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April 30, 2004
Oroville Mercury Register April 30, 1945

Sgt. Howell Finds Inflation Is Difficult to Carry Around
Sgt. Everett P. Howell, who was fortunate enough to go both to China and return by plane, has returned to Oroville on brief leave, weighing considerably less than when he enlisted in the air corps shortly after Pearl Harbor. One reason for the loss in weight is that while at an advanced post in China, far from medical care, he contracted pneumonia. Later, when they could fly him out, a physician informed him that he had passed the crisis and needed only rest. Howell was graduated from Oroville High School with the class of “38, met the present Mrs. Howell while stationed in Florida. She is living for the duration of the war in Lakeland, Fla., with her son, who is 13 months old. “I enlisted in San Francisco on Jan. 4, 1942, as soon after Pearl Harbor as I could sell my car and get things arranged,” Howell said. He is now a radio station operator with the famous Flying Tigers. At times he has been at some of the China fields that since have been captured by the Japanese. Howell likes the Chinese. They are intelligent and friendly, he said. The common people are so extremely poor that it is hard to realize how poor they are. But one can depend on them, particularly if they put it in writing. He said that an American dollar was worth 500 Chinese dollars when he left. At one time the ratio was 1 to 70. An ordinary workman, he said, earns enough to feed him self and that is all, the pay fluctuating with the value of the dollar. A Chinese workman needs about 6 bowls of rice a day, if rice is selling at $50 a bowl, he draws $300. Whiskey, said Howell, sells for $65 American dollars per quart, but can be obtained only in Chungking. Engineers going out to employ Chinese sometimes carry as much as 15 million dollars, Chinese, in suitcases. He said he once figured the real cost of eggs when they were selling at 60 cents a dozen at home and found that the cost in China, all things considered, was, roughly about the same, the price in Chinese money was $5 per egg. Howell can use from 50 to 100 Chinese words or phrases, enough to make him-self understood in essential maters.

Stu’s notes:
WOW, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, BUTTE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. They unanimously voted for our Oroville Veterans Memorial Park. R.J. “Bob” Beeler, Jane Dolan, Mary Anne Houx, Curt Josiassen and Kim Yamaguchi, they were the third clog in the wheel along with the City of Oroville and Feather River Recreation and Park District the park project will roll a head. Over 3 years of hard work by the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee is coming together.
Committee Member George Morin had wanted me to meet a man he knows for quite sometime now. And I’m sure glad we got together.
He sure has stories to tell, his name is Bill Dunbar, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret). He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt in Europe with the 396
th Fighter Squadron 368th Fighter Group 9th Airforce. He has lived in Oroville for about 25 years. His stories are coming soon. I had a good interview with Jason Rose, one of the returning Heroes of Iraq. Some of his stories will appear here soon. Sgt. Deborah J. Shaner is on American soil, Ft. Lewis, WA. She will be in Oroville soon. For our family it has been a long year.