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April 29, 2005
Oroville Mercury Register April 13, 1945

Melvin L. Rowe Missing In Action
Cpl. Melvin L. Rowe of Bangor has been reported missing in action over Austria, according to a telegram from the war department received by his wife who, with the couple’s nine months old son, lives on Palermo road. Rowe is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Rowe of Bangor. An aerial engineer on a B-17, he had been operating from a 15th Air Force base in Italy. He entered the service Feb. 8, 1943 and begun overseas duty Feb. 20, 1945. The Rowe family moved to Bangor in 1943. They had lived near Oroville for many years previously. Another son, Staff Sgt. Jack Rowe, also an air corps engineer, is stationed in the Philippines. Gene Rowe, a third son, recently received a medical discharge from the Army.

Harold E. Davis, chief photographer’s mate, U. S. N., has returned from a tour of duty in the Pacific, where he was attached to Air Group 20, based on one of the Navy’s big aircraft carriers. During his cruise the air group’s planes fought in the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea and inflicted substantial damage on enemy shipping and shore installations during strikes against such targets as the Bonins, Palau, Formosa, the Philippines and French Indo-China. The 24 year old chief petty officer is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marion L. Davis and was educated at Oroville high school and Yuba College. He is married to the former Flora Marie Lawson of Long Beach. Chief Davis enlisted in the Navy in July, 1940, and has been awarded the Air Medal and a Letter of Commendation.

The Rev. Mr. Maurice DeVries has been appointed by Dr. Mills, president of the Ministerial Association, to conduct the hour of music, prayer and meditation Saturday afternoon from 1 to 2 as requested by President Truman. The service will be held in the First Methodist Church at the corner of Robinson and Lincoln. The ministers of the association will participate, reading familiar passages of Scripture and offering prayers. There will also be moments of silent prayer. Mrs. Herman Cochran will be at the console organ. This will be a community service to which all the people of the city are invited. There will be no addresses or sermons. The association met at 1 p. m. today to make further plans.

Oroville volunteers are completing a quota of surgical dressings not finished by neighboring chapter. Work is being done only at the local Red Cross headquarters and during afternoon classes only. Mrs. Harry Hills, chairman of the department said the quota would be filled in approximately two weeks. She added that no further work had been scheduled for the immediate future.

The student body of Bird Street school, acting on its own initiative held a memorial program this afternoon under the direction of Raymond Kilduff, mayor of the group. “Home on the Range”, the favorite song of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and several patriotic songs were sung. Talks included a resume of the life of Roosevelt by Raymond Kilduff and a report on the reaction of local people as well as people of national importance was given by Ralph Clark. Albert Walsh spoke on the life of Pres. Truman. The Boy Scouts present gave the flag salute and the Scout Oath. The group composed of all the grades from the first to the eighth were led in the Lord’s Prayer by Raymond Withrow. Joanne Schab was the announcer for the program.

Stu’s Notes: As far as we know Cpl. Melvin L. Rowe was never found. Lost so close to the War’s end. He was a graduate of O. H. S. early in the 40’s. I have a picture of Irene Rowe, a Gold Star Mother in 1959. She was probably the Mrs. Roy Rowe in the Mercury Story. Sad a mother loses her son and she’s just a Mrs. Somebody. Al Mclain and Merle Johnson know a little about Melvin. He died a Hero and we know so little. What happened to the Patriotic Bird Street School Boys and Girls? I always like to know the rest of the story.