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

Ferguson: Farmerette styles

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Largest raids by Yanks blast Japs in Burma

More than 100 tons of bombs showered on supply lines
By P. D. Sharma, United Press staff writer

MacArthur’s fliers keep on top in Guinea scraps

Jap planes destroyed in week total 62; Timor raided heavily by long-range Liberators
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Camps ready for captives

U.S. has place for share of African prisoners

War strategy may be tested against Italy

Southern partner of Axis could collapse from air raids alone
By Victor Gordon Lennox

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Tunisia – (by wireless)
Most of the German prisoners have been worked out of the forward Tunisian area by now. Where they went, we don’t know. They’ve just left for the west.

Handling them and feeding them must be a tremendous job. It takes a lot of transportation to move those thousands of men back across Africa, and if we kept them in Africa, we would have to use valuable shipping space bringing them food.

This colossal batch of human beings is, indeed, a white elephant on our hands. And yet, as somebody says, what we want is about 50 more white elephants just like this one.

Although they are usually friendly and pleasant, you seldom find a prisoner who has any doubt that Germany will win the war. They say they lost here because we finally got more stuff into Tunisia than they had. But they laugh at the idea of our invading the Continent. On the whole, they can’t understand why America is in the war at all, figuring it is not our business.

False news misleads captives

Whether from deliberate Nazi propaganda or mere natural rumor I don’t know, but the prisoners have a lot of false news in their heads. For instance, some of them had heard that Japan had been at war with Russia for six months and had practically cleaned the Russians out of Siberia. One of them heard that the Luftwaffe had bombed New York. When told that this was ridiculous, he said he didn’t see himself how it could be possible.

Pvt. Bill Connell, of 183 Menahan St., Brooklyn, had a funny experience. He was talking with an English-speaking prisoner, and the conversation finally unearthed the information that, as Pvt. Connell says, “We know different people together” – meaning, I’m sure, that they had once actually lived in adjoining houses in Brooklyn – Connell at 251 Grove St. and the German at 253 Grove. But that coincidence didn’t cause any old-palship to spring up between them, for the prisoner was one of those bullheaded Nazis and Connell got so disgusted he didn’t even ask his name.

The prisoner was very sarcastic, and said to Connell:

You Americans are saps. You’re still in the war, and I’m out of it.

I thought Connell’s answer was pretty good. He replied:

You’re such a hot Nazi, but it’s lots of good you’re going to do your country from now on.

Nazis disgust Yanks

The first contacts of our troops with prisoners were extremely pleasant. So pleasant in fact that American officers got to worrying because the men found the Germans so likable. But if you talk to them long enough, you find in them the very thing we are fighting this war about – their superior-race complex, their smug belief in their divine right to run this part of the world. A little association with a German prisoner, like a little knowledge, is a bad thing, but if our troops could just have an opportunity to talk at length with the Germans, I think they would come out of it madder than ever at their enemy.

Captured supplies show that the Germans use excellent materials in all their stuff. However, it seems to us that there is some room for improvement in their vaunted efficiency. They have more of a hodgepodge and more overlapping designs than we do. They have big 10-wheeler troop carriers with seats running crosswise, but it is far too much vehicle for the service it performs. It can’t possibly be used for any other work than troop-carrying, and even for that it is an easy target, with men sitting up there in the open. And it is slow.

They also have a gadget that resembles a motorcycle except that the back end runs on two small caterpillar tracks instead of wheels. It’s a novel idea, but, as somebody says, it can carry only three men and there’s enough material wasted to make a young tank.

Nazis boondoggle, too

In rummaging around one supply dump, I came upon a stack of copies of a new booklet entitled Tausend Worte Italienisch. I picked up a handful, thinking to glean a little backyard Italian. It didn’t occur to me at the time that the booklets obviously would be translating Italian into German.

The Germans do things thoroughly, we have to admit. My handful of booklets turned out not to be several copies of the same thing but a whole series of different booklets comprising a set of lessons for troops complete enough to give you a college course in Italian.

