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  Recollections/Emails (Page 17)
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  Contributors  
     
  Abercrombie, Clotiele B.
Abercrombie, Loyd D. Sr.
Abercrombie, Virgie Blalock

Armstrong, John
Bain, Pamela
Bento, Lola
Box, Dorothy Womack
Campbell, Lu
Holbert, Pearl Shaw
Challis, James E. "Ike"
Cole, Beaver
Coleman, Howard
Cronkite, Walter
Degnan, Julie E.
Duch, Greg
Erikson, Charles Henry
Ezell, Alta Reigh
Farrell, Hal
Gregory, Doug
Grenley, Martha Rogers
Grigg, Horace
Grigg, William N.
Hannon, Bill
Harris, Howard
Johnson, Joe and Bobby
Kronjaeger, Jim
Lester, George
Lester, George - Playmates
Lummus, Darlene
Lummus, Don
Martinez, Nelma Cummins
Mayhew, Bessie
McAllister, Mark

Meissner, J. Raymond
Moody, Mildred
Motley, Pete
Nelson, Ron
Plant, Sally
Platton, Mike
Read, Osceola Jefferson
Robertson, William Judson
Robinson, Jimmie Jordan
Mack Thornton Rogers
Ryan, Terri Jo
Seacrist, Debra
Shaw, Marjorie
Stanley, Glenda G.
Taylor, Bob
Taylor, Jim
Thompson, Bill
Vail, Mary Lechtenberg
Vento, Eduardo
Vinson, Allen Earl
Vinson, Melvin
Williams, William B.
 
     
     
 
 
  Melvin Vinson from an email  
     
  I graduated from London High School in 1955.

I was born about a month after the explosion. Mama and Daddy lived about a mile east of the school. Daddy had cut down a dead tree in the yard and was cutting it up. He heard the explosion and turned to look. He said he saw debris in the air above the trees. He dropped the axe, told Mama he would be back when he got back and started running to the school. He was there 2 or 3 days.

I had a first cousin, Mary Emily Lloyd, killed. She is buried at Pleasant Hill. She was in the 7th grade. Her mother, Annie Loyd (Mrs. Emery Loyd) was teaching at Gaston when the explosion happened.

Lena Hunt, a teacher married Mama's cousin. She and two of her children were killed. The Maxwells who were killed were distant cousins.

It is said that Lena Hunt was in the back part of the building that was left standing. Her desk was backed to a wall. There were 2 students standing at her desk when the explosion happened. The wall behind the desk caved in, and she and the two students were killed. Nobody else in the room was injured.

Lena is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Her husband, Charley Hunt (I think) was my mother's first cousin and never remarried. Her 2 children are there too.
 
     
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  William B. William from his son, Terry A. Williams  
     
  The following is what my father, William B. Williams remembers about the New London school explosion.

I have forgotten the number of miles from Arp, Texas to New London. I was in study hall, the last class of the day. Suddenly the floor of our classroom vibrated. The teacher was passing my desk and I asked her what that vibration was. Her answer was that it probably came from one of the refineries, perhaps there was an explosion of some kind.

At the same time my father's relief was early to work, telling what he had heard on the radio. Dad was home a little early and asked me and my sister if we wanted to go with him to New London to see if we could help in some way. We were not prepared emotionally for what we encountered there.

It is a scene I've never forgotten. We went to the least crowded area, in fact no one was in that section at the time. Several people were concentrated in one area. Under the rubble we could see someone's arm up to the elbow. In futility, we tried to lift the concrete slab but it was too heavy. In a very short while someone with a crane and cable came over to assist. While the crane operator moved the slab we, as gently as possible, pulled the body of a young man my age from under the debris. By this time the area was pretty much filled with rescue workers. Pulling the body from under the slab and witnessing was devastating. An announcement was made that everyone not on a rescue team was to leave the immediate area so as not to hamper rescue efforts. I remember trying to help comfort some people, but it was overwhelming.

The last thing I remember on our way back home in silence was passing a 36 Chevy under a huge concrete slab.
 
 
     
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  Don Lummus - Henderson, Texas - 5/16/2012  
     
  My Mother, Mildred Josephine Wyatt (Lummus) was about 14 at the time of the explosion.. She was home sick that day... it was one of the very few times she ever missed school. According to what I've heard, her entire class was killed..may be wrong about that..but do know she was enrolled at New London.

Thanks,
Don Lummus
 
 
     
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