The Waynesville mountaineer. (Waynesville, Haywood Co., N.C.) 1925-1972, October 04, 1945, First Section, Page Page 8, Image 8
., PAGE EIGHT (First Section); THE WAYNESVILLE MOUNTAINEER THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, Hero Of War Prefers Discharge Hero Brings Back Some Souvenirs From Germany (Continued from page one) Germany last Octouer. When this reporter first saw Iax, he was posing with a fishing jKle for a picture. "Are you go ing fishing, or just getting back?" was the first question, and he put n his broadest smile and replied: "In a few days I'm going to catch Op on my fishing and take things easy." This hero of World War II is one man that enjoyed getting home more than anything else. He had a 7-day rest or rather an impa tient stay at Fort Bragg while Waiting for his discharge papers fo clear, and as he expressed it. "being so close home, yet so far away, was even worse than being across the Atlantic." That was his only reference to subjects beyond the United States border, except In answer to a direct question. The entire Thompson family had waited hourly for the return of Max, and one member of the family said that his mot her, Mrs. J. W. Thompson, was often found gazing through the front window down the road to get the first glimpse of her son returning from the battlefields, where he made such an outstanding record. The family was having break fast, when Max, accompanied l another soldier, Dewey .Metcalf. walked up to the house. Metcalf opened the door and asked.' "Do you know this fellow?" And then it was that many prayers were answered as Max waved his dis charge papers and threw his arms around his mother. Max is not the "hard-boiled" rough-and-tumblcd sort of fellow you would expect to single-handedly kill 23 Germans. And the num ber of Nazis wounded by bullets and grenades from this Haywood man's guns will ncxer be known He is a quiet, unassuming and a mild-mannered fellow. The entire Thompson family show these same characteristics, and center their thoughts on the single incident of Max getting home. From the soldier's sister-in-law, Mrs. Clarence Thompson, of Durham, more was learned about Max and his family. "His only habit is smoking. He will not drink, and has an even temper. He goes to church and is a Christian." The Thompson home is within a short distance of Mt. Zion Baptist church. "Smoking once saved his life," she continued. "During the heavy lighting he and a buddy were in a foxhole, covered with a raincoat, trying to light a cigarette, when a Shell hit nearby. The shell blew ih the sides of the foxhole, and the Concussion punctured both of Max's ear drums. A piece of Sflrapnel from the shell went through his helmet, and had he been standing up, instead of bend ing over lighting his smoke, the same shrapnel would have killed him." While Max was putting on his medals for news pictures, his mother told of his school days at Bethel, where he always made good grades, and played basketball. He graduated in 1940 and his favorite subject was mathematics. "What food does he like best, Mrs. Thompson?" She laughed loudly, then whis pered, "just plenty of milk and bread. He'll take that in prefer ence to anything else I can cook." It was mid-afternoon Monday at the Thompson home, and Max took advantage of every opportunity to be friendly with the new dog the family had acquired while he was away. This reporter's guess is, that before a week rolls around Max and that dog will be insepar able, and when Max starts catch ing up on his fishing, that dog will j i-d and put on his uniform and be right along. , became an infantryman in No- "What are you going to do after j vember. 