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January 30, 2009

Oroville Mercury Register (OMR)
February 16,1952
News From Oroville Men In The Service
Merle K. Swezey, at 19, a veteran of nearly two years’ service with the Army in Asia, will enter paratroop training this month with the expectation of serving next in Europe. Swezey, a former student at Oroville Union High School, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Merle W. Swezey of Quincy Road. He returned to duty this week following a furlough spent visiting his parents. He enlisted in the regular Army Dec. 2, 1949, for a six-year hitch. After training at Fort Ord, the soft spoken corporal was stationed at Hawaii, Wake Island, Okinawa, Saipan, Guam and Japan. He was on Guam when the Korean war broke out in June, 1950, and was in Korea two months later. Swezey served in Korea nearly 17 months as a truck driver, hauling ammunition. Did he have any close shaves? “A couple.” How close was the closest? “Well, one time we were driving back from Pyongyang when a Red tank took after us. If it hadn’t been for the curves in the road it probably would have caught us, too. It fired once, but missed us,” he recounted, matter-of-factly. While in Korea, Swezey served with the Second Division, which received a special citation for its push from Inchon. The young soldier liked Japan, but not Korea. He said it was rough in Korea last winter (1950-1951) because the troops did not have sufficient warm clothing. They were wrapping themselves in tents, mosquito netting and anything else to keep warm, he said. However, Swezey added, sufficient warm clothing now has been procured and issued. Swezey now will undergo three months’ paratroop training at Fort Benning, Ga., before being re-assigned to an outfit.

February 7, 1952
Food Parcels Mailed To Marine Go Astray
A Marine who complained to his parents that he was going hungry in Korea has notified them that food packages they mailed in answer to his plea have not been received. “The packages haven’t been coming through,” he wrote. “I don’t know why.” Mr. and Mrs. Mike Keenan of Route 5, said today that their son, Mike S., hasn’t received a package since the middle of December, though they ha e sent four since then that should have been received by now. The Marine, serving with a machine-gun crew in a weapons company, wrote to his parents on Oct 27 while in an army rest area: “For every 100 men, the Eight Army give us rations for 60. It’s a good thing the PX is only a half-mile down the road.” Keenan wrote on Dec. 14: “ I get two meals a day. That’s not so bad after you get used to it.” It was in a letter dated Jan. 21 that he reported the packages hadn’t been coming through. He said he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been getting packages sent from home, then added: “But don’t worry; the only thing is, the child’s getting a little thin.” Mr. and Mrs. Keenan said the packages they have been sending to their son every two or three weeks contain between $10-$15 worth of groceries, although sometimes the value is as much as $20. Young Keenan, 20, was graduated from Oroville Union High School in June, 1950, went into the Marines Jan. 23, 1951, and went to Korea Aug. 15. His mother said he was sent to the front within 10 days after arriving in Korea, about the first of September, and was on the front lines 33 days without a hot meal. Later he took part in the fighting around the “Punch Bowl” his parents said.

February 7, 1952
Military Brass Warned They Can Expect To Explain Tax Spending
Washington (U.P.) Rep F. Edward Hebert (D.La.) said today the generals and admirals might as well face it – from now on they will have a lot of explaining to do about the way they pass out the taxpayer’s money. Hebert is chairman of a House Armed Services subcommittee which has issued several blistering reports on waste and extravagance in military buying. He promised more such disclosures just as fast as he can dig up the facts. The Louisianan was an obvious though un-named target of complaints aired yesterday before a Senate appropriations subcommittee by Air Force Secretary Thomas K. Finletter, assistant Army Secretary Karl R. Bendetsen, and Vice Adm. Charles W. Fox, Navy materiel chief. They said Congress has been too quick to publicize charges of waste in the armed forces. They said these charges have been overplayed, misleading the public and hurting morale in the service. Herbert shot back that it’s the facts, not their disclosure and correction, that hurt morale. He said Congress’ only mistake was in not getting at the facts a lot sooner.

Stu’s Notes: Seems we always go to War unprepared, old ammo, obsolete equipment, why doesn’t the right stuff get to our soldiers at the time it is needed. Like mosquito nets in the middle of Korea’s cold winter. Seems that the money was there it just didn’t get spent on the right stuff. Stuff needed for the front line troops they deserve the BEST. The most recent example being Iraq. When our troops went over there in 2004 they did not have the “Best”.