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April 11, 2014     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2014

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S8 FRIDAY, APRIL 11 - MONDAY, APRIL !4, 2014 Cape Life Cape Gazette Former USS Missouri sailors meet in Lewes Fort Miles pays tribute to Greatest Generation By Ron MacArthur Two former USS Missouri shipmates met for the first time in Lewes during an event that took place not far from one of three remaining 16-inch gun bar- rels that once were mounted on the historic battleship. Phil Saggione of Wilmington iand Bob Saupee of Reading, Pa., !both witnessed the Japanese surrender aboard the ship Sept. 12, 1945, but so did thousands of ,others. The two men had never imet until they found themselves !among honored guests April 5 iduring a ceremony at Fort Miles !honoring the USS Missouri. It was a meeting nearly 70 years in : the making. The ceremony in Battery 519, an underground World War II bunker in Cape Henlopen State Park, took place not far from iwhere the Missouri gun barrel rests. It is destined to be restored !:by the Fort Miles Historical As- isodation as the focal point for a World War II museum. Sussex County residents Horace Knowles and Lydia Wagamon, who served at Fort Miles during World War II, were also recognized as members of the Greatest Generation, people who served during World War II. Knowles was a member of the 261st Coast Artillery and was featured in the award-winning documentary about Fort Miles, "Dunes of Defense," available on YouTube. Knowles, who lives in Lewes, has been instrumental in providing firsthand informa- tion about the fort to association members. Wagamon, a lifelong Harbe- son resident, was a telephone switchboard operator at the fort throughout World War II. The 16-inch barrel, which had been the middle gun in the for- ward turret of the Missouri when the Japanese surrendered, was headed for the scrap pile when it was rescued by the association. In April 2012, it traveled by rail and by barge from a Navy scra- pyard in Dahlgren, Va., to Cape Henlopen State Park just days before it had been scheduled to be scrapped. Saupee, whose family was rep- resented by five generations at the event, said the first time he heard the 16-inch guns fired on the Missouri, he thought the ship had been bombed. "It moved the ship 15 feet to the side," he said. Saupee also served aboard the ship during the Korean War. More than 1,200 sailors served aboard the USS Missouri dur- ing the last two years of World War II. Saggione was one of four Del- awareans who served on the Missouri and was among a group of sailors who helped the me- dia move their equipment into place on gun turret 2. He said the crew was supposed to return to its muster station but instead remained near the turret to gain Continued on page 66 RON MACARTHUR PHOTOS THE FORT MILES Historical Association honored four people during a recent event. Posing by the USS Missouri gun barrel in Fort Miles are in back (l-r) Bob Saupee and Phil Saggione, and in front, Horace Knowles and Lydia Wagamon. Horace Knowles was assigned to Fort Miles during World War II, not far from his home in Blades. Lydia Wagamon, a lifelong resident of Harbeson, worked at Fort Miles as a telephone operator. Beware the contents of your garage ots of folks are emptying out that garage, pulling out last year's tools to shape up their lawns and doing general cleanup around the house and yard for the spring. Well, maybe at your house, but unfortunately my husband and I are so inept at anything like that, we probably shouldn't even own a house, which tech- nically the bank would prob- ably agree. But it is that time of the year when the weather is warm enough to take a walk around the property and see what needs to be repaired, replaced, discarded or in desperation, moved to your neighbor's side of the property line, naturally under cover of darkness. For some of us, after careful obser- vations, many measurements and scientific consultation, it comes down to just sticking a For Sale sign out front; the win- ter is never kind to homes. After a mean season of storms, Mother Nature's wrath can only mean one thing, calling a repairman. You can forget about all those helpful hints listed in magazines and on the internet. These articles are writ- ten by people who don't own a home that is being held up by duct tape, a couple of rotting beams and an entire family of ants that can trace its heritage back to the Mayflower. If you take a shovel and go two feet down, you more than likely will hit part of the Indian Ocean. So repairs are going to be hu- mongous. It's especially bad if you have a repairman who says he wants you to come with him and wags his finger because he has something to show you im- mediately. I hate that look, that phrase; we know that whatever it is, it must be so hideous it can't be described but actually has to be viewed in person. I always start a guessing game as we walk to the place that has to be inspected, just hoping to soften the blow. You know, I engage him in telling me stuff like if it's just an entire wall missing or if it is the back part of the house that's gone. But it never works. Now, I grew up in a house where my father fLxed every- thing. It's not that he had any expertise in this field, since his regular job had nothing to do with home repairs; he just fLxed stuff. We never had a cabinet door hanging off the hinges or a window that refused to shut. We never called a repairman either. If he couldn't do it, it was always my uncle or another neighbor who would jump at the chance to come over and help; of course his only other alternative was to continue beating the rugs his wife had hung out on the clothesline for him to whack away the dust and debris. So it's very difficult to find yourself at the nearest home improvement center, wander- ing around pretending you know what you are looking for, only to end up locked out on the loading dock. It's especially painful for us, since the only thing we've ever done there is have a key made for the front door. I invariably get sidetracked with all the new and interest- ing things on display, especially if it is a ceramic mushroom or one of those gnomes. They are so cute just sitting on the shelf next to the toads with the umbrellas. I end up hearing the an- nouncement that the store will be closing in five minutes. Not to look stupid, which isn't easy, believe me, to save face, I usu- ally throw something in my cart that has no place at all in my life, like a sump pump, and then check out. I tell you, the garage spells nothing but trouble. I haven't been able to park my car in there since it was built. Things are always out there festering, growing, hiding, mating, piling up and lord knows what else. Garageless is the way to go today.