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A look back at 75, 50 and 25 years ago: Lewis recalls World War II; bridges are replaced; students beautify Madras

FOR THE PIONEER - Looking Back75 YEARS AGO

November 9, 1944

0-1699386 ... Take a look at that number again. It's symbolic of a lot ... It stands for gallantry in action, near death, the thrill of 188 combat missions, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and the long voyage home. It belongs to Maj. Warren R. Lewis, 24-year-old new commanding officer of the Madras Army air field.

It's the old story with a new twist of a boy in the middle west, Superior, Iowa, to be exact, who one day in March 1942 packed his bags, closed his books, said "goodbye" to his scholastic affairs at the University of Iowa, and shoved off for Canada to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. The locale changes and Warren R. Lewis is now 1st Lt. Lewis, teaching an advanced course in flying at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

July of '42 found Lt. Lewis leaving for overseas, with the famous 5th Air Force to do battle duty in the southwest Pacific. Here he served under Gen. Kenny. Events became a cyclorama of speed, combat — death piloting against death, death dropped from the sky, and shot from the ground. Today, he has vivid memories of campaigns in New Guinea. One hundred and eight-eight missions completed. Nine aircraft that he, himself, shot down and when asked about his most thrilling experience, he smiles almost quizzically — his dark eyes looking back through the months, and answers gently — "They all happened so fast, I couldn't say."

March of 1944 found Capt. Lewis promoted to the office of major. He has eight clusters on his air medal and two clusters on his distinguished flying cross.

He states the first cluster was given to him when he brought down two bombers on one mission, and smiles wryly when he says that he doesn't remember what the other one was for.

Aug. 23, Maj. Lewis returned to the states. "It was a good feeling to be back," he said, his voice low and rich with a reminiscent quality to it. "One of the things I, and the other fellows, did appreciate upon returning were the redistribution centers, the excellent treatment we received, and the fine time we were shown by these organizations."

Despite his youth, Maj. Lewis has a quality that a man many years his senior would do well to possess. His genial spontaneity, scintillating wit, and his stability make him extremely popular among his men. He has definite ideas about the war, and without any definite statement, it's easy to see, that should he ever be given a chance again, he'd be right back in the fight.

50 YEARS AGO

November 6, 1969

After five years, the temporary bridge that carried thousands of vehicles over Lake Creek in the Camp Sherman area has been replaced with a permanent two-lane structure.

The original bridge, installed by Crook County many years ago, was washed out by the December 1964 flood. It was replaced by the Deschutes National Forest with a temporary one-lane bridge. Materials were purchased for a permanent structure, but work was held up for lack of a satisfactory right of way. The footage needed infringed on adjacent property. For a time there was some doubt relative of the right of Jefferson County to acquire the required area.

It was not until this past summer that a search of old Crook County records disclosed that on Sept. 3, 1884, the Crook County Court established a county road over this route from the vicinity of Camp Polk northward to the old Heising ranch on the Metolius River.

The pioneer route was a continuation of "the county road that leads from Prineville in a general westerly direction by the way of Tetherow's Ferry and known as the Tetherow Road," old Crook County records noted. Viewers appointed to look over, lay out and locate the road were John Powell, A.J. Tetherow and L.J. Newsome. The road leading from Camp Polk, military outpost for a time, was designated as the Rankin Edgar Road.

Probing into old records to determine whether the Camp Sherman road had been legally designated in pioneer times was Joe Palin of the Jefferson County Road Department. He was assisted by Corwin E. (Slim) Hein, Deschutes National Forest engineer and area historian who retired last week.

The Jefferson County road crew made the installation of the new bridge over Lake Creek. The span is 26 feet wide, of timber construction with steel plates on the lanes of travel. It is 50 feet long. Its location is directly in front of the historic Marlin Hansen home, now the Lake Creek Lodge.

The Camp Sherman resort area was originally in Crook County, created from Wasco in 1882. The old road was established in 1884, and "moved" from Crook County into Jefferson in 1914.

25 YEARS AGO

November 9, 1994

Eager, dedicated fifth and sixth grade students from Pam Brandt and Kari Donham's classrooms at Buff Elementary fanned out across town last week to help beautify Madras.

Earlier in the year, Donham won a grant of 400 Dutch flower bulbs from the National Gardening Association for an idea to help to introduce children to the wonders of gardening.

Combining the flower project with classroom studies of civics, Donham and Brandt had their students brainstorm ways kids could become involved in community projects and issues of concern to Madras.

City beautification was settled upon and the students planned the flower planting project, and personally wrote or called local businesses about it. One representative from each class will also be attending Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee meetings to trade suggestions for improving the looks of the town.

On Nov. 2, the students set out, donning bright orange safety jackets to collect trash and plant bulbs in flower boxes at the Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance building, which their letters mentioned had won the "1989 Ugly Award," due to its clutter, and huge red cinder pile accented with a chartreuse maintenance building.

Other students planted flower bulbs in 14 different spots near the highways passing through town, including Sunshine Corner, the fire hall, Jerry's Restaurant, Oscar's Sporting Goods, Hollywood Stars, and Sunny's Hair Salon.

Eight pine trees donated by Deschutes Valley Water for the project will be planted along the bike path, since the eventual relocating of the ODOT building would have caused the removal of the trees.

The day's activities concluded with lunch at McDonald's for 50 kids plus their teachers, compliments of McDonald's and ODOT.


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