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October 5, 2012

Oroville Mercury Register
October 2, 1942
Beery Film To Be Shot At Oroville
Marines vs. Japanese will be filmed at Gateway Bridge

Battle scenes for a motion picture glorifying Uncle Sam’s fighting marines, with Wallace Beery as star, are to be filmed in the Feather river canyon above Oroville within a few weeks, it was announced here Thursday. Walter E. Tooley, manager of the State Theatre, said selection of the Oroville district for filming a battle between marines and Japanese was announced by Howard Horton, Location manager for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The shots will be made at the Feather River Gateway Bridge about four miles from Oroville, Horton said. They will be taken after the first fall rains. They will show a battle for a strategic bridge. About ten days will be spent in taking the battle scenes, and from 100 to 200 male extras will be employed, Horton said. Those hired must be familiar with operation of explosives. Horton told Tooley the location was selected after studies of 80 localities. A crew of from 100 to 150 technicians will be here while the battle is being enacted.

“Bataan Beth” Niece of Local Nurse; Impatient To Get Back Lieut Beth Veley
“Bataan Beth”, army nurse decorated by President Roosevelt for heroism under fire in treating the soldiers on Bataan, was revealed today as the niece of Mrs. Elizabeth Averrett, in charge of the tuberculosis ward at the Butte County Hospital. Mrs. Averrett disclosed the relationship after a picture of the Bataan heroine had appeared in the Mercury Register Monday. “I’m very proud of her,” Mrs. Averrett said. The Oroville woman believes she is responsible for Lt. Veley’s decision to enter the nursing profession. At the time, Mrs. Averrett was a nurse at Livermore sanatorium. Her niece revealed an interest in nursing, and her aunt encouraged her to enter training. Goes To Philippines The niece was graduated from Highland Hospital in Oakland in 1934, and took post graduate work at Arroyo Sanitarium, passing with the highest honors. Lt. Veley sailed for the Philippines in October, 1941, after serving as a nurse in Santa Clara County Sanatorium from 1934-1940. Sent home to recuperate after her harrowing experiences at Bataan and on Corregidor, she is stationed at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, where she is recruiting nurses for army service. She has given numerous talks, and is to speak at Fresno, Oct. 2. Wants to Go Back Speaking at a dinner given in her honor recently in San Jose, her former home, she told her listeners, including 65 nurses: “I want to get back into the fight. Not because I’m so darned brave – but because I’ve left so many good friends behind to take it on the chin – I want to get back into foreign duty as soon as possible.” The nurse was one of a group who escaped from Corregidor by submarine in a 17-day voyage to Australia. The nurses got out of Bataan only minutes before the Japanese took over and made their way through python-harboring jungles before escaping to Corregidor.

Stu’s Notes: The Gateway Bridge was later called Hansell’s Bridge, as Bill Hansell owned a business there, I think a store, maybe a bar or Motel. I do remember riding up there one night with some friends, probably in 1959 to buy some beer. Seems as I recall one of us , not me, went in but came back empty handed. We usually got it somewhere. No Drugs in Oroville back then, thank God. Any way, that famous Feather River Highway bridge was, as it name says, the Gate Way to the Fabulous Feather River Canyon Route to Reno. Seems like I read in the Mercury last week that it was 75 years old now, in someone's history column. Sadly the Bridge, a beautiful Concrete Arch Bridge, was blown up by the Dam people. I, for one, think it could have been saved as it was out of the Dam Fill, The east bridge pier was right at the edge, maybe in the fill a little bit. I have pictures that were taken by Grace Boehme and Clem Brown of the bridge before it was blown up. A few of the Hard Rock Miners that blew up that bridge were; Shorty Allen, Charles Boehme, Claude Ray, Smokie Moss, and Virgil Moss, all of Laborers Local 185. We all know the Famous Chuck Yeager flew under that bridge while he was training for the War, while stationed in Oroville.

“Bataan Beth” what a brave young lady, sadly most of those men she treated probably died in the Bataan Death march. It was a deadly march even for the most healthy

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! Attend the early service at your church and then come to the Parade.