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

Legion convention decries race riots; backs legal bingo

Approves bill for Boro vets hospital

Anxiety perils public morale, doctors warn

Urge Roosevelt reassure people to forestall riots, curb crime
By Joan Younger

Marines Come Through, Wings Over Pacific share screen in new Strand film program

By Jane Corby

Editorial: U.S. victory in Kula Gulf in Navy’s finest tradition

We have heard a lot about the efficiency of the Japanese Navy, about its fight-to-the-death tradition, about the unerring marksmanship of its gunners. Furthermore, we have heard of nothing in the Pacific fighting to warrant any belittling of the little brown seamen as used to be the fashion in many circles before Pearl Harbor.

What has happened off Midway, in the Coral Sea, off Guadalcanal and now in the Kula Gulf does not in the least belie the descriptions of our Oriental enemy. It merely demonstrates the conspicuous all-around excellence of the U.S. Navy.

In official sources, it has been stated that Kula Gulf was not a major battle in the sense that the biggest units of the fleet did not participate. But we doubt if the proportionate damage wreaked on the enemy – in spite of the fact our forces were outnumbered – has ever been equaled.

It is stated that every Jap warship sighted by our men was either destroyed or damaged – latest estimates being eight sunk and two in the latter category. Against this, we lost the new light cruiser Helena.

This is a remarkable showing. It proves that American marksmanship is still unexcelled. A glance at the map shows that our fleet had the benefit of daring leadership – as is to be expected when Adm. Halsey is in command. For this sea victory made possible the landing on New Georgia Island of troops that threaten from the rear the important Japanese base of Munda which was the immediate objective of the present offensive.

The events of the past few days are in the glorious tradition of Jones and Decatur, of Farragut and Dewey. Certainly, they furnish ample grounds for the complete confidence of the American people in the invincibility of our navy.

The Pittsburgh Press (July 9, 1943)

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Third of five articles on the WACs.

North Africa –
For some weird and unfathomable reason known only to the strange creatures themselves, women love to drill. But the WACs in North Africa don’t get to do much drilling. They’re too busy doing their regular jobs.

Those of the WACs who live at the edge of town in a convent are marched about a quarter of a mile every morning to board the trucks that take them downtown. That and a 15-minute drill period once a week is all the drilling they get.

The ones who live in an old office building downtown don’t even get that. In fact, they don’t even have reveille. Horn-tooting at sunrise would be impractical, for the girls work shifts clear around the clock, like factory workers, and at dawn many of them have barely got to sleep.

Their home life is very much like life at college. They sleep in double-decker beds, some of them French iron beds, some carpentered from boards. All the beds have springs. The girls sleep between Army blankets, with one rough sheet. They are issued seersucker pajamas, either light blue or peach-colored. Their rooms are crowded. There isn’t too much space to put things.

After careful yoo-hooing and peeking ahead by the officer in command, I was allowed to snoop around into the sacred precincts of the girls’ dormitories and rooms. Everything was neat, since the girls are soldiers now. They make their own beds, and do their own washing. Practically every one of them brought an electric iron from home. Probably the most typical sight in a WAC barracks is a girl bending over an ironing board.

In the downtown barracks, the girls hang their washing on half of the roof, keeping the other half for sunbathing. Clotheslines are constantly filled with brown stockings, slips, shirts and panties.

The officer who took me around said:

You’re the first man who has ever seen this many pairs of WAC panties at one time.

And I said:

Madam, due to the rigors of old age and encroachment for war work upon my spare time, I have never seen even one pair of WAC panties before.

Each girl is issued three khaki skirts and nine shirts. They are not allowed to roll up their sleeves, and they must wear the cotton stockings that are issued to them. French girls who are the equivalent of our WACs wear anklets, which look infinitely better.

The girls are not allowed to wear jewelry, except signet or wedding rings and wrist watches. The first week they were here, it was a poor WAC indeed who didn’t have at least three Algerian bracelets showered upon her by startled and adoring G.I.s, but since they weren’t allowed to wear them, most of them sent the bracelets home.

The girls have to wear dog tags around their necks, the same as soldiers, but every one of them has her tag on a silver or gold chain instead of the Army’s piece of string.

