Congratulations to Johnie Crance of Auburn, formerly of Coal City, who was honored recently at a ceremony held in Birmingham for his part in the Berlin Airlift Post-World War II.

Johnie who was born and reared in Coal City was only 17 years old when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1946. His parents, the late Alabama Dixon �Dick� Crance and the late Maudie Savage Crance had to sign for him to join the military at that age.

Soon after World War II, the Soviet Union cut off access to West Berlin, leaving Germans in need of supplies.

Two years after joining, Johnie was sent the Berlin Airlift non-stop flights bringing West Berlin much-needed goods. His 39th Troop Carrier Squadron flew out of Celle, Germany in the British sector.

Serving as a flight engineer�-assisting pilots during flight and overseeing maintenance�-he helped fly coal and sometimes baby food to Berlin, 190 trips in all.

They flew/hauled 10 tons of coal from Celle into Berlin, maybe two to three trips a day on some days.

Johnie was impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the German workers, who would haul the cargo off the plane in just a few minutes. He and other members of the Berlin Airlift still receive thanks from Germans.

The German people are still grateful for what happened and they express that in many ways�-entertaining, paying for trips for some of the members to come to Germany. Every time they meet they have some kind of plaque to present.

Johnie says that of all his service memories, coming home was his favorite. He returned to Pell City High School where he graduated. He met his wife, Ann, at Pell City High School.

The G.I. Bill paid his way to attend Auburn University where he earned his Masters Degree in fisheries.

When Johnie received his invitation to the reception honoring the 60th anniversary of the airlift and those who served, Johnie said he was surprised but pleased and that he felt honored to be invited.

Enroute from the reception to home in Auburn, Johnie and his two sons, Greg and Wade visited Johnie�s sister, Greg�s and Wade�s aunt, Mary Crance Thompson, in Pell City.

We the folks of Johnie�s home community are very proud of him for this distinguished honor and for his time of service in the U.S Army Air Corps.

Our community was deeply saddened when we learned that Milton Hughes, 70, of Coal City, had passed away March 3, 2009.Milton who was born and reared in Coal City was the son of the late Paul Hughes and the late Lucy Morgan Hughes who both were of Coal City.

When Milton was growing up he attended Broken Arrow Baptist Church. And when he was in his teenage years, he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour during Revival Services that were held at Broken Arrow when the late Rev. Melvin Dorsett was the pastor of Broken Arrow. I don�t know if Milton joined the church of not but I do know that he took an active part in the church. The late Rev. Dorsett would ask him to give the devotionals on Wednesday Nights for the Prayer Meetings. Milton was an excellent student of the Bible. I was told by one of his cousins that he continued to study the Bible on into his adult years and that he was very knowledgeable of the Bible.

Interment was in the Harkey�s Chapel United Methodist Cemetery.

Our sincere prayers and sympathy are with Milton�s family.

Our hearts were made sad again when we learned that Alan Glen Youngblood, 46, of Pell City, had passed away March 5, 2009. Alan is the son of Betty Williams Youngblood Sides of Pell City, formerly of Coal City and the late Rev. Jimmy Youngblood also formerly of Coal City.

I did not know Alan personally, however, I do and did know both his parents and other members of the Youngblood family and the Williams family. They are our ( mine and my birth family�s friends ) and they are very special to us. Our hearts grieve with them.

Interment was in Moody Cemetery, Moody, Alabama.

Our prayers and sympathy are with Alan�s family.

Happy birthday to Little Miss Aubrey Grace Jones, daughter of Carl and Candi Jones of Coal City who celebrated her first birthday March 18th, Gilbert Pope, March 20th, Dixie Tollison and my friend, Jessie Garrison, March 23re, Gail Brown, March 18th, my grandson, Austin Scott, son of my son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Nan Scott, March 21st!

Happy birthday to Little Miss Lydia Claire Treadwell, daughter of Jeff and Amanda Squires Treadwell of Odenville who will be two years old March 22nd!

Congratulations and happy anniversary to Jimmy and Elizabeth McNutt who will celebrate today, March19th!

Mt. Moriah Baptist church will hold their fifth Sunday Night Singing March 29th at 6:45. The local church choir, soloists, congregation, etc. will present the singing. Musicians of the church, Jason Vaughan, Landon King and Larry McDowell will present the music.

Steve Latta is the chairman of the singing. Rev. Zane Smith is church pastor.

Supper will be served at 5:00p.m. If you want to join us for food and fellowship, please bring dishes of food and some drinks. Everyone is invited.

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