Oroville Mercury Register February 13, 1952
Oroville Navy Pilot Killed in Korea Crash
Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Jensen, of West C street , have received a
telegram from the Department of Defense informing them that their
son, Richard Delbert, was killed in a plane crash in Korea Monday.
Ensign Jensen , a 1946 graduate of Oroville Union High School, was
a Navy pilot. He was serving with Fighter Squadron 653 aboard the
aircraft carrier U. S. S. Valley Forge. He joined the Navy in June,
1946, just a few days following high school graduation, and served
three years before going to Pensacola, Fla., for flight training.
He received his ensign’s commission Sept. 15, 1950, and was stationed
at Alameda for one year before going overseas.
Missions Over Korea
Mrs. Jensen said today that a recent letter from her son stated
he was at a rest camp in Japan after “8 or 10” missions over Korea.
The Jensen’s have another son, Jimmy, serving as a Navy storekeeper.
He has been in Korea since July, 1950, about a month after the war
broke out. Mr. and Mrs. Jensen said there is a good possibility
Jimmy will be home soon. Besides his parents and his brother, Ensign
Jensen is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Jack Bartlett of Acacia
Ave and Miss Donna Jensen, an Oroville Union High School Student.
Part five of five installments of, “Oroville’s Not-Forgotten Veterans
Frank and John ‘Jack’ Stowell” by Daryl Autrey.
(We left off last
week with the USS Isherwood, DD-520, had been attacked while near
went below decks and shored material against the hole torn through
the ship’s hull, stemming the flow of water enough so that pumps
could keep the ship afloat.
A couple of days later the Captain requested Frank’s presence in
Officer’s Country, normally out-of-bounds to enlisted men. Fearful,
Frank wondered what he had done. He knew he was going to be chewed
out for something. Facing the Captain he was told, “I’m awarding
you a Purple Heart.” “What’s that for?” Frank asked. “Both your
legs are banged up, aren’t they?” “That’s what for.” “The other
award I’m giving you is the Silver Star.” “What the Hell’s that
for?” Frank asked again. “You are a machinist. The things you did
to help the doctor were well outside your skills as a machinist.”
“Oh, I guess I’ll take it.” said Frank. He never got any official
credit for his awards because they were never documented. He gave
his medals away somewhere in the course of his life. The medals
never meant much to him after losing so many of his buddies.
On April 5, 1945 the Isherwood made her way to the small atoll of
Ulithi where she was put into a floating drydock. A large patch
was welded over the hole in her hull and one of her damaged screws
was removed and lashed to the deck. After a short stop in Hawaii
the Isherwood held a 5-degree rudder to compensate for the missing
screw on her way to Mare Island, Vallejo to be repaired. The war
was over for Frank and his ship, June 3, 1945.
If you remember we started out with Frank’s brother, Jack, who was
lost at sea on the heavy cruiser Houston, this is what happened.
28 February, 1 March 1942. The heavy cruiser Houston and Australian
light cruiser Perth engage a force consisting of three Japanese
cruisers and nine destroyers in the Battle of Sunda Strait in the
waters off Java. Torpedoes and gunfire from the Japanese heavy cruisers
Mikuma and Morgami ravage the two Allied vessels, sinking Perth
in one hour and then turning their attention to Houston, whose crew
fights headway is stopped by torpedo hits and gunfire, a shell burst
killing her commanding officer, Captain Albert H. Rooks, who is
posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Houston sinks in the early
morning hours of 1 March. Only 368 members of her crew of 1,000
men survive the action, and are captured by the Japanese.”
Stu’s Notes: Captured by the Japanese for many was a fate worse
than death. At least 44% of our men held by the Japanese died in
the most terrible of ways. Our Oroville Veterans Memorial Park in
the works now for over five years will move forward now, much faster.
We’ve gone through so many hoops there’s not many left. We have
done our part; let’s hope the rest of Oroville does theirs. Country
Crest is going to put on a fund raiser for us soon, hopefully others