June 17, 2005
Oroville Mercury December 1, 1956
OROVILLE MAJOR KILLED IN FLAMING B-52 CRASH
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
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
COURIS HOME FROM THE WAR
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.