The girls don’t have much time for dates. Those on daytime shifts work from 8 to 5, and many of them go back at night to work some more. Those who don’t have to work at night use that time to do their washing, pressing and letter-writing.

Lights go out at 10 o’clock, and the roll is taken every night to catch anybody who is staying out. Each girl gets an 11 o’clock pass once a week, and half a day off once a week.

Every one of the girls has already learned passable French, and some of them are expert at it.

There are frequent dances and beach parties, given by various Army units. When one of these is planned, the Army sends notice that so many WACs are wanted. The notice is put on a bulletin board, and any WACs who want to go put down their names.

When mail arrives, a list of those who have letters is put on the bulletin board. The day I was there, the typewritten list was headed:

Come and get it, you sweet little things.

There is also a full-length mirror near the front door of the downtown barracks, and above the mirror a sign which says, “Check Your Appearance.”

I don’t believe the girls have as many pictures beside their beds as the average soldier living in permanent quarters. You see a few photographs of parents and nephews, but the boy pictures I noticed were 100% of men in uniform. Many of the WACs are engaged to boys back home who are now in the service.

A good many romances are blooming among those not already engaged, but so far, there have been no marriage requests. Some 18% of the WACs in Africa were already married when they enlisted.

Every box and windowsill at WAC quarters is filled with ointments, lotions, salves, pastes and creams. They brought a year’s supply with them when they came, and now the post exchange has plenty for sale. Consequently, your WACs are soared that unspeakable condition known as being non-cosmetic.

Stampa Sera (July 9, 1943)

L’Europa è munitissima –
Le difficoltà di uno sbarco prospettate da un ammiraglio inglese

Madrid, venerdì sera –
A cura dell’ammiraglio britannico Roger Keyes è stato pubblicato un opuscolo che tratta della guerra anfibia e delle operazioni cosidette combinate.

Keyes accennando all’impresa di Dieppe ne ammette il completo fallimento anche dal punto di vista teorico.

Scrive testualmente l’ammiraglio inglese:

Quello di Dieppe è stato un esperimento che è costato troppo agli Inglesi, che ha superato, cioè, le previsioni anche più pessimistiche.

Il tecnico navale britannico, dopo aver passato in rassegna tutti i momenti del tentalo sbarco contro la costa francese, sbarco che pure sembrava preparato e organizzato in tutti i più minuti particolari, basandosi sulle regole di una scrupolosa previsione tattica, afferma che in queste imprese il fattore imponderabile, decisivo, della sorpresa causale, non potrà mai e in nessun modo venire calcolato da nessun esperto militare o navale.

Conclude l’ammiraglio:

E’ appunto tale fattore che decide, oggi come domani, dell’esito di un’impresa anfibia contro le coste di un Continente munitissimo come è oggi l’Europa.

Inquietudini inglesi per la situazione militare

Stoccolma, venerdì sera –
Secondo il corrispondente londinese dello Stockholms Tidningen in molti ambienti britannici ci si domanda se la propaganda finora svolta da parte degli alleati nei riguardi dell’Italia, tendente a creare malumore in mezzo al popolo italiano, fra esso e l’alleato tedesco, e contrasti tra le Forze Armate e il Partito, e a inventare una quantità di assurde possibilità, dalle quali avrebbe dovuto sortire il collasso d’ogni resistenza italiana, non sia stata sbagliata fin dall’inizio.

Gli inglesi cominciano ad accorgersi di aver sbagliato strada con questo loro atteggiamento verso l’Italia proprio ora che la piega presa dalle operazioni tedesche sul Fronte Orientale ha naturalmente riportato una certa inquietudine nel campo alleato. Questa, alla quale essi hanno messo il nome di «offensiva germanica», che va acquistando il carattere di un grave pericolo per l’Unione Sovietica, mette l’Inghilterra e l’America in una assai difficile situazione, quella cioè di ridivenire bersaglio da parte russa di critiche e di proteste per la lentezza assunta dai per un’invasione dell’Europe.

Maisky ha dovuto ieri improvvisamente partire per Samara, cioè richiamato dal proprio Governo, segno che non soltanto la situazione è giudicata grave nelle sfere influenti sovietiche, ma anche che Stalin si apparecchia a sferrare nuove pressioni per ottenere in questo difficile momento un aiuto alleato.

