Photos from the Vault

Rabid dogs fight on the streets of SLO, World War II week by week

Morro Bay was slated for $1,000,000 of U.S. Navy sponsored harbor improvements during World War II. Stories in the Telegram-Tribune's May, 12, 1944 edition.
Morro Bay was slated for $1,000,000 of U.S. Navy sponsored harbor improvements during World War II. Stories in the Telegram-Tribune's May, 12, 1944 edition.

May 8, 1944

A thousand heavy bombers escorted by a like number of fighters bombed Berlin in a daylight raid by the Americans. A new tactic was seen as Nazi fighters rammed a number of Flying Fortress bombers. The daylight raids by the Americans followed night raids by the British. Allies lost 49 aircraft; it was estimated that the Luftwaffe lost 119.

President Franklin Roosevelt was back on the job after lingering "bronchial and sinus irritations which had plagued him through the winter and early spring."

May 10, 1944

Two San Luis Obispo men who were schoolmates and close friends were reported missing in action at opposite ends of the world. Ronald Duncan was a B-17 co-pilot flying over Europe. Rodney Clair was flying over Truck Atoll in the Pacific.

Charles E. Teach was unanimously elected superintendent of San Luis Obispo schools for his fifth consecutive term. His new term would be four years. Teachers for the coming school year were also elected. The story included a long list of teacher assignments.

A San Luis Obispo dog ordinance was to be strictly enforced. A chow dog that had been involved in fights with several other dogs had been found to be rabid. All the dogs involved were destroyed and owners were admonished to keep control of their pets. City-County health inspector Earl E. Hansen said that rabies was practically endemic in Kern and Los Angeles County and only strict observance of the ordinance would curb spread of the disease. The chow had come from Los Angeles three weeks ago.

Witnesses in England were shaken by a heaving bombing of targets in France. Hit were Calis, Boulogne and Cap Griz, all potential invasion beachheads. The thunder of bombs bursting 25 miles across the Straits of Dover could be heard in southeast England.

Three top U.S. Navy admirals met in San Francisco Ernest King, Chester Nimitz and William Halsey. The news story speculated that plans were being made for major Allied moves in the Pacific, perhaps an invasion of the Philippines.

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. got word that his son Robert had survived the sinking of his destroyer by German U-Boat. A navy spokesman said the loss of life in the attack was "moderate."

A long story, likely ghost-written by an NEA wire service scribe, tells the first-person story of ace fighter pilot Capt. Robert S. Johnson of Lawton, Oklahoma. He was credited with shooting down 27 German aircraft. The photo showed the side of his Thunderbolt fighter covered with trophy marks.

Soviet forces were pushing into Sevastopol as British bombers began the 24th consecutive day of sustained bombing in advance of the expected invasion.

May 12, 1944

Congress had recently released $1 million for improvements at the Morro Bay Naval Base, where work had been abandoned due to lack of funds. The causeway to the sandspit was slated for strengthening and a bypass built into the structure to allow large boats to sail under. The unfinished breakwater was to be extended 800 feet, the harbor dredged and the sandspit point cut off to allow larger watercraft. Lt. Cmdr. F.E. Gompert said the port would make an ideal yacht harbor after the war if the navy abandoned it.

Col. Clair Peterson set a new transcontinental speed record in a P-51 Mustang. He flew from Ingelwood, California, to LaGuardia Field in New York in six hours, 32 1/2 minutes.

Service clubs and professional men were raising $2,500 to renovate the Elmo Rooms into housing for wives of servicemen with small children.

Local churches observed Mother's Day with a variety of talks: "God's Greatest Gift, My Mother"; "My Responsibility to My Children" and "Mothers Mould Men" were some of the titles.

A new drive toward Rome was underway by the allied armies in Italy.

American heavy bombers attacked oil installations and rail centers at Merseburg, Lutzendorff, Bohlen and Zeitz.

Elmer Righetti, electrician mate 1-c, U.S. Navy has written to his mother Mrs. Luigia Righetti of 1000 Mill St. that he has arrived safely in England. Before he enlisted in the Seabees he had worked for many years for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in Santa Maria.