CSS Tabbed Menus Css3Menu.com

November 7, 2008

Oroville Mercury September 27, 1945

Service Corner
SGT J.G. KEYES ON PANAY, Searches Japanese
Sgt. James G. Keyes has become a shakedown artist since it is the duty of his unit to search the Japanese soldiers as they surrender to the American forces on Panay. Sgt. Keyes is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tex Zander of Robinson Street and has assisted in the search of nearly 1700 Japanese. Even before the formal surrender, Keyes, who is serving with the 160th regiment, 40th Infantry Division with searching the steady stream of prisoners for concealed weapons, documents and items of military value. He was one of a party of Americans who first went to meet the Japanese emissaries as they came to negotiate surrender. The point of surrender was at Maasin where American troops had capitulated three years before. There were no smiles as the Americans made their complete and orderly investigation. Without distinction, Japanese officers and enlisted men alike ran the search gauntlet to be relieved of weapons and equipment. The burden of examination falls on the Ammunition and Pioneer platoons of which Keyes is a member. During combat these demolition and flame thrower experts are called in to crack enemy positions too tough for riflemen to handle. Their efforts were materially responsible for the destruction of numerous caves and machine gun emplacements on Panay, Luzon and Negros. Keyes hopes to be home by the first of the year but in a letter to his mother stated that new men must be trained before any of the veterans are returned.

Mr. and Mrs. Chas. L. Fowler, Wilcox Avenue, have received word that their son, Lt. Warren T. Fowler has arrived safely in Japan. He is with the 106th Infantry, which were transported by air from an island in the Pacific.

Robert Galy Taffinder writes to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taffinder, from the south Pacific island of Mog Mog en route to his station with the American Red Cross, that he still does not know his destination. Taffinder will be field director for the Red Cross at an advance base in the Pacific. Describing the island where his ship stopped en route. Taffinder writes in part: “Mog Mog is a recreational island here and since there are many ships and thousands of men, the installation is huge. “Mog Mog was the king’s island before we took it over and although the native village is still here, the natives themselves have been moved to another island. Their huts are amazingly well made. The frame around the bottom is made of some sort of hard wood and is all fitted together without a fastening of any sort. It is beautifully fitted. The upper part is made of palm poles and is fastened with a native grass cord like marlin. They bind the poles together in a most beautiful way so that the bindings make patterns. It is surprisingly strong and permanent. The outside is, of, course, covered with palm thatch and the floors are simple coral like small gravel.

Stu’s Notes: Two weeks ago I wrote a story about JOHN DUNN, who drew cartoons for the Army, shortly after that I was contacted by a long time acquaintance, Phil Ravert. He is a man who for a long time has been excited by the History of Oroville. Well the following is his story. “In my years of collecting Oroville memorabilia and studying Oroville and Butte County history, I came across these cartoons in a batch of papers that came from an elderly deceased citizen of Oroville. I always wondered who Dunn was and now thanks to Stu’s column I am now reasonably certain that the cartoonist is John Dunn. Phil let me copy these cartoons. They are very well done on small pieces of ordinary paper, like the artist was just drawing for his own pleasure. Some were signed Dunn. One showed a man pulling a large vertical rope, like you would do if you were ringing a Church Bell, as in the Bell Tower of the Methodist or Congregational Church of long ago. My brother did this at the Methodist Church in the early 50’s. One is of a mouse and an owl, one of a Sailor and his boat on a dock. One shows 5 or 6 what looks like High school boy cutting up in class. Shooting rubber bands, spit wads etc, One signed Dunn is of a square jawed man of about 30 years old with a pre 60’s hair cut. Does any one remember this cartoonist of long ago?

It still amazes me what these young soldiers did so long ago. My friend Bill Keyes knew James Keyes in OUHS. They both shared the same last name but were not brothers.

We hope to see a big turn out at Oroville’s Veterans’ Day Parade on Tuesday, November 11th at 11:00AM. It will start at Montgomery and 5th Avenue, down Montgomery to Downer.