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

Editorial: Those Japanese cherry trees

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Rep. Rankin (D-MS) wants to change the name of the beautiful cherry trees along Washington’s tidal basin – the trees whose springtime glory offers one of the few happy resting places for eyes made weary by the capital’s miles and miles of Greco-Roman mausoleums.

Instead of calling them Japanese cherry trees, which they are, Rankin wants them to be known as “Korean” cherries. After all, he argues, the Japs stole the cherries from the Koreans. We do not know what authorities he is ready to muster in support of this argument – stacks and stacks, we suppose – but we are sure that the gentleman from Tupelo, Mississippi, never would have tried to right this particular wrong if we were not at war with the Japanese.

This idea comes up just when we had come to believe that, this time, there would not be a rash of Liberty steaks and Liberty cabbages and a changing of street names until a man no longer knew the way home. After all, those cherry trees have been in Washington ever since President Taft’s day. We suppose they are 100% Americans by now. Furthermore, what connection do cherry trees have with the Japanese warlords?

Edson: Employment for post-war years knotty problem

By Peter Edson

Ferguson: They won’t be the same

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Compulsory government service?

By editorial research reports

Minnesota equality law passed

Race, color, creed hatreds are outlawed

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Northern Tunisia – (by cable)
As is bound to happen in wartime, your close friends sometimes disappear. And as soon as they are gone, you sit of an evening and recounted stories about them, just as we used to do in the old aviation days after a mail pilot didn’t come back from his run.

The closest friend I’ve got so far is Lt. Leonard Bessman, a lawyer from Milwaukee. We have almost definite proof that Bessman was captured, and not killed, so we all hope to see him again before too long if things turn out right. I’ve mentioned Lennie Bessman before in these columns. Of all the soldiers I have ever known, he is the most sensitive to the little beauties of war and to the big tragedy of life. Maybe that is because he is Jewish, or maybe it isn’t. I don’t know.

His bravery was a byword among us long before he was captured.

Laugh about Lennie’s words

We sit around on our cots at night and laugh about things we’d heard Lennie say, because they sounded so melodramatic, yet, knowing him as we do, we know they weren’t melodramatic at all and that Lennie meant what he said.

He was up forward of our advance troops, for that was his job, and suddenly he found himself cut off, with a German tank in front of him and a machine-gun nest on his side. Lennie jumped out of his jeep, pulled his .45 and yelled at the heavily-armed enemy:

Come on out and I won’t shoot.

How’s that for confidence? We sit around at night and laugh about it.

Most of us find our emotions becoming jaded as month after month of war piles up on us, but Lennie was never jaded. He had a facility for mirroring in his fertile mind every little human thing that crossed his path. I’ll tell you a couple of stories he told us.

We had a certain type of anti-aircraft gun, mounted on a half-track, which requires two men to fire. They sit in two metal bucket seats just back of the guns.

Eyes kept on Germans

Lennie was lying near this ack-ack outfit during a terrific dive-bombing and strafing. He kept his eyes on these two special gunners as the Stukas came down right upon them.

The two never wavered. They sat there firing until suddenly and in unison they toppled sideways out of their seats – dead. And all within the same instant two more Americans rose like twins from the bed of the half-track, took the seats just vacated by death, and went right on with the firing.

The incident that most tickled his admiration was a queer one. It seems we had a big concentration of artillery that was giving the Germans plenty of trouble. They couldn’t locate it, so at night they would send planes over hunting for it. Of course, it was then our cue to lay low and silent, so as not to give away our position by firing at them.

‘You silly fools’

They came night after night, and never did find us. But each night after they had circled and were finally leaving, one lone contemptuous gunner would fire one lone contemptuous shot at them, just as though to say:

Here we are, you silly fools!

Night after night that one gunner would fire his one slapstick shot just as they were leaving. His sauciness exalted Lennie’s soul. I’ve heard him say:

I’d rather shake hands with that man than anybody in the American Army. I’m going to try to find him, and even if he’s a private I’m going to salute him.

We have heard that the Germans took the few Americans captured at El Guettar and marched them up the main street of Tunis, then loaded them in trucks and paraded them back again, then unloaded them and marched them through town once more – to make it look as though there were lots of prisoners. One of Lennie’s friends back here says he can just see Lennie, on his third compulsory trip down the main street of Tunis, screwing up his nose in the special mask of comic disgust which is one of his little habits, and observing:

Seems as if I’ve seen this before somewhere.

