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May 22, 2009

Oroville Mercury January 11, 1952
Wounds Prove Fatal To Chico Soldier
Pfc. Paul D. McManus, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. McManus Route 1, Chico, died as a result of wounds suffered in the Korean fighting, according to a Department of Defense news release. Pfc. McManus was listed among 16 California casualties.

OMR June 3, 1947
Chicoan Dies In B-29 Crash - Laurence Bennett, 23 , of Chico was one of the three crew members killed in a B-29 crash near Fairbanks, Alaska, late Thursday, the Army Air Force has informed relatives. 1st Lt. Bennett, pilot and aerial engineer, died when the superfort crashed shortly after a takeoff at Ladd Field. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Bennett of Chico and a graduate of Chico High School.

OMR May 30, 1956
Oroville Joins Nation In Memorial Day Observances Honoring War Dead
Several hundred persons stood in silence on the Upper Thermalito bridge across the Feather River this morning while wreaths and garlands were drooped in the stream in memorial services honoring the area’s war dead. Led by a color guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars encampment, the veterans of this country’s wars of the past strode onto the span in the uniforms they once wore in the service of their country. They were followed by representatives of veteran’s auxiliaries, civic organizations, the Thermalito Drum and Bugle Corps and children from the Oroville elementary schools each bearing a small American Flag presented to them by the W. T. Sherman Woman’s Relief Corps at the start of the parade. (After this Bridge Ceremony many went to the Cemeteries.)

Stu’s Notes: I recently watched on the Military History Channel a story that was done a few years ago on what happened after we lost the courageous fight at Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines. The story featured many survivors of that fight. After Pearl Harbor they fought on against the Japanese for four more months. Can you imagine that? Four months. Running out of food, ammunition, yet they fought on, abandoned by their country. Then they suffered as Prisoner’s of war for three and a half more years. The few that made it home were soon forgotten. Well, let’s make them Not Forgotten in Oroville. For 6 years a small group of about 100 people honor them in Oroville on POW/MIA Recognition Day. This Day is only four months away. Come on Oroville we can do better than 100 or so people. In the words of one of those surviving “Do Not Forget Us.” We, in Oroville will not. Thank you Joan Lee (Van Campen) for coming to me 6 years ago, which lead to this annual event in Oroville.

Monday, The Memorial Day Ceremony at the Oroville Memorial Park Cemetery on Lincoln Street. Starting at 11AM on May 25, 2009. Followed by a ceremony on the Old Green Bridge at 1pm the Nelson Avenue (Thermalito School, my alma mater) Band with Director Bob Christenson as their leader. The Thermalito Band played at this event in the 1940’s and 50’s, let’s hope they play on our bridge long into the future. Last year there were 7 students and this year 10 or more will be there to play. They did a good job last year and I really look forward to hearing them this year. I also thank Greg Kampf, Thermalito School superintendent and the school board for allowing this to happen. After the Ceremony there will be a Barbeque lunch at the Veterans Memorial Hall on Montgomery St. offered by American Legion Post 95. The cost will be $7 for Adults and $2 for children under 12. Vene Thompson, is Chairman of this event. Call Joan Lee 589-1058 for more information.
A small group of people have been researching for 8 years now and we are still finding Butte County Men that died in the service of our Country. We need more help in the Chico, Paradise, and Gridley areas. Call me. Two nights ago I found these little stories on the Chico men.