Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:45AM - 261 Views

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SPENCERVILLE — Elizabeth Griffin, daughter of the Rev. Rob and Janis Griffin, of Spencerville, has been selected to sing with the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.

Griffin will be one of 200 high school singers from all points in Ohio who will sing with the choir at the 12-day Ohio State Fair, starting July 24 through Aug. 4.

She has participated in concert choir, women’s choir, varsity singers, District 3 honors choir and the all-school musical at Spencerville High School.

World War II veteran publishes book

LEIPSIC — Ray Woods, of Leipsic, has published a book, “D-Day Hero Destroyer Identified After 68 Year Search.”

Woods writes about his time on the USS O’Brien from the time the ship was commissioned in Boston to the end of World War II in San Diego. He served as the only schooled radarman on this ship.

Woods survived six major invasions from D-Day Normandy to Okinawa.

He originally wrote this book years ago and had it published for his family only. Woods heard that veterans were wondering what ship it was that had fired on the Germans at Omaha beach, so he decided to republish the book for public viewing. He had heard that the Navy wanted to honor the ship at the end of the war, but could not identify the ship.

“We weren’t supposed to be there at all. Our captain, listening to the radio, heard bad things going on at Omaha," Woods said. "We had just dropped 45 LCIs, which is approximately 5,000 troops, at Utah beach. When we left Utah Beach and arrived at Omaha, there were already two destroyers there, but orders were not to bomb because they were afraid they would hit our troops.

“We were 4,000 yards out, and the captain was trying to decide what to do, when he raced us in," Woods added. "The men on the beach thought we were going to crash on the beach. He turned hard right and started firing. We heard a scream on the radio. The captain asked if we hurt anyone. They replied no, but raise your fire. Then we went down the beach firing six shells at a time. The last firing, three or four Germans ran out and went into a building. The captain gave orders to destroy the building. Our troops were able to move off Omaha Beach. This was such a big deal because they were thinking of pulling our troops out of Omaha beach."

The captain swore his officers to secrecy.

“I was there, I know what went on,” Woods said. “We were supposed to be patrolling Utah beach, and the captain had it logged as if we did.

“I heard that someone from the Naval Museum in Maryland wanted to talk to me. I would talk,” Woods added.

Woods’ book is available online through Amazon and at www.rosedogbookstore.com.

Cartoonist visits Maple Crest Senior Living Village

BLUFFTON — Duane Abel, of the Corkey Comics Co., paid a visit to the elders at Maple Crest Senior Living Village, in Bluffton.

Abel became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in the world at age 15, and is best known for his character, Zed, which is a pink, fluffy, walking, talking dryer lint. This character appears in more than 25 newspapers around the country as well as in children’s books.

Before departing, Abel signed drawings and awarded the signed drawings to residents who correctly answered cartoon questions.

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