1942. your deserved rest, and delayed : .Max has a sense of humor. It fishing?" the hero was asked. "I am not making any plans yet, J jyyfejlit StMj 'rS&iMiihmmmmmmmu, im i inim ninnr-innimmiJjmwi mot mnimiml TSGT. MAX THOMPSON brought home some material reminders of the tough battles he fought. Across his lap is a Nazi flag he captured, while in the background is a huge red and black German street banner Spread on the floor are some of the souvenirs he brought back, which includes two cameras, several watches, a clock, two pistols which he is holding, a German parachute, binoculars, a hunting knife, and a pair of knucks. A Happy Family Welcomes Max Thompson Back Home TIIK ENTIRE THOMPSON FAMILY except one brother, Roy. who is in the South Pacific serving in the Navy greeted .Max back Sunday from the war where he became one of the nation's top-ranking heroes. Lett to riylil. are Mrs. Norman Thompson. Miss Vivian Thompson, George Kuykendall, (brother-in-law), Miss I.euclla Thompson. TSgt. Max Thompson, Bascomb Thompson, recently discharged from the army, Mrs. J. XV. Thompson. Norman Thompson, Miss Alone Thompson, and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Thompson. A special picture for The Mountaineer by Grenell. except to just hang around here for t lie present.'' Max was em ployed at. Champion Paper and Fibre Company when he volunteer- was quite in. evidence when some thing was mentioned about his girl Expert Watch Repairing One To Two Weeks Service ALL WORK GUARANTEED RELIABLE JEWELERS LOAN On Late Model Cars and Trucks Prompt, Courteous Service Write, Phone or Call To See Carolina Industrial Bank Phone 2625 ASHEVILLE Auto Financing: Since 1923 12 S. Pack Sq. friends. "When I got the Con gressional Medal or Honor, the newspapers said I had a wife. I wondered if that was part, of the award, because I had never heard of her before." As the Thompson family was assemblying for a photographer to make a family-group picture, a two-motored plane flew over the Thompson farm. Max looked up and seemed to enjoy hearing the roar of the motors. "Guess you've heard plenty of those in your 34 months overseas." this reporter suggested. "Oh yes. The pret tiest sight I ever saw was when 3,000 large bombers flew over us. and bombed a target only 4 miles ahead." "Didn't you get nervous, being that close to such an important target and especially with that much ammunition overhead drop ping so close?" "Not much. The earth trembled, and made our trouser legs shake like a heavy wind was blowing, but we had confidence in our air men. They were destroying the target for us." About this time some mefnbers of the family had brought out the medals and souvenirs and made a display of them on the porch. Max delights in showing a German camera he bought for a cigarette an extra good camera according to two professional photographers who would have traded lor it in a minute had the ownef shown any interest. Among the other souve nirs which Max had sent home included a German parachute, two cameras, a clock, three watches, a huge red and black Nazi street banner, a Js'azi flag which Max had captured, a pair of binoculars, a small German pistol, a German Lugar automatic and a pair of brass knucks. "Perhaps you can give some other angles to his experiences that he has not told us," this re porter suggested to Mrs. Thomp son. "He talks about things right here at home with us. The most we know is what we have heard D. Clinton, of Texas, later killed, put this in che records: ". . .When the enemy broke through, T. Sgt. Thompson tossed aside his rifle and took up the only weapons that could stop a mass assault. He fired a machine gun until a shell from an enemy tank blasted it out of his hands All during the day he dragged wounded from the foxholes and carried them back for treatment." Capt. William E. Russell, Max Thompson's company commander, put testimony into the army rec ords similar to that offered by Sgt. Clinton. Capt. Russell also has been killed since then in Ger many, November 21. But his story of Max Thompson stands. He said; "The enemy broke through a platoon position with tanks. In overrunning the platoon pillboxes, the enemy captured 20 of our men and drove back the others who were not killed or wounded four men. Sgt! Thompson stepped in alone to stop the troops pouring through. "The Germans immediately swept the area with machine guns and other automatic fire from the captured pillbox positions and I saw Sgt. ' Thompson repeatedly enter the fire-swept field to carry wounded from their foxholes to a pillbox we were using as an aid station. Behind a tank, the Ger mans swarmed the gap in the line. "Sgt. Thompson went to a ma chine gun, where the gunner had become