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January 28, 2005
Oroville Mercury Register June 21, 1945
“Some Gave All”

Couple Learn Death Details
The adjutant general’s office has notified Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Hammer of Biggs that their son, Pfc Leslie C. Hammer, 22, died in a prisoner of war camp in the Philippine Islands May 2, 1942, as a result of cerebral malaria. The parents previously had been informed of his death, but at that time the circumstances and the date had not been definitely ascertained. He had been listed as missing in action for two years, but was officially declared dead a year ago. He enlisted in the army April 2, 1941, and was in Manila when the war broke out. He was a member of the headquarters detachment of the 31st infantry, which was evacuated from Manila to Bataan. Hammer was graduated from Biggs high school in 1939, and was employed at the Rosenberg Bros. Rice mill in Biggs most of the time until his enlistment. Besides his parents, he is survived by three sisters: Mrs. Vonnie Anderson of Biggs, Mrs. Anita Dailey of Sacramento, and Mrs. Ollie Schramm of Biggs.

In the Fight
Carl Elkins Arrives Home From Pacific Area
Cpl. Carl W. Elkins of the US Marine Corps is home from the South Pacific. At the end of his 30 day leave, he will report to Terry Point, N. C. for further assignment. He has been overseas seventeen months and was transportation man with the Marine Air Wing Fighter Squadron. He wears five battle stars for action on Bougainville, Leyte, Solomon and Green Islands. Elkins is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Elkins of Oroville and before enlisting in December of 1942 was employed by the Western Pacific Company. Two brothers are in the service. Cpl. Everett L. Elkins is with the engineer’s corps on Guadalcanal and Cpl. Bethel C. Elkins is a post projector in the air corps at Pinedale Camp, Fresno. Another brother Herman, was killed in action nearly two years ago. A fourth brother Raymond Lee, will enter the army in August.

Was Bob Merian Rewarded with a Kiss?
S/Sgt. Robert Merian is reported to be in Germany. He was at Reims on VE Day and in Paris during the three day celebration that followed. He reports the towns were lined with flowers and flags and the people were so happy that they shook hands and kissed the GIs whenever they stopped. His company has been awarded the Bronze Combat Star. Sgt Merian is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Merian of Wyandotte who are now at their summer home near La Porte. His wife and two children are living at the Merian home.

Clarence Edwards Loads “Messages for the Japs”
Pfc Clarence Edwards was slightly wounded on Iwo Jima where he saw plenty of action. He was hit be fragments from a hand grenade. He has recovered and is now in a night fighter squadron ground crew. His duties include loading of bombs on the big “Black Widow” planes. He trained at five camps in the United States before being sent overseas about 9 months ago. He was born in Oroville and attended the local schools. For several years before entering the army, he was a logger at Feather Falls. Delores, his wife and two small sons, Norman and Jimmie, live in the family home on Houston street. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Seigle Edwards of Oroville.

Stu’s Notes: This is probably all we will ever learn of this young BIGGS boy who died so long ago. This is all the Mercury will have most likely printed about him. Unless one of my readers knows something there is not enough time to do further research.
I want my readers to know that all money that comes to our group goes 100% to the Memorial. No one on our committee profits from this project. No one to this day has received any expenses for his or her help on this project and they never will. Look us up on the web at www.orovilleveteransmemorialpark.org
HERMAN ELKINS died for us, I don’t know if he lived in Oroville ever. You reading this know as much as me. I first read this article two weeks ago.
Help! Bob Merian’s son, Gene is a friend of mine. His family are some of the original pioneers of the Oroville area. Gene helped on the Men Who Built Oroville Dam Monument. My Uncle Stanley Shaner was in Reims, France during the War. I have a painting of Reims he brought back, dated Sept. 1945. Presented to him by a Mr. Richoff, Painted by Willy Kraft, Mudau Lodermald, maybe German P.O.W.’s.
The Japanese treated our P.O.W.’s terrible. The death rate was 44%; in Germany it was 1%. Young Pfc. LESLIE C. HAMMER must NOT BE FORGOTTEN.