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

Italian vessels in Allied hands may fight Japs

Naval men deny warships are fit for short cruises only
By Thomas S. Treanor, representing the combined U.S. press

Col. Combs: Burma ready for invasion

Planes have knocked out three-fourths of Jap shipping

Earnings gain due to rise in war output

Income of 322 industrial firms jumps 11% in first 6 months

Simms: Die is cast; only Russia can mar plan

Use of force, if needed expected to receive OK of Congress
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Men just don’t interest Miss America (she says so)

Her ambition is to become musical comedy or screen star

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

NOTE: Ernie Pyle is now in the United States. He will take a well-deserved rest before going on to new adventures. This is one of the columns he wrote before leaving Sicily last week.

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy –
As the Sicilian campaign drew to an end some weeks ago and we went into our rest bivouac, rumors by the score popped up out of thin air and swept like a forest fire through the troops.

No. 1 rumor in every outfit, of course, was that ships already were waiting to take them back to the States. That one was so old I don’t think half the men will believe it’s true when the war ends, and they actually do start back.

Other rumors had them staying in Sicily as occupation troops, going to England, going to China, and – ugly thought – going right on as the spearhead of the next invasion.

Some people worry about such rumors that constantly sweep our armies, but personally I think they are harmless. When the Army doesn’t have women, furloughs, ice cream, beer or clean clothes, it certainly has to have something to look forward to, even if only a faint hope for some kind of change that lies buried in an illogical rumor.

In fact, I don’t know how we would endure war without our rumors.

A few days after the Sicilian campaign ended, I went back to Palermo to get in touch with what we jokingly call “civilization.”

Lots of mosquitoes!

The Army had commandeered several hotels, and I was put up in a dungeon-like cell that overlooked an alley inhabited with a melee of Sicilians who screamed constantly and never cleaned up anything.

They apparently had the concession for raising and furnishing the hotel with mosquitoes, for they came floating up like smoke from that alley. I tried mosquito netting over my bed, and just before climbing in for my first repose off the ground in five weeks, I decided I had better inspect the lovely white sheets.

My haul was three bedbugs and a baby scorpion. Civilization, she is wonderful!

In the field, most of us had mosquito nets. The mosquitoes weren’t really so bad in the country, but there were just enough to keep us worried about malaria. We strung up nets over our bedrolls in scores of fashions – all the way from tying them to tree branches, to hanging them over Italian aluminum tent poles stuck in the ground.

The climate was ideal for our Sicilian campaign. The days were hot, but nothing approaching the summer heat of Kansas or Washington.

Down on the coast the nights were just right for sleeping with one blanket. Up in the mountains, it actually got cold at night. There wasn’t a drop of rain. The Army Engineers still thank Allah every hour for the dryness, because rains would have washed out their bypasses around the blown bridges and made the movement of our vehicles almost impossible.

Nobody uses tents

Because of the climate, nobody uses tents anymore for sleeping. You just throw your blankets down on the ground and sleep in the open. Until you sleep under the open skies, you never realize how many shooting stars there are at night.

And one night, there was a frightening red glow in the east that lasted only a couple of seconds. It colored the whole eastern heavens. It was neither flares nor gunfire, so it must have been Mt. Etna, boiling and snarling.

In the Sicilian villages we passed through, the local people would take little embroidered cushions out of their parlors and give them to our soldiers to sit on while resting. It was funny to march with a sweaty infantry company, and see grimy doughboys with pink and white lacy cushions tucked under their harness among grenades, shovels and canteens.

The hazelnut and almond season came in just as the campaign ended. Practically every camp had a hundred-pound sack of almonds lying on the ground where the soldiers could just sit and crack the nuts on rocks and gorge as though it were Christmas. The local people gave us hazelnuts as we passed through the towns. I saw one company in which nearly every man took off his steel helmet and filled it full of hazelnuts, and then marched on down the road with the heavily-laden hat held in the crook of his arm.

Hazelnuts, red wine, hardtack and thou. Or what am I thinking of?

War captives may help relieve labor shortage

Dewey, Eastman urge employment of prisoners as agricultural and railroad workers
By Charles T. Lucey, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Complete equality? No, girls!

Writer says nature won’t let it happen

Ahh… america, calling yourself world champions when it is an interstate tournament.

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Völkischer Beobachter (September 14, 1943)

Entwaffnung des Badoglio-Heeres im wesentlichen abgeschlossen –
Erfolgreicher deutscher Gegenangriff bei Salerno

Ostküste der Adria in unserer Hand – Weitere Sowjetkräfte bei Noworossijsk vernichtet

Der schnelle deutsche Gegenschlag kam unerwartet –
Washington merkt die Fehlrechnung

Von unserer Stockholmer Schriftleitung

Neue Einzelheiten über den schamlosen Verrat –
Badoglios Dolchstoß schon im August

Some backstory:

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The Pittsburgh Press (September 14, 1943)

Yanks driven back in Italy

Fiercest battle of war in Mediterranean rages below Naples
By Richard D. McMillan, United Press staff writer

Axis reports Yank Dunkirk near Salerno

Berlin claims transports starting to evacuate retreating Allies
By Phil Ault, United Press staff writer

Allies capture Salamaua base

Drive Japs toward death trap at Lae
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Father takes his 2 children to Army post

Mother deserted her family, drafted Turtle Creek man says

Colonel convicted by court-martial

Congress asked to delay drafting of all fathers

Manpower, tax and inflation problems faced as House and Senate end recess

The sun shines bright in Manhattan

By Florence Fisher Parry