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November 30, 2007
Oroville mercury Register August 7, 1943

A quest begun the day after Pearl Harbor, has finally ended in success for “Red” McCutcheon, Red, whose real name is Lavern Herbert McCutcheon, is now in the service of his country in the U. S. Merchant Marine. Turned down by every other branch of the service because of an ear ailment, Red was pretty happy when he was finally accepted by the merchant marine. According to a letter from his mother, Mrs. W. A. McCutcheon of Vallejo, formerly of Oroville, Red has a special reason for wanting to “even the score” with the Japs. His younger brother, Harrell (Cotton) McCutcheon was killed in action Dec. 7, 1941.

Red will be 23 years of age on the eighteenth of August. When he was 11, he had an accident that almost resulted in the loss of one of his arms. Mrs. McCutcheon tells how thankful she is that her son did not lose his arm so that today he can fight to help avenge his brother’s death and that of all the other boys who have sacrificed their lives for freedom “I am praying that he will return,” she concludes her letter.

Kearns, Utah- Bernis G. Howell of Route 3, Box 48, Oroville, arrived here some time ago for pre-aviation training as a cadet. He is a graduate of Oroville high school. Prior to his enlistment he did upholstering work and was a welder. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sofis Howell of Park avenue Oroville.

Fort Benning, GA. – Promotion of William W. Johnson Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. William W. Johnson Sr., of Gridley, California to the rank of technician 4th grade has been announced here by Lt. Col. Jack J. Richardson, commanding officer of the 764th Tank Battalion (L). The infantry school, largest of its kind in the world, is the home of the infantry officer candidate school where candidates selected from the ranks of the privates, corporals, and sergeants because of their superior ability, train and study diligently before receiving commissions as second lieutenants.

The Mercury received the following letter recently from Corporal Donald E. Evans of the U. S. Army through army post office in New York City: “What I would like to ask you is this?: Would it be possible to send me about a month’s subscription to your newspaper, or as long as I’m overseas? I can’t read these French francs or a payment, but if you’ll take the risk I’ll settle for it as soon as I get back. I’d surely appreciate this, for it has been quite sometime since I’ve heard what’s going on in my part of the country.”

Sgt. Gordon Parker returned to his Arizona desert base July 30, after a week’s furlough to visit his mother, Mrs. John J. Parker of Veatch Street, Oroville, and friends at Westwood, Calif. Member of the U. S. Artillery, Sgt. Parker is expecting transfer orders from Arizona. The army man was champion bowler of Lassen County when he was employed by the Red River Lumber Company at Westwood. A graduate of Oroville schools, he entered the service in July, 1942.

Stu’s Notes: I just found this story of “Red” McCutcheon. It really surprised me. I knew about his younger brother, Warren Harrell McCutcheon a Gridley- Biggs boy who at 17 years old died a Hero at Pearl Harbor. He is buried at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery and a large black granite stone was placed in his honor several years ago, as the first to die in WWII. I’ve talked to his sister, Jacqueline Awanda Andes, who since has died in a car accident on hwy 99. She was very proud of her brother. Now I learn of another brother, I’m sure she was proud of. The U.S. Merchant Marines lost a greater percentage of their men than any other service. Although I think they could quit when they wanted and were paid more, it took an awful brave man to go to sea in those times with instant death lurking below the waves and if your ship went down you had few chances to survive, as the convoy could not stop and the Navy was busy chasing the submarines. Thank you, Dan Beebe for getting the Mercury to Cpl. Donald Evans. I wonder if he paid when he got home?