Nanty Glo during World War II
Letter No. 164 | March 7 2000
It was ironic that you just received and published a listing of the 1945 NGHS graduating class. I had hoped for some time that either someone or myself would help complete the World War II class listings, certainly a significant period in Nanty Glo's past.
It was a stressful and apprehensive time, with young men and women marching off to war, some never to return. I remember fathers and mothers on the home front holding their breath daily hoping no telegram arrived with some dreadful news about a son or daughter. As a youngster, I recall being on the scene in downtown Nanty Glo when a grieving elderly father had just received word that his son, a young 17-year-old Nanty Glo Marine, had just been killed on the Japanese island of Saipan. The war news struck home hard that day.
The daily newspapers covered almost exclusively the battles being waged, and the struggles our fighting men were facing abroad in the European and Pacific war theaters. On the home front, it was a memorable time for everyone, with food, meat, and gasoline rationing in effect. All production was geared toward the war effort.
I served in the US Army in the mid-fifties, but was fortunate never to have been in combat and thank the Lord. I once asked a co-worker, a World War II European combat war veteran, "George, were you ever scared?" He summed it up succinctly when he replied, "I was scared all the time! "
Hope you received the picture of Buzz Wagner. Incidentally, one of my previous stories about him incorrectly saying his burial site at Forest Lawn Cemetery, when it should be Grandview Cemetery.
Webmaster replies: The Buzz Wagner photo has been received. At present I have no operational scanner to use it, however. Thanks for a moving and poignant recounting of Nanty Glo during the Big One, WWII.
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