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February 21, 2003
OROVILLE MERCURY February 21, 1945

Complete details of decoration accorded Maj. Gen. Arthur Wilson of Oroville by the Italian government have been received by the Mercury in an army release. The account, forwarded from headquarters of communication zones, European theatre of operations, U. S. Army, follows:

CONTINENTAL ADVANCE SECTION IN FRANCE- Major General Arthur R. Wilson of Oroville, California, formerly commander of the Peninsular Base Section, has been awarded the highest distinction that Italy can confer upon a citizen of another country. He is today commanding general of this advance section of the Southern Line of Communications in France. By direction of Crown Prince Umberto, Lieutenant general of the realm, General Wilson was named a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy.

General Wilson's army jurisdiction before his transfer to France, last August included all of liberated Italy. The Peninsular Base Section was the large Army Service force that supplied the armies hammering at the Cassino line and then landed and held the Anzio beachhead before launching their now historic allied offensive in the late spring of 1944. This was the campaign that liberated Rome and all of Central Italy. As head of Peninsular Base Section General Wilson directed the great work of transforming Naples, one of the worst war-ravaged port cities in the present war, into the major supply center on the Italian mainland. Similar work was carried out in two other ports. In doing so these three port communities were rehabilitated in record-breaking time, earning the gratitude and appreciation of the people and government of liberated Italy. General Wilson had previously been honored by the University of Naples, which conferred the honorary degree of doctor of laws upon him. The City of Naples conferred honorary citizenship upon him. He was also elected a Cavalier Magistrate, Order of the Knights of Malta, in connection with these recognition's of his significant part in helping to restore the life and culture of Free Italy.

In The Fight
Lt. Otis A. Mercer, a son of Mrs. Ray Hinds of Quincy Road, is a pilot on a B24. He received his wings at Albuquerque, NM. In August 1944. Otis is a graduate of Oroville high school and was a student at Yuba College when he entered the service. Word has just been received of the promotion of Glenn N Grenke, of the U. S. Infantry, from second lieutenant to first. Grenke came to Oroville from southern California in 1937 and is a part owner of the Highway Market. He entered the army about two years ago and has trained at various camps. He received his second lieutenant's bars at Ft. Benning, GA., in August 1943. Another brother, Glade Grenke is a technical sergeant somewhere in France.

Stu's notes: Clouds of war loom on the horizon. I can now relate to those that sent their sons and daughters off to war. Lynn and I took our daughter Debbie to a chartered bus recently, that took her National Guard Unit to Camp Roberts then to Ft. Lewis, WA. Then who knows where? She's gone many places in the Army and Guard, but this time it doesn't look peaceful.