a casualty, and faced the attack alone. He fired steadily into the advancing Germans. Then, a direct hit from the enemy tank destroyed the machine gun. He was badly shaken and dazed, but for some reason escaped being wound ed. He regained his bearings and staggered to where an abandoned Browning automatic rifle was lying on the ground. "He stood alone against the enemy force pouring through the gap. His fire halted the leading elements and dispersed the follow up squads. But the Germans were coming through in ever-increasing numbers. He fired into them until his automatic rifle jammed. "Throwing it aside, he searched for another weapon. He went to a rocket gun which had been drop ped by a wounded gunner and turned back the advancing enemy who were coming up behind a light tank. He didn't bother tj find a foxhole from which he would fire without being a conspicuous tar get. He loaded the gun, took care- tul aim avid fired on the tank. "The rocket sc?cd a direct hit and set the tank on fire. He charged the German riflemen and dispersed them with hand gre- nadi s." During this period the American forces were reorganized, and the reformed line held, although ene my forces still held the three pill boxes seized in the breakthrough of the platoon positions. Waiting until nightfall, Sgt. Thompson led a squad against these positions." St. Sgt. Herbert C. Spivcy, of him tell you newspaper men and others who have visited here. You see. he's trying to forget it all, and there are so many other things for us to talk about, because he has been away so long. This is the first time he has been home, you know, since his father died on .June 28, 1944." In addition to his medal of honor, he lias the Bronze Star for eonspieious gallantry, a Russian medal. Glory third class, a presi dential unit citation with two Oak Leal' Clusters, the Good Conduct medal, the European theatre rib bon, with five battle stars, signi fied by a silver star and one bronze star, the invasion arrow, and a Purple Heart. The nation's highest decoration of honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, was awarded to T. Sgt. Thompson for his work on the battlefield just about a year ago October 18, 1944. That was the day he continued to bombard a group of Germans after about 100 of his comrades had been killed. He is credited with killing 23 Germans and wounding an un known number in the battle near Haaren. Comrades of Sgt. Thompson told the story of his bravery for the army records. T. Sgt. Weldon Want Ads FOR RENT Three-room modern apartment. Available Oct. 10. Call 353-W. Oct. 4 FOR SALE Baby carriage, used three months, also small cook stove in good condition. See Mrs. Carl Head, Miller apts., Montgomery St., Waynesville, N. C. Oct. 4 WILL THE person who picked up the wallet in front of Mrs. Clark Medford's please keep the money and return wallet? Tel. 132-J, Mrs. Stacey Leatherwood. 4 "IT'S WHAT f'Vf BffN WAITING FOR" NOW you can get for YOUR FORD MORE EXPERT FORD MECHANICS TO SERVE YOU Several more expert me chanics have been added to our staff to insure quicker and more efficient service for our customers. WE ALWAYS USE ALWAYS BRING YOUR FORD "BACK HOME" FOR SERVICE We know your Ford best . . . and are anxious to help keep it giving you the best possible service until that FORD IN YOUR FUTURE can be delivered, by us! See Us For FOR SALE Small sized heatrola. Reasonably priced, good condi tion, phone 384-R. Oct. 4 Hero, His Mother and Dog nnnoaoaaa TSGT MAX THOMPSON begins to take life easy for a while, after 34 months overseas, and engaging in some of the severest fighting of the war. In one day he killed 23 Germans, and wounded an unknown number. This picture made for the Mountaineer by Grenell. MVtv Tl uay lo Be H Continued from Canton Lions Ciuh nf 1 do a . nniencan and other or ing. Reuben U r,iKu t 1 V'O limn . ' ''ntufthJ raper and Fihri- C Hyatt, of th Unpanl Wi,-u!!,. distribution .stal.on alonp wiih tl.. , "" " '"'11 MdUo,, Wll. be featured ,n ,h( we 1 as members r.f u. Legioi wars. i'"-m aim vhp i ne rani I'ruse, Ky., later killed in action, described that attack: "The enemy was ready for our counterattack. They poured fire from the pillboxes they