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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
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April 17, 2014     Clinch Valley Times
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Vol. LVI, No. 16 "' 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things .... ' '" Thursday, April 17, 2014 Saint Paul, Virginia V i r ~ i n i a .PRESS 50 cents Message from the Mayor GRAND OPENING ... The Whistle Stop held its Grand Opening on Saturday, April 12. The store, located on Broad Street, carries a wide variety of items including primitive decor, berries, ladders, can- dles and tarts. Owners are Larry Honaker and Mickey Collins Items of lnterest TOWNWIDE CLEANUP SATURDAY, APRIL 26 Saturday, April 26 is the day of the Great American Clean Up in St. Paul. Please participate by com- ing to the Town Hall at 10:00 a.rfi, on Saturday, April 26, where trash bags, gloves and supplies will be handed out. Also you will have a chance to win a $20.00 bill by finding an orange Coke bottle with a coupon inside and bring it along with your filled bag of trash to the Town Hall. Pizza will be provided for all volunteers when clean up is complete. This is a wonderful way to give back to your community and help keep St. Paul clean. We welcome Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops, church groups and all who would like to enjoy a day of fun. Bring a friend and come along. For more information, call Glenda Lane at 276-762-5297. HOLY WEEK SERVICES Holy Week Services for April 14-18 beginning at 12 noon will be at the fol- lowing churches: Thursday, Saint Paul Assembly of God with Rev. Harry Layell; Friday, Saint Paul First Baptist with Rev. John Thompson. Lunch will be provided after each service. Easter Sunrise Service will be at Temple Hill at 6:00 am. Breakfast will be served at Fort Gibson , United Methodist Church. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. MARSH REGIONAL BLOOD MOBILE The Marsh Regional Blood Bank Mobile unit will be coming to town soon. Look for it at the fol- lowing locations and please consider becoming a donor. Castlewood, Morgan McClure, Thursday, April 17, 10 to 1. St. Pail Food City, Thursday, April 17, 3 to 6. AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal Church. Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pm, Trinity United Methodist Church. Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 pm, Clintwood United Methodist Church. COPPER CREEK ELEMENTARY PTA- 3rd Monday, 7 pm school cafeteria. ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, 6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL-Third Mondays, 6 pm, Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W&SA-The Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT-First Tuesday, 1 pm, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens office, Claypool Hill. Free. NARCOTIC~ ANONYMOUS- Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231-Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. The School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pm, clothing for sale. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPER- VISORS-First Monday, 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256-Stated Communication, 1st Saturdays, 7:30; School of Instruction third Thursdays, 7 pm RECOVERY GROUP-The Wise County Mental Health Center conducts a recovery group for sub- stance abusers and families Fridays at 10 am Call 276-679-0810. ACOA MEETING- Adult Children of Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Coeburn. Call 762- 0016, 276-395-6588 or 276-679-7371. LITTLE LEAGUE- The Clinch River Little League Board meet at 4 pm third Sundays at the UMWA Building in Castlewood. All inter- ested persons are invit- ed to attend. H.O.P.E. HOUSE- H.O.P.E, House pro- vides emergency shel- ter for victims of domestic violence in Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scot.t and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed- training available. Call 1-800-572-2278. SENIOR CITI- ZENS-The Castle- wood Senior Citizens meet at 10 am Wednesdays at the Stated Commffnication; Castlewood Lions Den. First Thursday, 7 pm Anyone 60 or over is School of Instruction. invited. VFW POST #8652, The Dante Senior DAV CHAPTER 12- Citizens meet each 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, Monday and Tuesday VFW, Riverview,.at 10 am at the Dante Coebum. Fire Department. N E I G H B O R S Russell County resi- AID-Thursdays, 9:30dents 60 or older are to 12. St. Therese's invited. Neighbors Aid RUSSELL CO. Building, new & used LIBRARY-Hours at the Russell County IIl[ll!!Jlll![l[I]llJUll ~u~,ic Library, Lebanon, are M/Tu/W/F 10am- 5:30pm; Th 10am-8pm; Sa 10am-2pm. Sunday Closed. MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are 8:30am-5pm