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August 27, 2004


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.

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---

Stu’s notes:
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, John?