Willibold A. Stefan

Branch: ARMY Rank: Private Outfit: 36th Infantry Div, 141st Infantry Reg, Co. “L”

September 9th is the 74th anniversary of an untimely death for a Mount Ephraim resident and soldier, Private Willibold "Willy" Adolph Stefan, who perished during World War II.   

Willy was born on March 19th, 1913 to parents Adam and Marie Stefan in Neumarkt, Czechoslovakia, now known as Úterý, Czech Republic. This town is located 60 miles east of the city of Prague. While in Czechoslovakia, he attended school up to end of 8th grade.

On December 11, 1930, Marie, Willy, and his brothers Joseph, John and Rudolph left their home and came to the United States aboard the SS Albert Ballin. This passenger ship departed from Hamburg, Germany and arrived in New York City on December 20, 1930. From there they traveled to Mt. Ephraim, NJ to reunite with father, Adam who had emigrated here in November of 1923. Adam got a job working for the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company located on Jersey Avenue in Gloucester C…

George J. Ocavage

Branch: Army Air Force Rank: Staff Sergeant Outfit: 14th Air Force, 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Bombardment Squadron

August 24th 2017 is the 74rd anniversary of the passing of World War II airman and Mount Ephraim resident, Staff Sergeant George J. Ocavage.
George was the youngest sibling of the Ocavage family having several sisters and a brother. Born to Lithuanian immigrant parents John and Margaret on March 2, 1919 in New Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a coal mining community located in Schuykill County approximately 70 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Most of the town residents at that time were mainly of Lithuanian descent. His father John, who was employed at the Silver Creek Mine,passed away just prior to George's second birthday. The Ocavages eventually moved to 836 Lambert Avenue in Mt. Ephraim some time just prior to 1940. George attended Audubon High School until the end of his junior year (1939). He was said by the Courier Post to be a star athlete. 
On July 28, 1942, Geor…

Richard V. Buck

August 13th marks 75 years since the first Mount Ephraim serviceman was killed during World War II.  Richard Vincent Buck was born on October 31, 1915 in Philadelphia, PA to parents William Henry Buck III and Lydia Spencer Bowes. The family lived in the 359 Shedaker Street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia.  William was a tool maker and machinist for the Midvale Steel Company in Philadelphia while Lydia tended to her home and 4 boys.  William Henry IV, the eldest of the Buck children was born in 1909, Edward Norman born in 1913, Richard in 1915, and lastly, Victor Quinton was born in 1917.

In early February 1920, Richard's mother was not feeling well.   On the 10th of February, Doctor T. Carroll Davis came by the house to diagnose and treat her illness.  Lydia was suffering from influenza and her condition only worsened by contracting pneumonia.  Just one week later, she died at the age of 39.  A heartbroken William was now solely left to care for his 4 children.  Or at leas…

Delbert K. Sandt

Seventy three years ago on this day, Mount Ephraim resident, Corporal Delbert Kirk Sandt perished while serving his country during World War II. He was born on June 2, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents Luther and Agnes Sandt. Delbert's family originally lived in Reading, Pennsylvania.  After their infant son Howard passed away at the age of 5 months in January 1907, Luther and Agnes moved to 2133 N. Dover Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia. In November 1910, Russell Calvin Sandt was born and in December 1915, a daughter, Thelma Elaine was born in Camden, NJ. The family was living at 328 Warren Avenue in Camden.  Tragically, Thelma died at only 2 months of age from pneumonia.  By 1920 the Sandts had moved back to Philadelphia at 2526 N. Bancroft Street in Philadelphia.  Delbert's younger brother, Walter Elmer was born in December 1923.  Some time before 1928, the Sandts had moved to 2502 43rd Street in Pennsauken, NJ.   Luther had suffered for …

D-Day Remembered

To mark the 73rd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy, I wish to remember 4 servicemen from Mount Ephraim who participated in D-Day.  

Sergeant Joseph Kelly was the radio operator aboard a C-47 aircraft that transported paratroopers into France in the early morning of June 6.  "It was the greatest show on earth and I am certainly glad to say I was on it.  We dropped our troops and supplies right on the bullseye amid all the flak that was being thrown at us."  Kelly, a 1942 Audubon High School alumni, lived at 722 Gaskill Avenue. He enlisted in the Army after graduation and was sent to radio school in Chicago.  Kelly was assigned to a troop carrier unit at Maxton, NC., where he was stationed for several months before heading to England in early 1943. 

Corporal William H. Munro Jr. was a paratrooper who saw 37 days of action in France. He injured his knee upon landing deep into enemy territory on D-Day.  His regiment was scattered and Munro was listed as MIA for 9 days.  Of 1…

Samuel H. Rainey

Branch: AIR FORCE Rank: Corporal Outfit: 15th Air Force, 98th Bombardment Wing, 345th Bombardment Squadron
On the evening of March 28, 1952, Mount Ephraim resident Corporal Samuel H. Rainey lost his life while on a bombing mission during the Korean War. "Sam" was born on January 23, 1933 in Philadelphia, PA to parents Abraham and Margaret Rainey. Younger brother John “Jack” was born 2 years later. Samuel's parents emigrated from Randalstown area, Antrim County in Northern Ireland to Philadelphia in 1929, where the family lived until moving to Mount Ephraim some time prior to April 1950. The Rainey family lived at the corner of Fourth Avenue and N. Black Horse Pike, where they operated a small grocery store, known as the Quaker Store. Sam joined the U.S. Air Force in July 1950 after convincing his parents to allow him to enlist early at the age of 17. After completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas in August 1950, he went on to aerial gunnery …