It seems a prodigal way to use money, yet I suppose it does make things better if the Germans are able to insult their allies in their own language.

Pegler: On Mission to Moscow

By Westbrook Pegler

Wartime radio orders hamper help for deaf

Parts unavailable for needed devices
By Si Steinhauser

U.S. State Department (May 20, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 3:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General McNarney Field Marshal Dill
Brigadier Redman
Brigadier General Deane

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

May 20, 1943, 3:30 p.m.


The Combined Chiefs of Staff met in closed session and resolved on:
a. The concentration of available resources as first priority within the Assam-Burma Theater on the building up and increasing of the air route to China to a capacity of 10,000 tons a month by early fall, and the development of air facilities in Assam with a view to:
i) Intensifying air operations against the Japanese in Burma;
ii) Maintaining increased American Air Forces in China;
iii) Maintaining the flow of airborne supplies to China.

b. Vigorous and aggressive land and air operations from Assam into Burma via Ledo and Imphal, in step with an advance by Chinese forces from Yunnan, with the object of containing as many Japanese forces as possible, covering the air route to China, and as an essential step towards the opening of the Burma Road.

c. The capture of Akyab and of Ramree Island by amphibious operations.

d. The interruption of Japanese sea communications into Burma.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff also directed that CCS 229, CCS 231, and CCS 238 be withdrawn from the agenda.

Resolutions by the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Washington, 20 May 1943.

CCS 237/1

European Operations (Reference: CCS 89th Meeting, Item 1)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. That forces and equipment shall be established in the United Kingdom with the object of mounting an operation with target date 1 May 1944 to secure a lodgment on the Continent from which further offensive operations can be carried out. The scope of the operation will be such as to necessitate the following forces being present and available for use in the United Kingdom by 1 May 1944:

Assault: 5 Infantry Divisions (Simultaneously loaded in landing craft)
2 Infantry Divisions – Follow-up
2 Airborne Divisions
Total: 9 Divisions in the Assault
Buildup: 20 Divisions available for movement into lodgment area
Total: 29 Divisions

b. That the Allied Commander in Chief, North Africa, should be instructed to mount such operations in exploitation of HUSKY as are best calculated to eliminate Italy from the war and to contain the maximum number of German forces. Each specific operation will be subject to the approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The Allied Commander in Chief in North Africa may use for his operations all those forces available in the Mediterranean area except for four American and three British divisions which will be held in readiness from 1 November onward for withdrawal to take part in operations from the United Kingdom, provided that the naval vessels required will be approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff when the plans are submitted. The additional air forces provided on a temporary basis for HUSKY will not be considered available.

c. The above resolution shall be reviewed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at a meeting in July or early in August, the date to be decided later, in order that the situation may be examined in the light of the result of HUSKY and the situation in Russia.

Hull-Mackenzie King dinner meeting

United States Canada
Secretary Hull Prime Minister Mackenzie King

The Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs to the Secretary of State

Washington, May 20, 1943.


S – Mr. Secretary You will be seeing Mr. Mackenzie King at dinner tonight. This brief memorandum on our relations with Canada may be of interest to you in connection with your conversation with Mr. King.

Our relations with Canada are excellent. The only cloud on the horizon is that the extent of our War Department expenditures and activities in western Canada has been so great in connection with the war effort that some people in Canada have privately expressed apprehension. In other words, some people feel that we may have a vested interest there and be reluctant to leave when the war is over. That is of course nonsense but not all Canadians realize it. I don’t think this is particularly serious. We have done everything we can to dispel any apprehensions on that point.

The only other thing about our relations with Canada which troubles me is the fact that in spite of the President’s close personal relations with Mr. Mackenzie King and your own personal friendship and close relations with him, and in spite of the traditionally close and direct relations between our two Governments, Canada continues to receive what information she gets about high policy discussions between the White House and London from London rather than direct from Washington.

