October 8, 2004
Oroville Mercury May 11,1945
Paradise Sergeant Captures Nazi Girl ‘Artillerymen’
WITH THE NINTH ARMORED DIVISION INSIDE GERMANY
Sgt. Lee R. McCabe is a tall, muscular, broad shouldered
veteran who speaks only when it’s really necessary. McCabe has seen
a good deal of war. He’s the last man left in his recon platoon,
a job that means taking the lead and staying there. Recently he
returned from a mission and started griping. “It wasn’t fair. It
ain’t right. It ain’t even decent, besides,” he kept repeating “one
wasn’t half bad at all.” McCabe was talking about some German girls
he had captured in an artillery gun position. Earlier in the day,
he had been in a scout patrol to determine the availability of a
series of roads that his outfit, the 60th Armored Infantry
Battalion had planned to use. The patrol ran into a fire fight,
captured some Nazi soldiers and overran an artillery position which
was being occupied by two Jerries, and three civilian girls, “one
of which wasn’t half bad.” Pointing to the scared, shivering teen-aged
girls, dressed in slacks, cheap cotton blouses and wearing the German
version of bobby-socks, McCabe was expressing the feeling of the
doughs who stood and listened. A feeling that “it” just ain’t decent.
One of the artillery-women seemed exceptionally out of place. She
had black curly hair, and big black eyes and cute up-turned nose.
Had she been a bit thinner, she would have been something of a pin-up.
McCabe’s prisoners were nothing new. For days, as his battalion
moved deeper and deeper in Hitler Germany, young and old, fat and
thin tall and short females have been turning up in the PW stockades.
Some were seized on suspicion, some for being near enemy guns, some
for manning them, some, like the sergeant’s three, for helping krauts
to kill Americans with heavy artillery pieces. Sgt. McCabe, who
comes from Paradise, California, has tasted a lot of war. Like all
GIs there are times when he thinks very much of the girls back home.
He might have been thinking of some one in particular, or maybe
of a few in general as he looked at his prisoners. The soldier of
a few words kept saying, “it ain’t decent.”
Wounded Twice in Three Days
Sgt. Russell W. Leach had the bad luck of being wounded twice
within three days on Okinawa. The first time, he was wounded in
the right leg and sent back to rest camp. Not being confined to
bed, he was doing guard duty when he “had a run-in with a couple
of Nips” and now is in a hospital in Guam with an injured left leg
and back. Sgt. Leach entered the service in 1940 and spent 23 months
in Alaska and the Aleutians, being there when the Japanese struck.
He returned to the States and was sent to the Pacific area last
July. He was stationed at Camp Beale for two weeks before going
overseas. Leach is the son of the late Mrs. Ethel Ware of Palermo
and a brother of Mrs. Frances Barry of El Noble Street.
Our P.O.W./MIA service was well done, quite a moving ceremony.
Ted Grainger did another wonderful job as Master of Ceremonies.
I was disappointed in the small turnout but we were up against some
big events that night. Oh well, we will be back next year, as set
down by the President of the United States, the 3rd Friday
of September. Write it on your 2005 calendar. Mark it with a star
to remind you of its importance. As far as I know this is the only
event of this kind put on in Northern CA. I usually write about
the Heroes of Oroville, but now and then I write about those that
moved to Oroville after serving their country. I’ve learned that
Oroville seems to attract a lot of these heroes. One of these is
Hubert Zemke who came here in the 1960’s. He ended his war service
as a Col. In the Army Air Force. Bob Wilson, who knew Hubert loaned
me a couple of books about the unbelievable career of this man.
I will write more later.
“Help those who help you” Spaghetti and Show Saturday, October
23, 2004, Noon til 3:30pm.
The show is being organized by Patti Meyers and the Spaghetti
lunch/dinner is being pulled together by Committee member Bill Fox.
Thank you both for all of your hard work. This is a fundraiser for
the Veterans Memorial Park. There will be lots of door prizes and
raffle prizes. The Spaghetti and Show will be $6 for adults and
$3.00 for children. For tickets call me at 533-8147. Raffle tickets
are $1 each or 6 for $5. Tickets will also be sold at the door and
by other committee members.