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

Only 3 planes lost in Yanks’ raid on Rome

Details of heaviest daylight bombing attack of war revealed

Launching of Sicily drive from Malta base 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.

Seasickness too

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.

Malta praised

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.

Persian joins WAC

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.

Japs at Munda in death trap

Flamethrowers and tanks used in advance
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

Ire of FCC dogged Italian, House investigators learn

Announcer fired by Chicago station because operator learned he was ‘repugnant’ to commission

Glider crash blamed on structural defect

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.

Delivery ban lifted on phoned orders

‘Damned Americans’ shoot all time, Nazis complain

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.

121 jobs opened by OPA cleanup of professors

Galbraith’s successor slated for discard as Bowles shows his hand

Seared victim of Cocoanut Grove Fire holds hope for life after 8 months

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.

Editorial: Figure it out

Editorial: When soldiers come home

Editorial: Words are easy

Background of news –
Roosevelt’s reversal on bonus

By Jay G. Hayden, North American Newspaper Alliance

15 rail unions ready to order vote on strike

Officials hold conference to discuss plans for enforcing demands

Wallace longs for hot fight

Corporations blamed for idea of scarcity economics

Millett: Mrs. America can be nicer person after war

But she’ll have to remember to continue doing the little considerate things she’s doing now
By Ruth Millett

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
Fewer than a third of the sailors on our ship were Regular Navy. And most of that third hadn’t been in the Navy many years. Most of our crew were young peacetime landlubbers who became sailors only because of the war and who were longing to get back to civil life.

These “amateurs” made a crew somewhat less efficient than you would have found before the war. They just haven’t had tome to become thoroughly adept. But their officers say they are all terribly willing.

Here are a few sketches of some of the men who made the wheels go ‘round on the ship I was on:

Joe Raymer: He’s an electrician’s mate first class. His home is at 51 South Burgess Ave., Columbus, Ohio. He is married, and has a daughter four years old. Joe was in the Navy from 1924 to 1928, so he knows his way around ships.

He is medium height, a pleasant fellow with a little silver in his hair and a cigar in his mouth. I don’t know why, but sailors smoking cigars have always seemed incongruous to me.

Before the war, Joe was a traveling salesman, and that’s what he intends to go back to. He worked for the Pillsbury flour people – had central-southern Ohio. He was a hot shot and no fooling. The year before he came back to the Navy, he sold more pancake flour than anybody else in America, and won himself a $500 bonus.

Warren Ream: His home is at Paradise, California, and he has worked for several years in the advertising departments of big Los Angeles stores – Bullock’s, Barker Brothers, Robinson’s. He arrived over here just in time to get aboard ship for the invasion. Actually, he thinks he wasn’t supposed to be aboard ship at all, but he was glad he didn’t miss it.

Ream is a storekeeper third class, but that doesn’t mean he keeps store. In fact, he does a little bit of everything from sweeping up to passing shells.

His life is a great contrast with what it used to be. Ream is the kind of fellow you would think would be tortured by the rough life of the Navy. But we were standing at the rail one day and he said:

I wonder what’s happened to the old Navy we used to read about. I remember hearing of skippers who could cuss for forty-five minutes without repeating themselves. But from what I’ve seen, skippers today can’t cuss any better than I can. I’m disappointed.

Harvey Heredeen: He is now a warrant officer, which means he eats in the wardroom and is called “mister.” But a man’s a man by any other name, and Mr. Heredeen looked exactly like what he has always been – a regular old-time chief petty officer. He got orders to return to the States just before we sailed, but you wouldn’t get an old-timer to miss a show like that. He got permission to postpone the homeward trip until after we had made the invasion.

Mr. Heredeen retired from the Navy in 1935 after 17 years of it, 12 of them in submarines. He had met a Memphis schoolteacher so he got married and settled down there in a job at the Linde Air Products Company, making oxygen. He came back two and a half years ago. He is 45 now.

Before long, he will be back in America instructing at submarine school. His nickname is “Spike,” and his home is at 1200 Tanglewood St., Memphis. Back home he was a deacon in the London Avenue Christian Church. He says not to make any wisecracks about his cussing and tobacco-chewing when I write him up. Okay, Deacon.

