March 21, 2014
Cecil Hall, our newest member of our Memorial Committee gave me a letter he received
long ago, Jan 14th 1941. Cecil was already in the California National Guard. We were
not in WWII yet but America knew most of the world was at war, about 90% of Americans
were against another war they well remembered the Great War (not yet called WWI). But
president Roosevelt knew we would have to do our part to save the world someday, even
though he said many times he would not send American Men off to fight. He knew we would
have to someday. And that day was drawing near in 1941. Thankful he was preparing us
for the inevitable.
Letter from Headquarters Company 80th BRIG DE 700 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles,
California February 25, 1941. 1. Subject Induction into Federal service Under instructions
received by radiogram, dated February 7, 1941, by the Governor, State of California,
from the Secretary of War, pursuant to and in compliance with the provisions of Executive
order No. 8633, dated January 14, 1941, the following units of the California National
Guard (both active and inactive personnel) have been ordered into active military service,
of the United Sates, effective March 3, 1941: 40th Division (California Units) 115th
2. In compliance with the above, you will report to the Commanding Officer, Headquarters
Company, 80th Brigade, at the National Guard Armory, Los Angeles, California, at 8:00
A.M., March 3, 1941, for active military duty in the service of the United States.
Sheldon J Barlow, 2d. LT., Inf., 80th Brigade Comdg. Hq. Co.
Camp Necessities: The following Articles are required: All items may be increased 2
Cotton Shirts, (suntan) 2. 4 pair socks (white or grey, wool or cotton or cotton and
wool) 4 suits of underwear 4. 2 bath towels 5. 2 hand towels 6. 6 handkerchiefs 7. 1
garrison belt (required only for trips to town) 8. Shaving Equipment - Soap, Razor,
Brush, Mirror, Extra Blades 9.Cleaning Equipment - Shoe Polish, Polish rag or dauber,
Polishing cloth or brush, metal polish or Blitz Cloth 10. Toilet Soap’ 11. Comb 12.
Tooth Brush 13. Tooth Paste 14.Pencils.
(Stu- Where did they get all this stuff.)
Suggested Articles Extra – Nail File, small notebook, stationary, stamps, bathing suits,
housewife kit (thread, needle, buttons), shaving lotion, talcum powder, soap (laundry)
Oroville Mercury Register
May 16 1945
Sprague has seen much of the war in Europe
An army release states Pfc. Arthur G. Sprague, 37 whose mother is Mrs. Jonathan Sprague
of Palermo, has operated under fire through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany
since June 11, 1944 laying telephone wire, supplying doughboys with food and ammunition
and clearing mine fields. He is in general Headquarters Company, third battalion, 137th
Infantry Regiment. Since Pfc. Sprague left home his father has died. In civilian life,
Sprague is a farmer. He is unmarried.
(Stu- America was running out of young men.)
What a lucky young man Cecil was he gets to go to camp and get paid for it. Like
Lynn’s father Walter K. French he was one of the lucky young men from San Jose CA whose
number was drawn in the 1st peace time draft 1940 and when war broke out in 1941 he
was in for the duration until the war ended in 1945. In those years he traveled at government
expense to Alaska to build the Alcan Highway, to the east coast, England and into the
war in Europe and all the way to Luxemburg and Germany then an all expense paid trip
back to San Jose to meet Lynn’s mother Betty Elwell, which resulted in Lynn and her
two sisters, I was sure a lucky guy that Walter came home tragically he died in a wreck
on a San Jose almost freeway, it was a freeway with traffic lights every so often Walter
stopped but the Semi behind him didn’t 1965 so Lynn’s family moved to Oroville. My readers
who remember better then me might remember not long ago I wrote quite a bit about Cecil’s
interesting career. I write lightly of men going to a fun camp and world tours, I myself
can not even begin to imagine what they went through.