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March 22, 2013
I was invited to an Honoring ceremony in Chico by Bill Edmiston, A plaque was to be placed at the Chico Community Park on the Arron R. Clark Memorial Field to Honor Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Gene Axelson U.S. Navy. The program was put on by the Chico Police Officers Association, Chico Area Recreation District and Chico Veterans Organizations. A rifle salute was given by the Chico Veterans Honor Guard, Sponsored by AMVET Post 2813, Commanded by Gene Clements. The event was attended by Matthew’s family and other patriotic Americans. Matthew was killed in action, June 28, 2005, Kunar Province, Afganistan. His final resting place is at Glen Oaks Memorial Park, Chico, Butte Co, CA. He will be Honored in our Oroville Veterans Memorial Park for All of Butte County. His Awards and Decorations were many: Special Warfare Insignia (Seal), Naval Parachutist, Navy Cross Medal, Silver Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Ribbon, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy Rifle Marksman Ribbon w/Expert Device, Navy pistol Marksman Ribbon w/Expert Device.

There were two other plaques that preceded Matthew, PFC Steven Walberg-Riotto KIA April 15, 2007, Iraq and SPC Arron R. Clark KIA December 5, 2003, Iraq.

Sadly, as you may have read in the Enterprise Record Sunday, March 17, 2013, a young Chico Marine died in training recently. Private First Class Casey Holmes, U.S. Marines Corps of Chico, CA, age 20 died in a Marine training accident at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center on March 11, 2013. A mass of Christian burial will be held Friday, March 22, 2013 at 1:00p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Chico, followed by a reception at the Chico Elks Lodge. Donations in memory of Casey can be made directly to Chico High School’s Summer Youth ROP Landscape and Construction Program, or in care of Newton Bracewell Chico Funeral Home. You may share your thought and memories of Casey online at NewtonBracewell.com

Oroville Mercury Register
May 29, 1952

(Caption of picture) Arrive Today In San Diego –The light cruiser USS Manchester, with three Oroville Sailors aboard, was scheduled to arrive in San Diego this afternoon after seven months duty in Korean waters. Kneeling, left to right, in a picture taken aboard ship, are Hansford D. Andoe of Oroville, Harold E. Fisher of Chico, and Kenneth R. McElhaney of Turlock. Standing, left to right are Robert M. Andoe of Oroville, Dan L. Long of Oroville, Robert G. Bills of Chico and Lt. L. G. Chrysler of Chico. (Stu- Dan is the brother of Former Chico Mayor, Mary Long Andrews and Sculpture Nancy Long Gardner.)

Oroville Mercury Register
May 29, 1952
‘The Lord Will Lead Me’

Mother Begins Hunt For Body of Son Aboard Missing Plane
The mother of an Army sergeant who has been missing since an Air Force C-47 disappeared last December 27 on a flight from Klamath Falls, Ore., to Fairfield Air Base, arrived in Oroville today to start a determined search for the body of her son, secure in the belief that divine powers will guide her in her quest. Mrs. Nancy Williams, of Oakdale (Stanislaus county) mother of Staff Sergeant Russell Peterson, 28, who was a passenger on the ill-fated planed, said this morning that she would track down every clue and continue to work until she has located the missing plane. “The Lord will lead me,” she said this morning. She was accompanied on the trip by her daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Arnold, of Las Cruces , New Mexico and another daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Sparks, also of Las Cruces. The plane disappeared on the night of December 27 during a winter storm. A wide-spread search of the Oroville area was conducted by Air Force and sheriff’s rescue parties, the crews from the Division of Forestry and many individuals. Reports that the plane had been sighted have continued to come in from rugged mountainous sections of the county, but a painstaking rundown of all reports has failed to locate the wreckage. Sgt. Peterson was one of five servicemen passengers aboard the plane, along with three crew members. Mrs. Williams said this morning that she has been in constant contact with officials at Castle Air Force Base, near Merced, and that she feels the Air Force “has done everything in its power to locate the plane.” “Everything has failed but the Lord,” she said. “I know the Lord will help me find my son,” she added. The party called on the sheriff’s office this morning and went over the information that was available here. Mrs. Williams said that they would proceed to Klamath Falls, Oregon and from there would try to retrace the flight path of the missing aircraft.

Stu’s Notes:
I have know of this plane being lost, and my friend, Bill Fox, knows a Feather Falls man who thinks he heard the plane go over and saw a flash of light. Was it ever found?