April 23, 1944
The largest American invasion army of the South West Pacific war captured three air strips and was closing in on a large air base near Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea. Gen. Douglas MacArthur set the template for the future famous photo in the Philippines. He came ashore without a steel battle helmet as Navy guns fired across Humboldt Bay to the enemy.
An estimated 3,000 American warplanes swarmed over Europe in raids on rail yards and aircraft factories. At least 10 damaged bombers crash-landed in Switzerland.
Lt. Wesley G. Hudson of Paso Robles was missing in action following a March 27, 1944, air raid over Germany. He had been married to his wife, Billie Jones Hudson, for only five months. Hudson was pilot of the Flying Fortress "Heaven Can Wait" leading his squadron on his 20th mission over enemy territory. The aircraft exploded in mid-air, but there was slim hope that some of the crew had been able to parachute to safety.
Todd B. Elliot was testing a chrome sluice slide at the Souza estate property five miles west of San Luis Obispo. He hoped to process 50 tons a day when construction was completed. Chrome had been mined here since 1867, and mining was especially active during World War I.
April 29, 1944
According to J.J. McNamara, assistant county farm adviser, San Luis Obispo County would need 70 million more volunteer man days of work to harvest crops and meet production goals. In the previous year a total of 110,000,000 hours of labor were logged in the county. It was estimated that farm families provided 25 percent of the farm work with the remaining 75 percent made up with seasonal workers.
A four-legged chick was hatched at the Cal Poly poultry farm. Most chicks born this way do not live long, but this one appeared to be thriving.
The U.S. Army was in the process of abandoning desert camps east of Los Angeles, a sign that the war had shifted from Africa to Europe and the islands of the Pacific.
Japan celebrated the 43rd birthday of Emperor Hirohito with a military parade.
Axis and neutral sources were expecting an invasion in the next few days or weeks. A Berlin dispatch placed the invasion between May 6 and June 7. Stockholm suggested May 2-17 and Madrid estimated tomorrow at high tide.
A postal clerk en route from the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco to Camp Beale in Marysville accidentally tossed $120,000 out the window of a train. One hundred soldiers stood guard as the contents of the broken package were retrieved but $3,000 was still missing.
Newspapermen who had followed President Franklin Roosevelt said his condition was the best in months after spending time at his unnamed vacation retreat in the South. The president had suffered a series of illnesses, and the death of an important cabinet member may have influenced the decision to spend time in the spa town of Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt issued a statement mourning the death of Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, 70. The strain of conducting a world war could be seen in the president.
Trout season was slated to open Monday morning at 5:42. Fishing was expected to be good in Lopez Canyon, but many county streams were lower than usual, and Franklin Creek in Adelaide was closed by the State Fish and Game Commission. Gasoline rationing had limited the number of people driving to fish. Salmon eggs and worms were expected to do better than fly fishing. Licenses were required, and the limit was 25 fish per day or 10 pounds and one fish.