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February 26, 2010

Oroville Mercury Register
August 27, 1945
French Have Long Memories, General Learns On His Return
Nostalgic memories recently drew Maj. Gen. Arthur R. Wilson to a little French town he had lived in for a time during World War 1. The much decorated Oroville man evidently got a great kick out of the fact that the town had not forgotten him either. In a letter to an Oroville friend he wrote as follows:
“Once in a while you do get a thrill out of the sidelights of the war. Last fall I went through a town in northeastern France. It was snowing, and was getting late in the afternoon. However, I knew I was very close to a small village where I was billeted with my battery during the last war, so decided to take a run over. The town is a small one, with only one street, and perhaps one hundred inhabitants. During the last war there had been great concentration of troops in this particular area for a considerable period of time. But in this war the troops moved through fast…“I drove down the street and stopped at a fountain I well remembered, got out of the car and was trying to remember which one of three houses I had lived in. I noted of course, the same style of manure pile, the same cows, and the same chickens and the same general atmosphere of 26 years ago. “About this time, from out of the barn, came an old Frenchman carrying a pail of milk. ‘ah, mon Captaine Wilson,’ he exclaimed. And with that, came up, threw his arms around me and kissed me on both cheeks.”
They Expected Him
“I was taken back a bit and, though my aide, asked him how in the world he could remember me because, after all, it was 26 years ago and I was at least 15 or 20 pounds heavier and I had an entirely different nose because of a couple of breakages.” “’Well, ever since the war’ he replied, ‘we have been expecting you to return.’ “We then went into the house. Cognac was in order. He had photographs, snapshots taken of myself a lieutenant and some sergeants in 1918. He is the oldest man in the village, 82, and has seen three wars with the Germans. His wife is still alive; she is about 78. The woman who was her daughter when I was there the last time is now a grandmother and she in turn has a young daughter about 20 who has an infant. “I was able to make a bet with those present that I could open the door of the stove and find in the back left hand corner a brick, which is used to warm the beds at night. It was there.

“Right after the Armistice in the last war, my outfit marched in as part of the army of occupation and I remember quite well we went into a little town and were billeted in a priest’s house. He pointed to a stone bridge and said, ‘Caesar went over that bridge.’ And then he named all the various armies that had gone over the bridge. ‘And now the Americans come over the bridge,’ he said. “The other day, I went over the bridge again.”

Oroville Mercury Register
October 5, 1942
In The Fight
Wixom’s See Son, Brother in Training
Mr. and Mrs. I Wixom of Thermalito and their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Wixom of Gray’s Flat have returned from a trip to Salt Lake, Utah where they visited Wilton Wixom, son of the I. Wixom’s. The son, who is in the aviation branch of the service trained as a machinist at Tulsa, Oka., and was then transferred to Utah. He expects to leave soon for training at a gunnery school in Las Vegas.

Oroville Mercury Register May 1942
Lionel Wixom has been sent to the new training base at Deming N. M. after spending a short time at Mather Field, Sacramento, where he was first stationed after his enlistment a few weeks ago. Mrs. Wixom is making her home with her husband’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Ira Wixom, in Thermalito during her husband’s absence.

Wixom’s Go To Texas To See Men In Service
Mrs. Lionel Wixom and Mrs. Ira Wixom, of Thermalito have returned from a visit to Demming, N. M. and El Paso, Tex. At Demming they spent a few days with the former’s husband, Lionel Wixom who is stationed at an aviation field near there. They went on to El Paso to visit Staff Sergeant Wilton Wixom. Both Wixom’s are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Wixom, Grand Avenue, they have still another son, Forrest Wixom who is somewhere in the service.

Stu’s Notes: I’ve written before about General Wilson, he had quite a career fighting for our Country. He retired to Oroville and as I recall he bought an Orange Orchard and I think he died quite young, in his 60’s.

Wilton Wixom’s family served America well also, in the coming week’s I will take my readers through what a man and his family went through when they became a POW (Prisoner of War)from MIA (Missing In Action) to released at the end of the war. I will say our young men faired much better as POW’s of the Germans then of the Japanese. Still it was not a picnic. I’m sure it was nothing like Hogan’s Heroes P.O.W.’s.

The Native Sons of the Golden West are hosting a Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner to benefit the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at the South Side Community Center on Wyandotte Ave. Tickets are available at the Oroville Chamber of Commerce Office. $10 each. More next week.