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June 5, 2009

A few of the headlines:
Oroville Mercury Register
June 6, 1944
Nazi Attack Due Soon, Invasion of France gets off to successful start, Beachheads Taken in Normandy, Troops Penetrate 10 Miles Inland, Battle Reports Conflict, Paratroopers Catch Germans By Surprise, German Army Near Rome In Serious Plight, Fliers View Huge Armada Invasion Bent, Watch Warships Paste Shore In Preparation, F. R. Pleased by the Progress, Mae Tells of Losses, Ike Set D-Day and H-Hour, Whole Army Kept Secret of D-Day, On the home front, Baseball off For Invasion, Ridge route to Bucks Is Open..

It amazes me how the news traveled so fast. Must be a strange world out there- landing waist-deep from a Higgins boat… scrambling up the beach, with machinegun fire raking you, your comrades falling. Out there he walks through the longest valley of its kind ever known to man, with our future in his gun. Above him our planes are driving the Nazis out of the skies. Inland, he knows, they are blowing up the railroad tracks, breaking up the freight yards. He feels that if he can get up to those machinegun nests – those concrete bunkers – he can win for us, his loved ones at home. But he is walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death! His name is Smith, Kelly, Wilson, Levine, Olson. He comes from, Oroville, Woodland, Chico, Palermo, Quincy, Greenville. He is bigger than anything that can happen to him. He is a farmer, mechanic, lawyer, miner, stockman, woodsman and cop. He is body and soul not an identification tag. He is the Known American Soldier – opening the SECOND FRONT, the most daring and greatest invasion in history. And let’s all back him up, be with him, stand as close to his shoulder as we can, as he fights for us, his people. D-DAY This was an Ad taken out by the Openshaw Meat Co. Markets at Walsh * Ricketts –Tel. 185, 1855 Montgomery- Tel 170 and Kilpatric’s –T3l 85.
(Author unknown))

Paratroopers Seen By Ike
by United Press

Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme invasion commander, was just one of the boys when he visited spearhead paratroop units on invasion eve, Merrill Muller, CBS reporter, said in a broadcast from London today. The general’s car would roll up and the black-faced paratroops would sneak a final chew on their gum, grin and snap to attention. He’d tell them to stand easy and move among them firing questions; ”Where you from? What did you do in civilian life? How old are you? Are you a good shot with that rifle? What do you weigh? Who’s the toughest man in the battalion?” Invariable, Muller said, off in a corner of the field men would set up a shout for “Ike”. That’s what they’d call the generalissimo. He’d go over and spar with the men verbally, “giving the impression that guys who thought they were the best soldiers in the world,” Muller said.

Some Gave All
Emery Ledger Dies In Action At Anzio Beach
Pvt. Emery Guy Ledger, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Earnest of Feather Falls, was killed in action at Anzio Beachhead in Italy, the war department has notified his parents. Ledger, employed by the Feather River Pine Mills, entered the service as a volunteer in April, 1943, through Oroville draft board. Born in Tuolumne, he came to Oroville at the age of 3 years with his parents, and attended Burbank and Bird Street Schools and Oroville High School. He went overseas I December and served in Africa before going to Italy. He is survived by his parents, a sister, Mrs. Levi Hites of Richman and two brothers, Corp. Robert W. Ledger of Camp Claiborne, La., and Pete Ledger of Jefferson Street, Oroville.

Stu’s Notes: On this the 65th Anniversary of D Day, I thought I would go back in my story archives and share a little of my past articles on that day. Oroville’s Tim Timmons and Sus Gomez were both there that day. Tim parachuting behind enemy lines with the 101st Airborne, 501st Regiment . The 501 suffered tremendous losses fighting from there until the war’s end. Sus Gomez drove landing boats, I need more of his stories. The story of D Day is just one of many Battles that millions of our young men fought in that long ago war. They must “Not be Forgotten”. If you were there call me. D Day was billed as the opening of the long awaited 2nd front in Europe. But what then do we call the on going battle in Italy, which started first was it bumped to the third front. A lot of men died there, Emery Ledger, being one. Also Medal of Honor Recipient, Lt. Thomas Wigle. Also in the Pacific there were so called fronts all over the place.