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September 13, 2002
January 9, 1945

GULFPORT ARMY AIR FIELD, GULFPORT, MISS.- Pfc. Harold L. Taber, son of Harold W. Taber, Oroville, Calif., has reported at this Third Air Force bomber base for an intensive training course as a lower ball gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. Selected for this important assignment after stringent examinations, Taber will be a member of a ten-man crew who will live and work together under simulated battle conditions. Upon completion of training the crew will be ready for duty on the fighting fronts. Taber entered the service at Monterey, Calif. in June 1944. He is a graduate of Oroville Union High School 1943. (The lower Ball Turret gunner was said to be the worst place to be on a B-17).

J.W. Driver, Seaman I/C, left recently for New York after an eighteen day leave spent with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Driver of Thermalito. This was his first leave in fifteen months since entering the navy in September 1943. He has been training in Long Island, New York and Norfork, Va., in diesel engineering.

For services rendered in the Fiji Islands and Bougainville, Pfc. Andrew D. Drumb of Palermo has been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, The Bronze Star, (and several other medals, but the paper had a hole in it). Drumb is the son of C. C. Drumb. He entered the army on April 6, 1943 and has completed 13 months overseas. He is now in a combat zone and has also served in New Caledonia. His army job is Browning Automatic rifleman in a veteran infantry regiment of the Americal Division somewhere in the Southwest Pacific.

Marine Pvt. Walter Henry Schurr, 24, is now stationed in the Hawaiian Islands. Schurr entered the Marine Corps in March, 1944 and received his training in diesel engineering at Camp Pendelton, San Diego. He was formerly employed as a fireman on the Western Pacific Railroad. He is the son of Mrs. Ethel Schurr and brother of Morris Schurr and Mrs. Freda Corkin of Oroville; Mrs. Gladys Perkins of Esparto and Johnny Schurr of Woodland.

John W. Barrett, former Western Pacific round house employee, was killed in action recently in Germany, according to information received here by W. I. Ruckman of Oroville, a friend. Barrett worked at the round house in 1942 and then worked at Camp Beale from where he was inducted into the army. He was with the engineers. Barrett was a nephew of A. J. Crabtree of Oroville. Ruckman said he received word of the death from Barrett's wife who lives in Lane, Kansas.

(As told to Stu by Jim Crabtree, local resident and cousin of John. John had many brothers and sisters, Nancy, Rosesella, Kathy, James and Harley and a daughter Jerry who was about 8 years old when he died. John was as strong as a bull. He loved to hunt and fish with his Uncle A. J. Crabtree who was like a second father to him. At boot camp he would sneak out to go fish a couple of days, when found he spent a few days in the brig and came out a Sergeant. Independent thinkers made our Army so great they could take the initiative when other officers were killed. His daughter and her husband were stationed at Camp Beale years after her father was killed.)