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January 30, 2004
Oroville Mercury May 24, 1945

Pfc. Jerry J. Walker of the U. S. Marine Corps is looking forward to the big military transfer from Europe to the Pacific. From his base on Saipan, Walker writes, “I wish they would hurry and get all those men and that equipment out here and get this thing over with.” Walker, veteran of Tarawa and many other marine campaigns, was home on leave last summer. He spent a short time at a stateside base before he was reassigned to the Pacific. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Walker of Montgomery Street. His latest letter was written on Mother’s Day and expressed a belief that “next year should find me able to be with you on the second Sunday in May.”

Stu’s notes: I attended the Oroville Service for Airforce Staff Sgt. Dean Witt at the VFW Hall. It was quite a moving experience. It was a reflection of the life of one of our Brave Oroville Boys who served his country well and left many wonderful memories for the people of Oroville. His mother, Jan Nell Williams, can be proud to have had such a son. He is buried in Salt Lake City, but he will always be remembered here. An Honor Guard of the Thermalito VFW did the military part of the service. They did a fine and professional service.
A short report on Sgt. Deborah Shaner: Well, we put Debbie on the plane in Sacramento last Sunday. She has 3 more months left to complete her year in Iraq. She is very upbeat about going back. We are not, but she will do her job. I truly believe we are doing good over there. Often the good does not get reported. I sure enjoyed the positive out look on Iraq that was in the Oroville Mercury on January 24th by Michael L. Whiteley.
Corporal Don Hickson III
is the kind of Soldier we need over there. I may sound like a broken record but I can never ever say too much about the men and women of Oroville that have gone off to serve our Country. I know, I read their stories. It took Debbie two full days to get there. Sacramento, Texas, a night in Baltimore, due to snow, then to Frankfort Germany, a long flight to Kuwait then to Iraq. Our cell phone quit working after Frankfort. The Military did pay for Debbie’s trip all the way. This was not done in the past, I heard. NEWS FLASH, DATELINE KUWAIT, TUESDAY 9:30PM. “Hi, Dad, I’m in a cold tent with 60 others in Kuwait waiting for a plane to our base in Iraq. There it will feel like my away from home, home. I will be with all my stuff.”
My stories are allowing me to meet so many wonderful people that read their name or about a loved one that is gone.
I had a long visit with Troy Ambrose who was a member or the Oroville High School Class of 1945. Except he was gone to war before graduation. War Stories of he and his Uncle Ray Ambrose later. The recent group picture from Troy brought a call from Bob White, a high school friend of mine and fellow Oroville Dam Builder. Bob told me his uncle Gib White was shot by a 50 Cal machine gun with holes in his upper body as big as your fist and he laid in a field two days in the cold snow. The men loading bodies on a truck noticed he was alive (just barely) and he spent a year in the hospital before he got home to Oroville. With 60 young Oroville boys dying in WWII There must have been a whole lot more wounded.