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

Law gives WLB the final word

Connally bill amended to cover seizures

‘Swing shift’ row causes another strike at Ford

Nearly 5,000 men walk out; dispute starts in tank and motor parts foundry

Edson: Tax ‘forgiving’ is inflationary

By Peter Edson

Schram cautions against stocks as inflation hedge

Gas shortage forces U.S. to curb fliers’ training

‘Some combat planes in this country grounded,’ Patterson tells Senate investigators

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In the frontlines before Mateur, Tunisia – (May 2, by wireless)
We’re now with an infantry outfit that has battled ceaselessly for four days and nights.

This northern warfare has been in the mountains. You don’t ride much anymore. It is walking and climbing and crawling country. The mountains aren’t big, but they are constant. They are largely treeless. They are easy to defend and bitter to take. But we are taking them.

The Germans lie on the back slope of every ridge, deeply dug into foxholes. In front of them the fields and pastures are hideous with thousands of hidden mines. The forward slopes are left open, untenanted, and if the Americans tried to scale these slopes, they would be murdered wholesale in an inferno of machine-gun crossfire, plus mortars and grenades.

Consequently, we didn’t do it that way. We have fallen back to the old warfare of first pulverizing the enemy with artillery, then sweeping around the ends of the hill with infantry and taking them from the sides and behind.

I’ve written before how the big guns crack and roar almost constantly throughout the day and night. They lay a screen ahead of our troops. By magnificent shooting they drop shells on the back slopes. By means of shells timed to burst in the air a few feet from the ground, they get the Germans even in their foxholes. Our troops have found that the Germans dig foxholes down and then under, trying to get cover from the shell bursts that shower death from above.

Enough… for once

Our artillery has really been sensational. For once we have enough of something and at the right time. Officers tell me they actually have more guns than they know what to do with.

All the guns in any one sector can be centered to shoot at one spot. And when we lay the whole business on a German hill the whole slope seems to erupt. It becomes an unbelievable cauldron of fire and smoke and dirt. Veteran German soldiers say they have never been through anything like it.

Now to the infantry – the goddamned infantry, as they like to call themselves.

I love the infantry because they are the underdogs. They are the mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys. They have no comforts, and they even learn to live without the necessities. And in the end, they are the guys that wars can’t be won without.

I wish you could see just one of the ineradicable pictures I have in my mind today. In this particular picture I am sitting among clumps of sword-grass on a steep and rocky hillside that we have just taken. We are looking out over a vast rolling country to the rear.

A narrow path comes like a ribbon over a hill miles away, down a long slope, across a creek, up a slope and over another hill.

All along the length of this ribbon there is now a thin line of men. For four days and nights they have fought hard, eaten little, washed none, and slept hardly at all. Their nights have been violent with attack, fright, butchery, and their days sleepless and miserable with the crash of artillery.

The men are walking. They are 50 feet apart for dispersal. Their walk is slow, for they are dead weary, as you can tell even when looking at them from behind. Every line and sag of their bodies speaks their inhuman exhaustion.

The line never ends

On their shoulders and backs they carry heavy steel tripods, machine-gun barrels, leaden boxes of ammunition. Their feet seem to sink into the ground from the overload they are bearing.

They don’t slouch. It is the terrible deliberation of each step that spells out their appalling tiredness. Their faces are black and unshaved. They are young men, but the grime and whiskers and exhaustion make them look middle-aged.

In their eyes as they pass is not hatred, not excitement, not despair, not the tonic of their victory – there is just the simple expression of being here as though they had been here doing this forever, and nothing else.

The line moves on, but it never ends. All afternoon men keep coming round the hill and vanishing eventually over the horizon. It is one long tired line of ant-like men.

There is an agony in your heart and you almost feel ashamed to look at them. They are just guys from Broadway and Main Street, but you wouldn’t remember them. They are too far away now. They are too tired. Their world can never be known to you, but if you could see them just once, just for an instant, you would know that no matter how hard people work back home they are not keeping pace with these infantrymen in Tunisia.

Pegler: Services’ conduct

By Westbrook Pegler

U.S. to increase food shipment

First quarter aid to Allies shows decline

Quintuplets stumble on national anthem

Callander, Ontario, Canada (UP) –
The Dionne quintuplets tried to memorize “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but finally five curly heads shook in unison and all agreed it was “beaucoup trop difficile” – much too difficult.

And so, their scheduled singing of the American national anthem in both English and French at Sunday’s quintuplet ship-launching at Superior, Wisconsin, has been deleted from the program. The quintuplets will sing shorter and simpler songs.

Nevertheless, this will be the most exciting week that the quintuplets have known in their almost nine years.

Last-minute preparations for the trip are being made today. The quintuplets and their party leave for Superior by train Thursday.

