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August 21, 2009

Oroville Mercury Register
June 2, 1945

In The Fight
Gets CPO Rating
Leon R. Basye, 20, has been promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the U. S. Navy. He is a radio mechanic and has been in the navy nearly three years. He was transferred seven months ago from the Atlantic to the Pacific area. His wife, the former Cleo Griffin, of Jamesville, N. C. Lives on Brown Street. Basye is the son of Mrs. Ethel Platzek of Stafford Street.

Clyde Russell Gets Mail By Armful
Clyde A. Russell, S 1/c of the Navy CBs, 70th Battalion, is now thought to be based somewhere in the Mariana Islands after having been in operations at Saipan and Okinawa. He told his mother, Mrs. Orval Owens of C Street that on arrival at camp he found seven packages, 30 letters. And an armful of Mercury’s waiting for him. It was good to get news from home, he said. Mrs. Owens also received a beautifully-bound book containing pictures and history of the CB’s and of the 70th Battalion. Russell has been operating a landing barge transferring supplies from ship to shore. He has been in the navy over two years. Before going to the Pacific area in October 1944, he spent eight months in Puerto Rico. He was a student at Oroville High School and at Chico where he won his block C for pole vaulting

Howard Taylor Heads Readjustment Division
Maj. Howard L. Taylor is using his experience in the financial world to handle army problems. Chief of the readjustment division of district procurement at Robins Field Georgia, he has charge of changing and termination contracts for production of war materials as needed. The functions of clearing the plants of excess or idle equipment, negotiating for reimbursements of losses sustained by cutback or termination and providing for adequate financing until the contractor is ready to begin new production make part of the responsibilities of Major Taylor. His district covers nine southeastern states from West Virginia to Florida. A large corps of workers to handle this complicated business is under his direction. Taylor is the son of the late Sheriff Herbert Taylor and of Mrs. Herbert Taylor Palermo Road.. After graduating from Oroville High School, he engaged in business in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He has been in the army over three years.

From the Chico Enterprise Record
January 29th, 1944

Lt. Robinson Is Killed in Plane Crash
Lt. Dennis (Red) Robinson widely known Chico State college graduate, was killed in an airplane crash in England on January 19, 1944 according to word from the government received yesterday by his wife who resides in Hayward. Lt. Robinson was a pilot in the Air Transport Command and had been overseas since October, 1943. At Chico State he was an outstanding athlete, frequently leading the college football team to victory. He graduated from Chico State in June, 1940, and then taught Physical Education at the Willows grammar school where he was greatly liked by teachers and pupils. He went into the army June 1941, and was later transferred to the Air forces. He is survived by his wife, Claire Shirley Robinson and 11 months old daughter Kathleen, Hayward, California, his mother, Mrs. Bea Robinson, a sister, Mrs. Merion Anderson, brothers Spence and Bert Robinson all of Gridley.

Stu’s Notes: When I read the story of Clyde Russell of the Navy CBs at first I thought what does CB’s mean? Finally it dawned on me, C=Construction + B=-Battalion, C Bee’s. When I read of CPO Leon R. Basye, I thought the name was familiar and sure enough I looked up our tile list and found a tile for Lt. Bettie L Basye, an Army Nurse in WWII. I wonder if they were related.

The Story of Lt. Dennis Robinson came to me from one of my faithful researcher’s, Joan Lee. There are a lot of Robinson’s from Gridley. Hopefully I will find one and get to know more of this Hero of America. Joan Lee went to the Chico Enterprise archives from 1942-1945 and found many stories of the Chico men that died.

The Motorcycle run went well. Thanks again to Feather Falls Casino and the dedicated committee members who worked to make it such a success.