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July 27, 2012

Oroville Mercury Register
October 7, 1954
Crash Victims’ Names Released By Air Force

El Paso, Tex. (UP)- Biggs Air Force Officials made public today the names of the 13 dead and the 4 injured in the crash last night of a B50 plane near Willows, Calif. The dead: Maj. John M. Wirt, 7th Ave., Yuma, Ariz. Capt. Keith B. Wright, Paducah, Ky. Maj. Park B. Herrick, aircraft commander, parents, Lt. Col. And Mrs. Park B. Herrick, Fort Collins, Colo. M-Sgt. Charles M. Ford, Dallas, Tex. Airman 2C Daniel A. Baca, Bolling, Tex. M-Sgt, Clarence Foster, Cadillac, Mich. Airman 2C Eddie L. Winne, Plain, Miss. M-Sgt. Junior Townsend, Speedwell, VA. Capt, Otto Robinson, Henderson, Ky. 1st Lt. John T. Vaughn, Naugatuck, Conn. M-St. Howard J. Hansen, Des Moines, Ia. Airman 2C William S. Myers, Philadelphia, Pa. 1st.Lt. John Swisher, Kansas City, Mo. The Air Force said T-Sgt, N. D. Vasquea, Laredo, Tex., was seriously injured. The Thee airmen who were listed with minor injuries are airman 2C John B. Patton, Chicago, Airman 2C William F. Imely, Pittsburgh, Pa., and S-Sgt. John E. Wittine, Albany, N.Y.
Oroville Mercury Register April 3, 1941 Gilberts Pay Easter Visit To Oroville Lt. Fred I. Gilbert, United States army of Fort Snelling, Minn., a staff officer of the sixth division arrived here last night with members of his family for a brief vacation. Mrs. Gilbert and two of the Gilberts’ sons are here also to spent Easter vacation with Mrs. Gilberts sisters, Misses Mattie and Irene Lund. Robert Gilbert has received the principal appointment to Annapolis Naval Academy as a result of a competitive examination. He will report to the academy on May 7. The Gilberts also will visit Fred Gilbert Jr., a student at University of California, in Berkeley.

Oroville Mercury Register
May 1962
2 US Sergeants Rescued From Communist Captors Saigon, South Viet Nam
(UPI)- Two U.S. Army sergeants captured by the Communists three weeks ago were rescued early today by South Vietnamese soldiers, the South Viet Nam government said today. The two men, both reported in good condition, are Sgt. 1.C. Francis Quinn, Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Sgt. George E. Groom, St. Joseph, Mo., members of the elite U.S. Special forces who have been training government troops in their fight to crush widespread Communist guerrilla activity. (While the South Vietnamese government said the two men were “rescued,” the Defense Department in Washington said they were “returned to the control” of the U.S. Army. This could mean they were rescued by a friendly force, or it could mean they were released by the Reds. The Defense Department could not clarify its statement on the basis of information it had available.) Quinn and Groom were captured when Communist Viet Cong guerrillas swept out of the jungles and attacked at Chau village, where they and two other American soldiers were training civilian militia volunteers. The other two American were slain by their Red captors. U. S. Army spokesman said the two men were taken from the place where they were recovered to a U.S. Special Forces camp near Danang this morning. Col. G.V. Layton, Washington, Iowa, chief of the U.S. s special forces in South Viet Nam, said he had “never” expected the men to be rescued. Layton said he was “tremendously surprised” by the news that Groom and Quinn had been taken from the Viet Cong by the South Vietnamese forces. He said he was overjoyed by the news, but could scarcely believe it until he actually saw the men at the Saigon airport.(Stu- Viet Nam was two words back then.)

Stu’s Notes: On the recent story I did about the B50 Crash, I didn’t have room for the names of those who lost their lives near here so long ago. This is very important to me, that they be remembered. I just found the above story of Robert Gilbert and hope to find “The Rest of His Story” Vietnam, now you can start using the term “so long ago” and it seems so. The men that fought over there are getting old. As time goes on they will be the oldest of our Veterans. 1962 the above article says two men died. My Grand daughter Jessica, Googled the Vietnam Memorial Wall and it listed the first man to die as Capt. Leo Bert Abramoski and a date of 1964. My Green Book with 58,000 names of those that died, list the first to die was in 1959. I guess I need to go back to Washington D. C. for a third look at the wall. Rain and tears or was it just rain got in my eyes the last time, as we know grown men don’t cry. In 1962 the dying was just starting and it went on for 10 more years.

The first to fall over there from Butte, Glenn, Tehama Counties was PFC. Thomas Charles Van Campen, from Oroville, June 24, 1965. I think by 1972 over 60 men died or are listed as Missing in Action from the above counties. We will honor them September 21st on the steps of the Oroville Veterans Memorial Hall on Montgomery Street.