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

Grand illusion

By Florence Fisher Parry

Ploești raiders battle enemy at tree heights

Romanians in fields, streets wave encouragement; one plane caught in own bomb blast

Cairo, Egypt (UP) –
U.S. Liberator bombers flew through a sky filled with enemy fighter planes over the Romanian oil fields in a spectacular battle so close to the earth that a wing of Brig. Gen. Uzal G. Ent’s plane once dipped “into the middle of a tree.”

Returning pilots described the raid Sunday on the Ploești fields as one of the most sensational of the war, with aircraft of both sides diving in all directions and bombs exploding so violently that a ground blast destroyed one Liberator.

They said that people in nearby fields and city streets waved and appeared to shout encouragement to the bombers flying at housetop level and that they saw little evidence of panic.

Fired on by haystack

A pilot reported:

One bomber flew so low that its direct hit on a boiler house caused such a violent explosion that it destroyed the Liberator.

The bomber Reggie Ann, carrying Gen. Ent, flew so low that its wing flicked through the middle of a tree. Sgt. Robert T. Stoddard of Kansas City, Missouri, top turret gunner of the bomber Lorraine, said:

We were looking down gun barrels all afternoon. It was the first time I was ever fired on by a haystack.

The haystack was used to conceal an anti-aircraft gun.

Lt. Dan B. Lear of Houston, Texas, said:

We saw one of our boys on fire just a few seconds before he reached the target. The plane came on in anyway, through a crossfire of flak and machine-gun bullets, and directed its bombs just as briefed. The pilot couldn’t pull up. He tried to make a crash landing on a field but clipped a wing on a cart and was flaming when he stopped.

Little civilian harm

Several flights missed the target on their first run but turned and flew back through the terrific ground fire to drop their bombs.

Others plowed through a smokescreen to find their targets.

The civilian population suffered a minimum of harm from the raid, officials said. The pilots saw civilians in swimming pools, at the lakes and strolling about the city of Ploești, but they did not seem to be afraid of the bombers.

The crews said farmers and small children in Romania and Greece waved wildly at the planes.

Maj. Norman C. Appold of Detroit, pilot of the bomber Queenie, said that:

Civilians in the streets waved at us while gunners on the housetops shot at us. It was the darndest thing I ever saw.

Lesson in street fighting

Maj. Harry T. Bauer of St. Louis said:

The boys took a lesson in street fighting on this mission. There were many bitter personal battles between gunners and batteries in the fields, on roads and on rooftops.

Lt. Dale Sisson of Phoenix, Arizona said his plane, Desert Madness, scored hits on the Câmpina refinery and “they won’t put out any oil for a while. Our group murdered the place.”

Capt. Emery N. Ward of Salina, Oklahoma, said all the women in the fields and streets “wore red skirts.” He said his plane was tossed high in the air by the terrific heat caused by the fires when they got over the target, and that his gunners mowed down four men who were operating an anti-aircraft battery.

Yank anxious to get revenge for foot hacked off by Zero

By Charles P. Arnot, United Press staff writer

MacArthur turns on heat –
Japs handed record losses

July air attacks destroy 28 warships, 436 planes

WAACs become WACs

Washington –
The WAACs will begin to become WACs this week. The War Department announced today that swearing in of WAACs, who will abandon the “auxiliary” in their title to become the Women’s Army Corps, will begin Wednesday at the First WAAC Training Center at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

Book ridiculing Roosevelt published for Nazi fliers

President’s son gets volume containing comical portraits of Cabinet members
By Thomas R. Henry, North American Newspaper Alliance

Bowles brings common sense into OPA setup

New general manager realizes job’s tough, but he knows answers
By James Y. Newton, North American Newspaper Alliance

Pinpoints of light grow into fires on Kiska hills

Reporter flies along as Yank planes, warships join in smashing attack on Aleutian Japs
By Morley Cassidy, North American Newspaper Alliance

Food output to top 1943’s by 4%

Meat production puts total over last year’s record

Army invisible to visitors on Catania front

But smell of battle and noise prove that men are dying
By Hugh Baillie

Simms: Allied approval of new French setup in doubt

De Gaulle’s compromise is believed prompted by personal motives
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

58 political prisoners cheer release in Palermo

Third of half-starved group detained for treatment; few know why they had been arrested
By Richard Mowrer

Yanks in Sicily walk 24 miles and lick Nazis

Rout strong enemy force after 20-hour hike under full packs
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

6 die, 200 hurt as riot flares in Harlem area

Trouble starts over arrest of drunken woman; mayor in plea


New York (UP) –
Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia clamped a 10:30 p.m. curfew today on Harlem, scene of bloody rioting last night and this morning.

