April 4, 2003
Oroville Mercury February 26 and March 1, 1945
OROVILLE GUNNER FIGHTING NAZIS IN APPENINE MOUNTAINS IN
ITALY WITH THE FIFTH ARMY
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.
HOWARD MOONEY PROMOTED TO STAFF SERGEANT
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.
LLOYD WILLIAMS WINS MARKSMANSHIP MEDAL
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.
JACK NOBLE COMMISSIONED AS SECOND LIEUTENANT
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.