America at war! (1941– ) (Part 1)

The news is referring to the heaviest in the U.S.

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U.S. Navy Department (December 2, 1942)

Communiqué No. 208

South Pacific.
On December 1, Army and Marine Corps troops on Guadalcanal Island engaged in extensive patrols along the outskirts of our positions.

  1. An Army patrol killed 11 Japanese and captured a 70-mm gun.

  2. A Marine Corps patrol killed 25 Japanese and captured one 75-mm and one 30-mm gun along the upper Lunga River.

  3. Another Marine patrol killed 15 Japanese and captured 6 machine guns.

  4. Army planes carried out four attacks on enemy positions.

The Pittsburgh Press (December 2, 1942)

Forces split up by Allied drive; air battle rages

Nazis isolated at Bizerte and Tunis, communication line to Libya severed
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer

Land patrols kill 51 –
U.S. subs blast 7 Jap vessels

Five, including destroyer, sunk in Pacific

Death plea rejected –
Traitor gets 45-year term

Aide of saboteurs is also fined $10,000

60-mile gale hits Rhode Island area

Providence, Rhode Island (UP) –
Scores of families were evacuated by police and firemen at Warwick, Rhode Island, early today when a 60-mile gale caused the highest tide since the disastrous hurricane of 1938.

Narragansett Bay and Providence River communities all the way from Newport to this city reported near flood conditions.

Wind ranging from 40 to 60 miles an hour was accompanies by torrential rain and by lightning which felled several chimneys.

No casualties were reported.

Wider oil authority assigned to Ickes

Tom Girdler to wed a secretary today

New York (UP) –
Tom M. Girdler, board chairman and former president of the Republic Steel Corporation, will marry Miss Helen R. Brennan, a secretary, today.

It will be the fourth marriage for Mr. Girdler. Last Saturday, his marriage to Lillian C. Snowden was terminated by a Reno divorce. They had been married since April 1924, and have four children.

Meat to be first item –
OPA adopts point system for future food rationing

By Joseph W. Grigg Jr., United Press staff writer

Army pilots dive 725 miles an hour

Farmingdale, New York (UP) –
Two Army pilots attained a speed of 725 miles an hour – 12 miles a minute – in dives in Republic P-47 Thunderbolts at an East Coast air base Nov. 15, it was learned today.

The pilots were Lt. Harold Comstock, 22, of Fresno, California, and Lt. Roger Dyer, 22, of Lowell, Ohio.

The pilots started their dives at 35,000 feet and pulled out to level flight at about 25,000 feet.

The pressure was so great when they pulled out that they could not move the sticks and used the crank which controls the elevator trim tabs.

My favorite person

By Florence Fisher Parry

OPA asks motorists to cool tempers

To launch carrier

Camden, New Jersey –
The aircraft carrier Belleau Wood, named in tribute to the Marine Corps’ exploits in World War I, will be launched Sunday at the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. It will be the third carrier launched at the yard in 15 weeks.

Strike cancels union security

Chemical workers punished by WLB

Sinking of tugboat claims lives of 14

Roosevelt prepares December broadcast

Grand jury begins inquiry of Boston nightclub fire

Toll set at 490, with 30 more suffering pneumonia; alcoholic fumes may have caused blast, theorizers on holocaust suggest

Boston, Massachusetts (UP) –
A Suffolk County grand jury convened today to hear testimony and possibly hand down manslaughter or criminal negligence indictments resulting from the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub holocaust in which at least 490 persons lost their lives.

As a statewide investigation of the disaster continued, the Boston Public Safety Committee announced the corrected death figures after a thorough check. The committee said that 174 of those injured Saturday night were still hospitalized.

Other new developments:

  1. A survey indicated that Boston’s nightclub “blackout” was costing owners about $125,000 per night, and that some 5,000 entertainers, waiters, and other employees were out of work.

  2. An announcement by the Boston Licensing Board that all first-class hotels in the city would be inspected and that any cocktail rooms or lounges found unsafe would be closed.

  3. A hint that the grand jury investigation might be broadened to determine the actual ownership of all Boston nightspots.

  4. Revival of the theory that a short circuit may have started the fire. Attorney General Robert T. Bushnell received information that wiring in the Cocoanut Grove’s main dining room between the actual and false ceilings was done by a young shipyard worker in his spare time.

Theodore Eldracher, a city building inspector, told Fire Commissioner William A. Reilly’s board of inquiry that alterations were still going on at the time fire swept the Cocoanut Grove. The alterations were begun Sept. 25 in the new cocktail lounge.

Fire door uncovered

He said:

There was a door at the end of the passage leading into the main dining room. It was going to be a fire door eventually, but there was no metal covering on it at the time.

Morrill Guerin, a Brookline waiter, testified he was in the downstairs kitchen when a couple of waiters burst in from the Melody Lounge looking for fire extinguishers.

He said:

I showed them where the extinguishers were and then I went up to the main dining room where people were running around screaming. There was such a crowd there that I hurried downstairs and escaped through the back service entrance.

Andrew Louzan, 17-year-old tap dancer, said he was in one of the dressing rooms when the fire started. When he saw the crowd milling around, he returned to warn 12 girl entertainers and then climbed through a window to a roof and escaped down a ladder.

Inspection clause cited

Mr. Bushnell earlier indicated that at least some of his contemplated prosecutions would be under Chapter 143, Section 36, of the Massachusetts General Laws which specifies that all official inspections of:

…theaters and special or public halls shall cover all details relating to the condition of the building as regards the safety of life and property.

The Cocoanut Grove was both a theater and a public hall for the purpose of the law, he said, though Boston municipal ordinances specify that theaters are places where admissions are charged, which is said to have permitted nightclubs like the Cocoanut Grove to get by with much less in the way of fire prevention than theaters.

Night life dampened

The Boston Licensing Board suspended the victualers’ licenses of all nightclubs and restaurants offering entertainment, 52 in all, pending a thorough inspection of their premises and decorations. They’ll probably remain closed several days with the resultant damper on night life.

Those closed included the Mayfair and Club 43, neighbors of the Cocoanut Grove, and the Latin Quarter, Beachcomber and Village Barn.

The board had first suspended the entertainment licenses of 682 restaurants, including the nightclubs, 293 taverns, and 35 hotels after Governor Leverett Saltonstall had warned that it would incur a grave responsibility if there was another tragedy in a public place comparable with that of the Cocoanut Grove.

Lid clamped at 9 p.m.

Then, at 9 p.m., it went further by suspending the victualling licenses of the nightclubs and specific restaurants, thereby closing them all together.

Fifty-two members of the armed services, including two WAVES, were lost, a survey showed today. The injured included 36 other soldiers, sailors and Marines.

Army men killed numbered 17. The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard lost 35 men.

Names of additional dead were announced last night. They were:

  • Ens. Edward Maher, USNR, no address;
  • Lt. Ward M. Palmer, USNR, no address;
  • Ethel Powell, 35 West 65th St., New York;
  • Francis X. Gale, Dorchester;
  • Mary Zenkin, 38, of Boston.

U.S., Canada agree on post-war policy

Heavily-armed AEF lands in New Zealand

When will war end? Roosevelt won’t say