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The Bluffton news. [volume] (Bluffton, Ohio) 1875-current, June 22, 1944, Image 7

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CHAPTER I: The story of the famous
19th and 7th Bombardment Groups, of
Lieut. Col. Frank Kurtz and his Fortress
crew in the tremendous air campaign
that saved
in the Southwest Pacific. Lieut Kurtz,
who was pilot of the old Fortress, known
as “The Swoose.” which escaped from
Clark Field, in the Philippines, tells of
that fatal day when the Japs struck. He
pedals to the WTeck of Old 99. finds eight
of his crew lying in an irregular line.
CHAPTER H: Lieut. Kurtz tells how
orders to camouflage Old 99 were coun
termanded instead they were to load
bombs. Then he was ordered to jerk the
bombs, reload with cameras and rush
the camouflage. Preparations made for
taking pictures of Formosa. Someone
shouts. Look at that pretty navy forma
tion." The "navy formation" happens to
be a flight of Jap planes.
CHAPTER HI: "Bombs hit the mess
hall. The Japs move off. They hear
another hum. "P-40’s." they think, but
they prove to be Zeros coming in from
the direction of Corregidor. The boys
duck back into their foxholes.
CHAPTER IV: The pilots are given
their targets and towering above the
group is Colin Kelly, about to head out
on his first mission. Buzz Wagner is
chased by Japs in his P-40. He meets
Lieut. Russ Church and they bomb
Jap field. Church fails to return. The
death of Colin Kelly.
CHAPTER V: Fortresses are kent in
the air to save them from the Japs.
Through some mistake someone opens
fire on them. Japs begin photographing
the place. No longer safe
CHAPTER IX: Bombardier says they
had caught Japs flat-footed. At Malang
Field boys are briefed before dawn.
told about big concentration of Jap ships
N.E. of Borneo. They take off, but hit
a frightful fog. Cannot see plane right
ahead. Coming out of fog they see a
huge black cloud resembling tornado. It
was the Dutch burning their Borneo oU.
CHAPTER X: One of Kurtz* motors is
hit as they approach target. He makes
direct hit on cruiser. Losing altitude
fast Tries to make Malang Field on
Java, but changes mind anti heads for
Surabaya Field. Sets her down safely on
short runway. Dutch get reinforcements
from U. S.—new E model Forts.
CHAPTER XI: Bombardier tells of
hazardous trip to Brazil when running
low on gas. and of sabotage on planes.
Gunner picks up the story, tells now E
model Fortresses tangled with the Japs.
the day for the United Nations
sleep in the
barracks, cots are moved into a corn
field. With no fighters left to defend
them, evacuation begins. Lieut. Kurtz
tells of last plane trip out in a patched
up plane. Japs land fight tanks at Apart.
Squadron commander Major Gibbs fails
to return from mission. U. S. forces flee
from Clark Field to Mindanao.
CHAPTER VI: Navigator Harry
Schreiber tells of a fight with Zeros in
which Shorty Wheless takes part. He
lands in a rice paddy and is surrounded
by Filipinos. The crew buys an outrigger
canoe and sail to the isle of Panay. Later
they take off for Australia.
CHAPTER VU: Lieut. Kurtz takes up
the story again. He describes the hot,
dry Christmas day in Australia, and how
U. S. fliers spent it A report comes in
over CW radio. It was from Schaetzel
saying he’d be in after dark with one
body aboard. Schaetzel gets in, his plane
a wreck. Gen. Brereton lands on the
field and the boys are summoned to a
CHAPTER VUI: U. S. fliers arrive at
the Dutch field, and shortly after start
on flight for Davao, in the Philippines,
but run short of gas and come home.
Gas up and take off at midnight for
Davao, but fall to make target. On third
trip over, Kurtz sees tremendous concen
tration of ships, makes bomb run. Jap
fighters come up. "Bombs away!**
Lieut. Kurtz tells of
bombing run on cruiser. Two hits scored.
Major Robinson radios to Skiles: "Radio
base at Malang to have ambulance
ready." Then Major Robinson’s plane
goes into a dive and crashes into sea.
CHAPTER XIII: A Jap transport hit
by U. S. bomb, goes up in confetti. Lieut.