There will be 20 in the party, including several nurses and provincial police officers, Mr. and Mrs. Dionne and Daniel, Rose and Pauline, brother and sisters of the quintuplets.

East Prussia bombed again

Seven U.S. planes lost in sub base raid

London, England (UP) –
Britain’s big bombers were inactive last night, presumably because of bad weather.

Enemy bombers, presumably Russian, were over East Prussia last night, a German communiqué reported today. One was said to have been shot down.

Seven U.S. planes were lost in a Saturday attack on Saint-Nazaire through the worst kind of weather and against an intercepting German force of 30 to 50 fighters.

The weather forced the planes to scatter on their return to various airdromes, preventing a quick evaluation of results.

1st Lt. Fort Pipe of Alton, Illinois, pilot of the bomber Sad Sack, said they had a 30-minute fight with German fighters and that the weather was “pretty lousy all the way.” Saint-Nazaire is a major German submarine base on the French Atlantic coast.

Yesterday, RAF planes hit at industrial targets at IJmuiden, on the Dutch coast, destroying six enemy fighters. Four British planes were missing. Mosquito bombers attacked railway targets in Northeast France.

Völkischer Beobachter (May 4, 1943)

Die USA. in Französisch-Marokko –
Sie richten sich auf Dauer ein

U.S. Navy Department (May 4, 1943)

Communiqué No. 364

South Pacific.
U.S. forces are established on the Russell Islands, northwest of Guadalcanal Island. These islands were occupied without opposition in Feb­ruary sometime after enemy resistance had ceased on Guadalcanal.

On May 2, in the afternoon; Avenger (Grumman TBF) torpedo bombers, escorted by Wildcat (Grumman F4F) fighters, bombed Japanese installations at Munda, in the Central Solomons.

On May 3, a force of Avengers and Dauntless (Douglas SBD) dive bombers, escorted by Wildcat, Warhawk (Curtis P‑40) and Lightning (Lock­heed P‑38) fighters, bombed and strafed Japanese installations at Rekata Bay, on Santa Isabel Island. Defense positions were hit and a large fire was started. All U.S. planes returned.

North Pacific.
On May 2, formations of Army planes carried out eight attacks against Japanese positions at Kiska. Mitchell (North American B‑25) medium bomb­ers and Warhawk and Lightning fighters participated in these raids. Hits were scored on North and South Heads. At Gertrude Cove fires were started and one building was destroyed.

Communiqué No. 365

North Pacific.
Announcement may now be made of additional details of the surface engagements between a light U.S. patrol force and a Japanese force to the westward of Attu Island on March 20, 1943 (previously reported in Navy Department Communiqué No. 327).

The U.S. force, consisting of one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser and four destroyers, was patrolling in the area to the southeast of the Koman­dorski Islands when contact was made with the enemy shortly after dawn on the 26th. The Japanese force was composed of two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, six destroyers and two transports, and was headed eastward toward the Aleutians.

Firing was opened at long range and the engagement continued for three and one‑half hours. Hits were scored on both sides. At the start of the engagement the enemy force was to the eastward of the U.S. force, and, in the maneuvering to reverse positions, three of the U.S. destroyers launched a torpedo attack which caused the enemy to break off the engagement and withdraw.

Extent of the damage inflicted on the enemy vessels is not definitely known, but shell hits were scored on both of the Japanese heavy cruisers and on one of the light cruisers. At least one torpedo hit was scored on a heavy cruiser. Minor damage was sustained by U.S. vessels and casualties to per­sonnel were extremely light.

Communiqué No. 366

Pacific and Far East.
U.S. submarines have reported the following results of operations against the enemy in the waters of these areas:

  1. Two destroyers sunk.
  2. One medium‑sized tanker sunk.
  3. One medium‑sized cargo ship sunk.
  4. One medium‑sized supply ship sunk.
  5. One medium‑sized transport sunk.
  6. One large transport damaged and probably sunk.

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Depart­ment Communiqué.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 4, 1943)

Wage parley is put back on old basis

6-day week ordered as means of insuring fuel supply

Enemy fleet turned back off Aleutians

Outnumbered U.S. patrol force suffers few casualties

Yanks driving toward Tunis and Bizerte

Grim fighting still ahead Allies 15 miles from northern port
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Weather mars Darwin victory

Spitfires lost in driving Japs out to sea
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Navy occupies more islands

Russell group captured west of Guadalcanal

Food prices out of hand, officials in OPA admit

There are violators from wholesalers on down, Brown’s agency declares

Ruml tax plan offered again

Vote expected late today on proposal

Plane output reaches peak

Ship deliveries also set record, Knox says

Bolivian President in U.S.

Miami, Florida –
President H. E. Enrique Peñaranda of Bolivia arrived here by plane last night en route to Washington where he will be guest of President and Mrs. Roosevelt.