America at war! (1941– ) (Part 1)

U.S. shipbuilding seen as offsetting sinkings

London (UP) –
Minister of State Capt. Oliver Lyttelton, in charge of war production, said today that the United States’ shipbuilding program is a dominant factor in the war and soon will offset Allied losses at sea.

He said U.S. shipbuilding was beginning to flow at an enormous rate which would attain the aims set for 1942 and 1943.

Earlier in the House of Commons, Capt. Lyttelton said that in the future, British and U.S. forces in any war theater would share American-produced armaments, according to an agreement he reached in a trip to Washington.

Pacific War Council meets tomorrow

Washington –
President Roosevelt today called a special meeting of the Pacific War Council for tomorrow at the White House. Prime Minister Winston Churchill will attend, as will Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King of Canada, now en route to Washington.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be the first since last Wednesday when the council received President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines into the group and studied reports of the Midway battle and of Japanese landings in the Aleutians.

Army builds 100 airfields in Australia

11,500 construction projects underway in gigantic defense program
By Harold Guard, United Press staff writer

Melbourne –
At least 100 military airdromes have been built in Australia, thousands of miles of strategic roads have been built or improved and 11,500 separate projects are underway in a program of construction by the Allied Works Council and the United States Army Engineer Corps.

Negro troops of the Engineer Corps have proved stars in an urgent task which requires doing much with little.

One giant airdrome, costing nearly $10 million, was built in 71 days.

Announced by Gen. Casey

Brig. Gen. Hugh Casey of the Engineer Corps revealed the vast program today.

Gen. Casey said that the work was well in hand despite shortage of labor, plants and machinery because the defense organization was using such bare essentials as it had to deal with the immediate situation.

The face of Australia is being changed in the work, which entails overcoming the difficulty caused by variations in the width of railroad gauges and the lack of roads through the interior.

Important loop roads have been built in the unpopulated northern territories, so that men and supplies can be moved rapidly to any part of the long coastline where the enemy might land.

Road building important

Road building ranks second only to airdrome construction, Gen. Casey said, and road commissions of the Australian states are cooperating.

Authoritative sources said that a 10% increase would be necessary in civilian labor productivity to ensure success of the defense program as shipping difficulties made it impossible to import the minimum of 100,000 laborers needed for maximum efficiency.

A high authority said he favored an increase in working hours to overcome difficulties.

Bullitt named Knox’s aide

Washington –
William C. Bullitt, former Ambassador to Russia and France, was sworn in yesterday as a special assistant to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to carry out:

…such special assignments as the Secretary of the Navy may make.

Historic Battle of Midway first of its kind in history

Japan’s losses astounding in view of fact that Yamamoto sent tremendous array of ships into fight, Casey writes
By Robert J. Casey

With the Pacific Fleet, off Midway, June 8 –
When we get over our justifiable condition of amazement and shock, we may be able to tell something about the fantastic battle for Midway Island – its derivations, its technique and possible effects, not only on this war, but on naval warfare.

At the moment, in considerable awe, we look out upon the few tangible evidences of it and listen to reports of Japanese losses. And we feel as the old frigate captain must have felt, when asked to make a report on the Monitor and the Merrimack, or as a Maori warrior might feel trying to catch the significance of a tank attack.

One is without standards of discussion for such a melee as this. For despite the operations here and there that foreshadowed it – some of them conducted by the Japanese themselves – this ranks as the first all-out naval-air battle in the history of the world.

We who saw it have only an indefinite idea of what was done or how – and not many of the contestant Japs are alive to tell. Our force quit working only when enemy objectives no longer remained in the area.

And when we moved off, it looked as if Japan was sitting back where she had always set as a third-rate naval power: her offensive reserve dissipated, anywhere from five to nine of her ships on the bottom, about 10,000 of her finest naval and marine personnel drowned, and 200 of her planes destroyed.

From Dec. 7 until June 4, Japan, after long preparation for war, was a definite menace to the United States. On June 3, with the better part of a first-class fleet, adequate air support and transport and supply ships, Japan came across the horizon, cockily convinced that nothing stood between her and Midway Island, and little between her and the U.S. mainland.

Outsmarted by U.S.

Admiral Yamamoto, despite his recent unfortunate experience in the Coral Sea, had thought this expedition too simple to merit his personal attention. He knew, as did everybody else, that never in history had such a force as this been launched against the United States. He knew that in the nature of things, with a two-ocean war in progress and long communication lines requiring protection from Dutch Harbor to Sydney, the defenders would probably be able to muster only a very inferior defense force.

And save for a bit of quicker thinking on the part of the United States High Command, everything might have come off as Yamamoto had foreseen. That is why it will continue to be so unbelievable that within two hours after battle was joined, the Japs were on their way back to Tokyo, their fleet terribly smashed.

Never until now have the theorists been willing to concede that wiser thought and defter operation might be a factor in naval warfare. Success on the sea has always been earmarked for the side with a preponderance of battleships.

Taranto, Singapore cited

Bombing of ships by airplanes, of course, is nothing particularly new. It was being tried before the end of the last war and sundry prophets were being court-martialed for suggesting that the technique could be perfected. The British operation at Taranto in 1940 was definite indication of what planes could accomplish against ships. And having demonstrated the technique, the British themselves suffered at Crete and near Singapore.

But it was not until June 4 that anybody got around to making a large-scale test of the idea.

It was the first time a couple of fleets got together with all the old panoply of naval war and then subordinate everything else to air operation and – well, you know what happened.

The Coral Sea engagement was something of the same sort as this, but smaller and incomplete.

The array of ships in the deadly tangle here, however, was the biggest ever seen on any ocean in any war.

Japanese strength

Yamamoto’s men had brought to this strange rendezvous two to four battleships, four carriers (and possibly five) and about a dozen cruisers, a quantity of destroyers estimated anywhere from 15 to 30; 20 auxiliaries, including four large transports, seaplane tenders, etc., in a landing convoy.

Without repeating the reasons for uncertainty in the count, we may point out that the losses were anywhere from five to eight ships. What we contributed to the fight is naturally a military secret, but our own losses were entirely disproportionate.

You get some of the significance of these figures when you consider other battles that have made history. Jutland, for instance, resulted in the bottling up of the Imperial German Navy for the duration of World War I and, when fought, was considered the most desperate sea fight since the invention of gunpowder, but in that engagement, the British lost three capital ships and the Germans two – between them just equaling the low estimate of Japan’s loss at Midway. Britain lost 3,500 men. Germany 3,000 at Jutland. Japan at Midway lost more than 10,000.

In the Battle of Tsushima Strait, where Admiral Tōgō defeated Rozhestvensky in 1905 and Japan began to get delusions of grandeur, the fight was broken off only when most of the Russian fleet was underwater. But the Russians brought to it only five ships that could actually be classed as ships. Five or six others were ancient recommissioned hulks, and contributed nothing at all to the score. These matters, of course, are history and apparently have nothing to do with the Battle of Midway. But one cannot help but think of them when one notices the casualness with which our recent performance was treated by those most concerned.

Value of carriers

You get to wondering if this type of warfare may not make the old standards of battleship losses obsolete. Well, maybe they do, but it seems that aircraft carriers – the new capital ships – are definitely part of this new warfare. You cannot carry on any seagoing air blitzes without them, and they are just as hard to produce as battleships – and harder to man.

Let us consider where, as a result of the Battle of Midway. Japan stands in respect to carriers. At the beginning of the war, Yamamoto had admitted, nine carriers. Of these, the Kaga and Akagi, converted battleships, were the largest. They were similar to our Saratoga and Lexington in most respects and carried from 50 to 60 planes apiece. Two new carriers were ready to be commissioned at the time of Pearl Harbor and it is generally believed that they were made to carry 60 planes apiece.

Of the remaining seven, one, the Hōshō, was slow, and carried only 26. Three, the Sōryū, Hiryū and Zuihō, carried from 30 to 40 apiece. The Shōkaku and Zuikaku carried from 45 to 50, and the Ryūjō, 24 to 30.

Putting it all together, the Japs had 11 carriers capable of handling 520 planes at a maximum.

As against that, we had newer carriers capable of handling 580 planes and our average speed and average carrier size were considerably larger. Had we been less generally spread out between two oceans and the two poles, we would have been able to meet the enemy on an even footing the day after Pearl Harbor without waiting for ships now coming off the ways – without waiting for the Battle of Midway.

Three-to-one ratio

Under the circumstances, Japan was able to bring to most of the battles in the Pacific three carriers to our one. Japan was in a position to send six carriers against a dot on the map like Midway; we could not have mustered six against Tokyo.

Japan has been singularly lucky with her carriers. A couple were banged up in the fight for the Philippines, but they got back home for repairs and were at sea again in a couple of months. In the Coral Sea, however, the breaks began to go the other way. Our planes sank one there and sent a second home disabled.

Well, it doesn’t take a slide rule to figure that if Japan lost four carriers at Midway and one in the Coral Sea and is nursing another in drydock, then she has only four or five at the outside, available for work now. She may have an undetermined number of small carriers, converted merchantmen and the like, capable of handling 15 planes apiece, but they are too slow to permit their inclusion in any fleet action.

It is significant that the United States force that went out to meet the approaching Japanese at Midway was the largest force the United States ever sent anywhere against anybody in an act of war. As fleets go, it was a good one – in equipment as well as in brains – one of the most expensive collections ever seen anywhere. But this priceless array won the battle with a couple hundred boys in airplanes whose total equipment cost probably as much as a couple of destroyers.

Bomber, in flames, scores direct hit on Jap carrier

By Frank Tremaine, United Press staff writer

A Marine air base, somewhere in Hawaii –
His dive bomber was in flames, riddled by anti-aircraft fire. He was near exhaustion from two previous attacks. One arm was bandaged. But he never flinched.

