75 YEARS AGO - 1944
Aug. 26 - Sept. 1
- Capt. Charles Vincent (Vince) Greffett, who worked for five years at the Palmetto Pigeon Plant before entering the Army Air Corps, was one of the leaders of a bombing flight which dropped ammunition to …
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- Capt. Charles Vincent (Vince) Greffett, who worked for five years at the Palmetto Pigeon Plant before entering the Army Air Corps, was one of the leaders of a bombing flight which dropped ammunition to American parachute troops in southern France on Aug. 17, it was reported by The Associated Press in France. Capt. Greffett and Maj. Gene C. Vance of Pueblo, Colorado, led a bombers' flight of 20 planes to take ammunition to the parachute formations which had exhausted their supplies. The airmen found their positions despite clouds and haze. He has received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Croix de Guerre.
- Army authorities disclosed that eight men, crews of two four engine Liberator bombers, were killed when the two big ships collided in flight. The dead included Lt. James Alvin Grumbles, 27, of Sumter. Witnesses said the big bombers smashed into each other and then fell about a mile apart. One of the ships burst into flames as it fell, and the second ship caught fire after it struck the ground.
- Sgt. "Billy" Burns was killed in action in France on Aug. 10, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Burns Jr., have been notified. Sgt. Burns had been on foreign duty since June of this year. The soldier attended Sumter High School and Presbyterian College where he starred in football. His wife is the former Miss Ruth Alford of Charleston.
- Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Newman have received word that heir son, Sgt. R. H. Newman of the Army Air Corps, has been wounded in England. He sustained a back injury which is not thought to be serious. Sgt. Newman attended Sumter High School and the Anderson School of Aviation, Nashville, Tennessee. He was with the Civil Service Commission in Memphis, Tennessee, before entering the Air Corps in July 1943. He has been overseas since August of last year.
- Mrs. George Huettig has been notified by the War Department that her husband, Lt. Huettig, has been missing in action since the latter part of June. No details were contained in the message. The officer communicated with his wife since she received the official notice, but he was apparently unable to tell her his whereabouts or any information beyond the fact that he is well. His status is at present unknown, and the War Department has not notified Mrs. Huettig whether or not he is a prisoner of war. Lt. Huettig, a B-24 pilot, was based in Italy.
- The annual trolley car parade, held Friday night at Memorial Park, attracted a large crowd and entries of 35 attractive trolleys. First prizes were won by Carol Stanley and George Foxworth, and Patsy McCoy, Margaret McKee, Bill Terry, "Bo" Shaw and Edmund Reardon won second prizes. The Sumter Municipal Band, making its last appearance of the season at the park, donated the awards to the children.
- Sleepy this morning were Mr. Bob Haynsworth and the firemen who watched for developments in the Sumter Cotton Warehouse fire. Cotton fires have a way of appearing to be extinguished, then popping up again in several hours. For that reason, it is necessary to guard such blazes closely for hours after the fire is out. Firemen took turns standing by all night.
- Staff Sgt. Plumb J. (Jack) Warner, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Warner and husband of the former Miss Dorothy Durfee, has been decorated with the Air Medal, his wife has been notified by Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, commanding officer of the allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific. Sgt. Warner participated in 35 missions. He was cited for meritorious achievement while taking part in aerial flights in that theater from April 5 to May 16, Gen. Kenney wrote. Sgt. Warner is a gunner on a B-24. He was associated with the theaters here before joining the service. He has been in the Army for four years.
- Second Lt. W. Edward Owens of Sumter was killed in action over France on May 9, his father, James I. Owens, was notified by the War Department. Lt. Owens, pilot of a B-17 (Flying Fortress), had been reported missing since May 9 on a bombing mission over the continent. He entered the Army Air Corps in January 1943 and received his pilot's wings and commission at Moody Field, Valdosta, Georgia, in October of the same year. He was sent to England in April and had been on a number of bombing missions before he was reported missing. For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating on those missions over enemy-occupied Europe, he was awarded the Air Medal. The young flier was an honor graduate of Wofford College, class of 1942.
- George Turbeville, star pitcher for the Shaw Field Fliers, thrilled a crowd of fans at Municipal Ball Park on Saturday night with his excellent performance against the Spence Field, Georgia, Mustangs, leading team in the George Service League. Turbeville pitched a no-hitter, and the final score was 5-0 for the Fliers. The victory put Shaw in the Eastern Flying Training Command semi-finals. The Fliers will play Laredo, Texas, air base at Maxwell Field on Sept. 3. Thirteen Spence men were struck out by the former Philadelphia Athletic hurler.
50 YEARS AGO - 1969
April 27 - May 3
- The City of Sumter recently became the first in the state to install a revolutionary new traffic control system which will allow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to control traffic signals at busy intersections while answering fire calls. The idea of the new "Opticom" system, recently perfected by the 3M Company, is to enable any emergency vehicle to complete its mission with only green lights in its path, while red lights halt the cross traffic at signalized intersections.
