Hometown News — May, 1943

Elliot Kitt Missing in Action
An Associated Press dispatch received from Ottawa, Canada, last Thursday announced that Flying Officer Elliott Kitt of Chillicothe is missing in action, after air operations overseas. In April, his parents, Attorney and Mrs. Paul D. Kitt, and his wife, Mrs. Dorothey Kitt were informed by the Canadian government that he was missing in action. Since the International Red Cross has endeavored, so far without success, to ascertain whether Flying Officer Kitt was a prisoner of war or had been killed in action. After 10 months service with the National Guard in Camp Robinson, he was released from service and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air force in January, 1942. He had been in foreign service for some months.

Seaman Fred Croy Home
2-C1. Seaman Fred Croy arrived Friday evening for a visit with his father, B.S. Croy. Fred has just finished his "boot" training at Camp Ward, Farragut, Idaho, and will attend a school for aviation machinists, later taking cadet training. Fred weighs 170 pounds, and is looking fine. He left Monday afternoon for Fremont, Neb.

Herbert Pugh Visits Cousins
Pvt. J.H. (Herbert) Pugh, son of Mrs. Zephyr Pugh of Coffey, is with the 181st F.A. Bty. Ca. East Garrison, and stationed at Camp Roberts, Cali. We were glad to get a few lines from "Herb" the other day telling of his furlough which he spent with his cousins, the Berg children, at San Jose, Cali. Herbert and the Berg children are grandchildren of the late J.J. and N.E. McCoy of Washington Township. All of them visit to the Stanford and a snapshot shows the cousins standing in front of the chapel at Stanford. Herbert had a fine time on his furlough and was happy of the opportunity to visit his cousins. He is getting along o.k. in the army.

Sergeant Hudgens Home
Sgt. Guy W. Hudgens of Medford, Ore., was in Kansas City last week visiting his parents and his wife’s mother and sister, Mrs. Everett Pugh and Mrs. Jack Bear. Sergeant Hudgens was returning from Boston, where he had been for special training since February. He has been at Camp White in Medford, Ore., since last September. Before enlisting in the army he and Mrs. Hudgens lived in Kansas City where he was employed at the McClure-Norrington Chevrolet Co., as service manager for the past seven years.

Works on Burma Road
Word was received by relatives from Cpl. Johnnie Dryer that he is in India working as an engineer on the Burma Road. Cpl. Dryer is a brother of Mrs. Lola Mason and Mrs. Dora Stretch, of Washington Township.

Jack Arnold Reclassified
Pfc. J.M. (Jack) Arnold, formerly of Jamesport, has been reclassified for limited military service, because of physical defects. He is now stationed at Westover Field, Chicope Falls, Mass. Mrs. Arnold has joined him there recently where she expects to remain for some time.

Jack Graham in Air Corps
Jack Graham, aviation cadet, son of Dr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Graham of Kansas City, is spending a furlough with his parents and his sister, Miss Jo Anne Graham. Jack is in the army corps and is stationed at Selman Field, La. and is studying to be a navigator bombardier. Jack Graham is a nephew of Elmer E. Graham and Robert N. Black of Gallatin.

Was It a Dream
The Knauer brothers, Charles and John, both of the U.S. Navy, had an unusual, though pleasant experience recently when Charles, returning from Pearl Harbor was sent to a receiving station across the street on Treasure Island from where John is stationed. Having received permission to awaken John for his midnight classes, the latter thought he was dreaming when he awoke and found Charles standing beside him. Needless to say, both were happy over the experience and found plenty to talk about. Charles home on delayed orders for 30 days, is visiting his mother, Mrs. Lottie Knauer, he will also spent a time with relatives in Des Moines, before reporting back to San Diego, Cali. Charles has a rating of seaman first class and John’s rating is shipfitter 3rd class.

