Category Archive: Aviation

Jul 09

Kursk Tank Battle, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune July 9, 1943.

In local news, Marine pilot Lt. George Langston of Atascadero was credited with downing a Japanese bomber in fighting over Guadalcanal. Receipts at the San Luis Obispo Post Office broke an all time record since it became a first class post office in 1921. The January-June period exceeded even the busy holiday season with $54,742.55 …

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Jun 24

The filming of Boris Sagal’s “1,000 Plane Raid”

Stunt pilot flys a B-17 bomber at treetop level over a faux English airfield built in Santa Maria for the movie "1,000 Plane Raid". ©The Tribune/Jim Vestal

Tribune librarian Sharon Morem found a set of fascinating 35mm negatives in the bottom of a folder marked with an illegible scrawl. The first glassine sleeve appeared to read “’1,000 P+ei Raid’ Movie #1″ and the rest had less information, only numbered 2-4. The images showed impressive B-17 bomber stunt flying below the eucalyptus treetops …

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Apr 28

Dodging Death in Stormy San Luis Obispo, World War II week by week

April 14, 1943 Telegram-Tribune documents an attempted escape from Alcatraz Prison.

Obispan Dodges Death As Bolt Hits Pillow One San Luis Obispo man escaped death by the bare margin of a whim during the heavy electrical storm her Tuesday night. If Andrew Chessmar, 1841 Slack street hadn’t decided to leave the comfort of the davenport in his living room to read in a nearby chair, he …

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Apr 21

Elwyn Righetti flight instructor

Photo provided by the Army Air Force published in the Telegram-Tribune of Elwyn Righetti March 27, 1943.

MAJOR ELWIN G. RIGHETTI, 27, commanding officer of the 46th squadron of single-engine advanced trainers, outlines a formation to Captain W.J. O’Donnell, at the new Central Instructor’s School at Randolph Field, Texas. Major Righetti, who received his commission as major last November after three years in the U.S. Army Air Forces, is in charge of …

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Apr 08

Rommel flees, World War II week by week

Rommel flees North Africa in this edition of the Telegram-Tribune from March 29, 1943.

Shoppers to stampeded into butcher shops across country as meet rationing took hold. Some sold out as early as 10 a.m. Saturday. Rommel fled North Africa as British and American troops closed in on Tunis. Air attacks on Germany were stepping up, air generals claimed that bombing alone could win the war.

Mar 18

The comics page goes to war, World War II week by week

May 4, 1943 Telegram-Tribune comic page, many with World War II themes.

The war even found its way onto the comics pages. Three strips, Was Tubs, Boots and Her Buddies and Joe Palooka featured airplanes. Even escapist fare like Alley Oop had the caveman looking for rubber, now being rationed. Side Glances criticized dancing lessons for being a waste of shoe leather another rationed item. Our Boarding …

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Mar 03

Victory in Guadalcanal, World War II week by week

Victory at Guadalcanal was the headline in the Feb. 9, Telegram-Tribune.

In my effort to get back on track after our microfilm machine was repaired a major milestone was overlooked, the Feb. 9, 1943 edition of the Telegram-Tribune the new in a banner headline. America had taken Guadalcanal, their first land victory in the Pacific Theater. The Japanese Army had evacuated and only a few stragglers …

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Sep 29

Air war, World War II week by week

The air war a big part of the Telegram-Tribune front page as well as the continuing battle in Stalingrad on May 19, 1942.

Bomber crews were taking the fight to German targets. Britain and Germany had learned from bitter experience that bombers little better than big explosive targets for a well-trained group of fighter squadrons. The technology to escort bombers deep into enemy territory was still in development and American bomber crews would now pay for that shortcoming. …

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Sep 16

Labor shortages and leg makeup, World War II week by week

Ad for Helena Rubinstein's leg makeup from the Sept. 3, 1942 Telegram-Tribune

World War II would drastically change society on the home front. Some changes were temporary and frivolous. Silk was needed for parachutes and rubber for tires; stockings were no longer on the shelves. The ingenuity of the cosmetics industry came to the aid of fashion conscious women. Leg makeup. You could even draw a seam …

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Aug 18

New San Luis Obispo County Jail – World War II week by week

The population of the county was exploding with war related construction and staffing at bases. On August 11, 1942 the Telegram-Tribune wrote about the new jail atop what we now call the old courthouse on Osos street. The previous jail had been in the basement of the 1873 era courthouse demolished by Alex Madonna. Prisoners …

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