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To add a new posting, send an email to me at bassriverhistory@gmail.com with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

U.S. Army Bivouacs at Frogtown

I received the following note from a Bass River Gazette Reader regarding the United States army holding a bivouac in the open field in Frogtown. I believe it refers to the open field, adjacent to Route 9, by the Renault wine bottle and probably occurred in the 1940's. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the incident but thought that, perhaps, one of our Blog readers might. Dave Kalm, down in Florida, might remember something about it, as it was his mother, Monica, that allegedly received the ham.

Pete,

I would like to read the account and story of the day the United States Army bivouacked in the open field in Frogtown and how they used Mrs. Kalm's backyard to park their supply wagons and dug their latrine pit in Hedavery's corn field. Also, their giving Mrs. Kalm a ham for using her yard.

F.W.


Monica Kalm with son, David. The Kalm family lived, for a time, adjacent to the opened field in Frogtown where the army held their bivouac. The house where they lived is no longer there. (Photo courtesy of Claire Kalm Allen.)

Another person who might remember the bivouac is George Hedevary whose family's corn field was used by the Army for their bivouac. George, now 95 and living in Oceanville, doesn't have a computer so wouldn't be responding unless someone who reads the blog asks George about it and reports back. Hint ! Hint !


George Hedevary and Ervie Cramer. Can any car buffs out there give me an idea of the make and year of the car? It may help to date the photo. (Photo courtesy of Betty Lamson West)

Well, I hope I get some response, as it would be good to fill in another little detail of New Gretna history.

Pete S

11 comments:

  1. I remember as if it were yesterday. All the kids in the area gathered around my house, they parked a halftrack army vehicle right by our door, we were climbing all over it. they evened let us carry one of the rifles they used, (unloaded of course), Some where there is a good picture of George Flagg standing by the vehicle holding the rifle. Of course every one was awed in the area by this event. Dave K

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  2. Pete: Perhaps I can supply some details about what happened May, 1940. I was a freshman in High School at that time and took a day off to enjoy all the action, primarily waving as they past by in half tracks, 6 x 6 trucks staff cars and other assorted vechiles. The troops all came from a Infantry Division in training at Fort Dix.
    I believe the event Dave remembers was port of this exercise. The majority of the Divison bivouaced in Bass River Forest and Penn State Forest. East & West Greenbush Road was used as exit roads. Hundreds of letters were tossed to me to mail, which I deposited in our RR mail box. Mr Pharo the mail carrier questioned where did they come from but took them for distribution. An evetfully exciting time happening before WWII.

    Clif Brown

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  3. Dave,

    How old were you during the army bivouac at Frogtown? Do you remember the names of any of the other kids that were hanging around? And won't it be great if someone could come up with a photo of George Flagg with that army rifle?

    Pete S

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  4. I think I was 12. I am pretty sure it was 1940. We moved to North Maple ave in 1942, and that year the Army came back and like the first time they took over the town. I can remember them setting up thier communcations out fit in Bill Shlages yard, next to where my sister lives now. that time they had 2,500 half tracks that tore up the road going into the State Forest. I remember they captured Zeb Mathis in the State Forest as they practised, Dave

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  5. I can remember Peggy Reynolds, A couple kids from the Leepa family, I think the Elberson's two daughters Betty and Peg. James Adams, Fred Hoffman,I know none of us went to school that day.

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  6. I remember the time that Dave talked about in 1942. I was about 4 or 5 at the time. All day long, all types of military vehicles loaded with troops were going south on Allentown road (N. Maple Ave). There was a guard with a rifle across the street on what is now Riverside Drive. I think somebody took something over to him to eat. He was there all day.

    Bob Mathis

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  7. At the 1940 Bivouacs, thinking last night I remember also who was, there Rita, Wally and Richie Dupont, Roy Zerritt,Jackie Clark, I kinda think Steve Potter was there also. It was a fun day. Charlie Nieder and Leona tiddleback, They were grom Leepas farm also

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  8. Pete. George's car appears to be a late model Model A Ford. Probably 1928 or 29. Bob

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  9. Pete, I didn't attend the army bivouac in Frogtown, as we had one on Allen Town Road (North Maple Avenue). They stopped for several hours and rested, etc. in the field between my grandparents (Edward Keever Allen) and Mr. O'Niel,s ( now the DeVerter's). It was an open field then and not grown up like today. It must have been the same encampment as the Frogtown one as I was in the last year in grammar school. I remember my mother coming to school and getting me out, as she knew I would be very interested. It was just as well because all the students in school were looking out the windows watching the army trucks go by. We kids wandered thru the encampment wide eyed at all the equipment. They stayed there for a few hours and then moved on. After they left the next day we combed the area looking for any kind of souvenir. I found a army gas mask that they had left behind. I kept it for a good many years until it finally rotted away. Don Maxwell

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  10. I am actually sitting with George hedevary right now. Took him a minute to realize that he was ever that young and who the pretty girl in the picture was but he finally got it. LOL. Amazing Guy old george

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