Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A History of Asheville: Part VII of X

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Aaron Schandler in front of Schandler's delicatessen at 47 Oak Street in Asheville, c. 1950's.

Part One and explanation
Parts Two and Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Asheville 1940 - 1960:

"During World War II, German prisoners were camped in Hot Springs. German and Italian Diplomats were held at the Grove Park Inn until they were traded for American Diplomats held in Germany and Italy.

On March 3, 1942 a small but brave ship, USS Asheville (PG-21, commissioned on July 6. 1920) and her loyal crew raced south away from the island of Java, straining to reach the safety of Australia before the enemy could detect her. She sailed unescorted, her progress hampered by engine trouble. She was to prove quick work for the overwhelming enemy force that engaged her here. After a thirty-minute gun battle, during which she was severely outgunned, Asheville was ablaze and sinking. All but one of her 160 men were to die here. The sole survivor never saw his home again, suffering a lonely death in an enemy prisoner of war camp.

In 1952, the Statistical Services Division of the Air Weather Association moved from New Orleans to Asheville, N.C., where it is today. In 1956, the first electronic computer (an IBM 705) became operational at Asheville, signaling the end for the high-speed electronic accounting machines (mostly IBM) used since WWII to process climatology. In 1959, IBM electronic accounting equipment installed at the Climatic Center allowed data processing directly from punched card to tape."

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