CSS Tabbed Menus Css3Menu.com

September 16, 2005

Oroville Mercury February 19, 1944

Sgt. David Shaw Reported Lost
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 are received.

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.

Stu’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

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
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
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, New Mexico

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 better.
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.