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The Malakoff News
Malakoff, Texas
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July 3, 1975     The Malakoff News
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July 3, 1975
 

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::1;;.:::;:::::>.::;::5:::::::::.'::::5 ::::::::::::::::':::::::::'.1::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::'2:: wounded. Then with the Frenchmen once again armed and loaded down with ammunition, the B company helped them capture the Germans and escort them 10 miles to a POW camp. For this little feat Onclo received the French Croix de Guerre, with all the pomp and circumstance the French coukl muster. "O1 Eisenhower put us on to that," Onclo said. Asked if the French general kissed him in the traditional award ceremony, Onclo flashed an embarrassed grin and sad "Dope." "Nope," you'll find, is a favorite word of Onclo's. "Yap," is a word just about as popular with him. You see only occasional flashes of any other vocabulary. The Bronze Star medal went to Critic and Audie when they braved enemy sniper fire on the Autobahn near lluttenfield Germany. As Murphy tried to pick off the crew of an ammunition truck wth a rifle, Critic scored with a welt-placed rifle grenade, destroying the truck. Then to seal the day's heroism, he killed an enemy messenger by knocking him from his motorcycle with a single well-aimed shot. "Due to Airheart's action a load of ammunition was destroyed and an enemy messenger prevented from contacting the main body of German troops," his com- mander wrote in his recom- mendation for the Bronze Star in 1945. ltow close were Audie Murphy and Onclo Airheart? "When Audie got wounded, Patroitic Rent your tormal wear tor weddings and proms a! The Charles Shop 67;5-2917 101 E. ('orsi('ana Athens gee .... Sue Barnett 1 got wounded," Onclo said, his grin flashing again. Onclo reminisced about that long-awaited Christmas rest in 1945, with turkey and the works in the mill, when three companies of the 36th Division were captured during a big dance, and the Third Division drew the assigntent to take the point in freeing them. There was no turkey that Christmas. Onclo landed in Italy, and right off he and a companion, Sgt. Pinkerton, marched nonchalantly through a mine- field. "We didn't know anything about it until a tank came up behind us and a mine blew the tracks plum off'n it," Onclo said with a chuckle. "We didn't know anything about mines." Onclo recalls the night in a rainstorm when he was pinned down near the Siegfried Line, under fire from a pillbox just up the hill. Cut off from his buddies, he admits to being scared for one of the few times in the war. Finally rescued by a tank that provided him a cover for a retreat, Audie and his companions went right back with a flame thrower, and poured fire into the tiny opening of the pillbox, thus eliminating another German stronghold. "Capt. Harris (whom Onclo mentions with obvious admir- ation throughout the convers- ation) came up to see about us and a mortar shell hit right under his feet and blew him to bits," Onclo recalled. A second lieutenant who re- placed him "and only wanted For: HOME COMMERCIAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE Representing: Employers Casualty Employers National, Motors Insurance Corp. Royall Insurance Agency Ph. 489-0520 510 W. Royall Blvd. I INTRO -DUOING Into Our Line of Quality Bedding. The Scroll Quilt Top Style - This Firmer, More Luxurious, Type Bedding Still Carries RASCO'S Famous Low Down Prices 1515 W Corsicana 675-3145 I I I r, tUTO IIEPAIR SERVICE ... ....... ,.. o .. ...,., ..-...-... ..-.--,----.-.--.*,-,--... ........... COMPLETE from page 1 to get drunk and almost got us all killed" didn't last long. He was killed in battle, and Onclo would have you believe the green lieutenant had to face fire from both sides of the line. Onclo and Audie never got together again after they returned to the states but they corresponded. Onclo was portrayed in the movie "To Hell and Back" as a country Texas kid, and nothing could have been more real. At 57, he's still a country kid who'd rather fish and hunt than work or war. When the picture was scheduled to be shot, Murphy who played himself in the movie called up Onclo from Hollywood. "He said he wanted me to go into show business," Onclo recalled. "They was gonna put me in it. But I told him I've got my mules and plow, and I'm fixin' to go to the field." Onclo came home with a box full of medals, which were tucked away at home. Later he gave them away in an act as simple as the life he leads. A nephew wanted them, so he gave them to him. Now they've disappeared, and little remains in his home to remind him of the blood-and-guts glory days of the war but a box of yellowing papers which trace in Army Pentagonese the exploits of the young hero. Airheart was wounded twice. The shrapnel wounds were minor, but he managed, he said, to get two months away from action out of each. Audie, he remarked, managed to stay away six months when he got wounded. What was Audie like, Onclo? "Sandy-headed, freckle- faced, nothing but a kid of 19 when I went to the Third I)ivision," he replied. "He was brave and he was pretty smart." Did you ever taunt each other with dares, Onclo? - "tie bet me I couldn't knock a German's head off with a rifle grenade at 150 yards, and I did it. Capt. ttarris got onto me about it, but he made Audie pay me." Did the killing bother you, Onclo? "No it hasn't so far." ttow many do you figure you killed, Onclo? "I never did guess, but I guess, oh, about 200 or 300." /'Onclo was courtmartialled once. After running two miles in the capture of an enemy hospital where Americans were being held, Onclo sat down while on guard duty. They fined him $10. lte has fond memories of Dwight Eisenhower, who he said "was a pretty good shot.." When Audie Murphy died, Onclo didn't