Si prevede a Londra che incomincerà la fanfara per un «secondo fronte», e questa volta in una forma assai più clamorosa che per il passato. Gli Inglesi – si osserva – si troverebbero molto nell’imbarazzo se dovessero anticipare di settimane o di mesi quell’invasione di cui tutti parlano come di una cosa vicina, ma che esige, invece, un’accurata e lunga preparazione.

Gli americani accusano De Gaulle di volersi fare dittatore

Lisbona, venerdì sera – (Stefani)
Secondo rivelazioni della stampa americana, il governo degli Stati Uniti sarebbe venuto in possesso di documenti provanti che De Gaulle sta perseguendo interessi politici del tutto personali miranti a stabilire una sua dittatura in Francia senza tener conto della causa comune degli alleati. De Gaulle avrebbe fatto firmare agli aderenti al proprio movimento un documento che lo riconosce come nuovo capo dei francesi dopo la liberazione della Francia. Svelando gli scopi perseguiti dall’ex-generale, i giornali ufficiosi invitano i francesi a convincersi che i loro interessi nazionali erano stati affidati a pessime mani.

President Roosevelt’s announcement of the attack on Sicily at a state dinner in honor of Gen. Giraud
July 9, 1943

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D-NY)

I have just had word of the first attack against the soft underbelly of Europe.

I am going to ask you not to say anything about it after you leave here, until midnight ends.

American and British forces, and some French observers, have attacked and landed in Sicily. The operations have just begun, and we won’t get definite news until later in the day, but the news will be coming in all the time from now on.

This is a good illustration of the fact of planning, not the desire for planning but the fact of planning, which we have had since the administration began over a year ago in Washington. With the commencing of the expedition in North Africa with complete cooperation between the British and ourselves, that was followed by complete cooperation with the French in North Africa. The result, after landing, was the Battle of Tunis; and we all know the number of prisoners we took. That was not all planning, that was cooperation. From that time on we have been working in complete harmony, which in effect was the invasion of Europe, which is under way tonight.

There are a great many objectives, and of course the major objective is the elimination of Germany – that goes without saying – the elimination of Germany out of the war. And as a result of this step which is in progress at this moment, we hope it is the beginning of the end. Last autumn, the Prime Minister of England called it “the end of the beginning.” I think you can almost say that this action tonight is the beginning of the end.

We are going to be ashore in a naval sense – air sense – military. Once there, we have the opportunity of going in different directions, and I want to tell Gen. Giraud that we haven’t forgotten France as one of the directions.

One of our prime aims, of course, is the restoration of the people of France, and the sovereignty of France. Even if a move is not directed at this moment to France itself, Gen. Giraud can rest assured that the ultimate objective – we will do it, and in the best way – is to liberate the people of France, not merely the southern part of France, just for a while, but the people of northern France – Paris.

And in this whole operation, I should say rightly that in the enormous planning we have had the complete cooperation of the French military and naval forces in North Africa. Gradually the opposition cooled, and the older regime is breaking down. We have seen what has happened, or is happening at the present moment in Martinique and Guadeloupe, and becoming worse. Well, that is a very major part toward the big objective. It is going to be worth working for. The Navy, the Army, the merchant ships of Martinique, I hope, will be working with us day in and day out toward the unity of all of our forces.

We haven’t won the war yet, but one of the happy things is that with the help of Gen. Giraud, in command of the French forces in North Africa, we have got a unified military situation. Well, that goes a long way; and that is why ever since my friend and I met at Casablanca last January, I became perfectly sure that under Gen. Giraud’s leadership the French military and naval forces in North Africa would more and more work with us, as we have done – not all we want – to help rearm those French forces, and to build up the French strength so that when the time comes, from a military point of view, when we get into France itself and throw the Germans out, there will be a French Army and French ships working with the British and ourselves. That is why it is a very great symbol that Gen. Giraud is here tonight – to come over here to talk to us about his military problems, toward the same objective that all the United Nations have gone – the freedom of France, and with it the unity of France.

So, I think everybody here is very happy to drink with me to the success, health, and happiness of Gen. Giraud.

