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June 11, 2004
Oroville Mercury April 30, 1945

Pvt. Virgil (Red) McGinnis, (whose picture ran a few weeks ago), 26 and Sgt. Milton (Roy) L. McNalley, 23 of Oroville by this time have probably had a get-together in Belgium to talk over old times and exchange bits of news on the folks back home. In a letter to his mother, Mrs. Inez Lalla of High Street, McGinnis said that on his arrival in Belgium he learned McNalley was there and he was wasting no time in arranging a meeting. McNalley has gone on to Bonn, Germany and no further word has come from McGinnis. The two men met while employed by the Western Pacific Railroad. McNalley’s dad, John McNalley, is W. P. trainmaster at Keddie. All three of the McNalley boys are in the service, one in the navy, another in the air corps and Roy in the 740th Railway Operations Battalion. McGinnis is a graduate of the local high school. He will be 27 years of age April 27. He is married, his wife, the former Marian Simpson, works in the supply department at Fort Francis E. Warren, Cheyenne, Wyo. Before going to work on the railroad, McGinnis was employed at the State Theatre. In his letter to his mother, McGinnis administered a mild reproof about the American attitude toward rationing. “You should thank your lucky stars that you can still go to a store a buy things,” he wrote “God, I wish some of the people back home could see the people of France and other countries who haven’t got anything. As for me, I’d gladly pay a little more to get a good home cooked meal when I feel like eating and not when they tell me to eat. You don’t get any sympathy from me when you tell me about high prices”

Cpl. Earl J. Pulley is a member of the 316th Medical Battalion, which has been faced with intermittent German artillery fire and strafing from enemy planes for more than three months as it operates close to the Po Valley along the Fifth Army front in Italy. The medics’ main job is to evacuate wounded doughboys from the field of battle. They also are responsible for hospitalization in cases which are not serious and for supervision of sanitation and food handling for 15,000 men. As the Gothic Line was breached, a single company of the 316th handled more that 220 casualties in one day. Almost 5 hours was required to carry each litter case to an aid station during a 48-hour period in the fighting for Mt. Albano. Volunteers drove into no man’s land under intense fire when litter squads, exhausted by the necessity to make long, circuitous trips, were virtually unable to continue their work. Mrs. Pulley, the sergeant’s wife, lives on Route 3.

Staff Sergeant Wayne Leonard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Leonard, Rte 2, Oroville has been transferred from the Signal Corps to the Air Corps at the Salinas Army Air Base of the Fourth Air Force.

Lt. William (Bill) H.P.Dolan,Jr., of Oroville, B-29 pilot in the Marianas, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious service while participating in aerial flights. The attractive bronze disc was received here today by Dolan’s wife, the former Anne Madsen, who with the couple’s 8 months old daughter Anne Marie, lives on Wilcox Avenue. Dolan, who was in the news recently when his bomber was jolted 5000 feet upward during a B-29 raid presumably over Osaka, was a copilot when he went overseas in February. He is now a first pilot in command of a bomber. He has been in the Army Air Corps for two years.

Stu’s Notes:
I remember Virgil Mc Ginnis. He did a lot for our community. When our daughter, Debbie, was in Iraq we were told by the military to never complain to your soldier about conditions at home. We lost two Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee members this week, John Herina and Ed Ewalt. Both were heroes to me. They both served their country. I’ve know Ed for quite a few years, I met him at our Methodist Church. He was in 3 wars, his early days in the holds of ships working around asbestos took a toll on his body. I wrote a little about Ed over a year ago. I hope to have more as he was going to put more of his stories written down. He was on our committee from day one. June 2001 was our first meeting.