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August 19, 2005
Oroville Mercury August 11, 1943

Community need for a militarily equipped and well-disciplined organization to serve southern Butte county in a possible local emergency may be answered in a two weeks recruiting campaign now being conducted by the Oroville unit of the California State Guard. With 28 members already enrolled, the local company has divided into two teams to obtain a total of 145 men by August 23. On that date the runner-up group in the enlistment canvass will serve dinner to the winners at the Elks club.

Bert Green to Act
Heading the contesting squads are Sgt. Jack Pank and Corp. Ray Schull. Commander of the company is Lt. James C. Nisbet, principal of Oroville Union high school. Part of the required 46 men is to be represented by a Feather Falls platoon headed by Bert Green. Green served as a lieutenant in the former Oroville state guard unit. Another platoon is being sought at Palermo. At Gridley, formation of a separate company will include Gridley and Biggs platoons. Recruits comprise men 18 to 65 years of age. Each company when completed will have a commissioned personnel of a captain and three lieutenants. Nisbet is the only commissioned officer here to date.

Working with defense authorities the state guard unit would be assigned to definite posts should disaster or other disturbance occur. Shotguns and sub-machine guns with ammunition are to be supplied under the new state organization. In addition the state would furnish ammunition for individually owned sporting rifles. Uniforms also will be requisitioned from the guard’s state quarter-masters. Meetings are held each Monday night at the Oroville civic auditorium. No meeting is scheduled for August 16.

Oroville Mercury April 30, 1952

(SanFrancisco) --The possibility that all or part of the State may be left relatively unprotected in the event of a military or natural emergency is the reluctant rallying point for a small group of unarmed patriots banded together as the California Guard. In the Armories of 40 northern California communities, a thousand men and officers are meeting one night each week to keep up with their Division’s motto, “Ready”. They serve without pay, except during occasional special schools and so far have received no uniforms or weapons. The Volunteer militiamen, formed as the 2nd Division of the Guard make up a military unit which is standing by in case the 49th Division of the National Guard is called into Federal service. Their counterparts, the 1st division of southern California, are now on active State duty while the 40th National Guard Division helps fight a war in Korea. The civilian soldier force was created on paper by an act of the far seeing 1949 State Legislature. It was activated by Governor Earl Warren after the Korean crisis in the summer of 1950. Responsible for “second line” protection of northern California’s 50 county empire is Major General Richard. E. Mittelstaedt, war-time commander of the 40th Division, three-time Adjutant General of California, and long-time National Guardsman. A guard group, similar to Army regiments, is headquartered in Sacramento. Battalion headquarters are located in Chico and Yuba City, and a company has been activated in Oroville.

Stu’s Notes:
Oroville National Guard has been here a long time, seems like after WWII it must have been disbanded, then stated up again in the spring of 1952. It is still here protecting us 24-7. A lot of Butte County Men and Women have served over the years. In the early ‘50’s, Oroville’s well known artist, Fred Daley, served. I have known him since we worked on the Oroville Dam. I heard of his talent while in High school as a great car detailer. He told me during the Korean war his group was set to go, but the 40th went instead. Fred says many were killed. Fred was talked into going to Officers Training by Bill Mattley. But Fred, as many know, travels to the beat of a differed drum, and worked hard to get out which he did and later left the guard as Sgt. Fred Daley. Recently the Oroville Guard had an open house. They had rides for kids and other favors. I took my brother, (Oroville Guard 1955-1958). My daughter Sgt. Deborah Shaner took us for a ride in a Hum-vee. (Pictured) Larry fought the Oroville flood of 1955, Sgt. Shal Thomas and Debbie each spent a year in Iraq. Their Headquarters is now on Pomona and 3rd. The Armory will be 50 years old this coming fall.