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August 28, 2015
Oroville Mercury Register
Barrack’s demise marks end of era

by Carolyn Richards
Caption of Picture “ Disband Barracks - The five remaining members of Feather River Barracks 441, Veterans of Foreign Wars, from left to right, Ansten Hald, Charles Dustin, Hanford W. Strawn Frank Thomas and Lloyd Smith, have disbanded the chapter as of April 11. They plan to continue attending functions of the organization’s Women’s Auxiliary. April 11 marked the end of an era in Oroville. That’s when the five remaining members of Feather River Barracks 441, Veterans of World War 1 decided to disband. There were nearly 200 names on the barracks’ charter, which was dated April 2, 1956. Hanford W. Strawn, who is only 88, was serving as commander of the barracks. The other four remaining members are Charles Dustin, 98, junior vice commander: Lloyd Smith, 91, adjutant quartermaster: Frank Thomas, 88 chaplain, and youngster Ansten Hald, 83, an honorary member. Hald, it was explained, has a sister in the barracks’ Women’s Auxiliary, which is remaining active. Hald attended the meetings with his sister and was finally asked to join the veterans in honorary status. The group’s colors, consisting of the American flag and barracks banner, have been donated to the Beale Air Force Base Museum. The remainder of the paraphernalia- the charter, Bible, altar cloth and gavel – has been presented to Butte County Pioneer Museum. “We hope they will all be appreciated as historical items of Oroville’s past.” Strawn said.

Oroville Mercury Register
July 15, 1941
Coast Will Bristle With Air Defenses Aircraft Guns To Be Placed Inland To Oroville, Air Colonel Asserts

When present plans have been worked out the west coast will be “bristling” with anti-aircraft guns, and this type of defense will extend inland as far as Oroville, Col. G. P. Tourtellot told the Rotary Club yesterday.
(Stu-Less than 5 months to WWII)

Oroville Mercury Register
July 15, 1941

Editorial by Dan L. Beebe, Editor and Publisher George Wangelin City Editor
Our Airport To Have Its Face Done Over
Huge dirt moving machines started today the job of leveling the big field of red dirt that constitutes Oroville Municipal Airport…We stood at the intersection of the two runways yesterday afternoon with a colonel of the air force and tried to visualize the completed field….We stood on a hump and could see the entire field as it sloped away in all directions…That hump is going to be removed, except for a 1% slope. 5 feet of dirt will be taken from the highest point and it will be spread out in all directions. One of the most striking changes will be the removal of all the hog wallows….Old timers will be surprised if they drive out that way and can’t see those hog wallows, for they pre-date the memory of man…. The whole thing will be scraped… the wallows will be filled in, and then the ground will be sprinkled and rolled with heavy machinery…That is so that a plane can land, going in any direction, on or off the runways if need be…War planes sometimes have to land in a hurry- and take off in a hurry, they need fields where one doesn’t have to be too particular. The colonel told us that he wouldn’t be able to take off from our field at night because a speeding plane sometimes veers from side to side, and if in the darkness he got off the runway it would wreck the plane. He said he wished he could get lights for our field. (to be continued)
(Stu- You don’t read Hog Wallows much anymore.)

Stu’s Notes:
It is late. Stu’s pen is tired tonight, so just a few words. Not to soon I hope but now the WWII Boy’s are getting old 87 or older. Someday the ladies will take over for them. Would someone check out those two Museums and see if Oroville’s WWI Memorabilia is still where it belongs. I have no date for the above article about those WWI Men but I do have the Old Mercury picture. Information on them would be nice to have.

Our Airport: Oroville was lucky to get it back from the Army Air Corp with all the improvements minus the Anti –Aircraft guns and the planes, seems they could have left us one old P39. See them on the City Hall Wall.

Date to remember: Friday, September 18th , 2015 POW/MIA Remberance Ceremony, Saturday, September 19th Motorcycle Rally and Ride n’ Shine All proceeds benefit the Veterans Memorial Park fund. Saturday, October 10, 2015 American Legion Spaghetti Dinner and Dance