America at war! (1941--) -- Part 2

News releases banned from Finnish Center

Washington (UP) –
The United States has ordered the Finnish Information Center in New York to cease issuance of news releases and Finland has ordered the U.S. Legation at Helsinki to stop sending out bulletins prepared by the Office of War Information, it was learned today.

The development, apparently reflecting tension in the relations between the two countries, followed recent publication of reports in this country of a party at the Japanese Legation in Helsinki on Dec. 7, anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, attended by Prime Minister J. W. Rangell and other Finnish government officials.

Aides of Giraud hold parleys at White House

Conference with President arranged as French unity is sought

‘Hi ho, silver’ patrol terrifies Italians; 15 die, 21 quit

By Donald Coe, United Press staff writer

Editorial: FDR, Byrd and economy

Editorial: Emmons and Oahu


Ferguson: Women in Congress

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Clare Boothe Luce, newly-elected Congresswoman from Connecticut, is invariably described as beautiful, talented, witty and wealthy. The fact that she’s married to the notable publisher, Henry Luce, doesn’t exactly detract from her prestige.

Whenever Mrs. Luce appears, verbal skyrockets ascend. She’s that paradoxical event, a glamorous dynamo and she has already proved she can recognize and swat all the 57 varieties of social and political bunk that the frauds employ. Probably she’ll get into the hair of many a staid male House member who deals in platitudes, which is OK with us.

Six other women will be present when the new Congress opens in January. They’ll be on the spot for two reasons – because they are women, and because they constitute a Republican petticoat majority. Mrs. Mary Norton of New Jersey is the only democratic holdover.

This fact doesn’t mean much to the average woman voter. As a rule, we are not partisan. Except for a few in the Deep South, American women are uninhibited by family political tradition. But it does matter to us that our sex is in a position to prove the equality of the feminine mind in affairs of government and that we shall be able to inject some feminine thinking into national and international issues.

It isn’t too early to impress upon these women that they represent something more important than their constituents. They represent womanhood in a new job. Therefore, in creating government policies, their outlook should be fresh and their approach bold.

They are quite literally making history, and upon their conduct and wisdom much of the future destiny of women in politics may depend. For them, and for us, their election is an opportunity and a test.

Victory loan drive is oversubscribed


Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Oran, Algeria – (by wireless)
Yesterday, I survived a tour of 150 miles in a jeep.

After 150 miles in a jeep, it takes you 24 hours to stop vibrating. At the hospitals, they tell me they’ve had soldiers down in bed after riding all day in a jeep. So, I feel pretty tough and proud of myself.

We made a grand tour of American camps. I went along with a couple of security officers whose job it is to set up and supervise security detachments in each camp. By security is meant keeping silent about military secrets, and watching for snakes in the grass such as Axis sympathizers and agents.

The security officers have a terrible job because they say Americans simply aren’t security-minded – we won’t keep our mouths shut, and we insist on trusting everybody. They say the French practice better security in peacetime than we do in wartime.

We stopped at the first airport and I ran into some of my fighter-pilot friends that I wrote about from Northern Ireland.

One of them had an arm in a cast. I immediately visualized a good thriller column, but it turned out he had merely fallen off the wing of his plane and broken his arm, the unromantic cur.

Then we stopped at an anti-aircraft gun set in a hole in the ground, and talked to Sgt. John Muir of Chicago. He said that if those Spitfires flying about 2,000 feet overhead were enemy planes, they would be dead ducks.

Helmet serves as foot bath

Afterwards we hit a big tent hospital, just being set up. There I ran onto Lt. Dick Alter and Nurse Katie Bastadiho, both of New York, who came down on the same boat with us. They’re all crazy about living out under canvas. Katie says she has been washing her feet in her steel helmet and it turns out her feet are bigger than her head.

We made quick stops at a supply depot full of railroad rails and at an engineering company that is building some roads. Finally, we would sit up at Sidi Bel Abbès, home of the famous Foreign Legion. Somehow or other, we got acquainted with a Maj. Fuzeau of the Foreign Legion and sat with him for an hour at a sidewalk café though the major spoke no English and we no French, at least hardly any.

We spent the first 15 minutes asking the major such primary questions as how old he was, whether he was married, how long he had been in the Legion, and what his native city was. That exhausted our vocabulary, so we spent the next 45 minutes complimenting each other for our hospitality, extending hands across the sea, touching our hearts, and recalling wonderful Franco-American incidents of the last war.

