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February 27, 2004
Oroville Mercury Register April 21, 1945

Mrs. C. S. Lothrop has received word of the engagement of her nephew, Lt. Jack E. Onyett to Miss Patsy Elizabeth Curtis of Los Angeles. Lt. Onyett is the son of Floyd E. (Bun) Onyett, a former coach at Oroville High School. After graduating from College of the Pacific in Stockton, he joined the Marines and has been an instructor at St. Simon’s Island, Ga. His cousin, William C. Lothrop, is serving with the Navy in the South Pacific.

Mrs. Jack Noble returned to Oroville yesterday after nearly five weeks in Baltimore, where her husband, Lt. J. H. Noble, was stationed at Fort George Meade, prior to being sent overseas. Their daughter, Suzan, remained here with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Todd McGinnis, while her mother was in the east. While in Maryland, Mrs. Noble visited at the home of Mrs. Fred Noyes, the former Marjorie Kister of Oroville, and learned that Mrs. Noyes is planning to return to Oroville shortly, as Lt. Noyes was sent overseas the early part of this month.

With fire raging among burst and burning depth charges as a result of Japanese attacks, Lt. Emmett T. King, husband of Mrs. Kathryn King of Oroville, unhesitatingly risked his life to save his ship from internal explosion. For his heroic action, Lt. King has been awarded the Navy Cross. A citation accompanying the award discloses that the navy man, assistant damage control officer of the ship distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in successfully fighting the menacing blaze. “At great risk to himself and with total disregard of personal danger,” the citation reads, “he obtained a fire hose from an adjacent bulkhead and directed a stream of water on the burning depth charges. His prompt, courageous action may well have spared the ship from internal explosion.” Lt. King’s wife makes her home with her sister, Mrs. C. H. Coggins, who lives here in Oroville. Mrs. Coggins’ husband is a navy commander on duty in the Orient.

Stu’s Notes: I learned a little more about Oroville’s Tuskegee Airman, Dorothy Bauer called and said she went to Yuba College with Samuel L. Broadnax in 1947 and 48. He wore a leather jacket, probably his Flight Jacket and that he was studying Journalism and he was a very nice young man. She talked to him about 20 years ago and he had been working for KSFO Radio in San Francisco. He was living on a boat north of the city. He was divorced and said his wife didn’t like living on a boat. I think he would be about 78 years old now. I have asked people if they have heard of the Tuskegee Airman. Many said no. So I feel I should say that during WWII the Armed Services were segregated and it took a lot of convincing to get the Generals to admit African Americans into Flight School. Finally they agreed to an all African American group and the Tuskegee Airmen were formed in 1943. They flew the P51 Mustang, probably the best built single engine fighter in the War. The P38 had two engines. I think they flew out of Italy and North Africa. They served with great distinction and many honors. It is sad to say when they came home they didn’t receive a welcome everywhere, especially in many southern states. There is a movie about their heroics.
We have a Pfc. Lester William Onyett who died while fighting in the Pacific. He worked at Onyett’s Dairy somewhere in Oroville. Could he be related to Lt. Jack E. Onyett. Some people might not call me about stories not wanting their name in the paper. If you ask, I will not use your name. Please call me at 533-8147 if you can add to the stories of our Heroes.