Clipped From The Decatur Herald
35,000 Jam Fairview Park For Army Salute to County General Aurand Here for Show By MAXINE KYLE of The Herald Staff From the natural - grandstand hillsides of Fairview park. 35.000 persons watched the army climax its two-day salute to the Macon county area with a loud, fiery and mokey sham battle. With the spectators stood the leader of the army of .Illinois, Wis7 consin and Indiana, Maj. Gen. command. He told officers of the ! " " me oaK ana Duuea 011 Boys Pull Out Army Boat Car, Stuck in Lake Civilians had a chance to help out the army yesterday morning when the "seep," the amphibian car, was demonstrated in- Dreamland lake and Fairview park and the civilians responded readily. Upon viewing the lake, army officers were reluctant to let the promised demonstration go ahead but hated to disappoint the crowd. The "seep" clambered down the "show" fine job. "Decatur has done a into the water. The trouble was en- am enjoying m vselfS countered when an attempt was very much." General Aurand's visit was a surprise, officers said. He requested that his presence not be announced during the program and graciously waved photographers away. General Aurand arrived by plane from Chicago shortly before the parade Started prior to the "battle." He watched the parade from a residence lawn. Bombs Signal Opening Bombs bursting in air sounded the beginning of the "battle" in th flat meadow of thC park, bound on the south, east and west Stevens creek. Deployed,' or scattered from five to 10 yards apart, nr the west were the defenders wearing tin hats of the last World War to distinguish them from the attackers on the east wearing present day fatigue uniforms and helmets. In the trees were snipers. On the. east were tanks made to brin;: the boat-car back on shore. Jagged rocks on the banks threatened to tear holes in the bottom of the curious car. A tow-line was attached to the car and nearly a hundred civilians, mostly boys, grabbed hold,, hauled heartily and pulled the car to safety without damaging it So many children were lost in the huge crowds at the sham battle site that the first aid tent was converted into a station where parents might gather up their lost children. The announcer several times through his description of the battle announced lists of names all lost children. "All parents of lost children are to pick them up at the first aid tent," he announced. The largeGeneral Sherman tank was not without its usual escort of young boys yesterday afternoon Upon the opening order of the in the parade. They rode along side on tneir Dicycies or just got commanding officer from the east. attackers advanced and defenders took up their defensive position. Fire that jarred the hat brims of nearby onlookers came from the mortars that looked like stove pipes stuck in the ground. t The mortars, which in actual battle lob shells into the air. sent up aerial as close as they could and ran to keep up. The tank was surrounded constantly by the youngsters from the time it entered the city until it left. One of the bjggest traffic jams in the history of the city developed bombs. All ammunition was blank. yesterday as thousands of persons Action was in reverse order for i drove their cars toward Fairview the sake of giving the spectators alpark to watch the activities. Park-better opportunity to see each part j ing places near the park were gone of the battle. In true battle, tanks would appear ahead of the foot troops, the officers explained. But, in the sham battle, the foot troops were seen in action first. Attack is Made The attackers made their advances in rushes a group of men running a distance-- and falling. Land mines went off in the center and south portion of the field. As the attacking force established its There's one Decatur man who line, machine guns covered them wished yesterday afternoon that by noon and traffic started piling up on nearly every west-end street. State and city police worked together to clear up the tangle. Cars were parked as near as four blocks to the downtown district and occupants walked the rest of the way to the park. Gas rationing was a thing forgotten when the army came to the city. until they eventually put the de lenders out of action. Meanwhile "casualties" could be seen reeling on their rifles, thrust into the ground, and were rescued by litter bearers. Near the close of the 15 minutes of action, the attackers charged the defending positions with bayonets fixed. Then they "mopped them up" or took the arms of the defenders and took the defenders themselves as prisoners. Clinching the aetion for the offensive, came the tanks from the east. One was a medium. 33-ton tank which fired t a 75-millimeter gun. The other was a light. 