September 16, 2005
Oroville Mercury February
Sgt. David Shaw Reported
Staff Sgt. David J. Shaw,
27, of Palermo, has been missing in action over Germany since Feb.
4, according to a telegram from the war department, received Friday
afternoon by his parents,
Mr. and Mrs. David F. Shaw.
Shaw was a bombardier on a Flying Fortress. His parents said
today he had been in combat since before Christmas, and had completed
missions over Germany, Belgium, France and Holland. He enlisted
June 3, 1941, in the air corps. At the time he was driving
a truck for Guy Adams in Thermalito, but previously had worked for
the Golden Feather Dredging Company. The family moved to Palermo
from Wisconsin in 1936. Sgt. Shaw’s wife,
Evelyn, is a teletype
operator in the telegraph office in Wickenburg, Ariz. They
married last fall just before he left to go overseas.
The adjutant general’s office in Washington, in notifying Mrs. Shaw
of her son’s death, said she would be kept informed if further details
Italians Wash Clothes For Soldiers
Amid Battle Ruins
Pvt. Levulett Describes Effect Of War
In Italy; Sees General Wilson
Somewhere on the American Front in Italy
on Jan. 14th, Pvt. Delos
“Rip” Levulett, formerly of Oroville, penciled a letter to
his mother, Mrs. R. H. Wallace
of Klamath River, while he watched an Italian family. The
roof of the Italians’mudblock house had just been repaired after
it had been caved in by an explosion. The walls were all bullet
marked. The man, his wife and two small daughters all were
working. While the children washed the soldiers’ clothes,
the father pruned a little vineyard and the mother cut grass for
two oxen. “They were more fortunate than most of the farmers,”
Levulett wrote. “They hid their little bunch of chickens and
their sow. She has a litter of pigs now.” Most of the
Italians along the battle lines find their main income in washing
for the soldiers, the soldier said. “And I believe half of
them live on what they get around our kitchens…scraps and left-overs.
Levulett was due for guard duty that night so he wouldn’t get to
see Joe E. Brown,
who had come to entertain the soldiers. He had missed seeing
Humphrey Bogart and his show a couple days previously. The
day was nice. But in another letter sent Nov. 29, Levulett
told about endless days of wading in mud and of standing in line
in the rain on Thanksgiving Day to eat turkey. He told of
having seen from a transport at sea Casablanca as a place of beauty
and then of having found filth and squalor when he came ashore.
“The only Arabs I saw as we see them in movies was when I was riding
on a train through a desert area.” Shipped from Casablanca
to Iran in small cars that had been used for livestock, he shared
the crowded space with 29 other men for six days and nights.
The cars were half the size of an American boxcar, he said.
In Iran he was assigned to a replacement camp that was under the
command of an Oroville man,
Gen. Arthur Wilson.
Levulett wrote that he had seen Wilson several times. After
months in Iran, Levulett and his comrades had been loaded into the
little boxcars again and shipped close to Bizerte. Most of
the men “went-over” to Sicily. But about one-tenth of the
contingent were held in Africa and then sent back to Iran, when
the Sicilian campaign was well under way. Levulett was among
the latter. In January, he was attached to an armored engineers
battalion in Italy. The letters were shown in Oroville Friday
by Mrs. Wallace who was here on a visit.
A brother of Pvt. Levulett,
1st Sgt. Elvin F. (Bud)
Levulett is in the 43rd service group, with the army air
corps in Italy. The Red Cross has been endeavoring to arrange
a meeting between SGt. Levulett and his brother. Another brother,
Master Sgt. Wilmer C. Levulett,
who saw action in the Pacific with the air corps during the early
part of the war, is now in Dalhart, Tex., where he is a line chief,
in full charge of maintaining a squadron of B-17’s.
Notes: This is all we know of
Sgt. David Shaw.
Sad this is a Forgotten Veteran of Oroville, one of many.
Last weeks story about Jerry Walker brought word from Larry Shaner
and Randy and John Fowler that he came home and worked for the Post
Office and lived in Rancho Golden, now one of the million’s of WWII
Veterans that have passed away. I hope to see many of you
at the steps of the Veterans Memorial building on Montgomery Street
tonight at 6:30 p.m. as we remember those who were POW’s and are
MIA’s. Some of their family members will be there.
Oroville Mercury July 21, 1944, June 28, 1944
RED CROSS SESSION SET BY EAGLES LODGE
Members of the Eagles Lodge and their wives will meet at their regular
surgical dressing class tonight at 7 p. m. at Memorial hall. At
the last session the group made 1500 four by four dressings. The
Red Cross project has been carried out by the lodge for many months.
Looking Backward from the files of the Mercury and register
TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Another of Oroville’s war heroes returned last week in the person
of George Thurston, who went through every great American salient
during the war without receiving a scratch. He has the proud distinction
of reaching France with the first army…..