1 Like

Völkischer Beobachter (July 10, 1943)

Gefährliche Pläne in schönen Worten –
Der erpresserische Druck auf Schweden

Von unserer Stockholmer Schriftleitung

Der vertrauliche Brief Roosevelts –
Todesflugzeug Sikorskis geborgen

dnb. Madrid, 9. Juli –
Nach viertägigen Bemühungen ist es gelungen, das Flugzeug, mit dem Sikorski bei Gibraltar abstürzte, zu bergen und an Land zu bringen. Eine starke Militärwache sorgt dafür, daß sich niemand dem Flugzeug nähert, damit das Geheimnis, das über dem Tode Sikorskis liegt, nicht gelüftet werden kann.

Der vertrauliche Brief des Präsidenten Roosevelt an Sikorski, dessen Inhalt auch den englischen Militärstellen nicht bekannt sein soll, ist nun gefunden worden. Er wurde mit anderen Staatspapieren Sikorskis aus den Trümmern des in Gibraltar abgestürzten Bombenflugzeuges geborgen.

U.S. War Department (July 10, 1943)

Anglo-American-Canadian forces, under command of Gen. Eisenhower, began landing troops in Sicily early this morning (July 10, North African Time). Landings were preceded by an air attack. Naval forces escorted the assault forces and bombarded the coast defenses during the assault.

Allied HQ, Australia (July 10, 1943)

Northwestern Sector:
Dutch New GuineaTIMIKA: Our medium units bombed the enemy-held village of Keawkwa.

TimorDILI: Our medium bombers attacked the airdrome, starting a large fire in the dispersal area.

CAPE CHATER (LAUTÉM): Our medium units bombed the runway at night. Results were not observed owing to bad weather.

Northeastern Sector:
New GuineaSALAMAUA: Our medium bombers, in direct support of ground troops, bombed and strafed enemy positions along Bobdubi Ridge, starting fires. The enemy held villages of Mololo and Busana were also strafed.

NASSAU BAY: Three enemy dive bombers ineffectively attacked the area shortly after dawn.

Solomons Area:

BUIN FAISI: Our heavy units operating at night, under adverse weather conditions with poor visibility, bombed Kahili Airdrome and enemy bases at Buin and Peporang.

New Georgia.
MUNDA: Our torpedo and dive bombers attacked shortly after dawn, concentrating 70 tons of bombs, ranging to 2,000 pounds each, on enemy bivouacs, supply dumps and anti-aircraft positions between Munda Point and Lambed. Our artillery also engaged enemy anti-aircraft positions. Simultaneously dive bombers attacked enemy bases at Enogai Inlet and Bairoko. A screen of fighters covered these operations. Before dawn, our naval surface units bombarded the Munda base.

Our fighters intercepted and dispersed a force of 45 enemy Zeros, shooting down four, with one of our planes missing.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s announcement to the people of Metropolitan France
July 10, 1943


Anglo-Canadian Armed Forces have today launched an offensive against Sicily. It is the first stage in the liberation of the European continent. There will be others.

I call on the French people to remain calm, not to allow themselves to be deceived by the false rumors which the enemy might circulate. The Allied radio will keep you informed on military developments. I count on your sangfroid and on your sense of discipline. Do not be rash when the enemy is watching. Keep on listening and never heed rumors. Verify carefully the news you receive.

By remaining calm and by not exposing yourselves to reprisals through premature actions, you will be helping us effectively, when the hour of action strikes we will let you know. Till then, help us by following our instructions, that is to say: Keep calm, conserve your strength. We repeat: When the hour of action strikes, we will let you know.

La Stampa (July 10, 1943)

Confessioni nemiche –
556 aerei anglo-americani perduti in giugno in Europa

Lisbona, 9 luglio –
Il ministro dell’Aria britannica Archibald Sinclair ha ammesso, dopo molte reticenze, che nel mese di giugno nei cieli della sola Europa sono andati perduti 276 velivoli britannici e 280 nordamericani.

A sua volta il ministro britannico per la produzione aeronautica, Stafford Cripps, ha fatto delle dichiarazioni radiodiffuse nel corso delle quali – come annuncia l’Agenzia britannica di informazioni – ha detto che gli attacchi aerei contro le potenze dell’Asse in Europa rappresentano un gioco troppo costoso e che le perdite britanniche sarebbero tremendamente gravi.

