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

Editorial: Still on the campus

Edson: Air board seeks information for post-war policy

By Peter Edson

WAACs so good that Army wants half million more

They sing salty songs, just like the men, about ‘girdles that bunch where you sit’

Radio control left with FCC by high court

Frankfurter opinion passes responsibility back to Congress

Planes pound Guinea coast

Two enemy vessels hit by bombers
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Northern Tunisia – (by wireless)
Just after daylight on the first morning of the battle that I recently sat in on as an awed semi-participant, wounded men and German prisoners began coming back down the hill to us.

They didn’t have far to come – the less seriously-wounded could walk back down in five minutes. We were that close.

About an hour after daylight, I noticed that a man on one of the stretchers coming toward us had on a British officer’s cap. I had a hunch, and ran over to look closely. Sure enough, it was my tentmate of the previous three nights – a British captain.

When I ran, the litter-bearers put down the stretcher, and I kneeled down beside it. As I did so, the captain opened his eyes. He smiled and said:

Oh, hello, hello. I was worrying about you. Are you alright?

How’s that for British breeding?

Bad wounds are ‘nothing at all’

I started to say something about being sorry, but before I could get a word out, he said:

Oh, it’s nothing at all, absolutely nothing. Just a little flesh wound. It isn’t as if I’d been hit in the spine or anything.

But the captain had a big hole in his back, arid his left arm was all shot up. They had given him morphine and he wasn’t in much pain. His shirt was off, but he still wore his pistol and his cap as he lay there. There was blood all over his undershirt. His tanned face had a pale look, but his expression was the same as usual.

Our first-aid station was too much under fire for ambulances or any vehicles to be brought up, so four litter-bearers still had to carry the captain a mile and a half back to the rear. When he heard this, he said:

That’s perfectly ridiculous, carrying me that far. They’ll do no such thing. I can walk back.

The doctor said no, it would start him bleeding again if he got up. But the captain got halfway off the litter and I had to give him a push and a few cusswords before he would consent to being carried.

First half-hour of first battle

The captain was a young fellow, sort of pugilistic-looking but with a gentle manner and an Oxford accent. He had been in the British 8th Army two years without getting hurt. He had just joined us as liaison officer, and was shot in the first half-hour of his first battle.

We’d had nice talks about England and the war and everything. It seemed impossible that someone I’d known and liked and who had been so whole and hearty such a few hours before could now be torn and helpless. But there he was.

A few minutes later, two German prisoners came down the hill, with a doughboy behind them making dangerous motions with his bayonet at their behinds.

Couple of Hitler’s supermen

The captor was a straight American of the drawling hillbilly type, who talked through his nose. I’m sorry I didn’t get his name. When he walked the Germans back to his sergeant he said, in his tobacco-patch twang:

Hey, Sarge, here’s two uv Hitler’s supermen for yuh.

The two prisoners were young and looked very well fed. Their uniforms were loose-fitting khaki, sort of like men’s beach suits at home. With their guns and all their other soldier gear taken away, they had the appearance of being only half-dressed. The expression on their faces was one of wondering what came next.

They were turned over to another soldier, who marched them across the fields to the rear. I couldn’t help grinning as I watched, for the new guardian stayed well behind them and walked as if he were treading on ice.

Our aid station was merely a formation of outcropping rocks on the hillside. The wounded all stopped there to await new litter-bearers to carry them on back.

The battalion surgeon, Capt. Robert Peterman of Hicksville, Long Island, had remarked earlier how our wounded never groaned or made a fuss when they came in, so I paid special attention. And it is true that they just lie on their stretchers, docile and patient, waiting for the medics to do whatever they can.

Seatless britches almost funny

Some of them had been given morphine and were dopey. Some smoked and talked as if nothing much had happened. A good many had been hit in their behinds by flying fragments from shells. The medics there on the battlefield would either cut the seat out of their trousers or else slide their pants down, to treat the wounds, and they’d be put on stretchers that way, lying face down. It was almost funny to see so many men coming down the hill with the white skin of their backsides gleaming against the dark background of brown uniforms and green grass.

Some of the boys who were not too badly wounded seemed to have an expression of relief on their faces. I know how they felt, and I don’t blame them. I remember from the last war the famous English phrase of “going back to Blighty” – meaning being evacuated to England because of wounds. In this war, we have a different expression for the same thing. It is “catching the white boat,” meaning the white hospital ship that takes wounded men back across the Atlantic.

Prisoners of war –
Human treatment is first guarantee for war captive

Improvement hoped, even in Japan, in handling Americans trapped in battle; pact governs 46 nations
By Dick Thornburg, Scripps-Howard staff writer

U.S. Navy Department (May 11, 1943)

Communiqué No. 373

South Pacific.
On May 10:

  1. During the morning, a force of Dauntless (Douglas SBD) dive bombers and Avenger (Grumman TBF) torpedo bombers, escorted by Corsair (Vought F4U), Wildcat (Grumman F4F) and Lightning (Lockheed P‑38) fighters, attacked Japanese installations at Munda on New Georgia Island in the Central Solomons. Hits were scored on enemy anti‑aircraft positions and several fires were started.

  2. During the afternoon, Dauntless dive bombers and Avenger torpedo bombers, with Corsair escort, bombed Japanese positions at Vanga­vanga on the southwest coast of Kolombangara Island.

  3. All U.S. planes returned from the above attack missions.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 11, 1943)

Nazis in Africa lose nerve under bombs

‘Last tank battle’ underway on Bon Peninsula, Radio Algiers says
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Tension rises on impending Allied action

Speculation flares about another conference of Roosevelt, Churchill
By the United Press

Swedes report –
Yank soldiers now on Cyprus

Story via Berlin shows Axis fear of attack
By John A. Parris, United Press staff writer

Simms: Allies can crush Italy in 3 months, official declares

Successful landing preceded by right kind of propaganda necessary, European statesman says
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

Dive bombers blast enemy in Solomons

Washington (UP) –
U.S. dive bombers and torpedo planes scored hits on Jap anti-aircraft positions and started several fires in a raid on Munda in the Central Solomons, the Navy announced today.

U.S. planes also bombed Jap positions at Vangavanga on the southwest coast of Kolombangara Island.

All U.S. planes returned safety from both raids, which were carried out Monday (Island Time).

Personal views dropped –
Ruml Plan foe fights for bill

Pay-as-you-go tax debate to be short

What is ‘radical’?

By Florence Fisher Parry

Jimmy Byrnes, on a spot, withholds wage answers

WLB and Internal Revenue Bureau stand by waiting for him to untangle their puzzles
By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent

House prepares anti-strike bill, flouts labor’s ideas

Military Affairs Committee hopes to get measure on books before coal truce expires

Allied member of command in Europe hinted

Speculation centered on marshal for supreme leadership
By Harrison Salisbury, United Press staff writer

Despite formal surrender, Germans continue guerilla war against Yanks

2 Americans kill 5 Nazis attempting daylight raid on town
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

U.S. soldiers credited with knockout in Tunisia

Nazis’ big mistake was to underrate Yanks, Swiss say; Berlin’s fears cited
By Aldo Forte, United Press staff writer

Jap troops fight hardest when hopelessly trapped

One of toughest obstacle to overcome in Guinea was encircled enemy in motor park
By George Weller