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October 12, 2007
I recently received an email from an Oroville man who read this column online. He now lives in the Bay Area. He was wishing I would write some stories on the Vietnam Veterans. I know I have done very little on the Vietnam War for several reasons, the main one being is that I don’t have the newspapers of those years. If someone out their has time to research newspaper stories please let me know. The Mercury and E. R. are on Micro-film at the libraries. Another reason is I wanted to get the WWII Stories out while those men are still with us. Anyway I do know that at least 44 young men from Butte County Died in Vietnam or while in the service of their country in that era, 1960 to 1975. I think the 1st American’s died there in 1954. Wallace Buford and James McGovern, the first combat troops sent were there in 1965. I will start doing some of these Heroes of Vietnam each week. Stories, hopefully will follow. Listed in the order that they died or were missing in action., names taken from Vietnam Veterans Memorial Directory of Names, a 2- inch thick Green Book that I Bought on my 2nd trip to the Vietnam Wall in Washington D. C. 6 years ago “Some Gave All” Vietnam War 1959-1975 PFC THOMAS CHARLES VAN CAMPEN, army, Dec 28, 1945-June 24, 1965, Oroville, CA (Panel Number) 2E, (Line Number) 17. PFC DENZIL DAL PETTIT- Army, January 7, 1945-August 2, 1966, Bloomington CA 9E – 100, (Lived in Chico when he entered the Service.) 1stLT HAROLD EUGENE KNUDSEN JR. A.F. January 30, 1941-September 14, 1966, Paradise CA. 10E-95. CAPT. EDGAR ERWIN NUSCHKE, AF. May 17, 1922- January 21, 1967, Austin, PA 14E-64. (For this brave man, the Army Air Force and then the Air Force was his home, his wife and kids are natives of Chico area where he is buried. .

Oroville Mercury Register
November 1, 1945
Pfc. Eugene Bradford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy T. Bradford, Greenville St., has received his honorable discharge from the Army at Torney General Hospital, Palm Springs, where he has been hospitalized for the last two months. Bradford reported for duty with the armed forces in April, 1943 and trained at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, as a truck driver with the 5th Inf. Div. He served in France, Germany and Luxembourg for 13 months, participating in four major campaigns. He has been awarded the American theatre, European, African and Middle East ribbons, the Combat Infantry Badge and four Bronze Battle Stars. In August Bradford was evacuated from the European Theatre and sent to the hospital for a complete checkup.

Kenneth C. Deirup, who went overseas with the army and returned with the merchant marine, is in Oroville between voyages with his new outfit. Son of Superior Judge and Mrs. Harry Deirup, the former army master sergeant received his honorable discharge in France where he had been a chief non-commissioned officer in the training and flying section of the 302nd Transport Wing. Undecided as to whether he will remain in the merchant marine for long, he will be in Oroville for several weeks before signing up for his next voyage. Deirup entered the service early in 1941 and trained in this country until July, 1942, when he was transferred to England. There he took part in transporting ammunition, arms, food, clothing, gasoline, blood plasma, medical supplies and other high priority cargo to forward airstrips. Deirup was with the cost guard for three years prior to Oct. 1940. After that he was employed by an oil company in San Francisco until he joined the army.

Discharged from the army at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro Monday afternoon. Charles H. Bryson was in Oroville Tuesday visiting friends and wanting to go salmon fishing. As 1st machine gunner with the 87th Mountain Infantry Ski Troopers, Bryson had been overseas for 28 months of his 3 years service to his country. He spent 19 months in actual combat and was awarded the Purple Heart for a wound he sustained at Salerno Beachhead. He received a Silver Star for having shot down a ME 109 over Foggia with a twin 50 caliber machine gun. He recovered from a wound received there that added an Oak leaf Cluster to his Purple Heart and was back in the front lines to earn a Bronze Star in April, 1945, when he stayed with his gun during fighting so heavy that everyone else had left the gun post. He was wounded while alone by the gun and a second Oak leaf Cluster was added to his Purple Heart. Bryson, formerly of Oroville, now lives in Greenville, and was en route there. In additions to the Bronze Starts and Purple Heart he wears the Expert Combat Rifleman badge, good conduct ribbon, European Theatre ribbon and nine combat zone stars and an arrow for beachhead landings and the victory ribbon.
Stu’s Notes; We will be out at Feather Falls Casino tomorrow, Saturday, October 13th for a Motorcycle Rally, Iron Pigs Poker Run, Bike Show with vendors, food and a live band. You can call Feather Falls Casino for more information. All proceeds from this event will go to the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park, Honoring all of Butte County. Also on Wednesday, October 17th The Art Of Food and Wine A Southeast Asian Odyssey “the fine delicacies of Southeast Asia.. Breathtaking entertainment and an Art Show…Plus a wine and sake tasting event! Also at the Feather Falls Casino and to Benefit Oroville Veterans Memorial Park, Honoring all of Butte County. It still amazes me when I read these stories of our local heroes. So many went above and beyond the call of duty. The Veterans Day Parade Committee, of which I am a member, voted to Honor the Oroville National Guard as Grand Marshals of our Parade. This is long over due. They have served their country well and will continue to do so where ever they are needed. Many people in Oroville don’t even know they are here.