Civilians praised for war efforts; Biltons open 6th dealership

Posted 5/13/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Dec. 4 - Dec. 10

- The Shaw Field public relations office said that during October and November, planes based at Shaw had flown the equivalent of 400 round trips to Tokyo. Figures released by the post command showed the …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Civilians praised for war efforts; Biltons open 6th dealership


75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Dec. 4 - Dec. 10

- The Shaw Field public relations office said that during October and November, planes based at Shaw had flown the equivalent of 400 round trips to Tokyo. Figures released by the post command showed the last graduating class from this basic flying training school had a safety record of only one major accident in 3,000,000 miles of flying. Since Shaw Field began its training program two years ago, the public relations office said airmen from this base had flown 2,000,000 miles for every fatality - a record, it said, which bore out official statistics that aviation cadets in training had a far higher survival chance than other young men of the same group in civilian life.

- Gov. Charles G. Tennent and Mrs. Tennent were guests of the Sumter Rotary Club last Monday. Gov. Tennent, whose home is in Asheville, North Carolina, serves the 190th district of Rotary which embraces all South Carolina and western North Carolina. The Tennents were the house guests of President Edwin Boyle of the local Rotary and Mrs. Boyle during their stay in Sumter.

- With Billy Britt of Asheville leading the way, the North Carolina high school All-Stars defeated the South Carolina All-Star team in Charlotte on Saturday afternoon by the score of 20-7. A crowd of 12,000 watched the spectacle. Britt ran the opening kickoff back for 90 yards and a touchdown and the Tar Heels were never headed, but the South Carolina boys gained more territory on the ground. Their kicking department was inferior, however. Two Sumter boys, Tommy Hughes and Lynwood Vaughn, started the game. Both distinguished themselves and Vaughn caught several places; Hughes made several nice gains.

- Sumter High School's football squad, which recently completed a season marred by only two losses, will be guests of honor at the annual banquet given by Sumter fans, scheduled to be held at 8 o'clock at the Edmunds High School cafeteria. The team's coaches, Johnnie McMillan and Harold Hartel, and managers will be honorees at the banquet. Two hundred forty persons are expected to gather, in all, with about 40 of that number the guests. Solicitor Frank A. McLeod of Sumter will be the speaker for the evening.

- The Atlantic Coast Line News, publication of the Atlantic Coast Line railway, in its latest issue gives credit to M. M. Brice, Sumter car inspector, for saving a soldier's life. Mr. Brice performed that heroic deed in September, when, disregarding his own safety, he pulled a soldier who had fallen from a moving train away from its wheels.

- Lt. Clyde W. Vickery, son of L. W. Vickery, manager of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and Mrs. Vickery, has been awarded the Silver Star by Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, a dispatch from Allied headquarters in the Southwest Pacific said recently. The decoration was given to Lt. Vickery, one of the crew members of two Liberator bombers which guarded a badly damaged third on the way back from a raid on Rabaul, New Britain. The Liberators were part of a formation which attacked Rabaul without fighter cover. On the return, one of the bombers was losing altitude and surrounded by about 50 Japanese fighters. In a 30-minute running battle, the two guarding bombers shot down eight enemy fighters, destroyed a ninth and damaged two others. Eventually, the enemy scurried for cover. The disabled Liberator crashed into the ocean, but all its crew were saved.

- Seventy years of age, foster father of 13 children and for 25 years president of the Salem National Farm Loan Association, an all-black farmers' organization - that is just a small part of the record of Joe E. Frierson, of Sumter County. Frierson is a real farmer, a philosopher and a man totally respected by both whites and blacks. He is the kind of farmer who never comes to town unless he has something to sell, and he has a philosophy of life that the harder a row is to hoe, the harder the person doing the hoeing must work.

- Praising civilian employees at Shaw Field for their zealous efforts during two years of war but warning them that the conflict is not over yet, Col. R. C. W. Blessley, commanding officer, presided over the issuing of awards to 600 Shaw Field civilians being honored by the War Department for "faithful and meritorious service" at the big basic flying training school. The ceremonies were held in conjunction with the start of the third year of war for the nation, and the awards represented the War Department's official recognition of the vital role being played by civilian workers of this base.

