World War II scrapbook newspaper clippings - typed by Marge German as they appeared.
Bloom Brabant Bruce Burns Croop
Dobrowiecki Dohl Echelmyer Franklin Kindred
McQuown Miller Pfingsten Price Roth
Shirley Van Ronk Voris Vossler Wolfe
USS Bunker Hill
WINGED COMMANDOS IN TRAINING IN TEXAS (Photo)
Dec. 20, 1943
South Plains Army Air Field, Tex.,--These four Pennsylvania men are among the latest class of Winged Commandos to train in big cargo and troop-carrying gliders here at this advanced glider center at Lubbock. This shot, taken in the final phases of their training, shows (left to right) Jerome H. Miller of Pittsburgh; John D. Pfingsten, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Pfingsten of 68 Lackawanna Avenue, Swoyerville; Andrew Dobrowiecki of Olyphant, and Olin Richard Vossler, son of Mrs. Lillie Vossler of 441 South River Street, Wilkes-Barre.
Sgt. James T. Franklin
Sept. 1, 1944
AWARDED AIR MEDAL
T/Sgt. James T. Franklin, one of the first ninth Troop Carrier crew chiefs to cross the English Channel, has been awarded the Aid Medal for "meritorious achievement" while participating in "D day" combat flights over Normandy. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Franklin, of Harveyville.
The citation by Brig. Gen. Paul L. Williams, head of the Ninth Troop Carrier command, praised Sergeant Franklin for his "superb performance in the initial Troop Carrier phases of the invasion of the European Continent." It also went on to say: "The admirable manner in which he performed his assignment helped to produce exceptional results in the greatest and most successful airborne operation in the history of world aviation."
Sgt. Franklin is a graduate of the Huntington Mills High School and before entering the service in July, 1942, he was employed as an assembly line operator at the AC&F plant in Berwick.
Lt. Don McQuown And B-29 Crew
Nov. 24, 1944
Lt. Don R. McQuown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde McQuown, of East Union street, is a member of crew, 21 flying a B-29.
The crew pictured, standing left to right: Lt. W. L. Voris, Airplane Commander; Lt. Don R. McQuown, photo Navigator; Lt. R. L. Kindred, Pilot; Lt. W. H. Echelmyer, Radar Navigator; Lt. J. Roth, Flight Engineer.
Front Row: S/Sgt. J. l. Bruce, Photographer; S/Sgt. P. E. Burns, Right Gunner; S/Sgt. C. R. Shirley, Left Gunner; Sgt. D. D. Price, Radio; Cpl. H. Brabant, C.F.C. Gunner. (Tail Gunner, Sgt. W. E. McQuade is not in the picture.)
JOHN F. DOHL, A. M. M. 1/C WEDS MILWAUKEE GIRL
John F. Dohl, A.M.M., 1/c, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Dohl, and Colleen Morris, daughter of Mrs. W. W. Morris of Milwaukee, Wis. were united in marriage at Charlotte, N.C. on October 28, 1945.
After a short honeymoon Mr. Dohl left for Cuba, where he will be stationed. Mrs. Dohl is spending some time with the Mr. and Mrs. Hoke Dohl and family at Harveyville.
JUNE 12, 1945
F 1/C DALE V. CROOP
Dale V. Croop, fireman first class, Hunlock Creek, observed his 38th birthday anniversary June 6. He is serving in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. This is his second birthday in service. Fireman Croop entered service march 23, 1944, and received his boot training at Bainbridge, Md. He has participated in the invasions of Leyte and Luzon.
USS Bunker Hill Survives 2 Bombs hits by Jap Planes
Carrier Badly Damaged, 373 Men Killed Off Okinawa; Cruiser Wilkes-Barre Comes to Rescue
Washington, June 27 (AP)--Japanese suicide planes scored two direct bomb hits on the Carrier Bunker Hill, causing 656 casualties, but the flagship of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher survived four hours of flaming death and will fight again.
The navy disclosed today that the Bunker hill, despite losses of 373 dead, 19 missing and 264 wounded in the tragic episode off Okinawa May 11, is home under her own power for repairs at the Puget Sound Navy yard.
A daring maneuver which literally flung the fire from her hanger deck capped the heroic efforts of her crew and assisting ships to conquer the flames.
Three hours after the attack, firefighters were still waging a nip and tuck battle, in the flaming deck.
Tons of water, poured on countless thousands of gallons of flaming oil and gasoline, were forcing the firefighters back against the bulkhead. The sheer weight of the water was causing a six degree list in the ship. Below decks men were dying from heat and suffocation.
The Cruiser Wilkes-Barre, a member of the task group, had come alongside, placing her bow hard against the Bunker Hill’s starboard quarter, to add her hose to the firefighting. With the Wilkes-Barre at her side, the Bunker hill went into a wide 70 degree turn at 2 1/2 degree rudder. in turning the Navy account said, she shifted the load of water across the ship and "sumped the heart of the roaring inferno on her hanger deck out into the sea.
