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June 4, 2010

March 25, 1944
In The Fight

Steen Looking Forward To Furlough In U. S. A
Leon Martin Steen, machinist mate 3-c in the U. S. Construction Battalion, is back aboard ship after six months at a secret base. After another six months mission he expects to head home on a 30 day furlough. Steen is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Steen of Crescent Mills, formerly of Pentz. He has been in the service for more than two years. A graduate of Oroville High School class of ’40, he was prominent in football and basketball while there.

Oroville Mercury Register
March 6, 1944
Durham Soldier Is Wounded In Pacific
Pfc. Edward Sears, brother of Mrs. Mary E. Clifton of Durham, was listed by the war department today as one of the 179 U. S. Soldiers wounded in action in all areas. Sears was listed as a casualty in the Central Pacific area.

Oroville Mercury Register
March 27, 1944
Nazi Emblems Dropped Here By Prisoners
Paper Swastikas Scattered Sunday From W. P. Train
German war prisoners who passed through Oroville about 4:15pm yesterday by Western Pacific railroad defiantly scattered paper swastikas from the windows of the train, it was reported today. The Nazi emblem was torn from pieces of paper, evidently part of a magazine section of a newspaper. The designs were two or three inches in width. Some bore the penciled words, printed in English, “Heil Hitler.” They were picked up near Olive Avenue within a few minutes after a southbound train, believed to have been carrying the prisoners to Camp Beale or to another proposed camp at Manteca, San Joaquin county, had gone by.

At least 100 of the emblems were found near Olive Avenue by Joseph Garfield, a Western Pacific roundhouse employee, Mr. and Mrs. Paul West and others after the train had departed. Garfield was first to discover the torn bits of paper, and directed West’s attention to them. West said the prisoners were in a four car passenger train, under a guard of soldiers with fixed bayonets. Train windows were barred.

Oroville Mercury Register
March 27, 1944
25 Men Leave For Service
Eight men called from Oroville draft board for army service left Oroville at 8 am today for Monterey induction center. Robert L. Cowee of Richmond was in charge. Seventeen other men reported here Sunday night and were sent to San Francisco for induction into the navy. George H. Flatter of Oroville was leader. Names of the men in the two groups were published previously.

Oroville Mercury Register
March 6, 1944
Aussie Fears Boom From U. S. Men’s Pay
CAMBERRA-(UP)- Kountry Narty Leader A. W. Fadden declares the free-spending of highly paid American servicemen here was throwing Australian values out of focus and “aggravating inflation in this country”. He is urging Prime Minister John Curtin, to sent immediate representations to the United States for limiting or withholding a portion of American soldiers’ pay while they are in Australia.

Stu’s Notes: I always hope for the rest of the story, I wonder how the Sears boy came out with his injuries. Well that wasn’t the last time Nazi junk was scattered around Oroville, but not by soldiers, just misinformed people. Where is Olive Ave? I guess I’ll have to drive down to the railroad tracks and see.

George H. Flatter has a long history of serving his country, his brother John died in a plane crash in WWII. George has a tile but not his brother John who’s name will go on the main memorial of course but a tile would tell so much more about this hero of our country. We know so little about him only that he was in the Elks Lodge.

Thanks to Oroville Veterans Memorial Committee for All of Butte County, Chairman Vene Thompson, Sherry Morehouse, Helen Sellars, Bob & Sherry Morehouse, Emanuel Johnson, Bill Fox, Jim & Marty Holton, Bob Hendrick, Wayne Brock, Joan Lee, Jim Bruce, Stu Shaner and Daryl Autrey. They put on our Memorial Day services both at the cemetery and on our 103 year old historic flood surviving green bridge, I say this as it’s 2 or 3 predecessors went down our previously wild river, the last one going down in the big flood of 1907. Finally they got the bridge high enough to survive.

Maybe next year we can get a fly-over as I saw that Gridley got one from Beale Air Force Base. Perhaps we can plan it to zigzag around the county from service to service, just a thought anybody know anybody with an F-18 or a friend at Beale that can make this happen would be nice. The flags on the soldiers’ graves were placed there by the fine people of the Oroville community, even a baby helped! Also thanks to Elder Kevin Thompson, Pastors Stan Kobert, & Ron LaGatta for the moving Invocations and Benedictions.