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July 8, 2005

Oroville Mercury February 5, 1944

In The Fight
The “beautiful Isle of Capri” in the bay of Naples no longer is just something to sing about as far as Cpl. Charles Bryson is concerned. The army man wrote to the Mercury recently saying he had visited the isle, and added: “It’s really a beautiful place.” Bryson, writing from Italy, added: “I like it here a lot better than in Africa. However, I would not trade Butte County for all of this country, including Sicily. Give me California!” Byron said he had not yet received the Mercury, which he had ordered but explained that he had been moving “quite a lot, and expected to have considerable mail when it caught up with him.” Writing before the holidays, he wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hamilton Austin Otis, seaman first class, USNR, attached to the U. S. naval armed guard center at New Orleans, La., has just returned from sea duty as a member of a naval gun crew assigned to an American merchant vessel, headquarters of the 8th Naval district at New Orleans has announced. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Otis of Oroville. Otis joined the Navy April 7, 1943. During his recent six months at sea he visited Central America and ports in the South Pacific. The young sailor attended high school in Truckee, CA he is now awaiting further assignment as an armed guard gunner on a merchant ship.

Karl W. Kramer shipfitter 2nd class, U. S. Navy, who was home on leave recently, received the Order of the Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound received in North Africa. The Oroville man was working on a ship that was the target of Axis bombers and a near miss scattered shrapnel among the navy man. Nineteen members of Kramer'’ outfit were wounded. The attack was made from a low level, while the ship was in a North African port. Kramer was off duty a week because of the wound. He has been in service in Africa and in Sicily. He reported on the East Coast Jan. 20 for further assignment. He is the son of James Kramer of Lincoln Street, and a brother of Miss Edna Kramer of the same address. Before going into the Seabees, Nov. 22, 1942, he was a shipyard welding foreman at Terminal Island near Los Angeles.

Stu’s Notes:
Lynn and I attended another command performance of the Oroville Community Concert Band and Chorus at the State Theater. The 13th annual 4th of July tribute to America was great. There is so much talent in our little town it amazes me. I have been going to the State Theater for 55 years now (I saw the War of the Worlds there). The State Theater is one of those few Oroville buildings that I would think most of our young men that died in our wars were in. Next time you are there reflect on that and think of the happy time they had there as they grew up in Oroville and be thankful for your freedom, as they “gave all”.

Thank you John and Randy Fowler for reading all my stories. I wrote about Karl Kramer, shipfitter 2/c on December 3, 2004. Did he survive the war and marry Miss Lila Massey?

Another great show on top of the dam. It was long ago decreed to celebrate our 4th of July with fireworks. Well, the Sunrise Rotary did a great job of that. Jack Brereton and I, along with our wives, manned our combined booth of the Men Who Built Oroville Dam and the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park on top of the dam. We talked to some interesting people and people interested in our projects. Jack and I started there 45 years ago building the dam.