Triumph of American organization is hailed as making possible great accomplishments
By Richard G. Harris, United Press staff writer
Leaders in both parties see need to meet $12-billion goal
Details of heaviest daylight bombing attack of war revealed
Tense moment for Eisenhower as ‘strongest wings’ endangered airborne forces is described
By Reynolds Packard, United Press staff writer
Allied HQ, North Africa –
On the night that Allied armies invaded Sicily, an American staff car marked with the four stars of a general stopped beside a road on the island of Malta.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped out in the moonlight and gazed up at the sky where engines of a great airborne assault fleet thundered defiance to the strongest winds of the Mediterranean summer.
It was the tensest moment of an unprecedented invasion. Unexpected winds threatened disaster to glider and parachute troops; kicked up big waves that dangerously rocked the naval invasion forces already at sea. There may have been a time that night when a postponement was considered by the high command, which officials announced today was based on the bomb-battered island of Malta.
Invaders soar away
But Gen. Eisenhower, looking up into the moonlit sky, saluted the paratroopers smartly and turned back to his car. The invasion army soared on under direction of the American commander-in-chief, Gen. Sir Harold Alexander, Adm. Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham and Air Mshl. Sir Arthur Tedder.
It was revealed that Gen. Eisenhower carefully checked the wind velocity during those first tense hours of the campaign, aware that too much speed would case the paratroopers and gliders to overshoot their marks, confronting them with many additional hazards.
American-made windmills, imported years ago, served as a gage for the American commander and those who stood with him that night told today how he smiled reassuringly when the velocity of the wind died down as the hours wore on.
Members of the Allied staff told correspondents that the winds which endangered the glider and paratroop operations also caused havoc with the stomachs of both soldiers and sailors, whipping the Mediterranean into a heaving sea. As a result, many results went ashore in landing barges, seasick. But they carried on with their job.
In a message to Air Vice Mshl. Sir Keith Park, commanding officer of the RAF on Malta, Gen. Eisenhower paid high tribute to the aid given to the Allied campaign in Sicily by the Malta Air Force.
The morning after the invasion, the Allied commanders watched cheering throngs of war-toughened island citizens parade. To them, it meant the end of prolonged, persistent day-and-night bombings by planes based in Sicily and Italy.
Gen. Eisenhower was said to have been visibly impressed with Malta’s stand, first on the receiving end of Axis bombings which drove many of the island’s 270,000 inhabitants to live in rock-robbed caves which once held galley slaves, and finally as the taking-off place and headquarters for operations against Sicily.
In a statement on Malta’s role in the war, Gen. Eisenhower said:
Malta is symbolic of the experience of the United Nations in this war. Malta has passed through successive stages of woeful unpreparedness, tenacious endurance, intensive preparations, and the initiation of a fierce offensive. It is resolutely destined to maintain the rising crescendo of the attack until the whole task is complete.
Fort Devens, Massachusetts –
Army officials today reported one of their latest additions to the WAC as Auxiliary Hamideh Khanom Nabil, daughter of a Persian diplomat and citizen by choice of the United States.
Flamethrowers and tanks used in advance
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer
Announcer fired by Chicago station because operator learned he was ‘repugnant’ to commission
St. Louis, Missouri (UP) –
The Army Board of Inquiry report on the glider crash which killed ten persons at Lambert-St. Louis Municipal Airport Sunday is expected to place blame for the disaster to structural defects.
Senator Bennett C. Clark, chairman of the Special Senate Committee for Investigation of Civilian Aviation crashes, said today he had been informed that a structural flaw in the glider’s fuselage had caused the death-dive of the glider. He received information in Kansas City, he said, from Lt. Carl Harper, USN (ret.), investigator for the committee who sat in with the official Army investigators.
No investigation by any group, including agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had indicated sabotage, it was said.
Harassed Germans do virtually all the defensive fighting in Sicily; Italians turn on them
By Richard Mowrer
With the 7th Army in Sicily, Italy –
These damned Americans fight all day and all night, and shoot all the time.
This phrase, taken from a German letter that was never mailed, adequately sums up the German soldier’s estimate of what he is up against in Sicily; numerous and aggressive Americans and lots of artillery fire, not to mention that of automatic weapons.
The Germans are fighting practically alone. Italian opposition is virtually nonexistent on the U.S. 7th Army’s front in northern Sicily.
Our troops meet some Italians, but they are few in number. Most of them are Blackshirt troops, who, since the fall of Mussolini, have been ordered to discard their Fascist Blackshirts for the uniform of the regular Italian Army.
