May 23, 2003
Oroville Mercury March 15 & 17, 1945
DOLAN'S BOMBER LIFTED 5000 FEET WHEN JAPANESE ARSENAL BLOWS
Lt. Bill Dolan crashed the news wires and radio waves today
in an Associated Press story from the 21st Bomber Command at Guam.
Concerning the recent B-29 raid over Osaka, the correspondent wrote
of the apparent blowing up of a huge arsenal there while Dolan's
plane was over the place. "Four violent explosions rocked the ship
of Lt. Archie L. Nash of Kannapolis, N. C." read the story, "After
the first blast the bombardier, Lt. J.B. Allen of Scottsville, N.
Y., found himself sitting on the lap of Copilot, Wm. H. P. Dolan,
Jr. of Oroville Calif." The big bomber was jolted from the 7000-foot
level to 12,000-foot level by the force of the blast, it was said.
Mrs. Dolan, the former Anne Madsen, got several telephone calls
from friends who had heard of the broadcast.
LIEUT. HIGGINS GIVEN AIR MEDAL
Lt. George Higgins, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Higgins, has
been awarded the Air Medal for "meritorious achievement in accomplishing
with distinction several operational missions over enemy continental
Europe" Higgins, Eight Army Air Force bombardier of a B-24 somewhere
in England reached the age of 20 on Washington's Birthday. His name
George, was given him in honor of the first president. He has been
in the service for nearly two years and overseas since Dec. 1, 1944.
He was graduated from the local high school in 1942. Prior to his
enlistment in the army he worked at the State Theatre. The citation
awarding him the medal also read that the courage, coolness and
skill displayed by each member of the crew in the face of determined
opposition materially aided in the successful completion of the
missions. Major General Kepner made the award.
Stu's notes: Last weeks story about Pvt. Eugene A. Russell fighting
in the Philippines brought out a story from one of our Veterans
Memorial Committee members, Darby Miller. Darby was in the Philippines
at the end of the war. He was in a Navy group that took care of
the P0Ws that were rescued by the Army Rangers. Darby's words "The
Army Rangers fought all through Europe then were sent to the Pacific
War. They were the meanest, toughest greatest guys you ever met.
7hey came to rescue the P0Ws that survived 3 years of terrible brutality
at the hands of the Japanese ". As our troops closed in on the prison
camp the word came out they were to be executed. Thank God for the
Rangers. Their conditions were so terrible that 30 died that night
having only one day of Freedom. Because the Japanese said the P0Ws
were abandoned by General MacArthur, they called them The Bastards
of Bataan. Although the men learned later that the General was under
orders and the Army runs on orders They had fought the Japanese
for 6 hard months, surrendering only when they ran out of everything.
Darby has a friend, Bob, who was one of them. He lives in Oroville.
Maybe he will tell me his story. Although it is bound to be too
sad, it should be told to the world Darby himself was wounded in
a boat explosion. His two brothers were also wounded in the war.