Commander dies in plane crash; chickens die in heat wave

Posted 8/5/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Feb. 26 - March 3

- Lt. Alvin Grumbles' parents have received a letter from him postmarked "England." The Sumter flyer was previously reported missing in action over enemy territory. Lt. Grumbles' letter stated he was well, …

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Commander dies in plane crash; chickens die in heat wave


75 YEARS AGO - 1944

Feb. 26 - March 3

- Lt. Alvin Grumbles' parents have received a letter from him postmarked "England." The Sumter flyer was previously reported missing in action over enemy territory. Lt. Grumbles' letter stated he was well, and he had recently seen Capt. Leon Blanding, also of Sumter.

- Two Shaw Field basketball teams captured both ends of a doubleheader with Sumter High last night, the 77th Squadron outfit trimming the Gamecocks 27 to 19 and 913th taking the Varsity B team into camp 26-14. Both high school teams had early leads, but the taller and faster Shaw outfits wore the local boys down and won going away. Tommie Hughes, usually the sparkplug of the Gamecocks, was kept well-guarded by his taller opponents and he was able to get but two foul shots for the night.

- One of the signs of the times is a huge "check" on the Liberty street side of McLellan's made out to the American Red Cross. The "check" in the amount of $31,000, the Red Cross quota for Sumter in the coming campaign, is signed, "The Appreciative Citizens of Sumter." Painted by Irwin and Son Sign Co., the huge sign was put up by the fire department and several policemen, under the direction of J. Cliff Brown.

- First Lt. George R. Wilder, 28 Shaw Field Training Squadron commander, suffered fatal injuries when his plane crashed during a short routine flight from an auxiliary field to the main field of the base. Details surrounding the accident are being investigated by a competent board of appointed officers. Lt. Wilder of Chardon, Ohio, had been in the Air Corps for 23 months. His wife of Magnolia street, Sumter, was notified this morning of the accident.

- Vesper services were conducted at the Negro Community Center on Sunday evening by the Rev. Jennings with selected music by the Shaw Field singers under the direction of Sgt. Vaughn. The service was enjoyed by citizens and servicemen. Each Sunday at 5 p.m. in the assembly, vesper services will be given. The public is invited to attend. The Rev. Mingo of the A.M.E. church will conduct the services.

- Lt. Marion Vance Dawkins is one of the Navy's heroes, but you'd never know it from talking to the modest flier. He still wears the same size hat he wore when he won his wings of gold in Jacksonville, Florida, in April of 1942. When you consider that he sank a German U-boat when piloting a Liberator bomber, and that he figured in the sinking of another when a co-pilot, not to mention the "probables" credited by the Navy, it would appear that Lt. Dawkins is entitled to any size hat he wants. Nevertheless, this holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster and 107th Squadron citation is the same Vance Dawkins who finished Sumter High with your son, met the gang in Lawson's and attended college right here in the Carolinas, the University of South Carolina and Wake Forest, to be specific.

- Sumter Lodge 855, B.P.O. Elks, has agreed to purchase the Cadet Club for the amount of $15,000, Exalted Ruler H.J. Harby announced today. The lodge will allow the cadets to renew their lease, however, if they wish to do so. The property, part of the Wilson estate, is located at 220 Broad St. and is rented by Shaw Field aviation cadets for use as a clubhouse. The club is leased to them on one-year terms. The Elks Club at present is located at 3 W. Liberty St.

- Sumter will be host to a South Carolina Class A Invitational basketball tournament on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week, Superintendent William Henry Shaw of the city schools and Coach Johnnie McMillan announced today. Seven cities - Charleston, Greenville, Camden, Rock Hill, North Charleston, Dreher High of Columbia and Sumter - will have teams in the tourney. It had been hoped to make the affair an eight-way battle, but Columbia, which had planned to enter, informed Coach McMillan that the Capitals would not be represented.

- First Lt. W.H. ("Sonny") Bowman Jr. has been awarded the Air Medal and Oak Leaf Cluster, it was learned. He is stationed in England. Lt. Bowman, a native of Sumter, is the son of the Rev. and Mrs. W.H. Bowman of Clover and a grandson of Dr. and Mrs. George W. Dick of this city.

- Ten girls entered training at the Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing, Mrs. Ada I. Snyder, director of nurses, has announced. The girls are all members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps. Those entering from Sumter were Misses Betty Beaty, Virginia Brogdon, Norma Jean Barwick, Margaret Ulmer and Betty Windham.

