Photos from the Vault

World Series and World War II week by week

Front page of the Telegram-Tribune Oct. 2, 1944 had news of the St. Louis Browns going to the World Series for the first time.
Front page of the Telegram-Tribune Oct. 2, 1944 had news of the St. Louis Browns going to the World Series for the first time.

Sept. 26, 1944

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters announced that the German army had suffered an estimated 800,000 casualties since the D-day invasion.

British paratroopers were overwhelmed attempting to preserve the Arnhem bridge over the Rhine. Land forces could not reach the airborne force before counter attacks wore down the remaining 45 men holding the north end of the bridge.

California Polytechnic president Julian A. McPhee was named state director of vocational education. He had been chief of state bureau of agricultural education. He would split time between the presidency and the vocational education post. Headquarters for the bureau would remain at Cal Poly.

Robot bombs, as they called the Nazi rockets, had killed 4,479 in England.

Sept 28, 1944

S-Sgt. Joseph E. Angeolini, 20, of San Luis Obispo had been returned to a 15th AAF base in Italy. The B-24 ball-turret gunner had been shot down over Romania July 9, 1944. He had been freed from a POW camp near Bucharest when Romania capitulated to the allies on August 23.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned that the war might continue into 1945 if German resistance continued. While it was clear in a rational assessment that the Nazi forces would lose, rational political leaders were in short supply in Germany.

Soviet forces were advancing into Hungary and east of Riga. In the west British and American forces were meeting heavy resistance as the German forces fell back slowly to new defensive positions.

Oct. 2, 1944

Pvt. Cecil Tingle was killed instantly when he stepped in front of a Checker cab near gate 1 of Camp San Luis Obispo. The cab was loaded with six soldiers returning from town when Tingle stepped out to wave the car down and instead of stepping back on the curb ran in front of the car.

Lt. (j.g.) Donald H. Orcutt, Jr. of Paso Robles was home on leave. He was a member of a Naval Patrol Bomber squadron (VP72) that had rescued or directed the rescue of 69 downed airmen without a loss to their own crew. In one instance downed airmen were in rafts within sight of enemy held islands. They rowed against the tide for hours until rescued.

American troops controlled the Palau islands and three airfields within three hours flight of the Philippines. More than 10,000 Japanese troops had died in 19 fierce days of fighting. Only two small pockets of 2,000 enemy troops remained.

The FBI arrested Earl Harper, 20, an army deserter who had been living in San Luis Obispo under the name Dennis Larson. Also known as Dave Carson, he had escaped confinement at Fort Lewis, Washington in November 1943 where he was awaiting court martial.

He claimed to have a medical discharge when hired to work at Cline's Electric shop. Harper-Larson-Carson claimed he had lost the sight in one eye from anti-aircraft fire in European combat. The man continually wore dark glasses and had a scar at the back of his head lending credence to his story.

The Caballeros de San Luis Obispo returned from their first ride. The group of 50 men spent a weekend riding horseback and barbecuing along the coast. The return ride went along the beach from the Pecho Ranch through Los Osos valley long before there was a State Park in the area.

California Gov. Earl Warren was scheduled to speak at the Republican convention in St. Paul. He had turned down the Republican vice presidential nomination but was giving political speeches in Rockford, Ill., and Columbus, Ohio.

Warren said, "I am one who believes in giving the Democrats full credit for promoting many forward-looking movements in the early days of the New Deal administration, but its liberalism is now gone." He predicted the Presidential election in November would be extremely close.

Hoarders were left holding the bag, or bags of coffee. A rumor that coffee would be rationed was deflated by War Mobilization Director James F. Byrnes, who said in this case: "rationing is unnecessary."

A baseball Cinderella story came true as the perennial doormats of the American League, the St. Louis Browns, won the pennant.

True most baseball stars were serving in the war effort, but the Browns were going to the World Series for the first time in history. The Browns wouldn't have far to travel, the National League winner was the St. Louis Cardinals. They shared the same field, Sportsman's Park.

It would be the only World Series held in the same park for home AND away games.

The Browns franchise was born in 1902 in Milwaukee as the Brewers, after one season moved to St. Louis and picked up the Cardinal's discarded nickname.

In 1954 they moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.

The Browns would hire Branch Rickey as manager, his first Major League job in 1913. Branch Rickey would become famous with the Brooklyn Dodgers where he built a championship team and end segregation of baseball by signing Jackie Robinson.

  Comments