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February 14, 2003
Oroville Mercury February 20, 1945

Oroville volunteer Red Cross workers have completed 860,000 surgical dressings in a little under two years' time, according to the January report of the local Red Cross Chapter. The dressings were made at the headquarters building and the following auxiliary centers: Burbank, Las Plumas, Feather Falls, Biggs, Rio Bonito, Thermalito and Palermo. The dressings were sent from Oroville in 13 shipments during the time between Feb. 16,1943, when the project started. here, to Jan. 24, 1945 when the work was temporarily discontinued. During January of this year volunteers worked at headquarters in Memorial Hall for 13 days completing 13,428 dressings. Average daily attendance was 12 plus. On Jan. 24, headquarters shipped 32 cartons containing 111,228 of the dressings. A recall of volunteers will be made soon when a new shipment of gauze is received, according to headquarters. Notice of the shipment has already been received there.

We've talked about the service boys coming to Oroville and to the Dances, so a nice lady I know told me the following, these are the words of Merle Caborn. "In the 1930's and into the 1940's the south side of Oroville was known as El Medio. There were several small businesses on Palermo Rd. (now an extension of Myers St.) Dick and Merle Caborn owned the El Medio Grocery, where the South Side Fire Dept is located . George (Shorty) Roades and wife Alice had a used furniture store and there were several other businesses also in the area.
The Roades' and Caborn's and other residents in the area liked to dance and started to hold dances at the El Medio Hall, now the Veterans Hall. Soon we were getting people from other than the El Medio area, then Men from the Military service stationed at Camp Beale. Ray Heath was one of them. He was a jolly friendly fellow and made friends quickly. Eventually, his company was shipped out. There was a period of time when we didn't hear from him or didn't know where he was, until he arrived back in Oroville when he had been discharged. He said he chose Oroville as his home because of the good times he had here, and the friendships he had formed.
My brother John Mathews was in World War II. My mother kept in touch with him when he was stationed in Fort Knox, Ky. He went overseas and was in a Tank Battalion. He, too, came back to Oroville. He passed away a few years ago. John Scoff Mathews is his son and lives in Oroville as you know. John Scott was born at Fort Knox I believe."

Stu's notes: I first met Ray when I was 7 years old. He went to the Methodist Church downtown and worked with my dad at Montgomery Wards. He was a hard working dedicated family man. He and his wife Genevieve raised 3 children here in Oroville, All turned out great. All those years he never talked to me about going to war. But to War he did, serving well under Patton. He was a Radio Man, story goes he was the only one that knew Morse Code. Ray recently passed on, so here's a salute to my long time friend, 1st Sgt. Ray Heath US. Army. Job well done.
John Scott Mathews is married to my sister-in-law, Dawn. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He served his country well and came back to Oroville. Merle and Dick Caborn have always been very thoughtful people. While our daughter Debbie was serving in Germany for 18 months they wrote to her to keep her connected to Oroville.