Looking Back to 1941: First surge of troops arrived at Camp Roberts, locals report for draft
Excerpts from The Paso Robles Journal, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1941:
Now is the time to prepare for soldiers’ arrival
–Gradually more and more khaki uniforms are to be seen on the streets of Paso Robles. Last Saturday night there were quite a few, strolling singly, in pairs and in groups. Officers of various ranks appeared in hotel lobbies, in cafes and other public places. Non-coms, too, were seen here and there, looking the town over, searching for places of amusement and recreation.
All of this, of course, is only a small indication of what may be expected in the future and, it may be added in the near future, at that. The influx of servicemen is going to be gradual, so gradual as to be hardly noticed. Then, suddenly one day we will realize that they are here, not scores, but hundreds of them. Today the ratio of soldier to civilian is perhaps one soldier to one hundred civilians. The time may come when there will be seen a dozen soldiers to every civilian on our streets.
Right now is the time for us to ask ourselves, “What’s to be done with them?” What have we to offer these men in the form of recreation, how can we keep them happy and entertained, what amusements of a clean moral character can they find here?
A city the size of San Francisco or Los Angeles could absorb them all without creating a problem. But we must realize that as yet we are ill-prepared for the hundreds, yes thousands that will swarm over our community on those days when the men are on leave. While the average draftee will no doubt be of a quiet, well-behaved type, and while the army no doubt will be prepared to handle those who will not stay in line, we must nevertheless expect a certain amount of friction between certain elements among the military and the people here. Various adjustments will be necessary, there will be, overnight confusion and perplexity where quiet and tranquility reigned before.
14 Draftees to leave Monday
The Paso Robles area will furnish 14 draftees in classification A-1 in the January 21 draft. The draftees will report at San Francisco, January 21, leaving the Southern Pacific depot, Paso Robles at 3:16 p.m., Monday, January 20.
Names and order numbers of the men selected are as follows:
Caesar Scaltritti – V-564
Jim Lee Wong – V-44
Willie Acosta Gallegos – V-306
Glen Everest Storny – 10
Larry Acosta Gallegos – 25
Bruce Wilcox Lewey – 50
Francis Richard Tucker – 52
Robert John Pruett – 63
Enrique Robert Bushton – 67
Wilbur Edgar Hobbs – 79
Henry Peter Barba – 80
Clayton Maurice Jones – 82
William Joseph Brown – 91
The following men have been selected as replacement:
Roy Harold Hackney – V-458
John B. Swetz – 94
Everett Graham – 100
John B. Marques – 101
Alfred Caspar – 103
Any man required to report as a replacement shall be duly notified at least five days before he is required to report.
Read previous Looking Back articles
- Looking Back to 1941: Housing shortage, classroom shortage and trailer camps
- Looking Back to 1950: Vine Street to get improvements, first baby born in new hospital
- Looking Back to 1946: Orderly new year, taxpayers vote on hospital district
- Looking Back to Christmas Day 1946
- Looking Back to 1892: A Christmas table within the reach of everyone
- Looking back to 1888: Paso Robles becoming a leading health resort in America
Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back
Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.
Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.
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