Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 18, 1990 · Page 14
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 14

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 18, 1990
Page 14
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Page 14 — Friday, September 19, 2003 REGION jhtMana (gazette Floods, films, Jeremy, Jack, Joe, Peggy... By BILL HASTINGS Of the Gazette Staff To whom it may concern — A WEEK OF NEWS in capsule review ... Hurricane Isabel isn't the first tropical storm to grind its way into Pennsylvania's hinterlands, as residents who experienced Hurricane Agnes in 1972 will recall. Agnes, without the barrage of warnings you see today, barreled from the "East Coast across the state's mid-section 'and into the foothills of the Alleghenies, flooding streets in Blairsville, Homer City, Creekside, Cherry Tree, Punxsutawney and Clymer as well as the .countryside, especially the lowlands near Wake Robin.Curve on Route 119 North, the Chambersville Road, the Shelocta-Creekside artery and Route 286 between Clarksburg and Saltsburg ... But the region's most punishing weather strike in the last half-century came in , late July of 1977 when a powerful electri- '-. jcal and thunder storm accompanied by '^nightlong downpours turned area vil- • lages and the low-lying areas into war ,>zones. Now remembered as the John' stown Flood of 1977, the storm ultimate- ily claimed 80 lives in Cambria, eastern 'Westmoreland and southern Indiana counties, most of whom drowned after being washed off their roofs or while trapped in the swollen waters.. THE FLOOD OF '77, however, left a positive mark. An aroused citizenry and equally concerned state and federal lawmakers immediately poured millions of dollars into flood recovery and flood prevention work that included the widening of stream channels, construction of new bridges and holding basins, and the elimination of trouble spots that damned up the wa! irways during torrential rains. For residents new to the area, Homer City's Floodway Park along North Main Street is one of the prime examples of the flood-prevention projects undertaken in the aftermath of the flood of '77. The old Sesti's Restaurant and Homer Theater, damaged beyond repair by the storm, as well as some small businesses were ultimately leveled to make way for flood-control purposes and the land later converted to an outdoor community park. BEST TIP on storm preparedness to come across our desk: Local Red Cross director Sally Zellem says residents should always have three- to five-day supplies of food, water and other household necessities in reserve, whether or not an emergency is pending. BUSINESS BRIEFS — The Shelocta area continues to experience steady growth with the construction of a multi-unit commercial complex along Route 422 at the Rankin Exxon complex where Warren Peter Construction is the contractor. The new structure will reportedly house a Klingensmith Drug Store and another satellite business ... Work is progressing on the conversion of the former Burger King location to a Valley Dairy restaurant along Route 22 east of Blairsville ... And construction is also advancing on the new Cherryhill Manufacturing plant and the major addition to Diamond Drugs in the county-owned Commerce Park along Kolter Drive in White Township. QUICK QUOTING — "... We have a young kid in a huge atmosphere, a huge stage. He's playing like a veteran." — Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire talking to reporters about Indiana native Michael Ryan who, in baseball parlance, has been hitting the hide off the ball since being called Inside Indiana up to the majors from the Twins' Triple A franchise in Rochester, N.Y. In 20 games since his promotion on Aug. 12, the Indiana High School graduate is batting .381 with four home runs and 11 runs batted in and has at least one hit in nine of his last 11 games. ONTHEMOVE— Dr. Matthew Nettleton, a graduate of the Syracuse, N.Y., School of Medicine, has joined the medical staff of Drs. Matthew Klain & Dr. Eric Heasely in Blairsville where he will specialize in internal medicine. The addition of Dr. Nettleton increases the medical group's staff to three physicians, one physician- assistant and a nurse practitioner... Belated but still newsworthy is the recent opening of Jamie and Christina Boyer's •new chiropractic service along Elderton's South Lytle Street ... Drs. Sam Mathur and David Litman, specialists in ear, nose and throat care, have relocated their practice to suite 2100 at the new Medical Arts Building on the campus of the Indiana Regional Medical Center. OUR CONDOLENCES to Bill Otto of Indiana, the well-known civic worker and radio announcer, and his wife, Nancy, on the death of their 5-month- old grandson, Ethan David Otto of Pittsburgh. Ethan was born April 25 with cardiovascular problems and pulmonary hypertension. He had