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

Cowboys, Indians play grim game with Guinea Japs

It’s a citizen army that helped to wrest back Papua; forest-wise Americans adept at tree fighting
By George Weller

Seven fliers survive five months in North Greenland

Allies preparing to land in Sicily, Germans claim

Invasion of Sardinia may also come even before Tunisian cleanup, Berlin declares

U.S. shipyards break all world records

Millett: Husbands aren’t tied to a house

By Ruth Millett

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

At the frontlines in Tunisia – (by wireless)
When our infantry goes into a certain big push in northern Tunisia, each man is issued three bars of D-ration chocolate, enough to last one day. He takes no other food. He carries two canteens of water instead of the usual one. He carries no blankets. He leaves behind all extra clothes except his raincoat. In his pockets he may have a few toilet articles. Some men carry their money, others give it to friends to keep.

In the days that follow they live in a way that is inconceivable to us at home. They walk and fight all night without sleep. Next day they lie flat in foxholes, or hide in fields of freshly green, knee-high wheat. If they’re in the fields they dared not even move enough to dig foxholes, for that would have bring the German artillery. They can’t rise even for nature’s calls. The German feels for them continually with his artillery.

Daylight waiting is torture

The slow drag of these motionless daylight hours is nearly unendurable. Lt. Mickey Miller of Morgantown, Indiana, says this lifeless waiting in a wheatfield is almost the worst part of the whole battle.

The second evening after the attack began, C-rations and five-gallon cans of water are brought up across country in jeeps, after dark. You eat in the dark, and you can’t see the can you are eating from. You just eat by feel. You make cold coffee from cold water.

One night, a German shell landed close and fragments punctured 15 cans of water.

Each night enough canned rations for three meals are brought up, but when the men move on after supper most of them either lose or leave behind the next day’s rations, because they’re too heavy to carry. But, as they say, when you’re in battle and excited you sort of go on your nerve. You don’t think much about being hungry.

The men fight at night and lie low by day, when the artillery takes over its blasting job. Weariness gradually creeps over them. What sleeping they do is in daytime. But, as they say, at night it’s too cold and in daytime it’s too hot. Also the fury of the artillery makes daytime sleeping next to impossible. So does the heat of the sun. Some men have passed out from heat prostration. Many of them get upset stomachs from the heat.

But as the third and fourth days roll on, weariness overcomes all obstacles to sleep. Men who sit down for a moment’s rest fall asleep in the grass. There are even men who say they can march while asleep.

Men can sleep anywhere

Lt. Col. Charlie Stone, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, actually went to sleep standing up talking on a field telephone – not while listening, but in the middle of a spoken sentence.

When sometimes they do lie down at night the men have only their raincoats to lie on. It is cold, and the dew makes the grass as wet as rain. They don’t dare start a fire to heat their food, even in daytime, for the smoke would attract enemy fire. At night they can’t even light cigarettes in the open, so after digging their foxholes they get down and make hoods over their heads with their raincoats, and light up under the coats.

They have plenty of cigarettes. Those who run out during battle are supplied by others. Every night new supplies of water and C-rations are brought up in jeeps.

You can’t conceive how hard it is to move and fight at night. The country is rugged, the ground rough. Everything is new and strange. The nights are pitch-black. You grope with your feet. You step into holes, and fall sprawling in little gullies and creeks. You trudge over plowed ground and push through waist-high shrubs. You go as a man blindfolded, feeling unsure and off balance, but you keep on going.

Fear of mines ever-present

Through it all there is the fear of mines. The Germans have mined the country behind them beyond anything ever known before. We simply can’t take time to go over each inch of ground with mine detectors, so we have to discover the minefields by stumbling into them or driving over them. Naturally there are casualties, but they are smaller than you might think – just a few men each day. The greatest damage is psychological – the intense watchfulness our troops must maintain.

The Germans have been utterly profligate with their mines. We dug out 400 from one field. We’ve found so many fields and so many isolated mines that we have run out of white tape to mark them with. But still we go on.

Lear, Dewitt nominated as lieutenant generals

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt today nominated Ben Lear and John L. Dewitt, both currently lieutenant generals by virtue of commanding the 2nd and 4th Armies respectively, to be lieutenant generals in their own right.

Mr. Roosevelt also nominated Maj. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., commander of Army forces in Alaska, to be a lieutenant general, eight brigadier generals to be major generals, and 52 colonels to be brigadiers.

Gen. Lear is serving as acting chief of the Army’s ground forces while Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair recuperates from wounds.

U.S. Navy Department (May 5, 1943)

Communiqué No. 367

South Pacific.
On May 4:

  1. During the day, a force of Warhawk (Curtiss P‑40) and Wildcat (Grumman F4F) fighters bombed and strafed Japanese positions at Van­gavanga and at Ringi Cove on Kolombangara Island in the Central Solomons. Avenger (Grumman TBF) torpedo bombers and Dauntless (Douglas SBD) dive bombers, with Corsair (Vought F4U) fighter escort, followed the attack with additional bombing and strafing. A fire was started at Vangavanga and smoke was observed in the Ringi Cove area. All U.S. planes returned.

  2. Flying Fortress (Boeing B‑17) heavy bombers attacked Vila in the Central Solomons and Rekata Bay on Santa Isabel Island, starting a fire at the latter area.

North Pacific.
On May 3, formations of Army planes carried out nine attacks against Japanese installations at Kiska. Liberator (Consolidated B‑24) heavy bomb­ers, Mitchell (North American B‑25) medium bombers and Lightning (Lock­heed P‑38) and Warhawk fighters participated in these raids. Three fires were started in the enemy main camp area and hits were observed in other areas. Heavy smoke was seen at North Head.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 5, 1943)

Axis attacks turned back on 2 fronts

American gains threaten to isolate garrison of naval base
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Gen. Andrews’ death hits Allied plans for invasion

Iceland plane crash also kills Bishop A. W. Leonard
By James Roper, United Press staff writer

Lewis faces fresh crisis with the WLB

Thursday hearing to give clue to attitude of UMW chief
By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent

Getting tough –
OPA checks joyriding on B, C gas

Drive on violators to center on racetracks, parks; revocations due

Senate favors pay-as-go tax

But House ‘forgiveness’ faces revision

Reporters, spectators chased –
‘Mystery man’ to name ‘high New Deal’ informers

Master of ‘Big Red House on R Street’ testifies guests never talked war deals

Fathers face draft ‘in August or sooner’

There’s grandmother, too

By Florence Fisher Parry

War relief agencies are given $2.5 million

Militia called to end delay in gas pipeline

Attempt to organize Missouri workers causes disorder

U.S. air raids mounting in fury

Bombing crescendo reflects month by month increase in plane production

Hill 609 helps Yanks to prove they can fight

Doughboys force tough enemy position, and on schedule, too
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer