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October 30, 2009

Oroville Mercury September 17, 1942
Hollywood’s Glamor; Local Girl spurns Movie Nurse
Betty Lou Basye Wants To Do Her Bit To Help Win War
Found: A girl willing to spurn the movies to work for Uncle Sam. She is our own Betty Lou Basye, all-American drum majorette. Betty Lou has informed Metro Goldwyn Mayer that she cannot afford to accept their offer to star her in the picture Twirl Girl. She prefers to continue her training for nurse in the U. S. Navy Corps. But Betty Lou probably won’t lose her chance after all, for when she informed MGM of her decision the company agreed to defer the picture until after the war. Betty Lou informed the Mercury of the situation in the following letter: Dear Mercury: I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to say “hello” to all of my friends at home and also to answer many letters I’ve received recently. Yes, I received an offer to do a picture for MGM to be called Twirl Girl, featuring me as All-American Drum Majorette. But I rejected the offer. Now-a-days, I, like many other Americans, am putting this business of winning the war before anything else. I am training to be a nurse and if I took time out to make a picture I would only be putting off the day when I’ll become a nurse in the U. S. Navy Corps. Consequently, M. G. M. has postponed filming until after the war. They agree with me when I say: ”Uncle Sam comes first.” So I’m continuing my duties as a student nurse, anxiously awaiting the day when I’ll be able to join the ranks of Uncle Sam’s Nurses, and do my bit to win this war. Best of Luck to everyone. Sincerely Betty Lou Basye, Student Nurse, Fresno General Hospital Fresno, California. Betty Lou is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

May 1944 Oroville Mercury Register
Lt. Walt Turk Killed When P-39 Crashes Palermo Flier Dies Near Ephrata, Wash
The body of 2nd Lt. Walter M. Turk of Palermo, 20, killed when his P-39 fighting plane crashed near the Army Air Base at Ephrata, Wash., is to arrive here tomorrow accompanied by a military escort. Funeral services will be held at 2p.m. Thursday at Hamilton and Riley’s. The Rev. Mr. W. S. Woodhull will be minister. Burial is to be in the veterans plot at Memorial Park. Lt. Turk, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter P. Turk of Palermo, was one of two pilots who lost their lives in combat training flights from the airbase when their planes fell three miles apart in separate accidents. The other pilot was Lt. Everett Weislander, 24, son of Mrs. Grace E. Weislander of Oakland. The Palermo man had been assigned to the Washington field only recently for advanced training. He had received his commission only a few weeks ago. He was among the ten highest men in aerial gunnery in a class of fighter pilots graduated at Luke Field, Ariz. He was given an individual trophy from Col. John K. Nissley, commanding officer, at graduation exercises. Lt. Turk attended Oroville high school and Yuba County Junior College. His parents were advised Sunday of his death. The pilot was born Nov. 18, 1923, at Pullman, Wash. He is survived by his wife, Avanelle Ellsworth Turk, who was living at Ephrata; his parents, and three sisters and a brother, Mrs. Alma Smith of Arnold, Mrs. Louis Parker of Palermo, Allen H. Turk of Marin City and Mrs. Helen Muma of Palermo.

Stu’s notes: I was recently given this article about Betty Lou. You have heard of WWII people being the Greatest Generation. WWII probably brought out the most patriotism this country has ever seen. Our Military People of today are equal to those of yesterday but during WWII a whole generation of people pulled together to fight the evil, it was well known who the bad people were. Then it was quite common for people like Betty Lou to go above and beyond the norm to help their Country, individual sacrifice for “Country” was quite common. Through out the land almost the whole nation got behind the troops. Today, have you heard of a movie star joining the army, or so called sports hero. Well, sadly, we did have one that gave his life. In WWII many more stars and sports heroes went off to war or helped there country in various ways. For instance, Robert Taylor, Glen Ford, Jimmy Stewart and Joe DiMaggio. Remember the Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11th at 11 AM. Down town Oroville. Happy Birthday to Grandson Gavin, 3 years old today!