Air WACs celebrate 2 years; Gunsmoke '93 begins in Nevada

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 10/21/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1944

May 13 - May 19

- Impressive ceremonies marked the graduation from the Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing of eight cadet nurses. William Henry Shaw, superintendent of the city schools, was the principal speaker. Another …

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Air WACs celebrate 2 years; Gunsmoke '93 begins in Nevada

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75 YEARS AGO - 1944

May 13 - May 19

- Impressive ceremonies marked the graduation from the Tuomey Hospital School of Nursing of eight cadet nurses. William Henry Shaw, superintendent of the city schools, was the principal speaker. Another feature of the evening's program was the presentation of seven awards. Mr. Shaw spoke on the importance of health education and commended nurses for their splendid contribution to the war effort. Miss Betty Brown was presented the First Honor Pin, given by the Board of Trustees of the hospital, and the award for the highest average in anatomy, given by Dr. Carl B. Epps. Miss Lucy Williams won the Second Honor prize, given by the Tuomey Hospital Auxiliary, and the award for excellence in surgical nursing, given by Dr. C. J. Lemmon.

- Don't forget, when you see "A Guy Named Joe," flying scenes were shot here at Municipal Airport (slightly disguised with sandbags and camouflage paint) and at the Columbia Army Air Base. Many of the British planes were Shaw BT's, too, and extra "mechanics," WAAFs and so on, strolling about in airport scenes were members of Sumter's Avi-aide club.

- The 346th Infantry nine from Fort Jackson halted Shaw Field's victory march at the Municipal Park, slamming out a 14-7 victory in a Servicemen's League contest. It was Shaw's second defeat of the season. Nicky Najjar started on the mound for the Fliers but was relieved by Zachrity Narus, of no-hit fame, finished on the hill for Shaw. Tiny O'Neill and West did the catching. Loose fielding was the big reason for the Fliers' defeat. Errors either set up the scores or let them in.

- The annual Sumter High News banquet was held in the teachers' dining room of Edmunds High School, and certificates and awards were presented to student journalists for outstanding work during the year on the paper. Featured speaker was H. G. Osteen, editor and publisher of the Sumter Daily Item. He told the students "things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out in newspaper work." His reminiscences were full of helpful hints to the boys and girls who aspire to be writers.

- Air WACs of Shaw Field were honored at an informal dance at the Non-Commissioned Officers' Club. The event marked the second anniversary of the Women's Army Corps, which will be celebrated on May 15. The ballroom of the NCO Club was decorated in green and gold, WAC colors, for the occasion, and refreshments of punch and cake were served in the center hall. A "birthday" cake, complete with two candles, was prepared and graced the center of the refreshment table.

- More than 200 Veterans of Foreign Wars and ladies of the auxiliary of the Department of South Carolina, V.F.W., are in Sumter for the ninth-annual encampment of the state organization which began with a memorial service at First Baptist Church. The official opening of the encampment took place at the Robert O. Purdy Post 3034 Hall, with welcoming addresses by Jean A. Brunner of Forest Hills, New York; senior vice commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Congressman H. P. Fulmer of this state; F. B. Creech, mayor the city; Lt. Commander S. W. Haans of the Sixth Naval District; and others. "I have only been in Sumter three hours," Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brunner told the gathering, "but I am already impressed with the hospitality of this city."

- Mrs. Peter M. Pitts, five-star mother, was presented the Emblem of Honor at the Presbyterian church Sunday morning during church services. Rep. Charles Cuttino, on behalf of Gov. Johnston, made the presentation. Pitts has four sons and a daughter in service. They are 2nd Lt. Baynard Y. Pitts, U.S. Army, Camp Cooke, California; Cpl. Haynsworth Pitts, USMC, Charleston; Capt. Loring Pitts, U.S. Army, Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Sgt. Harris E. Pitts, USAAF, Fort Myers, Florida. Mrs. Pitts daughter in service is Daisy P. Propst, storekeeper third class, WAVEs, Pensacola, Florida.

- Bob Montgomery, a native of Sumter County who went to Philadelphia and won the lightweight boxing title, lost it and won it back has been visiting his parents, Oscar and Janie Montgomery, residents of the Concord section. Montgomery was in the city greeting friends. Much of his success, he said, was because of the training he received in Sumter and Sumter County. Montgomery will enter the Army soon.

- The Night Raiders shut out the Robin Hoods 9-0 in the YMCA Centennial Softball League. The Raiders collected seven runs in the first inning. Frank Strange and Olin Thompson were the big guns for the Raiders, aided by Cecil Kirby and Tommy Frierson. Legrand Avin was the only player for the Robin Hoods to get a hit. The Dragons nosed out the Eagles in an exciting second game, 7-5. Lucius DuRant rapped out a homer for the Eagles and was ably assisted at bat by Edwin Commins. Hugh Humphries and Claude Sutton each slapped a home run for the Dragons.

