America at war! (1941– ) (Part 1)

Jap bases hit in New Guinea

MacArthur’s plane blast enemy at Lae
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Japs bomb U.S. base in Burma

Ferry Command’s route to China attacked
By Darrell Berrigan, United Press staff writer

Editor resigns Navy to be Marine private

Editorial: Too many rumors

Senator Willis of Indiana, in a public speech, said the U.S. Navy is “almost out of commission in the Pacific,” and, like Wendell Willkie and others, attacked the government’s secrecy policy.

For a Senator to make such sweeping statements about the condition of the Pacific Fleet is regrettable and harmful. Unfortunately, many in Congress and many more citizens are whispering what Senator Willis shouted, and more.

Some of this sort of thing is inevitable in war, when a necessary censorship to keep military information from the enemy causes a certain amount of uneasy gossip at home. So, the War and Navy Departments, charged with this disagreeable duty, deserve the sympathetic support of the public.

But every policy must be judged by its results and, after every allowance has been made for the difficulty of making decisions on publication of losses, the net result is very bad. Bu withholding news of ship losses from five to 10 weeks – and by still suppressing Pearl Harbor and Manila plane losses after nearly a year – the government is making the public a sucker for natural fears and unchecked exaggeration, not to mention enemy propaganda.

All this has been pointed out repeatedly by the press and by close advisers of the President, who have tried in vain to get a more intelligently effective information policy. The British government has proved that this is possible.

We do not believe the Willis statement, and we hope the public will not believe it, though naval losses doubtless have been heavier than yet announced. But there is something more important than naval losses, however large. That is loss of public confidence.

The government must find some way, quickly, to kill panicky rumors with facts. Americans are fair enough and strong enough to take in stride the increasingly heavy losses in offensive war, if their government will tell them the truth.

Editorial: ‘Getting’ Henderson


Ferguson: War aims

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Now that the Army is reaching into the classrooms after teenage boys, it’s time for our political and military leaders to give us a frank statement of war aims. I’m dead sure the mothers of this country will soon be demanding it.

Not many women really believed they would have to say goodbye to their 18-year-old sons. It was one of those impossible things that just “couldn’t happen here.”

Judging by my mail, mothers are taking it hard. And we can imagine that those making no protest, and who concur in belief that lowering the draft age is a military necessity, are just as anxious to know exactly what the Allied objectives are.

To say we are fighting on 32 fronts and seven oceans in order to wipe the Japs and Germans off the face of the earth is a big statement, but it lacks explicitness. To say we are fighting for the ideals set forth in the Atlantic Charter sounds better, but unfortunately the Atlantic Charter had too little to say about the people of the Pacific area.

We want something clear and definite. Is this going to end up in what Henry Luce calls “the American Century,” with our own country holding the whiplash of economic power over weaker nations? Are we fighting to give China back to the Chinese and India to the Indians? Will we be through when we have destroyed Hitler and Hirohito, or must we go on eliminating dictatorships forevermore? Will the American people be expected to maintain freedom throughout the world and also rebuild and feed a mangled Europe?

These are a few of the questions mothers would like to have answered. We do not expect to be informed about military moves, but since we, the people, are making the sacrifices demanded of us, it is the duty of our leaders to outline precisely, and in clear English, their war and peace aims.

Woman writer is called stooge for Dr. Goebbels

Fancy names are exchanged as Mrs. Dilling denies guilt

Vast shift reported in civilian population

Knox prepared for long war

Navy called better than on Dec. 7

Veteran gob puts punch in film gab

Studio actors and workers absorb his Navy slang and now talk it
By Ernest Foster

Chinese fliers raid biggest Jap air base

Chungking, China (UP) –
Chinese bombers, operating with a fighter escort from an undisclosed base, successfully raided the biggest Jap air base in North China yesterday, the Chinese Central News Agency reported today.

The big planes dropped tons of explosives on the airfield at Yuncheng, southern Shansi Province, scoring hits on the runways, hangars and grounded planes.

The fighter planes machine-gunned the field, flying so low they could distinguish dummy airplanes set out by the Japs as decoys.

The agency said Jap bombers from Burma and Indochina raided Paoshan, Salween and Mengtsz, in Southern Yunnan Province, yesterday. American planes intercepted the enemy at Mengtsz and shot down two of 10 planes.

‘Big shot’ war workers called worst drivers

Chicago, Illinois –
Traffic engineers told the National Safety Congress today that war workers with a “big shot” complex have become the nation’s worst traffic law violators.

Safety authorities at the Congress’ 31st annual meeting said some war workers believe their employment in essential industry makes them immune to arrest for speeding and recklessness.

Harold Anderson, Kansas City police chief, said that doubled and tripled wages have inflated the ego of many war workers and made them dangerous drivers.

Clapper: Willkie broadcast

By Raymond Clapper

Bomber-transport crash probe begins

Los Angeles, California (UP) –
A Congressional committee opens an investigation today into the crash of an American Airlines plane, in which 12 persons died after a collision with an Army bomber near Palm Springs last Friday.

