanor Howard McNeill and the late Lock H. McNeill, was born at Buckeye on April 2, 1921, and was declared a presumptuous finding of death by the Government on September 19, 1945, having been listed as missing since February 10, 1944, when two of the planes in formation collided over Lingen, Germany.

He was inducted in the Army at Clarksburg October 22, 1942. On November 3, 1942, he married Miss Georgia Pearl Sharp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dency Sharp, of Marlinton. On November 6, 1942, he entered the Service… On January 6, 1944, he flew to England.

He was preceded in death by one sister, Eileen in 1921, and his father in 1940. He is survived by his wife, mother, five brothers, Robert, Curtis, Carl, Stanley and Nick. Also one sister, Mrs. Estel Music, of Santa Maria, California; his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Howard, and a host of other relatives.

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Private Clarence Blane Cloonan, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jason B. Cloonan, was born at Buckeye September 24, 1918, and died August 5, 1944, as a result of a bomb explosion in his Camp area at Steeple Morden, England. He was a member of the Eighth Air Force.

He was inducted into the Army at Clarksburg on September 30, 1942… He went to England June 6, 1943.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jason B. and Hattie Sharp Cloonan. He is survived by six brothers and four sisters, Lieutenant Fred M. who remains in the Service; Earl, Mitchell, Stearl, Lloyd and Roy; Miss Glenna Cloonan, Mrs. Eva Jane White, Mrs Binie Mitchell and Mrs. Grace Baylor; and his niece, Mrs. Johnny Hall.

Clarence’s body was laid to rest in the American Military Cemetery at Cambridge, England.

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Technical Sergeant William Marvin Jeffries was born December 29, 1917, at Lewisburg, and died January 20, 1945, on Luzon, Philippine Islands, as a result of wounds received in action.

Technical Sergeant Jeffries was inducted into the Army at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, on May 27, 1941… He left the states in September 1943 and served in the Hawaiian Islands and in New Guinea…

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Jeffries; five brothers and three sisters: Clyde, Robert, Paul, Ira and Fred; Mrs. H.R. Walker, Mrs. S. A. Weiford, Mrs. Edna Armstrong, and a host of relatives and friends.

Technical Sergeant Jeffries’ body was laid to rest in the American Military Cemetery at Rosales, Luzon, Philippine Islands, where he was given a Christian burial.

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Rev. R. H. Skaggs made the memorial address to a large crowd of friends and relatives of the deceased.

Special music was rendered by the Rogers family and a poem, “Our Gold Star Boys,” was written for the occasion by Mrs. D. W. Williams…

Our Army and Navy Boys

Bergen, Norway – Summers I. Dean, seaman second class, of Huntersville, W. Va., left this seaport May 29 aboard the cruiser, USS Houston, Flagship of the 12th Fleet, which completed a six day courtesy call here. The Houston, accompanied by two destroyers, returned to the British Isles to take part in the Victory Day celebrations at Plymoth, England…

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Private First Class Johnnie Nelson, of the Marines, is home with an honorable discharge. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Nelson, of Huntersville. He was in the Service better than two years with 19 months’ duty in the South Pacific.

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Billy Workman is at his home at Hillsboro with an honorable discharge from the Navy.


There’s a story about Clyde Vallandingham, of Marlinton, who was fishing in the east fork of the Greenbrier River just below a steep, sloping bank. He was startled by a resounding report, like a gunshot, immediately behind him and the rush of a full grown beaver which literally swam between Mr. Vallandingham’s legs!

Presumably, the angler was between a bank den and the beaver’s best approach to water. The loud report was the smack of the beaver’s tail on the water surface as the animal dived from the bank.

At any rate, the angler left that section of the stream as not being conducive to the tranquil and peaceful enjoyment of fishing. – West Virginia Conservation

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