May 29, 1945
Massive bombing raids over many Japanese cities were taking a heavy toll. The Japanese home islands had relied on the distant screen of occupied islands for protection. The B-29 Super-Fortress and P-51 fighters could travel distances unimagined before the war, and American air bases were getting closer every month. Yokohama was burning after 450 bombers dropped more than 3,000 tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs in a daylight raid. The city was ranked second as a port and was home to a naval base. Smoke was rising as high as 20,000 feet over the town of 1,000,000.
Japanese defenses on the southern side of the island of Okinawa appeared to be crumbling. Suicide air attacks were costly to American ships. The U.S. Navy reported one ship sunk and 12 others damaged.
French and Syrian troops were fighting over Syrian independence.
The Atlantic convoy system to deliver goods to England and Europe was now officially over.
The U.S. government moved to take control of oil deposits off the coastline from the low tide line to 3 miles offshore. The test case would be fought over a well in the Ellwood oil field north of Santa Barbara. Pacific Western Oil Corp. was operating under a lease issued by California. Attorney General Francis Biddel announced the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court at Los Angeles. The suit argued that the federal government acquired the "marginal sea" by the treaty in 1848 that ceded California to the United States. This was the test case that would establish rights. Biddle told reporters that the value of the oil "runs into millions or perhaps billions of dollars." California's attorney general Robert W. Kenny called it "an unjustifiable attack on the settled property rights of every state in the union."
Elementary school students who released a 7-foot-tall red, white and blue weather balloon freaked out thousands of war workers in Long Beach. Authorities feared a Japanese bomb balloon, a few of which had landed on the West Coast, but were chagrined to discover the innocent origin.
June 1, 1945
Osaka followed Tokyo and Yokohama as the target of a devastating air attack. Smoke was said to be 5 miles high as the city burned. Radio Tokyo said that the homes of the famed industrial and financial families Mitsui and Mitsubishi had burned in the attacks.
President Harry Truman called for an army of 4 million to invade and conquer Japan. The heavy fighting in Okinawa was a foreshadowing of what was expected on the main home islands.
Three German civilians were on trial for murder, accused of shooting and then beating a bleeding American airman after he parachuted into the Reich from a crippled bomber in August 1944.
An Oregon minister lost his wife and five children from his congregation when the children discovered a downed balloon in the woods near Bly, Oregon. Before he could warn them, there was a big explosion; it had been one of the balloon bombs launched from Japan.
A supervisor from the State Railroad Commission was testing tunnel air on the Cuesta Grade after complaints from Southern Pacific crews. The long tunnels No. 6 and No.7 were said to be unbearable with heat and gasses building up from the steam engine exhausts. The studies were said to be without precedent in safety engineering.
Cal Poly graduated the smallest class in recent history; all three were named. Wartime cutbacks had reduced the number of students.
A man was being held by the FBI in San Francisco for questioning in the case of a murdered child in San Luis Obispo. Initial reports said the killer was believed to be 16 to 18 years of age, but the man being held was 27.
June 6, 1945
Germany's borders were officially reduced to 1937 borders in anticipation of further border changes when the leaders of Russia, America and Great Britain met.
The man arrested in San Francisco could not be positively identified by eyewitnesses. Police and sheriff were still looking for the killer of a San Luis Obispo child.
Ralph Edwards was scheduled to bring his zany style to a war bond rally at the Elmo Theater in San Luis Obispo. The farm boy invented the game show "Truth or Consequences," which had gone from a small radio network to the full NBC network.
Victory on Okinawa was said to be close. After 66 days of fighting, American troops were within 4 miles of the southern tip of the island.
Kobe was the next city targeted by American heavy bombers.
Denmark was admitted as the 50th member of the United Nations. The Big 5 — United States, Britain, France, China and Soviet Russia — were deadlocked over veto powers.