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January 20, 2006
Oroville Mercury Register February 26, 1944

Looking Backward- from the files of the Mercury and Register

Income tax slogans of 1919: “You stand up for the National Anthem, now stand up and pay your Income tax; “If you didn’t serve over there you can serve over here by paying your income tax”; “There were no delinquents at Chateau Thierry: don’t try to fool your conscience by cheering the returning soldiers and forgetting to pay your income tax, an income tax evader hasn’t much on any of the other pro-Germans.”

Oroville Mercury Register June 24, 1944

McKibbin Gets Rude Shock Reading Scrap From Newspaper
Cpl. S. D. McKibbin, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. J. McKibbin of Montgomery street, is anxiously awaiting a letter from his parents to reassure him of his mother’s safety. On May 13 in a corner of a mess hall in England, McKibbin found one page of “The Daily Sketch” a London newspaper, in which appeared a brief item telling of the Union Hotel fire. McKibbin’s mother had been employed at the hotel and her letter telling her son about the fire had not reached him at the time. He wrote home immediately saying in part: “I’m taking it for granted that Mom wasn’t damaged. We McKibbin’s just don’t get into such things. Especially Mom, she is extra lucky.” In another part of his letter, McKibbin tells of the scarcity there of some items. “Soap is rationed at one bar a week; cigarettes, seven packs; candy, two bars; and another item, one roll a week for each tent of six men.’ McKibbin sent Mothers Day greetings to his Mom. He apologized for not sending a card or gift that the people there apparently did not observe Mothers Day and the lack of advertising had caused him to forget the day. McKibbin has been in the service for about a year, and in England for only a short time.

Three sons of Mr. and G. E. Barnes of Quincy Road are in the armed forces. Edwin Barnes, a technical sergeant, is an armament electrician with the army air corps, stationed in England, as one of the men who made possible the pre-invasion bombing raids on the French coast. Barnes, who has been in service since October, 1942, has been overseas since last September. He was graduated from Oroville high school in 1941. He played in the school band. Before entering the service he worked in Barney’s Market, where he was in charge of the vegetable department.
Cpl. Gerald J. Barnes is in the army air corps, stationed at Yuma, Ariz. He enlisted in July, 1942, but was not called until February, 1943. He was graduated in 1939 from Oroville High school where he was a corporal in the cadet battalion. When he joined the army he was assisting his father in the management of Barney’s Market.
Richard Barnes, Seaman 2/c, was drafted into the navy Feb. 28, 1944. The seagoing side of the family was assigned to a cooks and bakers school at Puget Sound. He also worked at the market before going into the service. He is a former Oroville High school student.

Stu’s notes: In that Union Hotel fire, five died, among them Pfc. Morris Tims. A young soldier from Camp Beale, so far from his Tennessee home, he chose to spend his two day pass in our town. He had a date with an Oroville girl, and died alone that night. It was probably murder as it was most surely an arson fire. Oroville soon forgot him, but never again. Our Tookie Miles tells me that she had a teacher, Mrs. O’Brian at Thermalito School for the 5th or 6th grade in the late 30’s. Could this be the lady who later was principal and who lost her husband in WWII? Committee member and our master of our web, Daryl Autrey tells me more and more information that he finds on the web about our plane crashes at our Oroville Airdrome during WWII. It utterly amazes me that this slowly unraveling story that we are finding is true. How could this be? They lived and flew from here and died for our country. Then they were forgotten, not a marker, stone or memorial. Some died here as they flew by. In Europe, many places when our airmen fell from the sky and died the town’s people would erect a monument in their honor. Why we in Oroville have not done this I don’t know. But we will. At our January meeting, (by the way we have met every 3rd Monday in 6 different years now, we have not missed one) we voted to spend the money and find the “rest of the story” as best we can on these airmen. With this information and what little information I find in the old Mercury’s and bits of information from Oroville’s old timers we will. Hopefully we can find relatives of the young brave men who took to the skies so bravely in a plane that was known to be difficult to fly.
Soon we will need the help of the people of Oroville, the clubs of Oroville and the businesses of Oroville to show the world that Oroville cares. Do you want to be apart of this Great Memorial that we are building? We need money now to get this Memorial going. We are at war, please pay your taxes. Write on your return, “Please use this money to better protect our troops.”