13-ton tank which fired a 37-millimeter gun. Equipment Used Equipment used in the "battle" included light and heavy machine guns of 30 and 50 calibre, Garand rifles. Browning automatics and the Springfield rifle of the last World war. When the "battle" was over. Old Glory was jbrought down in a retreat ceremony. The 40-piece army band left the bandstand and took its place on the field with the lour companies of men. The flag the lure of a parade was not so great. This was Ray McGinis, en gineer at the Polar Service Co., who left the office for a few minutes to watch the parade. Upon his return he found that the small office 'had been entered and, $7 taken from the cash register, according to the report he made to police. Because it was impossible to park anywhere near Fairview park or Eldorado street, many of tne marchers were forced to walk several blocks to reach the blocks where the parade was formed. One ordnance worker going past the reviewing stand was heard-to say in plaintive tones: "1 sure hope this is the last lap. My feet hurt." Cases of illegal parking were frequent yesterday afternoon as spectators sought a place near the park to leave their cars. State police ordered at least two cars to be hauled to local garages because they were parked in an illegal manner. The 850 men and 125 pieces of ialantry equipment of the 739th was lowered while the band played; -.j, nolice battalion which -The Star-Spangled Banner." A:l!staged the Saturday and Sunday companies then passed in reviewjsaiute to the Macon county area before Mayor James A. Hedrick, wm remain in Decatur until some- Lieut. Jonn a. vvinn, commdiiuiiig . T,,.-riav officers announced. officer of the army air force de- ! Although -the men are from all tachment at Millikin, and Lieuten-i . . 1h united states they ant Colonel Hoffman, commanding I come directly from Camp Mount officer at Sangamon and Oak ord-Vernon IU-i and Camp Campbell, nance plants. . " I Ky They will ' remain in the ar-Prior to the "battle" enactment. ;mo . for a rest and to service a number of Decatur persons rep- j - next stop resenting the Decatur and Macon beq31omington. county contribution to the war ef- 4 - fort, were introduced at a bandstand program with Lieut. George W. Campbell as master of ceremonies. 'They included John Wit-tig. 2190 North Union street, who has five sons and a son-in-law in service and two sons who are classified for service. Others were F. V. Mueller, general suDerintendent ' tj-,iv, 1U Wismer. husband of nf the Mueller Co C. O. Branson. ! tho farmer Jean DeNoon. 355 a tool and die maker of the Grigo-; Green street, has been promoted! leit Co.? Colonel Don O. Hoff-jfrorn the rank of captain to major man:. Lieut. Winn and Mayor Hed-Un the marine corps, the Navy de- Wismer Made Marine Major rick. partment announced jesieroay. Decorated Men Introduced Major Wismer, former traffic Alcn intrnrtnrpH u'frp two Illinois manaper of the Western Union soldiers who have been awarded j here, left Decaturlin 1940 when e the Purple Heart because they were wounded inr action. They were Pvt. Del Wrestler wounded in New Guinea and Pvt. John Cau-ble wounded on Guadalcanal Three Waacs, . who travel with the "show" troops, in brief talks K saluted Macon county and Decatur women for their war efforts. loi. junn n. xviicii, , ... , ... VMr. ,pn officer of strict NO. 3 recited . j cur ; portion of Rudyard Kipling s Bil-, wner i-ne i lad of East and West" tc .point : out , . 4.15 m. Sunday Sanjr that "strong men stand face to Cisco The y "V we-asktirat you help j home here for funeral services and makes ours a little stronger." j burial- was called into service by the ma rine reserves. He was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in December, 1941, and to captain in May, 1942. He has served with the marine corps on Guadalcanal. lade Funeral Here Mrs. Huldah Louise Tade. a De- Record Parade Exceeds 3 Miles By DOROTHY KUHNS Of the Herald Staff Approximately 35.000 , persons crowded Eldorado street from Oakland avenue west to Fairview park and the roadways through the park and the Stevens Creek addition yesterday afternoon to watch the greatest parade of military and production strength in the histcry of the city. Although the parade, more than three miles long, was the longest ever staged here, police said that the crowd figures had been topped once before in the city's history, in 1929 at the Decatur Centennial celebration. The crowds yesterday were so large that they lined the narrow roadways of the park five or six deep and the columns cf marching men were crowded for room as they swung through the park. Hillsides Covered The hills on either side of the entrance to the park addition were covered with people and automobiles as every spectator sought a vantage point from which to view the activities. Although the day's