BLAST FROM THE PAST

TWO EX-WACS COMMIT SUICIDE

Rochester, N.Y. (UNITED PRESS) March 14, 1948 -- Authorities today were investigating the suicide of two former WAC (Womens' Army Corps) lieutenants who, police said, left a note saying they had planned to end their lives in a downtown hotel but were afraid of too much publicity.

The bodies of the two women, Eleanor Spittal, 33, and Phyllis Duboff, 38, both of Leroy, N.Y., were found Friday night in the apartment of Estelle Shaw, a mutual friend.  The medical examiner's office, declaring their deaths suicide, said cyanide poisoning had proved fatal in each case.            

OKINAWA GI KILLED AFTER SLAYING COMMANDING OFFICER

Manila, Philippines (UNITED PRESS) May 20, 1948 -- The Army belatedly disclosed today that a sergeant stationed in Okinawa was hunted down and killed after he fatally shot his commanding officer and seized a Coast Guard boat to escape to a nearby island.

T/Sgt. Jesus Bolante was killed by an Army posse after an all-night search.  The Army said Bolante apparently was enraged at a court martial decision sentencing him to six months at hard labor.

The victim of Bolante's attack was Capt. George F. Gardner, Jr.  The killing occurred April 9 in an orderly room a few minutes after the officer had testified against Bolante at the trial.      

AIR FORCE OFFICER KILLS SELF AT HEIDELBERG BILLET
BLOWS HEAD OFF WITH BLAST FROM A 12-GUAGE SHOTGUN

Heidelberg, Germany (STARS & STRIPES) June 2, 1949 -- A 30 year-old USAF lieutenant was found dead in his Heidelberg quarters today.  Death was apparently self-inflicted, according to authorities on the scene.

Capt. R. J. Weller, adjutant, ordnance division, EUCOM, discovered the body about 11:45 a.m. when he went in search of the lieutenant, who'd failed to report for duty all week.

Death was apparently due to a self-inflicted wound caused by placing the muzzle of a 12-guage shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger.  One wrist and the throat was slashed.

Lt. W.B. Mills, medical officer from the 139th Station Hospital, estimated the officer had been dead four to five days.

A suicide note, dated May 29, addressed to the wife of the deceased was found next to his body.  The name of the woman is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first installment of "BLAST FROM THE PAST," a collection of news stories from the past that show what service life was like years ago. Contributions from our readers - please include date and source - are welcome.]