Pennsylvania VFW Holds 54th Mid Winter Conference

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The Pennsylvania VFW held its 54th Mid Winter Conference over the weekend in Gettysburg. Besides the regular business sessions, the highlight was the Annual Voice of Democracy Patriots Pen Banquet. Every student that enters these contests are considered winners. The winners of the VOD are: Justine M. Grosvenor, first place, from Dist. 14 Post 5642, $5000; Breydon S. Brower, second place, from Dist. 22 Post 4559, $4000; Caroline M. Silver, third place, from Dist. 17 post 1754, $3000; Leo R. Bernabei, fourth place, from Dist. 8 Post 245, $2,500; Daniel J. Jaggers, fifth place, from Dist. 10 Post 3451. Entrees from 6th to 24th each received $1,000. The first place winner will go on to VFW National judging. The first place Patriots Pen winner was Carley G. Mykut from Dist.17 Post 1754. VOD Teacher of the year is Merrill Cowart, sponsored by Dist. 19 Franklin Post 1835.

Important Dates in February

Feb. 3 is Four Chaplains Day, a day set aside to Honor four Army Chaplains who gave their lives to save others when the troop ship Dorchester sank during WWII. On Feb. 3, 1943, the U.S. Army Transport Dorchester was one of three ships in a convoy, moving across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to an American base in Greenland. A converted luxury liner, the Dorchester was crowded to capacity, carrying 902 servicemen, merchant seamen and civilian workers. It was 150 miles from its destination when, shortly after midnight, it was sunk by a German submarine. As the ship went down, four Army chaplains took off their life jackets and gave them away. They were Lt. George Fox, a Methodist; Lt. Alexander Goode, a Jewish rabbi; Lt. John Washington, a Roman Catholic priest; and Lt. Clark Poling, a Dutch Reformed minister. As the ship went down, survivors near rafts could see the four chaplains – arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their voices could be heard offering prayers and singing hymns as they all went down together. Of the 902 men aboard the U.S.A. T. Dorchester, only 230 survived.

Feb. 14 is Valentines Day. Feb. 20 is Presidents Day. Feb. 19 is Coast Guard Reserve’s 77th birthday.

POW/MIA Update

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Warren H. Crim was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.

Navy Fireman 2nd Class Lowell E. Valley was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked his ship on Dec. 7, 1941. Interment services are pending.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. John H. Canty was a member of the 555th Bombardment Squadron, 386th Bombardment Group, IX Bomber Command based at Easton Lodge-Essex, England. Interment services are pending.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Pete W. Simon was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry. Interment services are pending.

Army Pfc. Lamar E. Newman was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.

Till next week, praying for all service members.

– By Charles Castelluccio