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April 11, 2003
OROVILLE MERCURY March 1st & 5th ,1945

Robert E. Rasmussen, 25, of Oroville, recently received his silver wings as an aerial navigator of the Army Air Forces. He has been an instructor at Deming Field, N. M. He received his 2nd, Lieutenant's bars last April. Rasmussen was one of a group of men from 44 states who graduated from the AAF Navigation School at San Marcos Army Air Field, Texas as a unit of the AAF Training Command. The new lieutenant's wife, Dorothy, and his daughter Carol Jean, 2 and infant son, Robert David, reside in Chico. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Neil Rasmussen of Oroville.

Lt. Kennard T. Chandler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Chandler of Oroville has been credited with saving the life of an Alameda navy pilot after the pilot had ceased breathing for 15 minutes. He had been brought aboard a destroyer after having been shot down off Luzon. The story, published in a San Francisco paper, was as follows: Lt. Kennard T. Chandler, medical corps, United States Naval Reserve, Oroville, destroyer doctor, performed his near miracle for Ensign William W. Align, USNR, Alameda, carrier Helical pilot, after the latter had been shot down by a Japanese fighter. His Helical riddled by shells and a bit of shrapnel in his right knee, Allen bailed out of his plane within view of Chandler's destroyer. He was unable to inflate either his life jacket or life raft. Allen swam for about 20 minutes toward the destroyer, which was heading for him at top speed. Before he lost consciousness he saw the warship near him, two men hanging to a cargo net ready to slip a line around him. Chandler hustled the limp airman into the ship's sick bay and started giving artificial respiration. Almost a quart of water was drained from Allen's lungs. The pilot's breathing faltered, then stopped. Chandler ordered shots of circulatory and respiratory stimulants administered and maintained artificial respiration for two hours before Allen revived. Allen is now back on his carrier and ready to fly again.

Lt. Gordon E Franklin, pilot of a P-38, who is stationed in Italy with the Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, has been awarded the Air Medal for completion of a required number of missions and accomplishments. Lt. Franklin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Franklin of Oroville.

Stu's notes: This week I had three calls about new information on our Hero's. Marilyn Wyman called, seems her husband Hal, a well-known Oroville man, flew with Howard Mooney (last week's story). Small world; his daughter Candy Wriston is my neighbor. More on Hal later. Then a call from Jean Ball, a friend at our church. She says Cpl Byron G Ball was her husband, Floyd's brother, both fought in the European Theater. Another brother Cecil served in the Pacific. The Mooney's were their friends- Also Cecil and Betty Ball are the parents of Linda Hatley, who is married to Councilman Art Hatley. More on them later. Then what luck; I was worried about 1943. 1 have so few papers of that year and low and behold I got a call from Maxine Gilbert. Her husband George served in WWI. She had a scrapbook that was given to George by a Thermalito lady. I hope we can find her name. It contained hundreds of stories of Oroville's Hero's. (Carmen I need more space) George and Maxine are Uncle and Aunt to our friends, Nancy and Bill Gilbert. George served in the Army for 5 years. It was a long war; more on George later. I must say without the boy's of Oroville WWII would have gone on a little longer.