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October 12, 2012

Oroville Mercury Register
February 6, 1942
Soldiers Appreciate Books Given In Victory Campaign

They like War, Aviation, Mystery, Western, Love Stories, Says Officer
“Army men appreciate and need the books which are being donated through the nation-wide Victory Book Drive,” said Lieut. E. O. McDonald, commanding officer of Troops in the Oroville district. In illustrating this point Private Richard Gatley commented, “When the men have to remain in camp twenty-four hours a day but are on active duty only eight or nine hours of that time they are very grateful for books to read instead of just having to idle the time away.” In describing the type of books in demand by the men, McDonald grinned as he asserted, “They are avid readers of love stories.” Gatley added the opinion that mystery, western, and war novels are also desired.
War Books Too “The men are particularly fond of war and aviation novels,” said Gatley, while McDonald expressed the humorous idea that this type of book was pleasurable both for it’s self and for picking out in a benevolent way its technical flaws. “The book drive is a fine idea,” McDonald concluded, “and Oroville is to be commended for the excellent support it is giving it.” Oroville citizens wishing to donate books to the drive may leave them either at the city library, the county library, or the department stores with collection boxes.
Oroville Mercury Register February 6, 1942 . Mrs. America Meets The War Sugar rationing has scored the first direct hit on the kitchens of America. And, so far, home defense has been far from good. Housewives, panicky, have been storming grocers’ shelves instead of meeting the challenge by planning new menus and more ingenious use of the sugar allotted. Needed for the production of industrial alcohol which goes into smokeless powder, sugar today is as much a weapon…The tin can will go through the war primarily as a container of meat, vegetables and fruit. Beer cans are among the first to be cut. In 1941 more tin was used for beer than for three of the four major vegetables, beans, corn and peas. If your canary starts warbling off key, it may be from a change of diet. Priorities have taken his hemp seed away.

Oroville Mercury Register
February 6, 1942
From the Editorial Page by Dan L. Beebe, Editor and Publisher

The strategy of the Japanese is plain. Their great enemy is the United States. They fear our power of production and our man power. They see that they must cut us off from our allies to win the war. So they are driving south to establish naval and air bases where they can control the sea lanes to the Dutch East Indies and Australia and are driving west to take Rangoon, the terminal for the Burma road, so that they can shut off supplies to China. They believe that if this can be accomplished they can take more time in conquering the Dutch islands and invading Australia. The Japanese need to end the fighting on Luzon and at Singapore in order to increase their power farther south and achieve their main objective, which is to cut off reinforcements from our mainland. “What,” they say, “need we fear from the huge U. S. program if its planes and tanks and men can’t reach Java, or Australia or China?” There seems to be logic in it. To accomplish this the Japanese are sending huge armadas southward – so huge that if half of them are destroyed there still will be, they think, enough men and machines to conquer their objectives. This happened in Macassar Straits, and yet they landed on Borneo enough men probably to conquer the island. Japanese are prodigal of men and ships. They are staking everything on doing a tremendous job quickly, for it they win the stakes will give them control of great wealth and power. If they cannot win quickly all is lost for them. Japanese theorists have said and written that if once they get established in the South Pacific no combination of western powers ever can dislodge them. The points to watch are, first, our sea lanes to northern Australia and Java and, next, the terminal to the Burma road. Singapore is immensely important, and Corregidor is important, too, but less so. Neither can match our supply routes in importance.
Stu’s Notes: What the Japanese didn’t figure on is what Dan Beebe wrote. True as it was, it was the fighting skill and bravery of our American fighting men. The battles they fought in the South Pacific early in the War could have gone either way, if not for those men. The Japanese had been fighting war’s already; they had better planes, and ships and more of them down there. But we had the American fighting men and fight they did, many going above and beyond. By May of 1942 after much hard fighting and the Battle of Midway, the Japanese were on the run to the North and although there was much hard fighting for three more years it ended in Japan.

Wow, no more tin for beer, and I wonder if we put hemp seed on our bread could we all sing as good as those on “The Voice”, or maybe Elvis. Can you imagine all the Love stories our fighting men and women could write, some sad, mostly good.

The Exchange Club of Oroville Presents the 14th Annual Veterans Day Parade! Sunday, November 11, 2012. The Parade begins at 11:00a.m. Sharp! From 5th Avenue on Montgomery Street proceeding to Oliver Street. Come out and support our Military! Dennis this is for you.