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

Ferguson: Old stuff

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Panel’s evidence for coal report taken in 4 days

Evidence not always complete, panel admits; interpretations of exhibits sometimes made; data brought in

Mother of Sgt. York dies at son’s home

Planes smash Jap barges in Guinea waters

Allies also blast 22 of 47 enemy aircraft in Australian area
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Editorial: Bigotry is losing

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Tunisia – (by wireless)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column describing the winter’s battleground in Tunisia, in which I said there wasn’t much evidence over the countryside of the fighting that had gone on. That was the central Tunisian battlefield – the one we fought over all winter.

But now we have a new battlefield to look over, the northern one, and it looks vastly more warlike than the southern one. There are two reasons for that – the fighting was more concentrated and on a much greater scale, and the Germans collapsed so quickly they had no time to retrieve vehicles and clean up the battlefields as they did in the south.

Today there are roads in northern Tunisia that are littered for miles at a stretch with wrecked and burned-out vehicles. Sometimes a skeleton of a tank or a big truck sits right in the middle of a road and you have to drive around it. In spots you can see two or three dozen wrecked tanks scattered across a mile-wide valley. In many places the roads are rough from filled-in shell holes.

All bridges blown up

In the first day or two after the finish you would still see an occasional blanket-covered body lying at the roadside. Frequently you would see one or two German graves, where victims of vehicle strafing are buried. And as you drive along your noses tell you now and then of one that the burial parties missed.

I am constantly amazed and touched at the number of dogs and mules killed on the highways by artillery and strafing planes. Practically all the bridges in northern Tunisia have been blown up. You detour around the smaller ones. Over the larger streams American and British engineers have thrown sudden and magnificent steel bridges, or laid pontoon bridges.

Only a few of the towns in central Tunisia were really wrecked by shellfire, but in northern Tunisia all the towns along the line of battle have been truly destroyed. Bizerte is the most completely wrecked place I have ever seen. It was a large city, and a beautiful one. It is impossible to picture in words what it looks like now.

If you remember World War I pictures of such places as Verdun, that is the way it is. Nothing could possibly have lived through the months-long bombing that Bizerte took. Those who say a city can’t be destroyed by bombing should go and see Bizerte.

Arabs trek back home

As soon as the Tunisian war was over, the Arabs began flocking back to their homes. They had been cleaned out of the battle area by both sides, for two reasons – to keep them from getting hurt and because neither side trusted them. Most of them were simply evacuated to safe hills in the rear, but those under suspicion were arrested and put in outdoor prison camps while the fighting was going on.

They come back across country now in long caravans. Scores of Arabs are in each group, with their sheep and their cattle, their burros and their kids. They are a dirty and disheartening lot. Their junklike belongings are piled high on two-wheeled carts. I saw one cart with 14 oxen hitched to it. The women usually have large bundles on their backs. Now and then one Arab will give you the Victory sign and said, “Bonjour,” but most of them pass in silence. For the Tunisian Arab was well sold by German propaganda.

Chris won’t forget Ferryville

Ferryville and Tunis are the two places where fantastic demonstrations were put on as the Americans and British entered and released the cities from their captivity. The wild Ferryville demonstration has already been written about, but I am mentioning it again in order to tell a little story.

Chris Cunningham of the United Press and I shared a tent and traveled together quite a bit in this northern campaign. Chris is a stocky fellow, with black whiskers. He looks pretty tough, although he is actually rather bashful. When he drove into Ferryville in his jeep, he was immediately surrounded and overpowered by jubilant men, women and children, throwing flowers and shouting, “Vive la France!” and “Vive l’Amérique!”

In the midst of this hubbub a pompous-looking gentleman, a gruffly dignified Frenchman of the old school, arrived on the scene. He stood for a moment at the curb, surveying the outburst with what appeared to be disapproval. Then he took a deep breath, brushed the common herd aside with both hands as though he were swimming, reached over into the jeep and kissed Chris first on one cheek and then on the other. That accomplished, he turned and strode pompously away.

Chris hasn’t heard the last of it yet.