program had been labeled, as The Army's Salute to Industry, the general effect given was that local civilians and industrial workers had combined all efforts to ' give a whole-hearted salute to the army. Army officials commented on the great length of the parade. Seven thousand persons participated in the march and six of the seven sections were composed of local persons. Interest Centers on Soldiers The section holding the greatest interest for the crowd was the first which was composed of the visiting army personnel. After this section passed, the crowds rapidly lost interest in the following sections until by the time the fifth section came to the reviewing stand, the parade had almost lost its form. The parade, scheduled to start at 2:30 p. m.. got underway shortly after the scheduled time. Heading the march was the 739th military police battalion's band which set the pace for the entire parade line with swinging martial music. Parade Leaders Leading the four companies of the military police battalion, were the commanding officer of the battalion and his staff. Marching along behind the military police battalion, singing in their usual style, was the group of the aviation cadets in training at Millikin university. On the heels of the aviation cadets came the rumbling General Sherman tank with the driver and gunner standing lip on their seats so that their, heads could be seen and an officer sitting at the top of the turret. The "seep." as the amphibian car has been dubbed, was next in parade l!ne. It was followed by the large, armored half-truck. Two armored cars carrying anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns were included in the show of war equipment;. Trucks hauling anti-aircraft guns, the 105-millimeter field artillery piece and airplane landing mat: were on display next. A jeep carrying three Waacs, the chaplain's trailer, a link trainer on display on a truck, a Pratt-Whitney airplane engine on display and an army ambulance, completed the parade of equipment. Local Military Paraders Local military organizations headed the next section. The Goodman band led the home militia, the civil air patrol and the newly-uniformed Decatur Schools Military Training corps in the march. A display of manpower strength in local ordnance plants .was included in the next section. The Oak guards -in their green uniforms marched on foot and on horseback and were followed by hundreds of the white-garbed women employes on the lines. Explosive trucks and a screaming float carrying a huge cardboard bomb, were included in the Oak seotion of the parade. Guards and firemen from the Sangamon ordnance plant and the Victory ordnance plant, marched in the parade with floats depicting their production. Local War Output Shown Local companies with war contracts sponsored floats which showed the types of war manufacture going on in Decatur today more clearly than in any exhibition shown here before. Large groups marching in the parade were the air raid wardens service men's mothers, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and auxiliary, the American Legion and auxiliary, and local unions. Among the bands which furnished music fcr the march were' the Roosevelt junior high school band, the Decatur high school Redcoats, the Clinton high school band and the Noble accordion band. A float depicting prison Vamps was the last in the parade and was sponsored by the Y. M. C. A. City police, fire and ether equipment was included in the parade as well as ambulances. , Half of Decatur Watches 'Battle of Fairview Park' ........... s ' -?;!( :3 rt(itmmi r i m " ' ' " ' -0-.... ,., At top. the 739th military police battalion band leads the first companies near the entrance to Fairview park in the parade preceding the Army Salute to Industry in Macon Coun-tv yesterday. Second, two tanks of the . attacking force bear down amid smoke and noise on the soldiers defending the west end of the park. Third, the youth of Decatur comes to the rescue when the . army's amphibian "seep" boat-car became fouled 'on the bank of Dreamland lake as it was exhibiting its uses. A tow line and a lot of pull rescued the vehicle "from the rocky bank, where jt was snagged. At the bottom, a General Sherman tank rumbles down West Eldorado street, a half block from the entrance to the park, to engage . in the maneuvers which lasted 15 minutes, but gave the citizens a rough Idea of modern attack. Four young admirers of the tank constitute a sort of unofficial guard of honor for the tank as they step along at the right. One of the largest throngs in Decatur's history lined the streets along the line of march and covered the- hillsides at the scene of action in the west addition of the park. All Photos on this page by Martin Cooney, Herald-Review Photographer.