Fred Mugler Jr. of Menlo Park in his Feb. 27 letter leaves some key details unmentioned. He says the former Telegram-Tribune was the only paper in the United States to report on the sinking of the Montebello. That oil tanker went down near Cambria, early on Dec. 23, 1941.
My research shows that at least one other California newspaper reported the sinking later the same day, not just the San Luis Obispo paper. Several more reports appeared in California papers the following day, Dec. 24.
A good summary of these press details appears in The SS Montebello: Past Tragedy, Future Disaster, by Glen E. Julian. The Historical Society of Southern California published the Julian article in the Fall 2000 issue of its Southern California Quarterly, pages 279-290.