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Sunday, May 28, 2017
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  • Clint Wilkins and the World War II Parachute Part 2
    Monday, May 08, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Next, Clint was sent to Salinas, California, where the Army put together the 10-men crews that were to man the bombers. Each crew had a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, coordinates navigator, ball-turret belly gunner, nose gunner, tail gunner, waist gunners, etc; these new crews trained in the Nevada desert in combat techniques to best protect their bomber as they would soon face menacing enemy fighters. These fighters would be desperate to shoot the bombers out of the air before they could deliver their payload of bombs. In late 1944, Clint and crew returned to Salinas to pick up their shiny, brand-spanking new B-24 Liberator bomber.
    Assigned to the 380th Bomb Group, nicknamed the “Flying Circus”, Clint and the crew departed to Hickam Air Force Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They then proceeded on to a base in New Guinea in the South Pacific. Now the lucky parachute issued Clint would take on even more importance.
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  • Clint Wilkins and the World War II Parachute
    Monday, May 01, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    It was not supposed to be sent home. It was against Army Air Corps regulations. Maybe the footlocker wasn’t checked because he was a highly respected First Lieutenant Corps pilot, the veteran of numerous bombing missions. Maybe it was passed over because there wasn’t a locked padlock, just a short stick through the bracket to keep it closed. The contents of the footlocker made it back from Far East Asia to the farm in Linden, Indiana. This story’s subject is Clint Wilkins and the World War II parachute. 
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  • Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    After his commission as an Army helicopter pilot and ten days after traveling home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, Bill was deployed to South Vietnam. He arrived on Dec. 7, 1967 and began flights on Dec. 11 from Bearcat Base 10 miles north of Saigon. On Dec. 14, one week after arrival, Bill was killed when the craft he was piloting caught fire during a combat mission due to mechanical failure. Bill had volunteered for an additional combat assault mission and was leaving the landing zone. He and his crew were returning to pick up another load of combat troops. For an unknown cause, Bill’s helicopter transmission froze and the craft crashed into the jungle canopy near Phan Thieu at a high rate of speed, killing himself and all others aboard. Bill had been in country one week.
    Bill’s body arrived back in Linden on Dec. 21, 1967. With the Christmas holiday fast-approaching, the calling was held at Linden’s King Funeral Home on Saturday, Dec. 23. On Sunday, Bill’s funeral services were held at the Linden-Kirkpatrick Methodist Church. Following the service, WO Bill Clawson was laid to rest at the Linden Cemetery with full military rites conducted by a detail from Fort Benjamin Harrison.
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  • Bill Clawson: Linden’s Vietnam Hero
    Monday, April 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Over 58,000 American soldiers, women and men, lost their lives in the Vietnam Conflict between 1959 and 1973. The Vietnam War raged in Southeast Asia through the mid-sixties and early seventies. At the height of the war in 1969, 543,000 U.S. soldiers were serving in Vietnam. American boys, mainly 18-20 years of age, were sent to mysterious places named Hue, Khe Sanh, Long Binh, the Mekong Delta, DaNang, Quang Tri Province, etc. Many towns, villages, and bergs dotted all across the United States suffered the loss of maybe one, two, or more of their favorite sons to the Vietnam War.
    Montgomery County lost a total of 10 young men. New Ross lost Samuel Benge (A 1967 Blue Jay graduate and cheerleader), Wingate gave Samuel Howard, and from Darlington Carl Alexander and Harold Abbott were fatally injured. The community of Linden was no different. William (Bill) K. Clawson, former Linden High School basketball guard and track star in the class of 1961, died of injuries sustained in Vietnam.
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  • Triumph and tragedy in 1948
    Monday, April 10, 2017 4:00 AM
    Special thanks to Keith Airey for his contributions
    The year of 1948 was a year of triumph and tragedy for the Bulldog basketball family. Led by senior Al Brown and juniors Bob Vail and James “Bud” Kitsmiller, the Bulldogs won the County Tourney in January by defeating Ladoga 35-31, Alamo 46-31 and Waynetown 47-42. Bob Vail led all scorers in the tourney with 47 points, Bud Kitsmiller had 29 and Al Brown had 25.
