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December 26, 2008

Oroville Mercury Register
December 13 and 15, 1951
‘The Night Before Christmas’, As Rewritten By GIs In Korea
With the U. S. 9th Corps, Korea-(UP)- Lt Darrell T. Rathbun of St. Petersburg, Fla., offered a G. I. version of “The Night Before Christmas” today. Entitled “A Korean Christmas Carol.” It was: ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the tent was the odor of fuel oil (the stovepipe was bent.) The shoepacs were hung by the oil stove with care, in hopes that they’d issue each man a new pair. The weary GIs were sacked out in their beds, and visions of Sugar-babes danced through their heads, when up on the ridgeline there arose such a clatter (A Chinese machinegun had started to chatter.) I rushed to my rifle and threw back the bolt. The rest of my tent-mates awoke with a jolt, Out side we could hear our platoon sergeant Kelly, A hard little man with a little pot belly, “Come Yancey, come Clancey, come Connors and Watson, up Miller, up Shiller, up Baker and Dodson!” We tumbled outside in a swirl of confusion, so cold that each man could have used a transfusion. “Get up on that hilltop and silence that Red, and don’t you come back till you’re sure that he’s dead.” Then, putting his thumb up in front of his nose, Sergeant Kelly took leave of us shivering Joes. But we all heard him say in a voice soft and light: “Merry Christmas to all – may you live through the night.”

News From Oroville Men In The Service
James Edward Jones was enlisted in the U. S. Navy on Dec. 4 at San Francisco. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Jones who resides on Fallbrook Avenue, Oroville. He is now receiving his recruit training at San Diego. Jones attended Oroville High School before enlisting in the Navy. He is the seventy-fifth man recruited from Oroville by the Chico Recruiting Station this year.

Lieutenant E. R. Beever, USN, son of Mrs. Anna M Beever of Oroville, recently reported on board the submarine USS Trumpetfish and has assumed duties as operations officer. Lieutenant Beever came from duty at the University of Texas, at Austin, Tex., where he was under instruction in a course in electrical engineering. He is a former Merchant Marine officer and entered the naval service in November, 1946. He attended the submarine school at New London, Conn., in 1947 and was attached to the USS Blower. Lieutenant and Mrs. Beever, the former Marjorie Storch of Peotone, Ill., reside in Key West, Fla.

Michael Ambrose Hoefling, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose M. Hoefling of Route 3, is now undergoing “boot” training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Hoefling enlisted for three years Dec. 6 at the local recruiting station and left immediately for training. A graduate of Oroville Union High School in 1950, he was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America activities and prominent in athletics while attending high school. At the end of his eight week training he will become PFC Hoefling and receive a 10-day leave prior to reporting to regular unit or to a Marine Corps School for further training.

Albert L. Treichler, airman, USN son of Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Treichler of Park Avenue, Oroville, recently reported to the Naval Air Station, Alameda, Calif., for duty. He has been assigned to overhaul and repair. He took his boot training at the Naval Training Center, San Diego. He attended Oroville Union High School prior to his enlistment in the Navy.

Stu’s Notes: Lynn has been so busy and Tuesday is our deadline for this column. She wanted it on her desk by 9:30p.m. I wanted a Christmas Story, so I went into the new room where all the old Mercury’s are, not counting the ones in boxes elsewhere. After about an hour looking I found the Poem above and how fitting it was. I thought how many Christmas’s our young men have spent on the front lines in so many wars. And they are still doing it as I write. America owes them so much and they receive so little. But they are there and they always will be. God Bless them all, the men and women who go to war and their families who sacrifice so much. I hope they had a Merry Christmas. Our Daughter Staff Sgt. Deborah Shaner is home. She should have her knee operation soon. Then what who knows. Her buddies are over there in Iraq and have told her that is a hard tour of duty as they are working 6 days a week and many hours a day. It is sure great to have her home. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!