Fall of 2007, James Crow’s Story provided by his Oroville nephew,
Eric L. Zancanella
, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Transportation
Corps, U. S. Army Reserves
James Crow’s story
Many Navy Hospital Corpsmen on the ground in Korea earned medals
for heroism, and James Crow earned some of those. Crow,
however, declined two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver
Star. One of the Purple Hearts was for a bullet wound to his
foot. Crow’s son,
Guy Crow, stated that his father said he "didn't want medals
for just doing his job." His daughter,
shared some of her father’s thoughts on his time in service.
“He did not like the fighting and the killing, but he was always
proud that as a Hospital Corpsman, he was able to save lives and
James Crow did not like to talk about war details much, but his
children pried out a few reluctant stories over the years.
One story stated Navy Corpsman Crow and another Marine, carried
an injured Marine on a stretcher a long way out of the bush, about
23 miles, back to safety. Several times they had to lay low,
and let the enemy pass by, and then bug out.
Third Class Crow, in another story, was awarded a medal for saving
a wounded Korean officer, but refused it. In addition to not
wanting medals “for just doing his job”, he may also have balked
at recognition for saving an officer, when he and other corpsmen
were not recognized for regularly saving Korean enlisted men.
The Korean winter was terribly cold, and Crow, like many other military
personnel suffered cold feet and hands, and frostbite. James
Crow exemplified his incessant hatred of cold and snowy weather
with this story to his children.
One Korean night in the field he was tucked snugly in his down sleeping
bag. It was way beyond cold. Everything was frozen solid
with snow everywhere, when “Murphy” reared his ugly head right about
then and all hell broke loose. Shooting, scrambling and even
more shooting. Crow tried to get out of his nice snuggly warm
down sleeping bag, but the zipper locked up...SOLID. Nothing
he could do would extricate him, so what did he do? Just what
any self-respecting Marine would do. He whips out the 'ol
Ka-Bar combat knife, and POOF, immediate egress, complete with feathers
flying everywhere. Crow’s son asked his dad what he did for
a sleeping bag after that, and his Dad smiled a wry smile and said,
"I was the Doc, I didn't go cold." (On to Vietnam, to
Oroville Mercury Register about 1940
Two Local Scouts To Be Awarded Eagle Rank Sunday
The rank of Eagles Scout will be awarded to two Oroville boys tomorrow
at ceremonies held at the Elks lodge.
16, and Arlin Rhine,
15, high school students and members of Troop 29 under Scoutmaster
are to receive the badges signifying the Eagle rank of Scouting.
Eagle Scout is the highest scouting award a boy may receive and
it requires study, work and a strict compliance with the Scout oaths
and laws. The program which will begin at 3;30 p.m. , is not
open to the public and will be presided over by
Ernest Clewe, chairman.
Chief speaker of the day will be
Alden Barber, of
Chico, national grand commander of the Knights of Dunamis.
Also speaking will be Carl
Fossette, Fred Shanks,
district Scout executive, and
J. H. Sharpe.
Stu’s Notes: Harold Dahlmeier went on to become a well
known Oroville Man. Sadly, his friend Arlin Rhine’s life was
cut short on a small piece of Lava Rock called Iwo Jima in February
1945. I have written before about Arlin and long ago talked
to his sister, I think. Arlin became a Marine. In the
picture, he is on the left, he wears glasses, the reason I was turned
down by the Marines in 1959. But there was not a war on then.
The next time you drive on our levee look at the street sign, you
will see his name. I also was a boy scout but never achieved,
what Harold and Arlin did, Eagle Scout, is quite an accomplishment,
claimed only by a very few. Hal Dahlmeier also went on to
serve our country but I have yet to find a story on him. Al
Mclain, long ago gave me a long list of names, many I have yet to
find a story on. But I will keep on looking. I want
to thank Faye Anglen and Rosalie Thompson Quintel for this article.
They gave me several.