April 2, 2004
Oroville Mercury Register April 25, and 23,1945
WELL DECORATED LAD IS HOME FROM THE WARS
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.
SGT. MCGILL GETS PURPLE HEART AWARD
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.