Down, down, down his plane hurtled toward a Jap warship steaming toward Midway Island.

The blazing bomber was only 300 feet above the target when he released his death load. There was a deafening explosion, the enemy vessel rocked and began to sink.

And the plane crashed just off the bow of its target.

That was the story Cpl. Eugene T. Card, 24, of Oakland, Cal., and Salem, Utah, told today from a hospital bed. The hero was his squadron leader, Marine Capt. Richard Fleming of St. Paul, now listed as “missing in action.”

Wounded before crash

Cpl. Card detailed one of the war’s greatest tales of individual heroism. Capt. Fleming, he said, had already scored a direct hit on a Jap aircraft carrier and a “near miss” on another vessel before his third – and final attack.

Other members of the squadron said the captain led them directly over the target on the third raid, but made the first dive himself. It was believed he had been wounded seriously before he crashed.

Cpl. Card said none of the Marine pilots dropped their bombs from above 500 feet.

He said:

It’s hard to miss at that height. I guess we had been waiting for that kind of a chance for so long we were kind of blowing off steam.

Served as rear gunner

Cpl. Card served as Capt. Fleming’s rear gunner on the first raid against a fleet of enemy cruisers and destroyers.

The Japs didn’t even know we were there at first. But the carriers soon turned into the wind and launched several Zero fighter planes, so we took refuge in a cloud.

From a hole in the cloud, Cpl. Card spotted one enemy carrier and the captain ordered an attack.

The captain was sure intent on getting it. We dropped one bomb at 300 feet and made a direct hit. Then we leveled out about even with the deck, went out over the bow and headed back toward Midway close to the water.

Pursued by Zeros

For 15 miles, three Zeros pursued the dive bomber, but finally gave up the chase near Midway.

Cpl. Card said:

We got hit twice when we leveled over the carrier. One blast burst through the cockpit and knocked out the instrument panel. The captain told me later he was spitting glass and alcohol for five minutes. One whole side of our ship was ablaze when we landed.

Cpl. Card, suffering from a leg wound, was sent to the hospital. The captain had a scratched arm, but insisted on returning in another bomber for a second attack.

U.S. flier’s menu in bush: grasshopper and raw owl

Melbourne, Australia (UP) –
A 24-year-old pursuit plane pilot from Columbia, SC, returned to his base today after being lost in the wild bush country and reported:

Fresh-killed grasshoppers taste like crab meat.
Raw owl is tough but eatable.

Forced down when his fuel ran low after chasing raiding Jap planes out to sea from Darwin, the pilot spent four days in the wilderness, where he was roasted by the sun, tortured by mosquitoes and eyed hungrily by crocodiles.

He said:

I set out to walk across the mud flats from the coast. I had one quart of water and some chocolate. Later I found I couldn’t eat the chocolate.

Steadily I became weaker. I could walk only 200 or 300 yards. Then I would have to lie down and rest for half an hour.

While I was lying down, I saw a grasshopper near my hand. I grabbed him and ate him. He tasted like crab meat.

Early next morning, I staggered down the beach where an owl had flown from the trees. I killed him with my knife. Everything was wet and I couldn’t light a fire and I had to eat him raw. He was kind of tough and didn’t chew so well. I was just gnawing a leg when I saw the plane come over and circle round to indicate he had seen me. I lay on the beach and cried.

The plane circled several times and dropped me some food.

About an hour and a half later, another plane made a wonderful landing on a small beach and picked me up.

MacArthur’s fliers down Jap, scout enemy bases

Melbourne (UP) –
Allied aviators, conducting wide reconnaissance operations over the northwestern and northeastern defense zones, fought off challenging enemy planes and shot down one of them yesterday, Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced today.

The enemy planes was downed over the Timor Island zone northwest of Australia. Over Rabaul, in New Britain Island of the northeastern area, seven challenging planes were repulsed.

Talking an offensive

Of talk about opening a “second front” there is no end. Hardly a day goes by without some high official or officer in London or Washington repeating the same old threat of what the Allies are going to do to Hitler’s rear.

We are not among the large number demanding a western front. Whether Britain is adequately prepared for such an offensive in Europe – without repetition of the debacles in Norway, Greece, the Far East and Libya – is a matter of military information which we do not possess. Obviously, a successful offensive there is desperately needed. But unless the British are strong enough, they should not undertake it.

The thing that troubles us is that the British and American governments keep talking about it. If they are not going to act, they are undermining public confidence in themselves.

Certainly, any notion that talk would help the Russians has collapsed. The talk did not stop Hitler from launching his new drive against Russia, or from opening his own victorious second front in Libya.

British failure to open the western front two months ago or even a month ago, when the official talk was so loud, has already reduced its possible effectiveness and increased its hazard. Hitler was much more vulnerable on his flank when the Russians were on the offensive around Kharkov and the British were on top in Libya.

Whatever the decision regarding “the second front,” it cannot be delayed much longer. Either some of the four million men immobilized in England will have to fight soon in Western Europe, or be rushed to an already active front. That includes the American forces sent to Ireland and England.