Kurtz, now in Batavia, gets word that
P-40’s are on way from Australia with
belly tanks. The P-40’s arrive at Gnoro.
Japs move into Borneo and the Celebes,
and three waves of Jap bombers fly over
CHAPTER XIV: An American sub
sneaks through from Corregidor with 14
passengers aboard. Sergt. Boone, the
gunner, tells how Queens die.
CHAPTER XV: Java sea now full of
Jap carriers, continues Lieut. Kurtz. Japs
bombard helpless Dutch town. Scant
Dutch rations described. Japs come
over and blow up the kitchen a bomb
scores a direct hit on their supply of beer.
CHAPTER XVI: Japs learn weakness
of E model Fortress, and U. S. fliers put
in a .50-caliber machine gun. Attack a
Jap cruiser. Lieut. Kurtz senses he is
being watched.
“We dreamed and prayed for this
And as a matter of fact the Navy
did make an attempt. An aircraft
tender was loaded with P-40’s and
started out from Australia. But what
happened was just what was feared.
Those P-40’s were in crates stacked
high on her decks, so she had to
come clear in—through skies the Jap
bombers ruled. She went down with
her entire crew and those crated
P-40’s forty miles off the southwest
coast of Java—but I’m sure the Navy
was doing the best it could for us
with what they had.
“Of course it gave our morale a
kick in the belly. Late the next
afternoon young Jack Dale (he’d
won his spurs in the Philippines
with the 17th Pursuit) came in from
Gnoro on a personal mission from
Major Bud Sprague. When he’d fin
ished it he stayed a few minutes.
“When he first came into Java
he’d been a real sparkplug quarter
back for the rest of the boys. When
the alarm would sound, he’d jump to
his feet, slap them on the back, and
yell, ‘Let’s go, gang!’ But now he
looked tired. He’d been living, sleep
ing, eating under the wing of his
plane for weeks—when he wasn’t up
stairs fighting. Yet now, he said,
they could hardly stay in the air
because they were operating about
ten P-40’s against as many as fifty
or seventy-five Jap fighters, swarm
ing up from carriers off in the Java
Sea. ‘Frank,’ he said, wearily,
‘when we first got here, I’d run for
my cockpit thinking, “How many
am I going to get this morning?’’
But now when I take off I catch my
self wondering, “Will it be my turn
“The next night a Navy man who
had just got in from our little fleet
told me what had happened to the
Marblehead and the Houston, those
(two beautiful cruisers which had
been the nucleus of our Asiatic Fleet
—helping the Dutch and Australians
defend Java. With the rest of the
fleet they’d been out in the Java
Sea. When they sighted a Jap recco
.plane overhead about, noon, .they
knew they were in for trouble. They
had no carrier, of course, which
could send a fighter up to shoot it
down. He said the Jap bombers pres
ently came over them from their
bases in Borneo and the Celebes
(our bases they had captured) in
three waves, spaced about half an
hour apart. By skillful maneuver
ing they dodged the bombs of the
first two waves. But the third,
which crippled them, caught them
just at sundown, and chewed their
superstructures into steel spaghetti.
“In the darkness, they were able
to crawl away out of range, and the
Marblehead eventually got back to
the States. My friend, who was an
old-line blue-water surface sailor,
praised the clever maneuvering
which enabled her to survive at all,
and I didn’t say anything, because
I know what those poor guys had
gone through. Only in that position,
with the Japs absolutely in control
of the air, they stood a ninety per
cent chance of getting found and
hit. No doubt their maneuvering
was good. God knows I had sym
pathy for them. When"! think of be
ing down there on the surface, help
lessly dodging and twisting to writhe
away from bombs, it gives me night
“But troubles of our own were
looming ahead. The boys in Navy
Patrol Wing 10 came in with the
report that their planes on recon
naissance had sighted a force of
six Jap transports and five warships
headed toward Bali Strait, which di
vides Java from Bali. They were
after the Den Passar airdrome on
Bali—our last stepping-stone—hav
ing already occupied the airfield at
Timor. This was, as maybe you now
begin to see, a war of airdromes—
Clark, Del Monte, Kendari, Sama
rinda, Kupang, all of them lost
pearls in the United Nations* de
fenses, and now Den Passar. Next it
could only be Malang, KNILM, Gno
ro, and Madiun—all we had left on
the strand. Seldom in this war did
the Japs make a brutal assault al-,
ways it was the skillful surgeon’s
technique—isolate and occupy the
airdromes and then you have the
country. It was a game we knew
well too, but you’ve got to buy chips
before they will deal you a hand,
and we didn’t have the equipment.
