I had a lot of positive responses to last week’s article about Lossie Morton so with Veterans Day being this Thursday, Nov. 11, I would like to write about another war hero from Round Pond, Harry “Mitt” Masters. I have an article (again from Bethiah Callahan) that was written on Aug. 15, 1944 from Mitt’s hospital bed at a base hospital in England, where he gave an interview to John M. O’Connell Jr., the managing editor at the Bangor Daily News.
I would like to write it word for word but it is an extremely long interview, so I will try to catch the highlights. Harry was a lieutenant of a crack paratroop regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division and was shot by a sniper in a fight early after landing his group of paratroopers on D-Day. Harry relayed that the group of Germans that his few men were trying to clean up turned out to have machine guns, heavy mortars and two trucks filled with infantry troops. The bullet that got Lt. Masters entered his side, passed through his kidneys and came out between two vertebrae, missing his spinal cord by a half-inch.
By the time that Mr. O’Connell interviewed Harry, he felt that he would be back with his outfit in a week, which turned out to be two. After the fire fight Lt. Masters was one of 17 prisoners captured by the Germans, most of them wounded. The Germans took them to a German first aid station and said that they would be back for them but never came back. They put up a signal and shortly after daybreak a Frenchman came back with some American troops and a strong patrol. Masters says they made quick work of capturing them back. Harry was operated on in a field hospital then a week later sent to the American base hospital in England, rejoining his regiment a few weeks later. Lt. Masters earned the Purple Heart and the Legion of Merit award for his exceptionally meritorious service.
Round Pond lost another veteran last week. Ed Stausberg was a marine that fought in Vietnam. Ed lived in his much loved apartment over the old George Martin’s store. Ed was a daily fixture at King Ro, always sitting at a table doing his crossword puzzles. Ed was a master at making wartime dioramas, several on display at the VA. There is also one at King Ro. Ed will be sadly missed by all that knew him. He was a very kind, respected class act.
The Friday night dinners at King Ro sold out last week so be sure to reserve your meals early. This week will be Maria’s incredible lasagna with Steph’s garlic knots and chocolate mousse pie. For those that plan ahead, the following Friday will be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, oatmeal rolls, and rice pudding. Reserve at 529-5380.
It is with much regret that the Christmas service at the Brown Church has been canceled again this year due to the high COVID-19 numbers in the area. Bobby Ives was supposed to do the service but is not comfortable with a large group of people. We agreed that we all have to do our part to get things back to normal.
Quote of the week: “Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a long time making it.”