Harlem rules eased; Klan clue is traced

New York (UP) –
Police today eased restrictions imposed in Harlem after rioting Sunday night in which five Negroes were killed. Most of the stores wrecked by hoodlums reopened, although thousands of dollars’ worth of stock had been stolen.

Harlem residents were permitted to drive in and out of the district yesterday and Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia predicted all traffic would be resumed today. The ban on sales of liquor continued.

Police Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine said police were investigating reports that Ku Klux Klan agents or other agitators had been sent into Harlem from the South to create disturbances.


Pegler: On the Harlem situation

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
There is a disposition to give Mayor La Guardia much more credit than he deserves for the handling of the riot of a criminal element of Negroes in Harlem and to withhold from the New York policemen who faced the mobs and won the victory with a minimum of bloodshed and damage just that proportion of the credit which is due them. A correct proportion would be about 0.01% for the mayor and 99.09% for the cops, who are the best in the United States and probably the best in the world, their virtues and the problems considered.

In the first place, one reason why the looters and badmen and women could get out of hand was that the authority of the police has been undermined systematically in Harlem during La Guardia’s time in office. If, during all these years, the bad actors among the population of that Negro neighborhood had been held to the same standard of conduct and law observance that is required of Negro and white citizens alike in other sections of the city, rioters would have been no more likely to break loose there than in, say, Mulberry Bend or Murray Hill.

If, in one of these other regions, an individual or a group of three or four step out of line or refuse to break it up at the cop’s command, he simply picks his man and locks him up and that is that. In Harlem, on the contrary, the policemen have been victims of a special policy which has coddled the loafer and fancy-dan to the peril and embarrassment of the decent Negroes.

Harlem attracts bums, thieves

The decent Negro citizens know that the name of Harlem has attracted there an element of bums and thieves who were no good in their own hometowns and are no better here, and it was no compliment to the decent element when La Guardia put handcuffs on the policemen to hamper them in dealing with offenders who would be slapped down fast and locked up as a matter of routine if the law were faithfully and impartially enforced in Harlem. La Guardia has seemed to believe that the law-abiding, industrious Negro citizen would thank him for special lenience to the element of no-goods, of both sexes, who are neither an asset nor a credit to any community.

A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of criticizing a large number of New York policemen, many of them relatively young fellows, who, having served their 20 years on the force, were putting in for retirement on pension, according to their legal right. To my regret, I went so far as to suggest that their retirement was then comparable to desertion in the face of an emergency presented by a foreign enemy, without first consulting a few harness cops and others of the rank and file to get their side.

I got it, however, a few days later, in a large batch of letters from policemen, many of whom gave their names, in which the man complained bitterly of humiliations put upon them by La Guardia in public disparagements of individual policemen and in the discredit of their authority as cops in Harlem and in troubles with union pickets. If they stayed on, as many of them said they would have been willing to under any mayor whose fairness they could count upon, they had to take the risk of departmental charges and dismissal with consequent loss of all their earned pension rights.

The mayor was aghast

They felt that La Guardia had treated them badly and were unwilling to serve longer under him and were standing on their rights. Their version of conditions in Harlem was later confirmed by two able men then on the District Attorney’s staff who also said the communists of La Guardia’s left wing in Harlem, where Congressman Vito Marcantonio is a power and the mayor’s political protégé. Enjoyed special privileges and contrived to keep affairs in a touchy condition all the time by turning into a case of Cossack persecution every altercation between a policeman, whether Negro or white, and any Negro mischief maker.

Having helped stack the crates and barrels by his anti-cop policy over a number of years, the mayor was then aghast when the pile was touched off by a fracas between a policeman and two Negroes whose little mishap should have been a routine entry. But it was the cops, operating under reduced prestige who had to do the dangerous work in the streets to save the peace of the rest of the city and protect the lives of the great majority of law-abiding Harlem Negroes.

La Guardia was technically correct in saying that this was no race riot but nevertheless, in the imagination of the rioters, it was just that and for this reason certain elements of the Negro press cannot escape responsibility. Even Mrs. Roosevelt has mildly deplored this editorial policy of these papers which, frankly, is one of race hatred and incitation and of ennoblement of every Negro in any jam with the law, even though the subject be known to his Negro neighbors as a worthless badman.

It was grievously unfair to the brave and conscientious New York policemen and to the decent Negroes of Harlem to handicap the law in Harlem and this riot was due in no small part of that policy.