Mr. Norman Robertson, the Canadian Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, whom you met during the Trade Agreement negotiations in 1938, is here with Mr. King. He told me at lunch today that the Prime Minister might discuss with you the advisability of appointing an American Minister to Canada at an early date.

There is attached a brief telegram from our Legation in Ottawa summarizing the general political situation in Canada [not printed].


U.S. Navy Department (May 21, 1943)

Communiqué No. 385

South Pacific.
On May 19-20, during the night, eight Japanese bombers attacked Guadalcanal Island, causing minor damage. U.S. fighters shot down two of the enemy planes.

North Pacific.
On May 19, operations on Attu continued. Japanese forces have estab­lished positions on the high ground east of Attu Village. U.S. Army bombers attacked Japanese entrenchments in the area north of Sarana Bay.

U.S. State Department (May 21, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10:30 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General McNarney Field Marshal Dill
Commander Long Lieutenant General Ismay
Admiral Noble
Lieutenant General Macready
Air Marshal Welsh
Field Marshal Wavell
Admiral Somerville
Air Chief Marshal Peirse
Captain Lambe
Brigadier Porter
Air Commodore Elliot
Brigadier Redman
Brigadier General Deane
Commander Coleridge
Lieutenant Colonel Vittrup

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

May 21, 1943, 10:30 a.m.


Conclusions of the Minutes of the 90th and 91st Meetings

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Approved the conclusions of the Minutes of the 90th Meeting subject to substituting the words “an outline plan” for the words “a plan” in paragraph b, Item 3.

b. Approved the conclusions of the 91st Meeting.

Selection of Code Names

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed that for purposes of the TRIDENT Conference only, the word ROUNDHAMMER should be used to designate cross-Channel operations.

b. Directed the Secretaries to obtain recommendations from appropriate military security agencies in the U.S. and U.K. regarding code names for all operations agreed upon in the TRIDENT Conferences.

Military Supplies for Turkey

Sir Alan Brooke said that at the ANFA Conference (CCS 63rd Meeting), it was agreed that Turkey lay within a theater of British responsibility and that all matters connected with Turkey should be handled by the British. It was also agreed that the British should be responsible for framing and presenting to both Assignments Boards all bids for equipment for Turkey. He pointed out that no decision has been recorded by the Combined Chiefs of Staff as to the priority to be accorded to the supply of equipment for Turkey as compared with other commitments and no instructions have yet been issued by the American Chiefs of Staff to their representatives on the various Assignments Committees in Washington as to the attitude to be adopted towards British bids for equipment on behalf of Turkey. As a result, there had been some inclination to treat Turkish requirements as unimportant.

Sir Alan Brooke said that in CCS 206, dated 30 April, the representatives of the British Chiefs of Staff informed the American Chiefs of Staff of the British view with regard to the provision of equipment for Turkey, and enclosed a list of the proposed supplies. This list has recently been somewhat increased.

General Marshall questioned what was included in the words “important commitments” in the conclusion proposed by the British. He said the proposal was acceptable to him with the understanding that requirements for training of U.S. forces and the rearmament of French forces were considered as “important commitments.”

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of the action already taken or proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff with regard to the provision of military supplies for Turkey.

b. Agreed that, with due regard to other important commitments, the assignment of the equipment as proposed by the British Chiefs of Staff should be made with the least possible delay.

At this point the following entered the meeting:

  • Field Marshal Dill
  • General Ismay
  • Admiral Noble
  • Admiral Macready
  • Air Marshal Welsh
  • Field Marshal Wavell
  • Admiral Somerville
  • Air Chief Marshal Peirse
  • Captain Lambe
  • Brigadier Porter
  • Air Commodore Elliot
  • Commander Long

Operations in the Pacific and Far East in 1943-44

Admiral King first related CCS 239 to CCS 168 and CCS 155/1, and then gave a statement of the proposed strategy in the Pacific.