    Tragedy struck in February as popular junior cheerleader, Kathleen Goode was killed in a car accident as she was on the way to the Covington ball game with her brother. Kathleen was a member or the class of 1949 and had been a cheerleader her sophomore and junior years. Her parents established a Good Citizen Award in her name and presented the honor to the outstanding member of the senior class every year.
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  • The Bulldog who could sing
    Monday, April 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    Written by Keith Airey
    Some people have dreams in their life, but never act upon them and sometimes people have regrets all their life. Life gets busy, children and responsibilities appear, and sacrifices have to be made. This is the story of a Linden Bulldog from the class of 1949 who, in time, followed his love of music.
    Morris L. Smith was born Dec. 2, 1930 near Wingate to Bernard and Pearl Smith, the sixth of seven children. Morris had three brothers and three sisters who all graduated from Linden High School.
    Morris was a reserve guard on the 1948 Linden Bulldog Montgomery County Basketball Champs. In Morris’s junior year, he scored a single point and in his 1949 senior year he accumulated 18 points. Woodrow Barton, team manager from the class of 1948, described Morris as a fine student, musician, teammate, and practice player. All teams need good practice players to be ready as substitutes and challenge the starting five every practice.
    At Linden High School, Morris was a talented music student, playing an excellent trombone and singing in the choirs. Morris had a beautiful tenor voice, singing solos and in quartets. There is a 1949 plaque in the Linden Public Library for first place in the All-State Vocal Solo Contest to attest to his musical prowess in singing.
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  •  Don White Part Two
    Monday, March 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Polio, sometimes called infantile paralysis, is a serious infection caused by a virus. Many infants and children before 1955 were struck by the disease that attacked the nerves in muscles. In 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the vaccine that has all but eliminated polio in developed countries. Linden High School had a varsity player from 1947-1949 who refused to allow polio to affect him through his determination, strength, and courage. That was Don White and this is the second part of his story. Editor’s Note: Bill Boone would like to give a special thank you and credit to Keith Airey for his contribution to this column. 
    Although Don was not a high scorer, he averaged 8.8 points as a junior and 8.2 as a senior. One highlight of his basketball career was starting and contributing on the 17-5 1948 Linden Montgomery County Champs.
    Another highlight of Don’s career was on his 16th birthday. The Linden center was ejected from the game for rough play. Don took advantage of the center’s absence and scored 16 points on his 16th birthday!
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  •  Final years of Floyd Miller at Linden
    Monday, March 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    Floyd Miller wore 11 ½ and when they were lined up for a free throw, he’d notice Fritz’s long feet over the line by a couple inches. Floyd would nudge Fritz and say, “All right, get those big feet back.” They’d laugh and he’d pull back. One other unusual game that year was with a team from Melott. The game was at Linden and in spite of a good reputation the opposing team couldn’t hit anything. Linden ran up a score of 34-0 before Melott scored. At the beginning of the 2nd half, the Linden coach put in the 2nd team. The other coach put in his 2nd team, too.
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  •  Floyd Miller Era Part 3
    Monday, March 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    Another excerpt from this 1925-27 section tells about a middle school tournament and the Clarks Hill gymnasium of that time.
    A basketball tournament at the Crawfordsville YMCA took place that year. One of the requirements was that the boy must weigh less than 120 pounds, and Floyd qualified. Linden played the Crawfordsville Midgets who were very good. Linden was eliminated after the first game – 72-6. In the newspaper write-up the following Monday the only mention of Linden was “Miller was the outstanding player with two field goals.”
    Clarks Hill gym was in a Quonset type building. There were bleachers on one side with 7 foot enclosures on both ends. The dressing area had a pot belly stove, but no toilet or shower. The team went outside (to use the restroom).