50 YEARS AGO - 1969

Jan. 13 - 19

- An Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 Jet with 21 passengers and six crew members aboard made a safe emergency landing at Shaw Air Force Base. The aircraft - Eastern's Flight 862 - was on its way to Raleigh from Newark, New Jersey, when trouble appeared in the nose wheel assembly. The aircraft was diverted to Shaw, and emergency vehicles were standing by. The passengers were advised that a second Eastern airliner was being dispatched to Shaw to continue the flight to Raleigh.

- A third-period surge kept the Edmunds High School Gamecocks from a shocking upset here as they pinned Hillcrest, 66-63, for their seventh win in nine games this season. Hillcrest's Wildcats didn't believe the Edmunds press clippings and actually outplayed the Gamecocks for much of the contest. But a series of mistakes at the beginning of the third period settled the issue.

- Municipal concerns, along with the controversial Moody Report, were dominant themes touched on by Sumter County's senator and representatives in recent pre-legislative forecasts. These matters foreshadow much of the business to be considered in the 1969 General Assembly when it convenes. Responding to a written questionnaire prepared by the Item, Sumter County's four members of the State House of Representatives issued joint answers to queries related to upcoming state business.

- A red-hot performance by William Blyther sparked the Lincoln Bulldogs to their 11th victory of the season against two losses. The victim was Howard, 75-60. Blyther, a 6-2 senior averaging over 30 points a game, popped through 36 markers and brought down 21 rebounds to lead a Bulldog surge.

- The Hillcrest Wildcats overcame an early nine-point deficit and went on to defeat Lamar 64-53 to deadlock the two teams for second place in the Upper 6AA Conference race. Hillcrest is now 5-2 in league play and 9-5 overall. One of the league losses was to Lamar and the other one to undefeated Timmonsville.

- Master Sgt. Wallace G. Gurganus of the 363rd Field Maintenance Squadron has been chosen Shaw's Airman of the Year. Sgt. Gurganus is assigned to the 363rd FMS navigational aids section as NCOIC. He is involved with duties connected with the maintenance of navigational aids for pilots for all aircraft assigned to Shaw.

- The Bloodmobile will be in Sumter at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter. This repeat visit of the Bloodmobile is an effort to meet the blood shortage crisis and to ensure an adequate reserve for Sumter County patients. The Sumter County Chapter is still 314 pints short of the quota established for this period of its fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

- If you're referring to the county governing body as the County Board, you're living in the past. The Sumter County Commission officially convened its first meeting since the seven members were nominated in last June's primary and subsequently elected by the people. The commission represents a sharp break from the past when it was a body selected by the County Legislative Delegation with the approval of the senator. Known as the County Board of Commissioners, its responsibilities and those of the delegation overlapped and intertwined. Now its functions are separate from those of the county's legislators, who'll concentrate on statewide, rather than local, business.

- Hinson's Walking Horse Stables, owned by Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Hinson, are inviting friends and horse lovers to visit their barn on U.S. 521 to meet their new trainer, Howard Roberts. Mr. and Mrs. Hinson opened their 17-stable training barn in February with Dudley Sledge as their professional trainer. In 1968, the Hinsons hired Howard Roberts from Black Hawk Stables in Winfield, Missouri. Some of the horses in their training stable are: Mr. Blue - two-year-old stallion owned by Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Montgomery of Miami, Florida; Suns T-Bird - three-year-old stallion owned by Mr. and Mrs. Don Towery of Sumter; Tijuana Brass - three-year-old owned by Mr. B.J. Hecker Jr. of Winfield, Missouri; Sa an's Dark Lady - owned by Mrs. C.E. Hinson of Sumter; and Sun's Bearcat - four-year-old stallion owned by Dr. and Mrs. Wyman Morris of Sumter.

- Four non-commissioned officers "got their man" here under the Air Force "Top Three" program. Operating under the concept of "every man get a man," the following non-commissioned officers reenlisted a first-term airman: Master Sgt. Frank R. Phillips, of the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, reenlisted Sgt. Carl J. Schaffer; Master Sgt. Brown Barnett Jr., of the 4414th Combat Crew Training Squadron, reenlisted Sgt. Kenneth G. Lunn; Master Sgt. Dennis C. Sullivan, of the 728th Tactical Control Squadron, reenlisted Staff Sgt. Reginald C. Matthews; and Master Sgt. Gene M. Hart, of the 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, reenlisted Sgt. Patrick D. McCraw.