The Allies cannot talk an offensive. Only fighting counts now.


A man’s comeback

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

On the other side of the equal rights question, I have the following letter from a New York man who wishes his name withheld:

You write that you women do not have equal pay for equal work and that something should be done about it. Why should you leave? If you knew anything at all about the subject under discussion, upon which you pose as an expert, you would know that in industry a group of female employees as compared to a group of male employers means–

Greater restroom expense;

Greater medical clinic expense;

More extra reporting in the morning, since there will be more female absentees;

Greater employee turnover, which means more hiring and training expense;

Greater accident insurance expense;

Less return to industry out of the training expense because fewer, if any, superintendents, managers and other executives will come out of the female working forces. Even those women who are capable of being executives are unsatisfactory, because other women won’t work under them, or because they leave to marry or to have a baby.

There are a dozen other items. They add up to one thing: It costs more to have women on the working forces. If you say, overlook that and pay equal wages, be honest enough to say that you want a lot of charity.

And when legislators stupidly follow your advice, compelling equal rights, women will be [and rightfully] discharged and replaced by men.

I am not arguing with you. You are arguing with Nature and mathematics. I am only trying to put a stop to the wrong information which adds to the ignorance of the reading public on this question.

What do you think about that, girls?

Girls, meet the men who will train WAAC

Officers insist they’re not afraid of job with Women’s Army
By George S. Mills

Screenshot 2021-07-20 164321
HQ Confidential Report: The Army is awed by the Auxiliary!

Fort Des Moines, Iowa –
Girls, meet some of the men who will have the charge of turning you into soldiers in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps training school here.

Staff and faculty of the school consist of 41 commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Not one hard-boiled Army-sergeant type showed up in seven random interviews.

The officers insist they aren’t afraid of the job of fitting women into what heretofore has been one of mere man’s last citadels, the Army. Five of the seven officers are married and in their upper 40s or early 50s.

The two bachelors are youngsters, one 28, the other 24.

Col. Don C. Faith, 46, affable commanding officer of the school, observed:

A skirt and a pair of breeches are different garments. That illustrates why WAAC regulations will not duplicate those of the Army but will parallel them.

The colonel, who has held an Army commission 25 years, was on the Mexican border and in Camp Logan, Houston, Texas, during World War I. He was on duty in the Philippines in 1921-22 and in Tientsin, China, in 1931-32.

The colonel said:

I think American women are plenty intelligent, and I am not worried about how this whole program will work out.

He conceded that:

There will be minor problems, the beauty shop problem for example.

Facilities for that phase of feminine life will be available here, he said, but there will be no cutting of classes to get a hairdo.

What about discipline?

We are not purposing to establishing a guardhouse for the WAACs. Standards of conduct of women are generally higher than men. Then it is perfectly apparent that we will always have plenty of source material to draw from. We can always discharge a woman and fill the vacancy with a high-class individual.

On the social side, he said:

We expect the WAACs to have dates with soldiers.

Capt. Gordon C. Jones, director of training, is a 28-year-old bachelor with a wave in his auburn hair. He declared:

I don’t even know a girl.

He was in his second year as a Commandant of the Riverside Military Academy at Gainesville, Ga., and Hollywood, Fla., when, as a reserve officer, he was called into service. A native of Columbus, Kansas, and a graduate of The Citadel, South Carolina military college, he was on the WAAC pre-planning board in Washington before coming here. The captain said:

I feel the only shortcoming about this thing is that we are a year late in getting started.

Secretary and adjutant of the school is soft-spoken Maj. William B. Houseal, 53, of Birmingham, Ala. He was personnel officer at Camp McClellan, Anniston, Ala., in World War I. He left the Army in 1919 to specialize in public relations and personnel drive until he returned to the service last March. He has three sons.

Asked how well-qualified he considered himself for this all-feminine assignment, he replied:

It is true that I don’t have any daughters, but I do have six sisters; I have had the same wife for 24 years, and I have had the same secretary for 23 years.

Lt. Col. Francis Egan, the WAAC quartermaster, in the Army since 1914, is an Irishman’s Irishman – he was born 50 years ago last St. Patrick’s Day. His brows are so heavy they shade his eyes from all but the setting sun. He will have charge of supplies and equipment of all kinds.

Will the girls be allowed a chocolate éclair once in a while? Or sherbet?

He grinned:

So far as I know, they will eat regular Army rations. But I am not worried about women coming into the Army. We can take as good care of them as we do the men.

1st Sgt. Henry N. Sawicki, 45, another faculty member, went through five major engagements in the last war. On Nov. 4, 1918, he was wounded in the head, chest and arms by shrapnel fragments. He has been in service since 1916. He is married but has no children.

Asked what city he considers his home, he replied:

The Army.

Cpl. Orville J. Bergeron, 24, is a Cloquet, Minn., inductee who has been in the Army eight months. He is unmarried. Before the war, he worked on a golf course and in a factory.

