In 1943, Capt. Bitar killed in action in battle of Sicily

From the archives of The Daily World

75 years ago

September 6, 1943

Grays Harbor Chair and Manufacturing company plant no. 5, 714 Eighth street, which had been engaged in filling large government orders for office equipment, was completely consumed by fire, believed to have originated in a painting room, about 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, and which quickly spread through the entire plant.

The value of the building and the contents, said to be a total loss, was estimated today by company officials at between $40,000 and $50,000.

September 7, 1943

Captain Emil Bitar, 30 was killed in action in the battle of Sicily, August 4, according to a telegram Mrs. Bitar received last night from the war department.

Captain Bitar resigned his position as Raymond city attorney to enter the judge advocate general’s office at Fort Lewis in June, 1941. He later was transferred to the infantry. He was with the first company to land at Casablanca, in November, 1942, and saw considerable action in North Africa prior to the Sicily invasion.

50 years ago

September 6, 1968

All motorcyclists are not road hogging teen-agers. All motorcyclists do not have long hair and shaggy beards and they do not harass townspeople or destroy property on their way through a community.

To clear up the unflattering image presented by groups of motorcyclists who visited the South Beaches recently, Gordon Acker, president of the Hoquiam Ramblers Motorcycle club, issued a statement to The Daily World this morning.

“The leather jacket is not a symbol of motorcycle hoods,” he explained, “it is worn for safety as is the rest of our equipment.”

Acker emphasized that the riders who zoomed into the South Beaches helmetless and dirty were not members of the American Motorcycle Association.

Another thing, he said, “We pay for our food and won’t steal or take handouts.”

The Hoquiam club has about 20 members, they sponsor an annual dance in November with proceeds going to the Muscular Dystrophy Fund and sponsor a two-day ride through the Olympic Loop region and an annual camp-out.

September 7, 1968

Bob Erickson, bid arrivederci to Grays Harbor Thursday night as he boarded a plane for New York on the first phase of a trip that will take him to Florence, Italy. He will study at Gonzaga’s Florentine campus for the next nine months.

He is the son of Mrs. Dena Erickson and Carl R. (Bob) Erickson of Aberdeen.

During periods of independent travel, Erickson will visit his maternal great uncle, Virgilio Rovella, who lives in Pavia, a city 100 miles from Florence.

25 years ago

September 6, 1993

Copac Cedar Products is an ugly combination of rusty tin and clapboard standing in a muddy yard off Ocean Beach Highway.

Several small mills, surrounded by similar piles of waste wood, dot the sides of the North Beach’s rustic highways. The bigger mills folded years ago without a steady supply of logs.

Owner Dwayne “Tinker” McMillion says his uncle, Roy Tottle of Moclips, built the mill in 1968.

Copac manufactures about 23 “squares” of shakes a day. A square is the quantity of shakes that can cover 100 square feet of surface.

The shakes, neatly packed on a flatbed truck, come in three grades, clear-grained number ones, number twos with knots or imperfections at the ends, and number threes and fours, which are considered junk shingles.

September 7, 1993

Single strands of yarn make a web over the United States and Northern Europe as Jude Killen’s Wishkah fourth grade students one by one indicate where in the world their ancestors came from.

Then another web is created over Asia as they attach strands of yarn to the map showing where their shoes came from.

“I want to show them the connectedness of their world,” said Killen, fresh from the National Georgaphic Society’s Summer Geography Institute in Washington, D.C. “I want to show them that we don’t just live out here in the Wishkah Valley all by ourselves with no connection to anyone else. Instead, we have connections all over the world.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom