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September 30, 2011

Oroville Mercury Register
December 28,1950
Urges Construction Of Oroville Armory
Possibility that Oroville will receive a $122,000 armory for the National Guard moved a step closer today when Maj. Gen. Curtis D. O’Sullivan, adjutant general of the California National Guard proposed its construction. He suggested that Oroville be included in the armory construction program at a hearing in Sacramento of the State Finance Committee which is preparing its 1951-1952 budget for submission to the legislature. Archie Hooper, commanding officer of the Oroville Guard, said today that the city council had agreed to grant two acres of city owned land on Pomona Avenue in case the armory was authorized.

Oroville Mercury
October 10, 1950c
Wounded in Korea
Thermalito GI Describes Experiences in Battle

“I’ve heard the Japanese and German soldiers were pretty tough fighters but I believe when a GI gets wound up…well…you really have something!!” This is what Pfc. David L. Nichols, soft-spoken, husky Army machine gunner, said here this weekend. He speaks from experiences on the Korea front where he was wounded in the hand by machine gun fire. Nichols was one of a party of five atop a hill south of Masan that was attempting to set up a high-powered machine gun on a ridge. Enemy fire was intense, he said, and one machine gun slug struck his machine gun. Apparently the bullet exploded because doctors found 40 slugs in one hand. In addition, he was struck in one eye and in the leg. His wounds have healed now, except for two fingers. Two other of his party were killed and the remaining two wounded. Nichols smiled when he spoke of having had orders to capture some North Korean soldiers for questioning. “The only reason we took any prisoners was because of orders from the high command.” He said his outfit captured a North Korean major who told them the Communists would win the war, but soldiers taken apparently did not know what they were fighting about. “Many told us they had been picked up in their villages, handed a rifle and told to fight.” When Stars and Stripes (Army newspaper) was delivered at the front containing pictures of GI’s who had been shot from behind with their hands tied, Nichols said: “The GI’s didn’t like that.” It was then, as never before, that the GI got “wound up,” Nichols said. “The Communists found out they had some fighting men on their hands,” he said. Nichols, a powerfully built young man of 18, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nichols of Sixth street Thermalito. He returned yesterday to the Mare Island Naval hospital where he has been under treatment for the wounds he received. He said he expected soon to be sent back to duty with his outfit. Nichols said he had been stationed on Okinawa as part of the occupation forces when word came to break camp for Korea. He said he had been in the fighting from July 24 to Sept 14, when he was wounded. He was among the troops that defended the Haman Pass-Masan sector. Nichols left Oroville Union High School in his junior year to enlist in the Army.

Stu’s Notes: We did, as most people know, get that Armory on Pomona and though the many years since then a lot of brave Men and Women have served there and deployed all over the world, especially in The War on Terror. My daughter S.Sgt. Deborah Shaner works in the back of the Armory fixing the Guards rolling stock, except right now she is in Texarkana
Texas, training which probably means she is going some where. I know some of the soldiers there are going to be deployed. I have a big banner I put up on certain occasions that says “Welcome Home Oroville National Guard and All Service Men and Women . If you know of an Oroville Area Service man or woman coming home let me know and we will put it up, Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee member Bill Fox was a big help to me in getting that banner made. Right up the street on 6th from the Nichols lived the Stafford’s, I think that family sent about 4 men to our wars from WWII, Korea and Vietnam, several were wounded one of my best friends in grammar school was Leonard Stafford who fought in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star. Sadly he died having a “simple” knee operation. Several years ago, he and I were going to ride our bikes a round Thermalito as soon as his knee was fixed. When we were about 14 years old, Leonard pumped me on my bike all the way to Chico and back as he was bigger than me, I could only pump him a little of the way. We did a lot together as kids. His mother, Stella was a most wonderful lady. Others that served out of that Oroville Armory were my brother Larry, Gordon Jensen and Orval Stafford. The above three were fighting the terrible flood of 1955 and riding their Jeep down town Oroville, they crashed when a lady pulled in front of them. Orval was hurt bad and still suffers I’ve been told. Oh and let’s not forget one of Oroville’s artists Sgt. Fred Daley served there also. He has done work for me over the year’s, He just finished my welcome to Thermalito sign. He also did your Veteran Sign that sits next to the Boss. I have written before of Pfc. David L. Nichols, he and his brothers, Ernest and Billy WWII served our country well in it’s time of need. Last I talked to David was a few years ago then he was living in Texas. He had some younger brothers, Bobby who was a year ahead of me and Carl a year behind me at Oroville Union High School. I was in the class of 1958. Happy Birthday today, Debbie!