Mondays and FridaYS; and 1 lam-7:30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wed. 9:30am-6pm and Sat lpm-5pm. Sunday Closed. DICKENSON- BUNDY-The Dickenson-Bundy Log House is open weekly Thursdays through Saturdays, 10-3, and Sundays 12-4 pm. SOCIAL SECURI- TY-The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays-Fridays from 9am-4pm. Phone num- bers are 1-800-772- 1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS-Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul meet at the Library on first Thursdays at 4 pm. VFW POST 9864- VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, welcomes new members. If you served overseas during any war,. write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266 and send name, address and phone number. Transfers wel- comed. HEALTH SER- VICES-The Wise County Health Department, Wise, is open from 8am-8pm first Thursdays. Clinics will be offered in family plan- ' ning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WIC, Paps and immu- nizations. Appointments are nec- essary for all but immu- nizations. For an appointment, call 762- 328-8000. FACILITIES AVAILABLE-The Tacoma Community Center is available for reunions, birthdays and showers. All proceeds reha- bilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center. For information, call 395- 6398. 100TH BIRTH- DAY-Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens recognizes personsin Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1-800-656- 2272, to advise AASC of any upcoming 100th birthday. SUPPORT GROUP-Women sur- vivors of sexual assault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Communi'cation Action, Inc./Family Crisis Services' sup- port group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 am-12 noon. For information call Rande Hackler, 276-988-5583 or Ranetta Davis, 276- 889-8206. FREE ADULT ED- Free adult education classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job- related skills including resume, writing and interviewing. For details, call 1-800-422- 3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPoRTA- TION- The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens provid0s disab!li- ~ty transportation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals See CALENDAR, Page 8 Church and church-related activities calendar on page 3 Springtime is here and the town crew has begun to get the A. R. Matthews Park ready for the season. A ' new fence will be installed enclosing the ten- nis courts and a new cam- era security system has been installed for monitor- ing the park facilities. This system will allow the police department to moni- tor the park by computer and is an improved means to control vandalism and other illegal activity that may occur. The Downtown Revitalization Project that extends from Riverside Drive up to 4th Avenue has been completed, along with the downtown facade project. The final Signing and closing of the bond for the new Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant .Project will be completed this month. The initial work on the new 500,000 gallon per day sewer plant will begin in in May. The new plant is a membrane design and can be expanded to 700,000 gallons per day if ever needed for further economic development. The new plant was con- ceived as a regional con- cept with St. Paul owning 50 percent of the capacity, Castlewood Water & Sewer owning 30 percent of the capacity, and Wise County PSA owning 20 percent of the capacity. The Mayor and Town Council continue to improve our infrastructure and natural assets to make St. Paul an attractive place to work, live, and play. The ultimate goal for St. Paul is to promote the growth of the tourist indus- try and other economic development, and create a renaissance of St. Paul that is built on long term and ongoing infrastructure improvements. The town election is May 6th and I am hoping for a maximum tumout. I encourage everyone to get out and vote. Thank you, Hubert Kyle Fletcher Tom Rudder PART II BY JERRY COUCH This week we continue with Tom Rudder's autobi- ographical itccount of his Navy experiences during -WWII. On behalf of Tom, I'd like to thank everyone for their positive com- ments. Left Saipan on 17 June [1944] and headed for the Philippine Sea area where the Japanese fleet had been detected on their way to Saipan. On 19 June the Japanese carriers launched their aircraft expecting to surprise the US forces. However we were well aware and prepared for the action that followed. It was called the "Turkey Shoot." US planes and ships shot down over 400 Japanese planes that day. Pursuit of the Japanese fleet began and on 20 June it was thought that the fleet was within striking range of our aircraft. The distance , between the fleets was so great that our planes did not return until after dar. Because