This week in history -1945

Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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The headlines of the Greenville Advocate the week of April 4-10, 1945 reflect the ongoing impact of World War II on the local community and beyond. In an update from the European Theater of Operations, the paper covered a range of topics, from a heartwarming reunion of brothers on the front, to the harsh realities of prisoners of war and a call to donate old clothing to war refugees. 


  • Brothers Reunite in Europe: Sgt. Mack Sims and Staff Sgt. Fred Sims, separated for several years due to the war, had a heartwarming reunion in the Woodruff European Theater of Operations. Mack, serving in an engineer outfit with extensive frontline experience, met his brother Fred, a staff sergeant in a hard-fighting infantry unit. Fred, who was just a schoolboy when last seen by Mack, had grown into a formidable soldier, awarded the Bronze Star for bravery, a Purple Heart for wounds, and an Oak Leaf Cluster for a second award of the Purple Heart. The brothers were both Greenville High School football stars with “Red” playing his last game the night before he left for the Army. 
  • Cpl. Raymond O. Forrest Reported as Prisoner of War: Cpl. Forrest was reported missing in action but wrote to his wife, Gladys Armstrong Forrest from a German prison camp. He was reported missing on Dec. 20, 1944. His first letter from the German prisoner of war camp was dated Jan. 3.
  • Clothing Collection Urged for War Refugees: The United National Clothing Collection urged citizens to donate clothing for war refugees, emphasizing the dire need for clothing in war-torn Europe. Millions of people, including 30 million children, were in need of clothing, with reports of children owning only a single shirt or dress, patched multiple times. The collection aimed to alleviate suffering and provide essential items to those affected by the war. The initiative was part of “National ‘Clean-Out-Your-Clothes-Closet’ Week,” which sought to mobilize communities to donate their unused clothing to those less fortunate.
  • Free $100 War Bond Contest Sponsored by Thrifty Store: Thrifty Store sponsored a contest for guessing the exact date, hour, and minute when the armistice would be declared between Germany and the Allies, with a $100 war bond as the prize.
  • 1944 Thriller “Experiment Perilous” Screened at Ritz Theatre: The Ritz Theatre featured the 1944 thriller “Experiment Perilous,” starring Hedy Lamarr, George Brent, and Paul Lukas, providing entertainment for local residents amidst the war updates.