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December 7, 2007
Oroville mercury Register August 7, 1943

Donald Duensing (Pictured here) of Oregon City, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Duensing, who entered the service March 8, 1943, recently was made a corporal. Duensing jumped over the rating of private first class to get the corporalcy. He was the only boy honor student in the 1942 Oroville high school class. The same year he entered Munson school for private secretaries, in San Francisco, and was graduated in December, 1942. He afterwards passed a state civil service examination, but had not received an appointment. He was working for the Oroville Title Company when he was called. Duensing is doing secretarial work at headquarters of a tank destroyer battalion at Camp Hood, Tex. He is a nephew of Mrs. Ruby Dodge of Canyon Highlands.

Spring of 1942
“Send Lots of Candy,” Writes Jerry; It’s On Way—Cake, Too
Censored Letter Indicates Young Oroville Marine On Way to Active Duty
A 26-pound box of goodies—“just what he asked for”- was on its way today to Jerry Walker, Oroville youth, who enlisted in the marine corps several months ago. Walker notified his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Walker, in a letter received this week, that he has left the San Diego training base. Indicating he has sailed for active duty, he asked that mail be sent to him in care of the San Francisco postmaster. The envelope containing his letter was marked by a naval censor, and bore no stamp. In the upper right corner, Walker had written: “U. S. Marine Mail. Stamps Unavailable.” In the “request” part of his letter, Walker, former Mercury employee, wrote his parents: “Now for the things I want you to send me. I want Gram (Mrs. Hattie McCoy) to make some applesauce cakes and seal them in the can, about three or four of them. I want quite a bit of hard candy, no soft candy as it might take a while to get here. Wrap the stuff up in tinfoil and heavy paper, then put it in a good strong box and wrap it up good. Don’t forget to seal the cans. I’ve got no use for cigarettes because we have them here. Lots of candy, though. Well, I guess that’s about all I want for a while. Well, how are things at home? Tell Theron (Edwards) to read this letter too, because I can’t say much of anything anyway. I want Theron to write and tell me all the dope about the kids and such. How’s Uncle Gherald (Jerry McCoy)? Write and tell me all the news and send my paper. Tell some of the kids to write. Well, that’s about all for now. I’ll write every chance I get. Don’t forget, no news is good news. Don’t forget to send that stuff and a little more if you want too. Lots of love to all, Jerry. “P.S. I am only drawing about $10 a month so when I come out I’ll have a little pile saved up. Money isn’t much good here anyway.” Earlier in the letter. Walker wrote: “I think I will be here for a while now-I hope.”

August 7, 1943 Oroville Mercury

Fancy Man On Mound Sunday
“Speed” Bartlett, colored pitcher for the Chico Airport, will spark the baseball aggregation that faces the Oroville Olives for the first time Sunday at 2:30 p. m. in Mitchell Field. Bartlett’s reputation for turning in a ball of tracer bullet design, with speed and direction generally well behind it, had the local strategy board laying its plans today. Coach Harry Gilbert announced a starting lineup as follows; Lt. Kegg, right field; Graziano, third base; Cluff, catcher; Tannehill, centerfield; La Montagne, left field; Zotian, second base; Flower, first base; Dudley, shortstop: and Gibson, pitcher. Others ready to fill in for the Olives will be Strieker, Phillips and Myers. The Chico Airport’s lineup will be: Tressler, catcher; Geisler, first base; Kennedy, second base; Gregory, shortstop; Freidman, third base; Phigpis, left field; Disen, centerfield; Klodoziey, right field; and Bartlett, pitcher. All service men in uniform are to be admitted free, Coach Gilbert said.

Stu’s Notes: And did Jerry Walker ever get on active duty, yes many times over. I wrote September 9, 2005 about him some of that follows; Jerry Walker’s Marine Comrades tell of Oroville Man at Tarawa marine comrades of Pfc. Jerry Walker at the battle of Tarawa have advised Mrs. James Walker, his mother, that they left Jerry “hale and hearty” following the engagement. Two members of Walker’s Corps, Cpl. Eddie Coppinger and Pfc. Norman Dillan, were seen by the mother at the U. S. Naval Hospital at Oakland. Her visit was in response to a letter from Coppinger, who had written 24 letters to relatives at the request of 24 boys of his outfit who remained overseas. In a recent letter to his mother Walker wrote that he might be home by the middle of May. He said that he had some symptoms of “a slight touch of filariasis.” July 21, 2006. He writes, “I guess grandma (Mrs. Ed McCoy) is ok because the cakes she sent me were better than ever. We really go for them.”
“Speed” Bartlett, sounds like Oroville had an integrated baseball game long before the Majors, this is something that never would have happened in the south in 1943. I wonder who won the game. I have found out so much about the Chico Army Air Base in the last few months. Today I talked to Ed Pace who lived out there. Much more to come later.