Nazis in bad hole
Some Italian artillery forces are still supporting the Germans. But in the actual fighting line, it’s the Germans who are doing the fighting, with determination, skill and mounting desperation.
The Germans here are in a bad situation. They have the powerful U.S. 7th and British 8th Armies opposite them and the Allied air forces over their heads, and they are fighting at the deep extremity of the country of their Italian allies, who are close to collapse and whose troops do not want to fight anymore.
The Italians are even beginning to turn on the Germans. The Germans have complained of Italians firing on them, and stories of anti-German sabotage by Italian soldiers are becoming common. The Italians never liked their Nazi allies much, and now they resent them because they feel that the Germans are prolonging the war. As long as the Germans fight, at least on Italian soil, they are an obstacle to the peace which most Italians want more than anything else.
Advantage in defense
The Germans have had one advantage of fighting defensive actions in very rugged terrain. Being on the defensive, they could fortify heights and survey terrain for their artillery which we have had to attack. But they are up against superior odds.
They have had several divisions in Sicily, but these were not all full strength. The ghost of the old 15th Panzers, which surrendered to the British 8th Army in Tunisia, has appeared on this front. It now consists partly of Slovenes, Poles and Frenchmen from annexed territories.
What the Germans call the 15th Panzers is really “the phony 15th,” as far as we are concerned. In the estimate of U.S. officers who fought in Tunisia, the Germans in Sicily are not as tough as those they were up against in Africa.
Few airfields left
The Germans are up against a superior air force. Their own has been forced off Sicily to the extent that they have only a few landing strips on it, and no permanent airfields. Since Sunday, their planes have been more active, but never on a large scale.
By day, the Nazis limit themselves to the use of fighters equipped to carry bombs. Their bombers operate mostly at night.
Our artillery has been and continues to be very effective. The Germans do not like it at all. They have lost heavily to our artillery, which has blasted them repeatedly out of good positions.
Matter of hours
The Germans tried hard to maintain a continuous front from the north to the eastern shores of Sicily. So far, they have had the advantage of being in possession of high points along Mt. Etna’s slopes, which give them command of the surrounding country. But it I snow only a matter of hours, high-ranking American officers believe, until the Germans will be forced back so far that their continuous line will be divided in two by Etna.
The damned Americans are fighting all day and all night, and shooting all the time.
Galbraith’s successor slated for discard as Bowles shows his hand
Boston, Massachusetts (UP) –
One of medical history’s most amazing fights for life was revealed today by physicians who for eight months have worked tirelessly at the bedside of a young Coast Guardsman burned almost beyond recognition in the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub holocaust.
Third-degree burns covered 65% of Clifford Johnson’s body when the 21-year-old Sumner, Missouri, sailor was dragged last Nov. 28 from the nightclub fire that cost 492 lives.
In a third-degree burn, the skin and possibly some of the tissue beneath has been destroyed. No other person in that fire who suffered more than 20% burns survived.
Since that night, Johnson, the only victim still hospitalized, has lain on his stomach. Three things have apparently kept him alive during those pain-wracked months – nutritional treatment, blood plasma and about $20,000 worth of the finest medical case obtainable.
Perhaps the first was the most important. Dr. Charles C. Lund of Brookline said that the nutritional treatment was a more important factor than sulfa drugs and the triple dye treatments.
From 168 pounds, Johnson dropped to 112 as the protein in his body drained from a normal of 6.5.% to 3.2%. to combat this, he was intravenously fed 6,500 calories daily as compared with the 3,500 calories required each day by a laborer. His daily caloric intake equaled about three pounds of meat.
The Navy and the Coast Guard gave nearly 100 transfusions from their blood banks into the youthful seaman’s veins – perhaps more than ever has been used by any one person in such a concentrated period.
Three physicians. Including Dr. Newton C. Browder, and six nurses have been in almost constant attendance at City Hospital. It was Dr. Browder who persuaded the Coast guard that Johnson should remain in that institution until his recovery was complete.
The American Red Cross donated almost $5,000 for nursing care. Burn specialists throughout the United States visited him to study this very rare case in medical history.
The National Research Council at Washington and the City Hospital’s Thorndike Memorial Laboratory have gathered information from his case that may revolutionize burn treatment.
Skin grafts on Johnson’s back are healing. He has passed through the most painful period and now wants to live. Doctors believe he will.
But these same physicians say it will be several months before he walks again and that by the time he is well, his medical care will have cost more than $50,000.
By Jay G. Hayden, North American Newspaper Alliance
Officials hold conference to discuss plans for enforcing demands