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As It Was

As It Was: Popular Army Sergeant Makes Medford, Ore., His Home

One World War II soldier stationed at Camp White, Sgt. Jimmy Dunlevy, became a solid citizen of nearby Medford, Ore., after the war.

Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., in 1911, Dunlevy joined the army in 1942 and came to Oregon with the 353rd Engineer Group, where he became a Special Services Branch publicity officer attached to the public relations staff for base Generals Thomas and Gerhardt.

He became a popular announcer on the Voice of Camp White radio program and wrote a column titled “On the Beam” for the camp newspaper.  The program and column were so well received by soldiers and civilians alike that Dunlevy beat out Crater Lake and the Rogue River in a contest to name the area’s “best major landmark.”

At war’s end, Dunlevy made the Rogue Valley his permanent home.  Among his accomplishments were managing two local radio stations, KMED and KYJC, serving on the Medford City Council, being elected three times as Medford mayor, serving as president of the League of Oregon Cities, and managing the Rogue Valley Country Club.

On Dunlevy’s death in 1972, a Medford Mail Tribune editorial lamented, “Jimmy is gone. He will be irreplaceable.”

 

Sources: Kramer, George. Camp White City in the Agate Desert. Camp White 50th Anniversary Committee, 1992, pp. 68-70; Truwe, Ben. "Jimmy Dunlevy-Southern Oregon History." Southern Oregon Historical Society, 12 Jan. 1969, truwe.sohs.org/files/dunlevy.html.

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Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.