1942: War news brings pain to county
Editor's Note: This is one of a series of articles about the history of the Sun Advocate and the county it covers as a newspaper. These articles are being prepared as the 120th anniversary of the newspaper's birth approaches in 2011.
The national news in 1942 was dominated by the war going on in Europe and the Pacific. The local news, too, brought tales of joy in some cases, but often tales of woe as well.
Throughout the year the Sun Advocate carried stories about service men who were advancing in their military careers through advertisements which sponsored individual soldiers and through a column that was in the paper each week starting in March called Carbon County's Catalogue of Military Men. Those were all well and good as the local populace learned about the graduations and promotions that their soldiers obtained.
On April 23, 1942 the Sun Advocate actually ran a military piece about itself, or actually about the men who had once worked for the paper that were then serving in the military. It was called First in Peace-First in War.
"All these loyal Americans have seen service as employees of the Sun Advocate, and now are widely separated in fields of duty wherein they will continue the steadfastness and loyalty they displayed while working for this newspaper," trumpeted the Carbon County paper. "Those remaining in the office now tender their best wishes as wholehearted greetings to all of these, their former associates. Who knows? We may be seeing you 'out there' sometime."
The list included Harold E. Holdaway who had worked in the mechanical department for eight years and with both the old Sun newspaper and News-Advocate staffs. Arthur P. Draper was listed as having been a reporter for the local papers for years and then had gone on to the Tribune and Salt Lake Telegram before entering the service. Robert C. Andrus had been a reporter and later got a job with the FBI, but was at the time of the piece in the service. Orval Ray Baldwin had been a printer, Ray Griffiths a printers devil along with Cyril Thomas, who was at the time of the writing was in the Army. Both Lewe Martin and Ray Bigelow, who were also former printers devils, were in the service as well. Former sales people in the service included Quentin Hunter, Danny Stevenson and David Avery.
Probably the best known of those from the Sun Advocate that was on the list was Alex Bene, Jr. He was a local young man who would eventually become the long time editor of the Sun Advocate after the war and on into the 1960's.
But the Sun Advocate's sacrifice of losing employees to the war effort paled to those from the community who either lost their young men to the violence of war or to the pain of imprisonment.
On June 4, the Sun Advocate reported a list of men from the county that had just been listed as killed, captured or missing in action. Probably the most shocking was the fact that Lloyd Griffith of Wellington had been reported killed. Just the week before it had been learned that his younger brother Ray, had been listed as killed in action. The family also had another son that was serving in the Navy at the time.
Others who reported killed or missing in that edition of the paper were William Dorius Pilling (Price), Thurlan E. Hampton (Price), Orvil Cave (Wellington), Dorrel Rich (Wellington) and LaMar Polve (Kenilworth). Altogether seven young men from the small county of Carbon. In time, those listed as missing or captured on that days list would proved to have either been killed or captured, later dying in captivity.
Along with Ned Donahue who was missing in action (and actually killed) at Pearl Harbor this brought the total to eight in the span of just a few months.
On July 17, 1942 the country celebrate the first Heroes Day and the Sun Advocate and the community was part of it. It was a day to honor those serving and to also sell lots of bonds and stamps to help support the war effort.
"Throughout tomorrow a special effort is to be made by clearks and proprietors in stores of Price to sell war stamps and bonds," stated the paper on July 16. "The Sun Advocate has offered as a prize for the clerk in any Price business place who sells the most bonds on Friday a $25 war bond.
The Sun Advocate also ran a number of photos and small bios about local service men who were serving in the military at the time. Some of those featured included Robert Stringham, Joe Holman, Cecil Martin McCurdy, Anthony Sooklaris, James Patterson, Loren Fowler, Billy Bishop, Carl Empey, Emil Bertot, James Rowley Hilton and Lyle Asay.
As the year wore on, the news from the fronts began to improve on a international scale, but at times the local slant continued up and down as more and more mens families got telegrams telling them that their loved one was not coming home.