Wurtsmith Logo
The Wagner High Online Alumni (WHOA)
Bernie Charland's Class of 1948 Pages - Page 1
Wagner Logo

The following material contributed by Bernie Charland '48


I talked to Rita last night and she does remember you "that good looking guy in the class of (49).  She doesn't remember the article in the school's newspaper.  She does remember all the girls and climbing "Mole Hill' wherever that was.  She, also, thought that you were at one time a reporter.  Were those girls in your class a little wild?  I told her that you have the newspaper and could send her excerpts by e-mail. She doesn't have a computer and doesn't want one!  However I will mail things to her if you want to send them to me e-mail.

I have been reading some of the messages from the "Younger" Grads and I read a couple to Rita.  She reminded me that when we first came to the Philippines, we lived at Camp O'Donnell and had to take the bus everyday over dirt roads to Clark and school.  We also had an armed guard for protection as the Huks were active.  No one lived off base for safety reasons.  Also, you probably remember, the Filipinos were just starting to rebuild their inter structure.  Rita recalled the main road from Manila to Clark was full of shell holes and we had to cross a number of Bailey Bridges where that main ones had been blown up.  Things were pretty hectic in 47 & 48.  I am sure you remember.  For example, do you recall the news of the officer and his family getting killed by the Huks on their way for a weekend in Baguio?  I remember that made us sit up and take notice.  Rita wants to know if yo know the where abouts of Sharon Johnson, Leona Schoeberl, Ora Baily, the Holms girl, all class of 49, and Charles Rowe 48.

Ron, remember back in 47&48 Wagner school was a group of one level buildings opened all sides and one for each grade level.  The elementary was also part of our school site with the same buildings of their own.  Well. I have rambled on enough.  Keep in touch.

Bernie Charland 48

Central Building

Tom Wiedermer,

I am also a beginner to WHOA.  Ron Bucknam got me started when he gave me the address.  In answer to your question, I can't recall any central building that was big enough for a gym or auditorium.  Ron might remember.  I see he returned in 1955 and there wasn't a new high school.  I guess I was mistaken.  I was under the impression they were starting one after I graduated in 48.  It was a couple of months later I  was  headed for the States.

However, I distinctly remember the parade- ground (quadrangle).  They had all the military ceremonies there.  If the parade ground ran north and south, I can't quite remember, The PX was across the street from the Zero on the south side.  On the west side would be the Officers' Club and swimming pool.  Also, that side was line with all beautiful pre-war houses.  When we moved to Clark from Camp McDonnell, we were assigned to the new housing that was just built and we walked to school crossing the parade ground.  Things are coming back  but its been 50 years.  If anyone wants to hear anymore let me know. It's coming back.

Bernie 48


Ron & Grads,

Ron, you have a map of Clark that goes back to 1947, WOW.  All I have is my fading memory.  Do you have a scanner?  You might want to give us a glance at the place.  I know that's a lot to ask.  What I really wanted to know, Do you or any of the Grads remember much about Camp McDonnell (sp?)?  Did any of you ever live there?  When we first came to the Philippines we lived at Camp McDonnell.  We were in a brand new house and there were probably about 30 or 40 of these for dependents.  There was an officers club an a bowling alley for recreation.  I played one on basketball with the young dentist that had little to do in the afternoons.  All of the kids road the bus to Clark.  If anyone is interested, I can give you some more recollections or details .

Bernie 48

P.S. Excuse my errors. I didn't have typing at Wagner back in 47&48.

 Web Site

Hey Musicman,

That's a great web Site( www.balibago.com ).  Lots of good information including the daily newspaper, WOW!  Hey Grads its worth visiting.  Thanks Musicman.

Boy, Angeles City sure has change since I last saw it.  In 47 &48 It was just a bunch of huts on stilts with openings in the floor for the garbage, etc. with a bunch of pigs and chickens underneath.  There were a few local grocery stores that carried everything and an untold number of bars that all sold San Mg. Beer.  As I recall, The place was  periodically off limits to the troops for various reasons.  Mother said," No, you can't go there".  What a change!!!  The place evens looks livable and a much nicer place than I remember 50 years ago.  I know Ron will get a kick out of visiting the site.  I know he spent more time in the P.I. than I and has been back there since 48.  He would a much better recollection of Angeles City than I.  Thanks again Musicman.

