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March 13, 2009

Oroville Mercury Register (OMR) February 29, 1952
News From Oroville Men In The Service
George Edward Foote, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Howard Foote of Oroville, was enlisted in the U.S. Navy at San Francisco on Feb. 20. He is now at San Diego for eleven weeks of recruit training. At the end of his period of training he will be given 14 days leave before being assigned to a ship or station. Before going in the Navy, Foote attended Oroville Union High School.

Elmer E. Knox, fireman apprentice, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Knox of Oroville, has reported for duty on board the submarine USS Pickerel at Pearl Harbor, T.H. The Pickerel is one of the Navy’s most modern submarines and holds many distinguished records including the worlds record for longest distance ever traveled submerged, when the ship snorkeled 5,200 miles from Hong Kong to Pearl Harbor in 1950. Knox enlisted in the Navy in April 1951, received his recruit training at the U. S. Naval Training Center, San Diego, and was assigned to the U. S. Submarine Base at Pearl Harbor.

Cpl. Donald H. Oswalt, of Houston street, is stationed at Kubiski, Okinawa, with the 29th Infantry Regiment, Company K. He is in cooking school as a first cook. He left the U. S. in August, 1951, after completing basic training at Camp Roberts. Cpl. Oswalt is the son of John Oswalt of Reed Springs, Mo., and has made his home in Oroville for the past five years where he was employed in the lumbering industry. His wife, Maxine, resides with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jeptha Rhoades of Houston street, while he is overseas.

Jack Sapp’s Story continued
After 7 days on the Empress of Scotland, we landed at Casa Blanca, we went to a big depot for about 6 weeks, waiting. One morning we were told to move out in two hours. We went by truck down to the train tracks and loaded into 40’ by 8’ cattle cars. 40 men to a car that smelled like cows, for 3 days and nights we sat on the floor. Our bathroom was out the door, “hanging out”. The train was a coal steam locomotive, in the tunnels we choked on the smoke. Then right at the end of this train trip we loaded on a Troop ship still in North Africa. On this ship we had Christmas Dinner ,1943, cold turkey and boiled potatoes, the trip took 5 days. We landed at Naples, went to another big Depot. January 1944 we loaded on a L. S. T. for a 3-4 hour trip and landed at 7AM on the Anzio Beaches. German planes in the sky, balloons all around, the whole area was flat and exposed to German artillery fire. We loaded on to trucks and went to a grove of funny looking trees, pines that looked like umbrellas. Tanks and half-tracks all around, men dug in. Met my 1st Sgt. (Jack was a replacement), a nice man playing cards. We lived two men to a fox hole with pine limbs on top for protection from shells. Those pine nuts tasted pretty good. We were there for three months, until May 18, 1944 when we moved out on the road to Rome. Seven days later I was hit by shrapnel from a mortar, a Medic loaded me on a jeep to Anzio where I was in a hospital for 6 weeks. I missed my day in Rome. But I got a Purple Heart and a ticket back to my outfit, the 1st division. Many of my buddies were dead by now and they had me identify them. We were now 100 miles north of Rome, on the way to Florence and the famous Leaning tower of Pisa. Fought up to the tower.
(to be continued)

Stu’s Notes: I had Lynn goggle Anzio to see when we were at Anzio Beach head and found out that we were there from January 22 to May 25, 1944. Under heavy fire from the Germans. You don’t hear much about the fighting there. But it had to be terrible An L. S. T. is a landing craft, used on the Beaches during WWII. It stood for Landing Ship Tank or Troop. Sus Gomez drove or piloted one. More on what he did soon. My pen is tired tonight.