Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 31, 2012

Bluefield bustling during World War II

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Regarding Samantha Perry’s column on the region’s heyday: I carried the Sunset News from 1939 through 1945. Delivered both the EXTRAS for Pearl Harbor and the one for V-E Day.

My friends from Beaver, with whom I still talk to, are all in agreement that we lived in Bluefield in its heyday and the best of times.

It was a vibrant town. The sidewalks downtown were full of shoppers on Saturday night until 9 o’clock.

People from Bland County and the coalfields came to Bluefield every week. Civilian Conservation Corps boys were bussed in from Bland County to spend the $5 they were allowed to keep out of the $25 monthly pay. The other $20 went home.

Passenger trains were full, and the kids would go down to the station to beg uniform “patches” from the solders passing through on the troop trains.

During the days we saw planes passing overhead towing gliders for the coming invasion, although we didn’t know that at the time.

Everyday the Telegraph had small map inserts showing the Allies’ lines in Europe, and the advance through the Islands in the Pacific.

Windows in homes proudly displayed the flag with a blue star showing a family member was in the service.

Later, many of these blue stars was exchanged for gold.

Jim Stone

Seneca, S.C.