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March 28, 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:

Most military units in a war’s theater of operations are short people, supplies or materiel. War buildup overtaxes supply channels’ ability to create, ship, and distribute needed supplies and equipment. Even when supplies arrive in theater, they are not readily available, as ships show up in greater numbers than ports can unload, or storage facilities can receive, document, and distribute. This happens in every war. Backlogs of unloaded ships in port occurred not only in Danang, Cam Ranh Bay, and Saigon, Vietnam, but also affected the military’s Sattahip ports in Thailand. This was the supply environment that Senior Chief Petty Officer Crow and the Naval Support Activity experienced 1965-66.

The fact that Crow led the building of his unit’s dispensary at Camp Tien Sha means the facility, early on, was low on the construction priorities of the laboring Seabees constantly enlarging the Danang military complex. Chief Crow secured approval to “get it done” outside official channels, using hospital volunteers, and the military’s ancient, but effective, “network” and “scrounge” method (think foraging).

This foraging is a barter-trade-beg-borrow-sometimes raid-or steal “procurement system”. It is performed mostly between networking senior enlisted personnel, either overtly, or covertly, within, or without the normal supply system. War or peace, senior enlisted communicate between units, not only to socialize, but to “talk shop”, and gather “supply intelligence”. Crow probably “cozied up” to Navy Seabees, not only for material and equipment, but also for expert help, or even volunteers.

JAMES J. BROWN passed away Monday, February 20, 2006 after a lingering bout with Alzheimers. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Leah. He was the son of the late Mary and James J. Brown, Sr. He was born in Fall River Massachusetts on October 9, 1918 and reared in the three family home his Irish maternal grandfather built in the late 1800’s. He was the oldest of the four Brown children. Two of his three sisters preceded him in death, Rita of Falls River, Mass. in 1997 and Pauline of New Hampshire in 1993. His youngest sister Phyllis recently widowed and resides in Dover, Delaware. Jim is survived by many loving nieces and nephews, Mikki Martin-Warren of Cape Canaveral, Fl. Sue Lemieux of Alabama, Paul Lemieux of Illinois, Jeff Martin of Florida and Trudy Rae Jennings of Carson City, NV and her three daughters, Verna Spears of Oroville, Lyz Erickson of Oroville and Trisha Schryer of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He will be sorely missed by all who loved him dearly. Jim graduated from Durfee High School in 1935. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 while working for Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut. One of his earliest service assignments was with Fighter Squadron based in a very small airfield in OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA. It was while stationed there that he met and later married his wife to be. Jim was later accepted into Officers Candidate School and served as an Ordinance Officer in both World War II and the Korean War. After Leah and Jim married in 1950, he moved to California and embarked on a college education graduating from W. C. Davis in Social Science and majoring in English. He continued his education at Sacramento State University earning a degree in secondary education and Masters in Government. After receiving his teaching credential he accepted a teaching assignment at the old James Marshall High School in West Sacramento, where he remained until his retirement in 1979. A graveside service was held in Oroville.

Stu’s Notes: So many stories, so little time and space. I was given this story of James J. Brown Jr., over a year ago and soon it was lost in my house. I even forgot who gave this to me until Lynn told me that Trudy Jennings husband, my classmate, Retired Naval Officer James Jennings, gave it to me. 1st Lt. US Army James J. Brown came to Oroville so long ago like so many others to train for WWII and, like so many other young soldiers, met his future wife and took her away from her home town. It’s so wonderful to wander around our property and envision what the Memorial will look like. I say our property, ok, you readers as I, are the owners. Thank you Butte County