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July 10, 2009

Oroville Mercury Register
October 10,1949
Oroville GI Selected as ‘Outstanding’
Fort Bragg, N.C. – Corporal James M. Forbes of Oroville was selected as an ‘Outstanding Soldier’ of the famed 82nd Airborne Division for the month of September and is now in Washington, D. C. on a five day tour of the Nation’s Capital which is being sponsored by the Fayetteville, N. C. Chamber of Commerce and the U. S. Army, Twenty-five “outstanding Soldiers” make this tour each month. The trip was given to Cpl. Forbes for being selected as “The Outstanding Soldier” of the 82nd Military Police Company. On the tour Cpl. Forbes will meet many notables of the United States Government and one of the highest honors he will have in Washington is to meet and talk with the Secretary of the Army. Some of the places to be visited by Cpl. Forbes are; the Capitol Building, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Pentagon Building, the FBI Crime Laboratory, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Smithsonian Institute. Cpl. Forbes is a graduate of Oroville Union High School. He enlisted in the Army in April 1948 after serving with the United States Navy in the Pacific. He is a qualified parachutist and has made over twenty-six parachute jumps and one glider ride. He is the son of Mrs. C. E. George of Thermalito.

October 1949
Oroville men Join Army Air Forces
Five Oroville area men have enlisted in the Army Air Force during September, it was announced today by M/Sgt. Fred E. Salter, Chico, recruiting sergeant. The five: David L. Nichols, Route 5, Box 2044, Oroville; Ray Miller, P. O. Box 364 Palermo; John E. Crook Palermo, Lloyd C. Knight, General Delivery, Palermo and Jimmy M. Robertson, General Delivery, Palermo. Twelve other men from the areas including north Butte and Tehama County, enlisted during September, Salter stated.

December 9, 1950
Air Commander Dies In Red Bluff Crash
McChord Air Force Base, Wash. – (UP) - One Air Force pilot was killed but another parachuted to safety when their twin engined Mustang fighter crashed near Red Bluff last night, Air Force authorities here reported today. Col. George W. Prentice, commander of the 325th fighter all-weather squadron based here, was found dead 200 yards from the wrecked plane on a hillside. Capt. William C. Athas, 22, bailed out of the ship on orders from Prentice when the craft developed engine trouble in a thick fog.

November 9, 1950
Corporal Joseph C. Jimenez Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jimenez of Fort Wayne Street, married the former Miss Toni Ramerez. They were married recently in Kansas, where Jimenez is stationed with the Army Medical Corps at Fort Riley. Jimenez, who attended Oroville schools, entered the service in 1946. For the wedding ceremony, the new Mrs. Jimenez chose a black suit with gray accessories, and wore a pink carnation corsage.

November 9, 1950
Pasadena Flier Bags First Jet
Seoul - (UP) - Lt. Russell J. Brown, of Pasadena, is the first pilot in history who shot down an enemy plane in an air battle between jet planes. Brown said today he jumped a Chinese plane over the Sinuiju target area and started firing as the enemy jet zoomed toward the Manchurian border. “I could hear the squadron commander shouting over his radio at me. He kept shouting, ‘Don’t cross the river, don’t cross that river (Yalu).’” But as Brown’s Commander Maj. E. G. Stephens, San Angelo Tex., said later, “He didn’t have to.” Stephens was credited with damaging an MIG-15 earlier in the mission. He shot down a Betty bomber and two Zeroes in P-39 combat in the South Pacific during World War II.

Stu’s Notes: The October 1949 story in the Mercury was a little bit wrong as our Army Air Force became the Air Force in 1947. The P51 Mustang was a single engine fighter. I never heard of a twin engine Mustang but the Brave Col. George E. Prentice might have stuck with his plane to get it away from Red Bluff people and in so doing gave up his life, as did our U-2 pilot 13 years ago here in Oroville. I hope the Red Bluff people remember him. If you know some of those folks hand them this story. The Pasadena Flier, as did most our pilots in Korea, had the Yalu River no fly there zone, the enemy had no such rule. Not from Oroville, but a hero nonetheless.