Finally, girls, don’t be overawed by the school officers. Confidentially, they’re preparing to be awed by you.

Action finished on war levies by House group

Refund is voted to enable plants to reconvert after victory

Washington (UP) –
The House Ways and Means Committee closes its book today on the new war tax bill after voting excess profits refunds to corporations after the war. The refund, in effect, reduces the eventual profits rate from 94% to 80%.

The committee expects to turn the bill over to drafters today. They will put the committee’s decisions into legislative language for final approval before the bill is sent to the House early in July.

Late yesterday, the committee settled the remaining major question before it – post-war corporation refunds on excess profits. The refund voted will accumulate at the rate of $940 million a year and will be credited to some 36,000 corporations.

To return 14%

It is designed to provide industry with the capital necessary to turn back from the production of planes, guns and tanks to the manufacture of autos, typewriters and refrigerators.

The Ways and Means Committee’s decision, following the pattern of the Treasury proposal, provides that 14% of corporation earnings, which for war tax purposes are considered to be “excess profits,” will be returned to the corporation after the war. The committee has voted to tax “excess profits” at the rate of 94%, but the refund reduces the eventual rate to a net of 80%.

The committee ruled that corporations must pay a 15% tax on the refund they get after the war and that none of the refund may be used for payment of salaries and bonuses to executives or dividends to stockholders or for the purchase of securities.

To receive bonds

To guarantee that corporations receive their refund from the Treasury, the committee provided that within three months of the time excess profits taxes are paid, the corporation must receive its credit in the form of government bonds which cannot be sold and which bear no interest.

Other actions by the committee yesterday included:

  • Voted to direct the Post Office Department in increase third-class mail rates to the point where this service pays for itself.

  • Rejection of a proposal to provide for relief of debtor corporations.

  • Enlargement of the 5% freight tax to include contract as well as common carriers.

Postponement of decision on proposals to make some exemption from individual income taxes for money paid in life insurance premiums.

Birth dates to determine order numbers of youths

Draft lottery to be eliminated for 18, 19, 20-year-olds who will register next Tuesday

Washington (UP) –
Birth dates instead of a national lottery will determine the serial and order numbers of youths 18-20 who register under the Selective Service Act next Tuesday.

It will make the first time that both dates have been used as a basis for determining order numbers. It likewise eliminates a most colorful and exciting ceremony – the draft lottery which was used during all World War I drafts and revived in October 1940, for the nation’s first peacetime lottery. Two drawings have been held since.

Under the new system, each local board will arrange registration cards of June 30 registrants (those born between Jan. 1, 1922, and June 30, 1924), in a pile according to birth dates. Cards of registrants born Jan. 1, 1922, will be on top. Cards of those born Jan. 2, 1922, will be next, and so on, with cards of those born on June 30, 1924, going on the bottom of the pile. In cases where two or more registrants have the same birth date, cards will be arranged in alphabetical order.

The registrant whose card is on top of the pile will get Serial No. 1. The next card will get Serial No. 2, and so on down the list.

The youth holding Serial No. 1 will receive the next available order number in his local board. For example, if the last order number assigned by a board was 11,120, the registrant with Serial No. 1 would get Order No. 11,121. Under this system, 20-year-olds would apparently not be called up for military service until the list of previous eligible registrants is exhausted.

Under present law, 20-year-olds may be called to the colors, but teenage registrants cannot be called until they reached 20.

Guild counsel terms papers ‘war industry’

Declares they have huge task of shaping U.S. public opinion

Denver (UP) –
A. J. Isserman, general counsel for the American Newspaper Guild, wants newspapers to regard themselves as a “war industry,” charged with the responsibility of shaping the country’s morale and public opinion.

He said:

Newspapers have the tremendous task of molding public opinion. They are truly a war industry.

Mr. Isserman, who addressed nearly 200 delegates yesterday at the second day of the Guild’s ninth annual convention, said the newspapers’ primary task during the war was:

…building that spirit which cannot lose.

Monroe Sweetland, director of the (CIO) Committee for American and Allied War Relief, said that nearly 80% of the country’s war production was being turned out by CIO workers.

Herbert Little, member of the War Production Board information staff, told the convention that the selection of Elmer Davis as the chief of American war information was “an excellent break” and predicted a great improvement in war news dissemination.

The San Francisco-Oakland union of the Guild submitted a resolution asking that “moral and financial” support be organized to seek exoneration of Harry Bridges, West Coast CIO leader who has been ordered deported.

‘Sordid’ war fund waste hit

Washington (UP) –
The House Military Affairs Committee today reported “a sordid picture of nearly every conceivable type of extravagant waste” in War Department contracts.

Culminating a year’s investigation of the war program, the report also criticized “top heavy organization” and “endless red tape” in government war agencies and the manner in which conservation of critical material is:

…being recklessly disregarded.

Rep. Ewing Thomason of Texas, ranking Democratic member of the committee, dissented, charging that:

Not a human who voted for the report has read it.

He planned to file a minority report.