Admiral King stated that the remarks he would make would give a general outline of the situation in the Pacific and the scope of the operations visualized in the paper which had been submitted for consideration (CCS 239).

During the past 30 or 40 years, since acquisition of the Philippines, the United States had been studying the possible courses of action which might have to be undertaken in the Pacific. A great number of studies prepared at the Naval War College had been premised on the necessity for supporting or recovering the Philippines. Briefly, there were three routes, one straight through from the Hawaiian Islands, the others detouring to the north or south of that line. The increase in the capabilities of aircraft had necessitated a revision of some of the previous plans. In any case, decisive action against the Japanese Fleet and the seizure of the Marianas Islands were of primary importance.

On December 30, 1941, when he took office as Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet, there were numerous plans in existence for operations in the Pacific. He had, however, immediately sent a dispatch to the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet stating that his mission was first to hold the Hawaiian–Midway line and the communications with the Pacific Coast, and, secondly, to hold the remainder of the line of communications to Australia and New Zealand. Prior to the fall of the Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies, plans for the employment of naval forces presumed fueling in that area; however, with their loss, it was essential to establish safe bases elsewhere. One of the most urgent uses of naval forces during the early stages of the war in the Pacific had been in the support of the lines of communication from Hawaii to Australia. The U.S. Navy had, therefore, established refueling points in Bora Bora, in the Fijis and in New Caledonia. Ground forces had been sent for the protection of these bases. Operations during the recent months had rendered these lines of communication to Australia relatively safe, except in the case of Samoa, which was still exposed to some possibility of attack.

All operations in the Pacific should be directed toward severing the Japanese lines of communication and the recapture of the Philippines. The Philippines could be captured by a flank action, whereas the capture of the Netherlands East Indies must of necessity be the result of a frontal attack. The intermediate objectives should be Rabaul, Truk and thence to the Marianas. Regardless of which route might be taken, the Marianas are the key to the situation because of their location on the Japanese lines of communication.

In referring to the situation in the Aleutians, he stated that the United States had bided its time in undertaking the operation against Attu. He considered that there was little danger to Alaska or the western part of the North American continent unless the Japanese should succeed in reaching Kodiak Island. This probability, in his opinion, was remote. An effort on our part to reach Japan by way of the northern route and the Kurile Islands would be beset with difficulties because of the rugged nature of the latter. According to reports received from our submarines, the Japanese were now actively engaged in fortifying the Kurile Islands.

The ultimate defeat of Japan would be accomplished by blockade, bombing, and assault. Of these measures, attacks on warships and shipping along enemy lines of communication were inherent in all offensive operations. It has been our purpose to work toward positions of readiness from which Japan can be attacked. Allied offensive measures comprise continued and intensified attacks on enemy ships and shipping, in cutting or threatening to cut enemy lines of communication between Japan and Japanese holdings and in attack on enemy sea, air, and ground forces, thereby obliging them to fight to retain their holdings and retain their lines of communication. The scope and intensity of the Allied war effort in the Pacific must insure that the means at hand are actively employed to the best advantage.

The general capabilities of the Allied effort comprise:
a. Keep Japan from further expansion and from consolidating and exploiting her current holdings.

b. Maintain the vital Midway–Hawaii line (key to the Pacific).

c. Secure the lines of communication to Australia and New Zealand.

d. Block the enemy approaches to Australia from the northward by way of Rabaul and from the northwestward by way of the Malay barrier.

e. Attain positions which menace enemy lines of communication with the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines, and the South China Sea.

f. Open the line of communications with China by way of Burma.

g. Make ready to support Russia in case of war with Japan.

h. Continue to intensify attrition of enemy strength by land, air, and sea (including submarine) action.

