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September 23, 2011

Oroville Mercury
July 3, 1941
Editorial Page

Dan L. Beebe, Editor and Publisher, George Wangelin, City Editor.
The Movie Airman And The Real Article

We can say for Oroville that the association with the members of the 21st USA Pursuit Squadron has been pleasant. The boys are gentlemen. Quite different, they are, from the roistering, hard-drinking airmen of the films, who must have hard liquor every few minutes in order to keep going, drown their sorrows or something. Some joke smith of the Fellows Club at their meeting this week asked Lt. W. Edwin Dyess, commanding officer of the squadron, whether the airmen drank as much in real life as they do in the movies. Dyess replied that Oroville had had a chance to answer that question for itself. He explained that an airman’s private life is his own, but that any drinking on duty would be strictly punished. But that has offered him no problem. The movies feel it necessary to hit upon a type in each classification and play that type hard. Otherwise the audience might not recognize the classification. It is a lazy way of working. It would be more difficult to present each flyer as a separate individual. It was the same way with newspapermen. The movies made each one a desperate, sallow, sarcastic drinking man. Finally there was so much complaint that they had to get away from that self-created style. Next time any of the thousands who saw the 21st at the airport see the hard drinking type of air corps man on the screen they will know that they are watching an inferior production, cheaply made for a quick turnover. We must demand something better from our motion picture producers.

Oroville Mercury
July 3, 1941
Fast Pursuit Ship Dives Over Town

A P-36, one of the speedy pursuit ships which was stationed at Oroville Municipal Airport during wartime maneuvers last week, flew over Oroville this morning. Lt. W. Edwin Dyess, commander of the 21st USA pursuit squadron, was believed to have been flying the plane. Dyess may have been flying routine “cross-country maneuvers” out of Hamilton Field. The plane’s dive over town may have been a greeting.

Oroville Mercury
July 3, 1941 What Outfit Buddy?
Thirty-third division Various National Guard troops of Illinois were welded into the Thirty-third division in the summer of 1917. The division known as Prairie and Illinois, trained at Camp Logan, Houston, Tex., previous to its service in France. The division served in the Amiens sector with the Australians from July 19 to Aug. 20, 1918. From Sept. 9 to Nov. 11, some units of this division always were in the line, serving north of Verdun and west of the Meuse during the Meuse-Argonne operations. It served 27 days in active fighting areas and 32 days in so-called quiet sectors. The lads from Illinois capture more prisoners than any other National Guard division -3,987, including 65 officers; ninety three artillery pieces and 414 machine guns were also seized from the enemy. The division advanced 36 kilometers against resistance. The Thirty-third now is based at Camp Forrest, Tenn. The insignia is a yellow cross on black circle, a combination of the division’s colors. Yellow was chosen because it was the only paint available in Texas when the division was marking its equipment. The cross, long used to distinguish government property, had terrifying effect on Philippine natives.

Stu’s Notes: Dan Beebe thought highly of our American Soldiers and especially the Oroville Area ones. I think that is why I’ve found so many stories in the Mercury’s that I have. At the time he wrote the above article he already knew the war was soon to come. This article on our Airport is the earliest I’ve found of it being an Army Air Base. The National Guards of America, I still hear people say they didn’t or don’t;’ go to War, well I think they’ve been doing it since Gen. George Washington first Mustered up the young men of America
. Gen. George Washington is a Hero of mine and now I’ve finally got him in one of my stories. Our National Guards of America are really doing a big part in the War on Terror. Many going back 3 and 4 times, under orders, yes many volunteer over and over to go back but I think we are sure asking a lot of these young soldiers. It reflects a lot by the suicide rate of this war. Occasionally we see a Nation Guard man or women in uniform around our land, if you do, thank them, if in a restaurant pay their bill without letting them know, the waitress will take care of it for you.

Oroville’s Sgt. A.P. “Bud” Henkell fought at Amiens in WWI perhaps next to those above National Guardsmen. See our web site for his story, Thank you Daryl. POW/MIA ceremony went well, thanks all that helped.

Thank you, Feather River Parks for the platform for our Missing Man Table. Very few Communities do this honoring ceremony, so mark your calendars for the 3
rd Friday in September next year. You’ll not regret it. 100,000 Americans cry our, “Remember Me, I gave All never to be found.”