August 3, 2012
Chico Enterprise Record
September 13, 1950
“Some Gave All”
Paradise Soldier Killed in Action On Korean Front
Paradise - Mrs. Vivian Nunneley of Paradise received a telegram from the State Department on Monday advising her that her son, Cpl. Clarence H. Collins 23, was killed in action in Korea on September 2. No details were given in the telegram but a letter of conformation is to follow. Collins served in WWII, enlisting 1943. He saw action in the Middle East and in Germany. Collins was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic service in the battle at Mulhiem, Germany. The citation states that he volunteered to carry a plan of action to isolated platoons. He ran several hundred yards in the open under heavy fire, then guided the platoons through the mined fields into the safety of the woods, making possible a successful action on the part of the forces in that area. Following close of hostilities he served in the occupation forces in Japan. Collins received his honorable discharge in 1946. He wore the combat infantry badge. He re-enlisted in 1947 and was assigned to the occupation in Germany for a year. He then returned to the U.S. until July 27th when he was attached to Company C, 38th Infantry Regiment, he was transferred with the outfit to Korea. Collins was born in Los Angeles in 1927coming to Paradise with his family in 1937. He attended Paradise Elementary School and Chico High School. He is survived by his mother; his grandmother, Mrs. Augusta Thulin of Paradise; a brother; Frank, now in Petersburg, Alaska, and a brother Lawton J. now in Letterman Hospital in San Francisco. Lawton was wounded recently in action in Korea, and has been returned to the U.S. for hospitalization.
Oroville Mercury Register
May 10, 1962
Chilling Sight Of 2 Murdered Soldiers Brings Home US Problem In Viet Nam
By Rick DU Brow
Hollywood (UPI) The chilling sight of two murdered American soldiers in South Viet Nam- where we are not officially at war with the Communists- served as a jolting start to Tuesday night’s NBC-TV special about our involvement there. In the hour that followed, the aura of remote jungle fighting, frenetic twist dancing and political manipulation built up the sort of atmosphere that John Wayne once simplified in movies with a swipe of his fist. The program, “Viet Nam-Last Chance,” made it clear that things are not so innocent any more. American training, advising and airlifting of anti-Communist Vietnamese troops were recorded by reporters Edwin Newman and James Robinson, along with cameraman Dexter Alley and a crew which spent the better part of two months on the spot. The “war that isn’t a war,” as Newman described it-but which we are committed to for years to win the battle of Southeast Asia- struck home suddenly with the first hand shots of the murdered soldiers
The NBC crew was in Viet Nam when the bodies of Sgts. Wayne Marchant, Plattsmouth, Neb., and James Gabriel, Honolulu, were found. And the sounds of the rescue patrol in a helicopter and then on the ground brought the televiewer the anguish of the discovery. Shortly before, Gabriel had said via radio, “We are being over run.” It was the last heard from the victims. Two Americans taken prisoner with them were released one week ago. Marchant and Gabriel were shot in the head at close range. The torturous, long-term battle against the Communist Viet Cong guerrillas, who mix with peasants and disappear in their midst to hide themselves, was dramatized by explaining two Red devices:. And there were excellent shots of medical aid to peasants by U.S. soldiers-as well as American attempts to improve the living standards and provide protection with enclosed “strategic villages.” One of the purposes of these villages is to isolate the guerrillas from the food and other comforts they take from the peasants. Above all, there was the resignation impaired to the viewer of what George W. Ball, undersecretary of state, last week described as a long struggle “not. congenial to the American temperament.” .
(Stu- The two above men were shot as P.OW.’s Yes it was a long struggle, over 10 more years.)
Stu’s Notes: The Collins Brothers true heroes of America. Next week August 6th and 9th is the anniversary of dropping of the Atom Bomb. Local Historian, Jim Lenhoff told me this story. He once lived next to an American Japanese couple here in Oroville. An American Soldier had married a Japanese girl. She told Jim that the Atom bomb probably saved her life, that her family in 1945 lived in Japan, she was 11 years old at the time. They were given cyanide capsules to wear around their necks and to go to the beaches when the evil Americans came and to fight with knives, stones, etc. to the death. If all was lost, to bite the capsule. If all of Japan would do this, the Emperor, who they believed was the son of God, would lift them all up to heaven. She said they were told the 1st bomb that hit was a Meteor. After the 2nd bomb the people were told to go home and listen to the Emperor on the radio. Her mother instructed them to cover all the windows and not to look at the radio and bow down as the Emperor God spoke. She was amazed as the Emperor had such a squeaky voice for God.
As terrible as the bombs were, they probably saved 400,000 lives or more young American men, and as many more Japanese. Jim remembered the above family name, but with out her son’s permission I chose not to use their names. Thank you, Bob Halstead, for the story on the Collins family.