In our visit to Weaversville, I checked the World War II memorial honoring the men and women who served the nation in World War II — a memorial that is rarely visited.
The bronze plaque honoring 61 veterans is on the grounds of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Howertown. The roll of names lists former residents of Weaversville and the rural area surrounding the village. The area, at the time, was sparsely populated.
After spending my youth in Weaversville, I was very familiar with most of the veterans. Many families had a number of sons and relatives who served. Our older readers may recall some of these family names: Albert, Frederick and Wayne Michaels; George, Michael and John Drabic; Joseph, Michael and Frank Legath; Clayton, Charles and Kenneth Reimer; and Allen, Kenneth and Raymond Beil.
Three young ladies enlisted from Weaversville — Helen Mast, PHM 2/C; Alice Houston, RM 2/C, whose father Vic was manager of the Pennsylvania State Farm in Weaversville; and Evelyn Kramlich, 2nd Lt. Army nurse, whose brother Franklin was a Tec. 5 in the U.S. Army. Their father, Frank, was the local justice of the peace, today a district magistrate, and Weaversville’s last physician, Lt. B.D. Wilkins, M.C. U.S. Navy.
Three men fell in action: Pfc. Wilmer C. Saylor, Cpl. William Krumanocker and 2nd Lt. John Robert Knause.
A number of years ago, this writer spoke at St. John’s UCC’s Memorial Day service and researched many of these names.
Let me share the story of Saylor. He resided a short distance from St. John’s, was baptized there and was a member of the church choir. He attended Northampton High School and answered Uncle Sam’s call. The young soldier was sent to France, serving in the 63rd Division, 7th Army.
One month before the war ended, he was killed in action by a sniper’s bullet. It was April 1945. Germany surrendered in May 1945.
He was returned to be buried with honors at the Greenwood Cemetery in Howertown; the Rev. Charles Ruloff officiated.
After the funeral, a very insensitive person approached his mother, Carrie Saylor, and said, “How do you know your son is in the flag-draped casket?”
With tears in her eyes, Mrs. Saylor replied, “We believe in the wisdom of our God.”
I will end this column saying, “We also believe. We believe in God. We believe in family. We believe in friends. We believe, in our darkest hour, young men and women will serve and defend our nation.
Yes, we believe in the goodness of the USA.”
In two weeks, Larry Oberly and this writer will recall the Weaversville of our youth.