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June 17, 2005
Oroville Mercury December 1, 1956

Second Plane Lost In Rugged Canada Woods. Air Force Major Robert L. Sherman of Oroville was killed early today in the flaming burning crash of a B-52 Jet bomber shortly after take of from Castle Air Force Base. Nine other crewmen were killed when the plane slammed into a grain field and exploded. Sherman’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Sherman, of Robinson St., were informed by police today that their son was dead. Major Edwards' wife, Bettie, called Oroville police this morning and asked them to inform the parents. She said Mrs. Sherman had a heart condition and asked that a doctor accompany the police on their mission. The doctor, Edgar S. Fortner said Mrs. Sherman was upset but did not have an attack. The $8 million plane has a normal crew of six, but was carrying four instructors on a routine training mission, the Air Force said. It was attached to the 93 Bombardment Wing at Castle. The Merced Sheriff’s office said one man was taken alive, but paralyzed, from the wreckage but died en route to the base hospital. The Air Force had no comment on the report.

Sixteen-year old Roger Blakemann of Cressey was one of several eyewitnesses to the disaster Friday night when Sherman was killed. The youth was standing in the front yard of his home when the mammoth bomber trailing flames and smoke, plunged to earth.

Oroville Mercury June 19, 1945

From a year overseas and five months imprisonment by the Germans, Sgt. Tom Couris returned Monday morning to his home on 3rd Avenue where he is now spending a sixty-day leave and renewing the acquaintance of his 16 months old son, Tommy Jr. Couris, who was liberated April 22 by the Russians from the Luckenwalde prison camp just outside Berlin, immediately wired his wife, Mrs. Anna Couris, of his release. This was followed by a phone call June 11 from Couris in Boston and a letter giving 3rd avenue as his return address. He didn’t beat the letter to its destination but he did reach Camp Beale Sunday night and is now enjoying a two months furlough, after which he will report to the Army Ground Forces Redistribution Center at Santa Barbara.

Stu’s notes: Recently while going through the Oroville Mercury’s late at night, as I often do, I found this story of a long Forgotten Oroville Airman. What you read is all I know of him. I have looked for more in the Mercury’s following this headline article. Nothing! Could this be top secret as it is the 10-year anniversary of the Cold War. A war which many Americans lost their lives, some at the hands of the enemy. KIA as many Americans have been through out the ages. This man died in an accident, but he died serving his country and we will honor him. As I have said before, our Memorial will be one of the first in the country to honor those who lost their lives in this period. Hopefully someone knows more. Our own Bill Connelly was involved in operations of the B-52s so he knows first hand the dangers our airmen went through flying these big heavy planes. I have not talked to Bill since I found this story, but I hope to get more information from him and what he did.

Tom Couris is home safe. My very first article in this spot 3 years ago next month was out of Ona Couris’ scrapbook. I wrote about Tom the next two articles. You can read them on our web site by Daryl Autrey, www.orovilleveteransmemorialpark.org
Why the story mentioned a Major Edward's wife, Bettie, is not clear. Who was Major Edwards?

I want to thank Kurt Engen of Gridley Country Ford for sponsoring our booth at the Gold Country Casino Senior Fair, also Clara Chestnut and Jim Mangus for a great event.