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October 30, 2015
Oroville Mercury Register
In The Fight

Many men from southern Butte county are fighting the Axis in Uncle Sam’s Army, Navy, Marine and Air Corps. The Oroville Mercury wants to keep those at home informed about their activities, and relatives and friends are invited to submit pictures and news to this department. Oroville Man Tells Of Boise’s Battle “It’s a lucky ship,” was the way Paul Wood Jr., put it in describing his exciting experiences aboard the United States heavy cruiser Boise which clashed with six Japanese ships off the Solomon Islands and came out the victor. The Boise was damaged in the 27-minute gun battle but it was able to reach the east coast of the United States a few days ago where it is being repaired. Soon it will go out to battle again. Wood came out of the battle without a scratch. Upon his arrival in Philadelphia he was given a 20-day leave and came home to visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wood of Oroville. Young Wood spent a week here and left over the weekend for his post again. Because of censorship, he was unable to give any of the details of the battle but he said it was plenty hot. He was below decks and could hear Japanese shells hit the Boise and his own guns belching fire and steel at the Japanese ships which were attempting to land reinforcements and shell Guadalcanal. The Boise cut them off. There were three cruisers and three destroyers. All of the ships were sunk. The sea battle was at close range. Wood considers him self lucky to escape without some kind of injury because he was stationed on the starboard side of the ship which was closest to the enemy. When the Boise arrived in Philadelphia, it was given a big welcome. A band was on hand and the ship was personally greeted by Admiral King, commander of the U.S. Fleet. Wood has seen considerable country in the southwest Pacific. American sailors get good treatment from the people in those countries. Everyone thinks a lot of them. The natives treat you well. “But,” added Wood, “I’ve never seen a place I’d trade for Oroville,” Wood and a man from Marysville are the only members of the crew from this part of the state. Wood enlisted in the navy last April 13 and after receiving his training shipped out on the Boise from Treasure Island. The Boise, Home.---Oroville Man Heroic Ship Paul Wood Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wood of Ft. Wayne Street was a member of the crew of the cruiser Boise when she fought six Japanese warships off Cape Esperance in the Solomons. His parents who heard from him last in October are anxiously awaiting news of his fate. Wood enlisted in the U.S. Navy last April and was assigned to the Boise at Vallejo. The Boise and her crew docked on the east coast Thursday and received a hero’s welcome. The navy yard band played “Anchors Aweigh” as she steamed in. Adm. Ernest J. King, commander in chief of the United States fleet, was on the dock to greet officers and crew. “I want you men to know your job was well done.” He said, “I want you to get your ship in shape and get back there as quickly as possible.” Six Japanese flags were painted on her bridge and beside them the silhouettes of two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and three destroyers. Members of the crew pointed proudly to this scoreboard. They said the battle, which lasted 27 minutes last Oct. 11 and 12, was like bowling ten pins. .Lieut. Sam Forter, 24, of Boise, Ida., was the spotter at No. 1 position. “How many ships have you spotted,” the skipper Capt. E.J. (Mike) Moran of San Francisco asked. “I have five in sight sir.” Forter replied. “Well, pick out the biggest one.” Moran ordered. Forter gave the range and the Boise’s guns opened up. “It was like knocking off ducks,” Lieut. Comdr. W. C. Butler of Bristol, VA., said. He was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in the line of duty. “They didn’t know what hit them. We caught them with their pants down,” Edward R. Jacobs, 22, of Chicago, seaman first class, said. He was a battle lookout. Three of the Boise’s officers and 104 of her men were killed. The 10,000-ton Boise- called “light” because she has six-inch guns, bore the brunt of a battle with a Japanese force, armed with eight-inch guns, off Cape Esperance in the Solomons.

Stu’s Notes:
Monday, October 27, 2015, I signed papers handed to me by Bob Marciniak, for $115,000, for our Veterans Memorial , more on that soon.

Well after 13 years or more of writing about Butte Counties Heroes, stories were getting harder to find and as usual, seemingly out of nowhere the stories come. A phone call from one of my readers, Peg Russell she said she has scrap book that has come into her possession. It contains Oroville Mercury articles from 1942. As you know I was very happy to get that phone call. Seems Jane and Warren Wilson formerly of Oroville had kept it all these years. Jane recently passed away and Peg said I could use it to copy. Hopefully someday it will be in Oroville High School’s History Room. The book contains probably over 100 young men and women pictures and stories. I called Faye Anglin; Daseler was her maiden name; she went to Oroville High and was a senior in 1942. She knew many of the kids of the Class of 1942.

Happy Birthday, Grandson Gavin, 9 years old today!