A coroner’s jury at Palm Springs deliberated only 20 minutes yesterday before concluding officially that the transport crashed after:

…having been struck by a U.S. Army plane.

Civilian authorities planned no action against Lt. H. N. Wilson, pilot of the bomber, and Sgt. R. R. Leight, co-pilot. Army authorities refused to discuss the case, although both Lt. Wilson and Sgt. Leight were under military arrest pending an investigation.

Lt. Wilson told the coroner’s jury his plane:

…came into contact with the transport.

The Douglas transport crashed near the airport and burned, killing nine passengers, including songwriter Ralph Rainger, and the three crew members.

Millett: Selectee’s basic training may be started at home

If you have son under 16 there are two valuable years in which to prepare him for Army life
By Ruth Millett

Down in front!
Britain seen by First Lady through a hat

Ring of officialdom obscures the view of plain people
By Hilde Marchant, written for the United Press

Hilde Marchant is one of Britain’s best-known newspaperwomen. A writer for the London Daily Mirror, she distinguished herself in covering the Spanish Civil War and the Russo-Finnish War.

London, England –
Gold braid and brass hats are thwarting Eleanor Roosevelt in her attempt to see the British people at war.

She is surrounded by government officials, Ministry of Information watchdogs and members of the American Embassy. She has been kept definitely under wraps.

She has seen the British people – at 10-foot range.

The obvious answer

When she went to see the Auxiliary Transport Service in camp, she asked them if they were comfortable and if they enjoyed army life. With the commanding officer of the camp at her elbow and red-tabbed staff officers standing by, what could they answer but yes?

She visited yesterday that most active service, Civil Defense. With her went Herbert Morrison, Minister for Home Security, and Ellen Wilkinson, his assistant.

She saw the Air Transport Auxiliary with the organization’s head who made a speech of welcome from the dais.

Band plays on

Let’s consider yesterday more closely.

Eleanor Roosevelt saw the little people of London who saved their own city – the typists, shop girls, clerks and plumbers of civil defense. But she did not have time to talk with them. The band was playing and she was watching the brilliantly efficient full-dress exercises they were putting on.

She saw rescue squads reconstruct with dummies smeared with red paint those scenes of blood and death they knew in the Blitz. But there was not time to talk with them, except in the stereotyped phrases of greeting and good wishes.

Wants to be at home

I talked with those people later – a man who had earned the George Medal for tossing a delayed action bomb from a bridge, a girl clerk who had motorcycled through a wall of flame to show Mrs. Roosevelt how she carried dispatches in the Blitz days, a rescue squad leader who had saved the lives of 20 trapped persons.

I know she wants to hear their stories. At her first press conference, she told hoe she wanted to break loose and go among them unofficially. I believe she would like to meet them like she has met the people of the United States.

She sees too much

But so far, her schedule has been planned minute by minute every hour of the day. She has had to march through, seeing people but not knowing them, talking to them., but never getting beyond the first formal phrases.

I doubt that she is enjoying herself. She looks worn and tired. Her little formal speeches, even her attempts to converse with individuals, have become stereotyped repetitions. She seems numb and anaesthetized by the arduous program which officialdom has rushed her through. She has seen so much, heard so much and met so many people in so short a time that I know impressions must be whirling through her brain.

Brass hats not needed

She enjoyed herself, this lively, energetic, gay woman, when she met U.S. privates in the Washington Club because they were unabashed and could talk her language, and did.

But there is the same spontaneity, the same welcome in the British people, if they were given a chance to meet her beyond the shroud of officialdom. She is good enough; we are good enough, and we have nothing to hide.

No official permits and no entourages of brass hats are needed to talk to the British people.

Draft makes sharp inroads in war plants

Poll shows third of arms workers will be women by end of ‘43

McKeesport Marine kills 4 Japs at Tulagi

Corporal wounded, but he is eager to return to service

Völkischer Beobachter (October 29, 1942)

Bestürzung in USA. über die Salomonen-Katastrophe –
Knox: Schwerste Belastungsprobe seit je

vb. Wien, 28. Oktober –
Obwohl Roosevelt und sein Marineminister Knox sich über die Niederlage ihrer Pazifikflotte im Raum der Santa-Cruz-Inseln möglichst ausweichend geäußert haben, ist die Bestürzung in den USA. über diesen Schlag, der nach den Aufschneidereien der letzten Wochen sehr unerwartet kann, stark und nachhaltig. Als die Amerikaner vor zwei Monaten sich auf einigen Inseln des Salomonarchipels festsetzten, hatte man dies als einen durchschlagender Erfolg hingestellt, der den kürzesten Seeweg nach dem bedrohten Neuguinea und Nordaustralien freigemacht haben sollte. Die japanischer Flotte sollte auch nach offiziellen Darstellungen die Partie völlig verloren haben und in die Defensive gedrängt worden sein. Noch am Marinetag hatte Knox schwadroniert, die Amerikaner würden ihre Gegner von den Meeren hinwegfegen. Jetzt muß man erkennen, daß die USA.-Flotte einen schweren Rückschlag erlitten hat und daß damit die amerikanischen Landungstruppen auf den Salomoninseln aufs äußerste gefährdet sind.

