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April 2, 2004
Oroville Mercury Register April 25, and 23,1945

Capt. John Duensing, U. S. Army Air Corps. (pictured here) has returned to Oroville on a 21 day leave after serving 22 months overseas. He will spend about a week in Oroville visiting relatives and friends before reporting to the Santa Ana reclassification center for a new assignment. Ribbons worn by Duensing indicate he has received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with ten Oak Leaf clusters, the Unit Citation, the French Croi de Guerre, the Battle of Dutch Harbor ribbons and insignia denoting 18 months overseas duty. Duensing entered the service in September 1941, and spent nine months in the Aleutian Islands. Upon returning he joined the air corps received his commission and was sent to the Mediterranean war theatre. He was first based on the Italian island of Sardinia, later being transferred to Corsica and then to Operations in France. He piloted a B-26 twin-engined bomber and completed 58 missions against the enemy in Italy, France and Germany. The air force with which Duensing was connected had for its principal duties blowing up enemy bridges and railroad facilities. He also participated in bombing beachheads in support of troops during the invasion of France. Bombing of the Breeder Pass rail line between Germany and Italy was one of the main objects of the air force. During time off, Duensing spent some time in visiting Rome and Paris and found the business and residential sections largely untouched by the war although railroads and other war facilities and near the cities have been bombed off the map. Duensing was accompanied here by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Duensing of Sacramento, former residents of Oroville.

With The 37th Infantry Division In Manila - Award of the Purple Heart Medal- America’s oldest military decoration-has been made to Technical Sergent Robert W. McGill, 28, Oroville, California for wounds sustained in action against the Japanese. A rifle platoon sergeant in the 129th infantry regiment, McGill was slightly wounded in the right shoulder by a rifle bullet while taking part in an attack at Fort Statsenburg, Luzon Island. His regiment during the rapid sweep from Lingayen Gulf of Manila secured Clark Field by knocking out enemy resistance in the fort area. After Clark Field, the 129th slugged it out through the streets of Manila, the action culminating in an amphibious assault against part of the old Walled City that resulted in the capture of Fort Santiago- A Spanish fortress along the Pasig River built in the 1500’s. McGill has been overseas 31 months serving also in Fiji and the Solomons. His stepfather and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Chris H. White, reside on Route 3, Oroville.

Stu’s Notes: What an impressive War Record, Capt. John Duensing has. He was a very busy man. I don’t know much about the B-26, it was fast but I heard it was hard to fly. You had to be a very good pilot. Nick Krpan, who has been on our Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee since the start will be 89 years old on Sunday, April 4th. Nick went through three boot camps in the states before marching through Belgium and Germany, carrying a mortar. More of Nicks War story later. I would like to thank Gold Country Casino for a $1,000, check to help build our Memorial. I would also like to thank Lee, of Kelly Ridge Heating and Air Conditioning who has donated a booth for us at the Oroville Senior Faire coming June 12th. Tim Tokuno, who I wrote about Oct. 31, 2003 has passed away, he was very active in the Gridley V. F. W. and the Gridley Veterans Memorial, which by the way, Gridley can be very proud of. Tim fought in WWII with the famous 442nd.