Photos from the Vault

When Pismo Beach lots cost $100, World War II week by week

Cologne falls to U.S. Troops, San Luis Obispo needs to hire a health inspector. Telegram-Tribune front page from March 6, 1945.
Cologne falls to U.S. Troops, San Luis Obispo needs to hire a health inspector. Telegram-Tribune front page from March 6, 1945.

March 2, 1945

The county tax collector auctioned off 137 delinquent lots in Pismo Heights. The lots sold for an average of $100 apiece. Resale value was estimated between $500 and $700.

Sgt. Roy Poletti, 23, of San Luis Obispo was leading a group of truck drivers tasked with keeping airstrips of the 9th Air Force supplied.

Pfc. Clifford E. Brown of San Luis Obispo was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in action on the Fifth Army front in Italy.

Soviet Red Army trapped an estimated 200,000 Nazi troops in Danzig. The only escape now from this and other Baltic pockets was by sea.

American and Canadian units were approaching the Rhine River.

Marines on Iwo Jima were advancing about 400 to 600 yards a day and were threatening to split the Japanese defense in two. Fighting was said to be hand to hand.

March 3, 1945

Page 6

A granddaughter of Edugivues Correa (a 100-year-old woman recently featured in a front-page biography) was among the prisoners released from the Santo Tomas prison in the Philippines. Mrs. Eric Sanders, her husband and son had survived near starvation. They had been caught in the Japanese attack three years earlier.

African American Seabees at Port Hueneme were on hunger strike after returning from 21 months in service in the South Pacific. The NAACP said Comdr. P.C. McDean of Meridian, Miss., had failed to promote any of his African American servicemen in three years. About 1,000 were on hunger strike.

American Telephone and Telegraph Co. urged the Federal Communications Commission to give it radio wave bands for "mobile" telephone service between moving vehicles and rural subscribers.

Norma Jean Graybeal, a 19-year-old dentist's aide in Beverly Hills, tipped the police to a juvenile marijuana ring. She was arrested on a narcotics charge.

March 6, 1945

County buildings were now insured for almost $1 million. The women's jail, however, needed a larger radiator as the "cooler" was too cold.

San Luis Obispo was considering hiring a full-time health inspector who would work out of the county health department office. Dr. Phillip H. Bearg, county health officer argued for the position offering the example of the problems at the city sewer plant. Someone in town was dumping a chemical into the sewer that killed the vital bacteria in the system. This forced the plant to use four times the usual amount of chlorine with little effect. The result was "grievous discoloration and pollution of the creek for some distance below the plant." Other duties would include restaurant inspection. The city council was also considering buying property facing Osos between Palm and Mill streets to build a new city hall.

Cpl. Austin Hubbard was reported killed in the fighting for Luzon. He had been engaged to Miss. Phyllis Johnson of Paso Robles. He had trained at Camp Roberts in the summer of 1942. He had been with a unit that had rescued 5 U.S. Prisoners of War in the mountains near Manila.

Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges' First Army plunged an armored spearhead to Cologne on the Rhine river while Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army broke 25 miles in 30 hours through German lines toward the Rhine.

Bitter fighting continued on Iwo Jima as Japanese troops tried to infiltrate American lines on Sunday night and early Monday but were thrown back.

The Soviets were facing numerous counterattacks as they advanced to the east bank of the Oder River. They were as close as 30 miles to Berlin.