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April 4, 2003
Oroville Mercury February 26 and March 1, 1945

ITALY-(Special)- Col. Byron G. Ball, a gunner, son of Mrs. Alice Ball, Rt. 2, Oroville, Calif., is a member of the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Fifth Army unit which has been in combat almost 500 days as it fights on in the Apennine mountains in Italy. Part of the 1st Armored Division, 701st, in the 10-day period from May 25 to June 4, 1944, destroyed 29 tanks, a battery of 210-millimeter howitzers, 30 vehicles and two self propelled guns between the Anzio beachhead and Rome. Since entering combat, the battalion has fired more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition at the enemy, including more that 60,000 rounds in the Cassino siege in Italy and 55,000 shells on the beachhead. It is one of the first United States tank destroyer units to have fired on "German tanks and has fought at the side of troops of eight allied nations. Company A is the first American unit to have knocked out a German Mark VI "tiger" tank by direct fire. The 701st landed in Northern Ireland in June 1942, with other units of the 1st Armored Division and went ashore under fire on African D. Day, Nov. 8, 1942 at Oran, Algeria.

A bulletin from the 8th Air Force Bomber Station in England states that Howard Mooney, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Mooney of Route 2, has been promoted from the grade of sergeant to that of staff sergeant. Mooney is a left waist gunner in a B-17 Flying Fortress unit. He attended Oroville schools and was employed by the Western Electric Co. in Sacramento before entering the armed forces. His wife, Mrs. Phyllis Mooney, and their two sons are living on Bridge Street.

Pvt. Lloyd L. Williams, acting corporal, now in training at the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Roberts, has won the experts medal for rifle marksmanship. He was one of the five high scoring marksmen in his company. Before enlisting in December last year he was employed by the Feather River Pine Mills as a tractor operator. His wife and family live in Thermalito. Their youngest daughter is just six months old. Williams went to school in Gridley and Marysville. Another Gridley boy, Pvt. Chas. Stohiman, and Pvt. Lee Young of Oroville are in his company at Camp Roberts. He has met others from this vicinity at the camp.

Fort Benning, GA. Jack Harold Noble of Oroville, Calif, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army today upon successful completion of the officer candidate course at the infantry school at Ft. Benning. Lt. Noble is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Noble of San Francisco. The new lieutenant was inducted into the Army on May 18, 1943 and served with the 71st Infantry Division before going to Officer Candidate School. He held the rank of corporal before being commissioned, The new officer is a graduate of Oroville High School and Oregon State College, where he was a member of football and basketball teams.

Stu's notes: I have a cousin Judy Mooney, my only girl cousin. She is the daughter of my best Aunt Bess, in New Brighton, PA. Her husband Leroy “Fat” Mooney, served in the Marines and worked in Steel Mills of PA. They currently are owners of a little tavern called O'Shea's. It is near New Brighton. We were there two years ago. Many read about that trip in the Openline of the Oroville Mercury. Those Pennsylvania people are a very patriotic bunch. Fighting up the boot of Italy was some of the bloodiest combat of the war, to those that went all the way, it's unbelievable.