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Clearwater gives VFW $5,000 to build new home

Headlines through the years

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

May 3, 1934

CLEARWATER _ The city commission took the first step to erect a new home for the Old Fort Harrison Post of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The commission approved granting $5,000 to help erect the building on city property on Cleveland Street, east of Greenwood Avenue.

The money was from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, set up in 1933 by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal to relieve hardships caused by unemployment and drought.

The grant covered 15 percent of the cost of materials and 85 percent of labor costs. Veterans planned benefit entertainment events to raise the additional money.

May 3, 1941 Marines in Dunedin

to study tank

DUNEDIN _ More than 30 Marines arrived in Dunedin to study the Roebling amphibious tank. Maj. W.W. Davies, who arrived May 2, said the Marine detachment would not increase until the tank production schedule is advanced.

The tanks are being built by the Food Machinery corporation for the Navy. The Marines are quartered at the Hotel Dunedin.

May 5, 1941 Son unseats father

in snipe race

CLEARWATER _ Jimmy Cochran, a young skipper, and crewman Jimmy Brubaker won the May 4 "no bar on tactics" special snipe race staged by Clearwater Yacht Club.

Among other contestants, Cochran beat outstanding skipper Don Cochran, his father.

W.C. "Pop" Taylor, racing chairman, said the only rule to the race would be "not to hurt the other fellow's boat."

The race began at the clubhouse steps.

All crews and skippers ran to their boats at the sounding of the start and used any method they could to sail their snipe boats to the markers and back to the finish line.

The elder Cochran finished third, skipper Guy Roberts and crewman Jack Kamensky finished second.

May 8, 1942 Clearwater pilot shot down

UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS IN AUSTRALIA _ Lt. Harvey Martin Jr. said "your temples pound, your nerves tighten, you break into a cold sweat and shrink to the smallest possible size, knowing the armor plate will protect you if you are careful." He was speaking of the moments before enemy fire rips through one's aircraft.

Martin, a pilot from Clearwater based in Australia, was shot down by Japanese fighter pilots over the Pacific. He was at the tail of an Allied pass through a Japanese formation when he was shot by the enemy.

He wove and dove, hoping to use his speed to his advantage, but the Japanese slugs ripped into his engine.

"The cockpit was full of fumes, but I managed to glide to within 300 yards from the shore before I flattened out over the water. Then I opened fire with all my guns and pancaked into the sea."

He kicked free of the safety belt and out of the plane as the cockpit filled with water. He swam 300 yards to shore. He was saved by friendly natives and a Royal Australian Air Force rescue party.

May 7, 1947 White inmates stage strike

CLEARWATER _ A half dozen white prisoners in the city jail staged a strike May 6 by refusing to leave their cells for work duty.

The inmates were supposed to report to work on the city streets and in the sanitation department.

Chief J.J. Elliott locked the offenders in their cells and ordered a steady diet of bread and water until the men decided to go back to work. Black prisoners reported for work as usual.

_ Compiled by Stephanie Gonzales. If you have a question or an idea that you would like to us to look into, write to Stephanie Gonzales at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; or call 445-4176.