“All I can say is the Dutch and
Americans were ready to defend
Bali with what we had. Our little
surface navies moved in that night
to clip them a glancing blow on the
run, as they’d done at Macassar
Straight, and our submarines did a
grand jq.b in. the moonlight. The
Colonel sent his Fortresses out and
down to 5,000, to paste them from
the air. We left two transports
burning in the moonlight, and a crip
pled cruiser. As a result the main
Jap force had to stand off instead
of seizing the airdrome that night
they were able to get only a small
beach head.
“Next morning it was up to the
Air Force alone, because the Navy
w*as too tiny to venture out by day.
The Forts went over, of course—in
fact everything we had, to smash
at those Jap- transports as they
poured thirty thousand troops onto
the beach at Bali. The P-40’s were
led by Bud Sprague himself. That
morning he got his commission as
a lieutenant colonel. He paused just
before the take-off to scraw’l his
signature on his papers, but he didn’t
take time to pretty himself up in
his new silver leaves I guess he
was satisfied to die in his old gold
ones. Because what they desperate
ly needed was dive bombers, and
about all they had was P-40’s—a
fighter plane which was never built
as a stable platform to launch an
egg from. But all right, there the
job was to do, and so Bud climbed
into the cockpit.
‘How many passes at the target
are we going to make?’ someone
‘Depends on how many wild
hairs I’m sprouting when we get
over her,’ says Bud with a grin,
and they were off.
“He led them cold pigeon into that
Jap barrage over the Bali beach—
Hell!—back here, the people don’t
know that boy ever did a thing out
there—and the other boys saw him
go down in on his run—and never
come up again. Yet his boys—what
are left of them—still like to hope
maybe he succeeded in landing on
that Bali beach, which looks so nice
in the travel folders, and will turn
up grinning some day, telling them
what a social success he was with
the natives.
“But it was pitiful. We lost al
most all our dive bombers there,
and about half our P-40 fighters. Of
course Bud and his gang made the
Japs pay ten to one for taking that
airfield—but the Japs had it to pay.
“With the Japs holding that Bali
field, they could send bombers and
fighters into every corner of Java,
and we knew it was almost over.
But anyway the Forts could now
bomb our ow*n field the Japs had tak
en from us—very convenient, be
cause we knew exactly where every
thing was-__ ____
Triplett softball team chalked up
its second successive inter-city vic
tory last Wednesday night, drubbing
Pandora, 16 to 1, in a game played
at Pandora.
Teeing off with four runs in the
first inning, the local outfit went on
to score a one-sided victory in which
18 hits were rapped out. In the hit
ting assault Bluffton sluggers got 12
singles, two doubles, three triples and
a home run.
Paul Eikenbary paced the Triplett
attack with a four-bagger, a triple
and a single in four chances, and
Landis got a double and a triple in
three times at bat.
Fourteen men saw action for Bluff
ton in the contest, and seven of them
made two or more hits. In addi
tion to Eikenbary and Landis, others
who got two hits included Bert
Swank, Norm Triplett, Fred Swank,
Mrs. Leonard Green is visiting
with Mr. and Mrs. Russell Hoffman
and family at Miller City.
Mrs. Irvin Sawmiller returned last
week after visiting relatives at Tulsa,
OPPORTUNITY to change breakfast
menu. Serve new Post’s Raisin
Bran, the delicious combination of
crisp wheat and bran flakes plus
California seedless raisins.
Miss Ruth Durkee spent the past
week in Toledo with Mr. and Mrs.
Paul Pratt. While there she attend
ed the wedding of her niece Betty
Jean Pratt to Lynn D. Ryan at the
St. Paul’s Lutheran church on June 9.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Michael and
family entertained at their home on
Sunday a group of relatives in honor
of the birthday anniversary of Mrs.
