April 24, 2015
I recently had the honor and pleasure to meet a WWII Hero, who for
quite some time has lived in Oroville, Kenneth R. King. He is from
Kansas City, Missouri, born in May of 1921. A very nice soft spoken
man who lived through some hellacious battles, namely Saipan, Tinian
and Iwo Jima. He would have gone to Okinawa, the last big battle
on the way to Japan, but his outfit was so decimated on those three
Islands that they were sent back to Hawaii to regroup. They probably
would have been in the Invasion of Japan, but thankfully that never
had to happen, as Japan surrendered soon after the two atomic bombs.
Ken’s history of the islands he served and last 3 he fought on.
August 1942 he became a rifle expert at Marine Boot Camp in San
Diego, then to the South Pacific, New Caledonia, December 1943 -
February 1944, Guadalcanal, BSI, February 21 1944-April 15, 1944,
Hawaiian Island area April 30- May 29, 1944. Fought on Saipan, MI,
June 15, 1944-July 22, 1944. Tinian, MI, July 24, 1944- August 1,
1944. Iwo Jima, VI, February 19, 1945-March 14, 1945. His outfit
received a Presidential Unit Citation on Tinian MI July 24, 1944.
(Stu- I don’t know what the BSI, MI, or VI mean. Call me if you
Ken was a member of the 4th division of the U. S. Marine Corp.
His Tank Retriever could pick up 15-20 tons. It was lightly armed
with a 50 Cal Machine gun. Ken was Mustered out of the Marines October
3, 1945 but called back in to train young men, his expertise for
a short while, then discharged November 1950, his monthly pay then
was $110. Ken saw the first B29 land on Iwo Jima it came in on a
Wing and a prayer, it hit so many shell holes on the Japanese built
runway that the wheels were torn off and they skidded to a halt
on there belly. They all got out quickly and were hustled into a
landing craft back to the ships off shore to safety because there
most important job was long from over. The B29 was bulldozed off
the Runway as more planes were coming in, it took a tank and a fortified
bull dozer to do this. Commendation for Corporal Kenneth R. King
United States Marine Corp; For Excellent service in the line of
his duties as a crew member of a Tank Retriever of Marine tank Co.
doing operations against the enemy on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
from Feb. 19 – Mar. 16, 1945 through out this period Corporal King
capably assisted in the retrieving and repair of tanks that were
sorely needed by our forces on many occasions working under heavy
sniper and mortar fire while retrieving bogged down and disabled
tanks. His technical skill and devotion to duty contributed materially
to maintaining at a high level the numbers of tanks our forces were
able to use against the enemy. His conduct throughout was in keeping
with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Oroville Mercury Register
May 23, 1942
Gives Up Hearing for His Country- But He Purchased Bond
New Orleans, May 22-(U.P.)- Yesterday Guiseppe Lupo, a deaf cobbler,
cast his bread upon the waters. Asked to sign a pledge for the purchase
of war bonds, he said his business was too uncertain to pledge anything,
but instead he bought a $100 bond with the $75 he had saved for
months to buy earphones. “I been deaf this long,” Guiseppe said,
“I can be deaf a little longer, I buy bond.” A woman read the story
in a local paper and went to see Guiseppe’s air raid warden. Her
deaf mother had died and she wanted to give Guiseppe the earphones
her mother had used. So, the cobbler who yesterday would have continued
deaf for his country could hear today.
War Bonds were a big part of paying for WWII, some Patriotic
people at the end of the war never cashed them in. I received one
that was not cashed in from my friend Nick Krpan.
Last Friday, the Oroville Veterans Memorial Park committee held
a Wine Tasting Fundraiser at Table Mountain Golf course. This event
came about when Marianne Aleck, a recent committee member, reached
out to others who might be able to help raise money for the project.
A retired Air Force veteran put Marianne in touch with Sharly Backues,
who in turn mentioned Mike Garrow, aka “Mike the Wine Guy,” at Grocery
Outlet. Every month Grocery Outlet in conjunction with Table Mountain
Golf course hold a Wine Tasting to benefit local non-profits they’ve
dubbed, “Hand in Hand”. The fundraiser was a success and according
to Mike it was the largest turnout he has seen since they began
in November of last year. Thank you, Marianne, Table Mountain Golf
Course, Grocery Outlet, “Mike the Wine Guy” and everyone who came
to support our project.