By: Paige Cline
1944 was the last full year of World War II. Although Every week the Independent Herald had news of our boys fighting all over the world.
Joseph Mitchell of Wolf Pen was killed in Italy by the Germans. Ray Huffman of Oceana was stationed at Camp Wheeler in Georgia.. Archie Lusk of Herndon was wounded in North Africa.
At home, the Pine Theatre was showing “Human Wreckage.” The advertisements said that no one under 16 would be admitted. You can see worse than that today on prime time television.
The paper also reported that The Rev. E.1.Hill’s cow died on Keyrock.
Paul Goode announced for sheriff and Pierce Cook was running for County Clerk. Coach Woodrow Harper’s Minutemen defeated Glen Rogers 35-33. Paul Stewart got 19 for the locals. Lon Byrd filed for sheriff and Pineville defeated Mullens 42-39. Joe Hill had 17 points for the Minutemen and Shorty Cook had 12. Louie Rezzonico had 14 for the Rebels and and Dickie Phillips had 13. Dickie was the younger brother of Sonnie Phillips, later to be principal of Mullens High.
Clyde Browning of Pineville was killed in action in Italy.
The Pineville Methodist Church held a rally day in February of 1944. Those participating were Rev. L.A.Steele, Rose Marie Kidd, Fred Shannon, Sandra Sue Bailey, James Hale, Dick Morgan, Billy Pryor, Joe Kidd, Nancy Dameron, Billy Joe Cook, John Harry Martin, Betty Lea Byrd and Butch Steele
James Brinegar was in Walter Reed Hospital for burns received while serving in North Africa. Eliza Bailey, 86, of Crany passed away, and Eurah Stewart, 17, of Oceana died following an appendectomy.
Sgt. Thomas Lambert of Oceana was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska. and C.M. Wikel accepted a position at Pine Chevrolet. And, Helen Wilson of Welch-Pineville Road was home on leave from the lady Marine Corps.
Mullens beat Oceana in two overtimes to win the county tournament. On the all-tournament team were: Hall-Oceana, Farmer-Mullens, Stewart-Pineville, Barret-Glen Rogers, Greer-Baileysville and White Herndon.
Benny Bradbury of Clear Fork was wounded in Italy and Abe Paynter of Cyclone was missing in action. Henry Clay, county assessor had three sons in uniform–Verne, Clarence and
Betty Stewart, 12, and her sister Freda, 10, of Rockview killed a gray fox with rocks. Johnnie Dalton of Pineville was training for D-day in Europe. Rev. D.L.Pennington of the Cook Memorial Baptist Church passed away as did Emily Privett of Pineville and Walter Whittington of Kopperston.
Jesse Johnson, well-known fiddler, was invited to play in Philadelphia.
The Pineville Methodist Church had a special Easter service. Frances Bailey played the piano, Mildred McKinney read the prayerand special readings were done by Ruth Blackburn, John Lambert, Clyde Senter and Ann Crews. “The Old rugged Cross” was performed by Mary Jo Byrd, Mary Jo Cook, Rose Marie Kidd, Dutch Cook, Mildred McKinney and June McKinney.
Stacy Mullens was at Fort Thomas. Harry Boshell completed jump school at Fort Benning, Georgia. Clifton Walls of Oceana was reported as a prisoner of war in Germany.
Such was the county in what was hoped to be the last days of the war. Kids waited for dads, big brothers and friends to come home safely. Such was the world in which we were….growin’ up.