Rooster back on courthouse, World War II Week by Week

Posted by David Middlecamp on April 18, 2014 

The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune of April 11, 1944 includes news of a curfew and more bombing over Germany.


Stories from 70 years ago in the Telegram-Tribune:

April 10, 1944

The county Board of Supervisors was about to enact a curfew aimed at sending home gangs of teens on the streets after 10 p.m. Apparently Paso Robles had good results with its regulation.

Postmaster General Frank G. Walker looked over one of the most congested post offices in the United States. Camp San Luis Obispo expansion was taxing the resources of the San Luis Obispo facility and the innovation of the first woman mail carrier was of special interest.

Months after the old courthouse was torn down, the landmark county rooster had been hidden away in courthouse files. Public demand spurred the county to put the weather vane back up over the new building with a coat of fresh gold paint.

April 11, 1944

The Soviet Army pushed deep into the Crimea while bombers based in Britain and Italy attacked from the air.

Cal Poly graduated 183 Air Cadets from the Naval Flight Preparatory school.

Two tiny premature birth babies were showing hopeful signs of progress at Mt. View hospital. Monica Dasko was born weighing 2 pounds four ounces and Earl Schoenberg was born three pounds ten ounces. Both children had fathers stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo.

April 13, 1944

Cal Poly was chosen to conduct new training for aviation candidates as the program was being shut down at 17 other locations. The excellence in training was cited as the reason; college president Julian A. McPhee made the announcement.

2nd Lt. Kenneth C. Rohrer, 25, was killed in a training crash southeast of Santa Maria. He was flying a P-38 aircraft.

Capt. Richard Bong, 23, flying the same aircraft type was credited with shooting down his 26th and 27th Japanese aircraft. His success was attributed to closing on the enemy within 300 feet before opening fire.

The Kiwanis Club was given a presentation about Amphibious war tactics by Marine Col. E.H. Price. Training was said to be progressing well but the limiting factor was the shortage of specialized equipment.

Ground fighting was stalemated on the Italian front. Resources were being routed for an expected invasion somewhere in Europe. The air war was in full flight. Fighter pilots Capt. Don S. Gentile and Col. Donald Blakeslee were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for having respectively shot down 30 and 27 German aircraft. Fleets of more than 2,000 bombers were attacking targets essential to the Luftwaffe production including Schweinfurt, Augsburg and others.

The Soviet Second Ukraine army was driving toward the Ploesti oil fields in an attempt to choke the German supply.

April 15, 1944

A Page 6 story outlined the conversion of a garage in Cambria into an abalone processing plant. The property had been leased by Reviea and Thomas (no first names listed), and the restaurant trade was expected to be the primary market. "We plan to produce a grade of abalone that will be standard and unexcelled," said Reviea.

An S and R Motor Lines truck loaded with Hills Bros. coffee overturned on Cuesta Grade when the air brakes failed. The driver attempted to warn other cars but his air horn had failed as well. The Clarence Telles was uninjured when he crossed over the center line to avoid collision and overturned.

The unrelenting pressure of bombing missions could lead to crew members becoming "flak happy." Losses were heavy. Concentrating on precision bombing runs while flying through a shrapnel filled sky could push an airman to the breaking point. A letter home from an airman said he had been assigned a week's rest and recovery at a "flack-shack," before resuming missions.

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