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Take a look back at news and photos that occurred 25, 50, and 100 years ago on June 5th in Franklin County, PA.

25 years Ago:

Sunday, June 5, 1994


Chambersburg – “You just wonder whether you would be next all the time” –

Gerald “Cap” Crist mostly remembers the dead. His vivid memories of bodies lying on the Omaha Beach are reoccurring, even though it has been 49 years since he returned on a hospital boat to the United States after the invasion of Normandy. “I lost a lot of good buddies on the beach,” he said, “And I wouldn’t take a million dollars to do it again, but I wouldn’t take a million dollars for what I learned.” Crist was 19 when he trained for six months in England for the invasion. He had done basic training in Georgia, then left behind his new wife, June, for England.

They practiced river crossings and he concentrating on firing heavy machines and hitting his targets. His troop left for Normandy early in the hours of June 6, 1944. They took landing craft infantry to the beach, ending up near Saint-Lo, where the Germans broke through the U.S. riflemen.

“They tell me one shell killed the lieutenant of our company and the company commander was badly wounded. Since I joined the Society of the First Division, I’m learning a lot of stuff we didn’t know. The captain hollered to the lieutenant, ‘It’s all yours now,’ not knowing the lieutenant was already dead.”

Crist was one of five ammunition bearers in the division. He was in the 81 mm mortar, heavy weapons company, and carried shells to other soldiers. Physically and mentally the experience drained him. “You just wondered whether you’d be next all the time.”

When the Germans broke through the line, US soldiers retreated. After 10 minutes Crist’s line was back where it started.

The closest he came to being hit by enemy gunfire was three weeks after he landed at Saint-Lo. He walked a few feet from where he was standing to show a fellow officer the picture he had just received of his new son. Just then, machine gun fire struck where he had been standing.

He and June kept in touch by letter frequently. She has not opened the letters since his return.

Crist developed stomach ulcers during the war and returned home on a hospital boat from England in 1945.

“He had a lot of adjustment to do when he got back,” June said. He ducked and covered his head when planes flew over.

“I said to myself ‘What did we accomplish?’ The French wanted us and the Germans didn’t want us in.”

50 Years Ago:

Thursday, June 5, 1969

“ Retired Teacher Honored at Dinner ”

Mrs. Ethel B. Knoll, retired Second Grade Teacher, in Grandview Elementary School, was recently honored at a faculty dinner in The Ranch. She is retiring at the end of the year, ending a 24 ½ year teaching career. She taught a one-room school for four and one-half years, prior coming to Grandview 20 years ago.

Mrs. Knoll is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Noah Burkhalter, and the wife of Lester G. Knoll, 529 High Street. Her plans for the future include traveling with her husband.

Her colleagues and Grandview Parent-Teacher Association presented her with gift certificates. Guests included the following retired teachers and their guests. Mr, and Mrs. Zerr Kiillian and Mrs. Thelma Garland and her brother Harper Heckman.

Mrs. Knoll’s class held a party for her Thursday, with the help of Mrs. Donald Slighter, room mother. They presented her with a gift.

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100 years Ago:

Thursday, June 5, 1919

Industrial Building Present day Need at Quincy Orphanage

QUINCY — Today is an annual day at the Quincy United Brethren Orphanage. Members of this organization, – which is one of the leading in Franklin County and many friends will join the denominations, will join this outing event which is looked forward to with great interest. Although today’s gathering at Quincy was not so extensively advertised, it is likely that hundreds of members of the church, who are loyal supporters of the institution, will speed to the picturesque retreat in southeastern Franklin County and take along with them friends and neighbors.

Distribution of the Sixteenth Annual of the Orphanage Home will be made. It is as follows: There are presently 108 children in the home; 64 are boys and 44 girls. Twenty-two were admitted, and twenty-one released during the year.

Industrial Building a Necessity – With the present demand for admission of children, and old people, we must have more accommodations to meet the present needs. The off-mention industrial building is a great necessity; such a building with equipment would enable us to carry forward vocational training, this should be done in connection with our regular work, especially with the older children. Well equipped playgrounds are necessary for the development of the children, would aid in the general disciplines of our work. To meet the needs, money is required. The logical way to secure it would be to inaugurate it and put over a drive for an efficient amount to meet these needs.

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