June 13, 2003
Oroville Mercury Register March 19, 1945
FATE DRAWS TWO TOGETHER
“What are you doing here?” was the remark the amazed Mrs. Jas. R.
West made when she walked into the bus depot in Dunsmuir
and saw her soldier husband she believed to be in Alaska calmly
drinking a cup of coffee at the counter. He was equally surprised
because he thought his wife was in Oroville. It all happened when
Sgt West was granted a 30-day furlough to come home.
Planning to surprise his wife in Oroville, he flew part way and
then took the train from Seattle. Having a short lay-over in Dunsmuir,
he walked around and could not resist the temptation to enter the
bus station and telephone his wife. Meanwhile, Mrs. West, who had
been visiting her aunt in Dunsmuir was preparing to return home.
She had just entered the bus station and could hardly believe her
eye when she saw the familiar figure. Sgt. West has served for nearly
two years in the Alaskan area and saw action with the Infantry at
Kiska. At the end of his leave he will report back to his station
in Anchorage. He has some interesting stories to tell about hunting
and fishing in that cold country. He was with a party that brought
in on the same day a mountain goat weighing 400 pounds and a bear
that weighed 250 pounds. The son of Mr. and Mrs. K. R. West, he
attended the local schools and entered the army about three years
ago. The couple are staying at the home of Mrs. West's parents,
Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Richter.
STRAM WOUNDED ON IWO JIMA
Lawrence Stram of Oroville, pharmacist's mate third class
of the navy, was wounded on Iwo Jima according to a V-mail letter
received Saturday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Milo Stram, now of
Vallejo. Stram told them he had been flown to a hospital in the
Mariana where he was receiving treatment and asked them not to worry
about him, that he would write later. He did not reveal the extent
of his wound. Stram, who went overseas, last August, was attached
to the fifth marine division. He landed on two. Feb. 19, and assisted
in bringing out casualties in the furious battle for the island.
He had been overseas since August. Stram's parents received a letter
from him a week ago in which he praised the bravery of the wounded
taken from the rocky island. At that time Stram was at a rest camp
in the rear area after having been on the front lines. He wrote
then, “I came through without a scratch.”
O'KELLEY BECOMES MEMBER OF "I BOMBED JAPAN CLUB'
One of the newest members of the "I bombed Japan Club,: Lt. George
O'Kelley , brother of Mrs. Gray Lawton of Oroville, won his
membership in the enviable club by virtue of participation in raids
over the Kuriles on a recently stepped up aerial drive against the
Kuriles from bases in the Western Aleutians. The medium bombardment
squadron, to which O'Kelley has been assigned, has distinguished
itself many times in sea searches and patrol missions of the North
Pacific. Members of this squadron have brought terror to surface
craft and enemy shipping of all types in daring deck-level attacks
of precision bombings and completely devastating strafing runs carried
out in the face of great hazards in the home waters of the Japanese
Empire. O'Kelley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Overton O'Kelley of Alturas,
attended army schools at Lincoln, Neb., University of Nebraska,
Santa Ana, Ryan Field, Hamett and Minter Field. Prior to entering
the service, he was a student at Sacramento Junior College.
Stu's notes: Tomorrow is Flag Day. I hope everybody flies his
or her flag. We have received word that our daughter Debbie (Sgt.
Deborah J Shaner) is with her group somewhere around Baghdad. I
have a blue star in my window, something I've often read about but
never thought I would need. It represents a service man or woman
over seas in a War Zone. My Grandmother had two in her window during
WWII. If you need one, call your congressman. Mine is Rick Keene.
Lawrence Stram was one of the lucky ones on Iwo, 6,000 of our Brave
young men died there, including one of Oroville's finest, Arlin