The reason I knew we were doing this is that the major kept saying, “quatorze-dix-huit,” which I happen to know means “fourteen-eighteen,” and those of course were the war years. We just assumed from his gestures that he was telling us brother-love incidents.

Frenchmen learn our tanks

On the way back, we put in at a place where American tank crews are teaching Frenchmen to run our tanks. They are camped way out on a sloping hillside, on ground covered with sagebrush exactly like hillsides in the American West. The tank boys work from daylight to dark when they’re on the move. They work all night, too, for the ground crews haven’t arrived and they have to do their own repairing.

They are really roughing it. It’s cold out there at night, and they sit around bonfires before going to bed in their little tents.

They were the first troops into Oran, but they’re never been back to the city since. For some reason, they aren’t allowed to go there on leave. Even their officers think it’s ironic that they captured the city and now can’t go into it.

It was long after dark when I left the tank boys. Fortunately, there is no blackout here and you can drive with headlights on. Even so, we almost spilled ourselves a couple of times shying around Arabs who looked up suddenly with immense bundles of sticks on their backs.

We lurched back to Oran at 50 miles an hour, deeply windburned and feeling exactly like men who had seen practically all there was to see. Yet we hadn’t seen the tiniest fraction of what we have actually got around here.

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Pegler: New ideas for Congress

By Westbrook Pegler

Clapper: Winning the peace

By Raymond Clapper

Our ‘poorhouse in the Caribbean’ –
Puerto Rico is rich in sugar but million persons are starving now!

Unbalanced economy, with dependence on one crop, means misery and squalor for half of population of vital U.S. island
By S. Burton Heath, special to the Pittsburgh Press


Authorizing the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department to use block mica acqu"ired pursuant to the Act of June 7, 1939

Whereas the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department has acquired by purchase pursuant to the provisions of the Act of June 7, 1939, 53 Stat. 811, stocks of block mica suitable for the manufacture of military products required for the successful prosecution of the war; and

Whereas the Chairman of the War Production Board has reported to me that a shortage of block mica for use in the manufacture of military products required for the successful prosecution of the war is imminent;

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States by Section 4 of the said Act of June 7, 1939, it is ordered as follows:

The Procurement Division of the Treasury Department is hereby authorized and directed to make use of the stocks of such block mica which it had in stock on November 30, 1942, by transferring such stocks to the Metals Reserve Company, a corporation organized under section 5(d) of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, as amended, upon such terms of sale as may be mutually agreeable to the Procurement Division and the Metals Reserve Company; and the Metals Reserve Company is hereby authorized and directed to use and dispose of such mica, by sale or otherwise, as the Chairman of the War Production Board shall direct.

The White House
December 29, 1942

U.S. Navy Department (December 30, 1942)

Communiqué No. 233

South Pacific.
On December 27:

  1. Army and Marine Corps troops on Guadalcanal Island killed 114 Japanese in patrol skirmishes with the enemy. U.S. casualties during these encounters were 2 killed.

  2. U.S. Marines, in an exchange of artillery and mortar fire destroyed an enemy mortar, a machine gun position, and killed between 30 and 40 Japanese. The Marines later ambushed and killed 11 more of the enemy. Marine casualties were 2 killed and 1 wounded.

On December 29, U.S. planes made two attacks on enemy cargo vessels in Wickham Anchorage on the southeast coast of Vangunu Island in the New Georgia group of the Solomons. Bombing and strafing resulted in the sinking of two of the enemy vessels.

The Pittsburgh Press (December 30, 1942)


London, England –
U.S. heavy bombers attacked the German submarine base at Lorient this afternoon, a joint communiqué of the U.S. Army and the British Air Ministry said. Formations of enemy fighters were fought off and a number were destroyed. Three U.S. bombers are missing.

Allied planes rake Tunisia

Axis port, supply columns blasted ceaselessly
By Edward W. Beatie, United Press staff writer

Bakers say U.S. can’t stop rise of retail bread price

Ban on slicing, fancy twisting, other practices will be negated by flour, fats increases, they say

Pay-as-you-go tax hopes rise

Congress may enact law before March 15



By Florence Fisher Parry

I feel awkward in saying this, for no one needs and enjoys Christmas cards more than I. Indeed, they furnished me untold comfort this year during the grueling days before Christmas.

