Pvt. Frank Cafagno Dies While in Service, 1944

Frank Cafagno was born on 20 October 1922, in Marion, Ohio. His parents are Joseph & Anna (Viglow) Cafagno, who were both born in Italy. Frank had a brother, Nicholas, who was serving as a Sergeant at Camp Lee, Virginia. Frank Cafagno attended school at St. Mary Parochial High School. Frank married Twila June (Schneck) on 17 January 1943. Frank was employed at the Scioto Ordnance Plant. While working here he enjoyed playing baseball and football among the other employees at the ordnance plant.

Frank Cafagno entered service on 18 December 1942. Frank was a Private (Pvt.) and was serving at Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania. While serving, Pvt. Cafagno became ill and was admitted to the hospital. He was found to have trichinosis and died on 18 May 1944, in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.
Pvt. Frank Cafagno is buried in the Marion Cemetery.

Frank Cafagno is remembered on the Honor Roll, at the Veterans Memorial Park, in Marion, Ohio; on the west wall of the Marion County Courthouse; and on the World War II Veterans Memorial Wall, at the Marion Cemetery.

Marion Bombed for Second Time, 1950

Marion, Ohio, was attacked by fighter jets and bombers in 1950, as part of the first large-scale emergency Civil Defense exercise of it’s kind in Ohio. It was also one of the first in the nation. The event was sponsored by the National American Legion. The Ohio Civil Defense, Air National Guard, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Marion Counties many Civil Defense groups, local fire and police departments, and even motorcycle clubs as well as other local groups participated.

Fifteen-hundred members of Marion’s Civil Defense Units will be the actors in the mock disaster. The exact scenario would be unknown until a real alert was to signal the beginning of the drill. A locomotive sounding its air horn while moving back and forth on Marion’s rail lines was the air raid siren and the signal to begin the drill. The drill began around noon with an alert that enemy planes were approaching. Later the Air National Guard out of Lockbourne Air Base near Columbus, Ohio, flew over Marion. Marion was then attacked by 12 F-84 Thunder-jets in squadrons of four, two C-47s and two B-26 light bombers. This was the first time many Marion residents saw a jet in flight as the aircraft made several passes over the city. They bombed Marion with firecracker bombs.

The scenario called for Marion’s west-side industrial section to be destroyed and set aflame. The west-side fires then spread through embers to other parts of the city. Mock fires were set at the courthouse with smoke bombs and a tire and oil fire at Crystal Lake. Marion’s water an utilities were deemed unusable and the hospital had to deal with hundreds of burned and injured patients. Traffic was routed around the city and the refugees from the west side were relocated to Camp Owens.

The drill was considered a success as weaknesses were discovered and strengths were lauded, such as the efficient use of Marion’s motorcycle clubs in delivery of communications.

The first time Marion, Ohio was bombed, was in 1931. Read this article at Marion Bombed, 1931.

Y2c Jack V. Scranton Killed in the Attack on the USS Luce

Jack Victor Scranton was born 21 May 1919. His parents are William C. & Dorothy L. (Johnson) Scranton former resident’s of Marion. Jack graduated from Harding High School in 1938. Before entering service he was employed at Mautz Brother’s Hardware, as a salesman. He was dating a young lady from Lima, Ohio at the time of his enlistment.

Jack V. Scranton entered service on 16 June 1940, with the United Sates Navy. He attended Basic Training at Providence, Rhode Island. He then went on to training at Pensacola, Florida. He is found on the muster rolls of the USS Luce, on 30 April 1944. He served aboard the Luce until his death. While with the Luce he saw service in Alaska for a year and then in the South Pacific. Scranton attained the rank of Yeoman 2nd Class (Y2C). The USS Luce (DD-522) was a destroyer, nickname the “Lucky Luce.” From late 1944 into 1945, the Luce served in the Philippine Islands, New Guinea and Okinawa.

Y2C Jack V. Scranton was aboard the USS Luce when she was attacked on 4 May 1945, off Okinawa.
While on screening duty in support of Operation Iceberg, the Lucky Luce was targeted by two Japanese attack aircraft. The Luce was able to down the first, but only when the aircraft had already closed in, thus the blast of the explosion still caused general power failures aboard the ship. A second enemy aircraft struck the aft section on the port side. This impact and explosion knocked out the port engine, jamming the rudder, and caused flooding. After the ship began to list, the commanding officer gave the order to abandon ship. The USS Luce exploded as she sank. 126 of the 312 on board were killed in the attack and the sinking.

USS Luce (DD-522) “Lucky Luce”

In less than a minute after the first plane splashed off the starboard bow, at least two other planes had simultaneously hit the aft section, and possibly a third crashed close to midship on the port side. . . . One of the planes that hit, in all probability, carried a bomb which blew up in the aft magazine, the combined explosion of the ammunition and the bomb blowing out a section of the bottom of the ship, thereby giving it the coup de grace, as the ship had probably already started to sink because of the damage caused by the first plane which splashed close to the ship and exploded.

From: DD 522: Diary of a Destroyer
by Ron Surels

Y2C Jack Victor Scranton was killed in action on 4 May 1945. His remains were never recovered. Y2C Scranton is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jack V. Scranton is remembered on the Honor Roll, at the Veterans Memorial Park, in Marion, Ohio; on the west wall of the Marion County Courthouse; and on the World War II Veterans Memorial Wall, at the Marion Cemetery.

Pvt. Elda C. Hershey Dies in Service, 1918

Elda Clayton Hershey was born on 25 February 1891, in Mount Gilead, Ohio. His parents are Joseph & Dora (Smith) Hershey. Prior to entering service, Elda was employed at the Huber Manufacturing Company, as a painter.
Elda C. Hershey entered service on 25 July 1918, in Marion, Ohio. Elda was serving as a Private (Pvt.). He had been trained in 30 Company, 8th Training Battalion, 158th Training Depot, Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio. He completed his training on 9 August 1918, and was assigned to E Company, 336th Infantry Regiment. On 24 October 1918, Pvt. Elda C. Hershey died of broncho pneumonia.
Pvt. Elda C. Hershey is buried in the Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Ohio.
Elda C. Hershey is remembered on the Honor Roll, at the Veterans Memorial Park, in Marion, Ohio, and on World War One Honor Roll, located on the second floor of the Marion County Courthouse.

Pvt. Albert H. Dutt Dies in Service, 1918

Albert Herbert Dutt was born on 18 December 1886, in Marion County, Ohio. His parents are Jacob & Mary P. (Kull) Dutt. Prior to entering service, Albert H. Dutt was living in Marion, Ohio, and was employed as a Mill Hand.

Albert H. Dutt entered service on 25 July 1918. He served in the United States Army. He went to Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, for his basic training. He was assigned to 30 Company, 8th Training Battalion, 158th Depot Brigade. Upon completion of his training on 9 August 1918, he was assigned to E Company, 336th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division “The Railsplitters.” He traveled from New York to France, to join the American Expeditionary Forces. Unfortunately he had a case of broncho pneumonia and subsequently died of myocarditis, on 18 October 1918, with less than three months in service.

Pvt. Albert H. Dutt was buried in a temporary grave at Vauclaire, Dordogne, France, on 19 October 1918. On 21 October 1920, his remains were disinterred and shipped back to the United States. His remains arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey on 15 December 1920, aboard the U. S. A. T. Wheaton. On 20 December 1920, his remains arrived back in Marion, Ohio. He was laid to his final rest at the Marion Cemetery.

Albert H. Dutt is remembered on the Honor Roll, at the Veterans Memorial Park, in Marion, Ohio; and on World War One Honor Roll, located on the second floor of the Marion County Courthouse.