had cap tured and the squad was unable to advance. Going forward, alone, Sgt .Thompson crawled 20 yards so that he could get close enough to fire a rifle grenade through the apertures. "From a kneeling position he fired the grenades and the first two struck the wall and exploded out side. The fragments of one wound ed Sgt. Thompson, but he remained there firing at the openings. Then he got one inside. There was an explosion and approximately two squads of Germans ran from the place." Sgt. Thompson has four broth ers, Clarence, who has been with a tobacco firm in Durham for 21 years, Norman, an employee of Champion Paper and Fibre Com pany, Bascomb, recently discharg ed from the army after serving in the South Pacific, and now operat ing the 46-acre Thompson farm, and Roy, a bosun's mate, in the navy in the South Pacific. There are five sisters, all living in the immediate community, Mrs. George Kuykendall, Mrs. Charles Henson and Misses Olene, Vivian and Luella. All the single sisters live with their mother. The twenty - fifth anniversary celebration of the North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs at State College revealed that rural women have taken a leading part in all progressive movements in the state in recent years. Eighteen Year Olds Register With Local Board Registration of 18-year-olds un der the selective service system continues and during the month of September the following boys be came 18 years of age and are now subject to call for duty in the armed forces: Dewey Lanning, Waynesville; Ervin Lee Haney, Clyde, R.F.D. No. 1; Buford Edgar Mull, of Waynesville; Walker Glenn Cham bers, of Waynesville, R.F.D. No .2; Walter Felix Woodard, of Clyde, R.F.D. No. 1. Gene Lloyd Sheehan, of Waynes ville, R.F.D. No. 1; Harry Everett Jaynes, of Waynesville; Kenneth Eugene Gaddis, of Waynesville; James WiWley Watson, of Waynes ville, R.F.D. No. 1; Charles Alfred Sparks, of Waynesville, R.F.D. No. 1; Claude William Hill, Jr., of Waynesville, R.F.D. No. 1; Oliver Windell Arrington, of Waynesville, R.F.D. No. 1; Charlie H. Moore of Clyde, R.F.D. No 1, and Thomas Hoyt Cates, of Waynesville, R.F.D ih: ",u aKu 4 '"- r "hi mil. The entire p-m-.,--,,., nlifirl (.. ,i. , " wie Dene-lit n: ow trowa CMTt,.( to J .-.".ui Carolina and ,;, ' ' " CIIICK I,', r as learned hum M-, yesterday. Capt. Frank i-iiaige oi the Mai,. rwtolifio ;ii. .i 7 ..vv.,wn mill WIC n;)r,Ho Jack Harroit Lions club Committees Are Named For Drive (Continued from Page One) Mrs. Irene Rogers. Hotels, Paul Hyatt and Miss Lou Ella Eller, Court house employees, Bryan Medford. Business houses, L. N. Davis, chairman, T. G. Massie, Miss Fran- a s 1 1 r Suarl I't'Pri'si s Head cfi committee named i Thompson. Ins nmth..r W. Thompson lns i ,i uiomers ana other do iu ine ceieliialinn C. L. Westmoreland named chairman of sin tions. The program will he general chairmanslnn nf veteran of World War ine canton inereliantt ing uieir places (,f nlA i.ia Saturday until the of the program. In a proclamation Mayor Robinson, deda day Haywood ('(hiiiIv quests the people 0fj County to join the tounj in paying tribute to Sgt aim rus comrades in al A large mianiber of expected to attend till from this section of ces Ray and Dill .1 Hmi Hazelwood business, ley and Mrs. Ralph Sui Hazelwood residence! N. Allen, chairman. Knight. Mrs. Claude Sit Joe Tate and Mrs. Lawrl Waynesville residence Club in charge. Mrs. J president, acting as cha Lake .lunaluska. 11 chairman, Mrs. Link K; Wayne Rogers and LEGION IX) PRKSF.NI WASHINGTON. Th Legion has drawn up a enlisted men the saml leave rights as officers. spokesman said it pi' be introduced in the Hi Electric V elding Body and Paint Work Davis - Liner Motor Sales Sales Service Phone 52 ' . . Waynesville iflE feir airs GOOD JOB 4 Available At Dayton Rubbe A lob At Dayton Rubber Offers ... Excellent ventilation and Excellent working conctilins ,iShtin Well-trained foremen and su- Promotion possibilities pervisors Vacation with pay Clean lunch rooms. Good wages Permanent employment Group insurance - -1 BisBilesilai EO. TIAM MAK SSaiM l BAYTON tU.M" " I Find out about a job at Dayton Rubber today. Come to Plant Employ ment Office. Manufacturing Co.