Gathering for the invasion, World War II week by week

Posted by David Middlecamp on March 24, 2014 

Front page of the March 21, 1944 San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune speculated on invasion routes. Normandy was over two months away from becoming a household name.


Telegram-Tribune stories from 70 years ago:

March 21, 1944

San Luis Obispo County passed an emergency ordinance for control of sewage operations and established a garbage disposal district in Cambria.

The Naval Flight Preparatory school at the California Polytechnic College was praised by Lt. Cmdr. H.W. Hill. Navigators graduating from the school were said to be better prepared than those from other schools.

Paratrooper Bada P. Sada, 29, was killed in action on the Anzio beachhead Italy on March 4. He was a native of San Luis Obispo.

American airmen sunk Japanese troop transports carrying 1,500 men to Wewak, New Guinea.

A secret military zone was being established along 600 miles of England’s east and south coasts. Visitors will not be allowed in the 10-mile wide strip along the coast as invasion preparations were being made.

German troops were rushed to Hungary, as the nation appeared to be wavering in the face of the Soviet advance. The move was seen as a desperate attempt to shore up support in Rumania and Bulgaria and preserve a crumbling wall. The Germans were making preparations to withdraw from a trap closing in the Crimea.

Telegram-Tribune reporter Celia Carpenter wrote of Helen Gahagan, a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in the Los Angeles district. The politician was visiting the region and argued that women should be represented in congress and that they had an role in national housekeeping. She argued for aid and tax breaks for returning servicemen and to write laws that held the line against inflation.

March 23, 1944

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission requested that local residents be notified of government surplus sales. The previous year, 150 trucks from Camp Roberts were sold to Fresno farmers.

Bitter hand-to-hand fighting was taking place in the fortress of Cassino, Italy.

American air power sent 1,500 bombers and fighters over Germany striking the Ruhr and Brunswick areas.

The county farm advisor’s office offered 500 cork oak trees at no charge for planting. It was estimated that the best areas for growth would be Templeton, Paso Robles and Adelaide. Cork had been rationed since early 1941.

Postal air-mail rates were going up from six to eight cents. The domestic rate of three cents would remain unchanged.

March 27, 1944

Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in an international radio address that the approaching invasion of the mainland would be preceded by “many false alarms, many feints and many dress rehearsals” to deceive the enemy.

It may have been a case of bond drive fatigue. The county had met an ambitious bond drive goal in the previous months. The San Luis Obispo Red Cross was now struggling to make the goal of $50,000 in fundraising.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service