- Lynda Carol Beasley, a blonde beauty who is no stranger to beauty pageants, won the Miss Sumter crown Saturday night at Edmunds High School. She is the daughter of Mrs. Arthur R. Beasley. Roberta Simpson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Simpson was named first runner-up, and Kathy Benbow, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D.J. Benbow, was second runner-up. Glenda Cordoni was picked as Miss Congeniality.
- Sumter County Boy Scout District No. 10 sponsored an active weekend for some 75 scouts from seven troops with a camporee at Poinsett State Park. The outdoor weekend was one of a number of camporees to be held in connection with the "Boy Power-Man Power 76" program designed to build better citizens through the Boy Scout program.
- Charles Cockfield, a teacher from Columbia, proved that consistency can pay off - if used correctly. In today's fast moving and improving golf game, most times it's the flashy, go-for-broke golfer that makes the big splash. Cockfield, a mild-mannered, straight-from-the-shoulder talker, made his consistent play pay him by winning the South Carolina Seniors Golf crown at Sunset Country Club here. "I played the entire tournament with just one double-bogey (on number 9), and I only three putted one green (number 14)," a smiling Cockfield declared. Cockfield had a four-stroke advantage over his nearest competitor, Charles McGowan, also of Columbia.
- The Bishopville High School Athletic Banquet was held in the High School Gymnasium. Art Baker, Clemson's backfield coach, was the guest speaker. Anne Stokes, president of the Girl's Block "B" Club, gave the response. Coach J.W. Jones introduced the speaker. The Gayle Kerr trophy for the Most Valuable Player, Football, went to Chuck Mims. The Best Lineman, Bubba Copeland; Best Back, Ralph Baker; and Best Sport, Eddie Hill, were presented medals by Mr. C. E. Teal.
- Two shooters from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina, one from Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina, one from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and another from Shaw Air Force Base here make up the team for the Tactical Air Command in the 9th-Annual Armed Forces Invitational Skeet Championship. The five-man team was chosen from the results of the Tactical Air Command's Skeet Championship and Military Invitational at Shaw this past weekend. Making up the team are: Maj. Henri Andrews (Seymour Johnson), Staff Sgt. Harry Stewart (Seymour), Master Sgt. John Row (Pope), Maj. David Wright (Nellis) and Sgt. Calvin Hyche (Shaw). Andrews led the way with a 100 score while Hyche was fifth with a 98 total.
- A new track record was set, a car was found illegal and a driver was suspended for two weeks. These were only three of many things that happened at Sumter Speedway on Saturday night. Billy Baker broke his own record in qualifying trials for late-model sportsman drivers but failed to finish the feature event for the third straight week. The New Zion veteran toured the quarter-mile track in 18.2 seconds at an average speed of 49.95 miles per hour in his '64 Comet.
- Thornwell (Thorny) Parker II, son or Mr. and Mrs. Eli Parker, has been elected junior class president for the coming year at Georgia Tech. Thornwell is a junior majoring in industrial management. He is also a member of the Student Government Association, Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Air Force ROTC, Wesley Foundation, YMCA and various intercollegiate activities. He was also sophomore class president. He graduated from Edmunds High School in 1967.
- Four RF-101 reconnaissance aircraft from Shaw Air Force Base took more than 6,000 feet of aerial photographs to aid the U.S. Department of Geological Survey in assessing flooded areas of South Carolina's swollen rivers. The reconnaissance aircraft were provided by the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing's 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at the request of the Department of Interior's Department of Geological Survey in Columbia. The 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron pilots provided photographic coverage of the Santee, Broad, Congaree, Wateree and Saluda rivers when they were at their peak.
- The first Members' Night Entertainment to be held in the new Sumter Little Theatre building will be on May 2 and will be open to members of the theater only. Curtain time is 8:15 p.m. "The World of Carl Sandburg" will be presented by members of the Lander College drama department. Donald McKellar, assistant professor and head of the department of drama and modern dance at the college, is director of the drama by Norman Corwin.
- "The people were friendly" - "reconnaissance work was very interesting" - and "the food was excellent" - these were a few of the words Air Force Academy Cadets, members of the 22nd Student Squadron, used to describe Shaw during a visit to the base. The cadets, here to gain an insight into the operations of their official sponsor, the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, were very impressed by Shaw and its personnel.
- Howard Barfield and Warren Jeffords held a banquet on Edmunds High School pitching as Hartsville stopped a chance for the Birds to clinch a tie for the region championship, 14-11. Barfield and Jeffords each batted in four runs in leading the Foxes past Edmunds. Still, the issue was in doubt until the final out because the Gamecocks had two men in scoring position when the contest ended. Edmunds' record now drops to 8-5 overall and 6-2 in league play.
25 YEARS AGO - 1994
Jan. 27 - Feb. 2
- Young history buffs will have a chance to compete for prize money in the third-annual Myrtis G. Osteen "Value of History to Me" essay contest. The contest, sponsored by the Sumter County Historical Society, is open to Sumter County students in grades nine through 12. Students must submit a three-page paper to the society. The theme of the paper must be "The Value of History to Me," and the paper must show that the student has a broad understanding of the nature of history and its purpose.
