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October 13, 2006
Welcome to all of the Oroville and Las Plumas High Alumni, since ever, especially all those that served our country so well in our armed forces. Thank you, Carmen Biano, the wonderful editor of our Oroville Mercury. She lets me do my thing. Never edits my stories. I have had this column in the Mercury for over four years now. It’s always about the Veterans of the Oroville Area, almost always. As I write these words I’m in the kitchen of my good friend, Nick Krpan, who fought in WWII, after which he came to Oroville in about 1947. He’s 91 now and we are buddies. Anyway, I’m devoting this column to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s Veterans, as many will be in Oroville for our Party and went to school with the ones that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Most of my columns are of the WWII boys, as their stories need to be told before they’re all gone. Oroville lost a lot of young men in these later years. I will write about as many as space allows. Just the names and a brief story If you know anything about them please call me at 533-8147. Also all of these columns are on our web site.

Gary Bewer, did he die in Vietnam?

PFC Boots lived in Chico, also maybe Oroville, listed on Sacramento Vietnam Memorial as Oroville, Army Grenadier, awarded the Bronze Star.

Cpl. Cecil M.Carter, died in a accident while in the service of his country. The date I have is 1959.

Ronald Bradford died in a hit and run.

Robert Chamberlin died in Texas while serving his country in 1974, while in the US Air Force. His brother Dick still lives in Oroville , an OHS class of 1958 graduate.

Spec. 4 Combat Medic David Christianson KIA Vietnam. He would not carry a weapon but gave his life helping his Buddies. David was a Seventh Day Adventist.

Lanny Cummins, KIA Vietnam, May 17, 1968, Graduated OHS 1960. He was a Marine.

Sp 4 Michael Dennis David. KIA, June 15, 1968. He graduated OHS and worked on the Oroville Dam for the DWR. He was a member of the Oroville Demolay.

Lt. Thomas E. Doyle crashed his jet in Germany trying to avoid a town. He could have bailed out and saved his own life.

Teddy Hart, KIA Vietnam, attended Central Middle School and Las Plumas High School. His brother, Guy lives in Oroville. Teddy did for a while.

Dale Hill, KIA Vietnam, died while saving others. His mother Mary still lives in Oroville. He went to save his buddies when no one would.

Jimmy Hudgens, KIA Korea. He played baseball with the Oroville Red Sox in 1948 and the Oroville Olives in 1951. Married to former Oroville girl, Norva Dugger.

Pfc. William Steven Illman, awarded a Bronze Star, Oroville Maidu, KIA Vietnam. He graduated Las Plumas High in 1965. A Scholarship is awarded each year at Las Plumas in his name.

Richard Delbert Jensen, Navy pilot crashed in Korea.

Everett “Cotton Karr, KIA Korea. Sister Nancy still lives in Oroville.

Larry W. Liss died form wounds in Vietnam. OHS Grad. 1967. A very brave Marine.

Pfc Michael Elsmere Lucas, KIA, Vietnam, October 6, 1969, Graduated Las Plumas H. S. Joined the army October 1968, Member of the 82nd Airborne.

Pfc.Billie Loomis of Palermo KIA, June 3, 1968.

Maurice J Mastelotto, West Point Cadet, died in a plane crash Jan. 1952. His family is still in Oroville,

Jack Moseley, KIA Korea, behind enemy lines, Sept 2, 1951.

Jerry Morgan, we only have his name, Vietnam?

Jake Newberry,”Casper”, was born Sept 12, 1946. Was a friend of Earl Baker Jr. He was in Earl’s High School Class. He died May 17, 1967.

Howard D. Peterson, Air Force Cadet, died August 1951 in a plane crash. He was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Petrus Peterson of Oroville, Brothers Willis, Sgt Dwayne, James and Charles. This is all we know about Howard .

Army Staff Sgt. David Perry, native of Oroville, National Guardsman. Died August. 2003 in Iraq.

Michael A Pogue, KIA, Jan. 31, 1968, lived a while in Oroville. His mother Gloria lives in Colusa.

James E. Pscherer, U.S. Army, died in an accident at Fort Bliss Texas.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jay E. Richards Jr. died in an accident in Thermalito while on leave from the U. S. Navy.

David Richards, Vietnam? Died in an accident, not verified.

John Robert Young died in a car accident coming home from Boot Camp. He was a Las Plumas Graduate.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Dean Witt, died at Travis Air Force Base of a medical mistake, January 2004.

David Winters, MIA Vietnam. Lived for a while in Oroville.

Pfc Barry Unfried, OHS graduate of 1967, joined the Marines. KIA, May 1969, Vietnam.

Capt. Randy D. Roby died near Nelson Avenue in Thermalito, Aug. 7, 1996, in a U-2 crash.

2nd Lt. James Harry Taylor, Army Helicopter Pilot, Las Plumas Graduate of 1964, MIA Laos, Feb. 25, 1971. His helicopter blew up on a very hazardous mission.

Cossie Steel died in a military vehicle accident.

CWO Paul Wesley Smith, OHS graduate, 1949. He received the Silver Star along with many other medals. KIA Vietnam, May 5, 1968, in a fire fight. I knew his parents, Gus and Ruth Smith of Thermalito.

Major Robert Sherman died in a B 52 crash, December 1, 1956, shortly after take off from Castle Air Base.

Glen Slavicek, Air Force, died Korea?

Spec. 4 James Willie Roy III, Las Plumas Graduate 1966. He was with the 101st Airborn Infantry Division, KIA, Jan. 4, 1968. I met his sister Betsy on Memorial Day in 2003.

Thomas Van Campen, Vietnam. His sister Joan Lee is on our Veterans Memorial Park Committee. Thomas went to St. Thomas Catholic School and Graduated OHS 1962. MIA, June 24, 1965. He was the first local man to be lost in Vietnam.

John Vorris, Vietnam, not confirmed.

Pfc Dale Sievers, died in Vietnam, September 1967. He grew up in Orland. Graduated 1961. (He had ties to Oroville, which I have forgotten. But, is it wrong to honor him here? I think not. Stu.)

I talked to a lady, Jerry Dodson, that I met yesterday at the Retired Public Employees. She knew of a Bill Austin, serving in the Navy, who died in an accident. He was a Graduate of Las Plumas High 1966. Does anyone know of this man?

Lee Lawson, died in Jeep Wreck?

John Vorris OHS 1967. Died Vietnam?

Rudy Sorenson died in Germany, WWII, Maidu Native American?

Don Bradish; shot down where?

As you see some we know so little, or even if they existed.