Bernie 48


Hi Ron,

I do mean Camp O'Donnell.  I got the Irishmen mixed up in my senility.  My spelling is atrocious and I leave out words.  That what happens when you start loosing it! 

Yes, Barbara Holmes did live almost across the street, maybe down a couple of houses.  She, also, was a bus rider to Wagner. Those were quite some trips, especially in the rainy season.  I will save all that for another time.

We were only at O'Donnell for a few months and then moved to Clark until My Dad finished out his tour and I graduated.  Ron take care and thanks for introducing me to WHOA.  Its very interesting to read what the younger generation has to say.  Those grads sure are interesting

Bernie 48

John Prunier's Page


Thank you for putting together your page on the site.  Excellent job!  I especially was amazed at the growth of Clark Field from 1948 to the your first map in 61.  You spent much more time in The P.I. than I did.  If you get the 47 map from Ron, why not put it on your page.  That would be great for us "Old Timers".

I was impressed with all the emanates by 1961.  As I recall in 47&48,  On the east side, if the Parade Ground ran east and west (directions?) e d across the street was the base PX.  Next to the PX was the NCO swimming pool, more fun than the Officers' Club pool.  On the northeast side was the commissary and a few shops tailor shop, shoe shop, etc.  We lived on the north side just off the parade ground.  On the north side across the street was a restaurant and an ice-cream shop (our hangout). North of there, I can't remember exactly how far' was the base theater.  It was a converted hanger. It was refurbished very well with new seats popcorn stand etc.  Went to the movies every time there was a new picture.  Not much else to do. The base hospital was, I believe, about a mile southeast of the Parade Ground.  I did spend a little time there with amebic dysentery.  The Officers' Club was on south side of the middle of the Parade Ground. Across the street from The OC and next to the Parade
Ground was a tennis court.  There were no shopping centers or any American stores.  We walked to school across the Parade Ground.  The school was a group of opened quonset huts, I believe, one for each grade level.  What really impressed me was the cemetery.  As you entered Clark Field through the main gate, you passed row upon row of white crosses.  Here were buried the Americans who has died in W.W.II. There were no jets.  P51, P47, B29 and cargo planes dotted the runways.

Well John, I guess I have rambled on enough for now. Remember I am gradually recalling memories of 50 years ago.

Television-Cars-Radio- Driving Lessons


In "47"&"48" There was no television at Clark and really very little in the U.S.  That really started to take hold in the Fifties.  I can't recall an Air Force radio station At Clark.  However, The was the Arm Forces Radio, I believe, broadcasting out of Guam.  There may have been an American station out of Manila but that's about all I can recall.  Being teens, we did have a lot of records, mostly W.W.II vintage.  Charlie Rowe "48" was an excellent clarinet player.  We would put on a Benny Goodman record and he could play note for note right along with him.  His brother John played drums and I screwed around with the trumpet.  As teenagers we pretty much entertained ourselves.  I do recall that once the M.P.'s knocked on our door ad told us to keep it down to a "dull roar" as someone had complained about the noise.  I guess that tells you how good our music was.  On Saturday night our folks did take us to the Officers Club.  Always had a live band and the teens would all sit at a couple tables and drink Coke, Kiddy-Coctails and dance.  Let me tell you, I was no Fred Astair.  At the time it was fun.

You have to remember in "47", when we arrived, They were just starting to make new cars for the civilians.  What ever cars we had in the States were pre-war and not worth taking overseas.  Most families in the P.I.. had transportation.  They were mostly jeeps, staff cars, etc., all olive drab, and maybe a handful of civilian autos.  At one time or other we either had a jeep or staff car park at our place, depending upon what my father was assigned to at the time.  The high school I attended in the States, like most high schools then, didn't have Driver Ed.  Even if did offer it, there were no cars available.  I got my driver's license when I was 16.  I just went down and took a test.  I had a lichens when I arrived in the P.I..  I really didn't do any driving in the P.I.. until after I graduated in "48.  Then, you had to have an Army or Air Force license to drive.  I remember I took my test at the motor pool at Clark Field.  Passed and was issued a license.  I didn't have much chance to drive.  After that as we were headed back to the States.  While in school I don't think many of us drove much.  We did
a hell of a lot of walking hope this gives you some answers to the questions you asked me.  Well Tony, I have rambled on again.  If you want to know more let me know.

Bernie "48"

Class Pages
Class of 1948
Next Page