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Mid-April 1945: Of wars, and auctions, and death in far-off lands

By JIM

In mid April, 1945, America mourned the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. An ocean away, the Soviet Army had Berlin partially surrounded and began a merciless artillery pounding of the city; and the bloodbath in the South Pacific continued. Not yet known stateside, two more Adair Countians suffered battlefield deaths: 20-year-old TSgt Ivan Haskel Robinson in Europe on the 15th, and 26-year-old Pfc Wilbur M. "Budge" Edrington in the Battle of Luzon on the 16th.

Budge had written to his mother in early April, and The News made mention of the letter in the "Our Boys in the Service" column in the April 18 edition:


"Pfc. Edrington Writes From The Philippines

"Pfc. Budge Edrington, who is now on Luzon, P.I., with the 38th Division Avengers of Bataan, writes that he has seen plenty of action since January 29. After taking Bataan they were assigned the task of mopping up the Japs on Zig Zag Pass, which he states is worse than real battle. At one time they did not have a change of clothes for 23 days.

"He writes that he will never forget Easter Sunday [April 1], 1945, as they were on Zambales Mountains above the clouds for two days and nights.

"Pvt. Otley Gilpin is in the same company and they have been side by side in every battle. They recently saw Charles Stotts, Marvin Hutchinson and several other Adair County boys.

"He has been in the army four years and across for 15 months. He recently sent his mother a Jap flag as a souvenir."

An assortment of headlines graced the front page of the mid-April 1945 News, including:
  • County Teachers Named Thursday (nearly 90 school districts for white students, another eight for Afro-American students, and just short of 100 teachers)
  • Canning Sugar Now Available
  • Farmers Urged to Raise More Chickens
  • $155.18 Given in Fund Drive to Cripples
  • Farmers Make Post War Plans
  • Scouts Plan Camporee at McMahan Park
  • 18 Boys Go for Induction
A short piece directed the attention of the reader to page five for details of a pending auction, a "group of desirable building lots" in the new Paull addition. The ad noted the lots were for residential use only and that "These lots are well located and front on a new street which will open into Greensburg Street." The sale would take place on April 27, with Cols. Wolford and Mills, Auctioneers.

Many businesses placed tributes and memorials to President Roosevelt in lieu of regular advertising. Still, Lerman Bros. had a hot post-Easter sale in progress; W.R. Wooten, proprietor of the Triangle Food Store, wanted to buy hams, bacon, and fryers; and at the Rialto, the movies played on, including the latest and greatest horror flick, House of Frankenstein.


This story was posted on 2020-04-15 07:22:54
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