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January 16, 2004
Oroville Mercury April 10, 1945

Cpl. Hedge Gunner On A 4 Motor Bomber

Cpl. Edward P. Barbee, son of Mable P. Hedge, Oroville, has been assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Group as a gunner on a four engine B-24 Liberator bomber. The group, commanded by Colonel W. R. Robertson, Jr., is the oldest Liberator unit in the Eighth Air Force. Even before Allied ground forces launched their invasion of North Africa the 93d began hitting the enemy from the air. The group has made three trips to Africa to provide air cooperation for the Tunisian, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. Barbee is a graduate of Roosevelt High School of San Diego. His wife is the former Kari B Amerson of Birnamwood, Wisconsin.

Kenneth Layton, two-war veteran, has been released from the navy and is expected to arrive in Oroville the latter part of this week or early next week. He had been stationed on Oahu Island. Layton, whose wife is employed in a local department store, served as a pharmacists mate both in World War I and World War II. He enlisted the first time while still a student at Oroville High School. He finished High school after the war ended in 1918. He is the son of Mrs. Grace Layton of Feather Crag Apartments on Bridge Street and the son-in-law of Sheriff W. H. Forward.

Stu’s notes: Last week’s article with the list of Those That Gave All, from the Oroville Area brought forth a call from Joyce Johnson. She told me about her brother Eugene Zimmerman, who died in battle in Korea. He was 2 weeks shy of his 18th birthday. He was in the Tank Corps. He went to school in Palermo and went to Alamo High School in Alamo, California. He was the son of Guy Zimmerman and Leona Zimmerman Anderson. Just when I think I have all the names of our brave young soldiers, more seem to be found. The same happened on the Oroville Dam Memorial.
Well Debbie is home! We picked her up last Saturday at the Sacramento Airport. She will have two full weeks in Oroville. She is home now with her 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses and our puppy, Soldier. I have two weeks off from my feeding job. She was in the air almost 21 hours. She started outside Baghdad went to Kuwait then to Germany then Baltimore to Fort Worth, Texas to Sacramento. She stepped off the plane in her desert camo’s, helmet in hand and Iraq and Kuwait mud on her boots. I guess you could say My daughter wears army boots! She is very upbeat about her job over there and says that the Iraqis she has contact with are supportive of what we are doing. Although the more I hear of what she does, the more I worry. We are all so proud of what she and our Troops are doing.
My old friend Angelo Acebo called and said that his Uncle Al Vasques was one of those in the picture last week. I hope he can find out more about his uncle. Also Loreta Gerald, a long time friend and sorority sister( Rho Eta, Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi) to Lynn, called and was glad to see her Cousin-in law, Maj. Leonard Campbell on our list. I have put him under the Cold War. I thought of this several years ago as I have read so much about this time after World War II up to 1991. Congress has been debating on whether to give this period the recognition, as it should be a War. Hundreds of our young men and women died in hostile action and many, many more in accidents during this time period. Soon you will see the Cold War on monuments. Ours will be one of the first. I also talked to Leonard’s cousin, Doris Larsen who has more information for me for a later story. On a very sad note a young Oroville boy, Staff Sgt. Dean Witt, Oroville High School Graduate died after surgery. He was in the Air Force. Oroville can and should be proud to have so many brave young men and women.