Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 106, No. 5, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 30, 1992 Page: 3 of 28
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More Memories of WWII
Allan F. McGuffin
It was quite a change from
Bergheim to the U.S.S. Essex, one of
the new aircraft earners built during
World War II. The small town near
Boeme was home to AP. McGuffin,
but on October 29, 1942, he left for
the Navy boot camp at Great Lakes
Training Station, near Chicago. After
several tough weeks during the win-
ter there, he was assigned to the
Essex, a carrier under construction at
Norfolk, Virginia. That made him
one of the "plank owners", a sailor
who was with her all the way.
And "all the way” was something
else-about 245,000 miles to be exact.
There was one time during heavy
action when they went 79 days and
33,000 miles without once dropping
The ship left the yards and went
through the Panama Canal, arriving at
Pearl Harbor 31 May 1943.
Mac learned to be a torpedo man.
This involved working with and han-
dling the high explosive torpedos
launched by some of the carrier
planes. Some of them hit the mark,
too, for the record of the Essex in-
cluded sinking one Jap carrier, six
destroyers, one submarine, and 92
smaller vessels. They destroyed
1,531 Jap planes, 745 in the air, and
786 on the ground. The ship's own
anti-aircraft batteries shot down 33
planes. Land targets of Essex action
included islands such as Marcus,
Wake, Rabaul, Tarawa, Kwajalein,
Truk, Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Rota,
Pagan, Bonins, .Palau, Philippines,
Okinawa, Formosa, Pescadores, and
Jap areas such as Tokyo, Kyushu,
Kure, Minami Daito, North Honshu,
and also China.
Mac recorded in his diary that he
saw twelve Jap torpedo bombers shot
down in flames during the Saipan
attack in February 1944.
Later in 1944, his ship was in-
volved in the attack on Leyte and
Luzon in the Philippines. Three large
bombs fell near the Essex, and they
came under dive bombing attack,
with heavy fighting all around, and
the Essex fighters shot down 154 Jap
planes, all in one day. The next day,
the Essex sank two Jap carriers, and
Mac recorded the fact that one of their
pilots shot down nine Jap planes dur-
ing his first flight on Oct. 24.
In November, the Essex inter-
cepted a convoy of Jap ships headed
for Leyte, where the Army was fight-
ing, with fresh troops. All the Jap
convoy was sunk. A few days later,
they movedclosertoManila, and sent
planes into action there.
* Nov. 25,1944 was the time when
the Essex was hit by a bomb and a
suicide plane, but the damage was
light. All fires were put out in spite of
having seven Jap planes try to sink
After roaming around the western
Pacific, attacking Indo China,
Formosa, and other enemy occupied
places, the Essex took part in an at-
tack on Tokyo Feb. 25,1945.
During the Okinawa battle, his ship
was under day and night attack on
April 11 and 12, but suffered little
Their attention was turned directly
to the main Japanese areas around
Tokyo and other parts of the empire,
where they worked through most of
the summer of 1945.
On August 13, there were 23 Jap
planes shot down near the task force,
and on August 15 they sent one
fighter sweep over Tokyo before the
Jap surrender. Reveille came at 2
a.m., and they were loading up the
rockets for another pass, when word
came to cease fire. Mac said his work
kept right on, storing rockets away
and "sweating like hell."
Admiral Bull Halsey made a
speech to the crew, and while he was
talking, two Jap planes were
"It was damn good news to the 3rd
Fleet, but there was very little cele-
brating done" wrote Mac. On August
16,17, and for the rest of the month,
they steamed around about 300 miles
off Tokyo just in case the war broke
On September 1, and through the
3rd, they brought passengers aboard,
and left Japanese waters for the U.S.
A. on September 4,1945.
Mac said that they put up the 3,000
foot pennant known as the "home-
coming," and headed for home on the
great northern circle route to Wash-
Mac kept a detailed diary, and it
T£e Hondo Anvil Herald, Thursday, January 30,1992, Page 3
T.O.P.S. starts in Hondo
Exciting news...especially to those
who want to shed a few extra pounds
from those holiday extravaganzas.
rO.P.S. is back in town!
Take Off Pounds Sensibly is meet-
ing in the "lunch room" at the South
Texas Video store (next to Radio
Shack) every Thursday night at 6 p.m.
The dues are low and the support is
New officers were just elected on
Jan. 23 at the first meeting. They are:
leader, Judy Winkler; Co-Leader,
Dorothy Bond; Treasurer, Barbara
Winkler; and Secretary, Sheli Keyes
We have lots of fun activities
planned to make loosing weight more
interesting and easier to accomplish.
Please come and join us for our next
meeting on Jan. 30 in the "lunch
room" behind South Texas Video at 6
p.m. For more info - Be There !!!
A - Prayer1
Allen McGuffin as he looked dur-
ing World War II.
was interesting to read. The Essex
was involved in many of the hottest
action spots during the latter days of
the Pacific War, and during the first
two years, covered 200,000 miles.
The distance Allen McGuffin cov-
ered on board thp Essex was the
equivalent of abq&y^times around
the world, or 245#00miles.