In referring to Japan’s potentialities for offensive action, he listed as possibilities:
a. The Maritime Provinces, Eastern Siberia – Russia.
b. Alaska by way of the Aleutians.
c. Midway-Hawaii line (key to the Pacific).
d. The Hawaii-Samoa-Fiji-New Caledonia line which covers the line of communication to Australia and New Zealand.
e. Australia and New Zealand – by way of the Bismarck Archipelago and/or the Solomons.
f. Australia by way of Malay barrier.
g. India – by way of Burma.
h. China.

He summed up his comments on Japan’s potentialities and their probable courses of action with the general statements:
a. That there was an impending threat to the Maritime Provinces; why action had not been precipitated only the Japanese could answer.

b. That the developing situation may dictate that the Japanese undertake completion of the conquest of China.

c. That it was unlikely that the Japanese would undertake major operations against Alaska.

d. That, since the decrease in the scale of activity in the Solomon[s] area, Japan had not given any definite indication of where she would strike next. Her reserve potentialities were certainly great enough to permit offensive action. It was, therefore, necessary that the United Nations be alert to anticipate the direction of this attack.

He stated that it was necessary to maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan, particularly by intensifying action to cut her lines of communication and to attain positions of readiness from which a full-scale offensive could be launched as soon as the full resources of the United Nations could be made available. The yardstick which must be used in measuring any operation undertaken in the Pacific was:
a. Would it further threaten or cut Japanese lines of communication;

b. Would it contribute to the attainment of positions of readiness from which a full-scale offensive could be launched against Japan.

It was with these objects in mind that the conclusions reached in CCS 239 have been set out; namely, offensive operations in the Pacific and Far East in 1943-44 have the following objectives:
a. Conduct of air operations in and from China.
b. Operations in Burma to augment supplies to China.
c. Ejection of the Japanese from the Aleutians.
d. Seizure of the Marshalls and Caroline Islands.
e. Seizure of the Solomons-Bismarck Archipelago and Japanese held New Guinea.

To these should be added:

Intensification of operations against Japanese lines of communication.

Admiral King, in response to several questions, explained briefly the methods used by the Japanese in employing their submarines and the results which had been attained by the United States submarines operating against Japanese shipping.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
Approved CCS 239 subject to the following amendments:

Deletion of the word “retain” on pages 1 and 2;

Deletion of subparagraph 2b (6) on page 2 and substitution for it of:

(6) Intensification of Operations Against Enemy Lines of Communication
“All the foregoing operations are essential to the attainment of positions which enable the intensification and expansion of attacks on the enemy lines of communication in the Pacific.

Addition of subparagraph 3 a (6) as follows:

(6) Intensification of Operations Against Enemy Lines of Communication.

At this point the following withdrew from the meeting:

  • Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell
  • Admiral Sir James Somerville
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse
  • Captain C. E. Lambe, RN
  • Brigadier W. Porter
  • Air Commodore W. Elliot

Report to President and Prime Minister

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Directed the Secretaries to prepare a report to the President and Prime Minister on the results of the Conference thus far.

Record of Presidential Press Conference No. 898, 10:50 a.m.

Washington, May 21, 1943.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Q. Mr. President, you have had a number of recent conferences with Dr. (T. V.) Soong. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so. There isn’t any particular news, one way or another.

Q. I wondered if there was anything special you had up between you?

THE PRESIDENT: No. I suppose the– the principal thing relates to getting war materials of all kinds into China.

Q. Did you say more material?

THE PRESIDENT: War materials – and medical things – things of that kind. That is going along pretty well.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can tell us about the visit of Prime Minister Mackenzie King (of Canada) here?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so. He is just– just down here on the same– same thing that everybody else is here – furtherance of the war. I am seeing him again this morning.

Q. Mr. President, back to Dr. Soong, we have noticed that he has been in here, particularly since Prime Minister Churchill arrived. Could you say if your talks with the Prime Minister concerned something about China?

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, sure. We talked about China. It isn’t the only place we have been talking about.

Q. Mr. President, when you referred to the majority of our forces, you were speaking then of a majority of these forces which are outside the continental United States?


