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Homewood hails vets

November 14, 2000

Homewood hails vets



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


WILLIAMSPORT - A WAVE in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Bonnie Allen's job was to send codes to American ships.

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One of her fondest memories of her wartime service as a WAVE - Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service - involves the man she married, a serviceman who wangled himself a transfer into her unit for a special reason.

"He liked my legs," Allen, 75, told a group of several dozen other World War II veterans, all residents of Homewood Retirement Village who gathered Tuesday for a Veterans Day observance.

The observance was the brainchild of Homewood residents Robert Kefauver, Frank Rohland and Mabel Beachley.

Beachley, who is not a veteran, worked with Rohland and Kefauver, both World War II veterans, to get the word out to residents to share their military memories and memorabilia.

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"More than 50 residents responded," Beachley said. "It was overwhelming."

Kefauver said memorabilia contributions included uniforms, medals, mess kits, C rations, dogtags and even a Christmas 1944 military post menu. There were also pictures showing how the residents looked back in the 40s.

The idea expanded into a breakfast and then a program/flag ceremony put on by the Morris Frock American Legion Post and a mock canteen, according to Katie Socks, Homewood Community recreation specialist.

"There are so many veterans here and many of us didn't know his or her neighbor was also a veteran," Kefauver said.

Edward Yohman was with Gen. Patton's 3rd Army in Belgium and Germany. He was wounded and then served in The Netherlands.

"I was in Leipzig when they called the truce," Yohman said.

Milton Fuchsman's 11 years in the U.S. Navy included service in World War II and Korea.

"I was in Aden in 1951 and security was tight there then," Fuchsman said, referring to the recent bombing of the USS Cole in the same harbor. "It should have been tighter now."

Trudy Brown spoke briefly of her service as a nurse in China during the war. "I'm glad I got home," she said.

Joseph Webb said he joined the U.S. Army in July 1941 and served with the 2nd Armored Division.

"I was wounded in 1944 and spent the next 33 months in the hospital," Webb said.

John Vanderscoff was one of eight brothers and sisters who served in uniform during World War II. "I flew airplanes off carriers," he said.

He expressed gratitude that he and all of his siblings came home after the war, all proud to have served.

Hammond Rever, who was in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, served 28 months in Europe.

"I went all the way through Europe to the occupation of Germany," Rever said.

Another 3rd Army veteran, Kefauver introduced his wife, Jean, and credited her daily letters during World War II with getting him through in one piece.

"This day is the beginning of Homewood's remembrance of all our veterans," Kefauver said. "The past has made us what we are today and we need to share those memories."

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