- The first Red Cross worker killed in action in this war, it has been revealed, was Esther Richards, 46, of San Francisco. The tent located on Anzio Beach, where she worked, was bombed by German aircraft, wounding her fatally.

- The last-minute entrance by Columbia will throw the Capitals against Sumter High at 4 o'clock in the opening contest of the South Carolina High School Class A basketball tournament. The game will be played in the Edmunds High gym. Other opening round games will be played as previously announced. Columbia was allowed to enter after Coach H.B. Rhame had asked to do so. He had previously reported that he didn't think the Caps would be able to come to the tourney. But Coach John McMillan said this morning that since Sumter had drawn a bye in the opening round he would send his team against the Columbians. Plans were nearly complete for the tourney, and large crowds were expected.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

Oct. 27 - Nov. 2

- Robert Lee Scarborough, a Richland County general farmer, was named District IV "Man of the Year" by the South Carolina Farmers' Cooperative Council. Scarborough will compete with Men of the Year winners from four other districts for the top state honor at the council's annual meeting in the spring of 1969. District IV includes Fairfield, Kershaw, Richland, Sumter, Calhoun, Clarendon and Lee counties.

- Commuter airline service for Sumter began today with the first flights of Nationwide Airlines Southeast Inc. Ceremonies were held at the Sumter municipal airport to inaugurate the service, attended by officials of the airline and of the city, county and Chamber of Commerce. A large crowd turned out for the event. Sightseeing flights were also provided by the airline.

- The parents of prospective monsters who will be roaming the streets in and around Sumter on Halloween night can rest easy since a contingent of local Jaycees will be keeping an eye on the youngsters as part of their new "Halloween Safety Patrol" project. Approximately 15 local Jaycees will be patrolling in specially marked cars from 7:30 p.m. until sometime past the witching hour on Halloween night to keep a watchful eye on the youngsters, who will be out for their annual "Trick or Treat" campaign.

- Kenneth Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Brown of Sumter, has been appointed a district sales manager for Menley & James Laboratories. Brown is responsible for the company's Brooklyn, New York, sales district. Brown is a 1962 graduate of Lincoln High School. In 1967, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina College.

- The Sumter Credit Women International held their annual Bosses Night at the Sunset Country Club with 48 members and guests present. The highlight of the night came when the "Boss of the Year" was announced by club member Louise Henry of the Credit Bureau. Members of the club vote for the boss and/or sponsor whom they think has contributed the most to the club. The honor this year went to William H. (Bill) Dendy, manager of the Credit Bureau, who was presented a plaque by Mrs. Henry.

- The Sumter Downtown Merchants' Association will sponsor a harvest festival of values promotion. Over $1,000 in valuable prizes will be given by participating stores. There will also be a Halloween costume contest with judging to begin at the old C&S Bank building, Main and Liberty streets. Prizes of $25, $15 and $10 will be awarded to three winners.

- In a special meeting in City Hall, city council approved the low bid of $249,486 made by Avery Lumber Co. of Sumter for construction of the new Sumter fire department. Bids were made by eight construction companies, and running fairly close behind the lowest bid was a $254,000 bid from C.B. Askins and Co. of Lake City with the second-lowest bid.

- The Officers' Wives Club Silver Show was a success again this year. Carl Gilbert of the G & W Brokerage Co., Norfolk, Virginia, showed his complete line of silver at wholesale prices. The silver ranged from modern and traditional to Oriental. A display of gold boudoir sets were also available.

- Hundreds attended the "Master Farm Family" award ceremonies on the H.C. Edens Jr. farm in the Dalzell community. The event, honoring the Edens family for outstanding farming achievements, was sponsored by The Progressive Farmer, a farm trade journal, and Clemson University Extension Service.

- The Rev. Knox Lambert has accepted a call to the Immanuel Baptist Church of Paducah, Kentucky. The Rev. Lambert accepted the call in February of 1954 of Grace Baptist Church here in Sumter. He was born in Petersburg, Tennessee. He graduated from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, in 1941 and attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he received the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1944.

- Kathy Eleanor Michalowski of Sumter is a member of the fourth generation of her family to choose Limestone College as her school. Kathy's mother, Mrs. Eleanor Virginia Barwick Michalowski, is an alumna of the class of 1944. Sallie Gregory (Smith) of Chester County was the first of the four generations to come to Limestone. She attended from 1850 to 1863, when the college was closed for a time because of the War Between the States. Sallie's daughter Annie Lou Smith (Barwick) graduated from Limestone in 1903. After her marriage to John Oliver Barwick, she made her home in Sumter.

