In 1942, Montesano UMC’s victory banquet celebrates new pipe organ

75 years ago

March 27, 1942

• If Grays Harbor were ever invaded and the enemy succeeded in pushing back the American army, there’s a small, fast-shooting, woods-wise group of hunters that will take to the hills and fight to the last man.

Numbering about 50 hand-picked veterans, the group began organizing two days after Pearl Harbor with a pledge to spend their skill, their bullets and, if need be, their lives in fighting any invader.

“Our idea,” their spokesman said, “was to organize a small fast-moving group which would stay here, regardless of what the war brings and try to help lick the (invaders).”

• The First Methodist church of Montesano will celebrate the near-completion of the expansion program Saturday night with a victory banquet and dedicatory concert featuring the newly installed pipe organ. The building has been completely renovated and enlarged. The organ pipes all are hidden, more than 500 of them being in the newly built organ chamber above the choir loft.

50 years ago

March 27, 1967

After 13 months of duty in Vietnam, Cpl. John Stoddard, 21, left his Marine outfit March 17 and reached home three days later to enjoy a 20-day leave. He is scheduled to report to Camp Pendleton, Calif. on April 10, to finish out the last six months of his two-year service obligation.

“It’s definitely good to be home,” he said. “Actually I had a lot of fun over there. If there weren’t Viet Cong, it would be a beautiful place to go.”

Stoddard saw action and had his share of close calls near Da Nang. Nine days after arriving in Vietnam he was initiated into the grimness of war and 16 of his fighting unit lay dead.

Once, while on a night ambush he was shot in the back by a sniper. But fortunately, a radio he happened to be carrying on his back that night saved his life. “It would have gone through the radio but it hit the tuning rod and ricocheted straight down. Just a fraction of an inch to the left or right and …”

25 years ago

March 27, 1992

The Lady Eagles scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to scoring a 9-2 South Central League slow pitch victory over Forks in Elma Thursday.

Brenda Whipple, with 3 hits in 4 at bats, led the Lady Eagles at the plate.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom