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April 4, 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:

Here is a sample scenario Chief Crow might have worked for just one stack of excess 4’x 8’ plywood he discovered at a Seabee outfit willing to trade, but neither hospital, nor Seabees, had available transportation capabilities. Crow then sought out Marine units who might bargain for use of trucks and drivers. To meet everyone’s needs, Crow then negotiated with a Merchant Marine vessel for several frozen cases of beefsteaks, offering them booze acquired from the Navy commissary, which was off-limits to the seamen. Then he paid off the truckers and the Seabees with a case of steaks apiece. Those units then had great morale-boosting barbeques. Chief Crow’s project was completed mostly after normal work hours, using the “acquired” materials, equipment, and volunteers.

Senior Chief Crow’s leadership in Vietnam reflected the best of what the whole Naval Support Activity command was asked to perform in its first ten months of buildup in Da Nang, as described in the citation for the Support Activity’s Navy Unit Commendation Award, given to all who served during that time. “For…meritorious service…in carrying out…the mounting task…to support the expanding tactical forces [in the] I Corps Area. Despite…adverse climatic conditions, shortages of equipment and personnel, restrictions in cargo offload operations…and the continuous exposure to attack from hostile forces… the officers and men of the…Support [major command] Activity…resolutely overcame these circumstances and succeeded in providing continuous …logistic … support… while… expanding the capabilities and services of the…Activity.”

Navy Corpsman Crow’s tour wasn’t all in Da Nang. He spent up to two weeks in the field south of Da Nang with Detachment A-106 of the Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Camp Ba To, Quang Ngai Province, in the Southern I Corps Tactical Zone.

The Special Forces Group’s many detachments set up and manned 270 camps over the four corps regions of South Vietnam. They trained and led indigenous forces (Montagnards) of the civilian irregular defense groups, and regular units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam.

To be continued

Oroville Mercury, June 9, 1945

Back in the United States after more than two years of overseas service, Sgt. Robert Strang, USMC, telephoned his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Strang of Oroville, Thursday morning from San Francisco. Having just arrived in that city from Okinawa, Sgt. Strang was pretty tired but he wasted no time in letting his parents know that he would be coming home very soon on a 30-day furlough, after which he will enter Officers’ Candidate School. The young marine is the holder of a Bronze Star Medal, awarded him for “heroic action in the Peleliu battle on Palau Island.” The citation accompanying the award said that “while on reconnaissance patrol, Strang, then a corporal, proceeded on his own initiative under enemy automatic fire to assist and protect stretcher parties in their evacuation of the wounded.”

2nd. Lt. Bert E. Dutton, son, of Mrs. Leola F. Dutton of Chico, has been reported liberated from a German prison camp, according to an official announcement of the Office of War Information.

An ad in the Mercury Register
PLAY BINGO at Memorial Hall Mon., June 11 (and Every 2nd and 4th Monday) At 8 P.M. Benefit of Returning War Veterans Sponsored By Oroville Post No. 1747 VFW.

Stu’s Notes: Sgt. Robert Burns Strang Jr.; I wrote about Bob way back in October of 2003. It is nice to know that he made it back. Another Hero of Oroville to come home. That’s about all I know of him. I hope someday to find out more about Lt. Bert E. Dutton.

Post 1747 is still doing so much for the Veterans and out community. We are working hard on the up coming Memorial Day ceremonies. Exciting things of old are being brought back. I hope Oroville wakes up that morning and says let’s go this year and show those very patriotic people of years ago that Oroville Still remembers our Heroes and are proud to go out and honor them.

Happy 92nd Birthday today to Committee Member Nick Krpan!