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September 21, 2012

All of the stories today are from the Oroville Mercury Register early 1940’s.

Tom Wigle Making Good
To Be Officer Soon

Thomas Wigle, formerly of Oroville and well known as a violinist and violin teacher, is now with the Army at Fort Benning, Georgia. Friends here have received word that he expects to be graduated from officer’s training school there this week. Just prior to his entry into the army,
Wigle was employed as a mechanic in an airplane factory in Detroit. He was listed among the honor employees there.

1 A Prisoner, 2 In Service
Three sons of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Dennis of Oroville area playing vital roles in America’s war forces. William (Bill) Dennis, is a Japanese Prisoner, captured when Wake Island fell to the enemy. Dennis had been working there on a defense project. His family located his name on a list of prisoners obtained by the Mercury. Lt. Robert L. Dennis is a medical officer in the navy, and went to Honolulu several weeks ago. Eugene (Gene) Dennis, is in training with the air corps at Stockton field.

Maurice Taylor of Oroville, who is an army aviation cadet at Muskogee, Okla., is in his second maneuvers in solo flying. He has been doing solo work since Feb. 10,. Taylor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taylor of Oroville, completed his ground training at Kelly Field, Tex. He enlisted March 4, 1941, and was stationed at McClellan Field, Sacramento, until the Japanese attack. He was graduated from high school here in 1939. His brother Merle, who enlisted in January 1941, is secretary for a travelling medical board of examiners, which examines recruits and draftees.
Stanley Pittman Awaits Call To Naval Air Corps Stanley Pittman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Pittman of Oroville is here on leave of absence from University of California while a waiting his call to enter the Naval Air Corps. Young Pittman majored in business administration during his three years at the university and is a member of Chi Phi Fraternity. He plans to continue his schooling after the war.

Officer and His Bride
(Caption of Picture)  Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Taylor who were married Dec. 10, 1942 at Bennettsville, South Carolina.
Mrs. Taylor is the former Marian Woods of Virginia, Minnesota. She is the niece of Mrs. Ellen DeBarr of Oroville and the couple met while Mrs. Taylor was taking post graduate work at the local high school. Taylor is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taylor of Greenville Street. He enlisted in the Air Corps March 4, 1941. While in high school here he was captain of cadets and was awarded a medal as outstanding cadet in Northern California. He received his wings at Ellington Field, Texas in August 1942. He is now a flight officer piloting a transport between Australia and New Guinea. Mrs. Taylor is making her home with her parents for the duration.

To Be Officer
Joseph Felipe 23, local baseball player and former high school athlete, who will enter a naval officers training school in Notre Dame, Ind., April 15. He will be graduated with the rank of ensign. Felipe enlisted in the naval reserve July 2. He had been taking post graduate work at University of California to obtain a secondary teaching credential. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Z. M. Felipe, Montgomery Street.

Stu’s notes: Ten years ago I did a story on Tom Wigle, he did become an officer and died a Hero in Italy, fighting the Nazis he was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, as many of my readers are new and probably do not know his story. My column has been around long enough to qualify for Looking Back on Oroville Heroes 10 years ago. I wonder if POW Bill Dennis made it home, many didn’t, some civilians did fight the Japanese and many were shot on Wake for no good reason as POW’s. We will honor all of them tonight. I wrote about Maurice Taylor last week, this is a little bit more I found, thanks to Al McLain’s articles he sent me. I talked to Morris Taylor recently, he is still on the radio and TV in Chico and he told me although he was in the fight similar to Maurice, they are two different people.

As a young boy I occasionally saw Senator Stan Pittman walking around town, I was in awe that Oroville had a Senator. Now I read he probably served in the Navy Air Corps. Maybe I can get the rest of the story from Councilman Dave Pittman. I know Paula Felipe, she has sung at our Memorial Day Services more than once, among other good things for Oroville. I think she is related to Joseph Felipe. Paula writes, maybe she will write me a story.