"Men with lips too burned to cheer rushed forward with their hose," the Navy related. "Fresh air whipped across the deck at their backs, forcing the heavy smoke of burning ooil and gas away from them. New life breathed through the ship. Men who were lying on blistering hot decks below knew, even as they drew their first breath of fresh air, that some miracle had saved them. They knew, too, that the Bunker Hill would live to fight again."
In the fantail Warrant Officer James O. Messick, Kansas City, rigged a line to the Wilkes-Barre and transferred stretcher cases and less seriously injured, losing all count of their numbers. He had fought his way back through the smoke when he could not reach his battle station on the hangar deck. many men crawled, groping in the darkness and choking smoke, along almost endless passageways to reach the flame menaced refuge of the fantail.
Artificial respiration at the fire’s edge, in isolated compartments, on deck and on the Wilkes-Barre and the destroyers revived dozens of smoke victims.
Commodore A. A. ("31 Knot") Burke, chief of staff to Admiral Mitscher, said the Admiral was in flagplot when the attack came and escaped unhurt, although three officers and 11 men of his staff were killed and about 20 (see Wilkes-Barre on Page 2) officers and men were wounded or overcome by smoke.
Admiral Mitscher transferred his flag to another carrier after the ship was saved. Fire destroyed all of the Admiral’s clothing except what he wore.
The 27,000 ton Essex carrier was a proud veteran of every pacific invasion and campaign since the opening of the Central Pacific offensive more than a year ago.
Many of her planes were aloft, supporting ground force advances on Okinawa, when the single engined Japanese fighter, a "Zeke," sneaked in low and fast on the starboard quarter. While still aloft the plane dropped a 500 pound delayed action bomb and then itself crashed among 34 Planes parked on the flight deck preparing to take off.
The crash started large fires among the parked planes before the suicide plane itself skidded over the side. The bomb went through the flight deck and out the side of the ship, exploding in the air before it hit the water.
About 20 seconds later a "Judy" single-engined dive bomber sped in from the stern. Despite hits from the carrier’s AA batteries, it launched a 500 pound bomb which crashed through the after flight deck and exploded in the galley deck below. The plane crashed into the flight deck at the base of the island.
Commodore Burke said two other planes dove for the ship, but missed.
The men of the Bunker Hill immediately turned to the task of saving their ship. Fires and exploding ammunition swept the flight deck where pilots and crewmen had been caught in their planes, but most of them escaped. Below, where the second bomb went off, the hanger deck quickly became a furnace fed by gasoline from several fuel lines and exploding ammunition from parked planes.
Despite intense heat and suffocating smoke, men stood by their posts to ward off further attacks while firefighters fought the flames.
"There were so many acts of outstanding heroism, it would be impossible to praise anyone over another." said Capt. George A. Seitz, Coronado, Calif. "I’m proud of every man who performed his assigned duties, and words can’t express our indebtedness to those gallant men who died at their posts below decks. They kept the boilers going and the pressure in the fire mains."
He recommended 280 of his officer and men for awards.
Early in the ship’s fight for life, the Wilkes-Barre and the Destroyers Stembel, Charles S. Sperry and English moved in to add their hose to the fight.
Lt. James F. Burgess, Pleasant Garden, N.C., was in charge of after air defense during the attack. He not only supervised gun crews and ordnance repair, but led firefighting parties into the areas swept by fire and burning ammunition.
The navy gave this picture of the ship after the fire was under control:
"Decks were warped and twisted. Gun galleries amidships on the port side had been virtually destroyed. Others on the starboard side had been smashed by the Wilkes-Barre when she came close aboard in her rescue role. One elevator, melted almost in two, hung down into the smoking and flame blackened hangar deck. The gallery deck, where pilots and air-crewmen had sat for briefing that morning, was completely demolished. The flight deck erupted crazily toward the sky, a twisted mass of wood and steel. The island structure, which had been engulfed in flame after the second plane struck, was shambles of torn catwalks and mangled steel."
The Bunker hill, built by the Bethlehem Steel Company, Fore River Yard, Quincy, Mass, joined the Pacific Fleet in the fall of 1943.
CRUISER WILKES-BARRE COMES TO AID OF STRICKEN BUNKER HILL
Thick, black smoke pours skyward in immense billows as the carrier Bunker Hill burns furiously after two Jap suicide planes hit the flat-top May 11. Gassed planes on the deck exploded into an inferno. On the flight deck of the carrier, fire and rescue crews worked heroically to bring the holocaust under control. Gun crews stuck to their battle stations to ward off any further attacks by enemy craft.
In the heroic fight against the hell of fire and explosion, 392 men died and 264 were wounded. Here stricken men from the Bunker Hill receive first aid treatment aboard the light cruiser Wilkes-Barre.
