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July 18, 2008

Oroville Register June 7, 1945
VE Day Issue Of Paper Reviewed
A copy of the VE-Day publication in Italy of Stars and Stripes has been received by the Mercury from Cpl. Charles H. Bryson of the 87th Mt. Infantry. The banner on the paper reads, “It’s All Over Over Here.” An item on page 2 reads “VE-Day will be a holiday for all troops in the Mediterranean Theatre.” Bryson is the brother of Mrs. Herman Bonham, the former Nell Bryson, and of Mrs. Harold Williams, the former Ruth Bryson.

From the Scrapbook of Lillian Uren
In The Fight
Staff. Sgt. Vernon Bailey, veteran of 50 long-range bombing missions in the Mediterranean area, has had some lively experiences as tail gunner of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Bailey said his ship had been shot up pretty much on some occasions. On one in particular mission, the fortress and its fighter escort was attacked by 200 enemy fighters for more that two hours. He said the enemy planes followed right through the flak in the attack. Bailey was at the Anzio Beachhead and also participated in engagements over France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania. He is the wearer of the Air Medal and six Oak Leaf Clusters, and European Theatre of War ribbons with two stars. Bailey has been in the service for 18 months. He went overseas Jan. 6, 1944. He is visiting at the home of his father, J. A. Bailey, on Florence Street.

Pfc. Jack Keefer is serving in the South Pacific with the famed 81st Wildcat Division, members of which recently invaded Anguar. The division trained at Camp Beale. Before going overseas three months ago, Keefer was stationed at Camp Beale. While there he visited in Oroville where he met his wife, the former Grace Seibold. Mrs. Keefer is employed at the Crystal Drug store. The couple were married June 8. Keefer is the son of Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Keefer of Everett, Wash.

Pvt. Charles M. Jacobson has returned to La Junta Army Air Base, Col., after spending a 15 day furlough visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Jacobson. Jacobson, an airplane mechanic, works on B-25’s. Before coming home he had just completed courses in airplanes and engines at Two-Engine Advanced Training School. He enlisted in the air service Nov. 28, 1942. Jacobson says he likes the country better from the air than the ground. His visit here was the first in 13 months. Jacobson attended Oroville high school and was a member of the cadet corps there. He later went to aviation mechanic school at Chico. Before his enlistment he worked at Mare Island. He said Pete Karageris was also at La Junta.

George Thatcher, former Oroville resident, now of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, is a fire chief first class in the U. S. Navy, according to information received by his mother, Mrs. Zella M. Campbell of this city. Thatcher is seeing active service in two wars. In the first world war he was a sergeant of a motor truck train, in the ordnance department, and he spent two years and eight months in France. He went to Porto Rico about 5 years ago, and was senior officer of mechanics on a defense project there before receiving his navy rating. His duties are to take charge of supplies landed by the navy on bridgeheads. In civilian life he was an automotive engineer.

Stu’s Notes: I went to High School with Larry Bonham. Nell Bryson Bonham was his mother. Larry’s father, Herman lost his life working on the relocation of Highway 40A now Hwy 70, part of building the Oroville Dam. His name is in bronze up on the dam.

So many of our bombers were lost in Europe in 1942-43 that after you flew 25 missions you went home, I think. Over half of the crews never made that by 1944-45 they raised it up to 50 as we had the long range P47 Thunderbolt and the P51 Mustang that could go all the way with the bombers. Oroville’s Bill Dunbar flew P47’s, Gen Chuck Yeager flew P51’s. Each say they had the best fighter plane. This coming Sunday, Lynn and I will take our Daughter Debbie to Riverside, about 12 or more of Oroville’s California National Guard Det1 Co. A297th Spt Bn., will rendezvous there to start there journey to Iraq. There will be a send off party at March Air Base. They will go to Indiana for 2 months of training on a Heavy Equipment Transport, (HET), a very big rig. We saw one on our trip in Omaha, NB. The Oroville Guard has done so much Over There” already. Let’s all support them. They are Heroes.