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January 29, 2010

Oroville Mercury Register
September 9, 1944
Weiner Wounded On French Front
Pvt. Samuel Weiner, who left Oroville in 1942 for army service, has been wounded in action in France and is now recovering in a hospital in England. Milton Weiner, the soldier’s brother and former employer, received a V-mail letter from the wounded man today. The letter had been written by a Red Cross worker and dictated by the soldier. Pvt. Weiner, who was wounded in the right arm, said that he wanted to allay any anxiety that may have been caused by announcement through the war department that he was a casualty. “I hope to be on my way to full recovery soon and perhaps back in France unless the war ends.” The letter said. He has been overseas for about a year, his brother said. The letter today was the first information that Milton Weiner had concerning his brother’s wound.

Lt. Campbell on LeaveAwarded Flying Cross
st. Lt. Robert A Campbell of Oroville, who received the Distinguished Flying Cross May 25 for completion of 25 combat missions in Europe, has arrived on the east coast from England on leave, and will be home soon. Campbell actually flew 30 missions with the Eight Air Force in England. Afterward he was made gunnery officer. The cross was awarded for “extraordinary achievement while serving as bombardier on twenty-five bombardment missions over enemy occupied continental Europe. Displaying great courage and skill, Lt. Campbell, fighting from his gun position, has warded off many enemy attacks and has materially aided in the success of each of the twenty-five missions. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by Lt. Campbell on these occasions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States.” Lt. Campbell had received the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters Feb. 26 “for exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in five separate bomber combat missions over enemy-occupied continental Europe.” He sent the metal to his wife. Mrs. Campbell is the former Bonnie Jane Thatcher and his mother is Mrs. Inez E. Thatcher of Bird Street.

Patton To Report For New Duties
Pvt. Frank C. Patton, home on furlough after graduation at Scott Field, Ill., as a radio operator and skilled radio technician in the army airways communication system, will report to McClellan Field, Sacramento, for a new assignment Sept. 12. He is serving in a division of the air corps that has taken over operations formerly conducted by the signal corps. Patton, of Pomona Avenue, entered the service on March 1, 1943, having completed his studies for graduation from the Yuba Junior college. He is a graduate of Placer Union High School class of 1941.

Lt. John Duensing Wins Air Medal In Europe
First Lieut. John Duensing, a pilot with the AAF’s oldest, B-26 medium bomber group, has been awarded the Air Medal for “meritorious achievement in aerial flight, it has been announced from a B-26 Marauder base in the Mediterranean. He is credited with 33 missions over Axis territory during the 13 months that he has been overseas. His B-26 bomber group was the first in Major Gen. John K. Cannon’s 12th AAF to complete 350 missions over enemy territory in the Mediterranean theater of operations. It was cited recently. Duensing, who formerly was with the coast artillery at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, was graduated as a pilot in the air force in Oct., 1943. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Duensing of Oroville.

Stu’s Notes:
I received a call from Harvey Smith about my story in my History Long Ago of Oroville, column about men dying on the south fork and north fork project, which I will address in my next history of Oroville Long Ago column. He also talked of his childhood in Chico and about veterans. He served in the Air Force all over the world including Vietnam and has many stories to tell. One was of his older brother who joined the Navy, while a Chico High School student in 1943 at 16 years old, along with another young Chico boy. They went to training together, after which while on leave back in Chico the other young Chico man sadly got sick and died in the hospital out at Chico Army Air Base. Harvey will get all the facts on this and I will write more about this young man, who only wanted to serve his country in time of need. Also Harvey’s brother was in the Famous Co. G. of Chico National Guard, I say Famous, I guess I should say “unsung” Heroes as that is what they were. I also received a call from Joann Bond, we talked for 2 hours. Her Grandfather, an Oroville Native American was in the Spanish American War. His name was John Clark, who served his new country only a few short years after it was taken away from him. Hope to have more of his story soon. I would like to thank Mitchell Leatherbury, Kyle Hayes, Crew Leader, Robert Crete, Clarence Prusley, Lue Yang, Dan Conrad, Landscape Supervisor, all of the Private Industry Council, for cleaning up the brush at the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park site brush.