23 Aug 2014
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This Was Doylestown, 1945

A look back at Doylestown when World War II ended, 66 years ago this week.

This Was Doylestown, 1945 This Was Doylestown, 1945

From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of Aug. 12-18, 1945

Doylestown celebrates end of war -

[Editor's note - In a national radio broadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry Truman announced that Japan had accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender, ending the fighting in World War II. The news set off spontaneous public celebrations that continued into Wednesday, known as V-J Day.]

Doylestown, like other communities throughout the world, exploded with emotions at 7 o'clock last night when President Truman's announcement of the Japanese surrender was flashed to the world by radio.

Almost simultaneously, the victory roar spread over town. Restraint was thrown to the winds.

Nearly all of Doylestown tried to get inside the Court House to take part in a brief service of thanksgiving in which local clergymen participated.

Big crowds in Monument Square tossed hats, boxes and flags in the air. Firecrackers that had been hidden in local cellars and attics for years were pressed into service. The streets were soon well filled with confetti and bits of torn newspapers.

There were no strangers in Doylestown last night--men and women embraced. Some were hilarious, others cried softly.

The fire siren on the roof of the Doylestown Fire House was worked overtime last night. For hours it sounded the official signal that the war was over. At least a hundred youngsters rode on the fire trucks, and the impromptu street parade started. Hundreds of automobiles were in line.

Through the courtesy of the Rohde Radio Service, a complete radio broadcasting set was set up on the second floor of the Daily Intelligencer office. Music and I.N.S. [International News Service] and radio flashes were furnished to the celebrants in Monument Square.

"Peace" posters were plastered on the windows in the central business section of town. Local inns and tap rooms closed immediately upon receipt of the "War's Over" signal and will remain closed until further notice from the State Liquor Control Board.

Doylestown police made one arrest during the evening, when William Kling of Doylestown, an ex-soldier, was arrested for driving while drunk on Main street. He was committed to the Bucks County Prison for a hearing. Aside from that, local police had very little to do except direct traffic.


Twenty-one Doylestown residents killed in war -

Doylestown's price for World War II included twenty men and one woman who made the supreme sacrifice, and another 700 who served their country, many of whom are still in the service, and a number of whom are wearing the Purple Heart.

Doylestown's few industrial plants produced millions of dollars' worth of material used in the war, principally gun barrels, uniforms, cloth and stockings. This [Wednesday] morning, for the first time since the war started, the plants are closed as employees are enjoying two well-earned holidays.

The end of the war will not mean that Doylestown's war plants will be closed. They will, instead, return to the production of civilian goods in quantities larger than ever before.

Doylestown's war dead are listed in the order in which they were killed:

No. 1--Lieut. Charles F. Meyers, 23; killed Dec. 5, 1942, in test flight in California.

No. 2--Carpenter's Mate Harrison Y. Stover, 24; killed Feb. 7, 1943, dying of exposure near Iceland.

No. 3--Seaman 2/c Kenneth R. Bellerby, 19; killed Nov. 14, 1943, in an accident aboard the Cruiser Boston.

No. 4--Staff Sergeant Harry Leon Gerhart, 26; killed Dec. 19, 1943, in Algeria, with the Air Corps.

No. 5--Pfc. Frank W. Walton, Jr., 20; killed Feb. 24, 1944, in Central Pacific.

No. 6--Staff Sergeant George B. McLaughlin, 26; killed April 28, 1944, in raid over France.

No. 7--Lieut. Donald V. Chubb, 22; killed May 8, 1944, when he crashed into the English Channel.

No. 8--Lieut. Mary Chubb, 31; killed June 14, 1944, in plane crash over England.

No. 9--Technical Corporal Harvey W. Price, 35; killed Aug. 3, 1944, in a truck accident in England.

No. 10--Lieut. Donald M. Myers, 23; killed Dec. 2, 1944, in France.

No. 11--Technical Sergeant John E. Miller, 29; killed Jan. 2, 1945, in mission over Philippine Islands.

No. 12--Pvt. George DeHaven, 24; killed Jan. 9, 1945, in France.

No. 13--Corporal C. Raymond Axenroth, Jr., 26; killed Feb. 21, 1945, on Iwo Jima, with the Marines.

No. 14--Lieut. Samuel E. Kershaw, 23; killed Feb. 21, 1945, in raid over European area.

No. 15--Pvt. Gordon B. Kreutz, 18; killed Feb. 23, 1945, in Germany.

No. 16--Pfc. William Darrah, 22; killed Feb. 27, 1945, on Iwo Jima, with the Marines.

No. 17--Lieut. Jack E. Taifer, 22; killed April 5, 1945, in England.

No. 18--Captain Frank P. Stryker, 29; killed April 14, 1945, somewhere in Germany.

No. 19--Pfc. Eugene C. Carter, 31; killed April 18, 1945, in action in Germany.

No. 20--Pvt. William J. McConnell, 19; killed May 9, 1945, on Okinawa.

No. 21--Lieut. William Satterthwaite [no age given]; killed May 15, 1945, on Okinawa, with the Marines.

[Editor's note - In 1946, the Veterans Land Improvement Company began development of the Maplewood neighborhood on a former farm along Route 313. The streets were named after 11 of Doylestown's service members killed in the war, including siblings Donald and Mary Chubb.]


"The Next Great Job" [Editorial] -

IN COMMON WITH all Americans, we join in thanksgiving for the ending of the most horrible and devastating debacle in all history.

And as we experience this feeling, we have another in common with all of America.