L’avventura bellica sta constando agli americani assai più di quanto il presidente Roosevelt avesse preveduto al momento di spingere il suo popolo alla guerra. Secondo dati ufficiali finora le aeroambulanze hanno trasportato 50 mila soldati tra feriti e ammalati. La statistica non precisa i feriti e gli ammalati trasportati con altri mezzi.

The New York Times (July 10, 1943)

Several landings; U.S., British and Canadian troops carry out the attack

A ‘liberation’ start; but Eisenhower urges French be calm till their hour strikes
By Drew Middleton

Island of Sicily is invaded by Allied forces

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Gen. Eisenhower announced that his troops had debarked at various points on Sicily early today. The landings were preceded by furious air assaults and warships accompanying the transports shelled the coastal defenses. Troops got ashore at the western tip of the island (cross), according to the Algiers radio. Strong forces of tanks were reported being used. The invasion had been preceded by heavy bombings of a variety of targets (bomb devices).

Allied HQ, North Africa –
Allied infantry landed at a number of places on the rocky Sicilian coast under a canopy of naval gunfire early this morning as the long-awaited invasion began.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allied Commander-in-Chief, speaking to the people of Metropolitan France, called the attack “the first page in the liberation of the European continent,” and promised “there will be others.”

Allied headquarters announced the invasion in the following communiqué:

Allied forces under command of Gen. Eisenhower began landing operations on Sicily early this morning. The landings were preceded by Allied air attack. Allied naval forces escorted the assault forces and bombarded the coast defenses during the assault.

The Algiers radio, in an English-language broadcast to North America at 12:40 a.m. today, said that Allied forces had landed on the rocky western tip of Sicily, 260 miles from Rome. The broadcast was recorded by U.S. government monitors.

The broadcast said the landings were made in good weather, with German and Italian Air Forces providing “fierce” opposition. In anticipation of the assault, the island’s Italian-German defenders blew up harbor installations, the broadcast said.

‘Softened up’ by air attack

A heavy attack was carried out by planes of the Northwest African Air Force and the Middle East Air Command for nearly two weeks, reaching blitz proportions in the last week, when a round-the-clock assault blasted Axis air bases and communication centers with hundreds of tons of bombs. This came to a furious climax yesterday and last night.

The Allied naval force that escorted the invading troops pounded the formidable defenses of Sicily with salvos of shells while infantrymen, their bayonets twinkling in the starlight raced ashore from landing crafts. Many tanks were landed.

Sicily, largest island in the Mediterranean, has a population of just under 4,000,000 persons and has been strongly fortified, specially along the southern coast, since 1939. The coasts are heavily mined and beaches are covered by batteries of artillery that fire from hills.

French urged to be calm

Gen. Eisenhower’s announcement to the French people, which was sent by radio, asked them to remain calm and not to expose themselves to reprisals through “present rash actions.”

Many of the troops involved in the invasion of Sicily are veterans of the Tunisian campaign.

Military men here expect very heavy fighting. The Germans are known to have reinforced the island comparatively recently, and despite the prolonged aerial bombardment, strong fortifications remain to be overcome.

Many military objectives were hit by U.S. and British bombers during the two weeks’ attack on the island. The main weight of the bombing at night was directed against the airfields, particularly at the one at Gerbini, which was attacked day and night.

News of the landing was given out at a press conference at Allied Force Headquarters. The aerial bombardment was most intense in the closing stages of the operation and was coordinated with a naval attack on the outer defenses of the island. This continued while Allied fleets steamed to the shores. Thousands of explosives were poured on the pillboxes that form the islands first line of defense.

Washington gets word

Washington –
First intimation that an important military announcement was impending came shortly after 11 o’clock last night, when press relations officers of the War Department telephoned newspapermen to expect a statement at 11:55 p.m.

However, it was several minutes after midnight when a high-ranking officer of the Army handed out the brief communiqué from Gen. Eisenhower announcing the invasion of Sicily.

There was no indication at the War Department exactly where the landings took place, but a military spokesman said that there must have been landings at many places. Principal objectives in the campaign, of course, would be Palermo, with its splendid harbor on the north of the island, and Messina, across the narrow strait from Italy.

It was indicated that the landings were made under cover of a fierce air and naval bombardment.

There was no indication as to the size of the amphibious forces which dashed ashore on Sicily this morning. However, there was some information of the strength of the island’s defenders.