But it does seem to me that this year might have been a good time to desist from this peacetime indulgence. As I watched the burdened postmen stagger under their loads of mail, nine-tenths of which was made up of Christmas cards; and as I stood in line at the post office vainly trying to post a package which was one of millions that was to be delayed getting to our Armed Forces, and waited for people to get off their hundreds of local greeting cards, I found myself questioning the value and appropriateness of this pleasant convention in wartime.

It takes all kinds of packages to make a war Christmas… The one which gave me my most difficult moment was one containing all the books which I had been sending to a certain Army air base… and now returned.

A glance revealed that many had not been read through, a few not even opened… I remembered a line of a letter:

No time, anymore, to read. Living is becoming pretty basic…

Basic living… how far removed we are from that! How much to cast off before we pare down to elementary life! Gas, sugar, coffee. How soft and unreal we still are, how in a false dream we still live, and call ourselves patriots, and call ourselves the home front!..

These books, I leaf through them. Tokens of a life discarded, for millions of sensitive hungry-minded men, tokens of a dream-like life which must now seem to have been lived on some far ancient star. Yet a life which gave them an added equipment, an inner equipment, not to be discarded, no, not even on a raft…

And now the year totals are being drawn up. The great summation is being set down. 1942 is over at last. And the record is there before you.

And as I look at it, it seems to me that the thing that stands out is the great heap. There on the side, the great heap of things discarded, of things that have lost their value. One by one, they have dropped out of our lives. They do not matter any longer. They have become trash and clutter – Junk.

Speed and recklessness on the highways, and the ugly screech of tires. Waste and overflowing garbage cans, and aimless overburdened housekeeping, with its restless change of decorations and curtains and maids… Parties and prizes and footless teas, and trying on clothes and shoes…

And silly “meetings” and aimless discussions… New uses for leisure… Can we remain neutral?.. Shall we boycott silk from Japan?

Youth movements… WPA… Unemployment… Shorter hours. Higher wages. Strikes.

Out the window with them all.

War is hell. But even hell can heat a crucible.

Hard and horrible as it was, 1942 has given back to us an old almost-forgotten word which I hope we will use more and more to replace the overworked word Democracy.

The word is Republic.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands…

REPUBLIC. Learn the word, Washington. Learn it anew.

Simms: Americas held as the mirror to new Europe

Count Kalergi, disciple of Briand, gives outline for post-war election
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

Washington –
Some sort of Pan-American union or United States of Europe is certain to be considered when “the guiding principles of this worldwide new democracy,” of which Vice President Henry Wallace spoke, are blueprinted in 1943.

What the Vice President seemed to see ahead of us was a new world organization composed of regional groups with regional responsibilities, like Pan-America. This dovetails with the Pan-American idea advocated by Count R. N. Coudenhove-Kalergi, president of the Pan-Europe Union, now of New York University.

Count Kalergi for years was an associate of the late Aristide Briand, many times Premier of France and leader of the movement for a United States of Europe. It never proved practicable in the French statesman’s lifetime. Count Kalergi, however, is convinced that it is practicable now, and several high Washington officials express agreement with him.

Workable formula

Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill is on record in favor of such a union.

He said in 1930:

The conception of a United States of Europe is right. Every step taken to that end which appeases the obsolete hatred and vanished oppressions, which makes easier the traffic and reciprocal services of Europe, which encourages its nations to lay aside their precautionary panoply is good in itself, is good for them and good for all.

Count Kalergi’s formula, as he explained it to me here, seemed to be workable. While Europe is under the control of the occupational forces of the United Nations, he suggests that an election be held in each of the countries to decide whether or not it favors a United States of Europe. A Pan-European constitutional assembly would then meet to put the federal idea into concrete form.

Worth a try

If the assembly fails, it would dissolve and peace would be concluded in the ordinary way. But if the majority of the assembly approved of the idea, it might then proceed with the framing of the European constitution and the negotiation of peace, along with the other members of the United Nations on the basis of the Atlantic Charter.

Such a United States of Europe, said the Count, would deprive Germany and the other continental nations of the power to produce arms, maintain aggressive armies and generally follow selfish foreign policies. That is about the only way in which Europe can be insured against the revival of German imperialism. For it must not be forgotten that only European dismemberment made it possible for the Nazis to crush their smaller neighbors one by one. In a united Europe, such a thing could not happen.

