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August 5, 2005

Oroville Mercury June 11, 1946

Lt. Cmdr. DeVol Is Released From U. S. Navy
Lt. Commander Norman De Vol of Oroville, has been discharged from the United States Navy at the personnel center in San Francisco according to word received here by mail from the Naval Center in Chicago. De Vol was commander of the famous Red Falcon motor torpedo boat during the Mediterranean campaign and was cited in 1945 by the Secretary of the Navy for heroic performance of duty. The citation called him a strong resourceful leader in numerous, extremely hazardous undertakings such as raiding parties and defensive patrols. De Vol is the son of Mr. and Mrs. N.E. De Vol of Thermalito. He was graduated from Oroville Union High School and from the University of Southern California. Prior to the war De Vol taught at the high school here and at one time, worked as a mining engineer in South America. He holds a civilian pilot’s license but was assigned to the PT boats after excelling in athletics at basic training camp. The Red Falcon and one other PT boat captured an Italian held island single handed. The two high powered and heavily armed boats bore down on the island, and the Italian soldiers capitulated immediately. His future plans have not been announced.

Oroville Mercury September 1945

Atomic Bomb Surrender Factor says Premier
San Francisco-U.P. Premier Gen. Prince uhiko Higashi-Kuni told his cabinet and members of the lower house of the Japanese diet Monday that it was the atomic bomb, and the emperor’s “love of the people,” that made Japan surrender. The statement was made at the roundtable conference in the premier’s residence, Domel news agency said in a dispatch recorded by the FCC. Tomorrow Higashi-Kuni is scheduled to hold a similar conference with members of the house of peers. Higashi-Kuni declared that one purpose for convening the diet on Sept. 4 was to “clarify frankly” the reasons for Japan’s capitulation. At the same time the Japanese press bluntly warned Tokyo’s people that the time has come to realize that they lost a fight for survival, and that they must repent their bullying ways.

(from James Lenhoff).
SFC JAMES HALCHISHICK, a 1990 graduate of Oroville High School, enlisted in the Army during Desert Storm in 1991. He has served for 14 years is married with 2 children. He has served 1 tour of duty in Korea with the 1/503 Infantry, one tour in Bosnia in 2003 with the 2/3 Avn. One tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and is leaving for Iraq at the end of this summer. Currently he is assigned Dco 6/101st Avn, Ft. Campbell, KY. His service includes Battalion Production Control NCO, managed all aspects of aviation maintenance on 23 UH-60 Blackhawk and 14 CH-47 Chinook Helicopters.

Stu’s notes:
Last spring I talked to James and then I lost his story. I must say what our young heroes are doing all over the world is not getting enough coverage in the news. On Bosnia he said that the people were glad we came. We should have come sooner, before so many died. James said, “I crossed the Kuwait border March 19, 2003. Our unit did find chemical weapons evidence. We are doing good there, I don’t care what they say (media). We are building Hospitals and schools etc.” James has been awarded the Bronze Star for service to his country also The Air Medal and Good Conduct Medals. He had the honor to reenlist on the USS Arizona, (Pearl Harbor), three years later on the Battle Ship Missouri.

None of my readers seem to know what the future brought for Oroville Hero Norman De Vol. I hope it was a happy ever after story. Such a hero from the streets of Thermalito. Maybe I’ll build a road out back and call it De Vol Drive.

Sixty years ago two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The war ended soon after. Over 120,000 Japanese perished more died later that is a well know fact. How many lives on both sides a quick end of the war saved is not known. But estimates are from 200,000 or more of our young men who would have died on the beaches of Japan. Ten’s of thousand more on the ships off shore, estimates are 500,000 to a million Japanese, men, women and children would have died, as they were trained to fight to the death.
Jim Lenoff talked to a Japanese family that was there. They said the bomb saved lives. They moved here after the war and said, as a young girl her family had been taught to commit suicide if their shores were invaded. WWII Veterans I’ve talked to about this said they were the one’s that would have died on those shores. Ten’s of thousands of their children never born. The week set for the invasion, Japan had the worst Typhoon ever. How many of our ships would have been lost? Nobody knows, what if.