March 28, 2014
Oroville Mercury Register
April 10, 1945
In The Fight
Lt. Otis Mercer Will Be Flying A Plane
An army bulletin from Mountain Home Army Air Field reports that 2nd Lt. Otis A. Mercer
is waiting for overseas assignment having completed his required phases of combat training
at the Mountain Home Army Air Field, Idaho. He graduated as a pilot and will fly Liberator
bombers. Mercer graduated Oroville High School and was a student at Yuba College when
he entered the service. He is the son of Mrs. R. H. Hinds of Quincy Road. He has two
brothers, Glen and Glade Grenke in the service.
Deirup Long Overseas: In Cargo Transport Outfit
Headquarters, 302D Transport Wing, France- Master Sgt. Kenneth C. Deirup, son of Superior
Judge and Mrs. Harry Deirup, of Bird Street, has more overseas service in this war than
most of the men in his unit have time in the army. He arrived in England in July, 1941.
Now stationed in France, Deirup is chief non-commissioned officer in the training and
flying safety section of the 302d Transport Wing. Before entering the army in January,
1941, Deirup served three years with the Coast Guard on the U. S. S. Hamilton which
was later torpedoed. During his stay in England he was with the 1st Bomb Division of
the 8th Air Force as an operations clerk. A graduate of Chico High School, where he
won his letter in football, Deirup later attended Chico State College. The transport
organization to which he is now assigned operates an aerial supply line, flying ammunition,
arms, food, clothing, gasoline, blood plasma, medical supplies and other high-priority
cargo to forward airstrips. On return flights the big C-47 Skytrains are quickly converted
to flying ambulances and evacuate wounded combat men to rear area base hospitals.
Stu- The Army Air Corp called them C47’s they were also called DC’3s for civilian use.
Bill Whiteheads Here For Short Stay
Mr. and Mrs. A. H. (Bill) Whitehead are visiting for a few days at the Jack Conner home.
Whitehead is rated yeoman first class in the US Navy. He is stationed in the disciplinary
office of the US Naval Repair Base at San Diego. His leave included a visit with relatives
in Indiana. He is now in route back to San Diego. About a week after reporting back,
he will report to Shoemaker for further assignment, probably over seas duty. Before
leaving Oroville in January of 1942, he was manager of Western Union. Transferring to
Santa Cruz at the time he took over the management of that office until his enlistment
in May. Duty was assigned to him in the headquarters office in San Francisco until he
was transferred to San Diego about a year later. Mrs. Whitehead is teaching in a San
Diego junior high school. She taught in South Bend, Ind., until she joined her husband.
Stu – Well we’ve had our first memorial day planning meeting as usual in the history
room at the Veterans Memorial Hall, Chaired by Sherry Morehouse. For 10 years our Veterans
Memorial Park Committee for all of Butte County has put the whole show together. The
ceremony only lasts about an hour and then you can go out on the Green Bridge another
hour or so. Then you can go out and barbeque or picnic after or better yet, come to
our barbeque at the Veterans Hall, prepared by Chef Wayne Brock, hopefully our park
will be open by then. Our men and women of America’s armed forces, they put off their
picnics for years just so we could have a picnic any time we choose. And I’ll tell you
where they went was “no picnic.” It was hot it was cold, it was dirty, it was muddy
and by the way we had a few bee’s and flies flying around at our picnic’s well they
had bombs, bullets, shrapnel and many other things flying around them. Memorial Day
used to be a big thing in America’s towns. Not any more. So people of Oroville lets
make this a really big one. Let’s fill that hill up there where many veterans lie in
their final resting place, with people. You will enjoy the program. Hopefully there
will be more people watching than people in our program. Bring a flag and wave it proudly.
Mark your calendar now May 26, 2014. Bill Mclung came home and joined the Arlin Rhine
Detachment Oroville Marine Corps League and the Auxiliary. The group as far as I know
has disbanded but there could he someone that still remembers them. I wrote of Lt. Otis
A Mercer Feb 21, 2003 Glade Granke a Technical sergeant served in France. Glen received
his second Lt. bars at Ft. Benning GA, August 1943, 3 brothers serving their country.