Lewis ‘squeeze’ play against government gives Jap propagandists chance to grow

OWI chief wonders how good American citizens got into position to help enemy

The home front –
WAACs may become officer candidates after four weeks of basic training

3rd officer rating is possible at end of tenth week

A woman enlisting in the WAAC may qualify for a commission in 10 weeks, whereas the shortest time in which a male soldier in the Army may obtain a commission is six months.

The basic training period for a WAAC is four weeks. After this, any WAAC may apply through her commanding officer for an officer-candidate school.

The women’s OCS lasts six weeks. Upon successful completion of this course, the WAAC is commissioned a third officer, which is the same as a second lieutenant in the Army.

Eligible for the WAAC are women 21-44, inclusive, who have completed at least two years of high school, or its equivalent, and who don’t have any dependent children.

Millett: Complicated

Canned goods are new divorce problems
By Ruth Millett

Divorce proceedings have now met with a new complication. It used to be that the only custody problems a judge faced involved children and pets.

Now there is the problem of who gets the canned goods.

In Colorado, a judge ordered a divorce-seeking pair to bring all their canned goods into court so that he could divide them equally among the husband and wife and their six children.

Canned goods may cause some real courtroom battles.

Can you imagine a wife, whose husband wouldn’t give her any assistance in very victory garden, and who worked long hour putting up preserves and pickles, letting a judge award part of those to her husband without voicing a word of protest?

And won’t kids squawk if the canned goods a judge apportions to them turns out to be everything that is good for them – and nothing they really like?

And do you think any woman is going to accept as fair share of canned goods any of the sardines hoarded by her snack-eating husband?

Yes, sir, the judges are going to have their hands full, now that they have taken on the job of deciding the fate of a family’s store of canned goods.

There will probably be some fights, involving canned goods, that will make the Gloria Vanderbilt custody case look like a good-natured discussion.

Because Americans now take their canned goods seriously.

U.S. Navy Department (May 2, 1943)

Communiqué No. 362

South Pacific.
On April 30: During the morning Avenger (Grumman TBF) torpedo bombers and Dauntless (Douglas SBD) dive bombers, escorted by Corsair (Vought F4U) fighters, attacked Japanese positions at Munda in the Central Solomons.

North Pacific.
On April 30, Army Lightning (Lockheed P‑38) fighters carried out two attacks on Japanese installations at Kiska. Hits were scored but bad weather prevented complete observation of results.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 2, 1943)

U.S. rules coal mines; work ordered at once

Ickes placed in control; Roosevelt plans ‘blunt’ broadcast tonight
By Joseph L. Myler, United Press staff writer

Army to stay on sidelines until needed

Troops will remain away from mines unless all peaceful means fail
By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent

‘Ignorant distortion’ –
Gas dumping charge false, Ickes retorts

Says fuel pumped back in wells raises quality of oil

Yanks’ bayonets slash ahead on road to Mateur

Arc tightened on shell-racked town as Allied fliers blast 8 Axis ships and down 5 air trtansports.
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

33 Germans captured –
Cutter sinks sub off coast

Depth charge attack on U-boat revealed

Want sales speeded –
Canned goods points changed

Dried and dehydrated soups are ‘freed’

McNutt directs steel mills to start 48-hour operation

No new men may be hired until producing facilities reach full work week average

Senator’s condition worse

Washington – (May 1)
The condition of Senator Hiram Johnson (R-CA) has taken a change for the worse and is now considered serious. Mr. Johnson, 76, entered Naval Hospital Wednesday for treatment of a cold. It was understood that this has now developed into pneumonia.

Subs new peril for MacArthur

Japs launch campaign east of Australia

Quintuplets to splash Niagara water on ships

Ottawa, Canada (UP) – (May 1)
The Dionne quintuplets will use water from the Niagara River to christen five merchant ships at Superior, Wisconsin, May 9.

Tomorrow, the mayors of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York, will meet and scoop the water from the river.

It will be placed in five champagne bottles, one to be used by each of the Dionne girls in the launching of a ship named after her.

Republicans call tax plan ‘a stepchild’

Statement says majority bill is loan shark’s seventh heaven