Clipped From The Salt Lake Tribune

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 - Died for Their Country 12— 18 to inclusive,...
Died for Their Country 12— 18 to inclusive, Captain Mervyn Sharp Bennion, left, and Private First Class Joseph D. Pyper Jr., first Salt Lake members of the nation's armed services killed In the war with the Japanese empire. Three Utahns Give Lives In Pacific Wai- Two Navy Officers, Marines Private Killed in Action Three Utah men have died in the defense of United States pos sessions in the Pacific ocean, it was announced officially Friday. They arc; Captain Mervyn Sharp Ben- Jiion, 54, native Utahn ftns! one of the stales highest ranking U. S. naval officers. Private First Class Joseph I). Pyper Jr., 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Pyper of 245 llol- mqnt avenue and a me,mber ot the U. S. marine corpK, Ensign Howard Deal Merrill, 23, son of Dr. L. S. Merrill of Ogden and an officer of the U. S, navy. Word of the three deaths. was received by their families in Utah in telegrams from the navy department at Washington, D. C. The department announced that the ships and stations to which the men were attached could not be made public for military rea- sons, which also prohibited publication of the location of the war action resulting in their deaths. First Utahns Listed The deaths of the three men were the first of the war for Utah members of the nation's armed services. He was born at Vernon, Tooele county. May 5, 1887, a son of Israel and Jeannette Sharp Bennion, and in 1920 married Louise Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Reuben Clark Jr. Mr. Clark is first counselor in the first presidency of the L D S church. Captain Bennion received his elementary education in the Tooele county schools, and was attending the L D S college at Salt Lake City when he received his appointment to the naval academy at "Annapolis, Md., in 1906. He received his "N" for athletics during his four-year academy career, and graduated in 1910, third in his class. He first served on the Pacific coast as an ensign, and returned to the academy in 1915 for a post graduate ordnnnce course. World War Duties During the World war he served on the U S S North Dakota and U S S New. Mexico and on ships assigned to patrol duty off the nation's shores. Munition Plant Blast Kills Nine in Iowa Army Board Maps Investigation Of Explosion Today BURLINGTON, la., Dec. 12 UP) -A terrific blast that rattled windows five miles away virtually destroyed a T N T melting unit in the $60.000,000 Iowa ordnance plant Friday, killing nine workmen and injuring at least 20 more. Lieutenant Colonel Keith F. Adamson, area commandant, immediately closed the entire area to the civilian public and announced that a military board of inquiry from Washington would make an official investigation Saturday. There was no hint as to the cause of the explosion in the No. 1 melt unit, but reports indicated Jiat the blast damage was confined to the three-story structure n which TNT (tri nitrotoluene) s melted by steam, blended with other explosives and then loaded ntb shells. The line affected was oading 81-millimeter shells, Colonel Adamson said. Victim Identified -First of the dead was identified as Pearly J. Pettit of Lansing, Iowa, Who died in a Burlington lospital. Other dead were taken rom the building wreckage, was reported here. it In addition to the military inves- igation, the federal bureau of Captain Bennion assisted in the I commissioning of the U S S Mary- liind, superintending installation of tlic ship's fire control, and served on the battleship for 35 months as assistant gunnery officer. Following later service as gunnery officer on the U S S Florida, he was assigned to similar duties on the U S S Tennessee and later to the U S S Maryland as navigator. During the latter tour of duty he acted as navigator for the Latin-American tour of President Herbert Hoover, His next sea duty was in com- (Ccntlnued on Ps.ce Five) (Column Two) nvestigation assigned men from 5es Moines and other points. The blast came shortly after 1 p. m. (C S T) when, Colonel Adamson said, as many as 60 might have been In the melt house. However, he said the explosion apparently was confined to the one structure, the loading line being . constructed in series with separate operation departments connected with conveyors. The line extends north and south for nearly a mile.' Women Employed Many women were employed in the units engaged in final preparation of the completed shells but none was injured, reports indicated. Thirty-'lvo Iowa highway patrolmen were assigned to clear the highways for ambulances and prevent congestion, William Pratt. 25, of Burlington, one of the first of the injured, said the first he knew "there was a terrific noise and then the roof began falling In." He was not badly hurt. The plant is five miles west of Burlington, normally a town of 25,000 but now mushroomed to nearly 40,000 as a result of plant activity. Colombia Raids Japanese Colony BOGOTA, Colombia, Dec. 12 (/P) — Morning newspapers reported Friday that the Japanese agricultural colony at Corinto had been searched, and a number of rifles and revolvers seized by Colombian authorities, who ordered all Japanese to remain within the limits of the colony. Normandie, up Panamanian

Clipped from
  1. The Salt Lake Tribune,
  2. 13 Dec 1941, Sat,
  3. Page 1

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