Worked here, he says

A return to the old European system of sovereign states, he declared, would be disastrous. After a short period of chaos and misery, a third world war would be inevitable.

Count Kalergi compared Europe with India. Both, he said, are subcontinents of Asia. Through Sir Stafford Cripps, the British government has proposed that immediately after hostilities case, steps be taken to set up an elected body charged with the task of framing a new constitution for India. Why, he asks, should not the United Nations do the same thing for Europe?

He does not seem to believe that either the Soviet Union or Great Britain would join, at least for the present. But he is optimistic concerning most of the others.

New helicopter also flies sideways and backwards

By Walker Stone, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio –
Army Air Force officers in the laboratory center here demonstrated a Sikorsky helicopter which flies backwards or sideways, as well as forward, hovers motionless over a spot and comes to rest in little more space than required to park an automobile.

It is an experimental model which has met the Army’s requirements, the result of years of laboratory work. Sikorsky is seeking to prove its usefulness for “finding subs and sinking same,” artillery observation, liaison in combat, and rescue missions.

The Navy has not yet taken to the idea of sending helicopters on merchant convoys, to drop bombs or “ashcan” depth charges on enemy submarines.

6,400 rounds a minute

There are hundreds of other innovations and improvements in air fighting equipment, which have been exhibited for the first time to a group of newspapermen on a tour of inspection here. Some are improvements and gadgets “dreamed up” three and four years ago, now in production. Some are just off the drafting boards, and can’t be written about for the same reason that the enemy doesn’t disclose his secrets.

But officers here, who believe they are thinking and drafting faster than the enemy, proudly demonstrate a fighter plane firing at the rate of 6,400 rounds per minute from eight .50-caliber guns.

They exhibit the type of bomber in which Maj. Jimmy Doolittle led the raid on Tokyo; the type of 400-miles-per-hour pursuit ship in which Lt. Col. Elliott Roosevelt is flying at low altitudes to photograph enemy replacements; a rubber raft like the one on which Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his men floated for so many days on the Pacific.

Propellers as weapons

Showing how little things add to fighting efficiency, they point out a newly-perfected brush for a generator. The old brush wore out in two hours flying at 30,000 feet altitude, putting the guns, turrets, etc., out of commission. The new one is good for 100 hours.

They show a compact radio set with which, flying over Wright Field, they were able to talk with our air forces at besieged Bataan.

They talk of the merits of their hollow-steel propellers, so tough that Russians over Moscow or Stalingrad could fly into and chew up the tail of an enemy plane more surely than they could shoot it down.

In some matters, the High Command has not been as alert as his laboratory experts. Shortly after World War I, Wright Field technicians were experimenting with bulletproof and self-sealing gasoline tanks. It was well-known four or five years ago that the Germans had such in the fighting planes. But a placard on the wall in the laboratory here bears a photostat of an order from Washington dated Jan. 3, 1940, directing the Materiel Center Laboratory to perfect self-sealing tanks. In six months, the tanks were in production. By then, the Battle of Britain was well underway.

All-seeing cameras developed by war

Dayton, Ohio (UP) –
Pressure of two years of warfare has brought about optical and photographic developments which otherwise might have required for 100 years, Col. George W. Goddard, director of the photographic research laboratory at Wright Field, said today. Col. Goddard told visiting newspapermen that night photographs, showing details as clearly as those made in daylight, and infrared photographs, which unmask the cleverest camouflage, were examples of advances made in military photography.

Some of the greatest progress, the colonel indicated, has been made in the field of reconnaissance photography from high altitudes, where observation planes are out of range of enemy ack-ack.

He described a spherical plate camera, for example, which is capable of recording all of Berlin in one exposure. The same camera, he said, could photograph a 400-square-mile area from an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Other photographic marvels included:

A 40-inch telephoto lens which will define railroad ties on a sensitive plate exposed at the 30,000-foot flying level.

The K-18 camera which takes a series of consecutive pictures and can, from a height of 30,000 feet, record 1,600 square miles at one loading.

The K-17 camera arranged to take three exposures simultaneously – one straight down, one to the right and one to the left, thus recording a strip of enemy territory from horizon to horizon.

Touhy, aides face solitary confinement

Illinois warden says he’ll ‘welcome’ return of gangsters