Between 1940 and 1941, the rate of building on the Palos Verdes Peninsula accelerated after being nearly at a standstill during the depths of the Depression. In February 1941, 400% more building permits were issued than during February 1940. When World War II began, the residents of the Palos Verdes Peninsula prepared for war. Unfortunately, this included the internment of many of the Japanese farmers and their families that had lived on the Peninsula for years. Among these families interned were Mas Ishibashi and his wife May, along with their son Satoshi, who was seven years old at the time. They had lived on the peninsula since 1910. May Ishibashi sold strawberries on the side of the road and Mas farmed Rancho Palos Verdes for over 50 years, with the exception of the internment years. Their son Satoshi continued working with his father to farm rolling acres of barley and garbanzo beans for many of those years as well.
Palos Verdes Memorial Garden - Located across from City Hall in Malaga Cove, was rededicated in 1996. Originally dedicated in 1947 to John Bleecker, Hammond Sadler, and Morris Shipley who lost their lives in World War II, the Garden now honors all members of the Armed Services who lost their lives in the line of duty and Police Officers, Captain Michael Tracy and Sergeant Tom Vanderpool, who were killed in service to their City, February 14, 1994.
At the start of WWII, artillery battery installations were installed at the current location of the Rancho Palos Verdes city hall, as well as at Rocky Point in Lunada Bay in 1943 that included two 16 inch guns at each location.They were deactivated in September 1945, and most of the installation was sold for scrap metal. One of the first defensive positions was established at the Haggarty Estate in Malaga Cove. Barracks and support buildings were also constructed in Lunada Bay. An underground observation point was also constructed at Punta Place overlooking Bluff Cove and the South Bay. Lt. Richard Throne wrote about the "Battle of Los Angeles" as follows:
ONE OTHER SINKING TOOK PLACE ON CHRISTMAS 1941 WHEN WHAT WAS THOUGHT TO BE A JAPANESE SUBMARINE WAS SIGHTED OFF OF REDONDO BEACH. THE AIR CORPS AND NAVY RESPONDED AND DROPPED SEVERAL BOMBS. THE ONLY THING SUNK WAS THE OLD FISHING BARGE THAT WAS ANCHORED OFF THE COAST.
WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE BARGE WASHED ASHORE ON THE BEACH AT MALAGA COVE, IT WAS QUITE AN ATTRACTION FOR SOME TIME AND A NUMBER OF ITS PARTS WERE SALVAGED BY LOCAL BOYS. (Source: Oral History of Palos Verdes Estates Police Department )
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