Nanty Glo Library's WWII collection
Letter No. 300 | October 16, 2002
On a recent visit to Nanty Glo I had the occasion to visit the library and view some of the materials collected by the Nanty Glo Historical Society. One interesting book titled "Military Photos and Post Cards from World War II" had numerous pictures and articles about local military men and women who bravely served their country during this perilous time in our nation's history. Ann Louise (Little) Jensen is to be highly commended for her diligent work in compiling this book.
As a youngster during the early days of World War II, I recall the many families and their sons and daughters who participated in this global conflict. The war book contained an old Pittsburgh Sun -Telegraph article about the burial service held on January 10, 1943, for native Lt. Col. Boyd (Buzz) Wagner, a World War II air ace, who died at age 26 in a mysterious, non-combat plane crash. From the article, the attached picture of Colonel Wagner by his flag-draped casket is one that I especially recollect from long ago. It portrays him smoking a pipe. An 8 -1/2 x 11, black-and-white replica of this photo accompanied every single paper of a Johnstown Tribune-Democrat edition. I religiously kept my copy of this photo for years, but have not been able to locate it lately. For those desiring to better view this picture, go to http://www.geocities.com/airboss99.geo/BuzzBio.html. This site also has stories about Buzz's war feats and pictures of his grave site.
(Note: In the numerous articles written about Colonel "Buzz" Wagner, the Johnstown newpaper editors or writers never once mention Nanty Glo, his adolescent home and high school graduation site, or Emeigh, his birthplace. From the publicity angle for the city of Johnstown, would it have been an indignity to mention these towns?)
(Webmaster's note: I'll take your question as rhetorical, except to say I find it incredible...but it was a different time, for sure. Frank's original page on Buzz is: http://www.nantyglo.com/frm24.htm.)