By Peter Edson
Unit slain, he machine-gunned and bayoneted Japs in Solomons to prevent breakthrough
By the United Press
Tokyo radio said today the American zoot-suit wearers were “isolationist and anti-war fighters,” in a broadcast reported by the Office of War Information. Tokyo radio said:
They are strong courageous young men banded together into a nationwide army to express by physical force their disapproval of the war.
Commenting on the recent rioting between soldiers and zooters, Tokyo decided:
They [the zooters] are not afraid to spill blood – even their own blood – but they are intent on spilling it in their own country for their own sacred ideals.
Beaumont, Texas (UP) –
Peace returned to Beaumont’s bloody race riot streets today following a night-long session of a military court of inquiry. More than 200 men were questioned.
Most of the shipbuilding town’s white citizens had returned to work as order was restored by martial law and the Negro population contemplated a “Juneteenth” without celebration.
Tomorrow is Juneteenth, celebration day commemorating emancipation of the slaves. All festivities, however, have been cancelled.
Names of the men involved in the riots, many of them shipyard workers, will be turned over to the State Selective Service. Some of the men with occupational deferments may lose their draft status.
General cites value of detection service in Battle of Attu
Sharp decline expected after first of year; goals are set
George protests unnecessary military spending
Army seeks $271,000,000 for care and pay of men captured on foreign battlefields
By Dick Thornburg, Scripps-Howard staff writer
By Ernie Pyle
Somewhere in Africa – (by wireless)
One of the sagas of this war – and one that can’t be written fully until after the war – is the career of the Combat Engineers.
They have yet to hear the crack of an enemy gun, but their overseas record is already talked about throughout the length and breadth of Africa. They have been away from home now since the spring of 1942. They are one of the proudest organizations I’ve ever come across. They brag about what they’ve taken and swear they are yenning for more.
The Army Engineers build things, as you know. These particular engineers build airfields and depots and barracks for other soldiers. But it isn’t so much what they have built as where they built it, and how.
On their first and biggest job, they lived for five months in an isolation that few other American troops have known. They worked day and night. The only way they knew when Sunday came was that the colonel would put on a necktie. They wore out their gloves and worked with bandaged hands. Supplies failed to reach them on schedule, so they went on half rations, and then on quarter rations. Each man got only one quart of water a day.
They had no entertainment of any kind, and no mail for three and a half months. Well, some mail did come at the end of two months, but it was all fourth-class, including a sackful of training manuals for troops in Arctic climates.
Never use what they build
These were the first American troops to hit the Congo. They built an immense base camp in record time, when the natives had said it couldn’t be built at all. Then, in squads and platoons and companies, they pushed deep into all parts of Central Africa. They built emergency airfields all over the veldt and through the deep jungle. They built hospitals, roads and bridges, and set up barracks for the troops that were to follow. But not for themselves.
One sergeant said:
Hell no! We ain’t slept in a building since we left the States. We build ‘em, we don’t use ‘em.
The outfit has its fun as well as its work. They have killed two elephants. They hunt antelope, deer, buffalo and crocodiles. Snakes don’t even count. Monkeys and leopards were accumulated as pets.
One company in a locality where horses abound is called the “Mounted Engineers” because almost every man owns a horse. Another unit is known as the “Mayors of Harlem,” since they are in direct control of more natives than Father Divine has followers.
Their work is tough, dirty and unglamorous, and it is done under the most trying conditions. Working in “the white man’s graveyard,” they have lost only one man – due to a streptococcic infection. They have learned to take everything the tropics have to offer and still keep going,
We have lived with more different kinds of bugs than Carter has Little Liver Pills.
And another one said:
At first, when a bug wandered into the warm soapsuds we call beer down here, we’d throw the beer away. The second week, we would take the bug out. The third week, we took the bug out, squeezed him dry, then drank the beer. The next week, we drank the bug. Now we catch them and put them in our beer for flavor.
Immaculate commander called ‘Ramrod’
There were more than a thousand of these tough Army Engineers at the last counting. They are scattered in seven different parts of Africa, toiling away. Their commander, whom I am not permitted to name, is a tall, gangling soldier of the old school, whose greatest misfortune is that he has a face which looks something like mine. Otherwise, we’re nothing alike. In conversation, he is pleasant, and during working hours he is tough. He is always immaculate in his dress, and he remains immaculate even when the tropical sun hits 150.
He stands so straight they call him “Ramrod.” At work, he always carries a silver-tipped swagger stick under his arm. One admiring engineer described him as “a swagger stick carrying a swagger stick.”
Two men I can name are the two who gave me most of my information about this unusual organization. In fact, one wrote some of these words himself. He is Lt. William Newman of Cullman, Alabama, a town which has a monastery with a famous miniature city in its garden, about which I wrote a column several years ago. The other is Capt. Jules Carville of Norco, Louisiana. His ancestors founded the town of Carville. The captain is now an ancestor himself – of a descendant who has arrived since he left home, and whom he’d like mighty well to see.
Filmtown, jolted by marriage, thought he was ‘cured’
They know most of roads because they built ‘em, officer says
U.S. Navy Department (June 19, 1943)
On June 16, a twin‑engine Japanese reconnaissance bomber was shot down southeast of San Cristóbal Island.
On June 17:
During the afternoon, Dauntless (Douglass SBD) dive bombers escorted by Wildcat (Grumman F4F) fighters attacked Japanese positions at Rekata Bay, Santa Isabel Island. Hits were scored on enemy antiaircraft positions.
During the night, an unknown number of Japanese planes approached Guadalcanal Island, and dropped several bombs harmlessly into the water off Tulagi. No damage or casualties were sustained.
Additional reports received indicate that in the air battle over Guadalcanal Island (previously reported in Navy Department Communiqués 415 and 416), 94 Japanese planes were destroyed instead of 77. Of the additional 17, 16 were shot down by ships in the harbor and one by shore‑based anti-aircraft.
The Japanese planes were met by Army and Navy fighter planes, participating in approximately equal numbers. The Navy planes were manned by Navy and Marine Corps pilots. Eight of the Army planes were flown by New Zealand pilots. All U.S. planes were based on Henderson Field. Fighting plane types including Corsairs (Vought F4U), Wildcats (Grumman F4F), Lightnings (Lockheed P‑38), Airacobras (Bell P‑39), and Warhawks (Curtiss P‑40). This air victory was a striking example of coordinated battle action by the various units concerned.
The Japanese planes came in over Beaufort Bay (west coast of Guadalcanal Island) and were engaged by the U.S. planes. At about the same time, another group of Japanese planes approached from farther north and were immediately attacked. Approximately 30 enemy dive bombers maneuvered to attack U.S. cargo vessels escorted by destroyers. Subsequent contacts were made over Koli Point, Savo Island, Cape Esperance and Tulagi.
The dive bombing of U.S. surface units occurred at about 2:15 p.m. In this attack, a cargo vessel and a landing craft were damaged. One other cargo vessel sustained minor damage.
In the air action, 30 Navy and Marine Corps planes shot down 16 Zero fighters and 17 bombers. 36 Army planes shot down 29 Zeros and 10 bombers. The eight New Zealand pilots shot down five bombers.
Of the six U.S. planes shot down, two of the pilots were rescued.