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August 7, 2009

Oroville Mercury Register
July 12, 1951
News From Oroville Men In The Service
Wilford C. Graves, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jasco Jr. Of Route 4, leaves today for his new station at the Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Tex, following a 10-day leave. Graves, who left high school here in April to enlist in the Navy, has just finished his boot training at San Diego. He plans to do study and take tests while in the Navy to complete work for his high school diploma. He was in his junior year when he left school. His brother, C. R. Graves, is a staff sergeant in the Air Force and is stationed with a bomber squadron on Okinawa. He has been on Okinawa since four days after fighting broke out in Korea, when he was transferred there from Guam. Marine Sergeant Robert J. Politovich, son of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Politovich of Route 3, Oroville, has been awarded the Commendation Ribbon for action in Korea. Accompanying the award is this citation: “For excellent service in the line of his profession while serving with a Marine medical company during operations in Korea. Sergeant Politovich, serving as supply sergeant, displayed great skill and confidence in the performance of his duties. Through his efficient planning, procurement and maintenance of equipment, the comfort of the personnel was greatly enhanced. His salvage and constant search for supply items made it possible to adequately outfit the patients who were returned to duty. Regardless of fatigue, he worked long hours to insure adequate supply for the efficient functioning of his company. His aggressive actions and devotions to duty constantly set an example to all who observed him and materially contributed to the success achieved by his company. Sergeant Politovich’s conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” Pfc. Charles V. Lerner of Route 2, Oroville is now undergoing combat infantry training at the U. S. Marine base at Camp Pendleton. Lerner will spend 8 to 11 weeks completing his combat education that first began at San Diego. Battle-wise World War II and recently returning Korean veterans comprise the cadre at the camp.

Stu’s Notes: A true American Hero. As he approached Oroville something went wrong, on that Day 13 years ago, today, August 7, 1996. I am convinced young Capt. Randy Roby gave up his life so that others may live, those others being the people of Oroville. I’ve talked to 6 eyewitnesses now and some told me he looked to be in trouble approaching our little town, I’m totally convinced he stuck with his crippled plane trying to get it to an unpopulated country just north of Oroville. One man told me of a rumor out of Beale Air force Base that he might have tried to put his plane down in our Feather River to avoid houses and people. The men who told me this is an honorable man that is a protector of our citizens. Maybe Capt. Roby saw people on our river that hot August day and chose to try to get out of town, in doing so, he gave the ultimate sacrifice in his duty as a brave protector of our Freedom. 13 years ago and nowhere is he honored in Oroville. Why? Because people soon forget, well he is Not Forgotten by some and will be on the Oroville Veterans Memorial plaque. But there should be more, why not a memorial in front of the Cal-Fire office on Nelson Ave. where he died. Lets go back to 1988, a young 1st Lt. Thomas E. Boyle, from Oroville, died in Germany trying to do as Capt Roby did, get his plane away from people. He almost made it and sadly as in Capt Roby’s case where a lady died, the Mayors, brother was killed, in spite of this he was honored there as a hero. Many, many more could have perished. I talked to 4 young Firemen at the Home Depot the other day and told them Capt Roby’s story, hoping to instill in them the need for a Memorial up there. Maybe with the help of our community it will be done. We know so little about these two men I hope to fine more.

Notes on the Cold War Honor Roll for Oroville by Daryl Autrey: Roby, Randy D. Capt Air Force Died Aug 7 1996 99th Reconnaissance Squadron Beale A.F.B. Died steering his disabled U-2 aircraft away from homes in Thermalito. Civilian Jerri Vering was killed on the ground.

Notes on Thomas Doyle 1st Lt. Air Force Died 1983 (not sure of the date). He crashed steering his disabled plane away from a European Village.

August 15th will be the second annual Motorcycle Poker Run, sponsored by the Feather Falls Casino for the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee. Registration will be from 7am to 9am, $25 singles, $15 for passenger. Registration includes coffee, doughnuts and T-shirt, while supplies last. There will be live entertainment by William Mangus and Crossroads. All proceeds will benefit the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park. For more information call 533-4350. The Sixth Annual Oroville POW/MIA Recognition Day Service will be held on the steps of the Oroville Veterans Memorial Hall on Friday the 18th of September at 7PM please mark your calendars.