Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, September 20, 1945

Our Army and Navy Boys

Mrs. Howard Wilfong sends in the following letter from the War Department concerning her husband, who was reported missing in action:

USS Borie, D. D. 704
My dear Mrs. Wilfong;

We, on board the U. S. S. Borie, who were shipmates of your husband, Howard Wilfong, wish to convey our deepest regrets in the loss of your husband at sea.

When last seen, your husband was at his battle station when an enemy suicide plane carrying a bomb crashed into the ship in the immediate vicinity of his battle station, and he is now listed as missing in action.

This action occurred about 130 miles off the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan.

During the time your husband was with us, his performance of duty was an inspiration to every one and he was a true friend. His personal effects have been preserved and will be forwarded to you as soon as circumstances permit. If there are any questions you wish to have cleared up about your husband, please feel free to write me.

Again, offering my heartfelt sympathy, I am,

Very sincerely yours,
N. Adair, Jr.
U. S. Navy, Commander.

Howard Wilfong is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Denton Wilfong, of Marlinton. He had been in the service for 21 months, and had spent nine of them at sea.

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A unit of Army chauffeurs, including Corporal Guy S. Grogg, who have driven for top-ranking Army staff officers in Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany, has arrived at Camp Washington, in the assembly area command for redeployment to the Pacific.

Corporal Grogg is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Forrest E. Grogg, of Greenbank, and has been overseas nearly three years.

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Staff Sergeant Stanley Gibson, a bombardier, Ninth Air Service, with 47 flying missions to his credit, is home with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Gibson, with an honorable discharge. He is headed right over to Davis and Elkins College. Stanley is a graduate of Marlinton High School, class of 1942. He had 18 months’ overseas service. Among his decorations are – air medal with four oak leaf clusters; Purple Heart; Presidential citation, Croix de Guerre with palm, six battle stars.

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Word was received last Saturday that Corporal Robert S. Williams, of Durbin, was safe in Allied hands in Australia. The message came through Montreal, Canada. Corporal Williams had been a prisoner of the Japanese since the fall of the Philippines, where he had gone in 1939 as a member of the Army Air Corps.

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Private First Class Vernon C. Diller, who has recently returned from overseas service, with a year spent in Germany, and his wife, Faith Diller, S. K, 2-c, of the WAVES, stationed in Washington, D. C., spent two weeks with Mrs. Diller’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Wooddell. They left Monday for Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Diller.

– – –

Staff Sergeant Luther Whitman Hull is home with his father, C. Forrest Hull, at Durbin, after five years’ service in the Army. He served overseas in Africa, Sicily and Italy with the 1281s Military Police company.

FIRES DESTROY FORESTS

Paul D. Myers
District Forest Protector

Every year man-caused – and therefore preventable – forest fires destroy billions of little tress, tomorrow’s lumber, and enough big ones to build 215,000 five-room homes; burn over millions of acres of feed, pasture and open range needed for cattle, sheep and game animals; cripple watersheds on which industries and cities and public utilities depend for power and light, from which farmers and ranchers in the west get water for irrigation; tie up nearly one million man-days of labor; destroy wildlife; and mar the natural beauty of America.

FIELD NOTES

On last Sunday night, Cecil Beverage saw a chunk of a bear cross the road at Bear Run, on the Richwood road. He and his family were returning from Richwood. The automobile had to be stopped to keep from running the bear down as it leisurely crossed the road. The lights of the car were turned on the bear as it clambered up the steep mountainside out of the road.

– – –

In the spring of 1944, a pair or two of butter ducks were observed at the Kee Eddy, two miles below the mouth of Knapps Creek. By fall, there were a full two dozen ducks there. They hung around until ice closed the river before flying off south. This spring something like a half dozen pairs came back to set up housekeeping around the old homestead. Now the flock has increased to some seventy head.

NOTICE

WILL SWAP 1892 Packard for pair of track shoes in good condition. Have been eating malty-rich, sweet-as-a-nut Grape-Nuts. With the energy I get from that concentrated nourishment, I just gotta RUN those 20 miles to work.

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