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August 8, 2008

Oroville Mercury Register October 5, 1942
List All Boats With Gambrel
Anyone having row boats or motor boats available for use in an emergency is asked by Tom Gambrel to list the boats with him. Gambrel may be contacted by phone at 576R and his home address is 2450 Montgomery . The list is being compiled in connection with the local defense program and the defense committee would like to know where the boats are in case they are needed. Gambrel said a similar set-up has been arranged at Gridley.

Butte County News
Mrs. Lofgren Guest of Honor At Tea Given By Friends
Biggs- Mrs. Worth Bayles was in San Francisco recently where she was the guest of Miss Virginia Hastings at a tea at the Palace Hotel in honor of Mrs. Maurice Lofgren, the former Miss Eleanor Longanecker. Present were college friends of the honor guest. Mrs. Lofgren is residing in San Francisco, her husband having left for foreign service in the air corps in which he is a lieutenant. The Lofgrens were married Aug. 10 at Manchester, New Hampshire, where Lt. Lofgren was then stationed. His wife has received a cable of his safe arrival at his foreign post.

Stu’s Notes: Tom Gambrel on home defense there were still worries of a Japanese invasion even 10 months after Pearl Harbor. Tom lived in a house that was on the lot right next to the Boss. It is one of the lots that will be the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Honoring all of Butte County. Tom’s granddaughter, Lynn Theuriet came to Oroville with Richard Gambrel, Tom’s son. I ran into them quite by accident at the Butte County Historical Society Museum on Spencer. She was looking into the history of her family here when I told her we were building a memorial on Tom’s old family home she was very glad of that. Richard served in the Military right after graduating from Oroville High School in 1943. Lynn’s Grandfather was born in the house in 1898. Thomas McGee was the first owner of the house and he was from Ireland. The house was built in the 1890’s. Lynn’s great grandfather’s initials T. M. are still in the sidewalk.

Maurice Arvid Lofgren died August 30, 1943 in a bomber crash in England.

This is the 63rd anniversary of the Atomic Bomb. Rudy Messerschmidt, almost 50 years ago, the First United Methodist Church of Oroville sponsored he and his family to come to Oroville from Holland, by then Indonesia, was at odds with those who had Dutch connections. So they came to Oroville and are still here as good solid citizens of America. Now I will use Rudy’s words. “I fought for the Dutch against the invading Japanese. I was taken prisoner. One time they lined us all up to shoot. Some how they decided to shoot every other one of us. For some reason a Japanese officer told them not to shoot anybody. Our paths had crossed previously and I guess that is why he spared us. Near the end of the war unknown to us, but the Japanese knew the end was near, they made us dig ditches by our camp. Then America dropped the Atomic bomb and soon we were free, the Japanese said then that we had dug our graves. But such a quick end to the war spared us.” After the war Rudi Met Ella Voll and married in 1949. They had 3 children. They both worked for the Dutch, Ella working for the Dutch Embassy. In 1958 they went from Indonesia to Holland, two years later, America. Rudy worked for P.G.& E. here and retired as an Electrician and Start up Engineer. Ella passed a way a few years ago. Rudi now travels all over the world and has one more Prisoner of War Reunion to go to, he says it will be the last one. His family with a half dozen grandkids also keep him busy.

The use of the Atomic bomb is still debated today. Was it necessary? All I can say after years of hearing both sides, is that I think the bomb saved many more lives then it took, especially on our side. But also on the Japanese side. We were going to invade Japan, island by island, probably November 1945. On the invasion date one of the worst typhoons ever struck the invasion area, we would have had thousands of ships there. The Japanese were prepared to fight on the beaches with men, women and children, they had up to 5,000 Kamakazi planes in caves ready to use. Most of all the tens of thousands of Allied Prisoners of war would probably have been shot or brutally killed. Was the atomic bomb right or wrong? I guess that can only be answered by those who would have died in the invasion. Many are still alive today as are there offspring. I talked to Veterans Memorial Committee members Bob Morehouse, he said the up coming invasion would have been “A bloody Mess.” He was on a ship not far from Japan. Their group was preparing for the Invasion. Darby Miller said about the same as Bob.