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

Erfolge unserer Kampfflieger –
Hafen von Palermo bombardiert

dnb. Rom, 5. August –
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Donnerstag lautet:

Auf Sizilien haben die tapfer kämpfenden Verbündeten heftige Angriffe der feindlichen Streitkräfte abgewehrt.

Deutsche Kampfflugzeuge griffen den Hafen von Palermo an und versenkten einen Zerstörer und zwei Dampfer mit zusammen 13.000 BRT. Sie beschädigten einen Kreuzer, drei Zerstörer und acht Handelsschiffe von zusammen 30.000 BRT.

Das Stadtinnere in Neapel wurde von einem Verband mehrmotoriger Flugzeuge heftig bombardiert. Zahlreiche Gebäude erhielten Schäden. Unter der Zivilbevölkerung gab es zahlreiche Opfer. Vier feindliche Flugzeuge wurden von der Flak und drei von deutschen und italienischen Jägern abgeschossen.

In den letzten Tagen wurden von unseren zur Sicherung von Geleitzügen eingesetzten Streitkräften sechs feindliche Flugzeuge abgeschossen.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 6, 1943)

Allies advance through bitter Sicily fighting

Americans, Canadians battling to sever enemy route of retreat from Catania sector
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Allied HQ, North Africa –
Allied armies smashed through stiffened Axis resistance to within five miles of the key communications town of Adrano on the Mt. Etna Line today while aerial squadrons battered rear-line roads in northeastern Sicily and fired massed enemy evacuation ships in day-and-night raids on Messina.

U.S. forces of the 7th Army, under Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., were meeting strong opposition around the mountain town of Troina, but Canadians were reported threatening Adrano after pushing five or six miles eastward as the Allies advanced steadily from the Centuripe-Regalbuto sector.

The Germans still held Troina (which had previously been reported captured) and were fighting furiously to block the Americans at that point, some 50 miles from Messina.

Try to break road

The Americans near Troina and Canadians approaching Adrano were striving to break the road west of Mt. Etna by which the enemy might escape from the Catania front. The only other road, running up the coast east of the peak, had been shelled and bombed at points where it is only a narrow ledge in the mountains and was reported impassable for retreating enemy vehicles.

The Americans occupied the town of Gagliano, six miles southwest of Troina and behind the forward lines, and also advanced two or three miles on the north coast where naval and air bombardment of the enemy again aided their progress, today’s communiqué from headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower said.

Axis position hopeless

The closely-coordinated and intensifying air, land and sea attacks on the northeastern Sicily “coffin corner” was said to make the position of the Axis forces hopeless and it was doubtful whether an evacuation would be possible except for a few specialists and key personnel.

The capture of Misterbianco which was doomed by the fall of Catania, and of the 13 Gerbini airfields (west of Catania), gave the Allies additional bases from which to press their all-out aerial assault as land forces fought to close the Mt. Etna trap on the enemy.

The Italian 434th Battalion, which was left behind as a rearguard outfit when the Germans moved northward from Catania, surrendered unconditionally to the British 8th Army because the capture of Centuripe by a famous Irish brigade which fought well in Tunisia had made the position of Catania untenable. But there was bloody fighting ahead on the roads to Adrano and Randazzo, which lie north of Mt. Etna.

The Germans were fighting desperately, especially against the Americans near Troina, in an effort to hold back the northern claw of the Allied pincers and prevent closing of the trap.

Resistance was described as the fiercest of the Sicilian campaign, with units of the Hermann Göring and the 15th Panzer Division outing up “suicidal opposition.”

Attack day and night

The enemy appeared to be attempting to prepare a new and much shorter line behind Mt. Etna, probably stretching from the Taormina area to somewhere around Naso on the south coast.

The Allied aerial onslaught against Messina and the Strait of Messina area was the greatest of the Sicilian campaign, with Flying Fortresses, Wellingtons and other types of craft participating in day-and-night raids.

The British 8th Army, pushing up the east coast through captured Catania, was believed already threatening Acireale, eight miles to the north and only a little more than 50 miles short of Messina. Front dispatches indicated that the British were probably within artillery range of Acireale.

40,000 still fighting

Other British and Canadian forces, along with the U.S. 7th Army, were hammering the Italo-German armies back toward Messina around an arc reaching the north coast near San Fratello, about 53 miles west of Messina.

Authoritative sources here estimated that only 5,000 Italians and 35,000 Germans were still fighting in Sicily, and a front correspondent for the service newspaper Stars and Stripes said the two forces could no longer be considered allies.

Armed conflicts have been reported between the Italians and the Germans, the correspondent said. The Germans were reported to be hoarding food and keeping it from the hungry Italians.

Attack railroads

Flying Fortresses opened the latest series of raids on Messina with a daylight attack on highway and railway communications in the port yesterday.

British Wellingtons took over the assault in darkness, blasting evacuation ships and other craft drawn up in the harbor and on the shore ready for a dash across the two-mile-wide Strait of Messina to the Italian mainland. Troop concentrations were also hit.

Evacuation of key German service personnel was believed already underway, mostly by small boats at night. Any large-scale evacuation was believed impossible, however, because of Allied air and naval supremacy. Allied torpedo boats have already operated in the Strait of Messina.

Medium bombers attacked road communications at Francavilla northeast of Mt. Etna, while light bombers struck at Adrano, a key point on the road looping around the western slope of Mt. Etna.

Other light bombers and fighter bombers in relays hit troop concentrations and road junctions in the shrinking Axis bridgehead.

Daylight raiders also attacked electrical installations on Sardinia, while night intruder aircraft carried out offensive sweeps over southern Italy.