Pegler: More communist propaganda

By Westbrook Pegler

King Vidor’s America now before cameras 18 years after he conceived idea for epic

Saga of industry has Donlevy as star
By a special correspondent, North American Newspaper Alliance

U.S. State Department (May 22, 1943)

Meetings of American and British shipping experts, beginning at 4 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Deputy War Shipping Administrator Douglas Minister of War Transport Leathers
Mr. Bissell Mr. Maclay
Lieutenant General Somervell Major General Holmes
Major General Gross Brigadier Williams
Colonel Stokes Mr. Harvey

Douglas Notes

May 22, 1943, 4 p.m.

Lord Leathers, Mr. Maclay, Brig. [Major] General Holmes, Brig. General Williams, Mr. Harvey joined the meeting, which, therefore became Combined, at 4:00.

Considerable discussion was had on the subject of the U.K. port capacity, with the American military insisting in effect that it was illogical for Lord Leathers to insist that more than 150 ships could not be accommodated on U.S. Army account in the ports while more than that number could be accommodated on account of the U.K. import program. It seemed to be clear that the Army was trying to use port capacity to restrict the U.K. import program. LWD observed that the matter might well be resolved by advancing the volume of the U.K. import program into the summer months of 1943 when the U.S. Army program was at its lowest tide, thus making available places during the winter months in the U.K. ports for ships carrying U.S. Army cargo.

India was then discussed. Brigadier Williams very tenaciously but pleasantly inquired as to whether or not there had been duplications in the American statement of requirements of the items carried in the British statement. He pointed out that the British had reduced their deficit by 155 and had brought their shipping position into a complete balance. Most of the shrinkages had been made on the military side, and he thought our military, too, might do some shrinking.

The Italian requirement was discussed, and, interestingly enough, Lord Leathers took very much the same position that the WSA at the Joint meeting had expressed.

Paragraph 47 of the CCS paper, the part regarding the Army statement was brought up by General Somervell. Maclay finally got the point of it and indicated that the British would have to disagree to the language of the paragraph as Somervell interpreted it.

The meeting then adjourned. The WSA and the British retired to prepare a consolidated statement and the Army retired to revise their statement of requirements.

Several modifications were telephoned subsequently to Mr. Schneider. India was reduced, etc. About 2:30 Sunday morning Colonel Stokes and General Gross came over with their finished statement. Shortly thereafter Mr. Bissell’s estimate of availables was completed for the year 1943. When matched together the deficit of 155 was shown on the American side and no deficit on the British side. General Somervell, who arrived about 4:00 a.m. suggested that the British pick up half of the deficit. Brigadier Williams and Maclay very categorically stated that they had already eliminated their deficit of 155 and had brought their shipping position into equilibrium, and that they positively would not and could not shrink any further. General Somervell then remarked to me that he thought it could be picked up on his side. He indicated that very substantial shrinkages had taken place in the Army requirements but that it would be possible to reduce further the requirements. He made specific reference to Alaska, but qualified that Kiska had not yet been taken; that, moreover, there were no ships in the Alaskan service which were suitable to overseas voyages. I pointed out to him that there were something like 20 to 22 Liberty ships and that they, of course, were exactly what we needed in the long ocean trips. At any rate, he made it very clear to me and to others that this deficit of 155 could be managed by reductions in the military requirements. He concurred that the deficit of 155 would be eliminated in practice.

The requirements for the first nine months of 1944 on the British side, including the U.K. import program and the usual Lend-Lease aid had been discussed and reduced very substantially below the original figure, hastily calculated, if indeed calculated at all, by the British.

Statements were prepared, one by Lord Leathers and LWD, one by the military, and at about 6:30 a.m. the meeting broke up with everyone well satisfied.

Churchill meeting with members of Congress

Halifax had invited some 15 Senators and 15 Representatives to the British Embassy for the meeting. Halifax recalls a meeting which took place at 6 p.m. and was marked by a speech by Churchill.

U.S. Navy Department (May 23, 1943)

Communiqué No. 387

North Pacific.
On the afternoon of May 22, about 15 twin‑engine Japanese bomb­ers unsuccessfully attacked two U.S. surface units operating in the Attu area.

