Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 26, 2013

The incredible story of Clarksburg's Bill Smith

(Continued)

After the men were able to travel they put them on a racetrack where many tents had been set up. “We stayed in these tents on the track. That was in May and we had to wait until sometime in July to get out of there. Then when we got back to the United States we got to go home for 30 days. It was my first time. Because of the war escalating I didn’t get to go home after basic training. Resting for those 30 days gave me a chance to get some strength back.”

After the 30 days were up his next stop was to Aberdeen, Md. proving grounds. “We tested all kinds of vehicles there,” he said. “There was one that I loved. It was very much like a jeep except that it had half tracks in the back instead of wheels. They called it a ‘weasel.’” It was loved by the troops because it could go where Jeeps couldn’t.

Bill’s next assignment was Fort Benjamin Harrison. “They loaded us up and brought us to the Fort to guard the prisoners. These weren’t the Italian and German prisoners that were also detained there, the ones we guarded were American soldiers. Most had done nothing worse than go AWOL, but there were some hardened criminals there too.”

“I worked 12 hours a day and then got weekends off. We had 1,500 prisoners and they didn’t give us much trouble until they rioted the last of May 1945. Some of them tried to escape and they set fires. It was pretty bad. One of the civilian guards and a firefighter were killed at that time. We took the leaders of that riot to Leavenworth, Kansas. Early that fall there was another escape attempt and they beat another civilian guard.”

Bill was discharged from Camp Atterbury and decided to stay in Indiana. Several years later he met Anne at Camp Woodsmoke and fell in love. That’s how Clarksburg became his home.

Text Only
Columns
  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014

  • Please go away My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven’t caught up. I don’t have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 17, 2014

  • Pat Smith: Undiscovered treasures in the home Last week I wrote about finding a certificate showing that my husband had purchased 15 shares of the “Souvenir Stock of Greensburg Community Centennial, Inc held in 1959. What I found nearby was even more intriguing; at least, it was to me. It is a v

    July 16, 2014

  • What's in the attic? Shoes! Shoes reflect our personality, our fashion sense, our role in society and our mood on any given day. Without a word they say, soccer mom, corporate executive, medical technician or going nowhere, doin’ nothing’. Last year in the US more than 350 mill

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed INDIANAPOLIS – If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ri

    July 15, 2014