The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

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By Pat Gracey
contributing writer 

History at a glance, part 3

The Spirit of Tehachapi

Series: History at a glance | Story 3

August 28, 2021

Pat Gracey

This finishes off a thumbnail sketch of the happenings that I once jotted down. It's a mighty long "thumbnail" and I promise NEVER to do it again! Also, "sketchy" is the proper word, for it eliminates years of important happenings; just touching on a few facts.

Continuing from December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor:

1942 – First casualty of World War II, Bob Fraham. Ted Hainline dies in prison camp in Philippines. Lt. Donald Griffin, Army Air Corps pilot, killed in action. Armando Canales, POW in Philippines. Lt. Harold Roach, Army Air Corps, killed in action.

1942 – 49,000 U.S. casualties by November.

1942 – U.S. Marine Base constructed at Mojave, California.

1943 – Sgt. Henry Vasquez cited for bravery in action (Africa, Tail Gunner on bomber). Eddie Haubrich dies of wound received in sinking of U.S.S. Johnston.

1944 – S/Sgt Mike Pappas missing in action (declared dead in 1945). P.F.C. Joaquin Errea, U.S.M.C., cited for gallantry in battle. Jesus Garcia, killed in action. L.G. Farley, killed in action.

1944 – Two German POWs escape from POW camp in New Mexico. Captured in Mojave.

1944 – Helen Green Kent killed in bombing mission over Belgium. Chief Petty Officer William Weldon killed when ship is mined off Belgium coast. Achile Vidalt, killed in action. Ernest Isaia, U.S.N. killed in action. Walter Hogan, killed in action.

1945 – P.F.C. Benjamin Martinez dies hero's death on Luzon. T/Sgt. Jack Mathiesen, Tail Gunner, plane shot down over Poland. Herbert Lange awarded Silver Star. Joey Sola awarded Bronze Star. Pharmacist Mate, Leo Burger, dies aboard submarine, USS Tuna. Richard Comacho killed in action.

1945 – Assets in Bank of Tehachapi $1,096,967.12. Don't lose that twelve cents.

1945, April 12 – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies as he begins his fourth term as President.

1945 – Vice President Harry S. Truman sworn in as 33rd President. (To be elected on his own in 1948.)

1945, August – August 6, atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Aug. 9, dropped on Nagasaki.

End of World War II.

1945 – Returning G.I.s flood college classes to attain college degrees using G.I. Bill of Rights.

1948 – President Harry Truman's "Campaign Train" stopped as it came through Tehachapi. The U.S. joins the United Nations.

1950 – Census shows "Baby Boomers" increase population. Four percent G.I. loans for veterans.

1950 – Korean War begins. Government called it the Korean Conflict. No Tehachapi casualties.

1952 – July 21, Tehachapi suffers 7.5 intensity earthquake. Twelve killed and eight injured.

1952Tehachapi gets "dial system" telephones. No more local operators with hometown service.

1952 – Women's Prison damaged from quake. Prisoners moved to Frontera, California.

1953 – John Broome deeds land for expansion of Westside Cemetery.

1953Tehachapi Loop declared National Landmark #508.

1955 – January 3, first men prisoners arrive to occupy rebuilt prison in Cummings Valley.

1955 – California Portland Cement Company built near Mojave.

1955Tehachapi population 2,450.

1955 – Five acres of land on Mill Street donated to Catholic Church by Monolith Cement Co.

1956 – Four classroom built on Mill Street site during Pastorship of Fr. Silvano Baquedano. Rooms rented by public school for a time during classroom shortage.

1957-1969 – Father Harry Eggert, Pastor, St. Malachy Catholic Church.

1957 – New Catholic Church built in Mojave. Fr. Silvano Baquedano, Pastor.

1962 – Vatican II officially opened in Rome by Pope John XXIII.

1966 – Vietnam war claims Warrant Officer 2 Ronald Kinkeade.

1967 – Lt. Gilbert Mitchell, Jr. U.S. Air Force, shot down over Haiphong.

1967 – Present Catholic Church on Mill Street constructed.

1967 – Good neighbors, Good Shepherd Lutheran also under construction.

1968 – PFC Manuel Cazares killed in TET Offensive – Vietnam.

1970 – Sgt. Robert Paul Cote killed in Cambodia. Sgt. William "Ted" Anderson killed in Saigon.

1973 – U.S. pulls out of Vietnam.

1973 – July 4, Tehachapi Heritage League founded. First location was in the Chamber of Commerce building on Tehachapi Blvd. In 1982 they were relocated in the former Public Library building on Green Street.

1974 – President Nixon resigns. Gerald Ford appointed to succeed him.

1976Tehachapi celebrates Centennial of founding. The Southern Pacific Railroad chose the spot to build their depot. First called Summit Station but the name Tehachapi came with residents who moved in from Old Town to settle. (In 2009 the City would also celebrate the one hundredth year of the incorporation of the city in 1909.)

1978 – Community Congregational Church holds Christmas Eve Service. Rev. Wakeland, Pastor.

1980 – War Memorial dedicated in City Park. Designed by Doyle Gracey, American Legion Commander. Stone work done by George Rocha.

1980sTehachapi crops included, turf, seed, apples. The packing houses along the railroad tracks became known as apple sheds instead of potato sheds. The wind industry, at that time called Zond was making itself known.

1993 – December of that year saw the Tomo Kahni State Historic Park founded in Sand Canyon on the site of an ancient village of the Kawaiisu Indians. The California State Parks purchased 240 acres for this purpose. The first tour for the public was in the fall of 1994. Guided tours are held each year.

This is as far as I went when writing history sketches . No more timelines! I do feel that I must write down the complete list of Tehachapi's war dead. We will never forget them. We knew them, some were school mates, some work friends, they were husbands, parents, sons or daughters. We will always treasure their memory and service to God and Country.

Sgt.William T. Anderson, Cpl. Michael Baily, Sgt. Aaron Boileau, Ph/Mate Leo R. Burger, PFC Manuel Cazares, Cpl. Richard Comacho, Sgt. Robert P. Cote, L.G. Farley, Jesus Garcia, Maj. Jason George, Sgt. Adam Gray, Lt.Donald Griffin, Ted Hainline, CPO John Hasselbrink, Edward U. Haubrich, Walter Hogan, Ernest Isaia, Helen Green Kent, CPO Ronald J. Kinkeade, PFC Benjamin Martine, Jr. T/Sgt, Ralph Jack Mathiesen, Lt. Gilbert L. Mitchell, Jr., CPL. Eric Morin, S/Sgt Mike Pappas, Spec. Joshua Peters, Lt. Harold Roach, Jr., Marvin P. Sprayberry, 111, Achile Vidalt, CPO Willliam C. Weldon, PFC Henry F. Worthington, Cpl. Adam O. Zannutto.


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