Andy Denton was recently helping his mother Miriam move some furniture when they came across a bulletin from the First Baptist Church which was distributed on Father's Day in 1945. The bulletin was arranged in newsletter form and filled with information concerning events surrounding the end of the war and updates on many of your friends and neighbors who were serving in the military.
There were references to daily events as using red points to buy meat, Easter hats, the church music of Mrs. Tiller and Mrs. McCorkle and also the unbelievable news of President Roosevelt dying in Georgia. When the town clock struck 4 o'clock on the Saturday afternoon of FDR's funeral, all of the stores closed and the radio broadcast of the funeral was almost in a whisper.
The bulletin carried news such as the four Clyburn brothers were each serving in Europe. Jack was in Belgium, Frank was in Italy, and Tommy and Lewis were fighting as infantrymen in Germany. William H. Clyburn was in Europe and William R. (Billy) Clyburn was in China.
The extended Goodale name and family had the most listed in the service as Alfred, C. Ralph, James, Joseph, Ralph E., Richard, W.A. and Thomas all were in uniform.
Capt. Grayson Shaw was in Belgium and F.N. McCorkle celebrated his 19th birthday while fighting in Germany. Both returned to Camden and established their medical practices. Dr. McCorkle's father was once the mayor of Camden.
Capt. Rueben Pitts served for two years in Trinidad. Isaac Pitts served also as an officer and Capt. Bill Pitts served in the Pacific and bumped into Ensign Charlie Boineau while on leave on Oahu. Flight officer Wesley Pitts had completed his quota of combat missions and got to return home.
Clarence Christmas was fighting with the 5th Army in the mountains of Italy and Sgt. Thomas Alvin Christmas spent 31 months fighting in the South Pacific and he was twice wounded. Their sister, Mrs. Leila Christmas West, is today a 90-year member of the First Baptist Church. The pastor in 1945 was Rev. Frank Caston, for whom Mrs. West named one of her sons. Her son, Caston West, later served in Vietnam where he was wounded and decorated for bravery. Like many Vietnam veterans, Caston was struck down early by cancer.
Part of the good news in the bulletin was that sergeants Hughey Tindall and Stevie McCrae had both been liberated from a POW camp by American troops. Albertus Shirley had also been freed by allied forces. Albert had been taken prisoner 27 months before when he was fighting in Tunisia. Pvt. John McCoy had also arrived home where he was greeted by his parents, brother Perry and sister Lib Myers. Their brother, William, had died in a Japanese POW camp due to the failure of the Japanese Imperial Army to provide basic medical care or necessities.
Staff Sgt. Colvin Sheorn, who had completed his missions, Sgt. Billy Lindsay who had fought in Africa and Italy, Lt. Sam McCaskill, who had fought on Saipan, Pvt. Thomas Brown, who had been wounded in Europe, and Price Baker, who was wounded in Germany, had all returned home safely .Lt. Dennis Anderson had been in the heavy fighting in Mindano. Lt. Van Smith was in Burma, while Jesse B. Vaughan was in the Pacific.
Dickie Branham was fighting in Germany. Ellis Rowell worked with radar on a transport in the South Pacific and Randolph Smith was a radioman in the Pacific. William R. Wilson had been serving with the 15th Air Force in Italy. Sgt. Billy Lindsay, who had been overseas since 1942, was now home as was Capt. Benton Burns who had fought in Africa and Italy.
This bulletin also told that the War Department had notified Mr. and Mrs. Alva Rush that the search is still being continued by land, sea and air in an effort to ascertain if Sgt. Rush died when his plane, a B-25 Mitchell, crashed into the sea near enemy- held territory on the island of Formosa in February of 1944.
One of the military service ladies who attended church services was Miss Norma Parker (later Rainwater). Miss Parker was a Wave.
Lt. James Barnhill was the commander of LST 219 and participated in several Pacific landings. His brother, Capt. Dewey Barnhill, had also served in the Pacific and his brother-in-law, David Melton, had been on convoy duty in the Atlantic for 20 months.
Sgt. Fred Ogburn was a radio operator on a flying fortress which was named after his 4-year-old brother Larry. The bomber was named "Little Larry" and at the time of this bulletin the bomber had completed 20 missions over Germany.
Lt. Lewis Anderson was a glider pilot in the 9th Air Force and had participated in four major invasions. His brother Jack was in an army hospital in France. Their brother Mac had an unforgettable homecoming.
Mac was in the fabled 5th Marine Division which early in the war had borne the brunt of the fierce fighting on Guadalcanal. Mac had sent word by telegram that he would be arriving home on a certain day, so all of the Anderson family traveled to the train station to await his homecoming. The train came and went but there was no Mac. So the family decided to journey to the bus station. They waited for several hours while two buses came and departed but there was no Mac. The family decided to head home since Mac had probably been somehow delayed.
As the family cars approached the intersection of Broad and DeKalb they noticed that there was a taxi continually circling the horse watering fountain which then sat in the middle of the intersection. They stopped to watch this crazy Columbia cab driver circling the fountain when they noticed their son, Mac, was in the back seat enjoying the ride, the view, and some of Kentucky's better distilled spirits. The cab driver had also indulged out of honor for a war hero and at Mac's insistence.
This last story was not in the church bulletin.
Thank you for your attention.