Abbeville WWII veteran says service
was a time of camaraderie, friendship

January 6, 2005

Index-Journal staff writer

In the early 1940s, as thousands of American men boarded Liberty Ships, headed for European and Pacific shores, American women were called on to fill many of the departing soldiers’ shoes. They left families and jobs behind to support the war effort back home.
For some, the war brought them face-to-face with death and destruction, but for Ora Rozar, a future Abbeville resident, her two and a half years of service with the U.S. Navy was a time of camaraderie and friendship among the women who answered Uncle Sam’s call.
When Rozar, 86, was born in Chicago in October of 1918, World War I was drawing to a close.
“We always thought that would be the end of wars – that World War I was the war to end all wars,” Rozar said. “Of course, it didn’t happen that way.”
In 1936, Rozar, then Ora Kline, moved to New York City, after her father, a science fiction writer and literary agent, decided the move would be good for his career. They stayed in the city for three years; and in 1939, just as another war was breaking out in Europe, the family moved to Connecticut.
As it became obvious that the United States would eventually have to enter the war, Rozar said residents along the Connecticut coast became concerned that their location made them possible targets for an enemy attack.
“Even though we weren’t in the war yet, we were worried about German submarines in the sound,” Rozar said. “Everybody was at the ready. The houses had black curtains, and we had to make sure we didn’t have lights on because the enemy could see us. We had buckets of sand outside of our door to put out fires if they used incendiary bombs.”
Between 1940 and 1941, Rozar began volunteering with the American Red Cross, knitting vests and helmet liners for American soldiers who, with every passing moment, became more likely to be called into service.
“We weren’t at war yet, but Europe was,” she said. “We were afraid. We had no idea what might happen to us.”
On Feb. 20, 1943, after witnessing the Pearl Harbor attacks and watching as thousands of soldiers left to fight for their country on foreign soil, Rozar enlisted with the U.S. Navy.
“I wanted to do something more than just type, which I had been doing in the business for my father,” she said. “After Pearl Harbor, I saw the need to go into service. The enemy came after us, and there were a lot of unknown possibilities. We didn’t know what would happen – we didn’t know if we were going to be invaded.”
There was no base for women in Connecticut at the time, so after she enlisted, Rozar left her family and home, and traveled to New York City. There, she and hundreds of other WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) were billeted at Hunter College, a school in the Bronx that had just been commissioned as a U.S. Naval training station.
“They had airplane mechanic billets open, so I requested that and I was lucky enough to get it,” Rozar said. “Some of the girls were insulted that they got put into mechanics, but that is what I wanted to do.”
The boot camp at Hunter College lasted six weeks, and Rozar received her immunizations and training on military service protocol. It was a big change from her previous lifestyle, but Rozar said she and most of the other women were prepared to handle it.
“Some of the women were insulted that they didn’t have a classy job, but for the most part, we all buckled down and learned to take orders,” she said. “We were doing this because we didn’t know if our country would survive. How could you be a little princess if somebody might be dropping bombs on you?”
On Easter Sunday, when her six weeks were up, Rozar moved to a Naval Air Technical Training Center in Millington, Tenn.
For her first month at the base, Rozar served on KP, or Kitchen Police, serving food and cleaning up the mess hall after meals. On her days off, she and the other women were allowed to travel to nearby Memphis. Even though Rozar said she “wasn’t much of a singer,” she joined the Warines, the base’s choir, to get a few extra days away from the base.
After KP, Rozar began training as an aviation machinist mate, going to classes in the morning and doing physical work on planes in the afternoon.
“Every other morning, we had to clean the barracks before class, and on the fourth day, we had to clean when we got back,” she said, adding that the girls scrubbed everything from the floors to the doorknobs in their barracks.
“During inspection, you were nervous at first, but after a while you accepted your punishment, guilty or not. You laughed about it because you couldn’t cry. You were all in it together.”
Near the end of 1943, after seven months at Millington, Rozar was transferred to the Anacostia Naval Air Station near Washington D.C., where she was stationed until her tour of duty ended on Aug. 30, 1945. She was assigned as a plane captain and was in charge of cleaning and inspecting airplanes.
“In the morning we would go out and turn up the planes and run through an inspection list. We made sure they had two parachutes and that they were gassed and ready to go,” she said, adding that the women waited in a “ready room” until the planes were ready to depart. “We’d go out and untie the planes and flag them when they took off.”
Although the assignments were routine, they were not without danger.
“We had containers of CO2 with us in case the planes caught fire on start up,” she said. “And when you pulled the chocks out from the tires, you had to be careful not to run in front of the propeller. You got smart very fast.”
Rozar said she even had the chance to fly with some of the pilots who were practicing.
“These weren’t commercial planes – they were open and rough and bumpy,” she said, adding that the pilots were always up for a few pranks. “The pilots rung out the planes on purpose, you could get sick very easily. I learned never fly on an empty stomach.”
To help pass time between their plane duties, Rozar said she and the others found lighthearted and entertaining ways to do cleaning duties and other chores, including dressing up in turbans and shower clogs to mop the floors.
“It was always a surprise for someone to come along and see us like that,” she said, laughing. “But hey, if you have to do housework, you make it fun.”
Rozar said it was those moments with friends that made the war tolerable for many of the women.
“The camaraderie of the group was the best part. We came from everywhere, but yet we just got along,” she said. “We had a lot of fun moments, and I made friends for life.”
After VJ Day, Rozar, who moved to Abbeville in 1967 with her husband Joe, ended her tour or duty. Although she was ready to finally make it home to Connecticut, she said she has never regretted a second of her service.
“We knew we were replacing male mechanics, and we knew we were sending them into combat, which was very sad. I would have been very proud to go into combat, but I am certainly very thankful that I was spared from that – that I didn’t have to see the anguish of that,” she said. “My experience solidified my patriotism. I didn’t think of it as a hard thing to do, I just went forth and did whatever I could do to help. It’s our country and it’s the best one we’ve got.”

