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
Oroville Mercury Register
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?)
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.