CSS Tabbed Menus Css3Menu.com

July 23, 2004
Oroville Mercury Register April 14 & 28, 1945

Pat Richards Hospitalized
S-Sgt. Pat Richards is now in a base hospital in England recovering from a wound received in the fighting in Germany. In a letter to his wife, he told her the ring she gave him that he wore on his left hand had been shot off. He added that he “got it in the hand and not in the neck.”
News has filtered through that Richards has been in some extremely bad fighting deep in Germany. He is with the 104th Infantry known as “The Timber Wolves.” Wounded on Good Friday, he was in four field hospitals before being flown to England. They flew over beautiful scenery in five different countries, he wrote, but he was the only patient in the plane in a condition to appreciate it. He expects to be sent home before very long.

Missionary Known Here Foils Japanese By Disposing of Her Possessions
Invading Japanese found little loot in the Chinese dwelling of Mrs. Elizabeth F. Brewster, American missionary in China for the past 60 years, and well known locally. Keeping one jump ahead of the Japanese, the 83 year-old woman headed off looting by selling most of her possessions. In a letter to her son, William F. Brewster of Fifth Avenue, Mrs. Brewster said she kept most of the money from the sale invested in “rice paddy” or in things so that she would not get caught with a lot of paper. She added that from $100 to $120 in China was equal to the value of one American dollar. Black market prices, she said, were from $350 to $500 for one dollar’s worth of goods. “I paid $320,” her letter read, “for a pint of kerosene to mix with camphor oil for a lantern. Camphor is $96 a pound and peanut oil $86.” Dated Oct. 21, 1944, Mrs. Brewster’s letter told of the Japanese occupation of Suchow. “All British and Americans escaped,” it read, “except those in the Willis F. Pierce Hospital. There were four American women, one English patient and a Jewish doctor and his wife captured. This happened about 5 a. m. Island folk got away before ‘they’ crossed the river. They had all planned to go before but an officially promised launch failed them. Why the hospital group did not evacuate the hospital then is a mystery to us.”


“I am in a nurses bungalow with two other women. All plans and provision are made for sidestepping if anything occurs. We have the assurance of an escort, the officer in command of un-uniformed soldiers, in other words, the guerilla official.” Mrs. Brewster told of the great rejoicing in China when MacArthur and his men landed on the Philippines and over the bombing of Formosa, and sinking of ships and the destruction of planes. In a second letter, dated Jan. 16, 1945, Mrs. Brewster wrote, “Good news from the radio this morning. Japan gives the United States three months to occupy the China coast.” Mrs. Brewster, who retired after 50 years service as a missionary on the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Church, returned to China because of the need for help among the Chinese young people in the educational field. Her last visit in Oroville was in 1941. At that time she spoke in local churches and clubs.

Stu’s notes:
Big things will be happening soon with our Veterans Memorial. The State Grant money we applied for over two years ago has finally worked it’s way through the County and Feather River Recreation and Parks District and will go to the City of Oroville. This money, voted for by the people of California, Prop 12 and 40, to build and maintain parks. That is what we will do, build a beautiful park to honor those who served our country, in the past, from the birth of America to the present. We have brave men and women all over the world serving with honor in many dangerous places. The future of our great nation will always depend on the youth of our country to serve and protect us. They must be honored for this. The memorial will have tall granite monuments to honor those from the Oroville area that lost their lives while serving our country. We will also have a wall made up of polished granite tiles, 12’ X 6”. Engraved with names and service times and places by Bob Leask, of Lake Oroville Monument Company, for a price that is most generous. We are currently selling theses tiles for $50 each. They can honor any United States of America, service man or woman, who served our country honorably, in war or peacetime. Honored soldiers can be living or passed on, from any state in our country. In will be a way to honor all the veterans in your family. My family will buy about 8 tiles to honor our Veterans of the past and present. Although the Grant money will get us started, we still need to raise a lot more money to bring the Memorial Park to completion. Hopefully the citizens of Oroville, Clubs and Businesses will come forward to reach our goal.