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2023 VOL. 3. NO. 11
Postal Customer
Living History: Howard Oedel
 By Donna RhoDes
HEBRON – The Saturday Night Supper Club, a loosely organized group of friends that meet at Bridgewater Inn each week, gave a special gift to one of its members on Labor Day Weekend, and as Veteran’s Day approaches, it seems only fitting that bits of 102-year-old Howard Oedel’s story be told.
Howard was born on July 9,
1921, in Boston, Massachusetts.
After graduating high school,
he went on to attend college at
Harvard University, where he
not only majored in history but
signed on as a part of their one-
year ROTC program, where he
studied Naval Science. He got
1930s. It weighed 40,000 lbs. and carried 2,000 people, 106 of whom served as officers. Howard said his ship was the fastest in the battleship fleet, ca- pable of doing 27.2 knots as it made its way across the oceans. It, therefore, saw a lot of action during the war in its main mis- sion to protect other ships car- rying aircraft to the battles.
“It was a good job,” he said.
During his four years on the battleship, Howard watched history unfold. Among many events, he was on the front of his boat and watched as the USS Princeton sank in the battle off the Surigao Strait in the Philippines. Big Mammie and its crew were also stationed in Yokohama Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, for the Japanese surren- der aboard the USS Missouri, ending WWII. It was a jubilant time for him and the many other ships involved in the war.
When the Massachusetts fi- nally arrived back in port here
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through his college years with-
102-year-old U.S. Navy veteran Howard Oedel of Hebron posed recently with a photo of himself taken during his days as an officer on the USS Massachusetts.
out being called into service, but upon graduation, he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
“The war was on full time, and they were short of officers- especially in the Army and Navy,” Howard recalled.
Because he took part in ROTC, he entered the Navy as an officer and was assigned
to the USS Massachusetts (BB- 59). Battleships built during that time were named for states to help attract locals to be on board, and he was pleased to serve on one named for the
state in which he was born. According to its history, the USS Massachusetts, nick- named Big Mammie, was the third of four S. Dakota-class fast battleships built in the late
White Mountain
of Plymouth,
NH Humorous
Speech Contest
PLYMOUTH – The White Mountain Toastmasters annual humorous speech contest was en- tertaining and stimulating. Mem- bers and guests laughed and applauded funny stories from re- al-life experiences. Although the competition is friendly, winning a contest is a notable achievement.
The purpose of a speech con- test is to provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities, to recognize individual Toastmasters as an encouragement to all, and to provide an opportunity for all
continued on page 3
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