Look Back … to smoke gets in your eyes, 1995

April 2, 1945, in The Star: Anniston, Oxford and practically this entire section of northeast Alabama suffered from a severe storm bringing strong wind and heavy rain yesterday afternoon and night. The rainfall total at the Anniston Weather Bureau was recorded as 1.38 inches. Streets were littered with small limbs blow from trees, but there were few instances of heavy limbs being broken. Telephone and power companies reported some trouble, but nothing of serious nature was suffered. Also this date: Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., commanding the new U.S. Tenth Army in the invasion of Okinawa, only 362 miles from the Japanese home islands, is a military man familiar to many in these parts, as he was formerly stationed here as commanding officer of Fort McClellan prior to the U.S. entry into the war.

April 2, 1995, in The Star: Soldiers at Pelham Range sometime train using smoke machines so that they can learn how to screen their movements from the enemy. Sometimes the wind blows the smoke off the range and into backroad neighborhoods where civilians live. Some of those civilians say it burns their eyes, but training officers who know how the smoke is made insist that it should not have that effect. “I don’t know what they’re experiencing,” said Col. Robert J. Coughlin, director of training at Fort McClellan. Indeed, the smoke isn’t really that at all, because it’s not caused by something undergoing combustion. It’s generated from fog oil, which is heated by a generator until it’s a vapor. Soldiers don’t even use masks when they’re training with it, said Coughlin.

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