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October 14, 2005

“Some Gave All”
Flatter Killed Serving U. S. Dies in Plane Crash At Sea; His body Not Recovered

John M. Flatter of Oroville, electrician’s mate first class, U. S. Naval Reserve, was killed in an airplane crash at sea Saturday, his wife, Myrtle, was notified by the navy department yesterday. The crash presumably occurred somewhere in the Atlantic. Flatter left for overseas duty April 1, and notified his wife ten days later that he had arrived safely at his destination. A member of the Seabees, he reported for duty last October in San Francisco. Was In Army 7 Years Flatter served in the first world war as an infantry sergeant. He enlisted in the army in 1913 and was in the service seven years he came to Oroville 21 years ago and had been employed by the P G & E for 19 years before enlisting in the navy. He was a native of Ohio. The family home is on West D Street. The message from the navy department informed Mrs. Flatter that her husband was “killed in the performance of his duty in the service of his country on May 1, 1943, as a result of a plane crash at sea.” The message added that his body was not recovered. The telegram said that details of the crash were not available. Flatter is survived by his wife Myrtle’s four sons, George, who is an apprentice seaman at Farragut, Ida.; Raymond and Donald, Oroville high school students, and Charles Flatter.

Flatter was believed to be the third Oroville district man to give his life in the war. Howard Gould, chief deputy in the county auditor’s office, went down with the Lexington in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and Alphie Worthy, 20, of Chico Road, another navy man, was lost when a Japanese submarine torpedoed an oil tanker off the Pacific coast last October.

Oroville Mercury Resister June 12, 1944

Twenty five years ago (1919)
E. H. Haynes, formerly of Jack’s Ranch, Berry Creek, last night returned to Oroville from service overseas. Haynes went to France with the 40th Division. He spent 38 days under fire in the Mouse-Argone salient….Frank and Charles Taber and Arthur Babb of Oroville are to receive rides in government aeroplanes from this city to Mather Field. The boys have enlisted with the aviation service and will be the first recruits to be taken from this section to their military duties by aeroplane.

Oroville Mercury Register February 11, 1944

Butte Boys Meet Far From Home
Two Butte County boys met by chance in the South Pacific this week and “made a time of it.” They were Burton Goldstein, son of J. Oscar Goldstein of Chico and Dan Beebe Jr. of Oroville. Their parents know it was this week because the postmark on the letter disclosed it was only 3 days in transit. They infer it was from the South Pacific because Goldstein is on the staff of Admiral Halsey as chief watch officer, lieutenant junior grade. Goldstein said that Beebe was in good health, bronzed from the equatorial sun.

Stu’s notes: John Flatter served his country well, he didn’t need to go to war, he had already done that and at his age with 4 children he most likely would not have been drafted. But duty called and he went as so many brave men and women have always done, since our country was born. Committee Member Doug Krause knew the family, I hope to contact them and hear more about their father. Doug was a ball turret gunner in B-17’s over Europe in 1943-44. Right after I talked to Doug, Marv Hollener called me about duck hunting and I found out he flew in 17’s out of Italy in WWII. What a thrill to talk to two such men in just a few minutes. I love this writing job. You couldn’t pay me to do it. I wonder what happened to Dan Beebe Jr. I’m sure he was the Editor’s son, but this is all I’ve seen of him in print. I wonder how far those 3 Oroville boys went in the aeroplane. More on Howard Gould and Alphie Worthy later.

HELP THOSE WHO HELP YOU III, will be this Saturday, October 15th from 1-4pm. We will have a great talent show, emceed by Mike Ramsey plus a spaghetti lunch all for only $6.00. There will also be many raffle and door prizes. You must be present to win. Member Bill Fox has arranged with Paul Sims of Surplus City to have a shuttle cart on the levee east of the Municipal Auditorium, driven by Jack Brereton. You can park there and be taken down to the Memorial Hall basement for our lunch and show.