Family has 6 Air Force pilots; fire damages club house

Posted 4/22/18

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

April 16 - 22

- Football has been a large part of Freddie Solomon's life. From his high school days at Lincoln and Sumter High schools to his college years at the University of Tampa, and on to an 11-year National Football …

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Family has 6 Air Force pilots; fire damages club house


25 YEARS AGO - 1993

April 16 - 22

- Football has been a large part of Freddie Solomon's life. From his high school days at Lincoln and Sumter High schools to his college years at the University of Tampa, and on to an 11-year National Football League career with Miami and San Francisco that included two Super Bowl rings, football has been an integral part of his life, bringing him much recognition and many honors. He will be inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in an awards ceremony at the Downtown Columbia Marriott hotel. "I'm excited about it, but it was totally a surprise for me," Solomon said in a recent telephone interview.

- Wilson Hall has been accustomed to success in golf in recent years. The Barons finished second in the SCISAA state tournament last year and in 1990 and won the state title in 1991 and the PAC state title in 1989. Hugh Hill, who has coached Wilson Hall through all that success, was thinking there might be a break in that success before this season started. Of his top six players, one graduated, one transferred to another school, and two chose not to play golf this year. "I guess inexperience is the best way to what has been happening to us this season," Hill said. "Our veteran players have been helpful and encouraging to the more inexperienced players."

- Clarendon School District 2 Superintendent Dr. Sylvia Weinberg is considering a 1994 run for the state's highest education office. Weinberg, 55, is deciding whether to run as a Democrat for state superintendent of education, a post now held by Dr. Barbara Nielsen, a Republican in her first term. "I'm going to be thinking it over," Weinberg said. "I'm continuing to think about it." She said she has been approached by state education and business leaders "about statewide leadership." Weinberg, a lifelong educator, has been superintendent of Clarendon 2 for five years and has been with the district continuously since 1970.

- Volunteer Sumter, the volunteer center of United Way, will join in the celebration of National Volunteer Week on April 18-24. According to Jo Anne Morris, director of Volunteer Sumter, this year's theme is: "Volunteer, A Chance to Change Tomorrow." "We are not the same community we were yesterday, and this is due to the extraordinary work of our volunteers," Morris said. "Volunteer, A Chance to Change Tomorrow is a challenge to anyone who has the potential to make a difference in the lives of others and who also wants to witness tangible changes in the community."

- The records of the Wilson Hall and Thomas Sumter softball teams gave the appearance of a big showdown between the two rivals. The Barons came into the game with a 6-1 record while TSA entered at 8-2. It never materialized. The Generals scored eight runs in the top of the first inning and cruised to a 21-6, five-inning victory. Thomas Sumter pounded out 13 hits and took advantage of seven walks and 11 errors from Wilson Hall. TSA added a seven-run spot in the third to break the game open at 15-1.

- Defying slim odds of genetics, aptitude and aspiration, a family with ties to Shaw Air Force Base that reach back more than 50 years has produced six Air Force pilots in just two generations. Sumter's Bob Freaney, 62, is a retired Air Force colonel and former cargo-plane pilot. His brothers - Thomas, 78, and Patrick, 70 - were Army Air Corps pilots in World War II, instructor and cargo pilots, respectively. And of Freaney's four sons, three are Air Force pilots; two - Bob Jr., 37, and Mark, 32 - are cargo pilots like their father, and the third - Dave, 35 - is an F-15 fighter-plate pilot at the prestigious Fighter Weapons school at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The fourth son - Jim, 36, Freaney's second-oldest - has long worn eyeglasses and knew early in his life that he could not pass the Air Force's pilot physical. Even so, the Seattle investment banker holds a pilot's license and flies private planes for fun.

- Sumter rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to claim a 10-9 baseball win over South Florence. But the Gamecocks' final comeback, in front of a large Sumter Kids in Baseball night crowd at Sumter High School, was less dramatic than a five-run seventh that sent the game into extra innings. Down 9-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Lee Hatfield reached on a third-strike wild pitch. Randy Goodroe beat out a bunt single, and the runners advanced to second and third with one out on a wild pitch. Ontrell McCray delivered the tying run with an infield grounder to shortstop, and Bo Betchman followed with a sharp single off the glove of South Florence shortstop Brian Urquhart to score Goodroe from second with the game-winning run.

- Five Sumterites were honored by the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce for their "outstanding achievement" and service to Shaw Air Force Base and Sumter County. Sumter Mayor Steve Creech, Jim Kepner, Jule Eldridge, Ray Wilcox and Theo Palmer were the 1993 Outstanding Achievement Award recipients. Each was recognized and presented a plaque during the chamber's annual banquet, which was held at Shaw's Officers Club and attended by more than 220 Chamber members.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

July 14 - July 20

- Sumter city officials are making plans to extend city services as soon as possible to the area annexed to Sumter in a special election. City Manager Wade Kolb told The Item about progress to provide city services to the area northwest of the city. City water rates will be applied immediately, Kolb said, for persons already using water from city-owned water lines. The reduction of rates, which amounts to about a 40 percent cut, will take effect with the Aug. 1 billing.

