Trend of the Times-Robert Lee Updegraff

In my collection of family records, obituaries, marriage announcements, etc. there are a small group of items that I consider little “gems.”

Katherine Murphy & Robert Updegraff

My grandfather, Robert Lee Updegraff served in the United States Army during World War Two.  He was a Platoon Sergeant in a Special Operations Group and spent the majority of his service in the American Theater  of Operations, specifically the Panama Canal Zone.

I came across two articles in the Youngstown Vindicator that definitely fall into that “gem” category.  The first one is a short mention of my Grandfather, serving in the Canal Zone among “snakes and skeeters and such” and what happened to his vehicle upon leaving for war.

I wonder what kind of car it was.  As a young man, I’m sure he worked hard and saved to purchase it.  Also, the random acts of kindness from Letter Carrier William Butler and Leonard Quinlan are heartwarming.  I wonder who they were and what their relationship to my grandfather was.

The second article is pretty amusing.  It appears as though my grandfather wrote the Vindy, requesting a few mouth organs be sent to his camp.  Youngstown came through and sent a variety of instruments for the soldiers to entertain themselves in the evening.

For further reading, here is a great article about soldiers in the Panama Canal Zone being entertained by their own “khaki-clad buddies:” Panama Soldiers Turn Down Passes for Own Jungle Shows

circa 1940 Robert Lee Updegraff & Band

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