March 16, 2007
Oroville Mercury Register May 1, 1944
Purple Heart Presented to Henry Gravier
Award Instituted By Gen. Washington Won For First War Action
Henry Gravier, Bangor cattleman, last night wore the Order
of the Purple Heart awarded him for action in World War I when he
was wounded and gassed at Belgium. The medal was presented to Gravier
by V. V. Ricketts, comrade of Gravier in the old 91st
Division of the 364th Infantry, before an audience of
Veterans of Foreign Wars at Memorial Hall. Before decorating Gravier,
Ricketts told the history of the Purple Heart Medal originated by
Gen George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
The Purple Heart, Ricketts said, was one of the first medals ever
to be awarded an American soldier and its first presentation was
made Aug. 7, 1782. Application for the medal for Gravier was made
by his son, Pvt. Richard Gravier of the U. S. Army Air Corps, and
obtained through the efforts of George Lowery, post service officer.
Waiting downstairs to congratulate Gravier when he appeared wearing
the medal won more than 25 years ago were, his wife, his daughter
Helen, high school sophomore, and his young son, Maurice. Following
the presentation, the post and VFW Auxiliary gathered in the banquet
room for refreshments.
Kiwanis Shown War Movies
Motion pictures showing training of U. S. soldiers and the part
the navy has played in the war were shown to Oroville Kiwanians,
Wednesday at their weekly luncheon by W. C. O’Hare, Sacramento district
public relations representative of the Standard Oil Company of California.
Frank Dayton was program chairman.
Pfc. Lewis Moseley, on a 30-day leave after nearly a year’s
overseas duty, and J. B. Hosmon, third class petty officer of the
navy, were welcomed as former Kiwanians. Hosmon had a perfect record
of attendance with the Oroville club over a 7 year period.
More from “Recollections From Army Days” by Robert C. Brooks
(We left off with Bob in a German Building getting shelled.) Lt.
Cavanaugh called for a bazooka, and Bob Scott came up with
one. We attached wires by match light, and Bob ran out through the
courtyard and tried to fire when he saw the tank. The bazooka didn’t
fire, so Bob ran back, got another, and ran out again. The tank
was still there, and Bob fired. It worked that time, and put an
end to that. Both Bob and Lt. Cavanaugh were wounded during that
time. We spent the rest of the night alert to see if any more German
soldiers were coming up.
When it began to get light we did see some of the Germans a short
way from the building, in foxholes and some behind trees. We fired
out the windows at them, and some of them tried to surrender. One
came up to the window and we pulled him in. He was almost hysterical.
Our attack was continued soon after that. I think it was reorganized
by Captain Elmer Bright. Anyway, we started on the tree-lined road
to Herrlisheim, keeping down below the bank as well as we could
– Germans were firing at us along the way. Our radio operator, Maynard
Fonger, was hit and died there.
Stu’s Notes: Our web site has created interest from many far
off places. Recently a Fox News man in London contacted me about
Oroville Hero Jason Rose who served in Iraq. Seems they wanted to
do a story on him on the BBC, TV. Jan Rose Bales tells me they did
and she will get a tape. Just a few days ago a man in England, Jon
Dray, contacted Daryl by e-mail and said he collects Military
Medals. He has a Purple Heart that belonged to Edward Rabe of Oroville.
Edward Rabe was killed at Anzio. Jon hoped we could send him more
information of one of these heroes.. I do know that many medals,
over the years, are forgotten, sold or given away. I man gave me
a Purple Heart that he was given by a friend who earned it.
Sgt. Deborah Shaner went down to an Army Camp by Camp Roberts
to do her yearly rifle range qualification, she tied for 3rd
place, she said she would have done better but her new contact lens
was not broken in yet. She’s a Soldier!