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March 5, 2004
Sgt. Deborah J. Shaner, Iraq, 2004,
Hi everyone, We are still doing gun truck missions. I recently went on a four-day mission to Kuwait with another group they are hauling unit equipment down to Kuwait to be repaired or to return home. I am glad we are not taking our equipment home. It goes to Kuwait where it is steam cleaned until you even take off the California dirt it came with. We stayed overnight in Ur, Talllil Air Force Base, the place where they say Abraham was born. Right next to the camp there is a ziggurat or temple tower. It would be nice to go see it but we are not in Tallil long enough to get the chance. Talllil has a lot of foreign soldiers so it is always interesting to see them and their equipment. They seem to hang out at our PX. I was told by one of the guys that the Italian PX sold booze. I did not get a chance to go check it out. Some of the other troops are from Poland, Korea, Australia, etc. Tallil has a Burger King and a Pizza Hut. I just heard today the reason we did not get our BK here was because it was destroyed on the trip up by an IED maybe. We lost the alternator on our truck at Tallil so we had to be towed behind a 915 tractor the next morning to Kuwait. I thought I would get a break but I found it was harder to try to help steer the truck while being towed, then it would have been to drive. We got lucky when we got to Kuwait because we had some guys down there waiting for our convoy so they could return with us. One of them was a mechanic so we got the truck repaired with a used alternator to get us home. We spent the night there and headed back to Tallil the next day. It had gotten windy and cold by the time we reached Tallil so the sideboards of our truck rattled all night, luckily we had a covered truck to sleep in. On our way home the next day we got held up for three hours at the fuel point. We almost had to spend the night there on the road but they got the route cleared in time for us to head home. In Iraq you have time frames that you can leave one camp to get to another before dark. We got to see a cool test fire last night. Tracer rounds were getting shot off over near the perimeter. It’s funny to see the new guys on camp run for their gear. We have become desensitized by the almost daily sound of fire somewhere on camp. We have a siren now though that is supposed to alert camp. I just spoke to a gal that just got to Iraq two days ago. She was saying that she was told there would be places to go and get fast food I guess. Man talk about being spoiled. This place is like a resort compared to what it was when we got here!

Oroville Mercury Register April 9, 1945

Bangor Boy Dies On Iwo
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Anderson of Oakland, formerly of Bangor, have been notified that the action, in which their son Donald gave his life March 3, took place on Iwo Jima. He was 23 years of age, a member of the Fourth Division, United States Marine Corps. He was a graduate of Oroville High School, class of 1939 and had lived in Bangor until 1941 when the family moved to Oakland. He had a wide circle of friends in Bangor and Oroville and on his last furlough, September, 1943 he visited here.

Lt. King Killed In Plane’s Fall
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. King of Thermalito today received official notification that their son, Lt. Howard King, had been killed in action Jan. 3 when his B-29 plane was shot down on Iwo Jima. Lt. King had previously been reported missing in action during a flight, in which he was squadron engineer in the lead plane of the B-29 outfit. Lt. King was a graduate of Oroville High School. He enlisted as an aviation cadet in September 1942. He was later graduated as an aviation engineer from Yale University. His arrival in the Marianas was in September, 1944.

Stu’s notes: Sad, but this is all I know about these two men that gave their lives for us. No follow up story, no services, no nothing. They died and seemed to be forgotten, as many were. Why? I think we lost about 140 B-29’s in the Pacific Theater. So many died on Iwo Jima, close to 6000 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese. I’ve heard when they came home they just didn’t want to talk about it. Can you image, fighting 20,000 men that surrender was not an option? I worked very close on construction jobs with two of the survivors. I knew them very well. Spence Hostetter from Durham and Dean Burk from all over, last in Auburn. They worked on the Oroville Dam. They never talked about Iwo. Debbie has been on active duty over a year now, including 10 months in Iraq.