Auto accidents and Christmas mail: World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlecamp on December 23, 2013 

Headlines from the Dec. 20, 1943 Telegram-Tribune.


Fatal early morning car accidents were all too common during this era. Daryl Sylvan Jesperson, 44, was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the corner of Marsh and Morro streets. There were no witnesses, and police issued an all-points bulletin for a damaged car.

An unrelated accident near San Ardo took the lives of five Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base) soldiers. A truck-trailer combination and two cars were involved on rain-slicked roads. The soldiers were returning to base from leave.

The peak outgoing Christmas card and letter day was expected, and the Post Office remained open till 10 p.m. to handle the flood of mail from servicemen to families back home. The USO clubs on Santa Rosa and Higuera streets acted as postal sub-stations, setting up scales and postal rate information.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Britain where it was expected he would command invasion forces. Nazi-controlled Vichy radio anticipated invasion from Britain in the next three and a half months. The broadcast said that Marshal Erwin Rommel was to direct the German defenses in France.

For the first time in many years, the Telegram-Tribune planned not to publish on Christmas and New Year's Day. The newsprint shortage was cited as well as the management's desire to give employees a holiday.

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