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July 11, 2008

Oroville Register June 1945
In The Fight
Many service men have not been heard from. The American Legion committee that is sponsoring the honor roll of all men and women in the armed forces said today that it is ready to have the names printed but realizes many have not yet been turned in. Relatives of those in the services should send the names and other data at once to Albert D’Amico. He wants the full name, address, rating and branch of service. Unless relatives and friends act, the names of their men and women will not appear, as those in the services are not prepared to act for themselves.

Pvt. Robert (Blackie) Colony was in England on V-E Day at the 1st Base Air Depot at Warrington. An army release said he was one of the crack Air Service Command team that pitched in to back up the air assaults that helped knock Germany out of the war, repairing and servicing combat planes. Brigadier General Berman Commended the group for the amount of work they had turned out and said, “Every soldier, whatever his job, contributed materially to the magnificent, final result.” Colony has been overseas since October 6, 1944. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Colony of Palermo Road and prior to joining the army in January 1944 was employed on a ranch. During his basic training he made high scores shooting infantry weapons and received a medal for rifle shooting.

Ghungking, China--Capt. H. J. Leavitt of Oroville is in charge of construction of the China Theatre Area here. Special credit was given him at the opening of the Tibbets Memorial Center, a new combination theatre, dance floor, recreation hall, and chapel. Three high ranking U. S. generals and the United States ambassador to china took part in the dedication ceremonies. Leavitt’s wife and the couple’s two daughters reside on Nevada Avenue.

Pfc. Charles E. Walsh, was one of the Oroville boys who on V-E Day were on the job helping to ready combat planes and equipment for immediate need wherever they might be needed. This is according to an army release from 1st Base Air Depot in Warrington, England. His unit was commended by Brigadier General Berman of the Air Service Command who said, “These soldiers, since their work began have dispatched 415,000 tons of supplies, assembled and modified 12,000 combat planes and repaired and overhauled more than 30,000 aircraft engines.” Walsh has been overseas since October 1943. He joined the army in January 1943, prior to which he was employed by Feather Falls Lumber Company at Mooretown.

Stu’s Notes: Albert D’Amico put together this list with his American Legion committee. Does anyone know where it is? Could it be buried somewhere at the bottom of a pile somewhere in our Veteran’s Hall? There was one little news clip I read that the list was put on a big board, I do know it was on display at the Veterans Hall on Montgomery and moved to the Court House down town. How could anyone in their right mind throw such a treasure away? And there should be a paper list. I first wrote of Blackie Colony in 2002, he was featured in my 4th story, now I think I’m on 314, (this article. It is good to read he survived the war, now if I could find anyone who remembers him. Could Capt Leavitt be related to the Oroville Leavitts. I want more of his story. I received a call from Laura Lee Casagrande Welzel. She was married to Gene Casagrande. Our friend and I will say loyal reader, Betty Taresh sent her the recent article about Don and his brothers. She said among other things Gene drove a Jeep on Air Base’s to take Air crews to their planes and back after a mission,

Thank you Bill Fox. He does so much for this memorial. First we were going to the Biggs 4th of July ceremony and parade, then we weren’t, then Bill got us a free booth (thank you Biggs) so we went. We felt bad that they went all out for us. Anyway what a find. In 7 years of searching we had a list of about 24 who lost their lives from Biggs-Gridley. I knew there would be more but who, when, where. Well a very nice lady came by our booth, Pat Shuman She was so glad when I told her what we were doing and that we needed help on Biggs and Gridley. She is a docent at the Gridley library. She said there was a book called Letters and News of Boy’s and Girl’s in the Service. World War II news paper clippings. These clippings came from “The News” a Biggs paper of long ago. It had stories of Biggs, Gridley and some Oroville service men and women and a list of those who lost their lives from Biggs and Gridley in WWII. We still need more help, no Butte county town’s list is complete Where was Mooretown?