Wm. Younkman. Those enjoying the
dinner w-ere Mr. and Mrs. W. A.
Arnold, Mr. and Mrs. John Augsbur
ger, Mrs. Emma Baker of Chicago,
Mr. and Mrs. Guy Larue of Harrod,
Mr. and Mrs. Norval Larue, Mrs.
Lulu Klinger, Mr. and Mrs. Otis La
rue of Lima, Mr. and Mrs. Ira La
rue, Bernard Gratz, Mr. and Mrs.
Wm. Younkman.
Mrs. Homer Bowers of Lima and
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Anderson and
family were Sunday guests of Mrs.
Lillie Anderson.
Mrs. Everett Rowland and Miss
Irene Rowland were Sunday dinner
guests of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Pugh
and family.
Miss Linda Ramsey spent the past
week with her grandparents Mr. and
Mrs. F. W. Ziegenbusch at Buckland.
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Bowers oi
Bayne were Sunday evening callers
of the latters mother, Mrs. Etta
Mrs. Troas Beach, Mr. and Mrs.
Ralph Benroth of Lima and Mr. and
Mrs. Raymond Conrad of Bluffton
were Sunday evening visitors of Mrs.
Charles Weaver.
Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Stewart of
Lima were callers Sunday of Mr.
and Mrs. Harold E. Downey.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Yant have
received word from their son Pvt.
Lawrence W. Yant that he has been
assigned to the 175th Training Bat
alion at Camp Hood, Texas.
Sunday visitors of Miss Adda
Yoakam and Clem Yoakam were Mr.
and Mrs. George Yoakam of Hills
dale, Mich., Mr. and Mrs. John Wag
ner and daughters of Ft. Wayne, Mr.
and Mrs. Glen Wagner, Mr. and Mrs.
Leonard Wagner, Mr. and Mrs. Gale
Wagner and daughter June, Miss
Ethel Spar of Lima.
Visitors the past week at the home
of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Kramer were
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hawk and son
Elmer of Lafayette, Mr. and Mrs.
J. L. Ewing from Columbus and Mr.
and Mrs. Wilbert Plummel and
family from Belle Center.
More than 75 per cent of Ohio
farms now have line electrical service
but only a few farms get maximum
use from this power. In many cases,
the electricity is used only for lights
and for household equipment.
Triplett Softball Teatn Defeats
Pandora, 16-1, For Second Victory
Russ Gratz and Anderson.
The Triplett pitching assignment
was shared by Maynard Geiger and
Timer Spaeth, and between them
they gave up only four safeties to
the Pandora team.
Triplett AB
Pftsingpr ......-...... ... 2 1 0
Landis ... ....... 3 1 2
Swank .. .......... 0 2
N. Triplett __ 5 2 2
Swank _____ ... 5 2 2
Gratz ..... —...... .... 5 3 2
F-ikenbary ...... 4 3 3
Moser 1 0 0
Anderson ................ .... 5 3 2
Rerky .. .............. ..... 5 2 1
Ream ..............- 0 1
Luginbuhl ................ ... 1 0 0
Geiger .. ...............- .... 3 0 1
Spaeth .. ...........-..... ...... 0 0 0
Totals ____ ... 48 16 18
Pandora-------------- __ 34 1 4
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stauffer and
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Potts and
daughter of Bluffton spent Sunday
evening with Mrs. Emmaline Non
namaker and the Lendon Basinger
Mr. and Mrs. David Fisher and
daughter Elizabeth of Pandora spent
Sunday evening with Mr. and Mrs.
J. R. Fisher.
Mrs. Purl Hartman of Findlay spent
several days last week at her h|me
here. Those enjoying a picnic din
ner Sunday were Mr. and Mrs. Purl
Hartman, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman
Basinger and Mr. and Mrs. James
Celebrating Mrs. Lucinda Koontz’s
80th birthday the follou-ing enjoyed
Sunday at the Henry Koontz home:
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Marquart and
daughter Dorothy, Mr. and Mrs.
