Marshall Islands invasion, World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlcamp on February 3, 2014 

The Telegram-Tribune of Feb. 2, 1944 included news of the invasion of the Marshall Islands.

TELEGRAM-TRIBUNE

Feb. 2, 1944

Troops trained at Camp San Luis Obispo were part of the invasion force in the Marshall Islands. Previously the 7th Infantry division had been fighting in snowy Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Now they were fighting the Japanese on the coral atolls north and east of New Guinea. Heavy coats had been traded for tropical-weight uniforms. Kwajalein, Roi and Namur islands were all the scene of fighting by Navy, Marines and Army troops.

San Luis Obispo ranked second among 11 Southern California counties at this stage of the Fourth War Loan drive. The county was 56.9 percent to the goal of $1,975,000.

Feb. 3, 1944

Cal Poly President Julian A. McPhee was making plans to provide education for returning servicemen. (At the time the college did not admit women.) He proposed a "cafeteria plan" in which returning soldiers could take the courses they needed, as few or as many as wanted. "These short-order courses will be planned without frills and fancies to give the boys what they want in the shortest space of time," said McPhee.

New telephone directories were being distributed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. There were 7,511 alphabetical listings in San Luis Obispo County, though growth would be on hold until domestic telephone production resumed after the war. There were 56 Smiths listed in the county and 50 Johnsons.

Boy Scouts recycled more than double the tonnage of waste paper of the previous year. They gathered 103 tons of paper, welcome news in a time where newspapers were limited in size due to paper rationing.

Kay Kyser was in town broadcasting his seventh anniversary radio program, "Kollege of Musical Knowledge" from Camp San Luis Obispo. Quoting from the story: "Clowning, capering across the stage, never missing an opening for an action or word that might bring a laugh, Kyser modulates backstage to an earnest heartwarming individual whose prime purpose is to bring to his audience the fun and music they hunger for."

In Europe, American tanks and infantry closed around the German stronghold of Cassino in Italy while the Red army poured into Estonia. Over Germany 1,100 American and heavy bombers and fighters attacked the German naval base of Wilhelmshaven.

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