Fall of 2007, James Crow’s Story provided by his Oroville nephew,
Eric L. Zancanella
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Transportation Corps, U. S. Army Reserves
THERMALITO MAN, JAMES ARNOLD CROW, A KOREA AND VIETNAM VETERAN.
James Arnold Crow, son of Lee and Annie Crow of Thermalito, made
the Navy a twenty-year career, serving as a Hospital Corpsman in
the Korean War, and later as a Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman in
the Vietnam War. Three of his four older brothers served in WWII’s
Pacific Theater, one a Marine, and two Sailors. Born in Texhoma,
Oklahoma, 19 October 1931, James and the Crow family moved from
Oklahoma to Colorado, then they moved to California, San Francisco
Bay Area, for war work in 1943. James lived in Richmond, then Grass
Valley, and was the last at home before coming to Thermalito in
1946, where he started high school and got involved in Scouting,
earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Lee Crow, James’ father, became
the Thermalito Scout Master. The Crow’s lived on 10th
Street in Thermalito, and later on the corner of Nelson Avenue and
Del Oro. With his parents’ blessing, James joined the Navy a week
after he turned 17 in 1948. He became a Hospital Corpsman because
the Navy saw that he had worked in a hospital one summer pushing
(To be continued)
Oroville Mercury Register January 9, 1953
Gold Star Mothers Install Officers
Installation of officers was the highlight of the Gold Star Mothers
program when they held their meeting Wednesday evening at the Memorial
Hall. Those installed were; Gertrude Morningstar, president; Bertha
King, vice president; Mary Jensen, second vice president; Irma Tieck
chaplain; Irene Rowe, treasurer; Marguerite Jacobs, color bearer;
Mary Karr, historian. To be installed at a later date will be Marble
Henley, secretary and Zema Worthy, sergeant at arms. Special guests
of the meeting were Georgia Smith, Bess Phillips and Lorraine Ellis.
Refreshments were served by Mrs. Morningstar and Mrs. Henley.
Oroville Mercury Register January 15, 1953
Editorial by Dan L. Beebe
Inventions Needed Give US Radio Signals On Wrecks and the Pilot’s
Several improvements should be made in service and commercial aircraft
to make possible their quick location following a crash and to record
in indestructible form the reasons for it as noted by the pilot.
It isn’t beyond the realm of possibilities to do this. The surprising
thing is that it has not been accomplished already. The crash nearby
did not offer the location problem, but judging from the pictures
published the wreckage is such that the teams of experts studying
it will not be able to establish the cause of the craft’s failure.
If there had been on board an indestructible log of the flight,
with every variation from the normal recorded as it appeared we
would have at least the opinion of the commanding officer as to
what caused the failure. We have thought for some time the makers
of airplanes should invent a signal that would continue to send
out radio impulses following a crash giving the approximate location
of the plane. Such a device probably would operate all the time
the plane was in the air and would serve as a valuable aid to those
wishing to chart its flight. I would be silenced, of course, if
an enemy were involved. With such a radio signal continuing after
the crash many a life would be saved and we would be spared the
harrowing searches over great areas of rugged country. Many would
like to know in the pilot’s opinion, why the B-50 Super Fortress
that crashed west of Gridley, was not able to maintain altitude.
With four motors, at least two must have gone out together, or possibly
there was some trouble with the other equipment.
Stu’s Notes: I recently talked to John Cowan for about an hour.
He was the manager of Grey Lodge Wildlife Refuge for 33 years and
was very instrumental in the building and growth of Butte College.
I told him that I wrote about the B-50 crash that he witnessed out
by Grey Lodge. He had not read my story but repeated to me almost
word for word of what he saw. He and his wife still live in Butte
County. He is 91 and still remembers that sad day very well. He
was very thankful for what we are doing to honor men such as these.
When I told my partner Co-Chair, Bill Connelly about this story,
he found on the internet all about the B 50 Super Fortress. Bill
was born in 1953 and years later worked around the Super Fortress’s
as a member of the U. S. Air force. He worked with B 52’s, they
were born along with Bill in the early 50’s and like Bill are still
Flying high. You can see a B50 on Display out doors at Castle Air
Museum in Atwater, CA.
As many of my readers know “Gold Star Mother’s” lost a son or daughter
in the service of our Country. They also have Gold Star Wives. I
have been informed by a friend, Pat Foster. She lost her husband
while in Service of our Country. Was Dan Beebe, one of the Fathers
of the Black Box in Airplanes? I feel it an honor to have known
the Crow and Zancanella Family and then Eric Zancanella for this
story which I will do a little at a time like we did Bob Brook’s