Sends Wife Souvenirs Taken From Dead Jap
Mrs. Mildred VanWormer Catlett of Birch Tree, who is making an indefinite stay here with her mother, Mrs. Dick (Flo Reed) VanWormer of Missouri avenue while her husband, Sgt. Paul Catlett, is overseas with the U.S. Army, has on display in a show window at Aid’s Store, some interesting souvenirs sent by her husband, who is "somewhere in the South Pacific." The souvenirs all were taken by Sgt. Catlett from a Japanese soldier slain by American forces. They include a Rising Sun flag, which is practically covered with Japanese characters written with pen and ink and which are believed to be the signatures of the friends of the dead Jap; three teeth, bound together by silver bridge work; a pair of scissors; 10 packages of sewing needles; a silver medal, which is inscribed with Japanese characters; and a canvas kit bag of the type worn by soldiers on their belts. The sewing needles are of an English make, and just how the Jap came in possession of them is not known. Sgt. Catlett also sent his wife some Japanese coins he took from a dead Nipponese on another occasion. Before entering the Army Sgt. Catlett was postmaster at Birch Tree. He is now with a U.S. Army medical corps. — West Plains Quill. (Sgt. Catlett is a brother-in-law of Harold Walton, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Walton of Lock Springs.)

C.H. Thompson Breaks Collar Bone
C.H. Thompson, who is a quartermaster in the Merchant Marines, wrote to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Thompson of Jamesport, recently that he had broken his collarbone while on sea duty "somewhere in the Atlantic." As soon as his ship returns to the United States he will be given sick leave and will be home for a stay with his family. C.H. is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Hockensmith of Gallatin.

Pvt. Leonard E. Smith to Fort Lewis, Wash.
Mrs. Leonard Smith received a letter from Pvt. Smith saying he had been moved to Fort Lewis, Washington. He has formerly been at Camp Adair, Oregon. His address now is Pvt. Leonard E. Smith, S. No. 37229270, Hq. Co., 2nd Bn. Inf. APO No. 96, Ford Lewis, Washington, U.S. army. He wishes all his friends to write, as he likes to hear from back home.

Life in Fiji Islands
Pfc. Tom Brown Croy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fleet Croy of Gallatin, writes his parents a most interesting account of life in the Fiji Islands, where he recently spent some months in the service of his country. Tom says that the climate was extremely hot and their camp was located in a jungle country. They found the native Fijians very friendly, clean and honest. Almost all of them are musical and spent much of their time singing. They have a school and church in every village. The clothing of both men and women consists mainly of a short wrap-around skirt and they all go barefooted. The children go naked in the boiling sun and Tom says they get plenty tough. The natives are especially fond of American cigarettes and obliged the soldiers with many favors in exchange for them. As Tom Croy was reared on a farm he was, of course, interested in their farming methods and describes them as follows: "They have a very crude method of farming, most of it is done with oxen. However, there are some horses used. Their main crops are sugar cane and rice. There was a sugar mill not very far from camp. There was quite a lot of fruit on the island, such as bananas, oranges, lemons and pineapple. There were also lots of coconut trees there, we ate a lot of them at first, but the newness soon wore off." During a furlough, Tom went to another Island. There, he enjoyed a modern swimming pool and dances each evening with tunes from "home," played by an orchestra of piano, trumpet and saxophone. He says that a good bed was unheard of as he found no such thing as a bed with mattress and springs, even in a hotel. The miniature railroad system with trains traveling about 20 miles an hour, the left hand drive motor cars and the custom of driving on the left-hand side of the road, were novel sights to the American soldiers. As Tom is no longer on the Islands he was permitted to relate this interesting story which his many friends will enjoy reading

Graduates From Armament School
Pfc. Forrest W. Lukehart graduated on May 29, from Armament school at Lowry Field, Colorado. He was inducted into the army January 6 of this year, and had his basic training at Clearwater, Fla. He is a son of George Lukehart and wife of Gallatin. His wife, Mrs. Cleo Lukehart, is living in Denver, Colo., while her husband is in the service.

— from the Gallatin North Missourian, scrapbook clippings provided by Lucille Bruce