- Issuance of food stamps will begin in Sumter County Aug. 1, according to U. S. Department of Agriculture officials, but only about a third of the stores in the county are currently authorized to accept the stamps. Stores cannot accept food stamps until authorized to do so by the agriculture department. Out of the approximately 200 stores selling food in Sumter County, 72 retail and two wholesale grocers have been authorized to accept the stamps.

- The recently formed Community Action Program Agency, funded by the OEO for 1963, has received notice from Sen. Ernest F. Hollings of the approval of a $12,000 OEO grant for emergency food and medical services. This is the first grant which will be disbursed by the newly formed permanent CAP Agency staff, organized to handle Clarendon County OEO programs. The broad base CAP Agency consisting of 30 members drawn equally to represent the poor, elected officials and businesses and organizations works on a voluntary basis.

- Fired-up Olanta, sparked by the stellar pitching performance of Davis Scurry, edged Sumter, 2-1, in a thriller Monday night to just about crush any hopes the P-15's had of taking the American Legion League III crown. Loop-leading Camden, which has not played in more than a week, had its game at Manning rained out again but probably got a big psychological lift from the Sumter setback. Camden needs only a win over Manning and a victory over Olanta to wrap up the title.

- The Sumter National Guard unit ended its annual field training encampment at Fort Stewart, Georgia, with a top superior rating. The performance of each unit at camp is evaluated daily in all activities. The Sumter unit received an overall superior, the highest possible. The annual encampment is the climax of the monthly training requirements carried out through weekend drills. It is held to stimulate and practice what would be required of the unit if it were called into active duty.

- Race fans on hand at Sumter Speedway saw a real change from the usual spins and crashes that have become custom for the past few weeks. Instead, they saw a real show of driving skill and very few red flags. The 50 cars on hand seemed to stick to the track, and the spin-outs were few and far between. Lee Johnson pulled the surprise of the night when he qualified second to Dick Poling in the late Model Sportsman event. Johnson started in the outside pole position and put his '55 Chevy in the lead on the first lap and kept it out front all the way. Johnson was challenged by Dick Poling for the first 21 laps, but Poling found the going a little rough in the second turn and ended up going in the wrong direction.

- Three titles were decided in the women's division, and top-seeded Jimmy Boykin advanced to the semi-finals of the men's singles during play in the 1968 City Tennis Tournament at the Memorial Park and Swan Lake Courts. Championship action is to be concluded Wednesday afternoon according to tournament director Fred Wilson. Kendra Edwards took top honors in the Junior Women's flight where she defeated Mary Abbott in the finals.

- Walter I. Davids Jr. has been named resident manager of Coker's of Sumter, and James D. Edwards will serve as assistant manager, according to an announcement today by P. H. Beattie, vice president and general manager of J. L. Coker and Co. Davids, a New York City native, has a background of 27 years of retailing experience and recently served as manager of W. A. Family Store in Sumter. He is active in the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is married and has three sons.

- Col. Kendall S. Young became commander of the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on Monday. The 48-year-old colonel came to Shaw after serving one year as commander of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at RAF Upper Heyford, England. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Col. Young attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and the University of Maryland. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry in February 1941 but transferred to the Army Air Forces where he completed pilot training in September 1942. Col. Young saw combat in World War II in North Africa and Italy as a B-24 pilot and commanded 727th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group. His next assignment was on the operations staff of First Air Force at Mitchell Field, New York. He was also a test pilot at nearby Gruman Aircraft Corp. for a brief period.

- More than 60 officers and airmen from the 507th Tactical Control Group will be participating in the largest joint Army and Air National Guard field training exercise ever staged within the continental United States. The exercise will get underway Saturday and continue through Aug. 3. Called "Guard Strike II," the massive war game is designed to polish teamwork between Guard air defense units and tactical air-ground forces, using the sophisticated communications networks of the modern tactical control system. These networks will link 15 states in the exercise area, covering the entire Northeastern United States from Minnesota to Massachusetts, with military units in 19 other states.

- Mayor Bo Graham will throw out the first ball to kick off the annual Police vs. Fire baseball game at Riley Park. The firemen will be after their fifth win in a row in the 8 o'clock contest. Cost of tickets for the game is $1 for adults. Children under 12 will be admitted free. All proceeds of the game will go to support Palmetto Boys teams sponsored by the police and fire departments.

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Nov. 13 - Nov. 19

- For some time, Sumter has not had local facilities for financing automobiles. Recognizing the need for such a service, T. D. Duncombe and Ben Haile have organized the Southern Discount Co., which will be located at 105 West Liberty St. Mr. Duncombe has had more than 17 years' experience in the automobile and automobile financing business and has been in Sumter for the past four years. Mr. Haile has been actively associated with automobile financing for the past seven years and will manage the new company. It is contemplated, said Mr. Haile, that the Southern Discount Co. will start operations Nov. 15.

