Blanding promoted; Majorettes recognized; Drifters rock Sumter

Sumter Item Archivist
Posted 5/20/18

75 Years Ago - 1943

Dec 11-Dec 17

- "Leon M. Blanding, 25, son of Mrs. Georgia L. Blanding, has been promoted from the rank of first lieutenant to that of captain. On a recent mission the plane of Captain Blanding, who is credited with …

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Blanding promoted; Majorettes recognized; Drifters rock Sumter


75 Years Ago - 1943

Dec 11-Dec 17

- "Leon M. Blanding, 25, son of Mrs. Georgia L. Blanding, has been promoted from the rank of first lieutenant to that of captain. On a recent mission the plane of Captain Blanding, who is credited with destroying one German aircraft and damaging another, was badly shot up in combat over enemy-occupied Europe. With smoke billowing from his Thunderbolt he prepared to abandon his ship. Pulling back his canopy and throwing his helmet overboard he crawled half-way out of his ship. Changing his mind, he got back in his ship, closed the canopy and safely brought his plane back to its base in England.

- "Lieutenant G. W. Parker was listed as missing "in an overseas flight," relatives of the Sumter flier were informed this morning by the commanding officer of an air base in Florida. A telegram to Lt. Parker's wife, the former Miss Sara Fowler, gave no other details, but W. E. Parker, father of the missing pilot said that it was a possibility that his son might have been in route to a foreign country for service as he left from an unknown base some time ago.

- "Shaw Field along with the nation's other army posts will join in saluting the Women's Army Corps. At 6:30 a special radio broadcast will be made. Colonel R. C. W. Blessley, commanding officer of Shaw Field issued a statement, praising the WAC's and inviting the women of South Carolina to inquire about the Women's Army Corps at the post here.

- "One million forest tree seedlings are planted this year on public forests operated by the South Carolina state commission of forestry, says E. E. Cooper assistant state forester. "The three forests include the Poinsett state forest in Sumter County, the Sand Hills state forest in Chesterfield and Darlington counties and the Aiken Forest in Aiken County. The purpose of these plantings is to reforest sub marginal agricultural land as well as poorly stocked existing woodlands. It is part of a long-range program whereby thousands of acres of mismanaged lands in and near the Sand Hills area of the state may once again become productive.

- "Miss Lois Anne Dollard of Sumter won first place in editorial writing in the November Story-of-the -Month contest for high schools sponsored by Winthrop college's journalism department. Miss Dollard's editorial, "Be Thankful," was published in the Thanksgiving issue of Sumter High News. Some 300 stories were entered in the November contest, five high schools in South Carolina winning the first six places. Miss Dollard, daughter of R. M. Dollard, is editor-in-chief of the high school paper here. Literary advisor is Miss Virginia Boney.

- "An appeal for the reopening of Camp Alice for chronic and incurable cases of tuberculosis was made by Dr. C. J. Lemmon at a meeting of the board of directors of the Sumter County Tuberculosis Association. Sumter's camp for T. B. patients was closed in June 1941, when its directors decided that, without modern equipment for treatment, it served no effective use to persons suffering from the disease, who could be better taken care of at State Park, state-run sanatorium. Dr. Lemmon pointed out that patients can stay only 18 months at the State Park, then they come home possibly to spread infection to their families.

- "Two 22-year-old aviation cadets of Shaw Field were killed in the crash of their plane near a field a few feet from U. S. Highway 76. The deceased cadets were list by Col. R. C. W. Blessley, commanding, as James C. Lawrence, star football, baseball and ice hockey player at Rochester University, where he was president of the Student union and editor of the school newspaper, and James McCae, Jr., at graduate of St. John's College at Brooklyn, N. Y.

- "Two and four-tenths inches of snow fell on Sumter in the first snowfall since February 1942. The temperature went from 25 to 12, according to the weather bureau, which made Sumter as cold this morning as Detroit (12), colder than New York (14), Washington (14), Atlanta (16), Charlotte (15), Columbia (14), and Little Rock (14), Boston's temperature was 8 this morning and Chicago was (2). The only time a lower temperature than 12 was recorded for this year was on February 15, 1943, when the reading was 11.

- "High School football players from Greenville, Gaffney, Greenwood, Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Easley and Sumter were named members of the South Carolina all-state eleven, selected by 30 Palmetto state sports writers and coaches. The poll was conducted by the Greenville High News and is considered the official one in the state. The first team was composed of Tohey of Greenville and Haney of Charleston, ends; Hamrick of Gaffney and Opt of Anderson, tackles; Tzouvelekas of Greenville and Byrd of Greenwood, guards; Johnson of Greenville, Hollis of Columbia, Stewart of Easley and Hughes of Sumter, backs.