Shickshinny, PA., Friday, May 11, 1945
GERMANY SURRENDERS UNCONDITIONALLY
Teamwork of United Nations Ends Long, Bitter struggle; U. S. Turns to Job in Pacific
Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met February 4 at Yalta and laid plans for a complete and rapid defeat of Germany, as well as a world’s peace to follow. Insert shows President Truman who, upon taking office, announced his support of the policies developed at the Yalta conference. These men then directed the United Nations to the final victory over Fascism. (Photo)
Eleven hard and bitter months after General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s armies smashed through the ramparts of "Fortress Europe" to set foot upon French soil, Germany’s once proud wehrmacht, weakened after six years of the bloodiest was in history, bowed the knee unconditionally to the Allied powers.
The end saw Nazi generals capitulate to U.S., British and Russian representatives, even as enemy die-hards held out to the last in Czechoslovakia and Norway.
Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz’ order to German troops to cease firing came as a sort of anti-climax since the bulk of the Nazis forces already had laid down their arms in the face of the Allied avalanche. April 29, 1,000,000 Nazis surrendered in northern Italy and western Austria; May 4, another 1,000,000 gave up in Holland and Denmark, and on may 5, 400,000 quit in southern Germany.
Guns of Europe were stilled at 6:01 EWT Tuesday, when Germany bowed to the most crushing defeat ever inflicted upon a nation. Her surrender was proclaimed to the world by the United States, Britain and Russia.
The Moscow radio in behalf of Hitler’s Reich on the Eastern Front announced the unconditional surrender to the Russian people at 1:10 A. M. Wednesday, 10 hours and 10 minutes after President Truman and Prime Minister Churchill proclaimed V-E Day. The announcement said the final articles of capitulation were signed in Berlin, the ruined capital, symbolic of the fall of the Third Reich.
President Truman at 9 a.m. Tuesday in words of triumph and dedication, proclaimed defeat of the crushed Germany and he served notice on Japan that her doom is sealed. "This is a solemn but glorious hour," said the Chief Executive, "I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day."
Mr. Truman made no mention of the "V-E Day" celebration, and he cautioned the nation that its war job is not finished. It was evident there was to be no official V-E Day celebration. Instead the President called upon all Americans to offer "their joyful thanks to God" on Sunday--and pray for complete peace.
Joyfulness In Shickshinny
Whistles and Church bells heralded the downfall of Germany in Shickshinny and steady rain failed to dampen the spirits of the residents. All business places were closed and a special program was given in the high school auditorium, Tuesday afternoon. In the evening, the people wended their way to church, where special services were conducted in the Methodist, Protestant and Presbyterian Churches.
Only Half A Vivtory
Throughout the brief speech of President Truman, he treated the day’s history-making event as only half a victory. Repeatedly he put in precise words: "Our victory is only half won." In the proclamation he said, "The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed." Every word of his address was given carefully, solemnly, without oratorical flourishes.
Home From Pacific
June 15, 1945
S/SGT. LAWRENCE VAN RONK
S/Sgt. Lawrence Van Ronk, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Van Ronk, arrived on Monday, to spend a 30 day furlough at his home, before returing to the Pacific, where he has been for the past two years.
S/Sgt. Van Ronk is with the photographic department of the marine Air Corps. He has had many interesting and exciting experiences, which he relates in true Marine style.
LT. JAMES E. WOLFE WOUNDED AT OKINAWA
June 15, 1945
Marine Lt. James E. Wolfe, 26, son of Walter E. Wolfe, of Shickshinny, R. D., has been reported wounded in action at Okinawa. The information was contained in a letter dated, May 23, to his wife, who now resides in Scranton. A.Telegram from the War Department was also received by his father. He suffered an injury to his left knee.
Lieutenant Wolfe is a graduate of Shickshinny high school where he was well known for his football activities. He also played on the Pennsylvania State College team, and in 1942 was captain of the university of Scranton team, where he was awarded a degree in January, 1943.
He joined the Marines in mar., 1942, and went overseas last November. He has a son James E., Jr., who was born on November 10th, the day on which Lieut. Wolfe embarked for overseas.
WAC Promoted To Sergeant
July 13, 1945
WAC EMILY M. BLOOM
Headquarters 12th Air Force in Florence, Italy--WAC Emily M. Bloom, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bloom, R. D. 3, Shickshinny, Pa., has been promoted to the grade of T/4 (sergeant) at 12th Air Force Headquarters in Italy, where she serves in the Communications Section.
Sergeant Bloom enlisted in the WAC in March, 1943, and has received several promotions; stepping up to Private First Class in may, 1943, to Corporal in June, 1943 and to her present grade recently.
After serving in the WAC cadre at Daytona Beach, Fla., she sailed with the 6719th WAC platoon on New Year’s Day, 1944, and later Florence, Italy.
The 23-year-old Pennsylvanian wears the Good Conduct Medal, and her section was commended by Lt. Gen. John K. Canon, former commanding general of the 12th for its efficient work in communications during the Mediterranean air wars. recently, her platoon received the meritorious service plaque.
Sergeant Bloom was graduated from Shickshinny high school in 1941, and in civilian life was employed as a secretary in the Armor Plate Department of the A., C. & F., at Berwick, Pa., for two years before joining the service.
These Articles were donated
©1997-2016 by Mary Ann Lubinsky for the PAGenWeb Project, and by Individual Contributors