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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 do.)
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.

Stu’s Notes:
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.