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December 14, 2007
Oroville Mercury Register August 7, 1943

Thomas J. Corkin was graduated Wednesday from the army air force advanced flying school at Luke Field, Ariz, with the rank of second lieutenant, receiving his silver wings. Corkin, a member of Class 43-G at the west coast training center, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Corkin of American Farms. Another son Harold is serving in the merchant marine.

December 1942
VIRGIL PINKLEY will make his last public appearance in Oroville before leaving for the north African war front. The United Press war correspondent will address a public gathering at Oroville Inn next Monday noon. Pinkley’s appearance at the Rotary luncheon is being sponsored by the Mercury. Although luncheon reservations have been exhausted, interested listeners are invited to the Inn lobby where they can hear Pinkley’s talk over the loudspeaker system to be set up.

December 1917
Word received from Chico this afternoon that no less than 150 dynamite caps with concrete bases were found on a large ranch near Butte City. It is believed to be an attempt on the part of I.W.W.s or German spies to wreck the tractors on the ranch and to destroy the warehouses which contain thousands of racks of rice. The caps were found buried in the ground at intervals of 100 yards. The sheriff of the county is working on the case with several deputies. A suspicious character was seen around the ranch yesterday. He is believed to be one of a gang of spies who planted the caps.

May 24th, 1944
Home service headquarters of Oroville Chapter, American Red Cross, will be located at the chapter’s production center in Memorial Hall. This was announced today by Kenneth O’Brien, chapter chairman, following the fire that destroyed the home service offices on Huntoon street. O’Brien said all home service records and a stove kept in the office had been saved from the fire. The move brought all Red Cross services into one location.

Oroville Mercury Register January 25, 1940

Nine hundred persons attended the dance in Municipal Auditorium last night honoring members of the 22nd bombardment squadron stationed here during army maneuvers. Officers and enlisted men were guests of Oroville at the dance, which lasted until 1:15 a.m. Mayor Palmer greeted the army men. He complimented them on the fine appearance made by members of the squadron and said Oroville has been happy to have them here. “It is a pleasure to know that men of such high caliber are handling our air defense,” he declared. The mayor was introduced by Dr. J. W. Childs, general chairman. Jack Russell, Oroville recreational supervisor, who contacted various clubs and organizations with Dr. Childs, announced that the following sponsored appearance of the All Star orchestra at the dance: Oroville Progressive Merchants Assn., Chamber of Commerce, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary and Fellows Clubs, Elks Lodge, American Legion, Veteran of Foreign Wars, and Bert Kohler of the Standard Oil Co.

Stu’s notes: Well, I know more and more about what it took to become a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Force. A lot of skill and courage, so many young men died as we’ve learned at our Oroville and Chico Bases. It was not just fun and games, many of the training planes were old, fatigued and broken, yet they were fast, sometimes, hard to fly and things did break and remember you can get out and fix a car, try that in an airplane. Hats off to, the Fly Boys all the way up to the Dust off Boys of Vietnam, and those brave young men and women of today. I wonder what became of Virgil Pinkley, I always want the “rest of the story”. In both WWI and WWII we placed soldiers around many strategic places to watch out for saboteurs. Oroville’s James Townsend, Jim the Barbers dad, did this. Big Jim, as is call him, was training to invade Japan when the bomb was dropped and ended the war saving an untold number of lives on both sides. Right after Pearl Harbor, Big Jim got a job guarding a railroad tunnel up the Feather River. Several times walking through he had to hug the wall as a steam train (in those days they were steam) came blowing fire and steam. Then the Army took over so he went into the Navy. One time coming from the east on the Western Pacific train they stopped for a quick break in Oroville and the officer in charge let him jump off and run down the street to see his wife, Lavon. They still live here in Oroville. In WWI a young boy came to Oroville, John Feliciano, Company L, Watsonville and died guarding Las Plumas Powerhouse. He died while in the service of his country. He is buried with Military Honors in Watsonville and will be honored here as he died here. So be it. I hope to get more of 2nd Lt. Tom Corkin’s story.