Marine Raider leads drive to honor those he served with in WWII

Harold Sheffield stands by the monument he had installed at the State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. (Courtesy Photo)BRISTOL — Harold "Bub" Sheffield, one of the last surviving Marine Raiders from World War II, recently spearheaded a successful effort to erect a monument at the State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen honoring the Raiders.
"They were America's first special operations units," says the 95-year-old, who served with Carlson's Raiders in the South Pacific and in 2011, with the help of fellow Bristol resident Joe Denning, wrote a book about his service with the Marine Raiders.
He says that he wanted to do something to provide a permanent reminder of the role that the Raiders played in the war and was helped by donations from U.S Marine Raider Association as well as his family.
The monument was recently installed at the cemetery and a dedication ceremony is being planned for next spring. Sheffield says that it very appropriate that there be a monument in New Hampshire for the Raiders as one of their commanders was Lt. Col Merritt Edson of Keene.
He says that his unit commander while he was with the Raiders was James Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Sheffield was born and raised in New Jersey but spent his summers at his grandfather's home in Alexandria and one summer worked as a bus boy and set up pins in the bowling alleys at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods.
He later excelled at sports in prep school and went to Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., where he enjoyed playing football but didn't like the business curriculum and dropped out. He and his long-time friend Bill Weiland had talked about joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in the summer of 1941 and Sheffield decided later that year that was what he wanted to do, as he already had a pilot's certificate and had flown a plane solo.
He had stopped by at his mother's house to say goodbye and head for Canada when he learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Both he and Weiland rushed to sign up for the Air Force but because they hadn't completed two years of college couldn't become pilots without passing an exam, which wouldn't be offered until the following April.
Not wanting to wait, the two signed up with the Marines. Part of the enlistment was a physical exam and Sheffield said that while waiting in line for the exam a recruit standing behind him on the shoulder and asked him to pee in his cup because he didn't think he could pass the exam because he had been drinking too much. ''I can only pee 100 proof" the man, said. Sheffield granted the request and later became good friends with the man, Harold Foote, who later became a New York real estate developer and portrait artist.
Sheffield was sent to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in August of 1942, where the Japanese were continually bringing in fresh troops. He was stationed on a sand bar near Tulagi, and his job was to observe the Japanese ships and report their arrivals to home base. He said the ships would pass so close to the observation point that he could hear the Japanese talking as they passed by.
At one point while on Guadalcanal, Sheffield was suffering from malaria and in such bad condition in a hospital was shivering so hard that he said he didn't care whether he lived or died. But there were rumors of a Japanese invasion so he was carried down to the beach by his friends Bill and Herb, who set him up in a foxhole with his rifle and grenades. "I was too sick to defend myself, let alone anyone else," he recalls. But a major naval battle took place that night, chasing away the Japanese invaders and turning the tide in the battle for the island.
After five months he was sent to New Caledonia to recuperate from the effects of tropical diseases and while there he volunteered to join the Marine Rangers and was sent to Bougainvillea, which was held by the Japanese, where he started working behind their lines.
He said that the patrols were small, three to five men, and that they traveled light, often with pistols instead of rifles and without helmets, because they made noises while the Marines walked. They stayed out for days at a time, reporting the positions of enemy troops with not much to eat except rock-hard chunks of chocolate.
The Raiders were disbanded in 1944 after their hit-and-run tactics no longer needed and Sheffield was then sent to Guam, where he remembers a shell crashing into his foxhole, badly injuring the man next to him but failing to explode.
The next day while crossing an airstrip he stopped at a Japanese machine gun emplacement which was not active and went inside, where he found six to eight dead Japanese soldiers and noticed that one was still alive and following him with his eyes. Recalling that the Japanese sometimes hid grenades on themselves, he went outside the emplacement and tossed a few new grenades in to make sure they were all dead,
After 29 months of war Sheffield returned to the United States and, after marrying his first wife, made his home in Alexandria. He went to what was then Plymouth Teachers College and transferred to the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a forestry degree and went on to Yale, where he earned a master's degree.
He worked for lumber companies before he went to work at International Packings Corporation in Bristol where he was in charge of personnel and later went into the real estate development business.
"It's been an interesting life," says Sheffield, who in recent years has made many speaking appearances for groups, museums and historical societies.

Hundreds come out in support of Jeb Bush in Meredith

MEREDITH — "We're living in serious times and we need a serious candidate," Jeb Bush told the crowd of nearly 250 that filled the Winnipesaukee Ballroom at Church Landing Wednesday as the former governor of Florida, once the odds-on favorite for the GOP presidential nomination, strives for a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary little more than a month away.

