- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 13 Feb 2010.
World War II Valentine greetings
Author: Duay O'Neil
NEWPORT-Valentine's Day in 1945 found thousands of sweethearts thousands of miles from each other as World War II raged across Europe, Africa, and Asia.
If they were lucky, they received greetings from their loved ones, hastily scribbled by the senders and approved by the military censors.
Soldiers sent their love via V-mail, a system based on the British "Airgraph."
Correspondence from the soldiers was photographed and reduced to thumbnail sizes and loaded onto microfilm, which weighed much less than the original letters and cards.
The spools were then sent to America by priority air freight, if possible, to prescribed destinations for enlargement.
After being printed out onto lightweight photo paper, the facsimiles were reproduced about one-fourth the original's size and delivered to the addressee.
One such Valentine arrived in Newport addressed to "Miss Della Ford-907 Prospect Ave.-Newport, Tennessee."
This home, which still stands across the street from the Newport/Cocke County Community Center, was owned by Frances (Smith) Ford, formerly of Grassy Fork.
Following the death of her first husband, Ike Ford, Frances had married Mack York.
Another of Ike and Francis's children was Mary Ford, who married Pierce McCarter.
It was Mary who introduced her sister Della to a Hartford boy, Charles Lamer Ogle, son of Alfred and Algia (Baxter) Ogle.
Called by his middle name, Lamer had enlisted in the U. S. Army on August 7, 1941, four months to the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and served his country until his discharge on July 12, 1945.
Lamer's service took him to the African and European theatres where he saw action in Algeria, French Morocco, Tunisia, the Po Valley, Naples, Foggia, Rome, Arno, the Northern Apennines.
His numerous military medals and decorations included five Bronze Stars.
The prettiest "star" in his life was his sweetheart back home.
Della, whose brunette hair and creamy complexion had captured his heart, received a V-mail Valentine that February and carefully placed it with her other treasures.
Following Lamer's discharge, he returned to Newport and quickly married Della.
The couple went to housekeeping with Della's mother and eventually spent their entire married lives here.
Della was a stay-at-home mom to the couple's four children-sons Charlie and Jimmy and daughters Terri and Jackie.
Lamer found work at Rhyne Lumber Company and later at Wood Products. Eventually he was employed by Stokely's and remained with them until his retirement.
He also came to be known and respected for his expert woodworking skills and built custom cabinets for many Newport homeowners.
Each spring he enjoyed fashioning birdhouses for family and friends.
One by one the Ogle children married and left the nest, eventually presenting Lamer and Della with 11 grandchildren. Today there are 14 great-grandchildren.
In 1978, heart failure took Della first. Lamer continued to live in the family home until his death in 1989, also from heart failure.
Most everyone still lives in Cocke County, with the exception of Jimmy, who resides in Salisbury, NC, and a few of the grandchildren scattered about.
No doubt this weekend's mail has included numerous Valentine greetings sent by this family to their own loved ones near and far, thereby keeping alive a tradition begun in Italy 65 years ago by a young Cocke County soldier.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 2 Dec 2006.
Lois Ramsey Ogle obituary
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 3 Jul 1998.
Jimmy Michael Ogle obituary
- [S87] Death Certificate.
Name Date of Death / Age County of Death County / State of Residence Marital Status Gender Race File #
OGLE CHARLES L SR 05-26-1989 / 72 WASHINGTON COCKE / TN WIDOWER M WHITE 22588
- [S147] Find a Grave, (Memorial: 99996451).