Thursday, April 30, 2009

Around Town: A final salute

Memorial Day is only a month away. A few weeks ago, Denise Hovland, my Thursday Club friend, and I approached the city about adding more names to the World War II plaque in Memorial Park.

Capt. Joe Puglia, my fellow columnist, hopes to unveil the new names at the next Memorial Day service, on May 25.

Joe and I need to make one thing clear: Denise Hovland did all the work. And, when my schedule interfered with the meeting at the city, Denise took up the slack.

Denise located the news clippings and checked them against the National Archives list of World War II casualties.

It’s hard work. During World War II, La Cañada Flintridge was not an incorporated city. The official records list the nine men and one woman as being from Los Angeles or Pasadena. The National Archive list is not searchable by name. It is alphabetized by city. advertisement

These ten new names began to emerge when the Ledger newspaper was finally released on microfilm. The Ledger was once a community newspaper serving the Foothills. Unfortunately, the newspaper’s office, and the archives, were destroyed in a fire. Luckily, a university library had a collection of the old Ledger newspapers.

According to the May 24, 1945 issue of the Foothill Ledger, one neighborhood in La Cañada, near Memorial Park, contributed the most.

May 24, 1945: “A list of young men, most of whom were former school boys and playmates together when they all lived within an area of some two blocks in the residential district known as the ‘circle,’ just north of Foothill Boulevard, and directly west of La Cañada school. The Bakers then lived on Salisbury Road which was but a stone’s throw from the Lasheart Drive home of young Ross (Bud) Woodbury, who as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, was killed overseas; Lewis A. Salmon, also of Lasheart Drive who was killed in action in Belgium, leaving a wife and baby here; Lieut. Donald J. Kanoff of Encinas Drive, who was killed in action on Leyte in November 1944, but not announced until April 3 of this year; Lieut. Dan Shuler also of Lasheart Drive, who was killed in action in Germany in April 1945, and Harold E. Lotze, U.S. Army of Lasheart Drive, killed in action.”

Within the year, Bud Woodbury’s best friend, Billy Curland, also of Lasheart Drive, was killed.

The city staff is looking at our research, but in the meantime, here are the new names we hope to see on the World War II plaque next month:

• Staff Sgt. Lewis Arthur Salmon, U.S. Army

• 2nd Lt. Roscoe E. Woodbury, Jr., U.S. Army

• Tech 4th Grade Harold E Lotze, U.S. Army

• 2nd Lt. Daniel R. Shuler, U.S. Army

• 2nd Lt. Donald J. Kanoff, U.S. Army

• 2nd Lt. William Curland, U.S. Army

• Lt. Anne G. Hemphill, WAC, U.S. Army

• Cpl. Harvey Traveller, U.S. Army

• Maj. Robert A. Claussen U.S. Army

• Ist Lt. George F. Hallihan, U.S. Army

Kudos to Denise Hovland for her diligent and effective research. We’ll tell you more about these heroes in the coming weeks.


ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. E-mail her at La Cañada Valley Sun: La Cañada Flintridge, California

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