Samuel Brvaeneller and family of
Jenera, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Marquart
of Arlington, Mrs. Brown of Wil
liamstown, Mrs. Richard Bayless and
family and Mrs. LaVfirne Marquart
and son of Findlay, Mr. and Mrs. Wil
bur Marquart and family and Mr.
and Mrs. Clifford Marquart and
family of Eagle township, Clifford
Koontz and the honored guest. Mrs.
Koontz wishes to thank all her many
friends for the card shower and gifts
she received in rememberance of her
Union Prayer services at the Olive
Branch Church Thursday evening.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Nonnamaker
and family spent Sunday evening
with the Rolland Koontz family in
Callers at the Mr. and Mrs. Ami
Nonnamaker home the past w-eek
were Mrs. Stanley Ream, daughter
Patricia and son Gene of Gary, Ind.,
Mrs. Don Ream of Bluffton, Mrs.
Susan Arnold and daughter Bess,
Richard Gossman of Bluffton, Mrs.
N. M. Hiestand, Mr. and Mrs. W. B.
Kramer of Mt. Cory, Mr. and Mrs.
Walter Hamilton and Betty, Chas.
Nonnamaker, Mr. and Mrs. Howard
Nonnamaker and family, Mr. and
Mrs. Chauncey Klingler and family.
Miss Arlene Welsch of Valparaso,
Ind., spent Friday night and Saturday
with the Lendon Basinger family.
Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Elzay of
Ada, spent Saturday afternoon with
the Henry Koontz family.
Mr. and Mrs. Wright Klingler and
family entertained the following
guests at supper last Wednesday
evening: Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Strat
ton, Flo Stratton, Mr. and Mrs. Bern
ard Stratton, daughter Elaine, sons
Larry and Ortho, Misses Anna Mary
Crow*, and Marilyn Reiter of Mt.
Cory, and J. D. Clymer of near
Callers the past week at the M. J.
Stratton home were Mrs. Freeman
Basinger, Mrs. Arthur Nonnamaker,
Mrs. Della Warren of Payne, Ohio,
Mrs. Allen High of Mt. Cory. Mrs.
Stratton wishes to thank her friends
for the cards and gifts received on
her birthday last Wednesday.
News Want-Ads Bring Results.
Twenty-Three Pieces! Complete Service for Fowl
Hobnail glassware with all the creamy beauty of the moonstone
for which it’s named! Bet includes four each—salad plates, cups
and saucers, footed tumblers and sherbets and one each—
sugar, creamer, and sandwich plate.
Bluffton Implement & Harness Co.
Firestone Dealers
Summer arrived Wednesday wear
ing her last winter’s outfit maybe
her slacks and shorts w-ere delayed
somewhere enroute because of the
war and the w-ar has to take the
rap for everything nowadays so that
shiver that went up your spine when
you saw the thermometer at 56 de
grees Tuesday morning must have
been due to the war. and remember
when it was up to 96 Sunday ... as
tonishing how the mercury performs
all those coltish antics cavorting up
and down anyway the calendar
says it’s officially summer and there
are plenty of signs pointing that way
for instance the council is talking
about warning residents to mow weeds
on their premises and medals to
those public spirited folk who went
beyond the call of duty and cleaned up
the alleyway at the rear of their lots
and youths from United Brethren
denomination in their annual confer
ence at Bluffton college this week.
and boys and girls from the First
Mennonite church at a similar gather
ing at Camp Mack, Indiana and
High School Principal Buhler leaving
next Monday as instructor at a boys’
camp in Minnesota and summer
reunion season here—Owens school
folks to hold get-together at Richland
Grange hall, Sunday—all of which
goes to show that we’ll never be presi
dent or even governor cause we
weren’t born on a farm and never
went to a little red school and it
looks as if the horse, all but forgot
ten during the lush days of joyriding
is coming back ... at any rate the
horse will be in the kingrow at Bluff
ton’s Fourth of July rodeo and
who knows, perhaps the one-horse
shay ahd surrey with the fringe on
top may be back too and hats off
to the bond solicitors and bond buyers
who have rolled up an impressive
record for Bluffton within the last ten
days let’s keep it up—and remem
ber that extra $100 bond you intend
ed to buy.
