In 1994, Earn-a-Bike program puts smiles on kids’ faces

  • Fri Aug 16th, 2019 5:30pm
  • Life

75 years ago

August 17, 1944

A midair crash in a bomber, the D-Day attack, flying through flak to blast German cities below and witnessing robot bomb attacks on England are just a few of the thrilling experiences Technical Sergeant Clayton Balcombe encountered in nearly two years overseas duty.

A B-17 radio-gunner with the Eighth army air force, Sergeant Balcombe is home on furlough visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Balcombe, and enjoying a very welcome rest.

Whether it was fate or perhaps that he is a favorite of destiny, Balcombe survived a mid-air crash which cost the lives of most of the two involved crews. He lay in a hospital for months with a fractured back as a result of the accident and, upon his recovery, he was right back in the thick of the action — doing his part in softening up Fortress Europe for the D-Day invasion.

He joined the army air corps December 8, 1941 — the day after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. A senior then in Aberdeen high school, he tossed his school books aside to enlist in the aircorps.

August 18, 1944

A 45-year-old Tacoma man was drowned, while three of his children were saved when his 17-foot inboard pleasure craft capsized near the entrance to the Grays Harbor bar early Saturday evening. Within three minutes the Coast Guard had three vessels at the scene.

Engineer’s Mate Third Class James Behee plunged into the sea to save the children, six-year-old Joseph, 10-year-old Bill and 16-year-old Cindy. All three were wearing life jackets. Their father was reported to be without a life jacket.

50 years ago

August 17, 1969

Drawn by the lure of rock music and the excitement of the crowds, thousands more young people poured into White Lake, N.Y. Saturday, swelling the total to 300,000 and causing an acute shortage of food, water and medical supplies.

Billed as the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, an Aquarian Exposition by the promoters, the entertainment is at a rented 600-acre farm.

The Sullivan County Civil Defense Department set up an emergency hospital in a huge white tent to treat everything from broken limbs to bad narcotics “trips.” Helicopters ferried serious cases to medical facilities outside the area.

August 18, 1969

Three Star Lumber company, which is building grain doors and pallet boards for the war effort, will open a new remanufacturing plant at Front and C streets, Cosmopolis, next month, Manager Ted Ottis said today.

The new cut-up plant will make two-by-fours and other pieces to supply the The Three Star Lumber company in its present production program. Plans are to employ about a dozen men.

25 years ago

August 17, 1994

A military bombing exercise off Grays Harbor has ceased for the time being, but the flak is still hitting the fan.

Fishermen, federal officials and Congresswoman Jolene Unsoeld are angered over the possible environmental repercussions.

The exercise dropping live 500-pound cluster bombs in an area that could be teeming with endangered chinook salmon migrating to the Snake River, plus other protected species, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

August 18, 1994

Five-year-old Roy Stansell’s freckled face was all smiles as he proudly maneuvered a tiny blue bike around the playground Wednesday. It was his bike.

Heather Bishop’s bike was stolen a while back. Now the 11-year-old has a pink and black 10-speed she earned herself.

In all, 16 kids rode away with bikes of their own through Hoquiam’s Earn-a-Bike Program. Abandoned bikes that ended up at the police department were repaired and presented to children who helped clean up city parks and worked on other community service projects.

“I picked up a lot of garbage,” said Melinda Dano, astride her red Street Runner bike. “I just wanted to see if I could do it.”