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November 29, 2013
Continued from November 15

A Post HS Autobiographical Sketch of Cecil R. Hall
This Sketch begins following the bench mark date of June 1939 marking my graduation from Chaffey Union HS, Ontario, CA On 3rd of March 1941 the California National Guard was federalized, which meant that we went from ‘drill pay’ to full pay and we could shed our hand-me-down WWI uniforms for ‘state of the art’ US Army uniforms. Once we were properly clad in the latest of wearing apparel we rendezvoused with the rest of the California National Guard at Camp Meriam, San Luis Obispo. My first US Army assignment was to Radio Operators School at Fort Benning, GA. My first career break occurred when I returned to Camp Meriam. I was offered a chance to leave the Infantry for a position in the Signal Corps. This change in career path led me to the San Francisco Embarcadero and a birth aboard a troop ship bound for the Philippine Islands. This Troop Ship, newly acquired by the US Army, w as christened sunset on the 6th of December 1941 we cast off and steered a westerly course passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and out in to the wide open Blue Pacific Ocean. The next morning I was detailed to the ship’s Radio Shack to act as a messenger. At a point of about 300 miles out in the blue Pacific pandemonium broke out upon us. The Ship’s Captain burst out of the Radio Shack headed for the Wheel House shouting, “REVERSE COURSE!! REVERSE COURSE!!, The JAPANESE HAVE HIT PEARL!!” The ship came about, and after some anxious times while the Navigator searched thru his Manuals for zigzag course instructions, finally took up a zigzag course, at full throttle, heading back to the safety of San Francisco Harbor. Whew! Back at the embarcadero, my unit, the 102nd Signal Radio Intelligence Detachment prepared to move out to southern California. Our first stop was in down town San Bernardino but before we could unload all of our gear there was a change in plans. We went to Rialto instead, where we set up shop in the Masonic Lodge on the main street of Rialto. After a short stay in Rialto we made another move to the Elks Lodge on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. We had much more room here.
(Stu-This is the second installment more will come next week and the weeks following.)
Stu- What a story so far.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 5, 2003

Stu’s Notes: I talked to Art Wells of Chico, author of a book about Duwks (I will get the name of the book on Sunday and let you know next week). I always see him December 7th at the Gridley Fair Grounds. Art was a Marine during WWII and was quite involved with the Army Duwks, used in the invasion of many far off Islands in the Pacific. We will meet there at the Memorial Flagpole in honor of Pearl Harbor and all those who lost their lives on that day. Well over 2,000 men and women. The ceremony always starts at 9:55am, the time it was in California when the first bomb and bullets fell out of the peaceful blue sky on that Sunday morning 62 years ago. The public is invited. There will be about 20 or so Pearl Survivors and their wives. Each year there are a few less of them. Although a few new people come to the ceremony. All are now 80 years old or more. A 17 year old Gridley boy has the designation as the first to fall. His name is PFC Warren McCutcheon. We did a story on him and his family December 13, 2002. He died on the USS Maryland. Stu- Remember the above is10 years ago.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 2, 2011

Stu’s Notes: Art Wells, one of 4 or 5 men left in the Butte County Chapter 25 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association will be there. Art says this will be their last year as they are down to about 3 active members here in Butte County. He feels that the National Pearl Harbor Survivors will probably disband. Although Art says some Chapters may carry on with the Sons and Daughters.

Stu’s Notes:
Today I talked to Art Wells, Pearl Harbor Survivor the ceremony was at the Fair Grounds last year but he told me they would not go this year as there are only 2 left in his Chapter. Last year some people went to the Gridley Cemetery and this year I will join them, I have been going now for around 16 years or so. It will be at 9:55am on Sunday, December 7, 2013.

Last Friday a permanent memorial for Capt. Randy Roby was dedicated at Cal-Fire Butte County Headquarters on Nelson Avenue. It was a most wonderful day. We started off with the Flag Salute, I always like that. As I wrote last week Capt. Randy Roby’s family came up from Fresno. I just felt so good that this family will always know that we have not Forgotten their loved one in Oroville. There were a number of U-2 pilots there, some who knew Capt. Roby. I introduced my friend Doug Krause, who flew in B-17’s in Europe in WWII to a U-2 pilot, boy did they have a lot to talk about. There was a big turn out of Oroville people, I was thankful for that, My Granddaughter Jessica Rose Shaner came as we took her out of school, I want her to know how lucky we are to have Men and Women in our Armed forces like Capt. Roby. I was amazed how many Men and women came from Beale Air Force Base. Heroes, All.

On December 6th at 10AM Order of the Eastern Star will place 3,600 wreaths at the Memorial Park Cemetery on Lincoln Blvd. Jan Robertson is the Secretary of this group.