Oroville Mercury Register
June 16, 1943
Oroville Gunner Is Missing After Raid Over Europe
Oroville, (Butte County), May 23,
Mr. and Mrs. Ira Wixom of Thermalito were advised in a telegram
from the war department that a son, Technical Sergeant Wilton Wixom,
United States Army Air Forces, is missing. Wixom, waist gunner in
a Flying Fortress, has been unreported since May 14th after going
out from England on a bombing raid over Europe. Wixom entered the
service in February, 1942. A brother, Forrest is an electrician’s
mate second class, with a navy construction battalion in the South
Pacific, and another brother, Lionel, is an army private. Sergeant
Wixom was a welder in Richmond before entering the service. He had
worked on a dredge in Alaska and for a box factory at Gray’s Flat,
Plumas County. He was graduated from the Oroville High School in
1933. Wixom Missing In Air Sweep Over Europe Tech. Sgt.. Wilton
Wixom, waist gunner in a Flying Fortress, has been missing since
May 14 when he participated in a raid over Europe, his parents,
Mr. and Mrs. Ira Wixom, of Thermalito, were notified today by the
war department. The telegram gave no details, but Wixom’s plane
is believed to have been shot down in one of the many recent bombing
attacks launched from England on Hitler-occupied countries of the
continent. A twin brother, Wilbur, is a welder in Alameda. Other
brothers are Glenn, Oroville mail carrier, and Clyde, a PGE employee.
The missing man is a brother of Mrs. Gladys Lambert of Oroville
and Mrs. Verde Folden of San Francisco.
From a letter to Mrs. May. Wixom
May 19, 1943- HEADQUARTERS AAF STATION 110 APO 634, 19 MAY 1943
Mrs. May V. Wixom, Rt. #3, Box 206, Oroville, California.
Dear Mrs. Wixom, You have been notified that your son, T/Sgt. Wilton
A. Wixom, is officially reported missing in action. I recognize
that this announcement must cause you more anxiety than any of us
can possibly imagine. We share this feeling with you because he
is a valuable asset to this organization and a good friend. Your
son has always set a shining example in the performance of his duty.
We will humbly try to do what is required of us remembering his
constant devotion to the task which was assigned him. He has contributed
his share to the victory which we all desire, and you have made
an immeasurable contribution toward that same victory through him.
We want you to know that he will be profoundly missed by his many
friends in this organization, nor will the time ever come when he
will be forgotten by any of us. Our hopes and prayers are joined
with yours during these difficult days.
Respectfully yours, W. A. Hatcher, Jr., Lt. Colonel, Air Corps Commanding.
(to be continued next week)
OMR June 30, 1945
Meeker Tells How French Saved Him
His Plane Shot Down
(This moving story, written in September, 1944, when Sgt. Harry
Meeker returned from overseas was submitted to the censor at that
time. It was held up to protect the underground of France from the
Germans. It is now released.-Editor.)
By Naomi Cazier
Out of the bomb-torn rural lands of Rennes, France comes a story
of heroism and devotion that returned Staff Sgt. Harry Meeker of
Oroville safely back to his own lines after he had been shot down
into enemy territory. Hidden and aided for two months by the French
underground, Meeker owes his life to the patriotic peasant’s of
Rennes, who risked their own lives to protect him. “We took off
June 12,” Meeker related, “with instructions to destroy a certain
target. Capt. Bill Turner of Columbus, Ohio, was pilot of our B-24
bomber. Turner was 27 years old and a swell fellow to know. He had
been in longer than any of us. I was tail gunner. There were 10
other members of the crew.”
(To be continued next week)
Stu’s Notes: The above two stories have something in common,
they both jumped out of air planes over enemy territory after they
hit the ground the stories are quite different. We know a lot about
what happened to Harry Meeker on the ground, but not much of what
happened to Wilton Wixom, hopefully a relative will know more. Thank
you Oroville Veterans Memorial committee member Alan Wixom for the
History of one of his Families Heroes.
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, 2959
Lower Wyandotte Rd.. Tickets are available at the Oroville Chamber
of Commerce Office. $10 each. The doors and bar open at 5:30pm and
the dinner is at 7:00pm. There will be raffles and a desert table.
You can call Kent Fowler at 693-1267 for more information.