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February 29, 2008

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 continued:

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, Mary-Grace Calosso, 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 help others”.

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.
Corpsman 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 be continued)

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. Harold Dahlmeier, 16, and Arlin Rhine, 15, high school students and members of Troop 29 under Scoutmaster Hermann Schierenberg, 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.

Rhine & Dahlmeier

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.