June 18, 2004
Oroville Mercury April 30 and May 8, 1945
THREE BROTHERS TOTAL OVER 12 YEARS OF SERVICE
Pfc. Robert L. Garland, the son of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Garland
of Myers Street, is in his fifth year of service in the army. He
enlisted before war was declared and has been serving in the Pacific
area for over three years. He has been in Australia, New Guinea
and the Philippines with I corps. This unit started out as combat
engineers, was converted to a tank destroyer battalion and when
the Japanese ran out of tanks in New Guinea, was converted once
more this time into a motorized mortar battalion. The Japanese call
these mortars “automatic artillery” because they fire with incredible
rapidity and accuracy. They have been kept up front with the infantry
in the thick of the fights. One morning, after fighting all night,
Garland wrote his mother that he looked out of his foxhole and saw
a little monkey all covered with blood. He picked him up and cared
for him and now has him for a pet. Mr. and Mrs. Garland have two
other sons that have been in the service over four years. Sgt. Norman
Garland has spent the years in the United States and at present
is training other GIs in anti-aircraft warfare at Inglewood, Calif.
He has been at camps in Washington, Georgia, Tennessee and other
states. Pfc. Marion Garland is with the Infantry. He was in the
Aleutians for a while but is now fighting in France.
Van Duzer Gets Riviera Rest
Valentine Van Duzer, T5, with the 1st Army in the European
area, was one of the lucky ones to draw a week’s furlough to the
French Riviera recently. The boys making this trip are said to have
been housed in beautifully furnished rooms with private baths in
luxurious hotels. They were treated like kings and were under very
little military restrictions. His brother, Pfc. Roger Van Duzer,
is also enjoying a rest after the hardships of the battle line.
He wrote home that he was at a marine rest camp following the action
on Iwo Jima. Waiting for him he found letters and packages and he
said it was just like coming home to return to this camp and find
Oroville Greets V-E Day Quietly; Many Close Doors Two series
of blasts, 30 to a series, from the Oroville fire siren ushered
in V-E Day at six o’clock this morning. Immediately after, the church
bells rang merrily. The sleeping town had awakened to the fact that
the long waited for day was officially here. At 8:45 the sound of
the organ chimes played by Miss Pati Randolph was heard coming from
the tower of the Congregational Church. She closed her fifteen-minute
program with the hymn “Grant to us Peace in our time, Oh Lord.”
Another short program was heard at noon. The schools opened as usual
but dismissed the pupils at 1:30. Burbank and Eastside schools observed
the occasion with programs of patriotic songs and a few remarks
to bring home the meaning of the day. The band played for the Bird
Street program and they made plans to carry on with the Bond Sale
set for May 18. An assembly was held at the high school to celebrate
the big day. In the absence of orders from Washington, Oroville
post office remained open. They do not have authority to close except
when the Governor issues a proclamation. Many of the local stores
remained closed the entire day. Others felt they should stay on
the job and remained open. Pacific Gas and Electric remained open
because the law requires public utilities to stay open except on
stated holidays. The local bars closed as did those of Sutter and
Yuba counties. It was reported this morning that Chico business
houses were carrying on business as usual.
Stu’s notes: V-E Day, Victory over Europe. The world went wild
with celebration. Although it didn’t seem to catch on in Oroville,
as the May 8th Oroville Mercury didn’t have much to say on the day.
More on what happened here next week.
May 7, 1945 I was 4 ½ years old, I remember a big celebration in
my little town of New Brighton, PA. My dad, Walter Shaner, local
good man, got out the 22 rifle, which I still have, and my brother,
Larry, your “Local” Mailman and Sister Peggy “Local Dancer” went
out on the front stoop and fired it off. I worried about the bullet
falling on someone’s head. People were celebrating in the streets.
Maybe there were celebrations on the streets of Oroville, anybody
Several months ago I talked to Roger Van Duzer. He was moving somewhere.
I hope he contacts me again. I would like to know more about the
Oroville boys he knew.