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Local World War II Veterans
Earn Belated Thank You'
From Russian Government
BY SUSAN I'SHKK
Forty-eight years after the end of
World War 11. Jack Thomas and
David Bedford Stanaland have re
ceived unusual and belated "thank
vous" from the Russian government
for their personal contributions to
the Allied war effort.
They have Ix-en awarded bronze
medals commemorating the 40th an
niversary of the Victory in the Great
Patriotic War, as the Russians refer
to the Allied defeat of Germany dur
ing World War II. celebrated each
May in the Russian Federation.
The medals were awarded by
Russian Ambassador Vladimir P.
Lukin. "on behalf of President Boris
Yeltsin and the entire Russian peo
Each is "a token of recognition of
your outstanding courage and per
sonal contribution to the Allied sup
port of mv country which fought for
freedom against Nazi Germany." the
cover letter stated.
Stanaland learned about the avail
ability of the
medal through a
shared the infor
both had served
in the North Pa
cific theater dur
ing World War
!!.' Both applied. STANALAND
"I put in for mine two days before
Jack did." said Stunaland. "hut I was
two weeks later receiving it. I don't
know what happened."
During the war. Thomas was a
chief electrician's mate aboard the
USS Edison, a naval destroyer. Stan
aland served as chief aviation elec
tronics technician aboard the U.S
Cutter BIBB, ' A
which served as
to early January
in escorting and rilOMAS
protecting ship convoys from enemy
submarine attack along the deadly
"Torpedo Alley" of the North
The Edison's mission took it all
the way to Murmansk, a Russian
city on the gulf of the Barents Sea.
an arm of the Artie Ocean north of
Norway and the Russian Federation
Thomas recalls volunteering once
as part of a 10-man boarding party
sent to rescue survivors following a
successful attack on a German U-73
"I can't really talk about it," he
said. "It's enough to say we brought
back 12 survivors out of a crew of
Later, in 1943, he found himself
pari of another hoarding parly, seek
ing survivors of a German ammuni
tion ship, the D Jennes.
At the end of the war Thomas re
mained in the Navy, serving in the
reserves and attending officer train
ing school. After seven years and
nine months of duty, he was dis
charged with the range of lieutenant
He retired from Ford Motor Co.
as supervisor of plant engineering
for a Ford plant in Buffalo, N.Y.,
and has lived in Sunset Beach 14
years. His wife, Julia, serves on the
With his wife Jean. Stanaland re
tired in March 1973 to family prop
erty on the Ash-Little River Road.
His retirement ended a two-part, 22
year Coast Guard career He first en
listed in 1939, returned to civilian
life for 111* years, then went back in.
He said his assignment aboard the
HIHR provided some of the most ex
citing moments in his career.
'I"he bronze medal will provide a
unique memento of that time.
"I had never gotten a medal from
a foreign government before." said
Stanaland. "It makes you feel good
to be recognized."
The medal was instituted by
Soviet General Secretary Mikhail
Gorbachev on April 12. 1985, in ad
vance of the 40th anniversary of
Thomas said he was a little sur
prised that the government issued
STAFF PHOTOS BY SUSAN USHER
NEARLY SO YEARS LA IE R veterans Jack Thomas and David R. Stanaland received commemorative
medals recently from the Russian government for their role in the Allied defeat of Germany. The
bronze medal is shown ahove left, and Thomas ' certificate, signed by Boris Yeltsin, above right.
the medal, given economic condi
tions within the Russian Federation.
Still, he said, it is a nice gesture of
goodwill and gratitude.
"After 50 years it came as a sur
prise that I could even get it." said
The front, or obverse, of the
32mm-diameter medal shows a pea
sant woman, a soldier and a worker
standing with a five-pointed star in
the background and the Spassky
Tower of the Moscow Kremlin in
the center. Lights from fireworks are
on both sides of the tower. In the up
per fields of the medal are the dates
"1945" and "1985."
The reverse has a seven-line in
scription. with a hammer and sickle
emblem below and a folded ribbon.
The ribbon is 24 mm wide and di
vided into two equal parts.
The left part represents the ribbon
of the Order of Glory (formerly the
Imperial Order of St. George), and
consists of three black and two yel
low stripes of equal width and nar
row yellow stripes on the edges.
The right part of the ribbon is red.
with green stripes along both edges.
The certificate to the medal bears
the recipient's name in Russian and
the date of issuance. It is stamped
with the Seal of the President of the
Russian Federation and signed by
President Boris Yeltsin.
Thomas and Stanaland said the
medal is still available by applica
tion to other veterans who saw ser
vice in the North Atlantic during
World War II. The request should in
clude the veteran's serial number,
dates of service, and ship's name
and number and be sent to Embassy
of the Russian Federation, Consular
Division, 1825 Phelps Place NW.
Washington. D.C. 2<M)N.
Latest Tests Indicate Holden Water Is
Safer To Drink Now Than In The Summer
BY DOUG RUTTER
Holden Beach's water is safer to
drink now than it was during the
summer, according to the most re
cent test for tri-halomethanes.
Town Manager Gus Ulrich said
results of two water samples taken
Oct. 27 were "significantly better"
than those taken in late September.
Holden Beach officials took sam
ples last month where the Bruns
wick County Water System enters
Holden Beach ? at the intersection
of Cole Street and Brunswick Ave
nue ? and near the end of Ocean
Lab tests indicated the level of tri
halomethanes (THMs) at the entry
point was 76.8 parts per billion
(ppb) and the level at the western tip
of the island was 85.5 ppb.
Federal and state health officials
consider anything over KM) parts per
billion as unacceptable. A sample
taken Sept. 22 on revealed a tri
halomethanes level of 124 ppb.
THMs are a byproduct of the
chlorination process that is used to
disinfect drinking water. High levels
of the chemical in water are caused
by long periods of exposure to chlo
rine and high temperatures.
Tri-halomethanes have been
shown to cause cancer in laboratory
animals that are exposed to high
doses over a lifetime, hut Ulrich has
said all along that the risk to humans
is considered minimal.
"The lack of chlorine is much
more dangerous than the THMs," he
said Tuesday. "One part per billion
is the same as one second in 32
years. That helps put it in perspec
Holden Beach purchases its water
from the county, which handles all
chlorination at its plant.
County Public Utilities Director
Jerry Webb said the county is study
ing ways to lower the level of THMs
in the water supply, including using
ammonia and ozone in combination
Ulrich said the most recent test at
Holden Beach will not affect the
town's annual average of 103 ppb.
which takes into account a series of
water samples analyzed in the past
"This was a special reading." he
said of the Oct. 27 samples. "We
took it just because we're concerned
and to learn more about the nature
of the problem."
Ulrich also said the water samples
were not taken immediately after
water lines had been flushed at the
fire hydrants, as they were for previ
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"There was no flushing. We had
criticism from some people thai we
shouldn't flush the lines before we
take the tests," he said.
Ulrich said the town has changed
its schedule for flushing water lines.
Dead-end lines that branch off the
water main on Ocean Boulevard will
be drained every two weeks.
"We have had some minor sedi
ment problems as a result of low us
age of those lines," he said. "I think
this will help with the THMs also.
We're doing this to control sediment
as much as anything."
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