George J. Ocavage
The Ocavage children would go to get their education at the Sacred Heart Parochial School in New Philadelphia. Here, Anthony and George participated in a play on September 11th and 12th of 1931. “Corporal Eagen” was a hit show which contained a pageant, minstrel, sailors' chorus, tap dancers, songs and drama. The Universal Producing Company ran this play between the years 1928 and 1934. They put on 3000 small-town productions of this play all over the country. Each cast was comprised of approximately 150 local townspeople. Anthony had the roll of “Private Yehl” and George had a small roll as a paper boy. The local newspaper stated that Anthony's Private Yehl had the job as a cook, "and what a cook!" George was said to have played his part well. The shows were an overall huge success for the community. George would also participate in another play where he took on the roll of the “Emperor” in a drama entitled, “A Young Hero.” This was presented at the Sacred Heart School (New Philadelphia) on June 17, 1934, during their fourth annual promotional exercises for the students. The act was said to be very well portrayed and enjoyed by the audience.
Later that year, George and the family would travel to visit his sister, Mrs. Helen Howell who now lived at 431 West Shunk Street in Philadelphia. George would return to Philly in late July, 1936, attending a double-header baseball game at Baker Bowl on the July 26th, where the Phillies played the Chicago Cubs. The Phils took the first game, winning 4-0 and then loosing the second by a score of 18-5. After retuning home, he ended the summer at Knuckle’s Dam where there was a huge picnic and various outdoor activities for all of the kids. George would graduate from Sacred Heart School and move on to Blythe Township High School. He showed interest in the arts programs, trying to help re-organize the New Philadelphia Band in January of 1937, and continuing his acting by performing a scene from “The Last Supper” with other students on May 7, 1937.
|836 Lambert Avenue, Mt. Ephraim|
On March 25, 1941, George was among 10 men who were selected by Camden County Draft Board #3 (Gloucester City) to report to Broadway and Monmouth Street in Gloucester City where they would be taken to Fort Dix for Army induction training on April 1st. For some unknown reason, George was rejected by the board. Anthony would also be selected during the draft on April 23, 1942. He was one of 67 men selected by the Gloucester City Draft Board to report on May 8th to Fort Dix for induction into the Army. It is not known if he had served in the military or was rejected. On the same day, other Mount Ephraim men were selected by the board were Willibold Stefan, and Angelo Giordano (brother of Jerry Giordano). Willibold and Angelo’s brother were both killed during the war.
George would get a second notice on July 28, 1942, that he was selected to be inducted into the military by the draft board in Gloucester City. Upon his physical examination, he was deemed fit for military service. He was transported to the 1229th Induction Center at Ft. Dix on August 11, 1942. According to his military medical charts from August 25, 1942, he stood at 5 foot, 6 inches and weighed in at 125 pounds. After taking an IQ test, he scored high enough to qualify for the Army Air Corps, spending about 6 weeks in basic training. After completion of basic, George spent an additional 5 weeks of aerial gunnery training at Harlingen, Texas earning his silver wings and a promotion to Staff Sergeant in November 1942. He also spent some additional weeks of training as a radio operator.
|14th Air Force Logo|
The flight and ground crews prepared for the mission, loading up on ammunition, ordinance and supplies. By morning the Liberators set off for Hankow with their bellies loaded full with fragmentation bombs. This was the 15th mission for the 425th Bombardment Squadron. For some of the crews involved, especially Lt. Robinson’s men, this was to be their very first official combat mission.
|Bomber formation for Aug 24 1943|
|Artist rendering of Hankow Raid. Yankee|
Jayhawk is situated below Sherazade.
|Crew of Yankee Jayhawk|
(minus Oneal Linford)
|George Ocavage Grave|
|Monument to Aviation Martyrs|
You can find George J. Ocavage’s name inscribed on the monument at Veterans Triangle in Mount Ephraim, as well as the Monument to Aviation Martyrs in War of Resistance Against Japan, located in Kunming, China.