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May 16, 2008

A Man Called Jarhead
Continued, from last week.
Ned Harrison, and old Oroville Dam Worker and Retired Laborer, and mostly a hard rock Miner gave this story to me. It is a long story so it will take a few weeks to tell it all. “He spent 17 days on a troop ship sailing to Korea and landed at Inchon Harbor. From there, he was sent with other fresh troops to a staging area. The next stop was the front lines. It was then the idea of being in combat had began to lose its appeal, Steege said. Steege recalled that moment when he and another Marine came under fire for the first time. “They were sending mortars in on us. They couldn’t’ see us, they were just lobbing them in over the hill,” he said. Steege looked back at his friend “and he would look at me, and I said, ’This isn’t right. I’m already beginning to not like this stuff.’” It was not long afterward, during a night fight in July, 1953, that Steege was wounded and captured. That night Steege was sent to a listening post in front of the lines. At about 1 a.m., “We started getting a bunch of incoming. And usually when they did that, you knew they were going to come in, because they would come in under their own fire. “And Sure as heck, they did, “ Steege said.

Steege was crouched in a rude dugout that had a flimsy wooden door closing it off from a trench leading to other positions. Suddenly, the door was kicked in and “there was a flashlight taped on to the barrel of a burp gun.” The soldier holding up the gun sprayed fire into the dugout, hitting Steege in the arms and legs. “I didn’t feel it when I was hit in the legs or in the arms,” he said, pointing to left arm. After shooting him, the Chinese troops grabbed Steege and began forcing him back to their lines. “They just got a hold of me and started jerking me,” Steege said. “They couldn’t speak English and I didn’t know what they wanted.” When he tripped over a roll of barbed wire, the soldiers decided to speed things up by grabbing his wrists and dragging him, “and that hurt. That hurt real bad.” To be continued…

Oroville Mercury-Register
October 9, 1945
Service Corner

With the 96th division in the Philippines – T./Sgt. Roy Herbert of Oroville is now entitled to wear on his right sleeve the gold and yellow wreath denoting membership in a unit which was been cited by the Army for outstanding meritorious performance of duty. His organization, the 96th Division Band, has been so cited for its fine work on Leyte and Okinawa, where, in addition to handling their musical duties, the bandsmen served as military police and command post guards. Technical Sergeant Herbert, a cornetist, lives on Madrone Avenue, Oroville.

Army Nurse Among The First Ashore On Japan
An army nurse, who plans to make her future home in Oroville when she becomes the bride of William Stephens now Cook 3/c in the U. S. Navy, is 2nd Lt. Mary Flores of Denver, Colo. Lt. Flores was among the nurses in the first hospital unit ashore on Dai Nippon after VJ day. The wedding will take place after Lt. Flores is released from the service. The hospital ship, the Marigold was the first American ship to tie up at the dock in the deserted Tokyo harbor since Pearl Harbor.

George Hurlburt Is On Duty At Guam
Guam- George Ellsworth Hurlburt, pharmacist’s mate, third class, USN, Oroville, Calif., is serving here with U. S. Fleet Hospital No. 103. The hospital, after moving from Samoa when its usefulness there was over, cared for causalities from Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Stu’s Notes: I hope everyone is making plans to come and honor those who served our country through the years. at the Memorial Day events. Monday, May 26, 2008 we will have services at the Memorial Park Cemetery on Lincoln Street beginning at 11:00 AM. Following the ceremonies at the cemetery we will then gather on the Old Green Bridge. At 1PM we will revive an old tradition which includes a little parade across the bridge with, the Thermalito Nelson Avenue School Band, We will begin at the Feather River Fish Hatchery Parking lot, just north of the Bridge. Following the short ceremony on the bridge we will then go past the site of the future Oroville Veterans Memorial Park for all of Butte County to the Veterans Memorial Hall on Montgomery Street for a BBQ lunch, provided by the American Legion Post 95. Donation is $6. for adults, $2 for children under 12. Vene Thompson is Chairman of this event for more information you may call Joan Lee at 589-1058.