undergone emergency surgery Monday, but died at 3 a.m. Tuesday. Bill and Nancy have now lost a son (William, 34, in 2001) and a grandson in the past two years. FILMS AND FUN— Indiana's popular FilmFest, a joint venture of the Indiana Theater, IUP and the Jimmy Stewart Museum, continues this weekend with the theme, Academy Award Winning Comedies, expected to draw enthusiastic audiences. Showing at 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Indiana theater will be the 1959 classic, "Some Like It Hot," starring'Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis'and Marilyn Monroe. Additional showings are scheduled at 7 p.m. both Sunday and Tuesday ... The Indiana Coin Club's 45th t annual fall coin show (Saturday and Sunday) will be held at the Best Western University Inn along Wayne Avenue where 37 tables staffed by dealers from four states and the popular Coins 4 Kids program (1 p.m. Sunday) will be featured. VJLLAGEWGNETTES — Local football fans are reminded that WIUP-TV (channel 20 on Adelphia cable) will telecast live the lUP-New Haven game from New Haven, Conn., tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m.... Look for an overflow crowd in Blairsville tomorrow afternoon when the community honors Iraqi War veteran Jeremy Feldbusch, Blairsville RD, who, while serving with a U.S. Army Ranger unit, was struck by shrapnel during a mortar attack, leaving him blind .... The Indiana County United Way's 2003 campaign also gets rolling tomorrow with a special fund-raising activity at Fezell's Shop 'n' Save supermarket along Ben Franklin Road. NICE PEOPLE TO KNOW— The Indiana Garden Club says bouquets go to Indian Springs Mulch for providing free mulch, free delivery and free labor for the club's Habitat for Humanity project in Robinson as well as the club's East Pike flower garden location ... Donna Bruder-Smith, principal of Marion Center Area School District's elementary buildings, recently pointed out to the school board that the Rayne Elementary School PTA is donating the money to build a brick wall with appropriate signage near the Route 119 entrance to better identify the school ... Wedding anniversary bests (their 40 th ) to longtime Wayne Avenue music shop owner Elmer Ogoreuc and his wife, Millie. v : ;;", . YOUR WEEKEND calendar alsp includes the Indiana Players' unique theater-garage sale (Saturday and Sunday) at the Kovalchick Warehouse located immediately south of Frank's Flowers along Wayne Avenue. The Players, with an assist from Joe Kovalchick, will be selling "items from its prop and costume collections," according to Peggy Buckley, the soft-tech director who adds that the inventory includes men's suits, wedding and prom gowns, children's clothing, shoes and boots, and fabrics and sewing notions ... And don't forget the Indiana-County Bicentennial'Commit- tee's Veterans Appreciation dinner {4 p.m. Saturday) at the Indiana VFW. SHOP TALK AT SlX- Peggy Wheeler, Homer City, was the winner of the DVD player that was given away at the grand-opening of the new J&D Dollar Store at the Indiana Mall... A new warehouse is under construction at Davis Plumbing & Air Conditioning in the 1000 block of Water Street... Please read but don't bet (8-4): Kiski Area 24, In• diana High 13; IUP 30, New Haven 17; Pitt 27, Toledo 20; Penn State 30, Kent State 13; and the Steelers 20, the Bengals 13. Willie, our ex-shoe shine boy, says one of the better squibs appearing in his email this week was this memo to the business community: "The only thing worse than training good employees and losing them is nor training your employees and keeping them." Good Evening! Memories still vivid 50 years after war's end Continued from page 1 destroyed several enemy emplacements and was hit by an anti-tank grenade. Though seriously injured and partially blinded by sweat and blood, Knudtson dragged himself to his feet and killed two enemy soldiers with a bayonet. Confronted by great odds, Knudtson was forced to withdraw. He organized the remainder of his platoon and pressed an isi'diyt'on thej bite my positions. B&¥ & vJave' of 'hostile ! troops Csmte from all' sides, cutting the platoon off from the rest of the company, and several of his comrades were killed and wounded. Knudtson was again wounded by a concussion grenade that knocked him to the ground, unconscious, where he was found with seven of his wounded men after several hours of fierce fighting. As a result of his fearless and unflinching courage, the enemy suffered severe, losses and his company took'jihe objective with a mini- mufn of casualties. Knudtson served in Korea in 1950 and 1953 and was discharged in 1954. He rejoined the Army in 1960 and served in the 82nd Airborne and special forces until his retirement from the reserves in 1978. Me moved his family to Indiana in 1973 and was a full-time instructor in the Reserve Officers Training Pro- gra'm