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July 19, 2013
Oroville Mercury Register
September 6, 1944
Japanese Sniper Misses Huntington As Local Man Shoots Invasion

Ross (Barney) Huntington, who started his photographic career taking pictures for the Mercury, has just come back (to some unstated place) from covering the invasion of Guam. He is now preparing for another invasion, his letter states, but where he does not know. “You have a lot to do when you’re shooting a 4X5 Graphic and trying to keep from getting shot, all at the same time,” Huntington writes, “I had a few close calls. I’ll tell you about one of them.” He goes on to tell how it was the first morning at the front for him and how he was walking along a small road in a jungle area. He and his movie man met three marines. “Then I heard a noise off to my right and we all dived for cover. Two snipers cut loose at us, one from each side of the road. I don’t see how they missed us at that range.” Barney writes that he drew his .45 but couldn’t spot the Japanese. The enemy fired a couple of more rounds but his location couldn’t be seen. “Remembering that it is bad practice to stay still long with snipers near I took off down the road. He got in one more shot but it was a long way off.” Huntington writes that apparently the bolt of the sniper’s gun hadn’t been closed and that the sound of it being squeezed into place was what he had heard when he dived for cover.

Oroville Mercury Register
December 23
Jeep Accident Injuries Fatal To Gen. Walker
General Was On Way To Decorate His Son

SEOUL, Korea-(U.P.)- Lt. Gen Walton H. Walker, 61 year old commander of the U. S. 8th Army in Korea, was killed in a jeep accident north of Seoul today while en route to decorate his son for bravery. Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, deputy to the U.S. Army chief of staff, immediately was appointed to succeed Walker in command of the field army which is awaiting momentarily a full scale attack by the Chinese Communists on Seoul.. Ridgway is expected to fly here from Washington within a day or two. Walker’s specially rebuilt three-star jeep, a familiar sight through-out the war where danger was thickest, crashed into a South Korean truck at 11 o’clock this morning. Walker was rushed to a field hospital in an ambulance but died. His body was flown to Tokyo. The stocky, square-jawed tank expert from Texas who guided United Nations ground troops through victory and then a crushing reverse at the hands of over whelming hordes of Chinese Communists, was on his way to pin a medal on Capt. Sam S. Walker, his son, an infantry company commander. He also was to have given a distinguished unit citation to the 24th U. S. Division in which his son served, and to the British Commonwealth 27th Brigade. Young Walker, who led his company of the 19th regiment in some of the 24th Division’s bitterest fighting, and out of the enemy trap on the Chongchon River line, was to have received from his father’s hands the Silver Star for heroism in action. When he learned of his father’s death, young Walker drove to Seoul along the same muddy road on which the accident occurred. He broke down as he left the hospital room where he viewed his father’s body. General Douglas MacArthur released the text of Walker’s Christmas message to his men, written shortly before he was killed. “I extend sincere Christmas greetings to the officers and men of my command,” Walker wrote. “Your valiant and unselfish contribution to the attainment, of the Christmas idea of ‘On Earth, Peace to Men of Good Will’ will remain an everlasting inspiration to those who follow in your path. “I beseech for each of you the blessings of Almighty God and of Him whose birth we commemorate.
(Stu- Did you read this story without a tear coming to your eyes?)

Stu’s Notes:
I have written before of Ross Huntington. He was in the OHS Class of 1941 along with a lot of other young men of that class that went to War. We have a list of their names, thanks to Al McLain of that class. See our website for the list. I’m sure Ross wrote more of the War and I wonder where those 4X5 pictures he took are. Also I wonder how long and when he worked for this paper. Help Steve find out more about this long ago Mercury Photographer. Steve is Steve Schoonover, my editor for the stories I write and Lynn types. Steve has never changed a word I’ve written and I know he reads them. That makes me feel pretty good. This July is my 11th full year of this Column, one every week about 558 times what you are reading now. I have been blessed to be allowed to do this. Our Hero’s stories need to be retold. Through the years I have heard it said, Generals never get in the fight, wrong, Generals Son’s never get in the fight, wrong. The above story of Lt. Gen. Walton H Walker and his son, Capt. Sam S. Walker shoot those statements all to pieces. To think he was up on the front area with 500,000 Chinese ready to attack any day.

We want to thank the Moose Lodge # 510 is Sponsoring a fund raising Golf Tournament at the Kelly Ridge Golf Course, Tee Time 8:00am. $75.per person, 4-People to a team. This for the Veterans Memorial Building Fund, Aug. 3, 2013 Phone 634-8200 for more information or to sign up.