- The beautiful Thomas Lemmon trophy, donated by Company I of the State Guard to the winner of the competitive drill staged recently, is on display in the window of Folsom's Jewelry Store on North Main Street. The announcement came from Capt. L. F. Cuttino of Sumter's Company I, who said that people might wish to see the trophy which commemorates Ensign Thomas Lemmon, well-known lawyer and civic leader missing in action. Company K of Manning is the first winner of the trophy, having been judged the best drilled company in recent State Guard maneuvers here. The cup will be passed on to subsequent winners, and when the State Guard is disbanded will be given to Mrs. G. A. Lemmon, mother of the missing man.

- A growing scarcity of popular brand cigarettes and low-priced cigars - attributed to labor shortages, early Christmas buying and heavy overseas shipments - was reported today in many cities throughout the nation. Especially scarce were inexpensive cigars. The Cigar Institute of America said the normal reserves of cigars for Christmas sales were being sold now to meet heavy demands and added that prospects were slim for obtaining extra supplies for the Yuletide. There is widespread voluntary rationing of both cigars and cigarettes, an associated Press survey showed.

- Shaw Field's commanding officer of the sub-depot has swapped a gold leaf for a silver one and changed his title from Maj. C. F. Peterson to lieutenant colonel, the post public relations office announced. Col. Peterson has seen longer service at Shaw Field than almost any other of the base officers, having come here in November 1941. He was a first lieutenant then, with a little less than a year of active service behind him but prior to entering the army had been a member for 13 years, of a National Guard unit.

- Gamecock Lodge 17 of the Knights of Pythias will have its annual dinner-meeting tonight at the Masonic Hall. Special guest will include Grand Chancellor J. Earl King, Hartsville; Grand Prelate Andrew J. Bethea, Columbia; and R. L. Ridgill, district deputy grand chancellor, Manning. Charles L. Cuttino is chairman of the committee in charge of arrangements, and ladies of the Iris Chapter, Eastern Star, will serve supper. All members of the Lodge are urged to attend.

- Winning four places in the October competition, Sumter High News is now in third place in the Story-of-the-Month competition conducted by the Journalism department of Winthrop College and The State, Columbia's newspaper. Winners for Sumter High News were: Second place news story, Mary Quincy; fourth place interview, Jean Dunn; and fifth place interview, Mary Leffelman. The winners gave Sumter a total of nine points. First place in the first month went to Florence Yellow Jacket, 19 points; second place (tie) to Greenville High News and The Scribbler, Spartanburg, 10 points. Fourth position was taken by Columbia Hi-Life with seven points. Lois-Anne Dollard is editor of Sumter High News, and Miss Virginia Boney is the editorial adviser.

- A fire at the Shaw Field Non-Commissioned Officer's Club this morning resulted in some damage to the club house, public relations officials at the field announced this afternoon. Staff Sgt. George W. Sharpe, secretary of the club, discovered the fire when he went to the building about 9:30, and he immediately called the Shaw Field fire department. Firemen found that the blaze was under the floor of the refreshment room, and it was their belief it had been smoldering all night. A defective fireplace in this room is thought to be the cause of the fire. The exact amount of the damage has not been estimated, but officials said it would probably be necessary for the club, located on the Shaw Field highway, to be closed for a few days until repairs are made.

- Lightweight Champion Bob Montgomery, of Philadelphia, and former Champion Beau Jack, of New York, each boxed five rounds at Stillman's gym in preparation for their return 15-round title bout at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. Montgomery dethroned Jack by winning a 15-round decision in their first meeting May 21.

- Hit Parade of 1944, a vaudeville revue presented by Harry Clark, will be presented at the Sumter Theater. Headline stars make up the cast, including Diane Clifton, singing star; the Marian Cole trio; Coen, Teddy and Eddie, acrobatic stars; Ned Haverly, the Black Dot; George Geddis and his canine friends and Don Ricardo and his band.

- A special delegation of SPARs Women's Reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard, and Coast Guardsmen is in Sumter for the purpose of interviewing women of this section interested in war service in the Coast Guard. The recruiting party is located at the Sumter Gas and Power Company and will remain in town all week. Keeping the sea lanes open to United Nations traffic is vital to victory. Ships, supplies, and men must go forward to battle stations and bases and yet daily it becomes more difficult to obtain the needed supply of experienced seamen and officers who must do the job. Many Coast Guardsmen, as able as those who are already serving at sea, are now obliged to work at shore stations because it takes many men ashore to keep one ship at sea. Women can perform many of these shore tasks, and the Coast Guard is training and assigning women to take on such duties as fast as qualified volunteers can be enlisted.