Compiled by Don Hoiness from archived copies of The Bulletin at Deschutes County Historical Society.

100 YEARS AGO

For the week ending

Aug. 12, 1917

Faulty German aircraft give warning to America

There’s a lesson to the United States not to make haste too precipitately, in recent air battles here. The structural defects of German aircraft have been strongly illustrated of late. They were of machines hurriedly built as a result of Germany’s “speeding up” of airplane construction. Now that America is going to hustle up and build great fleets of such craft she will do well to note some of the results of too much speed and not enough precaution.

In one week recently seven German planes were seen literally to break up in the air, the pilots and observers being hurled to the earth below. These accidents were unmistakably the result of faulty construction. Two other Prussian biplanes suddenly burst into flames in the view of British fighters — for no accountable reason.

Moreover, the new German planes are exceedingly vulnerable, probably due to faulty material and rush work. One British Lieutenant the other day fired 40 rounds at 25 yards range, and broke the German’s wings clear off. Another British fighter turned his machine gun fire at the tail of one of 15 Prussian machines, from a distance of 60 yards. The Boche’s tail slid clear off and the machine crashed to earth.

On the same day as this last incident, five British flyers attacked a fleet of Albatross scouts among the clouds. The fighters got separated shortly in the fleecy clouds and then it was every man for himself. One British captain, after driving off three Germans, hid in a cloud and awaited the fourth, whom he saw approaching. At the correct moment the Britisher dived out, got below his enemy and fired 58 shots. He broke the German plane completely in two. On the following day a British air fighter, battling with nine planes, broke them into several pieces with a few shots, and then saw two other of his enemies burst into flames. One fell like a comet, the second burned slowly.

Local hotels rated highly

Able to respond to the most exacting demands of both transient and home trade, Bend hotels stand out as among the best in the state, and furnish one very evident reason why the traveling public, tourist and commercial, never rush through Bend without stopping for a night and a day. Thoroughly up-to-date facilities for entertainment are offered by the Wright, the Altamont, the Pilot Butte Inn and the Hotel Cozy.

75 Years ago

For the week ending

Aug. 12, 1942

Nelson approves Kaiser plan for building of flying boats

War Production Chief Donald M. Nelson said today that the WPB has approved the proposal of Henry J. Kaiser, west coast shipbuilder, to build 500 70-ton cargo carrying flying boats.

Nelson said Kaiser first will build 100 of the huge planes; 400 more will follow if Kaiser’s building plan proves successful. The planes will be patterned after the flying boat built for the navy by the Glenn L. Martin company.

Nelson did not disclose where the planes will be built. The WPB chairman made it clear that the program was “contingent on our being able to do it without interfering with the present combat plane program.” Asked if this could be done, Nelson replied: “I have hopes. At least we can try.”

The plan to build huge cargo-carrying planes to defeat the axis submarine menace was pushed strongly by Kaiser, who has shipyards in Oregon and California, where he said he could build 5,000 cargo planes.

Officials say Marines will hold islands

U.S. Marines — those rough and tough fighting men who by tradition don’t quit until the situation is well in hand — are on the Solomon Islands and expect to stay there, a Marine Corps spokesman said today.

“We don’t know enough details to say what’s going on,” the spokesman said. “But we know one thing — those Marines mean business and they didn’t make those landing operations just to land.

“They mean to stay landed.”

To those who know the Marines the last paragraph of an announcement made by Marine headquarters yesterday wasn’t surprising.

“Today in hand to hand combat with the Japanese in the Solomon Islands — in close cooperation with other allied forces — the Marines have opened the door to an allied offensive in the south Pacific.”

50 Years ago

For the week ending

Aug. 12, 1967

Far from being obsolete, there’s an increasing need for blacksmiths

The village blacksmith is still very much on the scene — and not half as obsolete as people may think. In fact the ancient art of smithing, considered dying for the past two decades, is receiving a new lease on life.

“There are 15 times as many saddle horses now as there were in the early 20th century,” Larry Davis of Bend, one of the “new breed” of smiths said.