of the conditions, darkness, low on fuel, time to land a plane, and number of planes, many were forced to hit the water. Several planes were lost. Started our return to Saipan on 20 June and arrived on 25 June. Patrolled the area off Tinian (near Saipan) until 20 July when we left.for the invasion of Guam on 21 July. There was very little action on our part. Returned to for the inva- sion on 24 July. We had previously patrolled the area. off Tinian Town for a week with no response from the Japanese. On the day of the invasion the USS Colorado was assigned to that area and when the Invasion started, the Colorado was hit 27 times by shore batteries, with major damage, before she could reach safety. After the Tinian opera- tion we left for Eniwetok and arrived there on 11 Aug. Left Eniwetok on 30 Aug. for a strike against the Palau Islands on Sept. 6 and 7 and received no response from the Japanese. Left the Shortland Island area on 7 Sept. and headed for the Philippine island of Mindanao. This would be the first time US forces fired a shot at a Philippine island since the surrender of General Wainwright. As Mindanao Local native Tom Rudder recounts his World War II experi- ences through this detailed itinerary. came into view so did a fleet of about 40 Sampans, small Japanese cargo ships. All were sunk or damaged with the Birmingham get- ting credit for four sunk and four assist. When shooting at the sampans, the Birmingham laid a six inch salvo over the target and onto the beach. We claim to be the first ship to put a shell in the islands since the early days of 1942. Left the area on 15 Sept. and headed for Pilau where the Birmingham saw little action in that operation. Left Pilau islands on 19 Sept. and headed for Luzon for strikes against the island. On 21 Sept. the Japanese lost over 200 planes and about 15 ships while our loss was 15 planes. We operated in' the area until 27 Sept. when w arrived in the Palau Islands Left Pilau on 7 Oct. and headed for Okinawa where on 9 Sept. the first air strikes against Japan proper occurred. Left Okinawa on 12 Oct. and headed for the island of Formosa. We came within 55 miles of the island. ON 24 Oct. we were headed for Luzon when a Japanese dive bomber dropped a 500 pound bomb in the middle of the fright deck of the car- rier Princeton which result- ed in explosions and fires aboard the carrier. The Bimaingham was ordered to go alongside the Princeton once the crew had abandoned .ship] to fight the fires in an effort to save the carrier. The effort had lasted about four hours when a Japanese submarine alert was gounded. The Birmingham was obliged to pull away from the Princeton and await the all clear. The alert was deter- mlned to be false and the Birmingham proceeded to go alongside the Princeton again. One spring line was made fast to the Princeton and the ships were about 50 feet apart when the Princeton's after magazine exploded. Most of the Birmingham crew had gathered topside to observe the operation and took the full blast of the explos!on. It is impossible to describe the carnage aboard the Birmingham. The explo- sion resulted in 243 deaths and 408 wounded on the Birmingham. Our commu- nication unit had 23 opera- "tors and 6 technicians (repairmen). One operator and all 6 technicians were lost. Arrived at Ulithi on 27 Oct. and pulled alongside the hospital ship USS Samaritan awaiting to take our wounded aboard. Left for Pearl Harbor on 31 Oct. On 4 Nov. the Chaplain held a memorial service for the deceased who were buried at sea. Arrived in Pearl Harbor on 10 Nov. Left Pearl Harbor on 22 Nov. and arrived at Mare Island on 17 Nov. Started a 22 day leave the following day. On 13 Jan. 1945, repair work had been completed and we were underway for San Diego and arrived there on 24 Jan. Left San Diego on 4 Feb. and arrived in Pearl Harbor on 10 Feb. Left Pearl Harbor on 15 Feb. and arrived at Saipan on 25 Feb. Left Saipan on 26 Feb. and arrive at Iwo Jima on 28 Feb. We supported the t~oops for six days and on 5 March were ~3rdered to join 'another unit and head for Ulithi and arrived there on 8 Mar. Left Ulithi on 21 Mar. and arrived at Okinawa on 25 Mar. We shellect the island for a week prior to the invasion, on Easter Sunday morning. At day: break the suicide (Kamikaze) planes were in the air and one appeared just off our starboard bow headed straight toward our superstructure when the last gun firing, a 20 mm, ripped off the tip of its wing, causing the plane to roll enough for ofie of its bombs to fall from its rack and hit the water and explode near our port bow. The plane, now out of control, missed our super- structure and crashed into the water off our starboard bow causing the second bomb to explode. Both bombs were so Close to the ship that it felt as though v~e had two direct hits. See RUDDER, Page 8-