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  • BOONE: Floyd Miller Part two
    Monday, February 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    On June 29, 1912, Floyd Miller was born in Linden as the youngest child to Charles and Mary Miller. Charlie worked at the Linden Railroad Depot seven 8 hour days a week and Mary was a housewife and mother to her 6 children. Floyd had 2 older brothers, Carl (Class of 1922) and Omer (Class of 1923).
    The three older sisters were Mable (Class of 1924), Nina (Class of 1925), and Pauline, who was born in 1910 just two years before Floyd. In early April of 1919, there was a scarlet fever epidemic and Pauline contracted scarlet fever. All the Miller children had to be quarantined and Pauline died two weeks later at the age of 9. Floyd noted that her death was the last time they ever rang the church bells for a death in Linden. 
    When Floyd grew up, automobiles were still relatively new and sometimes not reliable. Therefore, the small town of Linden had all the amenities that the people needed through businesses in the town. He remembers a self-sufficient town in his following passage:
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  • BOONE: The Floyd Miller  era part one
    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    There has been so much interest in the history of Linden basketball from Quinine Township that we are going to have to jump backwards from 1971 to the 1920s then to the late 40s. Keith Airey discovered a book written by Floyd Miller about his life in the town of Linden. Floyd was one of the pioneers of Linden basketball, playing in the days when there was a center jump after each basket, when basketballs had laces, and when nobody was allowed to coach during the game. Keith gleaned the material from Floyd’s books about basketball and wove them into the material that we see in the following columns. We are grateful to Floyd’s son, Jerry, for the pictures of his dad’s pioneer basketball days at Linden. Here are Floyd Miller’s memories of Linden basketball.
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  • BOONE: Linden Cheerleaders
    Monday, February 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    Debbie Horney was a cheerleader throughout her high school years. She fondly remembers the last Montgomery County tourney and her senior year. She relates this in Coach Tom Speaker’s book. She writes:
    “All my memories of the ’71 Bulldogs are good ones. It was just a good time to be a kid. Since there wasn’t as many different sports offered back then, the County schools really took their basketball seriously. The parents and entire communities were so supportive. I am afraid that people underestimate how important that support really is.
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  • Monday, February 06, 2017 4:00 AM
    Tom Speaker and his 1971 Bulldogs won the last Montgomery County Tourney in 1971, prompting the coach to write a book memorializing the last tourney and Montgomery County basketball.
    In writing his book, Tom Speaker asked several former Bulldogs to write about what they remembered about Linden basketball. After reading the book, I selected one as being representative of the passion that was Linden Bulldog basketball. Here is Rodney Cowden’s account of “Basketball and being a Bulldog.” Rodney was a graduate in the class of 1970.
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  • The Last County Champs
    Monday, January 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    Tom Speaker and his 1971 Bulldogs won the last Montgomery County Tourney in 1971, prompting the coach to write a book memorializing the last tourney and Montgomery County basketball.
    In writing his book, Tom Speaker asked several former Bulldogs to write about what they remembered about Linden basketball. After reading the book, I selected one as being representative of the passion that was Linden Bulldog basketball. Here is Rodney Cowden’s account of “Basketball and being a Bulldog.” Rodney was a graduate in the class of 1970.
    “WOW…where do I start and how do I stop! I remember looking at pictures of my Dad in his high school jersey #10 in the classic shooting pose of the time and thinking how cool that was and then as a toddler going to what was probably an intramural game and seeing him play; that was IT, I was hooked.
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  • Other notable Linden Bulldogs
    Monday, January 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    Other Bulldog notables who are certainly worthy of mention are players led by Harlan Vail who played in more games than any other Bulldog. Harlan played in 84 games in his four-year career and scored 974 points ranking him 4th on the career list. 
    Fred Johnson scored 902 points in his three year 66 game career placing him 7th on that list and scored 350 points his senior year placing him 10th on the single season list.
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