Davis, who teaches sixth grade at Pilot Butte School, practices his art summers, evenings and weekends. Unlike the old smith who was a jack-of-all-trades, Davis specializes in horseshoeing. Davis was trained by his grandfather who was a farrier on the Oregon Coast for many years. Davis has two sons who are interested in the business and go out on jobs with him.

“They want to be farriers, but I am encouraging them to get other jobs to support themselves,” he said, “and do horseshoeing on a part-time basis.”

Bend’s only “old time” blacksmith, Joe Egg, who has a shop at 945 Harriman, agrees with Davis on the money problem. “You can starve shoeing horses,” says Egg who has been a smith for 40 years, 35 of them in Bend.

Egg, who does “a little bit of everything” in the old blacksmith tradition, specializes in acetylene and electric welding, truck and auto spring work and repairs of all types. He has not shod any horses for “years and years.”

Egg says his business, unlike farriering, is “very profitable.”

“There has been new interest in my type of work,” he said. “But most young people aren’t interested — they prefer shoeing. Some young people feel my work is too hard for them.

“They don’t go for that kind of manual labor.”

Egg disagrees with the theory that the automobile put the blacksmith out of work.

“The horseless carriage gave blacksmiths more lucrative work than horses,” he said. “In those first days no one knew much about cars, so most of the repairs fell to the smith.”

He said he still gets many referrals from service stations for work the stations are unequipped to do.

Egg does not feel his type of smithing is at all obsolete.

”I’m the only one in the area who is equipped to do certain types of repairs,” he said. “People come to me and find they can have so many kinds of repairs on things they would normally throw away and for about one third the cost of repairing the item.

“There will always be a need for this kind of work,” he added. “It’s too bad more of the young horseshoers don’t consider combining my type of work with theirs.”

25 Years ago

For the week ending

Aug. 12, 1992

Class of ‘42 recalls turbulence

For the class of 1942, graduation was marked as much by dread as anticipation, as much by fear as courage.

The first wartime class of World War II held its 50th reunion this weekend in Bend. Amid the hum of backslapping and remember-whens Friday night, classmates recalled that the war charged their senior year with bittersweet intensity.

Crowding into Ernie Kessler’s ice cream shop was sweet, but the prospect of going off to war, bitter.

“I just don’t think we realized the impact of it all at the time,” said Phoebe DeGree of Bend.

She and her fiance — now her husband — both joined the Navy after graduation. Phil Degree served two and a half years as a sailor in the South Pacific, and Phoebe joined the WAVES, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.

“Why did I volunteer? I hate to say it, but I think it was because I liked the uniform,” she said .

Phoebe DeGree did clerical work as a Navy yeoman until her fiance returned. Two days later they married in Bend, where they’ve lived ever since.

She said the war was like a pinball lever, zinging people in directions they hadn’t expected. Within months of their May 29 commencement, most of the boys had joined World War II and were scattered across three continents.

They went to places with names like Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal and Okinawa; names that in 1942 didn’t yet ring with historic importance.

Walter Connolly brought to the reunion a photograph of himself and his best high school friend, Norman Nelson, standing in front of Air Force Basic Training Center No. 10 in Greensboro, N.C. The two friends were stationed together there for a short time in 1943.

Connolly, who operated radar equipment in England and France for two years, said that he wasn’t much afraid at the time, because he was too young to know how scared he should have been.

“If we had to do now what we did then, it’d scare me to death,” he said.

More than half of the 127 graduating members of the class of ’42 registered for the three-day reunion, according to Bea Alford of Bend, one of its organizers. Some 35 classmates have died over the years, including several who never returned from the war.

Wilmer Van Vleet found out that one of his best friends, Jim Risen, had been killed in the war when he returned home from his own tour of duty in North Africa.

“We had to grow up fast,” he said.

The class of ’42 learned quickly that the time for milkshakes at Kessler’s was over. They may have still been kids, but their country needed them to act like adults.

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