- A speechless Coach Buddy Sharpe just shook his head in disbelief after his Edmunds Jayvees had won their 18th-consecutive game over a three-year period, stopping Lower Richland, 19-0. "I just can't describe the play of our boys. This was a good football team we played, yet we mowed them down," a happy Sharpe said. All the jayvees did was allow Lower Richland only two yards total offense and eight first downs. Meanwhile, the Sumter offense ripped the Lower Richland defense for 227 total yards.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

July 30 - Aug. 5

- Sumter reliever Eddie Mathis enters the game with his team trailing. Dej vu? Almost. Mathis, the P-15's leader in saves this season, replaced starter Lee Hatfield after 1 2/3 innings with Sumter losing 5-2. The right-hander gave up two hits in the second inning and then went on to retire 17 straight batters to lead Sumter to an 8-6 victory over Florence. The victory wrapped up the lower state championship for Sumter, 24-3. The P-15's will meet the winner of the Inman-Irmo game in a best-of-seven series for the state title.

- By the end of September, it should be smooth sailing on South Guignard Drive. South Guignard will be resurfaced from Liberty Street to U.S. 15 South. The project, including the resurfacing of Broad Street, is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30. The contract for work on both roads is for $1 million. Local transportation department officials say the "washboard" road on South Guignard created by loose gravel underneath the asphalt will be removed and replaced. The bumpy road has brought a barrage of complaints from motorists.

- Flying activity will increase substantially around Shaw Air Force Base from Monday to Thursday as the base practices deploying its planes, personnel and equipment in a training exercise. Base officials said residents should not be alarmed about the increased activity. The "Sea Lion Exercise," a periodic event at the base, is designed to test the ability of Shaw's 363rd Fighter Wing to mobilize.

- If you're standing in your kitchen, wondering what to cook for dinner, and the slogan "Beef: It's what's for dinner" pops into your mind, thank Ralph "Buck" Bell of Bell-View farms. Bell, 67, is a member of the national Beef Industry Council, the national organization that supports the multimillion-dollar beef industry and developed that advertising campaign. On Aug. 14, Bell will take over as chairman of the Beef Industry Council. The Beef Industry Council is funded through a check-off donation that raised $56 million last year on the sale of cattle.

- Sumter Police Chief Harold Johnson thinks his department is one of the best in the state. Now, he's looking to prove it. The department is trying to become one of only a handful of law enforcement agencies accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, based in Fairfax, Virginia. The commission, which consists of 21 law enforcement officials from across the nation, sets the standards and examines all applications for accreditation.

- From Aug. 12 through Aug. 14, thousands of anglers throughout the United States will be casting lures in search of that elusive lunker bass. Manning's Bobby Wilson, though, will be one of only 41 fishermen who will have to haul their day's catch to a large arena and plop the fish on a set of scales as 20,000 wildly cheering fans look on. It's no wonder that Wilson has been besieged by a stream of sometimes bizarre dreams as he prepares to compete for the first time in the BASS Masters Classic, which will be held next month near Birmingham, Alabama. "This is the Super Bowl of bass fishing. It's the most prestigious tournament an angler can qualify for."

- It was the week that chickens were fried before they were plucked. During the first week of South Carolina's record heat wave in July, Sumter County's 40 to 50 chicken farmers lost more than 90,000 birds, estimated Don Mabe, plant manager for Carolina Golden Products. Carolina Golden processes more than 950,000 chickens a week, and the loss of chickens to the heat did not go unnoticed. "That hurts both Carolina Golden and farmers," he said. "This is bad, but it's expected when temperatures reach above 100 degrees."

- Pauline T. "Polly" Laffitte, curator of art at the S.C. State Museum, has been selected to judge the Sumter Artists Guild Annual Exhibition. Laffitte was educated at Winthrop College and received a graduate degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Denver in Denver, Colo. She has worked in arts-related fields since her graduation and has been at the S.C. State Museum since 1988, first as assistant curator of art, and as curator of art beginning in 1991.

- Going against a planning commission recommendation and a petition with more than 4,300 signatures on it, the Sumter City Council gave initial approval to a rezoning request that would permit the demolition of a city landmark. The vote, which was 6-1 with Mayor Stephen Creech dissenting, followed a public hearing on the proposed Bi-Lo supermarket project on East Liberty Street.