There was no change in the general situation ashore.

U.S. State Department (May 23, 1943)

Phillips-Churchill meeting, forenoon

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Phillips Prime Minister Churchill

Roosevelt asked Phillips to see Churchill and give him his frank impressions of conditions in India. Churchill apparently took strong exception to Phillips’ proposal that Indian leaders be given a measure of authority to deal with domestic affairs. Phillips also relates that he immediately reported upon his private talk with Churchill to Roosevelt during a luncheon conversation with the President.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 2 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 Minister of War Transport Leathers
Lieutenant General Embick Lord Cherwell
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Vice Admiral Horne Lieutenant General Ismay
Rear Admiral Cooke Admiral Noble
Major General Streett Lieutenant General Macready
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Air Marshal Welsh
Colonel Cabell Major General Holmes
Commander Freseman Captain Lambe
Commander Long Brigadier Porter
Mr. Douglas Air Commodore Elliot
Brigadier Macleod
Brigadier Redman
Brigadier General Deane
Commander Coleridge
Lieutenant Colonel Vittrup

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

May 23, 1943, 2 p.m.


Conclusions of the Minutes of the 93rd Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the conclusions as shown in the Minutes of the 93rd Meeting held on Saturday, the 22nd May.

Anti-U-Boat Warfare (CCS 241 and 241/1) (Previous Reference: CCS 93rd Meeting, Item 2.)

Admiral Leahy suggested that CCS 241 and 241/1 should each be altered in certain respects and then noted by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Sir Charles Portal suggested a minor amendment to paragraph 4 of CCS 241/1.

Admiral Leahy read out a draft conclusion with reference to the work of the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of CCS 241 and deleted the phrase “and that the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board should be responsible for recommending any such transfer” at the end of the last paragraph of page 1. (Subsequently published as CCS 241/3.)

b. Took note of CCS 241/1 and directed that the words “relieve British planes in certain areas” should be deleted and the words “provide planes” substituted. (Subsequently published as CCS 241/4.)

c. Agreed that in view of the fact that the directive under which the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board operates requires them to report on any aspect of the Allied Anti-Submarine Organization in which they consider the Allied resources are not being used to the best advantage, it is not considered necessary that the Board should have any special responsibility laid on them in the case quoted in CCS 241.

Movements of the Queens (CCS 246) (Previous Reference: CCS 93rd Meeting, Item 5.)

Without discussion,

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the proposals for the future movement of the Queens as set out in paragraph 6 of CCS 246.

Policy for Coming Operations Regarding Propaganda and Subversive Activities (CCS 185/4) (Previous Reference: CCS 93rd Meeting, Item 3.)

General Ismay informed the Combined Chiefs of Staff that the Prime Minister had agreed to the draft telegram to General Eisenhower, contained in CCS 185/4.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note that the President and Prime Minister had decided that the policy set forth in CCS 185/2/D should be adhered to.

b. Agreed to send the message contained in CCS 185/4 to General Eisenhower.

Implementation of Assumed Basic Undertakings and Specific Operations for the Conduct of the War in 1943-1944 (CCS 244)

The Committee had before them CCS 244 together with an addendum and corrigendum to it containing Annex VII, and a summary of conclusions and a corrigendum to Annex II.

Certain amendments to the paper were suggested and accepted.

Lord Leathers said that Annex VII represented the agreed views of himself, Mr. Lewis Douglas and General Somervell and was a submission of the shipping position for the period under discussion. He and his colleagues believed the deficiencies were relatively small and, if properly spread over all the programs concerned, the effect would not be unmanageable. The requirements set out in the paper had, in most cases, been cut as far as was possible. The deficiency was only a small percentage of the total. This small percentage of deficiency when taking into consideration the various assumptions, including losses, building rates, etc., was so small that it could be spread and absorbed and gave, in his opinion, no grounds for anxiety.

Lord Leathers then suggested a minor amendment to the note following paragraph 3 of Annex VII, Part I.

Sir Alan Brooke explained that the reduced troop lift due to the proposed opening out of the cycle of movement for the Queens had been taken into account – the bottleneck was dry cargo and not personnel shipping.

