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September 19, 2008

It is about an hour long Recognition Candle light service.

This story is from Ronald Hays continued from last week

Harold V. Hayes at the age of 86 recently passed away at his home in Redding, California. On April 13, 1945, German SS and Luftwaffe troops, retreating from the Allied advance, murdered 1016 political and military prisoners near the German town of Gardelegen. The prisoners were on a forced march from one prisoner camp to another. Many of them sick and too weak to march any further, were taken from the town of Gardelegen to a large barn on the Isenchnibbe estate and forced inside the building. The assembled guards then barricaded the doors and set fire to gasoline-soaked straw. The massacre site was discovered the next day by soldiers of the second battalion 405th infantry and men from the 548th AAA battalion of the 102 Ozark Infantry Division, (excerpted from the Wikipedia,). Hayes was at the site when the Gardelegen massacre was discovered and amongst his war memorabilia are several pictures of that horrible event that had occurred there. At the war’s conclusion the 102 Division was sent to Belgium where they guarded American prisoners who were being held for engaging in black marketing activities. The division returned to the United States March 11, 1946. Shortly thereafter Hayes was sent to the Beale Army Base in Marysville where he was honorably discharged.

Harold returned to Oroville married the former Ruth Boyd and had two children. He was employed at Don Hobbie’s Chevrolet Sales and Service in the Part’s Department until 1957 when he joined the California Highway Patrol. He served thirty years in the Highway Patrol retiring in 1987. Several years after Hayes had put his war years behind him and unexpected meeting of an old comrade took place. Harold and his wife were invited to dinner at his sister’s home in Marysville. His sister the former Elnor Hayes had married Walter K. Shealy who was originally from South Carolina. When Harold and wife arrived, Elnor told them they had also invited an old friend of her husband who also was from South Carolina. Soon after the door bell rang and in walked the former Commander of the 548th Colonel Oliver. Neither was aware of the Shealy/Oliver/Hayes connection and the last time they had seen each other was when they departed Belgium in 1946. Harold had been the Colonel’s driver and together they had traveled in a Jeep from France, through the Netherlands, into Germany to the war’s conclusion. Over dinner and late into the evening the Colonel and the Sergeant once again traveled that route and to the same conclusion. They had been a part of a great victory that had ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Stu’s Notes: Happy 50th anniversary to the Oroville Union High School class of 1958, my class. We are having our 50 year class reunion this weekend, watch out Oroville. Many of my class mates served their Country in very dangerous times, the sabers of war were rattling. Yes, Korea was basically over, Vietnam was just about to come and the Chinese were threatening Formosa and other Islands off their coast. The shells were actively firing from China their way. We were helping our friends the Chinese Nationalist who had fled the Communists to those Islands. Oroville Mercury October. 21, 1958 Quiet Unloading – A Nationalist LST unloads shells on Quemoy Island during the cease-fire prior to the resumption Sunday of artillery barrages at the island by Chinese Communist gun batteries on the mainland. Authoritative military sources reported the United States also will give the Nationalists plane-killing Nike-Hercules missiles and light, fast Walker Bulldog tanks. Many brave young men and women of my class stepped forward to be ready to defend their and other’s freedom. The following names were put together at the last minute by Daryl Autrey, Jim Jennings and I. We surly left a few off but if we find them we will write more in coming stories; Angelo Acebo served as a U. S. Marine, He was a sea scout in high school and my long time friend. Our own webmaster, Daryl Autrey served in the U.S. Navy on the Carrier, USS Midway, his ship carried sidewinder missiles to the Chinese Nationalists.. Carl James Bucher, Navy Officer, Liana Biondo, Navy Wave, Sam Belser, Navy, Gordon Bennett, Omie Colvin, Army. Omie was my partner in Wood Shop. We did good together. Gary Black Army dog handler, William Curran, Navy, Olen Harley, Navy. Jim Jennings entered the service in 1960, as a cadet at the US Naval Academy Annapolis Class of 1964, he was a naval Aviator and then a Surface War Fare specialist. Rocky Mosely, Navy Photographer’s Mate, Robert Nelson, Navy, Mike Philips Navy Aviation Electronic Tec. Jimmy McDonald, just after enlisting in the Navy died in a car wreck on Marysville Highway, returning to Oroville from the skating rink, he was to report to duty the next day. Jimmy sat right next to me in one of our high school classes, he was such a nice young man. His girl friend was Cleone Slone, a friend of mine from Thermalito, so sad. Bill Rutherford, Air Force officer. Harry Pyke, U. S. Army Officer. Joe Schleef, Air Force Officer. Leonard Stafford U. S. Army, 20 years. Leonard was my friend from the 1st grade, still is ,he lives in Thermalito . He was awarded a Bronze Star. Leonard Wood , Army. I hope this information is correct, if it isn’t please let me know.