- The United States Strike Command is conducting a nine-day joint training exercise in Puerto Rico with live fire involving 2,500 Army and Air Force personnel and 78 military aircraft. The operation includes tactical operations by jet fighter aircraft and airlift forces of the Tactical Air Command; Military Airlift Command, airborne, missile and armored units of the Continental Army Command; and fighter, reconnaissance and refueling aircraft of the Strategic Air Command.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

Oct. 15 - 21

- Sumter businessman Bert L. Montague II became the first recipient of the re-established Alfred T. Heath Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who have done outstanding philanthropic and charitable work in the community. The award, originally called the Heath Award, was started in 1941 by the late Alfred T. Heath, the Sumter businessman who founded Sumter's Community Chest, the predecessor of today's United Way of Sumter, Clarendon and Lee Counties. The award was revived by the United Way this year, more than 40 years after it was last presented.

- For the second-straight week, Hillcrest wrote a similar plot with the same climax and, sadly for the Wildcats, the same ending. Fresh off a 3-0 loss to Irmo a week ago, in which its offense executed effectively at times, Hillcrest dropped a 7-0 decision to Lancaster. Like a week ago, the Wildcats had their chances. "We just really couldn't get into it," Hillcrest coach Curtis Threatt said. "We got good field position and got down there with a chance to get a touchdown, and we just couldn't get the ball there."

- The Sumter High School Gamecocks are kicking themselves today - over their kicking game. Two SHS punts totaling 21 yards - including a one-yarder - set Spring Valley up with 10 points, and Gamecock turnovers set them up with 10 more as the Vikings came away with a 20-10 homecoming win. "It all came down to the kicking game," Lewis said. "We shanked two punts that didn't go anywhere, and that turned out to be the difference in the game."

- Thomas Sumter Coach Bobby Cothran wasn't aware of his team's five-game losing streak against Hammond. But Cothran, in his first year as the Generals' head coach, watched his team beat the Skyhawks 13-0 before a home crowd. "I wasn't up on the number of wins and losses," Cothran said after finding out during the team prayer following the game. "I'm just proud of these guys tonight. They played hard, and they played tough. They've been working really hard this week, and it showed tonight. The intensity was there." Hammond fell 5-2.

- The Sumter High School Marching Band pulled double duty by participating in back-to-back competitions. The effort paid off, however, as the band came away with two championship trophies. In the first competition - the second-annual Top of the Hill Classic at Hillcrest High School - Sumter High was awarded Best Drum Major award, Best Colorguard award, Best Percussion award, Best Winds award and the First Place Band award. In the second competition, the Music in Motion Contest in Barnwell, the band was awarded First Place Drum Major award, First Place Colorguard Award, Second Place Percussion award, First Place Winds award and the First Place Overall in Class AAAA. Sumter High was also chosen as the Grand Champion of the contest.

- A training opportunity for individuals interested in becoming tractor-trailer operations is being offered by Central Carolina Technical College's Division of Continuing Education. A 264-hour training course, "Tractor-Trailer Operator Training," is being offered to individuals who want to train for employment in the tractor-trailer operator industry. This type of employment requires a Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Both day and evening classes are being offered.

- Forty Hillcrest High School students who have been studying nutrition worked in the school's cafeteria for two days as part of a National Nutrition Month activity. The home economics students were divided into eight teams; two teams were assigned to each of the four major food groups: meat, fruit and vegetables, bread and dairy products. Groups were responsible for calculating how much of their product would be needed for lunch each day and how many containers or trays would be needed to properly prepare and serve the meals. The activity served two functions: to introduce students to nutrition and meal planning and to emphasize the need for mathematics and other skills in the kitchen.

- Uniform reassessment laws, improved technical education and health insurance affordable to small business owners are a few of the things local business leaders want to see accomplished by the state Legislature next year. About 20 business and community representatives from Sumter and Clarendon counties met with S.C. Chamber of Commerce officials in a "1993 Business Community Grass-Roots Meeting."

- The blitz is on. It's Gunsmoke '93 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The competition pits 17 teams from Air Force bases worldwide against each other in a test of gunnery and combat readiness, and Shaw Air Force Base of Sumter wants victory. Shaw's team is from the 21st Fighter Squadron, which vied against other squadrons at the base to go to Gunsmoke '93. In targeting top honors in Gunsmoke, the team must have its skills polished and be ready for the unexpected.

- Despite a new curfew law being imposed on Summerton residents under age 17, one teenager says he'll still be out late. The American Civil Liberties Union also thinks the Clarendon County's new law is unfair. "I think (Summerton) has real constitutional problem with this," said Steven Bates of the ACLU's state office in Columbia. "I think they need to rethink it."