August 15, 2014
Oroville Mercury Register
January 23, 1943
Lucky Local Boy Hurt, 2 Die In Air Crash
Second Lieutenant Jerome D. Kesterson of Oroville suffered minor injuries yesterday
when a plane he occupied collided with another plane near Douglas, Ariz. News was contained
in a U.P. dispatch to the Mercury. Kesterson, 23 a flight instructor at the Douglas
air base, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Poehnlein. The crash claimed the lives of
2 aviation cadets. One other cadet was injured. A board of army officers today is investigating
Pvt. Shepard Visits Here On Furlough
Pvt. Charles R. Shepard formerly a gardener in Oroville, visited here recently on a
five-day furlough. Shepard, who entered the army Oct. 2, 1942, is in an infantry unit
at Camp Roberts, and is head waiter at the officers mess. Shepard receives the Mercury–Register
regularly at camp. “I always see many interesting items in it,” he said. “I like to
keep in touch with what the people of Oroville are doing.”
( Stu – Why did the Officers leave such a mess?)
Bangor Boy In Tank Corps In Kentucky
William W. Johnson, grandson of Mrs. H. Hobbs of Bangor, is now stationed at Fort Knox,
Ky., where he is a member of U. S. Army tank corps. Johnson enlisted last October and
writes that he is very enthusiastic over his work. “Billie” was reared in the Bangor
country and was graduated from Oroville high school.
Ivan Cochran Here On Furlough
Ivan E. Cochran was home on a furlough recently for the first time in more than a year.
Cochran, a radio operator first class, is on Atlantic patrol duty. He is the son of
Mr. and Mrs. N. H. Cochran of Oroville, He traveled from Montreal Can., to Sacramento
by plane en route home.
Bob Ake Learning to Send and Receive
Urbana, Ill.- Robert Allen Ake, 21 son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Mott, High Street,
Oroville, California, is learning to send and receive the signals that guide America’s
ships in their battle against the Axis at the U. S. Naval Training School for signalmen
at the University of Illinois here. He is enrolled in a 16-week course in which he will
learn blinker searchlight and semaphore signals in international code. He also will
learn to take and receive flag signals, use pelorus and navigator’s and range finder,
operate search lights and signals apparatus in darkness and identify storm warnings
and distress signals. Upon completing the training, he will be eligible for promotion
to a petty officer rating and be assigned to duty with the fleet or at a naval shore
(Stu-My brain couldn’t learn all that in 16 months.)
Leon Steen Takes Advanced Training
Leon Steen, 21, seaman first class, with the Navy Seabees, is taking advanced training
at Gulf Port, Miss., according to information received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs.
Elmer Steen, formerly of Pentz but now of Crescent Mills. Steen, who was graduated from
Oroville high school in 1940, was catcher for the baseball team, and played on the varsity
football team. He was a welder for the Western Pipe and Steel Co. in San Francisco when
he enlisted last September.
This is all we know of Young Second Lieutenant Jerome D. Kesterson, and lucky he
was; usually when two planes collided there are no survivors. So many young men died
in training in America. As I’ve said before, four died training at Oroville Army Air
Field and Forty at Chico’s much larger Air Base. Many died in other types of training
accidents. We of Oroville will put their names in stone, someday.
Basically our Tanks in WWII were death traps when up against the Famous German Panzer
Tank. Our Tank the M4 Sherman was out gunned, a 75 man barrel up against the Famous
German “88” that when used as anti air craft the “88” could go up 35,000 feet. Our friend
Doug Krause can testify to that. He was up there. Also our tanks were much thinner armor
plated. The Panzer could put an “88” through the M4 before it got close enough to fire,
say like a BB gun against a 22 bullet. Our advantage, we had more tanks they were expendable.
It always amazes me to see how a man can tell what those flashing lights from ships
and waving flags say. I can testify to this. When a message comes to me on the phone,
I’m still writing 533 when they say the rest, which I miss, so slow down.
We had a great turn out for a Great Spaghetti Dinner by the Sons of Italy of Chico,
The American Legion Post 95 and thanks to Feather Falls Casino, wonder music for dancing
from Decades. Also many others were involved in the event, all in all a wonderful evening.
Thank all of you for your support.