Malpractices cited

Chairman Andrew J. May (D-KY) announced the vote as 12–9.

The dissenters charged the majority’s finding would:

…destroy confidence in progress of the war effort and undermine national unity.

Obviously angered by their stand, Mr. May rejoined that he stood unequivocally behind the report which, he said, contained:

…not a line that is not the everlasting truth.

The committee said evidence revealed:

Excessive commissions by so-called defense brokers, huge profits by vendors, exorbitant salaries, bonuses and fees for management and related services.

It said the War Department has taken steps to correct “these practices” but that “far more stringent control” is needed. It recommended “better and closer” bargaining by the Army, with insistence on recapturing excessive profits.

Reforms suggested

Specifically, it urges the Secretary of War to: Tighten supervision over all accounting and auditing, enforce with greater stringency prohibition of excessive commissions on cost plus fixed fee contracts; review and adjust management fees paid to big corporations for services; and require all persons employed or retained by contractors in connection with contract procurement to file monthly expense reports with the department.

The report said war organization costs have received “little attention” and that:

…restraint of expenditures… has almost entirely been disregarded.

‘Bootlegger’ named

The committee charged that George Remus of Cincinnati, Prohibition-era bootlegger and former inmate of an insane system, was the “moving spirit” in Warner Industries, Inc., Cincinnati, which has a $518,000 War Department contract for anti-aircraft gun tow targets. It said Remus:

…financed the corporation and its promoters in its initial stages and in the procurement of the contract.

According to its testimony, the committee said, the Warner firm was organized in 1941 and its only operating experience was the manufacture of toy balloons and novelties.

Japs ape German tactics, attempt to scare Americans with loud noises, death threats

Bataan fell when troops were too weak to stand on their feet to fight
By H. R. Knickerbocker, Chicago Sun foreign service

H. R. Knickerbocker, noted correspondent, has just returned to the United States after covering the war in the Pacific for the last six months. He arrived in Hawaii shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and covered the ensuing battles in the Netherlands East Indies and down to Australia. This is the second installment of an article based on the large amount of material he gathered.

Screenshot 2021-07-21 003041
They were able to camouflage themselves so perfectly that when they climbed into a tree an observer could go to the foot of the tree, gaze closely at it and still not see them.

San Francisco –
The suicide tactics which the Japs so often use, and by which they waste lives needlessly, are purely their own tactics, but many of their battle practices are clearly borrowed from the Germans.

One of these is the use of terror. They intentionally add to the common terrors of the battlefield all kinds of shrewdly-invented devices to frighten the enemy, such as loud noises and vocal threats of death.

This the Germans did in France, when they used the shrieking bombs with whistles in their vanes, and loudspeakers to roar “Surrender!” at the bewildered enemy.

Japanese always insist that when they borrow anything from the Western world, they improve on it. Their improvement in this case could be conceded.

On the night before an assault, they ceased firing for some time. The silence of the grave descended upon the trenches. Only the nocturnal sounds of the jungle could be heard, as our soldiers strained their ears for the possible rustle of Jap scouts crawling through the wire.

But then, out of the eerie stillness came at once from many Japs a quivering cry, in a Filipino dialect. It was long drawn out and was so pitched that it could be heard all up and down the American lines. It was directed at our Filipino soldiers, but even an American with no knowledge of that cry knew that it meant death.

Its words were:

Patay na ikaw – Now you are going to die!

Like the wail of banshees, the threat of impending death came across the trenches again and again and again until the stoutest heart shivered, and battle-hardened soldiers moved closer together.

Noise mortars

Besides this trick, sometimes in the daytime, 1,000 Japanese soldiers would run out into the open and shout one stentorian war cry, then scurry back to their trenches. Many of them were equipped with trench mortars, small enough to be carried by one man as a part of his equipment. The mortar was not capable of doing much damage, but the noise of its detonation was terrific and the Japs calculated it helped rack the nerves of the enemy.

This was also the purpose of the special corps of snipers used by the Japs to infiltrate behind the American lines and harass us from the rear.

These men were the best-dressed and best-equipped troops on either side. Their forest-green broadcloth uniforms were of the best quality. They wore puttees and, even in battle, their shoes were shined. They were armed with their special .27 caliber rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. They carried food for 10 days and what had been called the best camouflage equipment in the world.

They were able to camouflage themselves so perfectly that when they climbed into a tree, an observer could go to the foot of the tree, gaze closely at it and still not see them.

Fifth column big

But perhaps the most efficiently functioning element of the Jap offense was their fifth column, which the Americans on the Philippines called the best in the world. Its core consisted of two anti-American organizations which, though small in comparison to the vast majority of Filipinos loyal to the United States, were able to be all over the islands and signal the Japs every significant military secret of our men.

Both did murderous service against our troops. Every American position was outlined at night by red fire, discharged from small Very pistols by Jap agents who crawled into the lines. Even Corregidor, the great rock fortress in Manila Bay, had so many fifth columnists on it that every move of the garrison was signaled.

When all these elements are added to the fact that the Japs at one time landed 80 transports in Lingayen Gulf and must have had 200,000 or 300,000 men against our 100,000, it will be seen that the American Army did very well indeed to hold for five months. Our inferiority in numbers was matched by inferiority of the equipment of the Philippine Army manned by native Filipinos and organized by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1936.

We had a total of about 100,000 soldiers in the field, but of these, there was only one American regiment, the famous 31st Infantry, with 1,900 men.

Poorly equipped

Some observers regarded the Philippine Scouts, in the 57th Regiment commanded by Col. George S. Clark, and the 45th, commanded by Colonel John M. Doyle, as the most useful units. The Scouts were all Filipinos, lifetime professional soldiers, commanded by regular U.S. Army officers. But 88,000 of the 100,000 of the Army in Luzon were members of the Philippine Army with only a few months training, and with what has been described as utterly inadequate equipment. Many of them were without shoes, steel helmets, gas masks or entrenching tools.

But the little Filipinos were brave as lions. A classic instance was when Capt. Pennell reported to his commanding officer after an advance:

Casualties in the first 10 minutes 42%; casualties in the next 10 minutes 20%; total casualties 62%; unless I get help I must fall back to the reserve line.

Against this force, the Japs hurled the flower of their army, shock troops trained by four years of battle in China and the capture of Malaya. On March 22, they dropped messages to the Americans saying in effect:

Now you have defended yourselves honorably, surrender and we will treat you well; but if you do not do so, we shall bombard you for 11 days and nights and exterminate you.

They got the proper retort and on March 24, over an area 20 miles by 12 miles, they started their most intensive bombardment and artillery attack of the war and continued it for 15 days until April 9, when the starved, battered Americans, unable to keep on their feet, collapsed.

Eats horses

The Japs had unlimited supplies of food. The Americans were blockaded and save for one shipload of supplies, which crept into Cebu, they received nothing from the outside.

This was the deciding factor.

At the end of the five-month struggle, Gen. Wainwright had a list of 400 officers who were no longer fit for service.

The average loss of weight was about 25%. Men of 200 pounds wasted to 150. At the end, they had eaten all but 40 horses of the 26th Cavalry, a few mules and some water buffalo. Besides mule, horse and buffalo meat, they had toward the end absolutely nothing but rice. They had no salt or other condiments, and unsalted rice and mule meat is said to be so unpalatable that even a starving stomach rejects it.

And besides their own men, the Army had to feed 12,000 civilians in Bataan.

Throughout it all, what sustained them was their unshakable conviction that reinforcements and supplies were on their way from the United States.

Jap losses high

Perhaps they did not understand the facts of the war in the Pacific, but the fact of their faith in the United States is something that will go down in our history as heroic.

They inflicted tremendous losses on the enemy. Some company commanders estimated the Japs lost from 50 to 300 dead for one American. One officer could see from his observation post literally heaps of Jap dead, in front of his lines, “like flies.” When the Japs stormed the Abucay Line, they must have lost three or four divisions in that sector alone. 30-40,000 dead Japs is an estimate made by many who ought to know.

But why did Corregidor fall? Was it not considered impregnable?

The answer of those who know because they were there is that nothing is impregnable. Bataan fell because starving men were too weak to stand on their feet, and the Japs simply flowed over them like a cascade.

After Bataan fell, the defense of Corregidor became impossible because the Japs could pound it point-blank from only 2½ miles away. By incessant firing at the tunnels, they could seal them as effectively as though they had been blocked by a landslide.

Added to that was the fact, certainly not realized by the lay public at home, that the main guns of Corregidor were trained only toward the sea and could not fire at Bataan.

Hero Wainwright

Out of the whole picture of the last days of the disaster emerges a man whom his soldiers adored.

Lt. Gen. Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, assigned the heartbreaking duty of defending a lost cause, was the inspiration of those final hours. His nickname was “Skinny” to begin with, but after months of starvation, he had become stooped, thinner than ever, and when last seen on Corregidor, he was like a ghost.

As he walked around the island supervising, encouraging the defenders of the forlorn hope, he had to use a cane and dragged his right leg. Despite that, on April 4, 6 and 7 or until two days before the fall of Bataan under the torrent of Japanese, Gen. Wainwright was on Bataan organizing the defense, cheering the troops.

It was of no avail, for on April 7, he had to admit that if his men could not walk 50 feet to take up their positions from which they were to jump off to the attack, there was not much use in pretending to oneself any longer.

He had to do what he had foreseen when he wrote in his diary:

If the capitulation of Corregidor finally becomes necessary, I will surrender with my troops unless I am ordered to leave them by the President of the United States. I would consider it the height of dishonor to do otherwise.

U.S. envoys ‘missed boat’ in Balkans

By George Weller

Somewhere in Australia –
America is at war with Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary because these powers have declared war upon her.

What is most significant is that these nations were not coerced by Germany and Italy to fight America. The Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Pact specifically provides that each signatory power must give military aid to any other signatory power that is attacked by a country not involved in the European war.