at Indiana University of Pennsylvania until his retirement. Knudtson and Nariko were married in Okinawa in 1965. "My husband served all over the world," said Nariko, who has worked 15 years in food service at Indiana Area High School. "I didn't know anything about the medals in Korea until my daughter found the folder and documents. Sometimes, I heard him talking to a friend who visited from Ohio about not having warm clothes for the bitter-cold winters in Korea and about it being a bad war that nobody won." Jack Rickard Compared to most who served in the Korean War, retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Jack Rickard, 75, of Center Township, said his tour of duty from April 1951 to April 1952 was rather boring. Rickard served as a radio mechanic on the mainland and Pyang Yan do, an island off the west coast of Korea. "Most of the time, I was behind the front lines moving around with a radar outfit," Rickard said. "Among the closest calls I had was from 'Bed Check Charlie," who dropped a mortar shell or a grenade that missed where I was bunking by about 200 yards." Rickard said Bed Check Charlie was the name given to North Korean pilots who flew small biplanes over American and United Nations installations at night harassing the troops by dropping hand grenades and mortar shells. "I don't know if we ever shot one of those guys down," Richard said. "People might recognize the name from episodes on (the television series) M*A*S*H, which I believe was very accurate in presenting the living and psychological conditions of the Korean War, along with the humor." As a direction find- eron Pyang Yang do, he helped direct aircraft to targets from as far away as Carswell, Texas. "We used radar to get the bombers to the targets and back," Rickard said. "One of our major accomplishments' was"'' directing a B-29 to wipe out an important bridge about 135 miles north of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) in North Korea. We were strafed by enemy planes, but most of the time is was one pass over the base as a form of harassment." He said trading a case of whiskey for a side of frozen New Zealand mutton with the crew Airmen 2nd Class Jack Rickard, right, of an Australian Cruiser ana Bo ^ y Long at a raaar fo^. did not turn out well for the radio crew on the island. "The side of lamb still had the wool on it and our cook tried every way he could to fix it, but couldn't," Rickard said. "There were 28 of us and we managed to eat the hind quarter. Fortunately, we were able trade the rest of it to South Korean fishermen, who often fished off the shores of the island, for two bushels of shrimp, some fish and vegetables." Rickard graduated from Marion Center Area High School in 1946. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948 and served 15 months, .lie enlisted in the Air Force in January 1951. He entered officer candidate school in 1955 and earned his wings as a pilot. He served in Vietnam from 1965 through 1967 and retired from the Air Force in 1969. "I was a pilot for Gen. (William C.) Westmoreland in Vietnam and flew around a lot of heads of state, ambassadors, congressman and cabinet members," Rickard said. After retiring from the military he worked as a corporate pilot and a self-employed stockbroker. Rickard and his wife, the former Martha Waltz of Canoe Ridge, were married in 1950. They have two sons, James, a police communications officer with the Pennsylvania State Police in White Township, and John, a self- employed technical contract writer. "I had no qualms about serving under the United Nations in Korea because I felt if I could contribute to prevent a war, my kids wouldn't have to go," Rickard said. "However,. I do think veterans who went through the sacrifices of war and a career in the military are being neglected because they are not getting the free medical benefits they were guaranteed, and nobody seems to care about that." also was part of the 5th Marines^ which was known as the fire brigade because it was called iri to put out the fires when North Korean soldiers broke through the defense lines," Wood said. "A typical day was eat c-rations, put packs on, go to the point of resistance, engage the eneniy, secure the position and then get ordered to move out again." He said the action in the mountains and rice paddies wa$ fierce '"^^J^* > ^*^±&*>->>&&-- Jim Collesar of Marion Center fed the powder for the 16-inch guns on the USS Wisconsin, shown firing at North Korean installations. Jim Collesar At times, the USS Wisconsin cruised the Yellow Sea so close to the shore of Korea in 1951 and '52 that Jim Collesar, then 18, thought he could hit it with a stone. But when it came time to help the U.S. Navy's largest battleship strike out at North Korean forces, Collesar was 40 feet below the ship's water line feeding 50- pound bags of powder for the shells for the 