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July 31, 2009

Lathrop Marine Wins Decoration
PVT, Chester E. Foursha, USMC, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Foursha, Lathrop was recently awarded the Bronze Star Medal for “heroic achievement against the enemy on Iwo Jima from March 12 to March 24,” according to a citation received by his parents. When an infantry assault on enemy positions was stopped by heavy cross-fire, Foursha cut tank roads with an armored tractor “{with complete disregard for his own life,” according to the citation. A member of Luneta Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Foursha was employed at the Post Engineers Depot, Lathrop, prior to his entry into the service.

HONOURABLE DISCHARGE from the United State Marine Corps
This is to certify that Chester Eugene Foursha Corporal, is honorably Discharged from the First Separateus Company, NCB San Diego, California and from the United States Marine corps Reserve this 22nd day of November, 1945.

United States Marine Corps Headquarters Fleet Marine Force, Pacific C/O Fleet Post Office, San Francisco
In the name of the President of the United States, the Commanding General Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, takes pleasure in awarding the Bronze Star Medal to Private Chester E. Foursha, United States Marine Corps Reserve for service as set forth in the following Citation; “ For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy while attached to a Marine engineer battalion on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 12 March, to 24 March, 1945. When infantry assault on enemy positions in the northern sector was stopped because of heavy resistance and in very rough terrain through which no tanks could operate, Private Foursha, with total disregard for his own safety and with skill and daring proceeded to cut tank roads in advance of the infantry with an armored tractor. His work enabling the tanks to advance aided materially the conquest of this part of the island. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” (Signed) H. M. Smith, Lieutenant General U. S. Marine Corps.

Inductee at San Francisco, California on the 27th day of March, 1944, to serve National l Emerg years.
Born 14, March 1918 at Lockwood, Missouri.
When inducted was 67-1/2 inches high with Blue #6 eyes, Dk Brown hair
Complexion: Ruddy,
Citizenship: U. S.
Previous service: None.
Rank and type of warrant at time of discharge: Corporal (Temp-Ep).
Weapons qualification: Marksman – Rifle 11 may 44.
Special military qualifications: Engineer Equipment Operator.
Service: Pacific Area, 22Junl44 6 to 13Nov45.
Remarks; Inducted, discharged and enlisted; assigned to active duty MCR .
Monthly rate of pay when discharged $66.00 I hereby certify that the within named man has been furnished travel allowance at the rate of Five cents per mile from San Diego, California. To Oroville, Calif. and paid $ 112.61 in full to date of discharge.

From a Booklet of the 5th Marine Division 1945
by Capt Robert L. Jones, Sgt. C. Cunningham, Gunnery Sgt Grant J. Powers, Corp. A. H. Kochendorfer and WO Obie E. Newcomb Jr.Typical of those who died The editors of this publication would like to include pictures of all officers and men who gave their lives in the capture of Iwo Jima. Since this is not possible, John Basilone is selected as typifying their courage and gallantry. Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone won the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry at Guadalcanal. He lost his life on Iwo Jima leading his men in an attack on an enemy pillbox. His outstanding courage and leadership were an inspiration to his comrades. In honoring John Basilone we also honor these many other brave men who were killed in carrying forward the attack and making victory possible.

Stu’s Notes: Chet Foursha, the father of my friend of almost 50 years, Jerry Foursha. I knew Chet as Jerry’s dad; I didn’t know he was such a hero. Hero means a man or woman who puts their own life in danger to save others. Many go unrecognized; many came home and tried to forget. After WWII they were all around us. We just didn’t know. Heroes are still doing what they do everyday, somewhere in far off lands. 16 million served in WWII. Too soon they will just be a memory, the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park for all of Butte County, will strive to carry on. We need help. Chet worked as an Operating Engineer Lo. 3 for many years he was good on almost any piece of equipment as the Japanese found out on Iwo Jima. Chet worked on big jobs all over the State. He was a Foreman on the Fill project of the Oroville Dam. He and his wife Fern (Higgins) had two children, Jerry and Sharon, four grand children, Tammy, Theresa, Todd and Dan. Sadly they lost Tammy, at 16, in a terrible car accident at Oro Dam and Lincoln in 1978. At the time of Chet’s death he was married to Janet Thengvall who helped contribute to this article along with Jerry. Thank you both.