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October 16, 2015
Oroville Mercury Register
December 24, 1952
‘This Just Isn’t Christmas’ Soldiers In Korea Say
By Frederick C. Painton

Korea (UP) Only the slow beat of shellfire broke the silence of the night before Christmas. A fragment of moon glanced off the dots of snow clinging to shellholes. It etched the ragged profile of enemy hills 2,000 yards away. This was I company – the men fought the battle of Bunker Hill and the Hook. Tonight they refused to celebrate, even with what little they had. But they all remembered. Ignore Tree “Feelings?” one man said, “I got no feelings. This just isn’t Christmas.” Even so, the company decorated a Christmas tree with ornaments sent from the United States. It stood in a shrapnel-ripped tent which serves as a mess hall. Sgt. John Hately, 27, of Charlotte, N. C., told how the men had come to walk by this glittering symbol of Christmas as if they could not see it. Died By Tree “Just one day ago,” he said, “one of the guys was walking from his platoon to the command post across that rice paddy there. A round came in and got him. They took him to the mess tent here. We got a Doc from the battalion. But the guy was ripped to pieces. He died next to the Christmas tree. He never said a word.” The tree stands about 4 feet tall, just inside the tent flap. Winds from shrapnel holes in the tent twist the ornaments. Under the tree I company has put Christmas stockings. Cpl. Herschel Manning, 19, of Glendale, Calif., said: “We just don’t think about Christmas, that’s all, It just isn’t Christmas. I’ll be thinking about it in a way-but not to celebrate.” Almost immediately he added “I think about it as Christ’s birthday, that’s all.” Remember Aloud Tonight, the men who were not standing guard in the trenches gathered in bunkers to hear Christmas carols on the radio. But there were only a few radios and more than 200 men. The others sat and talked about things back home. They remembered aloud to each other what they had done at Christmas time in other years. Once a snatch of singing leaped out from the blankets covering a bunker opening. Men Silent “We just got to singing,” a voice said. “Someone started up a Christmas carol.” The four men in Hart’s bunker often were silent, staring at the floor between their boots. On the wall they had put up a few Christmas cards among the pinup pictures. One of the biggest said in gold letters: “All the blessings of the Christmastide.”

Oroville Mercury Register
December 22, 1952
Private Chance Completes Motor Transport Training

Private Jessie Chance, sister of Edward Chance of Thermalito, has just completed seven weeks training in motor transport work at Camp LeJeune, N.C., and is here for a few days visit with her brother and his family before reporting to Treasure Island to await transportation to a Pearl Harbor Base where she expects to drive staff cars. Pfc. Chance enlisted in the Marine Corps following graduation from the Oroville Union High School in June. She was one of five girls selected to attend this particular school and in the first group of women to take this training since 1945. She was given instruction in operation, maintenance, and function of the three basic vehicles, the jeep, three quarter ton to one and one half ton Dodge, and the two and one half ton M-5, all new equipment. The course covered class room lectures, as well as practical work such as changing tires, the principle of lubrication, cleaning, minor repairs, such as changing a battery or head light, motor marches and convoy work. Pfc. Chance said she enjoyed the work and was looking forward to her new assignment in Honolulu.
(Stu- Sounds like our Debbie a true Soldier, ready to serve her country.)

Stu’s Notes:
I chose the above story “This Just Isn’t Christmas, Soldiers In Korea Say”. Because the temperature has been in the 90’s this early October, Christmas is just a few months away. Only about 73 days or so and remember back then, with stores in America closed on Sundays, that means there were only about 60 days to shop. Back then the Oroville Mercury used to print each day how many shopping days were left. Well our men on the front lines of all our wars could not come home for Christmas. So I urge the citizens of Butte County to start to gather their addresses and send the Soldiers a Christmas Card or present. Write it it and thank them where ever they are. So that we at home in America can enjoy Christmas Day. If you can read the above without a tear in your eye, I can’t. Merry Christmas Soon.

Remember November 11, we will have a Veterans Day Parade down Montgomery Street from about 5th Avenue to Maybe our new, but not done yet Veterans Memorial. We need help. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Stu.