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April 18, 2014
Oroville Mercury Register
September 1946
Richvale Service Men Are Honored at Chico Dinner
RICHVALE – Seven ex-servicemen were honored at a dinner at the Southern in Chico Sunday by relatives. The boys honored were Chester and Tommie Carlson, Donald Rystrom, George Slusser, Arthur Evans, Oliver Hillberg and Herbert Arens. An eighth member of the family group was to have been Otis Mercer of Oroville but he was unable to attend. The table was centered with a beautifully decorated cake bearing “Welcome Home”. Thirty-six were seated at the table. Close relatives, besides wives of the men, were the families of Clarence Carlson, Henry Rystom. E.J. Slusser, C.C. Meikle, Clarence Samuelson, Jack Easley and Leroy Swanson. Mervin Parsons returned Sunday from Portland to be inducted into the service of the United States Army. He had been singing bass with the Westmont College choir on a short tour. He is now at Camp Beale.

Oroville Mercury Register
Airport Barracks May Help Solve GI Housing Problem

Possible further relief from the acute housing shortage for veterans and their families was seen today when investigation disclosed that army barracks near the Oroville Airport had been declared surplus. Inspection of the buildings and equipment showed that there are 17 large buildings, 100 by 20 feet, each capable of housing two couples or one large family. The board of supervisors was expected to appoint a man today to head the federal housing authority in Butte County. The veterans housing group met Friday night at Chico under the chairmanship of Maynard McPherrin, where a decision was taken to send a delegate to Sacramento this week to investigate the status of the barracks near the airport. The Federal Housing Authority meets this week at Sacramento, according to Sackett E. Booth, member of the housing for lower Butte County and it is with this group that the new appointee would meet. Located two and one-tenth miles from Oroville on Oroville Lateral (Now Oro Dam West) the barracks lie in a shady grove of pine and oaks. Water, electricity, hot and cold showers, telephones, and some cooking facilities exist in several of the buildings. Many are already partitioned into rooms, both large and small. Two couples live in one barrack now. Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Ratikan and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Whyte are employed by the army engineers to act as caretakers. Inspection of their home showed that much can be done to create a comfortable and livable home from a barrack. The buildings and the land are federally owned, having been purchased by the army during the war. The army air force, which used the base, have declared the premises as surplus and have turned them over to the Army Engineers. In several instances in Northern California similar installations have already been transferred to the Federal Public Housing Administration for use as a veterans housing. It was thought that similar steps could be taken here. The Butte county housing authority will hold a meeting Friday evening at Chico to discuss immediate steps leading to acquisition the base, according to McPherrin. McPherrin said that he would telegraph to C.R. Riepe at Sacramento, who is in charge of all surplus army buildings in California, to request information on how to proceed to obtain the buildings here. While Oroville’s housing project on Broderick street will provide 29 apartments for veterans when it is constructed, 47 applications for apartments are on file with Otis Mercer, veterans service officer here. Included in the application are those of three high school teachers who will not be able to come here to teach until housing is available, Mercer said. Booth said today that he favored immediate action to acquire the facilities. Mercer added that the majority of veterans’ families are now either living with their parents or are living in high-priced hotel accommodations far beyond their financial ability. Announcement was expected Saturday morning from McPherrin as to steps planned by the housing group.

Stu’s Notes:
Those above Richvale men served their (Our) country well. They all went “Over There” and came home, although some from the Richvale area did not come home. Donald Rystrom is the only one I had the pleasure to meet. He showed me where two planes I had been searching for crashed in a rice field out by his dad’s field, back in 1944. He also arranged for me to ride on his son’s, Rice Harvester quite a thrill for me. 16 million men came home from the War which created a big house shortage. I’ve known of those old barracks back in that grove of trees not far from Rudy Creek, which died when the dam was built. I wonder if any are still owned by Veterans or if Veterans ever did buy them.

In 1865 another Great American, President Abraham Lincoln, died while in the service of his Country, April 14th which was last Monday.