As the United States did not attack Japan, but was attacked by Japan, Hungary and Romania and Bulgaria were not obliged under the Axis pact to enter the war against the United States.

Then what happened that these three states should decide to line up in the Axis camp against America? Bulgaria particularly had always been friendly to Washington. Her ties to the United States were almost as close as those of Greece.

The truth is that American diplomatic policy in the Balkans, like that of the British, lacked dash, force, imagination and money. Liaisons with underground anti-German forces in all the Balkan states were timid and stingy; not bold, aggressive and generous.

One Balkan party leader asked me upon the eve of going underground himself:

What is wrong with your country? Germany and Italy send us vigorous young diplomats who wade into our affairs with both hands and take the aggressive on all points. Whenever our fascists need help, they are standing right there at their shoulder.

Their staffs are three times the size of yours, their plenipotentiaries are half as old and their budgets five times bigger. If you spent 1000th on employing aggressive brains for your diplomacy of what you spend on airplanes and navies, you would get much farther.

You must have some aggressive, intelligent young diplomats somewhere. Why don’t you give them money, turn them loose and let them use their own initiative and give these fascists some competition? You cannot defeat trained athletes wearing brass knuckles with pork barrel appointees wearing boxing gloves – whether your boxers are aristocrats or petty politicians.

Now that it is too late to accept the stinging plea of this liberal Balkan leader, some of the missed political chances are beginning to emerge. From two quarters in Europe comes news that Hungary and Bulgaria have concluded a secret pact against Romania.

Germany worked her way through the Balkans by trading fragments of territory among the satellites. Although the job was done with cleverness, resentments at the carryings-on by the Nazi Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano were deep and are getting deeper. Clashes upon the Hungarian-Romanian border are frequent.

By imaginative diplomacy, back with plenty of money, the United States might have exploited these differences and brought them into the open much sooner and poured oil on the already-smoldering fires of anti-Nazism besides hitting internal fascism.

Advertise now, speaker urges

Alcoa official asks buildup for post-war goods

New York –
Manufacturers can do a real job in wartime by advertising the articles they are preparing to make when peace comes, and urging the people to save for these articles by buying war bonds, C. C. Carr, advertising director of the Aluminum Company of America, declared in a speech here yesterday.

Addressing a luncheon meeting connected with the annual convention of the Advertising Federation of America, the Pittsburgh executive said:

I do not question the patriotism of the American people, but I know that, human nature being what it is, a little selfish motive added as a pinch of salt makes it all the easier for people to strain themselves even to a point of temporary sacrifice.

Hence, I feel that one of advertising’s big jobs is to intelligently get at the task of building up savings in the middle and lower income groups so that they will have money with which to buy after the war is over.

Pittsburghers attending the convention include:

  • Alda B. Haslop, advertising manager of Boggs & Buhl;
  • Betty Hoyer, advertising manager of Boyds, Inc.;
  • Jesse H. Lide, assistant general advertising manager of Westinghouse Electric;
  • W. H. Merrifield, advertising writer, West Penn Power Co.;
  • Mary M. Morrissey, officer manager, Atlas Engraving Co.

U.S. Army Department (June 25, 1942)

Army Communiqué No. 229

European Theater.
The War Department today announced the formal establishment of a European Theater of Operations for United States forces. Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of Operations Division, War Department General Staff, has been designated as Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, with headquarters in London, England.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

U.S. Navy Department (June 25, 1942)

Navy Communiqué No. 91

Atlantic Area.
Two small anti-submarine patrol craft have been lost off the Atlantic Coast during the current month as the result of enemy submarine attacks.

The USS Gannet, a seagoing tug, used to service patrol planes, was torpedoed and sunk. Sixteen members of the crew were lost.

The YP-389, a small fishing craft, which had been taken over by the Navy and armed for anti-submarine patrol duty, was sunk by gunfire. Four members of the crew were lost.

The next of kin of all casualties have been notified.

White House statement announcing war production figures
June 25, 1942

We ordinarily do not release production figures because they might give aid and comfort to the enemy. I am going to give today just a few which are definitely going to give the Axis just the opposite of “aid and comfort.”

We are well on our way toward achieving the rate of production which will bring us to our goals.

In May, we produced nearly 4,000 planes and over 1,500 tanks. We also produced nearly 2,000 artillery and anti-tank guns. This is exclusive of anti-aircraft guns and guns to be mounted in tanks.

And here is a figure which the Axis will not be very happy to hear – in that one month alone we produced over 50,000 machine guns of all types – including infantry, aircraft, and anti-aircraft. That does not include submachine guns. If we add those in, the total is well over 100,000. All these figures are only for one single month.

While these figures give you some idea of our production accomplishments, this is no time for the American people to get overconfident. We can’t rest on our oars. We need more and more, and we will make more and more. And we must also remember that there are plenty of serious production problems ahead – particularly some serious shortages in raw materials, which are receiving the closest consideration of the government and industry.