Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, July 13, 1944

Our Army and Navy Boys

Mrs. Lillian Overholt Shiffler, of Marlinton, and mother of S. Sgt. George E. Shiffler, who lost his life while serving with the U. S. Forces in Africa, received the following letter from Army Chaplain, Paul F. Ketchum:

Central African Wing,
Air Transport Command
May 31, 1944

Dear Mrs. Shiffler;

Yesterday afternoon at five o’clock, a Memorial Day Service was conducted at this station in Central Africa that we might honor S. Sgt. George E. Shiffler and his comrades who lost their lives in the performance of their duty. Preceded by the colors, the troops marched in formation to the gate of the American cemetery. There, the ceremony began with an invocation by the Chaplain. The Commanding Officer delivered an address appropriate to the occasion, followed by a prayer of dedication. In solemn tribute to the men who lie buried there, the firing party fired three volleys of shots. Then the bugler stepped forward and blew “Taps.”

Earlier in the afternoon the graves were decorated with wreaths of lovely orange and yellow flowers placed at the head and the remainder was covered with branches of green leaves. In the center of the small cemetery was placed a beautiful, large floral cross, composed of red flowers against a background of green leaves. The cross and the decoration of the graves were all accomplished through the efforts and the interest of the officers and men of this station.

I write you this in order that you may know that, though your love one lies buried thousands of miles from home, his fellow soldiers have not forgotten him. Through the ceremony yesterday, we honored his life and the lives of all who died for those they loved and the land they loved.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord life up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Sincerely yours,
Paul F. Ketchum
Chaplain Captain

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Mr. and Mrs. Park McLaughlin received word that their son, P. F. C. Forrest L. McLaughlin was slightly wounded in action in France on June 9th. Forrest has been in service 28 months, and went overseas last September, 1943.

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Great Lakes, Illinois – James Marvin Wimer, 31, of Marlinton, was graduated on July 1 from recruit training as honor man of his company at the United States Naval Training Center here and will go on “boot” leave.

Wimer was elected candidate by fellow bluejackets and selected honor man by his company commander on the basis of military aptitude and progress.

Prior to joining the Navy, Wimer was employed as a storekeeper by the Department of Justice, Washington, D. C.
He will spend his leave with his wife and family at Marlinton.

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An Eighth AAF Bomber Statione, England – A Flying Fortress from Cass, West Virginia, 20 year old Jerry R. Cassell has been promoted to Staff Sergeant, according to an announcement at this Eighth AAF heavy bomber base. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Willis Cassell, of Cass, he attended Greenbank High School, and before entering the army was a construction worker.

Staff Sergeant Cassell has taken part in both strategic and tactical bombing attacks in recent weeks against targets in Germany, and in support of allied Expeditionary Troops in Normandy.

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Basil Sharp and James McGraw are home this week from Fort McClelland, Alabama, where they have completed seventeen weeks of training in the Infantry.

Tappen M. Thomas, of the Marine Corps, Maramar, San Diego, California, has been promoted to Sergeant. Tappan is recovering in the Marine hospital there from injuries received when he got slivers of hot steel in his eyes.

Sergeant Grady Herold, of Harlingen, Texas, came last Friday to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Herold, at Minnehaha Springs.

Sergeant Charles Edward McElwee is home on furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. June McElwee. He is stationed at Salina, Kansas.

Pvt. George Winters Hefner returned Sunday to Camp Lee, Virginia, where he is stationed, after spending the weekend here with his wife and son, Billy, and other relatives.

Norval L. Huff, of Marlinton, and Raymond Mullenax, of Arbovale, have been transferred to the Infantry Basic Training Center at Camp Blanding, Florida, form Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

Wilbur Curry, of the Navy, is home on leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Curry. He has recently recovered from an attack of pneumonia.

Private Johnnie W. Nelson, of the Marines, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Private Jimmie R. Nelson, of the United States Army now stationed at Camp Carson, Colorado, are at their home in Huntersville, on furlough.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Watson Underwood, of Huntersville, a daughter, named Marietta Irene.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Arlie Sharp, of Marlinton, a daughter.

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