MR. GODWIN: (aside) How about it?

Q. Mr. President, any sort of progress report you can give us on your talks with the Prime Minister (Churchill)?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I suppose the best way to put it is this: that, so far, most of the work has been done by the Combined Staffs. And they have been at it, and we expect to get some preliminary recommendations from the Combined Staffs – you might call them tentative recommendations – probably in tonight’s meeting. Then those will be gone over – and I might say the Combined Staffs have been getting along extremely well – and then over the weekend we will be going over them, and take up the preliminary recommendations next week and iron out any kinks that are in them and make them final.

Q. Mr. President, has any consideration been given to the political future of Italy?

MR. GODWIN: (aside) What?

THE PRESIDENT: Unconditional surrender. I think that—

Q. (interposing) Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: (continuing)—speaks for itself.

Q. Thank you.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

MR. GODWIN: Italy?


MR. GODWIN: Italy?


MR. GODWIN: He asked about Italy?

THE PRESIDENT: Unconditional surrender.

Leahy-Soong meeting

United States China
Admiral Leahy Foreign Minister Soong

Soong spoke of Burma and made a “categorical statement” that Chinese forces would not undertake a campaign in Burma unless an attack were launched on Rangoon.

Roosevelt-Mackenzie King meeting, 12:30 p.m.

United States Canada
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Mackenzie King

This was a farewell meeting between the President and the Prime Minister. Matters discussed included Roosevelt’s letter of May 5, 1943, to Stalin asking the Soviet leader for an informal meeting, and Roosevelt’s proposal for a summer trip to Canada.

Roosevelt-Churchill luncheon meeting, 1 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins

The Pittsburgh Press (May 21, 1943)

12 Fortresses lost in raid on Nazi ports

Emden, Wilhelmshaven hit; RAF bombs Berlin for second night

Jap Navy commander killed

Yamamoto said he would dictate peace terms in White House
By the United Press

His_Excellency_Admiral_Yamamoto_Isoroku O Norman
Adm. Yamamoto

Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, who boasted that he would dictate peace terms in the White House, died in aerial combat, Radio Tokyo disclosed today in broadcasts suggesting that the foremost Jap naval commander was killed, possibly by Americans, while directing a South Pacific battle.


Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt was informed at his press conference today about the death of Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the Jap naval leader who had promised to write the final terms of American surrender in the White House.

Mr. Roosevelt’s comment: “Gosh!”

The broadcasts did not fix specifically how the 59-year-old commander-in-chief of Japan’s fleet was killed except that it was on a “foremost front” and that Yamamoto, a flier, had gone up to lead the fight himself.

A Tokyo report heard in Chungking fixed the approximate place and said that the time was mid-April. The South Pacific might mean anywhere along the broad front where U.S. fliers, with the aid of Australians, are holding Allied outposts.

One of Japan’s top air leaders, Yamamoto was chief of the Jap fleet from which the fliers embarked to pull the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that sent Japan and the United States into war.

Jap Navy Minister Adm. Shigetarō Shimada, in a statement reported by a Dōmei (Jap) News Agency dispatch, said Yamamoto’s service would be “remembered forever by every Japanese,” and that his death would not shake the fleet but would “redouble determination to crush the enemy.”

Yamamoto was “personally directing the operations in an airplane which engaged the enemy” at the time of his death, a broadcast said.

Nazis broadcast

A DNB (German) broadcast from Tokyo said Yamamoto:

…died a hero’s death in battle aboard an aircraft carrier in April while directing operations from a foremost line.

The dispatch was broadcast by Berlin radio.

The Federal Communications Commission said Tokyo reported that Adm. Mineichi Koga was named to succeed Yamamoto as the highest Jap naval officer.

Long high in Jap naval circles, Yamamoto made his peace terms boast almost a year before the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The boast was revealed by Dōmei (Jap) News Agency in a Tokyo broadcast 10 days after Pearl Harbor. The same broadcast credited Yamamoto with carrying out “the strategy of surprise” at Pearl Harbor.