- Women and girls can continue to swoon happily, for the United States Army declared Frankie (the voice) Sinatra 4-F physically unfit for military service. Expressing disappointment, the crooner announced the outcome of his selective service pre-induction examination at the Newark induction station. "I've got a hole in my left ear drum," said Sinatra, whose singing on the radio and theater stage is the current rage of the feminine sex. The crooner commented that he had hoped to enter the marine corps.

- Now that the highway department has begun checking on the new licenses, City Manager Raffield advised that the local police department has been instructed to enforce the city ordinance requiring that highway licenses be displayed on all motor vehicles operating in the city. This ordinance is for assisting the highway department in having all vehicles properly licensed, and the co-operation of owners is requested.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

Aug. 5 - 10

- Dillon tackles defending state champion Orangeburg while host Sumter faces Winnsboro as first round play gets underway in the Palmetto Majors State Tournament at Riley Park tonight. The Palmetto Majors is considered one step below American Legion baseball. Each contest will be seven innings. This is the first of two big baseball tournaments to be hosted by Sumter this summer.

- Drivers at Sumter Speedway found the track lightning fast and the competition rough and tough, with Billy Baker, Red Moore and Bob Wilson taking home first-place money in their events. Action was started with the two heat races for Jalopy drivers to determine the starting positions for the 20-lap main event.

- Several staff changes, including a new principal for Hillcrest School, have been announced by Dan L. Reynolds, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sumter School District No. 2. The new Hillcrest principal for 1968-69 is Charles D. Kyzer, principal of James Island High School for the last 11 years. Kyzer succeeds D. Wyman Taylor at Hillcrest. Taylor, who had served as principal since March 1, 1968, requested that he be named assistant principal at Furman School. Thomas W. Cooper Jr. will serve as assistant principal of Hillcrest School during the coming school year.

- The promotion of H. Leon McDonald to vice president of the South Carolina National Bank in Sumter has been announced. McDonald is a commercial loan officer and credit officer. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club and a director of the Sumter Jaycees. He is a graduate of North Greenville Junior College and Clemson University with a degree in industrial management. He is also attending summer sessions of the South Carolina Bankers School.

- Winnsboro and Orangeburg took first-round victories in the Palmetto Major State Tournament at Riley Park, and the two teams will meet in the feature contest of the second round. Host Sumter tackles Dillon with the loser being eliminated from the tournament. The winner will meet the Winnsboro-Orangeburg loser. In the first round, Orangeburg, the defending champion, had little trouble in romping past Dillon 7-0, while Winnsboro defeated Sumter 8-3 in the second tilt.

- Gov. Robert E. McNair termed the 60-unit Mt. Pisgah Apartments a "tangible, physical example of what the spirit of cooperation can mean" to Sumter in dedication ceremonies. The dedication ceremony climaxed two years of planning and construction by Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church to provide housing for low-income families. The $620,000 apartments on College Street off Lafayette Drive will be administered by a nonprofit, Mt. Pisgah Apartments Inc.

- Brig. Gen. Howard T. Markey, 126th Air Refueling Wing commander (Illinois Air National Guard), and 19th ANG key personnel of the 126th ARW staff visited Ninth Air Force headquarters at Shaw. The wing members visited with their Ninth Air Force counterparts to brief the Ninth Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Gordon M. Graham, and his staff on the mission and status of the 126th ARW. The 126th ARW flying KC-97L Strata-Freighters has done most of the in-flight refueling of military jets over Europe since May 1967.

- "There are many more young people willing to work than there are jobs available." This remark by Jack Harvie, YMCA director, is the consensus concerning part time and summer work for high school and college students. Several factors are responsible for the dearth of temporary jobs for young people, one of which involves the type of businesses in the Sumter area. In an agrarian community, local industries which hire large numbers of people (woodworking, clothing making, soup canning, battery manufacturing, casket making) are not ones needing temporary or part-time workers.

- Winnsboro fought off a strong Sumter challenge to carve out a 9-6 decision for the 1968 Palmetto Majors State Championship at Riley Park. The winners banged out 13 base hits, including two doubles and two triples, in clinching the tournament title with a perfect 3-0 record. Jack Pope's two singles and triple paved the way offensively for the Winnsboro crew. Sumter, which lost its opening game of the tourney, had clicked off two straight wins before last night's defeat.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

May 7 - 13

- "They gathered in joy" to honor him. So said United Methodist Bishop the Right Rev. Joseph Bethea of those attending a ceremony honoring S.C. Supreme Court Justice Ernest A. Finney Jr. of Sumter. A portrait of Finney, the state's first black circuit court judge and its first black Supreme Court associate justice, was unveiled during the ceremony, which was marked with both adulation and wisecracks. More than 500 people packed into the Sumter County Courthouse's main courtroom for the unveiling, including the other members of the Supreme Court and more than two dozen circuit and family court judges from across the state.

- A little friendly competition with playing partner Charlie Whittington helped propel T.J. Jackson, of Mobile, Alabama, into a one-shot lead after one round of play in the T.C. Jordan Professional Golf Tour's Lakewood Links Classic. Jackson, who started on the 20th tee, made the turn at one-under par 35 but made six birdies down the stretch to finish with a seven-under 65 for the day. Jackson had to get hot over the final nine holes, though, because Whittington converted six consecutive birdie opportunities during that same span en route to a 66.

- Anita Kieslich, assistant principal at Sumter's Lemira Elementary School, has been named the 1993-94 Assistant Principal of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators. The award is based on Kieslich's record of school leadership, a statement released by the association said. The Assistant Principal of the Year is selected by the awards committee of the elementary and middle school principal's division of the administrators' association. Criteria for the award include: professional experience and activities, awards and honors, community relations, ability to improve student achievement, development of positive learning environments and the ability to anticipate and solve problems.

- In an apparent show of confidence in the executives of NBSC, the corporation's stockholders approved a change in bylaws to make getting shareholder approval of major corporate transactions easier. During the bank company's annual stockholders meeting at the Opera House in Sumter, stockholders voted to drop the "Super majority" provision from the 1982 incorporation articles. The clause required that mergers and other major transactions be approved by 80 percent of shareholders. Those transactions can now be made if only two-thirds of shareholders give approval, the minimum percentage allowed by state law.

- Sumter School District 17's Parent Forum told trustees and administrators it wants the district to offer full-day kindergarten and reduce student/teacher ratios in elementary grades - a wish list that would cost taxpayers $1.5 million. But District 17 officials told the parents that Sumter County Council, which levies school taxes for both of Sumter's public-school districts, will not approve such a tax increase. District officials asked the group, which represents parents from the district's schools, for input as they formulate next year's budget.

- Lee Correctional Institution will open Dec. 1 as scheduled, even though no money is allocated for it in a state budget proposal, a state corrections department official said. The Senate Finance Committee included no funds to open new prisons in Bishopville, Turbeville or Ridgeland in its $3.8 billion state budget proposal for fiscal 1993-94 that was sent to the Senate floor. "We had been promised $3 million (of transition funds) by the Budget and Control Board for the Lee County prison," state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Robyn Zimmerman said.

- If you've driven through the Lowcountry towns of St. George, Holly Hill or Moncks Corner in the last 45 years, chances are you've passed at least one car dealership wholly or partly owned and run by the families of Jim Bilton and his sons - Woody, William, Steve and Al. Now the family has moved a little north, opening in Sumter last month their sixth dealership - and first Lincoln-Mercury outlet - by buying the former Bundy Lincoln-Mercury. "The family's in the car business," Al Bilton explained with understatement last week that Jim, Al and Steve Bilton are the joint owners of the family's newest dealership, and it will be managed by Woody's son Jamie Bilton.

- "I am, I can, and I will." That's the message that Dr. Joe L. Dudley Sr., a man whose life is a rags-to-riches epic, gave 138 graduating students at Morris College's commencement. Dudley, founder and chief executive officer of the Greensboro, North Carolina-based Dudley Products Co., a multi-million-dollar hair care and cosmetics company, told the graduates that if they aim high, they can achieve success as he did. One of 11 children raised in a three-room farmhouse in Aurora, North Carolina, Dudley, who had a speech impediment that's still with him, was mistakenly labeled mentally retarded in the first grade. Today, he owns what he calls one of the largest minority-owned manufacturing companies in the Southeast.