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North Pinellas History | A look back

1945: Clearwater prisoners get help from boyhood friend

1944: World War II-era military equipment is on display along Cleveland Street.

Courtesy of Mike Sanders

1944: World War II-era military equipment is on display along Cleveland Street.

May 19, 1945 — A hometown friend discovered three Clearwater veterans in a group of 30,000 recently liberated from German prison camps. Lt. H.M. Brown, an Army artillery officer who helped free the men from the Nazis, outlined the events in a letter.

Lt. Brown's parents, Mr. and Mrs. T.T. Brown of Clearwater, received the letter yesterday and excerpts describing the reunion follow:

"Today and yesterday, I went through one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I came into a town where there were about 30,000 American officers and men interned as prisoners of war.

"Among them were three boys from Clearwater who I grew up with, Vincent Faulds, Bunny Bobitt and Bobbie Brubaker. Also, there were two of our own former officers.

"I sneaked them out of camp, which was guarded by our troops, by letting them wear my helmet and weapons. We had a very pleasant evening eating and drinking and talking about Clearwater and their families. I want you to visit their families and tell them they are all right and in good health.

"They are leaving by plane, land, sea and air to the U.S. and some of them should be getting in soon. A couple of them spent the night with me in my home on a feather bed with springs for the first time in 23 months. They had eggs, white bread and G.I. food and enjoyed it as much as I would Clearwater ice cream and cake."

May 19, 1945

Local vets return with more combat ribbons

CLEARWATER — With the armed forces shipping thousands of veterans back from the European sector, downtown Clearwater is seeing an increasing number of soldiers, sailors and coastguardsmen, their jackets adorned with rows of combat ribbons. Many Army Air Force vets now at Drew field are making this community their vacation Mecca. And most of them wear the ribbons of the Air medal, Distinguished Flying Cross or the blue oblong Presidential citation.

May 22, 1947

Safety Harbor plans assessment study

SAFETY HARBOR — The city will make a copy of the county tax roll so that city commissioners can study it. This will take in all assessments the county has made on city property.

City fathers are now working on their budget for the new fiscal year, which starts July 1. One of the items in the budget will be funds for a new fire station.

Because of a fund taken up by Police Chief Howard Benson, it may be possible to keep street lights on all night. Businessmen and residents say that leaving the lights on all night instead of turning them off at midnight would be an added protection worth the additional expense.

Additional gas equipment by the city of Clearwater during the summer may result in an additional gas supply for Safety Harbor before the next winter season, City Manager A.V. Hancock said.

May 29, 1945

Fugazzi Groves packing house sold

CLEARWATER — Two large citrus groves and the Clearwater packing house of the Pinellas-Fugazzi Groves have been sold to H.F. Heye, Clearwater Beach. And a third grove owned by the company has been sold to W.D. Owens, a Clearwater contractor. Acreage involved in the transaction was not made public. But the deal, according to well-informed sources, was one of the largest of the year in the Pinellas citrus industry. Heye is a former glass and pottery manufacturer who escaped the Nazi invasion of Holland and took refuge in Pinellas County early in the war.

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A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

1945: Clearwater prisoners get help from boyhood friend 05/24/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:33pm]
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