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April 1, 2005
Oroville Mercury May 15th 1945 and History of United States Naval Operations In World War II.

Pfc. George E. Slusser took part in the action at Okinawa. Writing to his wife and family in Richvale, he said he went ashore on the fourth wave as a machine gunner on a tank. He is with the 3rd Amph. Corps of the U. S. Marines. He also wrote that he had seen and talked with Cpl. Kenneth Peterson, USMC, of Richvale. He said the first person from home that he had met. Slusser volunteered for service in February 1944. He trained at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, until October when his outfit was assigned to overseas duty.

The History Channel
D-Day Okinawa April 1, 1945, 60 years ago the most costly ground battle of the Pacific War. The 1st landing was almost unopposed, then April 6th, 250 Japanese planes were shot down more followed, 2000 Kamikaze in all attacked our ships. 200 hit, 21 sunk, 43 badly damaged, 4970 of our brave sailors and marines were killed on these ships in 11 weeks, 7,300 of our men were killed on land about 130,000 Japanese soldiers were killed.

From committee member, Darby Miller:
Eddy Miller 1922-1983
Eddy was a Past Service Officer for Disabled American Veterans at San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Monterey Offices. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was the recipient of a Purple Heart, Distinguished service unit citation and numerous commendations. At 17, just out of High School, in 1940 he enlisted in the navy, first aboard the USS Wichita CA45, doing convoy duty in the north Atlantic to Russia before WWII. Eddy received his first injuries while aboard the Heavy Cruiser at the Battle of Casablanca. The Ship took a direct hit from the French Shore Battery (E. Hank) and a lost of eleven men. Eddy’s second Purple Heart was while serving aboard the USS Oberion, (cargo attack ship) at the Battle of Salerano, The Oberion was sunk by German aircraft, 28 men and officers were killed and 70 wounded. After a 30 day leave and a visit to his parents’ home in California he was assigned to the new destroyer escort, USS Shae, (DE-48), she left New England January 1945, proceeded through the Panama Cannel out to the South Pacific, doing picket duty north east of Okinawa. On the morning of May 5, 1945 the ship took three Japanese Kamikazes, two on the bridge where Miller received 52 body wounds and loss of left arm. He received his 3rd Purple Heart Citation and the Silver Star with his discharge in January of 1946.

Stu’s Notes: The French shelled our ships and killed our young men at sea and shore. I have known this for years but I still find it hard to believe. I have often wondered how the French could side with the Germans, who were killing their men, women and children, like they did, known as the Vichy French, they broke away from the good French people and did this. It didn’t last for long but our young men died.
Operations in North African Water, Naval Tradition since time immemorial requires the “skipper” to make a speech to his men before going into battle. Rear Admiral Robert C. Giffen’s words to each ship: “The time has now come to prove ourselves worthy of the trust placed in us by our Nation. If circumstances force us to fire upon the French, once our victorious ally, let it be done with the firm conviction that we are striking not at the French people, but at the men who prefer Hitler’s slavery to freedom. If we fight, hit hard and break clean. There is glory enough for us all. Good luck. Go with God.”
What a HERO, EDDY MILLER, is the brother of our own Darby Miller, also a hero- but he wouldn’t admit it. Eddy will be honored in our Memorial Tile Wall, which will be for any American Veteran who served in the Armed forces of the United States of America, since the Revolutionary War. These tiles sell for $50; you can get a form from any of our committee members. They are also on our web site.