It was estimated that there were 11-13 enemy divisions there, of which 9-10 were Italian and 2-3 were German.

That the conquest of Sicily will be no simple task was seen in the size of these defending forces and in the rugged terrain of the island.

However, in the aerial pounding which has taken place since the successful conclusion of the Tunisian campaign, Sicily’s defenses have undoubtedly been considerably softened, particularly her airports.

Bombs tore Sicily before invasion

Allied fliers ripped airfields, communications and plants in week-long blitz

Allied HQ, North Africa – (July 9, by wireless)
Swarms of Allied bombers maintained their round-the-clock pounding of Axis air bases in Sicily, and formations of fighter-bombers, including new A-36s which are also fitted as dive bombers, hammered transport, communications and industrial plants on the besieged island yesterday as the great Allied aerial offensive centered on Sicily for the sixth straight day.

The new A-36 fighter-bomber, which was developed from North American’s P-51 Mustang fighter, is the newest “plane of all work.” It is used as both a dive and glide bomber and takes part in strafing missions as well. The Mustang is supposed to be the world’s most effective fighter under 15,000 feet and one of the fastest fighters ever built. It is believed that the A-36 is faster than either the Warhawk or Hurricane, principal American and British fighter-bombers used in this theater until the introduction of the A-36. The new fighter-bomber is flown by American squadrons of the Northwest African Air Force.

The key airfields of Sicily at Gerbini, Comiso, Sciacca and Catania were attacked heavily yesterday after being pounded the night before. Hits were scored on a railroad junction and power station by fighter-bombers. A small schooner was sunk off the Sicilian coast by Lightnings that riddled it with cannon shells and machine-gun bullets.

Once again, Field Marshal Gen. Albert Kesselring, chief of the Axis air defenders in the area, held back his main fighter strength. Only about 60 enemy pursuit planes were sighted by wave after wave of British-American planes and of these, 10 were destroyed. Nine Allied planes are missing from the operations.

Since last Saturday, when both the Tactical and Strategic Air Forces of the Northwest African Air Force first concentrated on Sicily, 125 Axis planes have been destroyed. 44 Allied planes have been lost in that period.

A total of 328 enemy aircraft has been shot down in combat since the fall of Pantelleria against 99 Allied planes missing.

One by one, the principal enemy airfields were blanketed with bombs again yesterday, and the central airfield at Gerbini was pounded by strong formations of Liberators. Blast shelters there were “thoroughly covered” by bombs from Flying Fortresses and Mitchells that followed over the target.

About 20 Me 109s attacked the first Fortress formation over the target while the bombers were making their run. One enemy fighter was destroyed. Later in the day, other Fortress groups encountered no opposition. While Fortresses and Mitchells were concentrating on attacks on the main airfield, Marauders escorted by Lightnings assaulted satellite fields. Two of the fields were covered with bomb bursts, several direct hits were scored on aircraft in dispersal areas.

Heavy bombers of the U.S. Air Force based in the Middle East blasted Catania yesterday. The railroad station, factories, locomotive repair shops and warehouses were bombed. A number of explosions and many fires resulted.

A U.S. 9th Air Force communiqué said yesterday that crew members who bailed out of two Liberators of a force which attacked Catania, Sicily, Thursday, “were machine-gunned by enemy fighters,” an Associated Press dispatch from Cairo stated.

Wednesday, U.S. Middle East bombers made a very heavy attack on the Gerbini Air Base and its satellite fields.

Mitchells made their sixth raid in six days on the important Axis landing ground at Comiso, dropping a heavy load of bombs on dispersal areas. These same areas had been bombed earlier by Bostons and Baltimores of the South African Air Force. They started nine fires and scored a direct hit on one large building.

Other formations of Mitchells laid four patterns of bombs across Biscari Airfield and another on administration buildings. The wreckage of the administration building was burning fiercely when the bombers left and there was another large fire on the north side of the field.

Bostons of the Royal Air Force bombed Sciacca Wednesday night. Crews reported a huge orange-colored explosion and fires. Several hours later, Baltimores of the RAF and American Bostons escorted by Warhawks attacked the field and buildings. One explosion was observed in a dispersal area in an olive grove.

