Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

Gerald Johnson

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Gerald L. Johnson

Jerry was involved in farming in Poe Valley, Oregon Region (Klamath Co.) before he went to the Service. The Branch of Service was Chemical Warfare, 854 Chemical Co. Air Operations. His Basic training was at Camp Roberts, Calif. in the August heat.

Jerry was headed for a grave digging battalion in North Africa when their orders were changed when they were passing through Portland, Oregon. They were dropped off at a Camp in Ephata, Washington. There was very little facility there because they were just building it, they lived in tents for 3 months.

Jerry went from there to Merced, Calif.; from there he went to the Reno Air Base before being shipped overseas to England: Grafton Underwood Air Force Base. He loaded bombs on B-17's. His outfit was attached to the 8th Air Force. His outfit had the honor of loading the first and the last bombs to go over Germany.

After he was discharged, he worked for Standard Oil delivering gas to the farmers out of Merrill, Oregon. On weekends he helped Frances' family on their farm.

In 1947 Jerry won a homestead in Tulelake, California. We have lived here ever since. Along with our fellow veterans, we set up housekeeping. We learned to farm together with our neighbors and learned of the mixture we were all nationalities from all over the midwest and west. What a great life we have had. We have always been involved in our community. Jerry had a ball team for 16-years, starting his first team in our pasture at the lower end of our farm. Baseball took on a new meaning when one of the boys would find a fresh cow pie.

It breaks my heart to see what is happening in our Basin. This unnecessary cutoff of the water has caused much anxiety among all of us who are left. We are retired now. Our hearts and lives are much involved in our community. We belong to the Trinity Lutheran Church, Modoc Historical Society, Beta Sigma Phi, the Lava Beds National History Assoc., and 8th Air Force Historical Association.

My thoughts: WE SETTLED HERE IN GOOD FAITH, LIVED UP TO OUR COMMITMENTS AND I BELIEVE THAT A PROMISE BY OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE KEPT. IF A PROMISE TO A VETERAN CAN BE BROKEN, WHAT IS THERE FOR US TO BELIEVE IN?

editors note:    If one had to define the term "Class Mom", they would have to use "Frances Johnson" as that definition , other Moms were great, but Francis was always there .... and guess what .. she still is  ...Thanks Francis.. from  the class of 68'    

 

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