Yamamoto was quoted as writing to a friend in a letter dated Jan. 24, 1941:

I am looking forward to dictating peace to the United States in the White House at Washington.

The announcement of his death was brief. Tokyo said:

Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, is dead. This was announced in a communiqué issued at 3 p.m. (Tokyo Time) this Friday afternoon by the Imperial Headquarters.

Dies in plane

The broadcast then described it as:

…a gallant death on the foremost front in April of this year while he was personally directing the operations in an airplane which engaged the enemy.

The FCC said that the Tokyo announcer choked, as if weeping, when he read the death notice and that he had to break off. The radio filled in with a wrestling match broadcast.

The Berlin broadcast said Emperor Hirohito made Yamamoto a marshal in posthumous promotion and that the funeral would be observed as a day of national mourning. The date of the funeral was not given.

Koga, a member of the Jap Navy General Staff and former commander of the Jap fleet units in Chinese waters, is already in command of the Combined Fleet, the FCC recording said.

Yamamoto, who lost several fingers in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, was an expert flier. He was a small, vigorous man and formerly headed the Jap Navy’s Aviation Division.

His letter reported by Dōmei said he would not be content with capturing Guam, the Philippines and with plans to occupy “Hawaii and San Francisco,” in case of war with the United States. He wanted, he said, to go back to Washington where he was once a naval attaché and dictate terms from the President’s residence.

Yamamoto was a delegate to the London Naval Conferences of 1930 and 1934 where he argued that Japan should be allowed a bigger navy.

Helps to wreck parley

That conference broke up amid the wreckage of the 5:5:3 limitation on the ratio of British, U.S. and Jap shipbuilding – a wreckage Yamamoto helped to create.

Before that, he had had an opportunity to study America during residence as Washington naval attaché shortly after World War I and again from 1925 to 1927. But as late as 1938, he promised, as Jap Navy Vice Minister, that Japan “will not engage in a building race” and “has never contemplated building a navy for the purpose of crossing the ocean to engage in conflict.”

He became Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet and of the Japanese Navy’s 1st Fleet on August 30, 1939. At that time, dispatches from Tokyo noted that he was credited with doing most of the work in building up the country’s air arm.

Thus, he took part in all of the planning that went into Japan’s war strategy and was the chief of the Navy that drove to such far-flung outposts as New Guinea and Timor in the Southwest Pacific and to Attu in the Aleutians.

Yamamoto was born April 4, 1884, in Nagaoka City, the sixth son of Takano Teikichi. He graduated from the Japanese Military Academy at 20, taking part in the Russo-Japanese War the next year and being wounded at the Battle of Tsushima on May 28, 1905.

His rise in the Japanese Navy after 1920 was rapid. Part of his work was along technical lines in ships and aircraft. In 1936, he became Vice Minister of the Navy and Chief of Aviation in May 1938.

A Tokyo broadcast recorded by the FCC on April 7 last said he was a “great poker player” and talked about how he had “called the bluff” of Great Britain and United States. The date of that broadcast gave rise to speculation that he was killed sometime after that.

Talk of offensive

Yamamoto’s death came during a month when the Japs were strengthening their air forces, particularly in the Southwest Pacific, and throwing increasingly heavy raids at Allied outposts.

In April, the Japs talked of a new and great offensive to knock out the Allies – an offensive that so far has failed to develop. None of the Allied announcements of Pacific action during April mentioned a Jap aircraft carrier. Some may have been used to base Navy planes which Tokyo radio said attacked various Allied bases.

The Japs lost heavily both in the South and Southwest Pacific during April, as many as 37 of 98 planes being shot down in an engagement April 7 off Guadalcanal. There was nothing to indicate which of the many engagements cost Yamamoto his life.

Striking from Africa –
Yanks destroy 113 Axis planes

Italian bases raided; dam in Sardinia blasted
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer