P-38 Lightning Fighter B-25 Mitchell Bomber
News of Our Men and Women in Uniform
World War II
Wayne County, West Virginia
Light Cruiser Raising Flag at Iwo Jima
News Of Our Men And Women In Uniform
By Howard Osburn
For a number of years I have spent a great deal of time extracting data from the Wayne County News. The origin of the paper goes back into the 1860's. In 1919, the paper was purchased by two businessmen in Wayne and was then changed from The Wayne News to The Wayne County News.
I began with an interest in old obituaries, which were to be shared with readers of our quarterly newsletters. However, when I arrived at the 1941 issues, I began to find many stories leading up to the Second World War.
In the 1941, 1942 and about the first half of the 1943 issues, the stories concerning our military were most often very small squibs, many of a single sentence. This led to a decision making moment, as this would require an enormous amount of time, as each small article would require a separate scan.
About mid-1943, the newspaper decided to consolidate these articles into one article, which was to be called "News Of Our Men And Women In Uniform" These articles were two columns wide, down the entire length of the front page and from one half to the entire length of the back page of each weekly newspaper.
This made extraction much easier, and along with obituaries and other front page stories, I began to extract these articles. I decided to quit at the end of 1945, for the war was over by then. It was then that I decided to go back to 1941 and begin to extract these small articles up until the middle of 1943, when they became merged into a single article. This required hundreds of scans.
After all of these images of the newspaper were processed through a photo editing program, where the dark background was removed and the text cropped to the desired place, these scans were then printed and preserved in notebooks.
After this was accomplished, the scans were then fed into an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program, which processed the files and converted them into text format. At this point, each file had to be proof-read to extract errors. If the scanned documents are not of a very clear nature, numerous mistakes can be made by the OCR program.
At this point, all of the text documents had to be combined into a master document using date format.
One will notice the many variations in spelling of some proper names. This is partially due to the spelling used by a particular family. Other variations were introduced by misspellings by the writer of the newspaper, and lastly, some are the result of errors in the OCR program and itís ability to recognize some print. Most of these have been corrected through repeated proof-reading of the text, and the use of spell check within the program used.
As to the spellings of the many foreign names in both the Pacific and European theatres, I have taken the time to check and correct the spelling of most of them.
This book is the result of the work outlined above. The resulting document is 590 pages in length. An index has not been made at this point, due to the enormous amount of time that would be required. However, an index is being planned, to be accomplished over an extended period of time, the results of which will be posted on The Wayne County Genealogical And Historical Website, of which I am also the webmaster.
In designing the cover, I wanted to depict the time of the war, thence the photos of some of the wartime equipment, along with some of the outstanding leaders of the time.
It is my hope that the reader will enjoy the countless stories of the Wayne County men and women who served our country in the Second World War.
The publication is completed and ready for shipment. It contains 590 pages.
The price is $50 plus $7 for shipping. Make check payable to Howard Osburn and mail to Howard Osburn, P. O. Box 65, Wayne, W. Va. 25570.