50 Years Ago - 1968

August 11 - 17

- "Two Sumter twirlers brought national honors to Sumter this past weekend by winning the titles, "Majorette Queen of America, 1960" and "America's Most Beautiful Majorette - 1969". Climaxing the three-day event, Susan Player, 15, was given the coveted "Majorette Queen of America 1969" title in the ballroom of the Barringer Inn in Charlotte, at the Drum Majorettes of America's 18th annual selection of a majorette queen and national twirling and strutting champions. Lynda Beasley, 16, was first runner to the majorette queen

- "While the proud and mighty battleship New Jersey steams through the Pacific, the antecedent of all battleships rests at the bottom of the ocean just off Cape Hatteras, N.C. But if a group of men, working in secrecy since last April meet with success, that tiny ship, the USS Monitor, will be found, raised, and exhibited to the public. The 12-foot "cheesebox on a raft" is famous for three achievements: Saving the Union blockade from the ironclad threat of the Confederate ship Merrimac at the battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862; demonstrating the obsolescence of the wooden warship; and making the movable turret a prime feature of most warships

- "A total of 228 woods fires burned 3,855.5 acres in Sumter County during the 1967-68 fiscal year, the Sumter County Forestry Board learned at its annual meeting. Attending the meeting, held at County Ranger L.G. Cubbage's office, were board members Sam W. Gillespie, Aubrey Hatfield, R.N. Lester, Hugh M. McLaurin and Albert Moore. Meeting with the board were Camden District Forester D. Wilson Horton, and Fire Control Assistant J.T. Hance of the Forestry Commission's Columbia Headquarters and Ranger Cubbage. Horton pointed out that a long drought period combined with high winds this past spring proved disastrous to the woodlands of South Carolina

- "Delores McCord, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. McCord of Manning, and recent winner of the State Junior Girls Golf Championship in Orangeburg, has spent most of this summer participating in various golf tournaments in and out of the state. According to Delores, she's gained in experience in each contest. Winner of the Orangeburg tournament in May 1968, she has since played in the Fayetteville, N.C. Invitational and was first-flight runner-up. She was first-flight winner in the Carolinas Junior Girls' Championship Tourney in Burlington, N.C. By far her most unusual experience to date, says Delores, has been taking part with 130 others in the U.S. Junior Girls' Championship in Flint, Mich. Last month

- "Maj. Gen. Timothy Francis O'Keefe arrived at Shaw Air Force Base today to take command of Tactical Air Command's (TAC) Ninth Air Force. Gen. O'Keefe succeeds Lt. Gen. Gordon M. Graham who became vice commander for Tactical Air Command. As commander of Ninth Air Force, Gen. O'Keefe will direct the training, command and control of Tactical Air Command bases west of the Mississippi which make up TAC's Ninth Air Force

- "Sumter's first Professional Putter's Assn. Tournament, featuring $1,000 in prize money, is scheduled for the Putt-Putt Golf Course at Wesmark Plaza. Participating in the tournament will be about 50 professional and amateur putters from Sumter and about 50 entries from other cities in the area

- "A forward air controller (FAC) with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, who has won the Silver Star Medal, was named Air Force Junior Officer of the Month for a Nang AB in June. Capt. Gerald L. Harrington, 28, of Sumter, was selected " for his outstanding achievements, duty performance and overall contribution to the command mission" by the Executive Council of the Junior Officers Council (JOC) over other candidates from units throughout the base. In winning the Silver Star, Harrington was cited for a 5 -hour special mission he flew in support of Dong Ha - a joint Marine and Air Force outpost

- "John Clifton (Cliff) Brewer, a Sumter native and now a Salt Lake City inventor, hopes to revolutionize garbage disposal, clean up polluted waters and produce a high-quality, low-cost fertilizer. Brewer, a 1940 graduate of Edmunds High School, settled in Salt Lake City after serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. He furthered his education at various schools in Utah. The former Sumterite worked on the integrated garbage processing system for several years prior to taking out patents. The end result of the garbage disposal is a high-quality fertilizer

