Hellcat News, (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 63, No. 12, Ed. 1, August 2010 Page: 8 of 20
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Autwell - 17th, Fern Dahl - 17th, Earle Leaman - 19th, John
O'Neil - 21st, Jo Moore - 21st, Bill Riddell - 23rd, Ken Green,
Jr. - 27th, Lawrence Denny - 28th, Ann Ault - 28th, Gennaro
Franzese - 29th, Ray Dagner - 29th.
SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARIES: Gordon and Idaline
Autwell - 11th, 63 years; Robert and Rose Clark - 13th, 58
years; Carl and Sara Burris - 13th, 41 years; Gerald and Jeri
Marie Bevis - 17th, 60 years; Robert and Harriet Eastman -
29th, 63 years.
HELLO FOLKS: Starting this August column of the 43rd
HCN on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.
Aults: Mark, Ann and Patty are doing just great, can't
wait for warmer weather to arrive. We have part of our garden
planted: table onions (they are ready to eat), lettuce, okra and
beets. It has been too cold to plant tomatoes and sweet bell
peppers. There has been frost on the roof tops about every
morning and that's no good for a garden. Yesterday, 5-10-10,
Ann and I went out to Patty's and got her flower garden ready
to plant. We do not have all of our flowers planted yet.
Bette Stone: Bette forgot to mention in last month's column
that she would like for any memorials honoring Jim to be sent
to the Museum.
Seymour C. Wasserman [D]: I was sorry to read in the
April HCN that James Stone has passed away. I knew he was
a wonderful officer in the HCN. He was in my tank crew at
Herrlisheim, I think he was my driver in light tank M-5,37mm
gun and I was PFC tank gunner. In the battle an American
infantryman was wounded out in the field and Stoney ran out
under enemy fire, picked up the infantry soldier and carried
him to safety, all while being under fire. For that he received
the Bronze Star Medal. We stayed in touch with each other
throughout the years, sending letters and Christmas cards to
each other up to year 2009.
Shortly after Herrlisheim I was transferred to C Company,
medium Sherman tanks, and was still a gunner of the 75mm
cannon. I did meet Stoney at one of the 12th reunions in Ohio,
but as I said, we kept in touch. Stoney was a wonderful soldier
and a wonderful person.
Towards the end of the war our Sherman tank with Gordon
Autwell and three others and I were hit by a German bazooka
while we were on a scouting mission in March 1945. One
man was killed in the tank, two escaped the burning tank
and they ran back to our lines under fire. Gordon and I
were captured and held prisoner from 10 AM to 3 PM. Our
Company Commander William Riddell attacked the town
and the Germans surrendered. Gordon and I walked out of the
German headquarters and we were rescued. Riddell, Autwell
and I keep in touch.
I am nearly 88 years old. I am now living in an assisted
living facility with about 100 other people.
POLAND NEEDS A BREAK: Local columnist Ed Vasicek,
pastor of Highland Park Church here in Kokomo: My Polish
grandmother lived with my family until I was five years old.
She suffered a stroke, and the family decided it would be less
stressful for her to move in with my aunt. At the age of five, I
supposedly could understand Polish. Today, outside of a few
words, I have as much understanding as the average Kokomo
resident! Most of my surviving vocabulary involves food!
My sister, who is five years older than I, can still understand
some Polish. My other grandparents were Slovak. Since my
last name is Slovak and since my Slovak grandparents lived
longer, I related more to slightly different Slovak culture. Still
there is a lot about me that is Polish influenced.
Americans of Polish descent are concentrated around
Chicago and Detroit but scattered throughout the USA.
Statistically, there are more people of Polish descent in the
Chicago area than there are in Warsaw, Poland. Even Chicago
and Detroit accent is considered a slight Polish accent. Poland
is the ninth largest country in Europe and boasts a population
of 38 million people.
According to Wikipedia, "A golden age ensued during the
sixteenth century. The sziachta (nobility) of Poland, far more
numerous than in Western European countries, took pride in
their freedoms and parliamentary system. During the Golden
Age period, Poland expanded its borders to become the largest
country in Europe covering most of what today are Poland,
Ukraine, Belarus, Lituania, Latvis, Estonia, and some part of
modern Russia. During this era, Poland was the only nation
on planet Earth that had a representative form of government!
Throughout Europe, kings ascended to their thrones based
upon family lineage and wielded absolute power. In Poland,
kings were elected and governed alongside the parliament.
Kings also could be removed by the parliament!
"Since its golden age, Poland has experienced repeated
bouts of conquest and misery. The Nation was portioned and
divided amongst other kingdoms in 1795 and was not reunited
until 1918. It was not long after reunification until Poland
prospered and boasted a strong industrial economy. Poland
was conquered by the Nazis and devastated, initiating WWII
in Europe. No nation lost a higher percentage of its people
than Poland, including three million Polish Jews."
According to Wikipedia, "On August 22, 1939, on the
invasion of Poland, Hitler gave explicit permission to his
commanders to kill without pity or mercy, men, women and
children of Polish descent or language." As a lad, I remember
my friend's Polish dad had been confined to a concentration
camp during the war. Even though he was not Jewish, he had
been a victim of the Nazi plan to exterminate the Polish people.
Perhaps this explains the 20th century attempt to marginalize
both people of Jewish and Polish descent. Accusing the Jews
of being crooks who take advantage of others, and accusing
Poles of being mentally deficient, are stereotypes some still
propagate. In my experience, many of the most ethical and
generous people I have met are of Jewish descent, and the top
"brains" in my high school were often of Polish descent.
After the war, Poland became a satellite of the Soviet Union.
During this era of oppression, the Polish spirit was not broken,
and Poland gained its freedom from the Soviet Union in 1989.
Although this change resulted in initial instability, Poland's
economy improved, and it was welcomed as a full member of
NATO in 1994. Today, Poland is a free and prosperous nation
and has become one of America's most faithful allies.
I'M SORRY: Dear Joe, I have been unable to sleep since I
broke off your marriage with my daughter. Will you forgive
and forget??? I was much too sensitive about your Mohawk,
tattoo and pierced nose. I now realize that motorcycles aren't
really that dangerous, and I really should not have reacted that
way to the fact that you have never held a job. I am sure,
too, that some other very nice people live under the bridge
in the park. Sure, my daughter is only 18 and want to marry
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Twelfth Armored Division Association (U.S.). Hellcat News, (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 63, No. 12, Ed. 1, August 2010, newspaper, August 2010; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth410150/m1/8/: accessed April 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.