16-inch guns that could hit targets 27 miles away with pinpoint accuracy, "It was always'hot and it took nine bags of powder for each projectile," said Collesar, 70, of Marion Center. He said the call to quarters brought excitement, disappointment and worry, but it was not like fighting on the front lines. Collesar said there were times he was oh depk and the enemy would be^spotted climbing hills or crossing ^fields on land. Then the ship's gunners would shoot at them with the shells bursting overhead, sending shrapnel into the enemy troops. Spotter planes and American troops pinpointed bridges, supply trains and enemy troops for the big guns to fire on. Collesar graduated from Clymer High School on May 25, 1951, and entered the Navy two days later. The Wisconsin arrived in Korea in October that year and provided off-shore support until April 1952. He returned with the Wisconsin for another tour of duty from October 1953 to April 1954 after the truce had been signed in July 1953. "When you are 18, you don't know the score and the government doesn't. tell you everything," Collesar said. "We still had the draft, so I joined the Navy and hoped for the best." Among his memories are the day the ship was hit by a shell from an enemy shore battery and an enemy prisoner who went on a hunger strike and died of his wounds because he was afraid of being poisoned. "We were getting ready to put out to sea after participating in a bombardment of Inchon when a shore battery began firing at us," Collesar said. One shot went over the ship, another fell short and the third put a hole in the deck and injured three men. "One man was flown away by helicopter and I never heard any more about him." "I was proud of my service in Korea, and I don't find anything wrong with it, although they called it a police action and not a war," Collesar said. "We all had a job to do, and we did it." He was discharged in 1955 and began working at Westinghouse Corp. in Blairsville in 1956. He retired from there as a pilger operator, a process for manufacturing tubing for atomic reactors, in 1993. He and the former Nancy Papal married in 1961 at the Clymer Methodist Church. They have three children, Cheryl of Fallen Timber and Robert and Bonnie, both of Marion Center. Harry L. Wood By the grace of God, Harry L. "Bo" Wood, 74, of White Township, said he is alive and able to talk some, but not much, about his service as a machine gunner with the U.S. Marines in 1950 and 1951 in the Korean War. "I didn't talk about the war at all until I started attending reunions of How Company in 1996," Wood said. "As a result, no one in my family knew anything about my service. Now I can talk about it a little bit." He also leads memorial services at the reunions, using the scriptures to help the veterans cope with their memories and losses in the war. He said it took some convincing for him to be accepted back into How Company. "They had me listed as dead and I had to convince them I wasn't," Wood said. "Once I convinced them that I was Harry "Woody" Wood, I was told to get my butt to the reunions." Wood said How Company, which was part of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, (3/5) was a special company with many guys who began serving together at Camp Pendleton in California in 1948. Wood said George Company Korea on Aug:2fl950:vHe served with the 3/5 until Sept. 23 when he was wounded by shrapnel and spent 10 days in a hospital in Japan. After his release fronvthe hospital, he was assigned to guard duty in Otsu until he volunteered to return to How Com^ pany in January 1951. He rejoined How Company in central Korea, near the 38th parallel, the designated DMZ that continues to separate South Korea from North Korea. On his return he said he served on patrol duty until leaving Korea April 16,1951. The story of the 3/5 is told in' "Dark Horse Six," a book by Re T tired U.S. Marines Col. Robert LX Taplett, who commanded the unit during its first year in Korea- Wood said he has not yet found the strength to read the book. "I am proud that I served because we stopped the spread of communism and brought freedom to South Korea," Wood said. "Seoul is beautiful and the people treated members of How Company like royalty when we visited there in 1996." He was discharged from the Marines on Aug. 1, 1952, and returned to Indiana where he attended Indiana Teachers College and earned a degree in math and science in 1956. He began teaching in 1956 in the Indiana Area School District where he also coached football from 1956 to 1972 and wrestling and swimming for about 20 years each. He retired in 1989. Wood and his wife, Betty, have, two children, Gretchen Johnson of Indiana and Julie Kim of Arlington, Va. "Oh, I'm So Glad It's From ... "We Want To Be Your Jeweler" Two Locations —.Downtown and Indiana Mall

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