75 Years Ago•
June 28, 1945
17-year-old Dannie Lowder was eating dinner in the John Marcus Café in Aberdeen Sunday about 8:30 p.m. when a bullet, fired by a policeman to stop a speeding driver, ricocheted and hit him in the neck.
Officer W. Glenn Davis, night policeman, attempted to shoot the tires of a speeding motorist, but the bullet glanced through the window of the café and hit Lowder. He was rushed to Moore County hospital, but died before reaching it. The young man is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lowder of this community; four brothers now in the armed services; and one sister.
People of Raeford who knew Capt. and Mrs. W. Mark Currie, residents here during 1940, will regret to learn of the death of Capt. Currie, which was recently announced by the Japanese government.
He was being transferred with 1775 other prisoners of war in a Japanese transport. On October 24, 1944, the ship was attacked by an Allied submarine and sank in the South China sea, 200 miles from the nearest land.
The Japanese report stated that only five prisoners escaped in a small boat and four were retaken prisoner.
Capt. Currie, a native of Enid, Oklahoma, lived in Raeford for about a year with the John McGoogans. He was transferred to the Philippines arriving there just a few days before war was declared. Captured at Corregidor, he was interned there sometime until shortly before his death when he was being transferred to a camp on the Japanese home islands.
[Editor’s note: The Arisan Maru was a Japanese “hell ship,” a transport used to ferry prisoners of war, so named for terrible conditions inflicted upon the soldiers. They were crammed in cargo holds with little air, food or water, and many prisoners died of asphyxia, starvation or dysentery. The unmarked Arisan Maru was torpedoed either by the USS Shark submarine or the USS Snook as it steamed for Takao, full speed at roughly 7 knots, one of the slowest in a convoy of 13 merchant vessels, three destroyers and a fleet supply ship. An account written last year for the 75th anniversary of the even (americanpowsofjapan blog) says the ship went down with 1,774 mostly American POWs making it the worst naval disaster in American history. Most POWs escaped the ship only to be left by Japanese to drown in the rough, cold waters of the South China Sea. By morning, all but nine were dead. Of the nine, four were eventually rescued by the Japanese and taken to Formosa. Five found a life raft, food, water and a sail and used the stars to navigate to the Chinese coast 200-300 miles away where they were rescued by friendly Chinese and taken to an American base hundreds of miles inland.]
An allotment of $154,000 from the Rural Electrification Authority was announced for the Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative. The loan is to cover construction which was halted by war freezes of critical materials. There are 720 customers assigned for service when construction is complete in 230 miles of Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties.
It is expected that the principal of Hoke High School will be named this week, according to Superintendent K.A. MacDonald. The board has been looking at a large number of applicants for the position vacated by V.R. White, who goes to Fayetteville Jr.-Sr. High Schools next term.
When the hundreds of Troop Carrier C47s flew in through a heavy barrage of enemy flak and ground fire to parachute supplies and relieve the encircled American garrison of Bastogne and enable the troops there to thwart von Rundstedt’s all-out counter-offensive, two former Enfield grade school buddies, Sgt. Louis N. Gay and Cpl. Joe E. Hudgins were dropmasters with the responsibility of sending the vital material floating down accurately. The entire supply was prepared under the direction of their commanding officer Maj. Gray W. Tolar of Lumber Bridge.
47 Years Ago •
June 28, 1973
V. Leonard Wiggins was named Raeford chief of police this week. A 1959 graduate of Hoke High School, he has been acting chief since March when James Lamont walked off the job. “I’ve always tried to do my best and I intend to keep doing just that,” he said.
The funeral for Paul Keith Thacker, 19, was held at Raeford First Baptist Church Monday. He was killed at the National Parachuting Championships in Oklahoma when his parachutes failed to open during a practice jump. He had jumped from a plane at 6,600 feet when his main chute failed. The reserve was released but reportedly tangled in the lines of the main chute. “Paul was one of the best competitors in the sport and the future was all ahead of him,” said Norman Heaton, national championship director.
Six farm animals were killed by a lightning strike Saturday on the Ralph Pandure farm on N.C. 211 near Lake Elizabeth Road. Two bulls, a heifer calf and two cows in calf and one cow were killed.
25 Years Ago •
June 28, 1995
Hoke County passes a 5 cent tax increase, primarily to correct a low fund balance.
Farmers are coping with a wet June after 7.4 inches of rain fell during the month. That compared to 1.66 inches in May.