Thursday, March 27, 1944
Our Army and Navy Boys
Mrs. Ruth Friel, of Marlinton, received a telegram saying her son, Lloyd E. Friel, has been slightly wounded in action in Los Negros Admiralty Group. He has been in Australia and New Guinea since July 1943.
Mrs. E. B. Wooddell has received news that her son, Sergeant Porter L. Wooddell, is back in the United States. He has been in the Aleutian Islands and Alaska for two and a half years. Mr. and Mrs. Wooddell have two other sons in the Service and a daughter in the Waves.
It is now Lt. Walter Jett, United States Navy. He has recently been promoted from ensign. He is down around Australia and New Guinea with the fleet.
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Dilley have received a letter from their son, Private Audrey M. (Fuzzy) Dilley, saying that he had landed safely overseas. He landed in North Africa and was there for a week and then was transferred to Italy where he is now stationed.
Four of the five young men of seventeen years, who went to Huntington last week for examination as aviation cadets are Ray Viers, George Schofield, Kyle Hannah and Merritt Galford.
There are four men called to the army from Minnehaha Springs: Jack Buzzard, Arlie White, Herbert Sharp and Randall Ryder.
Corporal Phyllis Sheets, of the WACs Air Corps, stationed in California, was called home last week by the illness of her father, Mayor Carl Sheets.
Loy Sharp, who recently finished his “boot” training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, is now stationed at Shoemaker, California.
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Staff Sergeant John Hayden Tibbs writes as follows to his former school teacher, Mrs. Edna C. Knapper, of Marlinton:
Someplace in Italy
March 12, 1944
Dear Mrs. Knapper:
I received your most interesting letter last night. Really, you could not imagine how good it made me feel. We should have more ex-teachers, mothers and friends like you.
I just got back from church, and I promised myself the first thing I was going to do was try to answer your letter and give you some of my ideas of life at the present. Right now the boys are coming through the chow line with big smiles on their faces because we always have something extra on Sunday. I have a wonderful mess hall with every thing modern; radio, plenty of Coco-Colas and everything you could ask for in a time like this. We really are blessed.
I really have one of the toughest jobs in the Army. Trying to please a bunch of men is something. I really do not know if I can go through another summer overseas as Mess Sergeant or not. I have six cooks and three helpers. We get along just fine. I have a good remembrance and can count like nobody’s business (thanks to you). I have learned a lot about cooking since I have been in the army. I have two Army Cooking Certificates which mean a whole lot to me.
The subject of the sermon this morning was “Contrary Winds.” It reminded me very much of Africa on some bright Sunday morning out in the open. The Chaplain would be preaching (they always mention the war) then the clouds seem to come over the sun and you look up and see the sky darkened with big bombers carrying death and destruction to the enemy. I almost give up sometimes and think the whole world is crazy.
You should have seen some of the air raids I went through in Africa. The fire that goes up at night is something. You could pick up a pin at night, and I am not lying. Then they catch a plane in the light and every gun lets him have it and then he comes tumbling to the earth. I am really scared when those things happen. I do not know how much of this letter will be crossed out, but all I have mentioned is now in the past.
I just sometimes wonder if our friends back home realize half of what we go through.
If and when we get out, we will have to start life all over again, and Mrs. Knapper, I, for one, will try a new life. I have learned enough to do what is right. You are the kind of people I will look forward to for influence. We realize we are way behind as far as the world is concerned. No further than we want to be about some things. I do have plenty of hopes for the future.
I certainly was sorry to hear about Mrs. Sarah Jefferson’s death. I also had a long letter from Madeline last night.
Mrs. Knapper, here is our daily prayer:
Dear God in Heaven, somewhere up there;
I humbly beg You, hear my prayer.
Hear me, Lord, and understand,
It’s not for me, it’s every man.
Give us strength to do this task.
Don’t let us weaken – that’s all I ask.
When we are sliding off our track
Reach down, Dear God and bring us back.
We realize You pave the way,
For each advance we make each day.
There’s something else that I might add,
Sort of look out for Mother and Dad.
Thanks, Dear God, thank You again,
Not just for me – for every man.
Really, I pray each night for everyone. Give my best regards to Mr. Knapper and everybody.
Thanks again for the interesting letter.
Yours as ever,
John H. Tibbs