25 Years Ago - 1993

May 14 - 20

- "What a party it was! Sumter native Bill Pinkney celebrated his 40th anniversary with his Original Drifters in a rockin' and rollin', foot-stomping and body-shaking show at the Sumter Exhibition center. Musicians from across the country came to honor Pinkney. The six-hour show featured performances from every musical category from gospel to jazz, from beach to soul, from rhythm 'n' blues to country 'n' western. And if the show wasn't sweet enough, Gov. Carroll Campbell topped the night by awarding Pinkney the Order of the Palmetto, the state's top civilian honor, bestowed on those who have demonstrated exemplary dedication to public service

- "Nicole Gamble had that kind of day again. A week after the Sumter High jumper leaped one of the nation's longest distances in the triple jump, she broke the South Carolina mark (40 feet, 7 inches) with a jump of 41-3. That, along with a long jump victory by Gamble, paced Sumter's girls track team to a second-place finish in the 4A state track championships at Weems Baskin track at the University of South Carolina. Sumter High School's boys also earned a second-place finish

- "Furman took advantage of three walks in the fifth inning to edge Edisto 4-3 to win the 2A District III tournament title at Riley Park and advance to the lower state championship round. "It certainly feels good," said Furman head coach Greg Crolley. "This is the first time we've won it since I've been here. I thought both teams played extremely well, and the game could have gone either way." But it didn't, thanks to Furman starting pitcher Edie Mathis. Mathis, who's 11-2 on the mound this year, struggled early in the game, giving up six hits and three runs in three innings. He recovered in the late innings and shut out the Cougars

- "Sumter County voters will have to research more than just the candidates for the 1994 election season. They'll also have to find out where they're supposed to vote. The Sumter County Legislative Delegation, in an effort to shrink some heavily populated precincts and to alleviate some of the confusion that plagued elections in 1992, has redrawn many of the county's precincts. The public is invited to take a look at a draft of the new plan at a hearing which the delegation has scheduled in the magistrate's courtroom of the County Office Building

- "Mark Roach has a plan as Sumter High School weaves its way through the 4A state baseball play-offs. Each night, the Gamecock coach figures to send to the mound a pitcher who is capable of approaching perfection. But, lest you fret that Roach is playing Russian roulette with a young athlete's arm, be advised that the Gamecock coach remains concerned with the welfare of his players. Roach is the proud coach of three no-hit arms, each connected to a different body - Ontrell McCray, Lee Hatfield and Chad Hoshour

- "James Marcus Clyde Dwyer Sr. didn't just paint signs in Sumter; he colored the lives of the people he knew. During his 90 years, my grandfather won the love and respect of those who knew him, and the admiration of those he inspired. Yes, many knew this sign painter who traveled throughout the county on his old red bicycle painting signs on garages, cafes, buses, cars, taxi cabs and businesses. No matter where he worked, he drew spectators. Many would stop to admire his artistic control, his fine touch and the distinctive style of his lettering - thick stems with heavy outlining and edges well-worked with a brush tip

- "Sumter School District 2 trustees voted unanimously to ask voters to pay millions of dollars for new schools in the burgeoning district. But how many schools - and how much money will be needed - won't be decided until later in the year. Trustees agreed one-by-one in a voice poll that the district can wait no longer to relieve classroom over-crowding. They then voted to authorize the district's administration to develop building options and projected costs, to be presented to voters in a bond referendum

- "Furman head baseball coach Greg Crolley came up with the perfect birthday gift - a lower state championship - for his wife. "Today is my wife's birthday and I hadn't had a chance to get her anything yet," Crolley said following his Indians' 6-2 win over Bishop England at Riley Park. "She told me all she wanted was for us to win the lower state and then she would be happy." Furman, 24-6, swept the best-of-three lower state series and will meet the winner of the upper state series between Bishopville and Palmetto in the 2A state championship series next week

- "Laurence Manning head coach Toy McCord said he had sophomore Ikey Brunson penciled in to start on the mound since early April. McCord decided he would use senior ace Layne Osteen if Brunson needed some help. The duo worked together perfectly as Brunson worked five innings and Osteen the final two, limiting Robert E. Lee to two hits, and Osteen slapped a two-run home run as LMA won the SCISAA 3A state baseball title with a 3-1 victory at Swampcat Field

- "Sumter High School has done it once. Now the Gamecocks must do it again. Sumter survived a shaky outing by Chad Hoshour to claim a 7-4 win over Irmo in the 4A lower state baseball tournament at Irmo. To claim the lower state crown, the Gamecocks must defeat the Yellow Jackets, who entered Wednesday's game as the only remaining unbeaten team in the round-robin tournament, Friday at Sumter High School.