April 11, 2003
OROVILLE MERCURY March 1st & 5th ,1945
SILVER NAVIGATOR'S WINGS WON BY ROBERT RASMUSSEN 2ND LT.
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.
CHANDLER SAVES LIFE OF FLIER BELIEVED DEAD
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. FRANKLIN AWARDED COVETED AIR MEDAL
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
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.