With Those In The Service: December 23, 1943

December 23, 1943

Making Future, Happier Christmases Certain

“Eternal vigilance,” said that great American, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote our Declaration of Independence, “is the price of Liberty.” And by the same token, it may be said that the absence of many loved service men and woman from their homes this Christmas is the price of future, happier Christmases and all that they represent. Such is the thought this column would convey to many lonely hearts both at home and abroad this Christmas time. To the chaplain conducting service for his men in the far reaches of the Pacific; to the boys standing watch in the cold North Atlantic; to the fellows fighting fever and the Japs in the steaming tropical isles; to those unhappy souls languishing in enemy prison camps; to all of our service men and women, wherever in the name of a just God and free people, they struggle to defeat decisively the forces of a tyranny worse than death – yes, and to the homes from which these loved ones have gone – we wish a sustaining, heart-warming, courageous and victorious MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Soldiers’ Yule Broadcasts

On Christmas Day, men and women of the American armed forces in every quarter of the globe will hear three hours of special Christmas radio programs. Featuring entertainment stars, name bands, and personal greetings from the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, and high officers of the various services. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the people on the home front will hear programs from soldiers overseas, including a chorus of 200 American soldiers in the Holy Land, a Christmas-tree decorating from an island in the South Pacific, and midnight mass from some place behind the battle lines in Italy.

Military Miscellany

Bobby Kammer, great grandson of “Aunt Kate” Brown of Sykesville, enlisted in the Navy two weeks ago and is now undergoing basic training at a station in San Diego, Calif.

Following a 20-week course at the Naval Air Technical Training School, Chicago, where he stood second in his class, Avn. Machinist Mate Instrument Specialist 2-c Robert E. Lewis is home on a ten-day leave for the holidays. When he reports back for duty, Robert will be promoted to Petty Officer First Class. He probably will see service in the Atlantic. His wife, the former Elaine Spurrier, returned from Chicago with him and plans to again make her home with her mother at Gaither.

After 12 months of service and 40 combat missions in the North African area, and a 3-week furlough at his home near Oakland, T. Sgt. Russell M. Cofiell has reported to the Army Air Forces Redistribution Station No. 1 at Atlantic City, N.J. there he will be carefully examined and interviewed to determine where his lengthy training and combat experience can be utilized to the greatest advantage by the nation’s aerial armada. A radio gunner on a Marauder bomber, Sgt. Cofiell wears the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

Italian Christmas greeting cards, simple and plain compared to ours, and being received by friends here from Cpl. Robert E. (Tubby) Hayes, ASN 33203815, 316th Fighter Sqdn., 324th Fighter Group, APO 525, Postmaster, New York.

Cadet-Midshipman Donald Dwight Hood of Sykesville recently reported for basic training at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York. Upon completion of an 18 months’ course, he will be graduated and qualified to sit for license as Third Assistant Engineer and will be commissioned as Ensign, USNR.

Home for two weeks after completing a three-month basic engineering course at the University of Florida, Kenneth N. “Jay” Ports left Wednesday for Fort Meade for his basic military training. “After that,” says Jay, “I go back to school for 15 more months and if satisfactory work is done during that time, I have a chance for Officers’ Candidate School.”

Soldiers’ Addresses

M. Sgt. Gilbert L. Gardner, whose address was published last week, has just been transferred from Nashville, Tenn. His new address: Hq. 94th Inf. Div.; APO 94, Camp McCalo, Miss.

Lt. John N. Ports, 3rd Com. Hqs., Camp Patrick Henry, Newport News, Va.

Cpl. Phillip S. Lee, ASN 20343937, Cannon Co., 175th Inf. Regt., APO 29, Postmaster, New York.

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