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Jun 16

Midway and the Coral Sea, rationing – World War II week by week

News of the Lexinton and the battle of Midway in this edition of the Telegram-Tribune June 12, 1942.

Details on two major sea battles in the Pacific were beginning to sift onto the front pages of the then Telegram-Tribune. Censors had delayed the release of information. The battle of the Coral Sea was over a month ago but the loss of the Lexington was revealed June 12, 1942. The damage to the Japanese Navy was over estimated but in the fog of war the actual numbers would have to wait for postwar analysis.
What would become known as the Battle of Midway was also beginning to be understood by the public as a major victory for the United States as survivors were debriefed.
The county was testing emergency preparedness with a drill that involved civil defense, police, fire and utility officials. Ferdinand the fire horn was given a short blast as air raid wardens were called to their posts searching for damage. A mock victim was brought down on a stretcher from the roof of Tower building on Higuera street. He almost collapsed as the would be rescuers put too much ammonia on cotton in an attempt to revive him.
Officials chased down calls of mock fires and injuries over the course of several hours.
Rubber and scrap metal were the focus of an upcoming drive for the end of June. Local Boy Scouts were assisting and a scrap pile was growing near San Luis High School’s bus garage.
President Roosevelt was scheduled to address the nation urging citizens to conserve rubber and gasoline to help the war effort. Rationing programs were in place or on the way for many wartime commodities as the nation geared up to fight on two fronts as well as a soon to be announce program to assist the Soviet Union with supplies.
The Soviets were locked in desperate struggle as the German Army launched the spring offensive.
Soldiers at Camp Roberts protested marching tunes being arranged in a swing-time crooners style. Their newspaper “The Cannoneers Post” objected to the frilly dance arrangement of “As the Caissons Go Rolling Along.”
The Commerce Department announced a loan program that would finance up to $5,000 to drain and re-timber mining operations vital to the war effort.
A news item datelined Berlin told of a broadcast by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels who said a mass execution of Jews would be a reprisal for Allied air bombings. The Nazi government had already targeted a village in Czechoslovakia for extermination after SS commander Reinhard Heydrich was wounded and later died from injuries after an attack by partisans.

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