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April 2, 2010

Oroville Mercury Register (Continuing the story of T/Sgt. Wilton Wixom)

Wilton Wixom Out Of Prison
T/Sgt. Wilton Wixom was liberated from a German prison camp May 3 by the American 7th Army, according to a letter received by his mother, Mrs. Ira Wixom of Thermalito. In a letter written in France he said he hoped to be on his way home in the near future. A prisoner for nearly two years Wixom said he would never forget the 7th Army and the good treatment received from them. As far as possible they were giving the liberated men the comforts and good food that they had missed in the camp.

Wilton Alvin Wixom
Private family service for Wilton Alvin Wixom, 71, of Oroville have been held at Scheer Memorial Chapel. Burial was held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Veterans section. He died Sunday, March 13, 1988, at Olive Ridge Care Center of natural causes. He was born Aug. 24, 1916, in Oroville, He worked as a welder for New York Machine Shop for 30 years then retired. He has been an Oroville resident all his life. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the Army. He is survived by two brothers, Lionel Wixom of Greenville and Wilbur Wixom of Oroville; one sister Verde Rubino of Oroville. Arrangements are under the direction of Scheer Memorial Chapel.

A letter to Wilton Wixom’s Brother, from The Secretary of the Navy, Washington, November 21, 1945
My dear Mr. Forrest Oro Wixom: I have addressed this letter to reach you after all the formalities of your separation from active services are completed. I have done so because, without formality but as clearly as I know how to say it, I want the Navy’s pride in you, which it is my privilege to express, to reach into your civil life and to remain with you always. You have served the greatest Navy in the world. It crushed two enemy fleets at once, receiving their surrenders only four months apart. It brought our land-based airpower within bombing range of the enemy, and set our ground armies on the beachheads of final victory. It performed the multitude of tasks necessary to support these military operations. No other Navy at any time has done so much. For your part in these achievements you deserve to be proud as long as you live. The Nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude. The best wishes of the Navy go with you into civilian life. Good Luck! Sincerely yours, James Forrestal.

Oroville Mercury Register
August 12, 1944
Biggs Soldier Dies In China
Pfc. Rodney L. McCallen of East Biggs died July 10 in China, according to a telegram received Friday by his brother, Joe C. McCallen of Oroville, from the war department. Pfc. McCallen was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John McCallen of East Biggs and the nephew of Mr. and Mrs. George Wallace and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Grubbs of Quincy road. Born in Oroville, he was 35 years of age and had been in the army since March 1942. He was a member of a photo squadron. He attended schools in Biggs and later worked on the family ranch.

OMR August 12, 1944
Out-of –Door supper At Warmack Residence Fetes Furlough Trio
Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Warmack were hosts at an out-of-door supper party honoring Sgt. And Mrs. George Atkin, and Jack Anderson, U. S. Navy, Thursday night at their home on Yard street. Laid with a bright red-checked cover and set with gay pottery dishes, the table where the group gathered stood under the grape arbor at the Warmack home. Following the supper, the young people of the group attended a dance at Recreation Center. Other guests at the party were; Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Vardon, Mrs. N. G. Anderson Mrs. Richard Warmack, Larry Warmack Stephen Atkin and Miss Barbara Kiernan and Robert Anderson.

Camp Beale WAC Unit Heading For Bed Rock
Oroville’s “ol’ swimmin’ hole” at Bed Rock pool will be the scene of unusual activity Sunday morning when three truck loads of WAC’s from Camp Beale arrive there for swimming and picnicking. According to A. L. Scott, recreation director the military women are scheduled to begin their outing at the pool at 11:30 a.m.

Stu’s Notes: Well, stay tuned to more on the Wixom heroes. Nephew Alan tells me he has a diary that Forrest kept during the war years. Let’s remember the words of James Forrestal, “The Nation which you served at a time of crisis will remember you with gratitude.” Well that is what we are doing, finally here in Oroville, but we need more help.

We knew that Pfc. Rodney L. McCallen had died in the War, but this is the first we’ve found out about who he was we hope to find more. Three truck loads of young ladies at Bed Rock, what more could a young man want. Sadly most of the young men of Oroville were off to war.