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February 19, 2010

Oroville Mercury
October 31, 1945
Dolan Tells Students Of Long Flight
by Raymond Kilduff
Lt. Bill Dolan, a graduate of Oroville High School and known for his epic flight from Japan to Chicago as pilot of a B-29, came back to the high school Tuesday and told the story of his military experience. In the auditorium J. C. Nisbet, principal, shook hands with Dolan before introducing him to the students. The story began with Dolan’s first training at boot camp. After a few months he was transferred to flying school at boot camp. After a few months he was transferred to flying school at Santa Ana, then to Arizona for basic training. After that he was sent to Texas. In January of this year, he left for overseas and arrived at Tinian in the Mariannas. In all he completed 30 missions, seven as a co-pilot and the rest as a pilot over Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobi and other industrial sections of Japan.
Worked With “Brooklyn Bum
Six of his crew were from Brooklyn, Dolan’s home town. When they learned that, Dolan said, he couldn’t do anything with them. One time six Japanese planes trailed Dolan’s B-29 from over the Pacific into Japan and out again and managed to damage the plane seriously. The flyer said the B-29’s would drop mines on parachutes into the ocean. There were two kinds, he said. One worked like a magnet, the other was an acoustic mine exploded by sound, and which minesweepers could not destroy. The end of the war found Bill still on Tinian waiting to get home. He didn’t expect to come home as a crew member in the famous flight of the three B29’s.
Tells Of Long Flight
The story of the flight, familiar to news readers, was told by Bill. He included a funny story about Gen. Giles, who was in command. Giles wanted his Japanese chauffeur to take him to the airport. He began frantically to explain in all kinds of sign language, waving his hands and waggling his head. When the general had finished, the chauffeur said in very good English, “I will take you to the airport.” The general had a red face. The trip took 26 hours and 10 minutes. Bill told the students it was not a stunt but a flight to give the people proof of American air power. He said the country needs and should keep a large air corps.(Sadly, by Korea we had forgot what Bill said-Stu)

Oroville Mercury Register
June 30, 1945
Sgt. Mathew Home From Italy War
S/Sgt. Frank Mathew, 20-year-old veteran gunner of the 15th Army Air Force in Italy, arrived here on leave this week. He crossed the Atlantic by transport plane and arrived in Charleston, S.C., June 20. The men in his group were given a luncheon feast topped with fillet mignon Telephone and telegraph facilities were made available for first calls home. Within a short time, he was on his way to Oroville. At the end of their 30 day leave, most of the members of his group will be leaving for overseas again this time in the Pacific. Mathew made his home with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Hamilton, during his school years. He graduated from Oroville High school with the class of 1942 and was a member of the Block O Society and belonged to the Cadets. He was a member of the Tiger Mirror and Nugget staffs. He was attending Santa Barbara College when he went into the army in March, 1943. He was overseas more than a year. Sgt. Mathew has been awarded the air medal and three bronze battle stars for his European Theater ribbon. Mr. and Mrs. Roy H. Mathew, his parents live in Los Angeles.

Stu’s Notes: I’ve written about Lt. Bill Dolan about 7 times in the past, but have not received any phone calls about him. My first article was from the Oroville Mercury Register, March 15, 1945. I did that story May 23, 2003. The article said he was married to the former Anne Madsen. Then in a Mercury article dated 1943 he qualified as an aviation Cadet. Well now we know he made it. His mother was Theresa Doherty of Oroville, he was a sports editor for the Mercury and Oroville
High School class of 1940. I hope one of my readers remember him. He and Anne had a daughter born in 1944, Anne Marie. I checked our tile wall and nobody has bought a tile for him. He was a true Hero of Oroville.

The above article was written by Raymond Kilduff, Dr. Kilduff’s son and a student of Oroville
High School at the time. This is all I know of Young Hero S/Sgt. Frank Mathew, maybe Faye Anglin can help me our here. Today, February 19, 1945, 65 years ago, our young brave Marines landed on Iwo Jima, almost 6,000 would die there plus many Navy men off shore and in the Air. Six or Seven Butte County Men died there.

Mark your calendars for March 16
th at the South Side Community Center, The Native Sons of the Golden West are having their Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner and donating the profits to the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park for all of Butte County. More information later.