Oroville Mercury Register
May 10, 1944
Willis Cole, Durham Boy, Among Missing
Staff Sgt. Willis W. Cole of Durham was reported
by the war department today as missing in action in the European
theatre. He is the son of Leslie M. Cole of Durham.
A list of 761 U. S. soldiers unreported following action with the
enemy on the various fronts also included the name of 1st
Lt. Benjamin A. Pollard, son of Mrs. Frances C. Pollard of Susanville.
McGuill Given Coveted Medal For Good
Work As Infantryman
Robert W. McGill, 26, son of Mrs. C. W. White
of Pleasant Valley, has been awarded the combat infantry badge,
the infantry’s coveted new award, for exemplary performance of duty
in action on Bougainville Island. He was advanced from the rank
of technical sergeant to staff sergeant for his part as a soldier
and leader in the major operation. Earlier the former Oroville
man had been awarded the good conduct medal. McGuill was employed
at Feather Falls for two years before he was mustered into the service
as a member of the Illinois national guard. He previously
had lived a Kewanee, Ill. He went into the army nine months
before Pearl Harbor and has been in the Southwest Pacific for approximately
20 months. McGuill is second in command of an infantry rifle
platoon. He landed at Bougainville Island last November with
the 37th infantry division, the first army unit to attack
Bougainville. Previously his outfit had been stationed on
the Fiji islands, and the New Hebrides, and had been at Guadalcanal.
About six weeks ago he wrote his mother saying that he had met the
enemy and added that they were “no pushovers.” McGuill is
a brother of Mrs. Bernice Ashmore of Brown Street, Mrs. Mildred
Herman of Durham and Richard McGuill of Oakland, formerly
Richvale Boy’s Life In Medical Corps
Headquarters, European Theater of Operations-
Seldom touched by glory like their counter parts in the field, medical
corpsmen, or wardman, at a general hospital in England are carrying
on in aiding their distressed mates in the best traditions of the
Army Medical Corps. One of these is Pvt. Daniel G. Grigsby,
19, of Richvale, Calif. Most of the men doing the thousands
of hospital tasks were clerks, mechanics, students, factory workers
or farm hands before they came into the service, but they have been
fused into a smooth-working team of technicians and assistants to
medical and nursing staff. The wardman begins his day at 6am,
polices his own quarters and then takes over in the hospital where
the night crew left off. He cleans up the ward, prepares for
inspection, administers medicines, records temperatures and assists
the ward officer in his rounds. This completed he begins a
long day of administering to his many patients, giving prescribed
treatments, refilling water bottles, obtaining reading matter and
even reading and writing letters for his hospitalized soldiers.
At the end of a full day, the ward man at this general hospital
may go to an enlisted men’s pub and relax until 11pm. Some
spend the evening reading or writing in the recreation room library,
or studying on an Army Institute course.
Stu’s Notes: Many years ago I found the story of Young
Staff Sgt. Willis W. Cole. At that time our Memorial was only
going to Honor those that lost their lives from the Oroville High
School Dist. So I lay his story in a pile of other 1944 Mercury’s
and forgot. When I saw that more and more that our Memorial
was being helped by the county , Thank you Supervisors, past and
present ant Staff., and that some of those that lost their lives
had lived in various Butte county towns I brought this up at one
of our meetings and we soon voted to go county wide. I think that
is one of the best moves we ever made, as nothing like what we are
doing has ever been done in Butte County.
Now if we can just wake up the whole County to see what we are doing.
I talk to many people around our great County and they’ve never
heard of us. We must strive to get the message out.
One look at our web site and people will be amazed at what this
small group of Oroville Area citizens has created. Thanks
to Daryl Autrey for all his great work on the site.
of our Web site, I used it today to find more about Sgt. Cole.
Daryl had his name on our county wide list of those that died in
WWII from in the County, but the community that he lived in was
unknown, further checking on the site led me to a couple of my old
Gold Star Mothers Stories and there was a Nancy Cole a Gold Star
Mother From Durham. As most of my readers know Gold Star Mothers
lost a Son in the Service .which leads me to Thank Oroville City
Council men and women for voting 7-0 to put Gold Stars on the Street
signs on Oroville streets named long ago after soldiers that died.
Also I got Arlin Rhine drive changed to Arlin Rhine Memorial Drive.
I first started trying to get this done years ago so thanks again
City Council and staff for doing this. Most people living on those
streets have no idea who their streets are named for. Well
soon All of Oroville will know of those “Some who gave all”, which
leads me to say today I discovered that if you type “Some Gave All”
into our web search you will see all the stories that “Some Gave
All” about 90 now. I have written about Robert McGill before,
this is more of his story. He did his share of fighting.
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