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September 21, 2007

Oroville Mercury
November 8, 1945
Identity Of Fliers Told
Names of the three men killed in the crash of a B-29 bomber near Chico army Air Field Tuesday were released today by Col. A. W. Tyre, commanding officer at CAAF. They are: 1st Lt. Wayne B. Powell, pilot, of Honoeye Falls, N. Y.’ next of kin, Irving Powell, father, same address. Ist Lt. Robert M. Evans of Grand Fort, N. D.; next of kin, Mrs. Beverly J. Evans, wife, same address. 1st Lt. Charles S. Moffett of Marshall, Va; next of kin, Mrs. Frances Curtis Moffett, wife, same address. The fourth man of the crew was Staff Sgt. Jerome L. Seck of Spring Hill, Kansas. Seck’s condition is reported improving at the CAAF hospital. His next of kin is his father Laurence A. Seck. All of the next of kin have been notified.

Oroville Mercury Register
August 16, 1943
Looking Backward- Twenty Five years Ago
It’s now Pvt. B. B. Meek, artillery service U. S. Army. Meek, president and general manager of the Olive Products company, has won a fight to get into Uncle Sam’s service. He was turned down several times because of inability to pass eye tests. A letter received from Quartermaster Sergeant Douglas Jacobs, who is now in France, says he is connected with the second army corps, fourth division. He said that where he is stationed the pounding of the big guns can be heard plainly.

Oroville Mercury Register
June 11, 1942
Injured Marine Continues To Make Recovery Biggs—Condition of Raymond Rhoads, Biggs marine, injured in a motorcycle accident near San Diego recently, is reported much improved. Rhoads has regained consciousness but is recovering from a severe concussion that has delayed the setting of his broken arm and leg. He also received burns. Russell Baker, also of Biggs, was killed in the same accident. Edgar Rhoads, brother of the injured marine, returned over the weekend from San Diego, where he and his mother went to be with Rhoads. Mrs. Alta Savage and daughter Phyllis are remaining in San Diego this week.

Oroville Mercury Register
June 21, 1945
Couple Learn Death Details
The adjutant general’s office has notified Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Hammer of Biggs that their son, Pfc. Leslie C. Hammer, 22, died in a prisoner of war camp in the Philippines Islands May 2, 1942, as a result of cerebral malaria. The parents previously had been informed of his death, but at that time the circumstances and the date had not been definitely ascertained. He had been listed as missing in action for two years, but was officially declared dead a year ago. He enlisted in the army April 2, 1941, and was in Manila when the war broke out. He was a member of the headquarters detachment of the 31st infantry, which was evacuated from Manila to Bataan. Hammer was graduated from Biggs high school in 1939, and was employed at the Rosenberg Bros. rice mill in Biggs most of the time until his enlistment. Besides his parents he is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Vonnie Anderson of Biggs, Mrs. Anita Dailey of Sacramento, and Mrs. Ollie Schramm of Biggs.

Starvation Added To Yamashita’s List By William C. Wilson Manila –UP- The systematic starvation of 4000 American and Allied internees at the Santo Tomas camp was added today to the long list of murder, rape and mutilation charges against Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita and the Japanese forces he commanded in the final battle for Manila. The erstwhile “Tiger of Manila’ listened impassively as two survivors of the Santo Tomas camp testified that their meager rations were cut to the starvation level after he had arrived to take command of the city in October, 1944.

Stu’s Notes: The brave young Army Air Force men died not in battle, but they died in service of their country on American and Butte County soil and they will be forever honored in The Oroville Veterans Memorial Park, For All of Butte County. The Oroville Veterans Memorial Committee agreed, unanimously to add, “For all of Butte County” to our name, for all but legal matters as we are registered with the U. S. Government as “Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee”. We now know the name of 35 young men (most in their early twenty’s) who died flying in and out and training at The Chico Army Air Base from 1942-1945. I’m sure it is news to about everybody in Butte County. Now they are Heroes Not Forgotten. Our POW/MIA service is the only one I know of in this area. As I write there are people all over the world working to bring home the missing. Pfc. Leslie C Hammer is one that came home in body and spirit only he and the others must be remembered I’m sure that the lack of food contributed to his death. Pvt. B. B .Meek, what a patriotic, brave man to work so hard to serve his country in the time of need. Let alone, go from a high paying job for Army Pay. Of course you get all you can eat and a bed. Some times it was at the bottom of a trench. We hope to see a big crowd on the steps of the, newly painted, Veterans Memorial Hall Friday, September 21st at 6:45pm for a candle light service for the POW/MIA’s. John Dohmen, working for Butte County Facilities Service, painted the front of the Oroville Veterans Hall and did a most wonderful job. Les Reynolds was also involved, but said John’s the one who did it.