Hazel Jones Carter

ROCK HILL — Hazel Jones Carter, 94, of 1199 Alexander Road, widow of Joseph Gaffney Carter, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005 at her home.
A native of Bath, she was a daughter of the late Preston and Lizzie Redd Carter. She was a homemaker and a member of Oakland Baptist Church.
Survivors include four sons, Dr. Richard M. Carter of Greenwood, Donald W. Carter and Robert E. Carter, both of Rock Hill and Travis E. Carter of Metairie, La.; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Services are 11 a.m. Saturday at Greene Funeral Home, Northwest Chapel, conducted by Dr. Robert Shrum. Burial is at 4 p.m. in Langley Cemetery, Langley.
Visitation is 10-11 Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Oakland Baptist Church, 1067 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29732.
Greene Funeral Home, 2133 Ebenezer Road, is in charge.

Lucy D. Dillashaw

McCORMICK — Lucy D. Dillashaw, 91, widow of Marcus Dillashaw, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005 at Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood.
Born in Old Abbeville County, she was a daughter of the late Joseph and Frances Minor Dillashaw. She was a homemaker and a member of Republican United Methodist Church.
Survivors include a sister, Mary Frances Brown of McCormick.
Graveside services are 3 p.m. today in Overbrook Cemetery, conducted by the Rev. Wade Everett.
Visitation is 1:30-2:45 today at Strom Funeral Home.
The family is at the home of J.C. and Jan Brown, Fifth Avenue, McCormick.
Strom Funeral Home is in charge.

