Old newspaper gives glimpse of area during World War II
Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012 8:02 pm
By: By Donna Ryder
Roland Davis of the Reelfoot Lake area recently delivered to The Messenger some old newspapers. Many of them were falling apart.
Davis said he found them under a rug in a house he bought 30 years ago. He set them aside and recently rediscovered them. Some were copies of the Nashville Banner, which is no longer in print, while others were copies of The Union City Daily Messenger.
What makes the papers especially interesting is the time of year, then and now. One of the local papers was from Feb. 12, 1945, and most of the reports were World War II related. Sunday, of course, is Veterans Day, the day set aside for Americans to specifically honor our veterans.
The lone photo on the front page of this edition was of soldiers who had been rescued from a war prison. The caption read, “Following their rescue from the Jap Prison Camp at Cabanatuan, Luzon, by U.S. Rangers and Guerrilla forces on Jan. 29, the liberated prisoners are shown being registered at the 92nd Evacuation Hospital where they were taken for a medical check-up. The released Yanks walked from the former camp to the hospital where many were found to be in need of special medical attention.”
The main headline, covering about half the top of the page, reads, “Canadians Capture Kleve, Push On; Yanks Occupy Half of Pruem; Trap On Japs In Manila Closing.” The stories told of “Manila’s bitterly-resisting Japanese defenders” being trapped in “a narrowing triangle between Manila bay and the winding Pasig River” by an increasing number of American troops; American 5th Army troops driving to within 21⁄2 miles of Massa in the Italian west coast area, but having to withdraw slightly due to repeated enemy counterattacks; and B-29s striking the island of Iwo Jima in the third attack in as many days on different targets.
It was also reported that Sgt. Sam M. Hindman, 20, of Jordan, Ky., gunner on a four-motored bomber, who had been flying from an air base in England since Dec. 14, had been reported missing in action over Germany since Jan. 13. His sister, Mrs. Lillian A. Boaz of near Moscow, Ky., was notified by the war department that he was missing. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Hindman of Jordan.
The young Hindman had attended school in Jordan and in Woodland Mills. He entered the Army Air Forces in April 1943 and arrived in England on Dec. 14, 1944. His other siblings included two sisters, Mrs. Peggy Brown of Lincoln, Neb., and Mrs. R.A. Holliday of Tucson, Ariz.; and his brother, Bill Hindman of Tucson.
Thanks to modern-day technology, my husband was able to find that the soldier was later reclassified as killed-in-action and is buried in Germany.
Readers in 1945 learned Robert Elvin “Bobby” Vaught, seaman first class and son of Mr. and Mrs. A.E. Vaught of Hickman, Ky., and grandson of Mrs. Rosa Vaught of Union City, was spending a 15-day leave with his parents after serving two years with the Atlantic fleet performing escort duties. He had traveled twice each to North Africa, Italy and France and several times to England.
Readers also learned Pfc. J.W. Petty, who was serving in France, had sent his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Petty, the Purple Heart medal he had been awarded for injuries sustained in duty overseas. He had also received the Combat Infantryman’s badge.
On the homefront, four more cases of scarlet fever had been reported to the Obion County Health Department, bringing the number to 19 cases recorded in three weeks. Dr. W.L. Phillips, county health doctor, asked parents to take “every possible precaution to prevent their children from contracting this disease.” He said if the epidemic continued to spread “…it will be necessary to order grade schools in Union City closed, instruct picture shows not to admit grade school children and ask churches to cooperate by discontinuing, for the time being, Sunday school classes for grade school children.”
Readers also learned two men had attempted to break in Louis Spivey’s grocery on College and Home streets; that “the Hornbeak High School girls’ basketball team defeated the Mason Hall sextet on the Hornbeak hardwood” and that a small three-room frame house 11⁄2 miles north of Obion was destroyed by fire. It was owned by Lon Rice and was occupied by him, his wife and their six children.
In the classifieds, R.R. Davis in Kenton was selling Blakemore strawberry plants for $7 per thousand, W.T. Hendrix in Woodland Mills was selling a “good as new” refrigerator and Thel Ward Taylor was seeking information about the whereabouts of his white Spitz dog named T-Bone.
Be sure to thank a veteran for his or her service today and every day.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 11.9.12