have the money to go to the funeral. And he wanted to, badly. Today, those joys and sorrows, those battle-filled hillsides and ravines in Italy and Germany and France are a distant memory to Onclo. He lives off his $240 per month pension, hunts, fishes, and does a little gardening. There's little around to re- mind him of those days. He dumped all his souvenirs overboard on the trip home from Europe, "got tired of packin' 'em around." Asked if he felt like a hero, or what motivated him to always be at the forefront of battle, Onclo said simply, "I wanted to get the mess over and get back home. That's the Tanner Motor CO. Closed At Noon Saturday only way we were going to end it." "I think a lot of my country, anyway," Onclo said. He indicated he felt very strongly the need to defend the homeland and to keep the enemy from getting "on this side." Today, Onclo is not much different than the day he marched off to war. Older, his rifle-eye plagued by cataracts, his youthful nonchalance un- touched by the war years or the peace time years, he's just another patriot in this nation's 200-year history .... Just another GI Joe back home, unsung, unknown, unchanged. JIMMY GILMORE was all smiles as he stopped by the News office last Thursday morning to show off his catch. Seven and one half pounds of bass, caught on a grape creme worm Shimmy Babe. The catch was made somewhere on Cedar Creek Lake. ENCO Page 8 - MALAKOFF NEWS - July 3, ALL WORK GUARANTEED BRYANT'S TRANSMISSION HWY 31 RT I ATHENS 489-1317 RODNEY I 24 hours AIR ]k4ATTDIKI?KGood Qualitys19s TJLA" llilJiJl.atJl.i...lllp...i. SWIM RINGS...................., TIRE RINGS.................... BEACH BALLS..,f;i....,.. 4, TOWELS,  STRAW HATS.49 BUG FLOAT...................., WATER ANIMALS............., House Approves River Project BEACH THONGS............69 ' The Trinity River Project planning funds of $1,100,000 which includes Tennesee Col- ony Lake were approved by the House of Representatives last week, and sent to the Senate. The House rebuffed an attempt to eliminate naviga- tion studies on the Trinity and passed the Public Works Appropriations Bill which al- so included money for several other water projects in the Trinity Basin. Funds for the Trinity Water projects also included: Aubrey Lake Construction, $7,314.000; Johnson Creek Flood Control Study, $265,000; Lakeview Lake Construction, $5,648,000; Lavon Lake Enlargement, $4,411,000; Trinity River Channel to Liberty, $248,000; and Operation of Existing Flood Control Facilities. $4,307,000. The funds cover the 1976 fiscal year which begins July I, 1975, and a special transi- tional quarter which begins July 1, 1976, and runs to October 1, 1976. The special transitional quarter funding was needed because of a change in the federal book- keeping system. The House Appropriati(ms Committee, which drafted the bill, included language in its report favorable to two river basin projects. The subcom- mittee re-affirmed its strong support of the Wallisville Lake and Salt-water Barrier in Chambers County, and directed the Corps of Engine- ers "to retain the funds previously appropriated for this project to insure com- pleting of the project at the earliest time possible." The Wallisville project has been halted by a Federal Court injunction. The subcommittee also in- structed the Corps to continue its study of all alternatives to the Trinity River Project, including navigation. The report said it was the Com- mittee's intention that "the Corps would proceed with studies to develop a com- prehensive analysis of alter- natives. These studies should include all the feasible naviga- tion alternatives on the Trinity River." As the House considered the bill June 24, Congressman Alan Steelman of Dallas attempted to introduce an amendment which would prohibit use of any money for planning of Trinity naviga- CAMPBELL'S EXPERT WATCHMAKING JEWELRY REPAIR Phone 675-3132 Athens, Texas The Fishing Hole We Furnish Pole & Bait Guaranteed Catch 85 lb. For What You Catch Live Weight We Also Have Live Catfish For Fish Fries (Open 7 Days A Week} IP lb. Extra For Cleaning Located In Powell, Texas 214-345-2641 tion. Steelman was joined by only two other Texans, Repre- sentatives Bob Eckhardt and Bill Archer. Congressmen from the Trinity River Basin rose to put down the Steelman amendment. Representative Charles Wilson, whose dis- trict covers the greatest part of the river, told the ttouse, "The gentleman from Dallas represents three miles of the canal and the gentleman from ttouston (Eckhardt} repre- sents none of the canal." Congressman Olin Teague said the purpose of the project is to restore the s0il and water resources of the basin to the "true favorable environment it enjoyed many years ago." And he said, there would be definite advantages to water transportation in the basin. Congressman Jim Wright notes, "All the members of Congress who reside in the Trinity watershed save one are against the amendment,"" and he accused its sponsors of wanting to deny to the public results of studies conducted on the feasibility of the navigation project. Congressman Dale Milford, referring to a 1973 bond election on local financing of the Trinity River Project said in prepared remarks, "I do Polaroid SUN SHADESeeeeoeeeeeeee.. not believe that vote rejected the concept of navigation on the Trinity River forever. It did not say to me that we should never consider naviga- tion in any way, shape, fashion or form at any future time." The Steelman amendment was defeated by a vote of 228 to 178. The Senate now must act Smith Drugs & S&H Green Stamps Lay-Away Phone We wm Be Closed July 4th DAY Your Old Ring  ith A New e" "%,\\; Munting 1  / Ring Sizing \\; ] Reasonably Priced __/ iExpert Watch Repair I Service For 35 Years I I STIRMAN I |' JEWELRY STORE I IW. Side Sq. Ph. 675-41811 | Athens, Texas I CITIZEN5 STATE ther To Bank On Us Delta Mattingly, Head Bookkeeper ... Helps With Your