Blackie Driggers

GREENWOOD – Oliver “Blackie” Driggers, 81, resident of 502 Dukes Avenue, husband of Mary Claire “Pig” Alewine Driggers, died January 4, 2005 at Self Regional Medical Center.
Born in Columbia, December 20, 1923, he was a son of the late John Burbage and Grace Pearl Stennett Driggers. He attended Columbia public schools and was a US Navy Veteran having served in the D-day Invasion of Normandy and other WW II action. Mr. Driggers retired from Greenwood Mills, Plant #10 after 48 years of service. He was a member of the Greenwood Mills Quarter Century Club. A long time member of West Side Baptist Church, he was also a member of the Vernon Lathern Sunday School Class and was very active in the Best of the West Group of the church.
Surviving in addition to his wife of 58 years are a son, Dennis O. Driggers of Elberton, GA; two daughters, Mrs. Hank (Dot) Stevens and Mrs. James (Bridges) Poston, both of Greenwood; a brother, Charles Driggers of Columbia; two sisters, Eva Mae All of Columbia and Mildred Maylee of Baltimore, MD; five grandchildren, Haven Frost Bailey of Savannah, GA, Chris Driggers of Anderson, William Frost, Brentlee Poston and Jordan Poston, all of Greenwood; six great-grandchildren, Dylan, Christopher, Caitlyn and William Bailey, all of Savannah, Taylor and C.J. Driggers, both of Anderson.
Funeral services will be conducted at 3:30 PM Thursday from the Blyth Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Hal Lane, Rev. James Alewine, Rev. Bennie Ridlehoover and Rev. Hugh Fortson officiating.
Burial will be in Greenwood Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Furman “Peanut” Ponder, Rev. Tim Bailey, Bill Garvin, Dr. Glenn Alewine, Glenn Wideman and Reynolds Satterfield.
Honorary escort will be members of the Adult I Sunday School Department along with Vernon Mundy, Wilbur “Preacher” Motte, Ernie and Marsha Ridlehuber, Leroy and Nada Banes, Jim Weeks, Linda S. Andersen, Nadell Boggero, Maxine Cockrell, Vanessa Wideman, Deborah McKenzie, Junior Arnold and Eddie Banes.
The family is at the home on Dukes Avenue.
Memorials may be made to Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, PO Box 1178, Greenwood, SC 29648.
For additional information please visit

Viola Hollingsworth

Lillian Viola Burton Davenport Hollingsworth, 84, of 137 Blyth Road, widow of Raymond Hollingsworth, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2005 at Self Regional Medical Center.
Born in Greenwood, she was a daughter of the late Mosby and Jannie Little Burton. She retired from the Saluda Sewing Room and was a member of Fountain of Life Worship Center, Blyth Road. She was twice married, first to the late Leonard Davenport.
Survivors include a daughter, Melda Tumblin of Laurens; three sons, Robert Davenport of Greenwood, Donnie Davenport of the home and Rayford Hollingsworth of Leesville; two grandchildren reared in the home, Jennie Westberry and David Westberry; two sisters, Mary Boyter of Laurens and Willie Owens Walker of Greenwood; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Services are 2 p.m. Friday at Harley Funeral Home, conducted by the Revs. Dewain Willis, Jerry Shaw and Steven Stone. Burial is in Reedy Grove Pentecostal Holiness Church Cemetery, Waterloo
. Pallbearers are Keith Timms, Bob Drummond, Doyle Timms, Blake Tumblin, Brian Tumblin and Bob Rush.
Visitation is 7-9 tonight at the funeral home.
The family is at the home.
Memorials may be made to the Fountain of Life Worship Center, 302 Blyth Road, Greenwood, SC 29646 or a charity of one’s choice.
Harley Funeral Home is in charge.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Bernie Mahlar, 100

ABBEVILLE — Bernard “Bernie” Paul Mahlar, 100, of 208 Ellis Ave., widower of Elizabeth “Betty” Mahlar, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005 at Abbeville Nursing Home.
Services will be announced by The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home.

Frances Evans Martin

ABBEVILLE — Frances Evans Martin, 89, formerly of Abbeville, widow of Lucien Martin, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005 in Tarboro, N.C.
Born in Abbeville, she was a daughter of the late Clark and Fannie Gray Evans.
Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Tom (Judy Martin) Ward of Tarboro; two sisters, Carolyn Botts of Abbeville and Vera DeShazo of Birmingham, Ala.; and three grandchildren.
Graveside services are 11 a.m. Friday in Long Cane Cemetery.
Harris Funeral Home is in charge.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Catherine Snyder

GREENWOOD — Catherine Walton Snyder, 88, resident of Ashley House, widow of Charles Joseph “Joe” Snyder, died January 5, 2005 at Self Regional Medical Center.
Born in Greenwood County, December 17, 1916, she was a daughter of the late Claude W. and Hattie Adams Walton. She was a graduate of Ninety Six High School and attended Lander College. Mrs. Snyder retired from Greenwood Mills, Mathews Plant Personnel Dept.
She was a member and former Sunday school teacher at South Main Street Baptist Church.
Mrs. Snyder was predeceased by a daughter, Betty Snyder Hoffman and a brother, Herbert Walton. Surviving are a daughter, Virginia and husband, Don Screws of Greenwood and a son, Charles J. “Joe” Jr. and wife, Kathy Snyder of Greenwood; a son-in-law, A.R. Hoffman, Jr. of Williamsburg, VA; a sister, Doris W. McKenzie of Lexington; grandchildren, Angela S. Nixon, Kristy Snyder, Catherine S. Adams, William T. Screws, II, Allan R. Hoffman, III and Howard Hoffman; five great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2PM Friday from the Blyth Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Richard McWhite officiating.
Burial will be in Greenwood Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will be Allan Hoffman, Bill Screws, II, Andrew Mitchell, Bobby Langford, Melvin Browne, Zack Browne, Chris Nixon, Alex Colmorgan and Charles McKenzie, III.
The family is at the home of Joe and Kathy Snyder, 103 Parkwood Road in Gatewood and will receive friends at the funeral home from 1 to 2 Friday afternoon.
Memorials may be made to South Main Street Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 1093, Greenwood, SC 29648 or to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 1741, Greenwood, SC 29648.
For additional information please visit

Etherl Wright

COLUMBIA — Etherl Wright, 77, of C.M. Tucker Nursing Home, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005 at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia.
Born in Abbeville County, he was a son of the late Bruce and Lucia Davis Wright. He was a World War II Army veteran and was formerly employed with Greenwood Mills, Greenwood Plant. He was of the Baptist faith.
Survivors include a brother, B. Dudley Wright of Greenwood and a sister, Florilla W. Powell of Greenwood.
Graveside services are 11 a.m. Friday at Greenwood Memorial Gardens, conducted by the Rev. Craig Hughes.
Visitation is graveside after the services.
The family is at the home of Dudley Wright, 213 Virginia Ave.
Blyth Funeral Home is in charge.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at


1 final meeting in rivalry

Greenwood, Emerald renew rivalries Friday at Finis Horne Arena

January 6, 2005

Index-Journal sports writer

The coaches from the Emerald High School boys and girls basketball teams were not at Greenwood’s games against Aiken Tuesday night to scout their crosstown rivals in preparation for Friday’s games.
Why would they, being that the two Emerald squads have squared off against the Greenwood counterparts two times already this season.
So, instead Lady Vikings coach Anarie Duckett took the time to watch a Region III-AA newcomer, while boys coach Robin Scott spent Tuesday night doing something equally important for a basketball coach to do in the winter months: find time for his family.
Despite the familiarity between the two school’s basketball teams, Friday’s games still carry plenty of weight for games that have no playoff implications.
When the Lady Vikings tip off with the Lady Eagles at 6 p.m. in Lander University’s Finis Horne Arena, they will be looking for their first victory over their crosstown rival in 14 tries.
And the Greenwood girls’ 13-game winning streak over its litter sister is something the big sister takes pride in.
“We don’t want to lose no matter what,” Lady Eagles coach Susan Thompson said. “Our famous quote is ‘do you walk in proud when you go to the Dixie (Drive-In) or do you hold your head down when you go to the Dixie.’
“They do not want Emerald to beat them.”
The boys game has an equal amount of importance, as this will be the rubber match for the two teams. The Eagles eeked out a 56-55 victory in the first meeting, and the Vikings claimed a 10-point victory en route to their first Lander Christmas tournament championship.
“I told Hob after we finished up the second game ‘well, we’re one-and-one, and next time will tell,’ “ Scott said. “It’s kind of unusual to play a team three times. And with both teams winning one, I think both teams are kind of looking forward to the game, because it will settle it.
“I would say we’re about as evenly matched as we can be. I think it will be just a case of which team comes ready to play.”
The Eagles had plenty of problems finding their basket in the second game. Greenwood going 17 of 70 from the field (including 7 of 31 from 3-point land) is one reason the team found itself down 41-19 after three quarters.
“We had an awful shooting night in the second game,” Eagles coach Hob Chandler said. “We took about 20 or 30 more shots and lost. That’s unheard of.”
Greenwood guard John Phelps and small forward Armanti Edwards lead the team with 14 and 10 points a game, respectively, while guards Andre Day and A.J. Lomax are chipping in eight points.
Like the Eagles, Emerald’s top scorers all come from mostly perimeter players, with swingman D.L. Griffin leading the way with 16 a game. Forward Dan Wideman, who is shooting 29 percent from the 3-point line, and point guard Fred Johnson are each scoring 12 points a game.
The Greenwood girls followed up its 30-point victory over the Lady Vikings Dec. 10 with a 50-42 win in the Lander Christmas tournament.
That holiday victory was the start of the Lady Eagles’ three-game winning streak, as Greenwood followed with a win over Calhoun Falls and Tuesday’s win over Aiken.
“Beating Emerald and Calhoun Falls really helped our confidence, but what we did last night (Tuesday) in beating Aiken, that meant a lot to the girls,” Thompson said. “The girls’ confidence is picking up everyday. They don’t look like the same team that started the year.”
Ashly Chandler continues to direct the Lady Eagles. The junior point guard, who had 15 points and nine rebounds against Aiken, is averaging 13 points, six rebounds and four steals a game. Post players Ashley Latham and Jacena Thompson are scoring eight points each, while Thompson is bringing in nine rebounds.
Elizabeth Nicholson and Domnick Mitchell is still the driving force for Emerald’s success.
Nicholson has a double-double average of 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Mitchell is bringing in 14 points and seven boards.
While Duckett is pleased with what Nicholson and Mitchell have provided, the coach would like to that dynamic duo expand to a trio or a quartet.
“Domnick and Elizabeth have carried us for the most part, but I’ve talked to the team about how somebody else has to step up,” Duckett said. “We can’t depend on them to do everything. We have to get some consistent scoring from somebody else.”


Look out for the hoaxes that offer big bucks if ...

January 6, 2005

Support it or not – agree with it or not – South Carolina has a lottery. People buy tickets every day. Sometimes they win. It is legal. Sometimes, though, something is advertised as a lottery but there’s nothing legal about it. It’s a hoax, and hoaxes are not as uncommon as might sometimes be expected.
Everything that comes down the pike and is called a lottery is not always what it seems. That’s not surprising, of course. These days, though, when there are all kinds of communications tools that link the world, swindlers might just as well be next door. Be assured, however, that sometimes an embezzler is at work and somebody somewhere is out to hoodwink you out of your hard-earned money.
Despite the promises, they are not going to send you any cash, even though they will claim you’ve won in what they bill as a lottery. It’s an elaborate come-on to take you to the proverbial cleaners.

A GREENWOOD MAN RECENTLY received an official-looking letter – from overseas (it had a stamp of Spain) – “informing” him he had won more than a half million dollars. The letter presented a long and complete explanation about the hows, the whys ….. the usual gobbledygook that define such “documents.” It states plainly that the money “won” has been deposited with a security company and insured (in his name). It even talks about a much larger jackpot for “next year’s lottery.”
The language has the ring of authenticity ….. and why wouldn’t it? On the surface it appears to be the real thing. Fortunately, though, the Greenwood “recipient” didn’t hold his breath until he received the big cash windfall. He recognized it for what it was ….. part of a confidence game that preys on gullible people who are always looking for something for nothing.

THEY ARE EASY TARGETS FOR bamboozlers looking to get rich on the backs of unsuspecting, innocent people.
Oh, yes. There was something else with the “winning” letter. It was another official-looking form that asked for certain personal, financial information that could be used by the swindler to tap into the bank accounts of the “mark.”
This time the scheme failed. You can bet, though, that somebody took the bait and is now in mourning.
It’s said to never look a gift horse in the mouth. When something looks too good to be true, though, it usually is. Look. A healthy suspicion is a wonderful thing sometimes. If you ever receive something to make you wonder, take the cautious way out ….. report it to the authorities.