About 40 enemy fighters engaged the Warhawks. Three Axis planes were destroyed, one of them by Lt. R. B. Spear of Waterbury, Connecticut.

Wellingtons, the sturdy medium bombers that bear the night aerial offensive, raided the Comiso, Catania and Gerbini Airfields Wednesday night. Two explosions were seen at Gerbini, where administration buildings were set afire. Dispersal areas, runways and headquarters buildings in the southeast corner of the field at Comiso were damaged by bomb bursts.

Fundamentally a fighter, the new A-36 is able to defend itself effectively during bombing and strafing missions. It is equipped with bomb racks and dive brakes. In yesterday’s raids, it made extremely successful attacks on military targets in central Sicily.

The A-36s scored direct hits on a power station, bombed a railroad junction and strafed warehouses and buildings. Two trains were attacked near Licata and Bega Norro and both locomotives were blown up. The converted Mustangs also strafed a convoy of 20 troop-laden trucks, setting at least eight of them afire.

Other formations of A-36s “freelanced” over west-central Sicily. At Canicattì, a hail of small-arms fire from rooftops greeted U.S. planes. Lt. Harry Dorris of Harrisburg, Illinois, reported seeing his tracer bullets going through walls and windows of a radio station there.

Meanwhile, Lightnings sped over southern Italy at treetop height, strafing radio stations at Catania and Cap Assero. One small schooner was sunk and another 100 feet long was damaged 10 miles off Catania. Formations of Lightnings also attacked military targets on Capo Murro di Porco south of Syracuse.

The enemy’s retaliation to all these blows was limited to attempts by two Ju 88s to reach the North African coast. Neither of them made it.

Planes, warships, guns batter Japanese at New Georgia base

Ground push gains; enemy’s counterblows to ward off assault are declared weak
By Tillman Durdin

He asks at press conference how to force someone to sign against his will

Order to ward is cited; he declares he could take property but probably could not seize union
By Samuel B. Bledsoe

June losses to U-boats lowest since we entered the conflict

Concentrated Allied attacks began with capture of Pantelleria June 11

Axis planes knocked out; our raiders also hampered island’s supply by attacks on links with mainland

Sicily was singled out for intense mass bombings by the Allies after the end of the Tunisian campaign in May. Previously there had been destructive raids on the Italian island, but little concentrated bombing until Pantelleria had been taken. The capture of that Mediterranean isle was the signal for the all-out onslaught on Sicily.

This began on June 11, the very day that Pantelleria fell. The principal objectives were the main airfields and the tangled lines of communications that form a network through Sicily. One of the first cities to feel the might of the combined Allied Air Forces was Palermo.

On the first day, 400 U.S. heavy bombers unloaded their racks on a thoroughly frightened city. Many German planes rose to the defense, but the Allied fighters that accompanied the bombers just about cleared the skies.

The Comiso and Milo Airfields were next. Reports from the returning pilots indicated that many Axis planes had been destroyed on the ground and that the attacking force so outnumbered the defenders that it was practically no contest.

Malta joins in attack

At about the same time, other bombers were converging on Sicily from Northwest Africa and the Middle East. Royal Air Force squadrons from Malta applied pressure.

After incessant attacks on the numerous and well-fortified airfields including Boccadifalco in West Sicily and Borizzo, the attack was shifted to the harbor facilities on the Strait of Messina, where the train ferry from the Italian mainland has its terminus. The extent of the damage at this point was great.

Meanwhile, heavy bombers showered destruction on the numerous mountain strongholds that spot the island. In one day, Allied pilots reported that they had knocked 73 Axis planes out of the skies during these attacks.

While this was going on, reports from European sources said that thousands of civilians were being evacuated from the Sicilian towns, especially Messina.

Axis shipping blasted

Aside from the damage done to airfields and principal cities, one of the most damaging blows to the Axis was the day-by-day destruction of ships carrying reserves, armaments and supplies to the besieged island. Practically every port was subjected to intense bombings in the around-the-clock raids.

One of the main targets in recent raids was the natural harbor east of Palermo at Termini Imerese, where a chemical plant produces carbon sulfide. Large refineries and stores are located at this point.

All of Sicily’s ports were fortified strongly against possible invasion several years ago and were again strengthened after June 1940, when the first Allied bombings started after Italy entered the war.

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