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
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.