March 4, 2005
of Golden Sitton
and Ethyl Sitton operated “Bucks Groceteria” grocery store
in Richvale, California during and in the late 1920’s for
about a six year period. Their only son Golden was my same
age and we played together while growing up. His parents were
very outgoing and generous to their customers and to Golden and
I, candy and sodas, if you know what I mean. Golden reflected those
qualities and was a memorable playmate.
We each started
first grade together at the Richvale Grammar School in 1930.
I remember how surprised I was when on the first day of school,
Herman Wietz, an
employee at the store who brought him to class had to drag him,
kicking and screaming into the classroom. Once inside there
was never a problem that I recall. Certainly we now know by
his performance on the beach of Iwo Jima, that indeed he was a very
Within a year
or two after first grade, the family moved to Durham and started
a grocery store that eventually became an appliance business.
I missed Golden a lot and had minimal contact with him until my
sophomore year at Biggs High School. I had not seen him for
a while until during a six man football game, in the heat of play,
I accidentally made an illegal block on him. I said to him
“Hi, Bucky” and then apologized. The schools could only afford
one referee in those days so I didn’t get caught and no penalty
assessed. Looking back I still feel bad about it. It’s
just the rub of the green, I tell myself.
two years older, remembers Golden as a quiet person, played in the
band and loved sports while attending Durham High School.
Leroy was later to see the horrors of Iwo Jima while serving as
a gunnery mate with the 947th AAA (Anti Aircraft Artillery)
going ashore on March 3rd 1945. His unit worked
for the protection of the airfields on the Island. While there,
someone took the photo that accompanies this writing of Golden’s
grave Number 567 in the Iwo Jima Cemetery. Leroy carved the
stone out of a block of lava for his friend. He learned that
Golden landed on Iwo 2-19-45 and was killed in action on 2-22-45
by mortar fire. His body was later to be removed and brought
Stu’s notes: About a year or so ago while in the Butte County
Historical Society Museum, I saw a new feature, a Big display of
Pictures of Butte Counties, past, one picture that really
intrigued me had the title, "Sitton Boy died on Iwo Jima". Now, thanks to
I know more of the story of this young Hero, as you do also.
I’ve been told that Faye Anglin put this together, thank you Faye.
If the Medal of Honor could be awarded to every one on Iwo Jima
who deserved it the numbers would be far more then they are.
So many went ABOVE AND BEYOND. War is a game of numbers, so many
must die, so many, many more will live. Long ago it was said
by Nathan Hale,“I
have one regret, that I have but one life to give for my country”
I was guest speaker at the Richvale Café, and was
thrilled to meet Leroy Cartwright and other Heroes of WWII there.
They have a great group preserving Richvale’s History ,