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December 5, 2014
Charles Leroy Myers (Chico High School Graduate and Prisoner of War, Wake Island 1941)
“After Capture", continued
The police asked us where we wanted to go, we told them and they told the Japanese passengers to go to the second car. Then all the cars were cut loose but ours. We were then taken straight through to the South town where we were met by American troops to take us to the base camp.

The next morning after breakfast we were put on a C47 passenger plane. While we were in the air, the pilot asked where we were when the atomic bomb was dropped. We all said, “What is an Atomic Bomb?” The Pilot said, “A big one. Do you want to see what it does?” We all said, “Yes!” The pilot took us all over Nagasaki at low altitude. There was nothing left to see, just a few concrete chimney bases. It was total destruction. When we arrived in Okinawa, we were put up in barracks. We thought we might see some of the island. The next day we were told a Japanese woman had thrown a hand grenade into an officer’s jeep and killed both men. We asked if we could get out and go home. They said no planes or ships were leaving Okinawa to America. We could take a bomber to the Philippines and catch a ship out of there to the US. We boarded a B-24 Bomber. Our seats were a 2”X12” board across the bomb racks. The pilot said, “Don’t get off your seat or step on the floor, you could end up in the Ocean.” We lay down on the planks with a bomb rack in our stomach so if we went to sleep, we would not fall off. This trip was a very long ride, but a happy one.

We landed in the Philippines and the army put us through all kinds of medical tests for bugs, worms, cleaning out and decontamination. We were given shots and sprays. We were placed in barracks for about a week or two. I cannot say enough good things about the Red Cross in the Philippines. They did everything they could to make us comfortable and settle down. I never pass a kettle now without putting something in it. They sent messages out to our family that we were going to be coming home by freighter. October of 1944 was a very important time to my Father and I. (to be continued)

Stu’s Notes:
I’ve been told from a very reliable source that there will be a Remembrance Day of the Sacrifices made at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The services will be held at the Gridley Cemetery that is right on the right side of Highway 99 as you approach Gridley. For years it was held at the Gridley Fair grounds. It was moved to the Cemetery after the Original Butte County Pearl Harbor Survivors lost all their members but 3 and disbanded. My friend Art Wells who lives in Chico is one of the remaining 3. He was a Marine, stationed at Pearl Harbor on that sad day. Maybe someday the Memorial at the Fair Grounds will be moved to the cemetery to join the Warren McCutchen Memorial and all the Other Memorials that are all the way in back of the cemetery. They have a Beautiful Brick Wall there full of names and statements of many Butte County Veterans and others. I have five bricks there for some of our family, two for my Daughter Staff Sgt. Retired Deborah J. Shaner, one for her service before she went to war and one after. We used to have five or 8 come from Oroville but some have passed on. So if you can come lets show that Oroville Cares. The service will begin at 9:30am with the Flag Raising at 9:55am. Seaman 2nd Class Warren McCutchen was possibly the first to die that fateful day. Warren was a young 17 year old farm worker from Gridley. He is a actually buried at the Gridley Cemetery out in front. You can read his story on our Web site. It is a Beautiful Ceremony that you will feel so proud to remember them. Most people have Patriotism in their bones and the more you go to Patriotic events it grows stronger, I know. We have a great country and should always remember why. I have put in a request for a Sun Shine for Sunday.