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History Monday: December 7, 1941--U.S. Declares War on Japan

By Mike Watson

The headline on the Adair County News front page for Wednesday, December 10, 1941 read:
U.S. Declares War on Japan
with the heading--3,000 are Reported Killed and Wounded In Hawaii in Surprise Attacks...

Our nation, state and county were now at war with the Axis powers in the struggle that had been building in both Europe and Asia since the beginning of the last decade. Every citizen would be called to combat a global enemy, whether it be in military service overseas or at home, or on the farm, in the factory, or in the classroom, we were all part of this supreme effort. No one who lived during that era would ever forget, nor should we ever forget!

There was a front page appeal from the American Red Cross for funds at once. Eros B. Barger was chairman of the Adair County Red Cross chapter and reported that the national organization was mounting an effort to raise fifty million dollars as soon as possible for present and coming needs. Adair County's quota, based upon population, amounted to $1,750. This would be the first appeal after the beginning of the war, the first of many, and many thousands of dollars would be raised right here in Adair.

A called meeting of the Adair County Red Cross was called by Mr. Barger in early January 1942 to begin the fund raising campaign. The War Relief Drive, which had been ongoing for some time and was originally to provide aid for worn-weary England, was additionally staffed by Mr. F.X. Merkley to assist Dallas Stotts; Miss Allene Montgomery was appointed secretary and Mr. Horace Cundiff was chosen as treasurer.

The following Adair County men were stationed at Camp Roberts as of 9 December 1941: Robert Davis, James Ingram, and Willie R. Strange were in the 87th Battalion; Russell Caughron and Russell Arnold were in the 85th Battalion. The following had been transferred from Camp Roberts to other locations by early December: Dallas Badger, Clay Moore, Paul Blair, Herbert Gilpin, Omer Rooks, Julius R. Kell, Howard Walker, Leonard Corbin, Ray White, Ernest Irvin, and Charlie Cofer, who were all part of the 88th Battalion.

Mr. and Mrs. Bingham Moore, parents of C.D. Moore, of Cane Valley, received word on Christmas Eve from their son that he was safe. Private Moore is stationed in Hawaii at Camp Kamehameha on the island of Oahu in the Coast Artillery and a letter home was written on December 18th.

Jesse David Matthews, son of Mrs. Anna Bell Matthews, of Columbia, enlisted in the U.S. Marines in Louisville on Christmas Eve day. Joining the rush of young Kentuckians to Marine Corps Recruiting Offices, Matthews departed Louisville the same day for military training.

Cane Valley celebrated Christmas visits of several young soldiers stationed at Fort Knox: Charles Todd, Henry Conover, Lyle Smith, Victor Hancock, and George Revis.

This story was posted on 2020-12-07 06:34:10
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