Little story of Daily life
THEY HAVE HIM ON K. P. DUTY
Lt. James Griffith, base adjutant at Oroville Army Air Field, took
his initial swim at Bed Rock pool in a manner he hadn’t expected.
Attired in his flying suit over his bathing trunks, the lieutenant
was standing on the riverbank and was watching the aquatic pursuit
of a group of air-field men. An attractive girl approached Griffith
saying she had a special request to make of him. “I would so like
to have my picture taken in a flying suit, lieutenant,” the girl
said. “I’d like to send the picture to my boy friend in the service.”
Quite willing to be of assistance in bolstering the morale of the
absent boy friend, Griffith acquiesced. He took off his flying suit.
The next thing Griffith knew he was several feet under the cold
waters of the Feather River. “I’m sure sorry, lieutenant,” a sergeant
said after Griffith had returned to shore, “we didn’t know it was
you. If we had seen your bars we never would have thrown you in.”
Lt. Benson In Chico After Italy Service
Lt. Norman L. Benson, formerly of Oroville, arrived at his
home in Chico Tuesday after completing 56 successful missions over
Italy as chief pilot of a B-25 bomber. Lt. Benson told of an exciting
incident when the hydraulic system of his bomber was shot out by
enemy fire and the bomb bay doors opened making it necessary to
release the bombs by hand before they exploded in the wrong spot.
He said that his bombardier, Lieut. Edward Penn of Texas climbed
down released a bomb while they were being engaged by the enemy
in the air and from the ground over Italy. The Texan was awarded
the soldier’s medal for his act of heroism. The bomber pilot said
that his buddy in Italy, was a doctor who spoke Italian fluently.
Because of this, Lt. Benson said, he really enjoyed the Italian
people and had a fair time in Italy. Lt. Benson entered the service
in April 1942 at San Francisco, by enlistment directly into the
air arm of the army. He received his commission and wings at Roswell,
Marine’s Sacrifice Earn Honor Medal
WASHINGTON (U.P.) The Congressional Medal of Honor has been awarded
posthumously to Marine Sgt. Herbert J. Thomas of South Charleston,
W. VA., who threw himself on a grenade to save his companions during
fighting on Bougainville, the Navy has announced. The 25-year-old
sergeant, who was killed in the Koromokina river area on Nov. 7,
1943, deliberately threw himself upon one of his own grenades, which
had ricocheted back into his group after he had thrown it.
Air Corps Captain, WAC Lieutenant Wed
Captain William Paule and Lt. Eleanor Burkholder, both of
Pennsylvania, were married in a simple ceremony Friday at 7:30 p.
m. at the Congregational Church parsonage here. The Rev. Mr. F.
E. Carlson performed the rite. Captain Paule, a pilot, is stationed
at Oroville Army Air Field with the 400th fighter squadron. His
bride, public relations officer in the WAC, is on leave from Craig
Field, Ala. The couple will spend their honeymoon in Oroville. Major
and Mrs. Paul M. Brewer Jr., attended them at the wedding.
Stu’s Notes: George Thurston, Oroville Hero who served his country
well in WWI, home in 1919. We don’t know much about the Oroville
men who went “over there”. We know of 7 that died during 1917-1918
from Oroville, thanks to Jan Rose Bales. Who was that pretty girl
that caused the Lt. to be thrown in the water? Did she marry her
boyfriend, or maybe the young Lt.? Somebody knows the “rest of the
story”. I asked myself, could I do what that young Marine did to
save his buddies? I don’t know. In our wars many went “above and
beyond the call of duty” less than 500 in WWII were awarded the
Medal of Honor. Oroville has strong ties to two of these men both
awarded posthumously. You can read their stories on our web, as
I have written about them over 2 years ago in this column. Thanks
again to Daryl Autry for a web site that keeps getting better and
Founding Committee member Darby Miller is home now mending from
Open Heart Surgery. Darby is tough, surviving the tail end of WWII
as a 17 year old kid (his words) who grew up fast. You might have
seen the movie of the rescue of American POWs in the Philippines.
60 years ago this week Darby was involved when they brought in the
POW’s from other camps, Camp O’Donald and Billabeen, two of the
worst Prison camps of all times. Darby helped set up temporary hospitals
at Luzon for them. One young seaman was killed unloading. Darby’s
words, the prisoner brought in looked like walking skeletons, eyes
sunk in all suffering from terrible diseases, rags for clothes,
you could count all their ribs. All were under 100 lbs. By morning
31 had died, they stayed alive for one day of freedom. Soon they
were put on the Hospital Hope and Mercy. As they were brought out
in small boats, because of lack of a dock. The nurses lined the
rails and waved, this meant so much to the men who hadn’t seen girls
in 3-4 years. Darby would not let me use his name if I didn’t say
that he was no hero, just did his job. Well, to me they are all
heroes all that served our country well.