Auf der Pressekonferenz in Washington wurde zunächst Roosevelt befragt, was er über die Kämpfe zu sagen wisse. Er erklärte aber, die Schlacht sei noch in vollem Gange, über den Ausgang bestehe noch keine Klarheit.und im übrigen habe Knox schon alles mitgeteilt, was sich im Augenblick melden lasse. Knox, der Japan einst in 90 Tagen vernichten wollte, hatte zugegeben, die Japaner seien bei den Salomoninseln „ziemlich stark“ und es sei nach Lage der Dinge mit Verlusten zu rechnen. Er fügte hinzu:

Ich kann keine Ergebnisse prophezeien find will es auch nicht tun, doch möchte ich keineswegs von einer Niederlage sprechen. Im großen und ganzen ist die Lage praktisch unverändert. Wir sind in einen heftigen und hartnäckigen Kampf verwickelt. In gewisser Hinsicht ist dieser Tag die schwerste Belastungsprobe, die die USA.-Marine je in ihrer Geschichte erlebt hat.

Auf eine weitere Frage erwiderte er:

Es ist ein verdammt harter Kampf. Er hält noch an, doch leisten unsere Leute ihr Bestes. Die Japaner sind sehr stark.

Ein Pressevertreter, der diese gewundene Erklärung richtig auszudeuten verstand, zog daraus den Schluß:

Dies ist die schwärzeste Feier des Marinetages in der Geschichte.

Knox versuchte dann auf einem Festessen aus Anlaß des Marinetages den Eindruck seiner Erklärungen etwas abzuschwächen, indem er sich in der üblichen Zukunftsmusik erging. Er kam dabei aber nicht um die Feststellung herum, daß die bisherige Strategie der USA.-Kriegführung alles zu wünschen übrig gelassen hat:

Es sind Fehler vorgekommen, aber es ist ein Wunder, daß es nicht noch mehr waren. Jetzt, wo das erste Jahr unseres Schicksalkampfes zu Ende geht, kommen wir zu der Erkenntnis, daß die strategischen und militärischen Operationen eine Angelegenheit der Sachverständigen ist.

Das ist eine sehr späte Erkenntnis. Knox nahm damit wohl Stellung gegen Willkie, der, wie berichtet, wieder nach der zweiten Front verlangte, während Amerika sich noch nicht einmal auf seiner einzigen Front im Pazifik zu halten vermag.

Es geht um Australien

Die amerikanische Presse wird sich allerdings bei Betrachtung dieser früheren Niederlage nicht länger aufhalten, da ihr ja die Japaner inzwischen mit den letzten Schlägen genügend neuen Stoff verschafft haben. Nachdem die Marineleitung verspätet den Verlust des Flugzeugträgers Wasp bestätigt und die Versenkung eines Zerstörers und Beschädigungen eines Flugzeugträgers gemeldet hatte, hat sie jetzt auch den Verlust eines Kreuzers zugegeben. Admiral Richard Edvards erklärte vor der Presse, niemand wisse heute, ob man die Salomoninseln noch halten könne, denn die USA.-Marine sei in diesen Gewässern stark unterlegen. Die amerikanische Agentur United Press bereitet „auf schwere Verluste“ vor und meint, das Ergebnis der Schlacht werde:

…möglicherweise einen entscheidenden Einfluß auf die lebenswichtigen Seeverbindungen haben, auf denen der Nachschub von Australien nach Hawai geschafft würde.

Auch der Ausgang der Landkämpfe auf den Salomoninseln hänge vom Ausgang dieser Seeschlacht ab. Daß die Kämpfe auf Guadalcanar einen ungünstigen Verlauf nehmen, wagt man nicht mehr zu verhehlen. Es sei den Japanern gelungen, weitere starke Kräfte zu landen und bis zu dem wichtigen Flugplatz durchzustoßen.

In Japan wird der Sieg über die USA.-Flotte mit großem Jubel begrüßt. „Die Hauptmacht der USA.-Seestreitkräfte ist vernichtet“, so schreibt Yomiuri Hotschi, Tokio Schimbun betont, dieser Sieg finde in der ganzen Geschichte nicht seinesgleichen und dadurch sei die Überlegenheit der japanischen Flotte ein für allemal gesichert.

Der Flottenkommentator Kenitschi Nakanya erklärte, die Niederlage sei „ein passendes Geschenk für den USA.-Marinetag gewesen“. Die amerikanische Seekriegsleitung habe bei den Salomonen alle vorhandenen Kräfte zusammengefaßt, um zum Marinetag endlich einmal einen durchschlagenden Erfolg auftischen zu können, aber sie habe ihre Flotte nur in eine Falle getrieben. Amerikas größtes Schlachtschiff vom Typ der South Dakota habe den Reigen von vier Flugzeugträgern, einem weiteren großen Kriegsschiff und mehr als 200 Flugzeugen geradewegs in des Teufels Küche angeführt. Der Triumphmarsch, den die USA.-Marine zum Flottentag spielen wollte, ist so zu einem richtigen Pazifiktrauermarsch geworden.