“Westminster Rotarians Remember Their Vets”
Carroll County Times article for 8 November 1998
By Jay A. Graybeal

In October 1946 the Westminster Rotary Club began publishing its newsletter, known as the Cog Wheel, after a two-year hiatus.  The Editorial Committee, Edward C. Seitz, Editor and James P. Earp and Paul S. Manino, Assistant Editors, explained the reason:  “The COG WHEEL made its first appearance in 1923 and was published continuously until 1944. The COG WHEEL served for 21 years without repair.  War and priorities made repair impossible and the COG WHEEL was placed in storage.  The present committee has taken the COG WHEEL from storage, repaired it, and hopes that it will continue to function during the coming years.”

The first issue was dedicated to a single purpose as explained by the editorial committee:  “We deem it advisable to that our first issue of the COG WHEEL should give recognition to those of our present members who served in World War II.  It is a privilege to present these brief records of their service as a permanent reminder of the gratification of the club.”  The issue contained the following service records of the eight club members who served in World War II:


Director of Athletics—Western Maryland College.  Entered service at 1st Lt. Air Corps on 27 June 1942.  Left service as Lt. Col. A.C. on 10 January, 1946.  Assigned to Foreign Service at Trinidad, BWI, for five months and in the European Theatre of Operations for 20 months.  Served as Squadron and Group Intelligence Officer, Service Group Executive Officer.


Commissioned Lt. (jg) in Navy, July 1942, called to active duty January 1943.  Received one month’s indoctrination at Harvard University, and then spent several months at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., before being sent overseas in June, 1943.  Spent total of 19 months in south and southwest Pacific areas, most of the time as a Fuel Officer at advanced bases responsible for procurement and distribution of petroleum products for our forces and those of our Allies.  Returned to U. S. for leave in January 1945 and then assigned to Fuel Division, Washington, D. C.  Released from active duty in October 1945, returned to business in Westminster, Md.


Commissioned second lieutenant Officers’ Reserve Corps, February 22, 1930, at Western Maryland College.  Ordered to active duty with the Air Force February 2, 1942, assigned Foreign Division, Ferrying Command, later designated the Air Transport command.  Duty at Headquarters Air Transport Command, the 501st Army Air Force Base Unit, and 503rd Army Air Force Base unit at Washington National Airport, Gravelly Point, Virginia, as Pritorities and Traffic officer.  Work dealt with movement of passengers, cargo and mail by air to and from all overseas theaters of operations.  First lieutenant, April 25, 1942; captain, July 9, 1942; major, June 10, 1944.  Duty outside of United States at headquarters Alaskan Division, Air Transport Command.  Separated from active duty at Andrews Field, Prince George’s County, Maryland, November 21, 1945.


Entered Service December 1940 and served as Asst. Officer-in-Charge of Baltimore Regional Office. Philadelphia Ordnance District.  Served in Office of Chief of Ordnance, Fire Control Maintenance Division.  Served on the staff of the European Theater of Operations in charge of maintenance and technical work on all fire control instruments.  Also served concurrently as special assistant on electronic and radar equipment for the Commanding General for V-Weapon Defense.  Saw service in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Germany.  Discharged as Major in February 1946.


Entered the Army on May 5, 1941 as 1st Lt. Infantry.  Was assigned to the 29th Infantry Regiment and stayed in that outfit until released from the Army.  Was at Fort Benning, G., from May 1941, to April 1942.  Spent three months at Fort Jackson, South Carolina,  My outfit was ordered overseas.  Went to Iceland for six months, then to the continent for twelve months, was in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.  Returned to the U. S. September 1945.  Was discharged January 20, 1946.  Now employed by Shilling Brothers in the same position as before the war.


Entered the service (Marine Corps) August 1944.  Was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot training.  Following completion of training went to Camp LeJeune for second phase of training.  Then was sent to San Diego, California, for schooling in Artillery.  After completing this course, was ordered aboard the U. S. S. Bremerton (heavy cruiser), stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and left for South America.  There was an uprising in Rio de Janerio and the detachment was sent to do guard duty at the American Embassy.  Returned to the States on July 17, 1945, and then sailed for Newfoundland and Canadian waters.
Returned to the states August 14, 1945.  Was discharged from the Charlestown Navy yard in Boston, Massachusetts, November 27, 1945.


During the war served as Supervisor of Clubmobile work for the American Red Cross in Northern Italy.  Clubmobile work consisted of recreational activities primarily, such as organizing playgrounds including football, baseball and softball.  The work was mainly with the 12th Air Force.


Volunteered for service in Army on Tank and Automotive Maintenance Program in fall of 1942.  Reported to Holabird Ordnance Base on October 26, 1942, as First Lieutenant.  After eight weeks of field duty was stationed with Office Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D. C.  Transferred by that office to Detroit and was promoted to a Captain in charge of maintenance and engineering branch for Automotive tools and equipment.  Was returned to inactive duty on February 9, 1946, and now in the automobile business in Westminster, Maryland.

Other former members of the club who served in World War II were Brigadier General Percy O. Sadler and John S. Day.”

By publishing these service records, the Rotarians achieved their goal of creating a “permanent reminder” to honor their members.  They also made a nice contribution to our knowledge of local servicemen in World War II.  Locating detailed information about World War II veterans is challenging because the bulk of militarily records are only available to veterans or their next of kin. 
Photo Caption: Major Charles W. “Coach” Havens, Air Inspector of the 486th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force, was one of eight members of the Westminster Rotary Club who served in World War II.  At the time this picture was taken, Major Havens had recently helped rescue three airmen from their crashed bomber.  Historical Society of Carroll County collection.