February 21, 2003
OROVILLE MERCURY February 21, 1945
HIGHEST DISTINCTION IN POWER OF ITALY ACCORDED GEN. WILSON
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,
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.
HELPED LIBERATE ROME
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
THREE BROTHERS SERVING IN ARMED FORCES
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.