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December 9, 2005
Please check out our web site by webmaster Daryl Autrey at www.orovilleveteransmemorialpark.org to see what is happening with our project.

Oroville Mercury June 27, 1944

Miss Edith Burroughs Engaged to be wed to Seaman Ralph Gray
At a pretty luncheon attended by a group of close friends, tiny parchment scrolls at each place told the engagement of Miss Edith Burroughs to Seaman 2/c Ralph Gray of the U. S. Navy. The affair was held Sunday at the home of the hostess, Miss Pat Bishop of Quincy road. White satin ribbons tied the scrolls that told of the betrothal. Gladioli and the table appointments carried out a maize and pale green color scheme. Miss Burroughs is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Burroughs of Feather Falls. She is a graduate of Oroville schools and is attending Armstrong’s Business College, at Berkley. While in high school Miss Burroughs was secretary of the student body during her senior year. She also achieved a life membership in the California Scholarship Federation and was a member of the YMCA Hi-Y Club. Before attending school in Berkeley, she was employed at the Mercury-Register then the Western Oil Company and later at the agriculture extension service. She is a past honored queen of Job’s Daughters, past member of the Oroville Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Oroville Girls Organization.

Seaman Gray is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Gray of Chico, formerly of Thermalito. He is a graduate of Oroville High School Class of ‘42, where he received his letter in basketball. He was an Eagle Scout in a local troop. He attended University of California at Berkeley after his enlistment in the naval reserve. Early this year he entered active service and is stationed at San Diego. The couple’s romance began while they were in high school and culminated in their engagement while they were both attending school at Berkeley. No immediate date has been set for the wedding.

Local Navy Man Composes Song
Richard Gambrel, seaman 2/c of the U. S. Navy will have the pleasure next Monday night of hearing a song of his own composition played and sung over a national network. Gambrel, who graduated from Oroville High School in 1942, entered the service April 14 of this year. He received his boot camp training in San Diego and was then assigned to Texas A and M College. While in high school, Gambrel was pianist for the Rotary Club. He has appeared on programs for many other local clubs and is widely known here as an outstanding musician. Word of his achievement in the song field was received recently by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Gambrel of Montgomery street. Gambrel was awarded a $25 war bond for his position, which will also be entered in competition for a larger prize.

Mercury Register August 24. 1943
“Some Gave All”

Army Flyer Dies As Plane Strikes Hill
Two fighter planes were Circling to Land At Local Field
An army flyer, piloting one of two planes in routine flight from Oroville airdrome, was killed at 9:21 p.m. Monday when his low flying single-seater flighter crashed into a hill on the Carleton Grubbs property about three miles northwest of Oroville. The name of the flyer was withheld until officials at the field have assurance that the next of kin have been notified. The crack-up came when the second of an echelon of two fighters, circling for a field landing, swung too low and hit a hill of about 250 feet in height, according to the airdrome’s public relations officer. The pilot was thrown clear of the plane which scattered wreckage over approximately three acres and was a total loss. A recovered instrument panel clock showed that it had stopped at 9:21pm. Gasoline, scattered by the crash, caused a grass fire that burned about 15 acres. Although much of the fire burned its self out, two fire trucks from the Thermalito ranger station went to the accident scene. They were directed by Ranger E. P. Biggs and Assistant Ranger Henry Gaub. The body was taken to Nugent’s Funeral Home in Chico. Further investigation by army authorities was proceeding today. The fire on the hill attracted considerable attention in Oroville where many thought a large building was on fire. The outline of the flames indicated even through field glasses what seemed to be a large roof, burning at the eaves edges and rooftree.

Stu’s Notes: Lynn was at the computer waiting for one more story to type. I was running around with a thousand thoughts going through my head, I had just received an interesting new email from Daryl Autrey about the plane crashes in the Oroville area. Army planes from our Oroville Airdrome. I reached into a box and grabbed an O.M.R. 1943, just by fate and there was the above story. A brave young man dies here and is soon “Forgotten”. How could we forget, we did, but never again. We will find the rest of his story, also more on Dan Beebe Jr. He did serve his county, in the Merchant Marines. You talk to one and they will tell you who’s the best. More to come on Dan. The rest of the stories on our Oroville Heroes will take many years. In fact they will never end. As our Service men and women are making stories as I write. We are typing this on December 6th, Nick and I are planning to go tomorrow to honor the Pearl Harbor survivors at the Gridley Fair Ground.