Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, April 19, 1945


Mr. and Mrs. Jess Wilfong, of Boyer, have been notified that their son, Seaman First Class Dale Edker Wilfong, USN, was killed in action on March 30 in the Atlantic area. Also surviving are two brothers, both of Boyer.

Our Army and Navy Boys

On last Wednesday, Mr. and Mrs. Albert W. Bussard, of Mill Gap, Virginia, formerly of Frost, received notice that their son, Sergeant Eugene P. Bussard, was missing in action in Germany as of March 24, 1945. Sergeant Bussard was a radio technician on a B-17 bomber. His age was 24 years. He had been in service over three years.

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Mrs. Abbie McPaters, of Marlinton, has been notified by the War Department that her son, Private First Class Oliver C. McPaters, who is serving with the United States Army in Italy, had been slightly wounded on March 28 while in action… PFC McPaters has been serving overseas since October 1943 and this is the third time he has been wounded.

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Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Jeffries received the following telegram last week from their son, Ira Jeffries, who was recently liberated from a Japanese prison camp: “Arrived at Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, April 10th. Expect to be home within ten days. Health good. I expect telegram soon. Love, Ira”

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Private Buford Doyle, convalescent from wounds received in action, now stationed at Camp Pickett, Virginia, is at his home at Mace on a sixty-day furlough. Last October 23, while fighting with the First Army in Germany, he received about a dozen wounds from a high explosive shell.

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Sergeant Earl W. (Barney) Slavin and Hildie Hudson Sheets, who were liberated by the Russians on January 31st from a German Prisoner of War Camp, arrived home on Tuesday. Both were in good spirits and apparently good health.


Miss Jeanne McCutcheon, Army Nurse, writes to her mother, Mrs. L. C. McCutcheon, as follows, of the importance of Red Cross work among prisoners of war:

“We have 50 patients, Americans, now, who have been prisoners of war in Germany from one to two years. They tell interesting tales. They were in a camp fifty miles from Berlin and were liberated by the Russians. One patient I have in charge lost in weight from 225 to 130 pounds and said all that kept them alive was the packages they received from the American Red Cross. They are so thankful for anything we do for them.”

United National Clothing Drive

The Woman’s Club of Marlinton is spearheading the drive for clothing in Pocahontas County through the latter part of April to the first of May. …

Now is the time to clean out your clothes closets and see “what you can spare, that they can wear,” these destitute people of the war zones.


The following letter is from J. G. Lightner, E. M. 1st c. Philippines Luzon Island

February 16, 1945
Dear Mr. Price;

I’ll tell you a little of my recent travels. I left the States for the second time on October 21, 1944, after ninety-four days aboard ships, I arrived in the Philippines. My unit took part in the Lingayen Gulf operations. I have seen some heavy artillery barrages.

Well, you have heard the song about the little white rat; down his hole he went. Well, I guess I resembled the white rat, as I only had my fox hole about half dug, when I entered it, ha!

The natives or Filipinos are very industrious people. Of course, they have to be, I guess to make a living. They are very much in need of clothing. They have been doing our laundry and they prefer clothing to money. They wash clothing by beating it with a paddle, but, oh, boy, they get them snow white.

The average Filipino family has two or three acres of rice land, a pig or two, a few chickens and maybe a couple caribou. They use the caribou as we do the oxen. They are much faster than the oxen, though. They move right on with a plow.

The native huts are built on stilts about six feet above the ground. Their principal food consists of rice, fish, bananas, sugar cane, pineapple and coconuts.

Well, as words are getting scarce, I’ll close for the time, I will tell you more about the Philippines when I see you, which I hope won’t be too far away…

Sincerely yours,
Julian Lightner


Mrs. Grace Vanscoy Lang, aged 76, of Marlinton. Burial in the family plot in the Kerns cemetery in Randolph county. She is survived by her daughters Fleeta and Mabel Lang, and her son, Sgt. Maurice Lang, of the Air Service, United States Army…

Mrs. Mary Miller Hamrick, of Linwood, a daughter of the late Marion and Rebekah Cogar Smith. Burial in the Clover Lick Cemetery.

Mrs. Bertha Boswell Varner, aged 72 years, widow of the late S. S. Varner, of Marlinton. Burial in the Falling Springs cemetery.

Jesse Ray, aged 27, son of Mr. and Mrs. Forest Ray. He made his home with his grandmother, Mrs. Maturia Cochran. Burial in Mt. View Cemetery.

Sherman Gibson, son of Samuel and Fanny Hicks Gibson. He had spent his 78 years of life on the old Gibson homestead near Frost. He was a very prosperous farmer and stockman. His home is known far and wide for its hospitality. His home life was an inspiration. He was always ready to sympathize, counsel and advise; and enjoyed jokes and fun and playing pranks.

Rice Alexander Graves, Jr., was born January 28, 1870 in Bath County, Va., and departed this life March 30, 1945. He came to this community about 60 years ago. He united with the Wilson Chapel Methodist church and remained an active member until he passed…

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