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April 16, 2010

“Some Gave All”
Chico Enterprise March 29, 1943
‘Bob’ Wilcox Victim of Plane Crash
Ensign Robert O. (Bob) Wilcox, 25, graduate of the Chico State college and former Chico newspaper man, was killed Friday night, March 26 in an airplane crash at Corpus Christi, Texas, according to Associated Press dispatches received today. With him in the fatal crash was Lieut. James Thanos, 26, of Oakland, Calif. They were flying a training plane when the accident occurred, the naval air “training center at Corpus Christi announced. Ensign Wilcox was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred G. Wilcox of Berkeley, formerly of Chico. He graduated from the Chico high school and received his degree at the Chico State college in January 1940. At the college he was a member of Iota Sigma Fraternity and the Press club. He served as editor of the school weekly and The Record, annual college book. He was active in college athletics, especially in track and basketball. He was employed by the Chico Enterprise for more than a year during which he was sports editor and conducted the column “Bobbles by Bob.” He later became local reporter for the Sacramento Bee.

Story by Stu

The summer of 2008 Bill Fox took me to see Harry Kirk. He is living back in the hills east of Oroville. My friend, from grammar school, Alfred Clark went with us. We took so many side roads I was lost, the roads went up and down in and out of little Holler’s, I thought I might be in West Virginia next to where I was born. We went around a bend in the road and there was Harry’s little trailer in a small clearing by a house. Any ways Harry is from an Arizona Indian Reservation, his Uncle George was a Navajo Code Talker in World War II. The Japanese never did decipher what they were saying. They served as Marines and did a great service for the USA , their relatively new country, well it was their country. Harry was from a big family. The Rail Road and the Armed forces were about the only work opportunities they had. So when the Korea War came, Harry’s Uncle George told him to become a Marine, which he did in 1952 at 24 years old and went on a train to Texas for training then volunteered for Parachute training and went to Fort Benning, Georgia. He needed a little push the first time out of the plane. Eight weeks there then back to Texas. A bus to San Diego, then San Francisco to Japan then Korea where his outfit took a couple of hills and fought in some towns. Harry was bayoneted in the back and would probably have died but his buddy shot the man before he could stick him again. So, he went back to San Francisco with a Purple Heart. I left Harry feeling like I was an old friend. He was so nice to invite me in and tell me this story. The day was August 2008. On the windy way home, Alfred, of the Concow Maidu Tribe, who is the Grandson of John Clark, and Great Grandson of a Maidu Chief., took us to a Maidu Sweat lodge some where in those Yankee Hills. It was on a Hill overlooking a valley and over another hill was Feather Falls. So peaceful and quiet there and I thought thousands of years they lived here in peace then the white man came for gold.
End of Story.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 9, 1944
Social and Club News
Local Sorority Makes Scrapbooks for USO Member of the Sigma Phi Gama Sorority engaged in the making of scrapbooks for the USO at their meeting Thursday night. The group was guests of Mrs. Charles Fowler Jr. at her home on Bird Street. The rooms were decorated with red, white, and blue flowers, and tiny ships commemorating Pearl Harbor day. Refreshments were served by the hostess. BUY A WAR BOND

Thelma June Vance Is Bride Of Navy Man
Mrs. Floyd Hinton, who until her recent marriage was Miss Thelma June Vance, will return to make her home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd E. Vance of Biggs, following a short honeymoon. Her husband will report back to his station for submarine duty with the U. S. Navy. Miss. Vance became the bride of Floyd James Hinton, of the U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hinton of Chico on Dec. 2. The double ring ceremony was performed by the Rev. Mr. Harris Pillsbury. The couple stood before a fireplace banked with white chrysanthemums in the Bidwell Presbyterian parsonage in Chico. Miss Arline Vance, sister of the bride was her attendant. Samuel Chase, of the U. S. marines, was the best man. BUY A WAR BOND

Stu’s Notes: What a busy rewarding life “Bob” Ensign Wilcox had in those short 25 years, more than many people have in a life time. No, he never made it to war, but he died, “Not in Vain” and his name will finally be set in stone right here in Oroville, honoring “All of Butte Counties’ Heroes. In some Mercury’s Dan Beebe put “Buy a War Bond at the end of every story.