You’ll never be able to convince O.
O. Alspach, Bluffton’s veteran tailor,
that 13 in an unlucky number—not
since the arrival of his thirteenth
grandchild—Richard Allen, bom to
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Alspach in
Chicago, hast week.
What is believed to be an army
carrier pigeon is being cared for at
the Clarabel Owens farm south of
town. The bird, apparently exhaust
ed was found there the first of the
w-eek. It has two legbands, one of
i which bears the inscription USA 30.
You know the old saying about mis
fortune never coming singly—well
that’s what Paul Detwiler had to ex
plain to the state highway patrol last
Friday and it was a tale of hard luck
that melted even a hard boiled patrol
man. It all happened when Paul
bought a second hand car the day be
fore and made application for a li
cense the same day too late to get the
tag. Due to a break on his milk
truck Friday morning Paul as an
emergency measure, used the car on
his milk delivery route. But as fate
w-ould have it the car developed a flat
tire on the Dixie highway south of
town and Paul went back to town for
a spare. During his absence, however
more fate in the uniform of a state
patrolman spied the car at the side
of the I'oad without a tag and had it
hauled in to a local garage where
Paul found it—and also a summons
from the patrol. Paul explained Fri
day ai»d got his license tag.
And speaking of misfortune, there’s
Mayor Howe’s brother, Artemus
Howe, farmer of West Middletown,
whose bam was struck by lightning
and burned recently, losing imple
ments, livestock and hay. Howe lost
an ami in a tractor accident several
years ago. His wife, the former Es
telle Mosiman is a sister of the late
Dr. S. K. Mosiman and the farm
which they occupy is the former Mosi
man homestead.
Oldtimers will remember Max Grif
fith—brother of Esmond—who first
became intrigued with airplanes when
he lived here more than thirty years
ago. Well, Max is still at it, only
now he has a responsible position as
inspector in an airplane factory at
Patterson, New Jersey. They say
that last year he dictated more than
10,000 letters.
A special letter of commendation
from Major General Clark, command
er of the forces in Italy was received
recently by the sterilizing unit of
which Stanley Basinger is a member.
A copy of the letter, received the first
of the week by his father, Dr. Francis
Basinger. Stanley, former Bluffton
funeral director was assigned to train
ing with a sterilizing unit when in this
country and served for a time in Af
rica before being sent to Italy.
A swarm of bees which alighted on
the side of the Presbyterian manse
last week show no signs of leaving
and what to do about it is a question
confronting Mr. and Mrs. Jay Harris
who occupy* the property, also the
The War Department and Navy are pressing us hard for maximum
production of tires, tubes, life belts, landing boats and pontoons.
Experience Not Necessary—Paid While You Learn
Time and Half After 40 Hours
for the manufacture of Spray Powder
As our production is essential war work we invite
who are not now in essential war work
All applicants must comply with W. M. C.
stabilization program.
AH Hiring Done Through the
for the manufacture of Butter
Highest Prices Paid for
All Dairy Products
United States Employment Service
216 South Main St, Findlay, Ohio
church board of trustees would like
to know. Any suggestions as to how
to get rid of the visitors will be wel
comed. The bees previously swarmed
there several years ago.
A grand-nephew of Mrs. Lou Eaton,
Capt. Richard Light of Lima, with
the army medical corps in New
Guinea has built himself a comfort
able dwelling in the semi-wilds of the
island using ply wood and plastic left
from materials used to construct the
post hospital there. And what’s more
he has furnished it just as ingenious
ly. For instance, there’s a davenport
with an army* cot as the base and up
holstered with odds and ends and cov
ered with burlap. Burlap drapes or
namented with fringe and pillows
fashioned from left-over bits of cloth
add to the homelike effect.
Soap Use
An average of 25.3 pounds of soap
per person was made in the years
between 1937 and 1941.
THE A. C. & Y.
Must meet WMC requirements.
These are full wartime jobs and
good possibilities for postwar
work. Liberal railroad retirement
and unemployment benefits.
Call at the nearest A. & Y.
station and the agent will give
you complete information.
The Akron, Canton &
Youngstown Railroad Co.

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