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Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, January 4, 1945


For the sake of the record, let it be put down that parts of Pocahontas County have now been covered with snow for better than six weeks.

That the ice in the Greenbrier River broke up on Christmas Day.

That the Greenbrier River had a 10-foot rise on Christmas Day and almost as much on New Year’s Day.

That all of Pocahontas County was covered with slick ice from Wednesday to Saturday afternoon of last week.

That schools in Pocahontas County were closed for three weeks – December 11 to January 1 – by snow and ice blocked highways.

Our Army and Navy Boys

Mrs. Grady W. Brown, of Marlinton, received the following telegram from the War Department on December 26, 1944:

“The Secretary of War desires to express his deep regret that your husband Private Grady W. Brown has been reported missing in action since December 6th in Germany. If further details or other information is received, you will be promptly notified.”

Private Brown is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Brown, of Droop. His wife is the former Miss Estie Brown, and they have four children.

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Mr. and Mrs. Lee Kessler, of Cloverlick, received a nice Christmas gift in the way of a letter from their son, Lt. Earl M. Kessler, of the Air Service. He was reported missing on last July 2. Under date of August 23, he was allowed to write from a prison camp in Hungary. The letter arrived on December 23. He was well at the time of writing. The letter had come through the Red Cross.

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Pvt. Willis Ruckman, of the Infantry, has returned from many months overseas in the Italian theatre of operations on a hospital ship. He is temporarily being treated at Stark General Hospital prior to being transferred to another Army Hospital. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Ruckman, of Knapps Creek.

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Private Loman B. Pugh, son of Mrs. Elva Pugh, of Arbovale, is fighting in Italy on the Gothic Line operation, with the 338th Infantry Regiment. Besides killing and wounding many hundreds of Germans, this regiment is credited with taking nearly 700 prisoners the past four weeks. These men are a part of the 85th Custer Division, and they are called “Old-Timers.” They have won three Distinguished Service Crosses, 35 Silver Stars and more than 200 Bronze Stars. They have seen hard fighting all through Italy, and were among the first to enter Rome.

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Sergeant Charles W. Gum, of Millpoint, and Private Ward F. Hill, of Lobelia, are members of the 359th Infantry Regiment, which took Mount Battaglea in northern Italy and held it for seven days of almost continuous German counterattack and close quarter fighting. This regiment is a unit of the 88th Blue Devil Division of General Clark’s Fifth Army… The commanding general of the Division described the stand of the 350th as magnificent and paid high tribute to the courage and aggressiveness displayed by every man in the regiment.


The following letter is from Odie Clarkson, of the Seabees:

Somewhere in the Pacific

Dear Editor;

As one of the hometown men now serving with the Seabees overseas, I hope you will be interested in printing the little news from below, which was prepared by one of our fellows in commemoration of the anniversary, December 28.

It will give us and our families back home a great deal of satisfaction to know the Seabees are being remembered. Thanking you for your cooperation, I am,
Odie S. Clarkson.

“The third anniversary of the “workingest, fightingest bunch of men” in the nation’s armed forces, the Navy Seabees, will be observed on December 28th, by 240,000 officers and men of the United States Naval Construction Battalions.

Born just three weeks after the Pearl Harbor Disaster, with an authorized strength of 3,000, the Seabees won their spurs at Guadalcanal and have been with the assault troops in every major American amphibious operation. They can now boast that they built the network of air and naval bases in the Pacific that pushed the Japanese back 3,000 miles, that they developed amphibious equipment and techniques that helped carry the day on the African, Sicilian, Italian and Normandy beachheads…
As General Douglas MacArthur wrote in a letter to Seabees Chief Vice-Admiral Ben Moreel, “The only trouble with your Seabees is that you don’t have enough of them.”


In the presence of a small representative gathering of the families, the marriage of Miss Nola Virginia Jones to Pvt. Robert McNeil Rose was solemnized Christmas evening at the home of the groom’s mother, Mrs. Alta M. Rose, in Marlinton.

The single ring ceremony was read by the Rev. J. C. Wool before the fireplace in the living room, which was decorated with native greenery and branched candelabra…

The bride is the daughter of Mr. M. Burton Jones, of Seebert, and is a graduate of Hillsboro High School.

Pvt. Rose of the U. S. Army returned to the States in May, after serving 30 months in Alaska. He is now stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Va…


Lighted candles and greenery decorated the altar of the Cass Presbyterian Church for the wedding Monday evening, December 25, of Miss Beatrice Blackhurst and Jamie A. Sheets, Mo. M. M. S. C., son of Mrs. Nettie Sheets, of Arbovale. Miss Blackhurst is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allen J. Blackhurst, of Cass…

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