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December 23, 2005
Oroville Mercury Register Aug. 25, 1943
“Some Gave All”

Wisconsin boy Was One Killed In Crash
Second Lt. J. Mickelson of Madison, Wisc., was the Army flyer Killed in the crash north-west of Oroville Monday evening. It was disclosed today at the Army Airdrome here. Announcement of the name was not made until assurance had been received that his mother was notified.

Oroville Mercury September 21, 1943
“Some Gave All”

Lieutenant’s body to be Sent North
The body of 2nd Lt. Donald A. Soens, 28, of 802 Montgomery street, Oroville army flier, who was killed when his plane crashed near Roseville Saturday night, will be sent to his former home in Seattle tomorrow. It will be accompanied by his wife and Lt. Cordell L. Summers, of Oroville, another pilot of Soen’s Squadron, and Mrs. Summers. Military services will be held in Seattle. Soens, whose squadron was based at Marysville, had lived in Oroville since Aug. 17.

Oroville Mercury August 23, 1943

Bernice Schmitke Wed To Alvah Downer In Ceremony At Biggs
Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Schmitke of Biggs, announce the marriage of their daughter, Bernice Elaine Schmitke, to Pfc. Alvah D. Downer of Oroville, on August 10, 1943. The wedding took place at the parsonage in Biggs in the presence of relatives of the bride and groom with Rev. Howard B. Dautlon officiating. The bride was attired in a moss green crepe dress with brown accessories. Her corsage was a white gardenia. A reception followed at the home of the bride.

Drobishes Go South To Visit Son, Return Daughter To College
Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Drobish and their daughter, Joy, left Tuesday for Southern California. Miss Drobish will re-enter college at Redlands. Mr. and Mrs. Drobish will visit their son, Boardman, who is at Santa Ana Air Base. They will return in about two weeks.

Stu’s Notes: Again information on the stories of our brave young men has come to me out of nowhere. This last one, a man, Ron Hayes just happened to visit Oroville, his home for many years, OHS class of 1951, on a Friday. The day my story comes out in the Mercury. What he read brought back old memories, both happy and sad. He read about one of our plane crashes in the Oroville area in 1943. This is his story on one of those. In 1943 he lived at 820 Montgomery St., in a brick house. His father and mother, Victor and Elizabeth had cabins for rent there. Three pilots and their wives rented from them. Some of my readers might remember Hayes Auto Court. The Pilots had bought a big 4 door, convertible to run around in. They were such a happy group. They called Ron’s mother “Mom” and brought his father machine gun bullets so he could go deer hunting, a hard item to get in those times. One day Ron, 10 years old came home and every one was so sad, his mother was crying. One of the brave young pilots had crashed and died. For a short while this man called Oroville home and was soon forgotten. 2nd Lt. Donald A. Soens will not be forgotten again.
On last weeks story about the Honor Stars, I had only one reply, Jan Rose Bales, who does research for me. She called to say her dad, Jim Rose was in the service during WWII and his wife, Marjorie wore one for him. Then in the Iraq War Jan’s sister Ellen wore her Dad’s star in honor of her son Jason, who fought there. I wrote about Jason about a year ago. Jim Rose was always Mr. Rose to me. He was a wonderful man, I knew him when I was a young boy. He owned Rose Bothers Market which is now Collins and Denny, managed by my friend Robert Magaha.