In reply to a question by General Marshall, Lord Leathers explained that shortly after the Casablanca Conference the loss rate had been carefully examined and agreed rates accepted. These were 2.39 percent per month for the first half of the year and 1.9 percent per month for the second half. The present paper had been based on these calculations, though in fact the loss rate so far this year had worked out at slightly less than 1.9 percent. An agreed and accurate loss rate was a most important factor in all calculations dealing with shipping requirements and availability. He agreed with Admiral King that the loss rate should be subjected to frequent review.

Mr. Douglas said that he agreed with Lord Leathers that the deficit with regard to dry cargo shipping was not unmanageable.

In reply to a question by General Marshall, General Somervell said that he agreed with Lord Leathers and Mr. Douglas that shipping was available for the undertakings set out in CCS 244, subject to the slight deficit which he considered could be absorbed by spreading it over the entire period.

Sir Alan Brooke said that he felt sure the Combined Chiefs of Staff would wish to express appreciation of the excellent work accomplished in so short a time by the Combined Staff Planners and shipping experts, both civil and military. All present agreed.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved CCS 244, as amended in Annex “B” to these Minutes, except that paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Summary of Conclusions should be taken note of as recommendations only.

Despatch of U.S. Service and Engineer Troops to the United Kingdom

Sir Alan Brooke read out a brief memorandum on the importance of the early despatch of certain service and engineer troops to the United Kingdom. This movement would not interfere with the scheduled SICKLE buildup but was essential due to the shortage of manpower in England.

General Somervell said that he entirely agreed with Sir Alan Brooke’s view that the early arrival of SOS and engineer troops was essential to prepare for the arrival of the fighting forces.

General Marshall said that the present plan already provided for the movement of 40,000 men per division which included a large proportion of service units. The required priority could be arranged for early sailing of necessary service elements.

Sir Charles Portal said that he was prepared to accept this movement provided that it was not at the expense of SICKLE, the priority of which must not be disturbed.

Admiral King said that the picture as a whole must be considered. It might prove necessary for the SICKLE movement to be modified slightly in the light of these requirements.

Lord Leathers pointed out the necessity for port battalions for discharging the ships at the landing points.

Both General McNarney and Sir Charles Portal pointed out that SICKLE was an essential prelude to and an integral part of cross-Channel operations as a whole and that the ground operations could not be undertaken without it.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed that the necessary service troops for the buildup of the BOLERO force will be given priorities in sailings as necessary to service the buildup of the combat troops without prejudice to SICKLE.

At this point Lord Leathers, Lord Cherwell, and Mr. Douglas left the meeting.

Operation BRISK (Previous Reference: CCS 87th Meeting, Item 2)

The Committee had before them a draft report by the British Planning Staff. (JP(T) 17 (Final))

In the course of discussion, it was pointed out that the Prime Minister and President had made it clear that the decision with regard to diplomatic action should rest with them, and had asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to prepare a statement of the military reasons necessitating the occupation of the Portuguese Islands, a military plan to effect their capture and to give a target date on which this operation could be undertaken.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff then discussed certain alternative proposals for obtaining the use of these Islands at an earlier date than that indicated in the plan.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note that the British Staff Planners were preparing a statement for inclusion in the final report to the President and Prime Minister, which would set forth the urgent military reasons for this operation.

Third Soviet Protocol (CCS 243)

Without discussion,

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed that this matter should be considered after the conclusion of the TRIDENT Conferences.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 23, 1943)

Allies hammer 9 bases on foe’s southern front

By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

T-card slash takes effect this Monday

Value of A, B, C cards remains unchanged; saving computed

11,000 troops battle floods

Crop damage in millions; 107,000 homeless

Doors are shut to Colin Kelly’s family on coast

Babies aren’t allowed in Los Angeles homes, widow says

Japs on Attu split in trap

Enemy forces cut into three small groups

Rubber strike halts output in Akron area

52,000 defy WLB order and union officials; tank lines halt
By the United Press

Babies also get break –
Ceilings put on 22 foods

Jams, jellies and preserves also on list