The most recent poll of New Hampshire voters by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina, shows Bush running alongside Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, all of whom are polling in double digits, but trailing frontrunner Donald Trump by between 14 and 19 points. But, with these five candidates splitting neatly half the vote, Trump's lead is magnified. The same poll indicates that that Trump would lead Bush by only one point in a head-to-head race. Moreover, since the last poll in December, Bush posted the greatest gain in the field.

Bush stressed his record of proven leadership, recalling that Florida weathered Katrina and seven other hurricanes and four tropical storms, recorded the greatest gains in educational achievement in 15 years and lowered the tax burden on households and businesses during his tenure as governor.

"Leadership matters," Bush insisted. Rolling up his sleeves, he said that a genuine leader "accepts responsibility, builds consensus and fixes things. The greatest joy in public service is fixing things," he remarked.

Asked by Tom Emmanuel of Laconia, who described himself as Trump supporter, why he called Trump "a jerk," Bush replied that he took offense at Trump's "disparaging remarks about other people," including those with developmental disabilities. Putting his fist to his chest, he said a leader must have a heart.

Remarking that a president should have "a servant's heart," Bush sounded an inspirational note.

"I want to be president to tear down the ceiling on people's aspirations. I want to tell them whatever your dream is, let's make sure you have the capacity to pursue that dream," he continued. "It is the pursuit of life that matters."

Bush becomes especially passionate in addressing education, which was a dominant theme of his governorship.

"I'm for high standards, locally driven," he said, explaining that the federal government should play no role in setting standards, defining content or designing curriculum. He noted that although per student spending in the U.S. ranks among the highest in the world, only 40 percent of high school graduates are prepared for either college or employment. Touting the success of the voucher program, he introduced in Florida, he claimed that wider choice for parents and more competition between schools lead to higher levels of achievement.

Likewise, Bush set high expectations for the economy, dismissing the "new normal" of 2 percent annual economic growth as the source of declining median incomes, a shrinking middle class, rising levels of poverty and increasing demands on government, all of which he said are "unacceptable." Instead, he called for a growth rate of 4 percent as "an aspirational goal," adding "we've done it before and we can do it again."

Bush proposes reducing the number of income tax brackets and lowering individual and corporate tax rates, capping deductions while doubling the standard deduction, doubling the earned income tax credit and closing tax loopholes, He would also ease the regulatory burdens on business enterprises, particularly the community banks. And improvements to the elementary and secondary education systems are important components of his approach to the economy.

Turning to the crisis in the Middle East, Bush emphasized that he proposed a strategy to defeat ISIS in August, well before other candidates in the field. He said that he would arm the Kurds, engage the Iraqi armed forces and Sunni tribal leaders and create safe zones for displaced refugees within Syria. He said he would not offer "a blanket kind of big talk," chiding those who spoke of "carpet bombing," but instead exercise "our consensus muscles" and "unite around a common purpose."

Bush repeated that he would support whoever the GOP nominates, but added he would "defend the conservative cause against those who would hijack it. We must campaign with arms wide open," he added. "I intend to fight to the bitter end."

Man indicted for rape in Laconia apprehended in Virginia

LACONIA — A former Laconia man who has been indicted on four courts of aggravated felonious sexual assault on an 8-year-old child in 2011 has been located by the Louisa County, Virginia, Sheriff's Department.

Carl R. Smart Jr., 37, was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in December of 2015 for raping the child during the months of May 2011 to August 2011 in Laconia.

The Belknap County Sheriff's Department said Smart is being held at the Central Virginia Regional Jail and is awaiting a hearing before a Commonwealth of Virginia judge for extradition back to New Hampshire.

Although the case was investigated by the Laconia Police, who brought it to the Belknap County Attorney's Office for possible indictment, police officials said Smart was never arrested on the rape charges. Police confirmed Thursday that Smart was known to them and previously been arrested by them for DWI some time in 2010. Officials do not know when Smart left New Hampshire.

According to an employee in the New Hampshire Judiciary Court call center, Smart was indicted on Dec. 3, 2015. His notice of indictment, complete with an arraignment date, was sent to his last known address and was returned as undelivered. His indictment was rescheduled for Jan. 6.

When he failed to appear for his Jan. 6 arraignment date, Judge James O'Neill issued an arrest warrant and set a $100,000 cash-only bail for Smart should he be found and returned to the state.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt but is a statement by an independent grand jury that the state has enough evidence to warrant an arrest and a trial.