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January 5, 2007
Jacoway, Oroville Soldier Sends Vivid Africa Portrayal
Medical Sergeant Writes Schuberts From Army Front Line
How one feels under bombing and machine gun fire from the air is described by Everett Jacoway, former orderly at the county hospital, in a letter written from North Africa before the Americans and the British cleaned up the Rommel forces. Jacoway, now a sergeant in the medical corps, in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schubert of Oroville, gives the first personal account of the North African campaign to reach Oroville. His letter packed with interesting impressions, follows: (Continued from last week)

Cooties, Bigger, Worse
I want to tell you about the lice the boys are getting. I think they are bigger and healthier than the specie of: ”cootie” our men had in France. The troops get them out of the old straw trenches and Arabic huts. We have a de-lousing procedure we put them through, kerosene-soap baths and methyl-bromide bags for their clothes. So far the treatments have been successfully used. It’s no wonder they get them though, for at regular periods the boys in the front don’t even have drinking water. We are more fortunate and have one gallon a day for bathing, laundry and drinking purposes. We eat British rations and are they ever good? They pack cigarettes, chocolate and even toilet paper in the boxes. After all, they should know the necessities of war since they have been in it for almost four years. I enjoyed some good times in England and the British are real entertainers. Far different people that the Americans have them figured. I’m looking forward to the day when the radio announces “Rommel’s Army” has surrendered. Maybe then we will get to come back home, there’s a rumor about it. Sure would do me good to see some one I know and have a little peace and quiet for a change. Will close for now. Wishing you the best of luck in everything.
Sincerely, Everett J. Jacoway, SGT

This is a letter from Margaret Waterman
George H. Flatter was born in Kirby, Ohio on May 28, 1905. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy as a Fireman 3rd Class on Nov. 27, 1923. The ratings he eventually held were F3c, F2c, F1c and Engineman 2c(AA). His recruiting station was Cincinnati, Ohio and Naval Training Station, Hampton Roads, VA. He served sometime on the USS Arizona and on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania. His rating upon discharge on November 26, 1927 was Engineman 2nd Class He was discharged from the U. S. Naval Reserve by reason of expiration of assignment on Nov. 26, 1931.

Our family was living in Oroville, CA at the start of WWII. He was at one time a telephone and telegraph lineman. At the time of his enlistment into active service, March 27, 1944, he was working as a security guard at the Ordinance Service Command in East Oakland, CA. He moved our family back to Oroville, for the duration of the war, before he left for duty aboard the USS Lenawee. He contracted double pneumonia aboard ship and was returned to the State for hospitalization. Then back to the War. He was on inactive duty from Oct. 18, 1947 until his Honorable discharge on Oct. 17, 1952. His service ribbons in this war are: American Theatre Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon, 2 star, Good Conduct Ribbon and Philippine Liberation Ribbon. I recall seeing a certificate and hearing him speak of being aboard ship in the harbor the day the Japanese signed surrender papers. Unfortunately the pneumonia left him with a weakened heart and at age 43, I believe he suffered a major heart attack and 7 years later a series of strokes from which he never recovered. He died in Oroville on June 24,, 1957 at the age of 51. He is buried at Oroville Memorial Park , in the Veterans Section. At the time of his death he was the Custodian of Oroville Memorial Hall and on active member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars. He was married to Bernice Mae Kemerley of Upper Sandusky, Ohio on May 2, 1927 and the father of five children.

I have written to my cousin, Charles Flatter in Idaho and enclosed the brochure on the Memorial Park and passed along your request for any information he might offer about his father John Flatter. John Flatter was my dads brother who died in a plane crash very early in the war. He was a member of the Sea Bees and I believe their plane went down in the Atlantic. Hopefully he will get in touch with you with information about John. Thanking all the committee for your tireless effort to see this Memorial in place, I am, Margaret Waterman, daughter of George H. Flatter.

Stu’s Notes: I’m a little puzzled by Sgt. Jacoway’s statement about the “Cootie” our men had in France. This is 1943; our men had not been at war in France yet, as Hitler controlled France from 1940 until June 1944. Perhaps he meant WWI. George H. Flatter was a very Patriotic, Brave man to join the Navy at 39. Most of the Sailors serving with him were less than half his age. At that age and with 5 children he never would have been drafted, although with 5 kids, I raised 4, maybe the adventure of the high seas sounded good, just kidding. I wrote about Flatters Oct. 14, 2005 and July 26, 2002. The latter article was my 3rd one almost 5 years ago.