Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, August 24, 1944

Our Army and Navy Boys

Word has been received of the death of Letcher McCarty, in France, on June 28. He was the son of Mr. Lanty McCarty, of Frost. He was in the Signal Corps. His brother, Ledford, was reported wounded.

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Sergeant James R. Sharp, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Sharp, who recently landed in India has been transferred and is now stationed in China, which he likes very much.

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Rodney W. Buzzard has received word that his son, Jim, is in California on his way home. Jim volunteered in the Navy two years ago, and he has seen much action in the South Pacific area.

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Mr. and Mrs. Howard Burner, of Durbin, have received the Purple Heart awarded to their son, P.F.C. Leroy Burner. He is stationed somewhere in Italy, and he says he is getting along just fine.

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James W. Nottingham, of the Air Service, now stationed at Willow Run, Michigan, is home on furlough with his wife and little son, James Edward, and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Nottingham. He has ten months of service behind him, and this is his first time home.

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Norman R. Price, Jr., of the Army, arrived home on Monday after nearly three years’ service with the Air Corps in India.

August 16, 1944

Guam, Delayed. – A marine combat photographer, Corporal Arden J. Curry, of Court Street, Marlinton, W. Va., has a paradoxical story to tell regarding the invasion of Guam. It is about the fetish that the Japs have for American products.

Curry says that while touring a hill sector that had been captured by Marines the first day of the fighting, he came upon a bombed native hut which he decided to photograph. Coming closer to the demolished dwelling he found standing in front of the crumbled entrance a red Coca-Cola refrigerator box without a scratch on it.

Inspecting the interior of the hut, he found amid the Jap debris, a broken American record. Its title was strangely prophetic: “What Is To Be Will Be.”

Staff Sgt. Russell Thom,
U. S. Marine Corps.
Public Relations Director

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Mrs. Oliver Sprouse, of Cass, sends in the following letters from her husband:

June 28, 1944
Somewhere in France

My dearest wife and children;

I guess you know by now why my mail was not going through.

June 6, 1944, sure is one day I will not forget. I have been through a lot since that day, but through the grace of God, I am safe or at least reasonably safe. I was a German prisoner a few days, but was rescued.

I always was proud of the Parachute troops, but since seeing the good work they did in the real test, I am more proud of them than ever before. I sure was glad to see the good old American faces again when the Germans had me. The Germans treated me fine, but they knew they were going to be captured before long.

When I got back, I could not help but think what a great pleasure it was going to be when this whole thing is over and I can come back to you and the children.

Love and best wishes,

July 7, 1944

Dearest wife and children;

Excuse this stationery; it is all I have. I could settle for V-Mail, but I consider V-Mail a post card. This is a very expensive stationery. Although it usually comes in rolls, this was in small envelopes. I hardly think the Army intended it to be used for stationery, but as the sailors say, “Any old port in time of storm.”

I am still somewhere in France, but I am not fighting now. It sure took me a long time to get filled up again after getting back to my outfit. I ate until I was in misery for several days and then would still be starving. Did I tell you about living on three medium size raw potatoes a day, and a few cabbage tops for four days. That was while I was behind the German lines trying to get back to our troops. The heck of the whole thing was, I was within three hundred yards of our lines when I walked into a German machine gun nest. Everywhere I looked a German had a rifle pointed at me, and as I am hoping to spend a lot more time with you and the children I gave up. I helped play havoc with a lot of them in the thirteen days I was back there. I sure was glad I had been in the Infantry and I had learned to slip around through the mountains in West Virginia. The training sure came in handy. I am not the least bit ashamed to confess I did a lot of praying during those days. More than one boy prayed during those days who never thought of it before, and I have had more than one to tell me they were going to be a regular church attender from now on. I know it makes a person think. I have been shot at with everything the Germans have. I still think it is only by God’s mercy I was not hit. The Germans sent some of the best parachute troops they had at us but they were not good enough for Uncle Sam’s parachute troops. That is one reason I am proud to be a part of the best outfit on earth…

It has been two months since I received any pay, but as soon as I get a pay day I am going to send you some cash. You can either bank it or pay for the furniture with it, Lucille. I think you are doing a fine job of managing, I am proud of you honey, you are wonderful.

I think I have a wonderful little family waiting back there for me. I sure am anxious to get back and see Larry and Karen Sue. Gee, but is it going to be great to go home to stay. I sure am looking forward to that time.

Lucille, will you see if you can find a good Parker fountain pen. If you can, please send me one as soon as possible. I have gotten all my pens lost or broken moving around.

I love you, sweetheart. Kiss Larry and Karen Sue for me. Love and millions of kisses for a wonderful family. I am praying for you.

Your Husband,


Harry King got a twenty inch small mouth bass, and Dempsey Johnson caught an eighteen inch one in the Greenbrier somewhere below Marlinton. They were fishing together after dark with plugs.

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More big bass have been caught in the Greenbrier this year than for many years. This in spite of the lowest water in fourteen years. The improvement in the size of bass caught began to be noticed last year. The reason is the lowering of the minimum length from ten to nine inches. If the Conservation Commission can be induced to take another inch off to make the minimum length eight inches, I can guarantee bigger and better bass in Greenbrier waters. It has been proved that a given body of water will grow a certain number of pounds of fish – whether this be one hundred big ones or a thousand little ones.
Fruitmen thin out a tree in order to have choice fruit of large size.

I always thought that the ten-inch limit on bass worked well only in our swift mountain streams. I have recently found out that wherever a minimum length has been put upon bass, the fish have gradually become smaller and smaller. This applies to ponds, lakes and streams, regardless of depth.

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Miss Geneva Alderman, of Minnehaha Springs, while visiting her sister, Mrs. Dennis May, in Fallings Springs Valley, Virginia, killed a big copperhead in their backyard. The snake was seen striking at a chicken. It was nearly three feet long.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Boyd Byrd, of Hunters-ville, a son, named Ray Allen.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Moore, a son.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hevener, a son, weighing 11 3/4 pounds, named Timothy Grey.

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