We pledge our every effort to the overcoming of every obstacle which might slow up recovery from the devastation of war and the perfection of practical means of making the peace a lasting one.

The war is ended, but the building of a determined intention to fight everything which may menace continued peace is one of the great tasks to which the American people must devote as much determination as they did to the winning of the war.

The next great task is to give men and women the kind of world which will make efforts of future war makers ineffective--doomed to failure at the start.

Millions of men of World War I and World War II are being looked to as the leaders in this movement. They will have the balance of power, and they must also have the undiminishing willingness and determination to play as great a part in peace as they have on the battlefield.

We believe they will--as they have during the past 25 years--and they must be aided by all men and women of good will. They should and must have the support of every American citizen.

And may God give them the wisdom and power they will require.


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Service stations sell out of gas -

For the first time since Pearl Harbor, Doylestownians [sic] became gas conscious Thursday, as motorists rushed to the local pumps and ordered their tanks filled to overflowing.

It was the first time that many "gas buggies" had been out for months for any sort of run. Anyway you take it, folks with cars had a good time.

Doylestown's gasoline supply, however, was pretty well exhausted by 1 o'clock Thursday afternoon. Most stations sold out during the morning rush hours. Some did not open at all. Many Philadelphians drove up to Bucks county to buy gasoline.

"We did three days work in one," declared Horace Overholt, proprietor of the North Main street Gulf station. "Everybody was feeling good because the war's over. I believe that we served at least 500 customers during the day. It was the biggest day we ever had."

Ralph E. "Pete" Harrar, proprietor of the Sunoco station on South Main street, said his station sold out of gas and closed at 1 p.m.

Information has been received that the Philadelphia suburban area will suffer no acute gasoline shortage over the weekend. Within 10 days, a supply large enough to take care of all its needs will be available.


Board of Health bans children as precaution -

The Doylestown Board of Health on Thursday placed observation quarantines on three local homes in which reside youngsters who had made direct contacts with an infantile paralysis [polio] victim.

At the same time, the Board of Health placed a ban, until further notice, on children under 18 years of age at the Fanny Chapman Memorial Swimming Pool, the local motion picture theatre, the Legion Youth Center, the Burpee Memorial Playground, all Sunday schools, churches, day and Summer schools, kindergartens and any other place where children might congregate.

The Board of Health has asked that parents see to it that children are kept away from public places until the period of the temporary emergency is over. The board's health officer, Clarence H. Dannenhower, and the board's physician, Dr. Robert L. Walter, both advise parents to see to it that their children get plenty of rest, do not become fatigued, and that a cleanliness rule be followed constantly.

The action of the Board of Health--even though there are no cases of infantile paralysis in Doylestown borough--was taken after it was learned that three Doylestown children had contact with a 17-year-old Mechanicsville boy, who is now in the Abington Hospital with infantile paralysis. Health officer Dannenhower placed the observation quarantine on the homes of the three children.

There is no need for alarm, Board of Health officials said, but no chances are being taken. Parents of the homes that are quarantined during the observation period co-operated 100 percent with the health officer, as did the local places of amusement and others.


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News of Our Men and Women in Uniform -

Corporal Walter B. Fell, Jr., U.S. Infantry, recently sent his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Fell, of South Franklin street, three rifles, a shotgun and a sword. All of the prizes are from the German army and were picked up by Corporal Fell since he has been stationed in Germany.

S/Sgt. George A. Mitchell, who was spending a furlough with his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Joseph Mitchell of Doylestown, has returned to Indiantown Gap. Sgt. Mitchell served in Europe 11 months and was at Hagenon, Germany, east of the Elbe river, on V-E Day [May 8, 1945]. He was awarded the European Theater of Operations service ribbon with three campaign stars.

Lieut. John R. Siegler, U.S. Navy Dental Corps, who has been visiting his parents, Dr. and Mrs. C. Louis Siegler of East State street, left Saturday evening for a Pacific Coast destination for reassignment to another hospital.

Word has been received that Pvt. Robert F. Hafler, Jr., of Doylestown R.D. 1, is now on Saipan in the Pacific.

Corporal Robert A. Horn, Army Medical Corps, of Limekiln road, Doylestown R.D., was recently processed at Ft. Dix, N.J. He was attached to the 28th Division and saw action in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. He was awarded the Medical Combat Medal, four bronze battle stars and the German occupation ribbon.

Pvt. Jane Shaffer, of Doylestown, captured four swimming titles in the Women's Army Corps meet in the Fort Des Moines pool last Monday night, according to a story in a western newspaper received here by her friends. Pvt. Shaffer won in the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and diving competitions.

Seaman William J. Kane, after spending a furlough at his home in Doylestown, has returned to his base in San Francisco. He has been advanced to the grade of third class petty officer.

Sergeant J. Harry "Bud" Hoffman, Army Signal Corps, returned Saturday to spend a furlough of 45 days with his mother, Mrs. Norman W. Lear, of East Court street. Sergeant Hoffman has been stationed with a radar detachment on Guam for the past year, and previously was located on Oahu Island, Hawaii, for nearly two years.

Private First Class William H. Childs, assistant gunner in a heavy weapons platoon, has been awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge for exemplary conduct displayed in action against the enemy, on Luzon Island in the Philippines. He fought with the 43rd Infantry (Winged Victory) Division. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred J. Childs, of Doylestown.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Gana, of Doylestown R.D. 2, announce the engagement of their daughter, Mary, to S/Sgt. Joseph Reshetar, son of Mrs. Katie Reshetar, of Doylestown.

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