- About 150 inmates at the Lee Correctional Institution refused to work or attend classes Wednesday morning to protest prison rules and regulations. The inmates were released from their cells this morning after a day's confinement that followed the incident. Nearly 100 inmates assembled peacefully at 9 a.m. in the prison's yard to voice their complaints, according to Brenda Reed, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. Inmates were restricted to their cells at 10:30 a.m. "Everything is back to normal this morning, and they went to breakfast in the cafeteria," Reed said.
- Ervin S. Duggan, a former Manning resident who has been a member of the Federal Communications Commission for the past three years, has been tapped to head the Public Broadcasting Service. Duggan, the 54-year-old son of Lillian Duggan of Manning, will take over as president and chief executive officer of the TV network. He was recently elected to the post unanimously by the PBS board of directors, and he has resigned his position with the FCC.
- Shad King had no idea what the football recruiting season would bring. A few phone calls and letters from interested colleges was all the Manning High School offensive lineman expected. King quickly found out that his vision of recruiting was a bit tame. "I thought I'd be getting about one or two phone calls a week," he said. "Instead, I got about two or three a night. Things got pretty hectic for a while." He verbally committed to Furman University earlier this week.
- Not much can be said when one team dominates another on the basketball court. The final score is usually an indication of just how bad things went for one team and how well they clicked for the other. In Sumter's 74-52 victory over Fairfield Central at Sumter High School, Gamecock head coach Byron Kinney didn't have much to complain about. His team dominated the Griffins on both ends of the court. "I thought we really got out there and played hard from the start," Kinney said. "That's something we needed to do against a team like Fairfield Central which has so many good athletes. We're continuing to play good defense."
- Wilson Hall head coach Carey Evans had to be wondering if he brought the same basketball team to Baron Gymnasium on Friday that he had in Florence on Tuesday. Coming off a 62-60 road victory over top-ranked Florence Christian, the Barons bore no resemblance to a team that could pull off such an upset against Hudgens. The Cougars took control in the first half and ran away from the Barons in the second half to an easy 56-37 victory.
- Samuel N. Windham wants an explanation. As a young Navy sailor, the Sumter native witnessed the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb on Nov. 1, 1952, at Eluklab Island in the Marshall Islands. At 59, he has had two heart attacks. He has also lost hair and teeth, a common effect of radiation sickness. Windham thinks his problems are due to the fact that he is an "atomic veteran." The federal government recently pledged to find and possibly compensate the subjects of radiation testing in the United Sates during the Cold War. But for years it has turned its back on its atomic veterans, Windham said.
- Home sales in Sumter County jumped 8.4 percent from 1992 to 1993, outpacing the national increase but falling short of the increase in the South as a whole. The nation and the South saw increases of 7.9 and 9.1 percent, respectively. The figures include both new and previously owned homes. Not only were more houses sold in Sumter County in 1993, they sold faster and brought higher prices than did those sold in 1992
- Portia C. Myers, 75, died at her home in Rembert after an illness. Born in Sumter, she was the daughter of the late James and Lucie E. Cuttino Mrs. Myers was a member of the Church of the Ascension in Hagood and a graduate of Sumter High School and Winthrop College. Mrs. Myers served as secretary to a number of commanders at Shaw Air Force Base and worked for three years in the Army Chief of Staff's office in Washington. She also worked at Sumter Area Technical College for 17 years, serving as director of the school's Shaw Campus. She was a weekly columnist for The Item for 11 years
- An NBSC executive was named Sumter Business Person of the Year by the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and First Union National Bank. Robert "Bobby" Boykin Jr., Sumter city executive and a senior vice president with the National Bank of South Carolina, was presented the award during the chamber's annual three-day planning retreat. Boykin has emerged as a leader in business and community activities over the past several years, chamber Chairman-Elect Chris Caison wrote in a letter nominating Boykin for the honor
- For the second consecutive year, Alice Drive Middle School student Colin Jones has outspelled 26 other top spellers from District 17 schools to become the district's spelling bee champion. Jones, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Jones and a student in Julie Williams' English class, was declared the champion and will now go on to compete at the state level competition in Columbia
- Sumter City Council will consider final approval of a 50 percent increase in fees the city charges businesses for garbage collection. Council voted 6-1 two weeks ago to give initial approval to the hike, right after voting 6-1 to continue the service. Councilman the Rev. William Randolph voted against both proposals. The city was scheduled to end its commercial garbage collection business on March 1 because the program is losing money and has to be subsidized by taxpayers
- A committee formed by the Lee County Memorial Hospital board and Lee County Council has two weeks to come up with a plan to get the hospital out of debt or suggest that it close its doors,. Hospital and council officials apparently formed the committee Monday night during a joint private meeting. Hospital trustees met with councilmen for about one hour do discuss unspecified "contractual matters." Also in the closed-door meeting were three local doctors - Pickens Moye, John Pate and E.D. DesChamps - and the hospital attorney, Thornton Kirby of Nexsen, Pruet, Jacobs and Pollard of Columbia
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