Photos from the Vault

Japanese-Americans return to SLO County, World War II week by week

July 12, 1945 Telegram-Tribune front page.
July 12, 1945 Telegram-Tribune front page.

July 7, 1945

A 14-year-old Pozo boy fatally wounded his uncle while guarding a hay baler that had been vandalized the day before. The grand jury would rule justifiable homicide a few days later. The uncle was carrying a handful of emery dust and ran when the boys guarding the machinery overnight called on him to halt and identify himself. The teenagers saw him advancing through stubble in the dark at 10:30 p.m.

T-Sgt. Milton Smith of Camp Roberts was killed and Cpl. Carl Mullen was critically injured when their car overturned on Highway 101 north of Paso Robles on Friday at 9:45 p.m.

Civilians were banned from sleeping cars on train runs of 450 miles or less. Too many soldiers needed the accommodations as they came home on leave and were transferred to Pacific Theater duty.

T-4 Richard N. Bullock of San Luis Obispo was commended for heroic achievement near Fiume, Italy, on Oct. 16, 1944. The medic gave aid to 11 wounded men after crawling 150 yards under machine gun, mortar and artillery fire.

Six-hundred acres of property on Limestone Mountain near Adelaida sold for $190,000.

President Harry S. Truman established by executive order the Medal of Freedom for civilian meritorious service.

Civilians were allowed more butter starting in August.

Allies dissolved SHAEF, the combined allied expeditionary force under the command of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Norway declared war on Japan.

Nicaragua became the first nation to approve the United Nations charter.

Japan had been under 32 days of continuous aerial firebombing. Columns of smoke rose 4 miles into the sky as 27 Japanese cities had been hit.

Borneo's greets oil port Balikpapan was now under control of Australian troops under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

July 12, 1945

The first Japanese-Americans were returning to San Luis Obispo County from relocation centers. The Kobara family farmed near Oceano and had been confined at the Idaho WRA center. One of the sons, Towru Kobara, was serving in the U.S. Army in Texas.

Jerome T. Light, acting relocation officer for the federal government, emphasized that the War Relocation Authority was being disbanded and American citizens are free to go where they like.

In Monterey, California Atty. Gen. Robert Kenny condemned "the disturbing element" threatening the return of Japanese-Americans to California.