Soon there will be a World War II
carrier on display near Corpus
Christi, at the newly constructed dock
at Ingleside. As this story was being
written, the Lexington was being
towed from Pensacola to Ingleside,
where it will soon be a museum piece
like the battleship Texas near the San
January 19 - Janie Pina
Have some news to share?
Call the Hondo Anvil Herald,
426-3346, with your news,
or bring it by 1601 Ave. K.
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Allen McGuffin as he appears now
WORLD WAR II BATTLES OF THE CARRIER ESSEX
This outline map of the Pacific Ocean shows many of the places where the Essex traveled and fought,
but ony a fraction of the route. Many areas were covered other than where the lines indicate, and some
places were visited more than once.
IS FOR LOVEABLES:
See our menagerie of stuffed animals!
Perfect for Valentines of all ages.
IS FOR ORIGINALS:
original and romantic gifts!
Perfect for someone special
IS FOR VALENTINE:
We have every thing for yours!
Fragrances • Gifts • Cards * Candy
IS FOR EDIBLES:
Russell Stover Candy! What a selection/
Choose yours early & we'll hold it for you.
Jody Lynn Clark
Robin and Peggy Clark of Uvalde
are proud to announce the arrival of
their son, Jody Lynn. He was bom at
11:14 a.m Dec. 27,1991,. at Medina
Community Hospital. He weighed 8
lbs. 8 ozs. and was 21 inches long.
Maternal grandparents are Wilkes
and Lillian Martin of Hondo. Paternal
grandmother is Vivian Jones of
Uvalde. Maternal great-grandfather
is Sam Chrisenberry of Kerrville.
Kassity Amber Dunaway
Kirk and Kathi Dunaway, currently
stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Ger-
many, proudly announce the birth of
their first child. Kassity Amber Dun-
away was bom at 3:08 p.m. on De-
cember 31, 1991, in Kusel, Germany,
weighing61bs, 12 ozs. and measuring
Present for Kassity's birth were her
maternal grandparents, Ken Beard of
Hondo, and Dorothy Beard of Freder-
icksburg; her great-grandmother,
Irene Muennink, also of Hondo; and
her great-great-aunt, Erlene Hickey
of Flagler, Colorado.
Eagerly awaiting Kassity and her
parents' arrival back in the United
States in April, 1992, are her paternal
grandparents, Sue Montgomery of
Bradenton, Florida, and Robert L.
Dunaway Jr., of Thousand Oaks,
California; and her maternal great-
grandmother, Willie Mae Beard of
Frankston, Texas, along with many
uncles, aunts and cousins.
Bret Arthur Wurzbach
Mark and Mary Beth Wurzbach of
Dallas are the parents of a son, Bret
Arthur, bom on December 15,1991
at4:40p.m. and weighed 9 lbs. 1/2 oz.
Bret is the grandson of Robert and
Annie Wurzbach of Bryan and Char-
les and Mary Jane Wiggins of Col-
Great-grandparents are Mr. and
Mrs. Arthur Wurzbach of Dunlay,
Mrs. Leona Burkett of Minbum,
Iowa and Mr. A.L. Wiggins of Clar-
Ashley Lyn Halbardier
Gary and Pam Halbardier of Hondo
are proud to announce the arrival of
their first child, Ashley Lyn. She ar-
rived Tuesday, January 7, 1992, at
Methodist Hospital, weighing 7 lbs. 4
ozs. and measuring 19 inches long.
Also welcoming Ashley are proud
grandparents, Charles and Ann Hal-
bardier of Hondo and William and
Sylvia Reichert of Castroville.
Great-grandparents are Mr. and
Mrs. Phil Podevyn of Castroville,
Mrs. Frank Mechler, Sr. of LaCoste,
Mr. and Mrs. Charlie H. Halbardier of
Hondo, and Mrs. Annie Bonewitz of
Occasionally organizations re-
ceive notes of appreciation for some-
thing they've done. Texas Women for
Agriculture received one such note
on a Christmas card that is extra spe-
cial and deserves to be noted.
The printed note from Christin
Bendel§/agfe6, reads; "Hi: Girls How
are you doing? I like your turkey.
Please have it next year. Christin"
The note refers to the holiday tur-
key that has been on display on the
downtown parkway since early No-
vember. TWA plans to continue to
draw attention to the area's agricul-
tural industry with new displays.
Country Sunrise Band
Saturday, Feb. 1
9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Doors open at 7:00 *
2507 Hwy. 90 W.
(In the Land Mark Shopping Center)
“Stay in school,
and you can win the gold
in your own life’U,
Kevin Saunders, World Champion
entral Power and Light Company is proud to bring Kevin Saunders, World Champion
I and Gold Medalist many times over, to schools throughout South Texas.
“My goal,” says Kevin, “is to inspire all ages through my own experience and to stress
the importance of education for all children. After all, staying in school is the first step
toward living your dream.”
Kevin’s tour of area schools has already begun. It’s just one of the many educational
programs CPL supports for the future of South Texas. Working
For A Bright
Here’s what’s next.
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Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 106, No. 5, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 30, 1992, newspaper, January 30, 1992; Hondo, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth818410/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hondo Public Library.