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May 20, 2011

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 of Oroville.

Richvale Boy’s Life In Medical Corps Described

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.

Speaking 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.