New York (UP) –
Six thousand policemen guarded tenement-lined streets of West Harlem today where more than 12 hours of rioting was dying down to sporadic outbreaks.

It was feared, however, that some incident might fan the riot embers into fresh terror.

Police listed six deaths and nearly 200 injured in street brawls, stabbings and lootings that followed the quick spread of news that a Negro soldier had been shot by a white policeman.

Traffic was ordered rerouted around the area, liquor stores were closed, and policemen reporting to the 8 a.m. tour of duty were instructed to wear air-raid helmets to protect them from stones and other missiles.

Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, in an appeal carried over seven radio stations, said the disorders were “not a race riot, because no groups of our citizens were in conflict.”

Virtually the only white men in the area were the uniformed policemen, sweating and pushing against the crowds which often extended from wall to wall in the crowded streets.

Of the nearly 200 persons injured, 155 were civilians and 40 were policemen, including two captains of police. By afternoon, 363 persons, nearly all Negroes, had been arrested. Most of those injured were Negroes.

Mayor La Guardia told the residents of Harlem over the radio that purchase of food in the area would be difficult “because so many stores have been damaged by looting.” He said the riot was “just a thoughtless, criminal act of hoodlums, reckless, irresponsible people.”

NAACP leader speaks

The mayor then introduced Walter White, secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who declared that:

The decent people of Harlem would support the mayor in restoring order.

The trouble, Mr. White said, “could be traced indirectly to mistreatment of Negro soldiers.”

He said:

The false rumor that a policeman had killed a Negro soldier in the presence of his mother, spread like wildfire. The mistreatment of Negro soldiers, particularly in the South, is a terribly sore point with Negroes. Thus, the beginning of the trouble. Had it been a Negro civilian, however prominent, who was shot, there would have been no riot.

How it started

After the riot started, Mr. White said:

Looters seized the occasion to pillage and destroy.

The rioting started shortly after 9 p.m. in front of a hotel, closed after a police raid under police guard to prevent reopening.

Patrolman James Collins attempted to arrest a drunken woman who insisted upon entering.

Pvt. Robert Bandy, 26, Negro, a military policeman, intervened. He wrested Collins’ nightstick out of his hand and struck him over the head with it.

Ambulance draws crowd

Collins drew his revolver and shot Bandy in the shoulder. The arrival of an ambulance attracted as much attention in the thickly-populated street as the shot had. Within an hour, a vast crowd jammed the street from building front to building front and soon bottles were crashing through the shop windows.

More than 1,000 Negroes were soon packed in the street in front of the hospital, screaming their desire for vengeance upon the policeman who had shot the Negro soldier. They were animated by entirely false reports both as to the circumstances of the shooting and the condition of the soldier.

At the same time, another crowd gathered in front of the 125th Street Police Station, shouting threats and insults. For a short while, the station was barricaded. The rioting then slowly spread through an approximately 10-square-block area centering in the 120s between Eighth and Lenox Avenues.

Mayor makes appeal

Mayor La Guardia, in a radio appeal to the crowds shortly after midnight, described the rioting as follows:

An arrest was made in a hotel lobby, a hotel incidentally that has given… the police a great deal of trouble. There seems to have been interference with the arrest and a soldier attacked… the arresting officer. A crowd gathered around and the soldier took the stick from the officer and struck him across the head, whereupon the officer pulled his gun and wounded the soldier… Everything was quiet for some time, and then small groups walking around more in the spirit of mischief than anything else, broke some of the store windows.

Of course, in cases like this, there have been exaggerated statements made to the people exciting them. These statements were made, of course, without any source of information, and the statements are not true. The facts are just as I have given them to you.

MPs are sent in

Military authorities sent in a truckload of military policemen to herd soldiers on leave out of the district.

Three fire alarms occurred within four minutes in the riot area late in the morning.

At one of the fires, the ceiling of a store collapsed, trapping three men inside. Harassed policemen and firemen were trying to clear the area, although it was not thought the fire was directly connected with the riot.

Damage from broken plate-glass windows and from looting of stores ran into thousands of dollars. Articles of clothing, food and furniture abandoned by the looters upon the approach of police littered sidewalks and streets throughout the area. A crowd of Negroes overturned an auto parked on Lenox Avenue and set fire to it.

Yank fliers, outnumbered 5–1, outfight Luftwaffe

Thunderbolts penetrate deeper into Germany than British fighters have ever flown
By Nat A. Barrows

Editorial: ‘We cannot tolerate this’


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