Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
March 2, 1965 (46 years ago)
Vietnam War Began.
March 3rd, 1931 (80 years ago, “Star
Spangled Banner” Made U. S. National Anthem .
Oroville Mercury Register
April 4, 1961
Russian Planes Drop Red Paratroopers
In New Laotian Offensive
Vientiane, Laos (UPI) –Soviet transport planes
have dropped Communist paratroops near the government supply base
of Vang Vieng 65 miles north of Vientiane in a new offensive that
threatened to cut off the royal armies to the north, the Laotian
government reported today. Defense Minister Gen.
Phoumi Nosavan said the operation was similar to one last Friday
when paratroops dropped by the Soviet planes forced government forces
to retreat from Tha Thom, another key base just south of the Plain
of Jars and 85 miles northeast of Vientiane. Phoumi
said the paratroops, estimated at 360 soldiers dropped in three
flights by four Soviet Ilyushin transports, had not attacked Vang
Vieng. But they were operating 20 miles behind the main government
forces advancing northward from Vang Vieng.
Phoumi said government reinforcements were being
rushed to Vang Vieng, site of a major government airbase where supplies
are flown in by plane for the forces fighting northward toward Luang
Prabang. He said the paratroops were six miles outside Vang
Veing. The heaviest fighting was reported at Muong Kassy 20
miles north of Vang Vieng. Thirteen plane loads of paratroopers,
described by the royal government as Red Vietminh forces from neighboring
Communist North Viet Nam, spearheaded a Red victory at Tha Thom
The paratroop attack might spell an end to immediate
hopes for a cease-fire in Laos and the arrival here for a three-nation
watchdog commission to police the military truce while East and
West met to find a political settlement to the Asian hot spot.
Earlier the Laotian government had said it was willing to give up
United States aid if Russia cuts off its help to the Communists
in Laos and North Viet Nam. (Stu- the Mercury spelled Vietnam using
two words in 1961.)
Information Minister Bouavan Norasing said the
United States and the Soviet Union should stop aid to the two sides
simultaneously. Then a cease fire could go into effect… He
made it clear, however that this would depend on Moscow stopping
the massive arms aid to both North Viet Nam and the Pathet Lao rebel
forces in Laos. Laotian military officials have claimed repeatedly
that North Vietnamese are helping the Pathet Lao. Although
they have not come up with any direct evidence of this, U. S. military
observers believe there is some substance to the claims.
Oroville Mercury Register
March 22, 1961
Local People In Armed Forces
Antarctica- Willard G. Lonsberry, seaman, USN,
son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Lonsberry of Greenville St., Oroville,
is serving aboard the ice breaker USS Staten Island, which is returning
to the Antarctic in a last-minute attempt to recover a fuel storage
tanker adrift in the Ross Sea. Originally bound for Valpariso,
Chile, after six weeks exploration in the South Polar region as
part of Operation Deep Freeze 1961, the icebreaker was diverted
from its itinerary by Rear Admiral David N. Tyree, USN, commander
of the Antarctica naval support forces. The tanker is one
of two torn loose from their moorings by bad weather at McMurdo
Sound Naval Air Facility while carrying 200,000 gallons of aviation
gasoline to be used for next season’s air operations. The
Staten Island was scheduled to arrive at McMurdo yesterday. The
tanker is now adrift at a point two miles north of the air facility.
The polar continent has been in complete isolation since March
12 when normal ship operations were halted for the winter.
Airman 1.c Richard W. Wanous, son of Mrs. M.
J. Castillo of Oroville and Richart Wanous of Los Angeles was named
airman of the quarter at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Wanous
previously was airman of the month while stationed in Iceland.
He is a 1957 graduate of Oroville High School.
Army Pvt. Clarence E. Johnson, 18, son of Mrs.
Amanda B. Johnson, Woodleaf Star Route, recently was graduated
from the 101st Airborne Division Jump School at Fort
Campbell, Ky. Johnson received his paratrooper wings after
completing three weeks of intensive ground and serial training which
included five parachute jumps. He entered the Army in August
1960 and received basic training at Fort Ord. Johnson is a
1959 graduate of Oroville Union High School.
Stu’s Notes: Vietnam pros and cons.
Why did we go there? Some say to help the oppressed people
that lived there to stop the spread of Communism and the killing
of innocent people. If America didn’t step forward to help
nobody would. Others say we went there for Oil. Right
or wrong we did go there for almost 10 years and 58,000 young Americans
died there, over 50 from Butte County. I’ve
not written much about Vietnam. I will write more
in the future and try to do more, using articles that were printed
in the Oroville Mercury, although I will have to go slow, as I do
not have many newspapers from 1960 to the early 70’s when America
picked up its marbles (so to speak) and came home. As you see above,
first we sent observers.