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October 11, 2013
Oroville Mercury Register
October 31, 2003 Looking Back on Oroville Heroes
March 22, 1945
Local Japanese Fighting In Tough Area

Two Japanese men of this locality get special mention in an army bulletin. They are Sgt. Mamoru Sakuma of Oroville and Sgt. Tim T. Tokuno of Palermo, who are fighting with the Allied Forces in the European area. Sakuma is with the 2nd Battalion of the 442nd Infantry composed of Americans of Japanese ancestry and has been engaged in frontline combat high in the French Alps along the Franco-Italian border. Previously, in the so-called “Little Cassino” line, they fought over mountain heights so impassable that even mules could not be used to transport supplies. Supply men tied themselves together with their belts as they hauled water food and ammunition to their fellow troops. Slugging their way through southern France, they played a great part in the rescue of the now famous “Lost Battalion” of this war. Over 1,000 Purple Hearts, some with Oak Leaf Clusters, have been awarded to these troops. Fourteen Distinguished Service Crosses have been awarded, 54 Silver Stars, 51 Bronze Stars and 70 division citations for individual members. Sakuma attended Oroville High and was an outstanding student in political science and history. He was a speaker at the graduation ceremony in 1936 and was studying law at the University of California when he entered the service, Sgt. Tokuno, known to his may friends as Tony, was manager of the high school football team for two years. He graduated with the class of 1934. He is a member of the 3rd Battalion of the same regiment. At one time this group took part in breaking a fanatically defended German position, routing the Germans and breaking a stalemate that threatened to hold up the entire American advance in that sector.(Stu-Wow Remember their families were in detention camps.

Oroville Mercury Register
April15, 1942
Dorothy Dickenson Selected Winner of Speaking Contest

by Betty Boyle
Nine Freshmen students were seated upon the stage in the Oroville high school auditorium Monday afternoon to compete in the annual Freshman speaking contest. The contestants were chosen from three frosh citizenship groups by class vote under the supervision of Isabel Tinjim, Oscar Fylling and Geo. Hollidge. After many weeks of industrious studying, the final competition was held to select the six outstanding speakers. For one hour they were left alone without materials of any kind, to rehearse and assemble their three minute speech to be heard at 2 p.m. by any and all students interested. The outstanding speaker of the group was chosen to be Dorothy Dickenson. Her topic was entitled “Co-operation Among Allies.” With her remarkable speaking ability she received 88 points. Her retelling the fall of Pearl Harbor, Malaya and others proved that only unified planning both between and among countries, could bring us a final victory. Dixie Siler came in second with a total of 85 points on her speech, “German Campaign in Russia.” Harry Grafe climbed to 3rd place with a total of 84 1-2 points. “Propaganda-Axis Powers” explained the different types and things said and done to mix the people up in their thoughts. Fourth place was taken by Vernon Haddick holding 85 points by his talk “Status of U. S. Military Bases.” Because of a feared attack on Alaska, many bases are being built for protection. Eighty points enabled Dale Speak to come in fifth on his speech “India’s Position in the War. Dorothy Eldridge received sixth place in the contest with a total of 75 1-4 points. “Pan American Relations” enabled them to build the Panama Canal which is one of the four gateways of the world for foreign trade. These six winners will have their names engraved on a plaque in the high school patio for their reward. The contestants were judged on knowledge, on background of materials, accuracy in speaking the facts, the use of the map, good use of English and alertness and interest on the stage. The judges were selected from the faculty as Robert Mognis, Carl Shrader, Mrs. Bloom and Paul Stollar. All contestants were prepared and their talks were well given. The list includes Jean Armstrong, Florence Henry, Mildred Davis, Dorothy Dickenson, Dixie Silver, Harry Grafe, Dorothy Eldridge, Dale Speak and Vernon Haddick.
(Stu- is the plaque still there?)

Stu’s Notes:
I recently attended the 5th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony of the Oroville Union High School District, emceed by Ray Sehorn. An Oroville High Graduate Mamoru Sakuma was one of those honored as an inductee. The above article OMR 1945 is all I knew of Mamoru until that night where I learned he became a highly respected Judge in Sacramento. Judge Sakuma died on January 29, 2011 at the age of 92. For 14 days flags at all court facilities in Sacramento flew at half-mast. At Oroville High School among other things he was an member of the Honor Society, The Block 0 Society and he was Student Body President.. He is survived by his son Drew Sakuma and his sister Tonayo, OHS class of 1938. Quite remarkable, the accomplishments of those OHS Freshmen, to speak on those subjects that basically were about the New War America had just entered and not long after there speeches were given the Japanese did attack and capture some of the islands of Alaska. Remember 10AM today a grand event will take place at our Memorial Site.