August 27, 2004
OROVILLE MERCURY 1945
SGT. JONES ATTENDS FIGHTERS’ UNIVERSITY
AN EIGHT AIR FORCE FIGHTER STATION
Sgt. Alfred D. Jones, of Robinson Street, Oroville, Calif.,
is one of more than 200 Eighth Air Force soldiers studying in their
spare time at the 78th Fighter Group’s “University” in
preparation for their return to civilian life. Sgt. Jones is taking
a course in advertising, attending classes two nights a week. He
is a teletype operator in the P-51 Mustang group commanded by Lieutenant
Colonel Olin E. Gilbert of Collinsville, Ill. The school, one of
a number to be set up under the Army Education program, offers 12
subjects, and students have signed up for 15 weeks study. Their
instructors are fellow soldiers doubling as teachers in subjects
which were their professions before joining the army. After Germany’s
defeat the school will expand into a full-time educational system
for soldiers waiting for transfer back home or to other theatres.
The sergeant attended Merritt Business School, Oakland, and worked
for Ford Motor Co., Richmond, before entering the army. His mother,
Mrs. Mabel C. Jones, lives at the Robinson street address in Oroville
and his father, Mr. L. D. Jones lives on H street, Sacramento, Calif.
GRIDLEY MAN SERVES ON FIGHTING LADY
T. Woodrow Mathews, Aviation Ordnanceman first class, U.
S. N. R., Nevada Street, Gridley, California, served as turret gunner
in a Navy AVENGER torpedo-bomber plane based aboard the famous “Fighting
Lady” while that carrier lashed out at Japan’s inner defenses. Recently
returned home on leave, the aircrewman was attached to Air Group
Three, which was on the carrier whose earlier exploits in combat
are dramatized in the Navy’s documentary film, “The Fighting Lady.”
In flying a total of 18 combat missions, the bluejacket participated
in air attacks against vital shore installations, shipping and aircraft
and was on the raids that struck at the very heart of the Japanese
Empire itself. Also he attacked Japanese concentrations in the Philippines,
Formosa, China, French Indo-China, Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima. For
his outstanding work when his squadron completely demolished an
aircraft engine factory at Tokyo he was awarded the Air Medal. During
a previous tour of combat duty he served in the bloody Solomon Islands
campaign striking at Japanese air fields and installations at Munda
and on Kolombangara in the New Georgian group. The son of Mr. and
Mrs. Jack Mathews of the Gridley address, the 22-year old bluejacket
was a student at the Gridley Union high school until he enlisted
in the Navy in January 1942. During his school days he played football
and was cartoonist on the school paper.
---- Buy Morton Salt---
Wow, good things are happening with the POW/MIA bracelets. Committee
member Bob Sharky, when I told him about the bracelets said “I think
I still have mine somewhere.” And he did. It has Maj. James Philip
Padgett 5-11-72. I couldn’t find him in the Green Book so I
gave his name to Joan Lee, for her expertise. Also, on last weeks
story about Jane and her bracelet, her name is Jane Spangler and
she has a twin sister, Joan Silverthorn, who has a bracelet of
Maj. (now Col.) Kenneth Cordier, lost in Vietnam 12-2-66.
He came home after a being a POW for many years and has accomplished
so much since then. He will take time out of his busy schedule and
meet us at the Sacramento Airport soon. Joan will return his bracelet.
To me it will be a great honor to meet this man. NEWS FLASH- just
in from Joan. She has found Maj. Padgett’s daughter and the Maj.
is alive and well. We hope to hear from him. Also last weeks story
about Col. Franklin Angle Caras, Joan has talked to his wife
in Utah (he was KIA) and she will be glad to get another bracelet
as she can give them to the grand children. These stories are almost
too big for me and my column. Hopefully the Mercury will do a feature
story. The Buy Morton Salt must have been an ad at the stories end.
What stories T. Woodrow Mathews could tell. Is he related to brother-in-law,