Eight Allied planes were lost in all operations.

New turn in war –
Allied leaders may meet soon

Roosevelt, Churchill may revise strategy
By William B. Dickinson, United Press staff writer

London, England –
Speculation that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill may meet shortly prompted suggestions today that a favorable turn in the war had necessitated revision of long-range offensive plans.

Observers believed that there was some basis for reports reaching neutral countries from Germany that the morale of the German people had been badly shaken by three recent events. They were:

  1. The collapse of Fascism which is expected to put Italy out of the war.

  2. The unparalleled air attacks on Hamburg which carry the connotation of fierce blows to come for Berlin and other major German cities.

  3. Russian successes which indicate that the Nazi Army’s power is breaking.

These events caused some observers to suggest the possibility that the war in Europe may end this year.

In addition to military decisions to be made, there are many important political questions which might be discussed. One of the most interesting would be the question of what treatment should be given to German satellites such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, already reported to be seeking ways of getting out of the war.

In this connection, there is considerable speculation on whether Russia is to be included in any forthcoming discussions. Observers agreed that the time has come when it is most important for all Allies directly interested in the European situation – Great Britain, Russia and the United States – to reach basic decisions on policy toward the minor Axis nations likely to desert the sinking ship.

This applies especially to the Balkans, but in a lesser degree to Italy also.

Events have moved faster than their schedule since the Roosevelt-Churchill meeting in May and the time appears ripe to bring Allied plans up to date.

Stalin not expected

While both the President and Mr. Churchill would like Premier Joseph Stalin to sit in with them, it was believed unlikely that the Soviet chieftain would be able to leave Russia, where he is directing growing Soviet offensives on the Eastern Front.

The London Daily Mail reported in a New York dispatch that the swift succession of Allied victories in Sicily and Russia has created new opportunities, and that Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill may confer again to “put finishing touches to plans for new assaults on the European fortress.”

British military observers believed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Mediterranean forces will follow up their conquest of Sicily quickly with an invasion of the Italian mainland designed to hasten Italy’s elimination.

1,671 dead Japs found at Munda; resistance ends

Last defenders of field being destroyed after U.S. jungle troops clear airfield in Solomons
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

Promise of second front unfulfilled, Reds complain

Moscow newspaper blames Allies for prolonging war; political motives implied

Planes massed to blast Italy

Softening-up by bombers to precede invasion
By Victor Gordon Lennox

Fathers get new reprieve in draft call

Men in other groups will precede pre-Pearl Harbor dads

New tax form’s on way; its return is due Sept. 15

Latest one is part of government’s system to get you on current basis

Potato waste blamed on U.S.

Operator cites government’s policies

For Henry or Frank or both?
Wallace picks up campaign manners of 1936 Roosevelt

Farmers, labor and small business gathered under Vice President’s fatherly wing in prestige-building tour
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

U.S. war plant construction 80% complete

Nation can concentrate now on arms output, Nelson reports

Gliders perfected as deadly aerial weapons

By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Senator raps inequalities of gas regulation

Americans can get U.S. gas in Canada, Republican says

Ceiling prices, grading rules kept for meat

Regulations necessary to prevent chaos in industry, Vinson says

‘Saboteurs of the spirit’ are ‘grumlins’ to Rayburn

Speaker upholds right to criticize but blasts those with ‘big mouths and loud voices’

Ban on Roosevelt as peace envoy urged

Editorial: The middle class asks – Where’s all them apples?

Editorial: Munda and Tokyo

Nazis in Sicily still capable of tough fight

Allied offensive requires tremendous effort in Mediterranean
By Hugh Baillie

First Yanks to set foot on Munda Airport led by Brooklyn officer

By Gilbert Cant

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
A few more sketches of men on our ship:

Dick Minogue: He has been in the Navy six years and intends to stay. He is a bosun’s mate first class, and may be a chief before long. He comes from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and aboard ship they call him “Minny.”

It is men like Minogue who form the backbone of the present-day Navy. He is young and intelligent, yet strong and salty enough for any job. He definitely has the sea about him, but it is modern sea. He wears his bosun’s pipe from a cord around his neck, and a white hat cocked way down over one eye. He says the worst moment he ever had in the Navy was while piping a British admiral over the side. Dick had a chew of tobacco in his mouth, and right in the middle of his refrain the whistle got full of tobacco juice and went gurgly.

Arch Fulton: He is an electrician’s mate second class, of 493 E 129th St., Cleveland, Ohio. Before the war, he was a lineman for the Cleveland Illuminating Company. He is married and has two children.

Fulton is 37 – much older than most of the crew. He is a Scotsman. He came to America 20 years ago. His parents are still living at Kilmarnock, Scotland. He has a brother who is a sergeant major in the British Army, and a sister who is a British WREN.

Arch has a short pompadour that slants forward, giving him the effect of standing with his back to the wind. He has a dry Scottish humor, and he takes the Navy in his stride. Back in Cleveland he used to read this column, so you can see he’s a smart man.

Three up, three down

We have 11 Negro boys aboard, all in the stewards’ department. They wait table in the officers’ mess, and run the wardroom pantry that keeps hot coffee going 24 hours a day. They have a separate compartment of their own for quarters, but otherwise they live just as the white sailors do.

They are all quiet, nice boys and a credit to the ship. Three of them are exceedingly tall and three exceedingly short. They all have music in their souls. Sometimes I have to laugh – when the wardroom radio happens to be playing a hot tune during meals, I’ve noticed them grinning to themselves and dancing ever so lightly as they go about their serving.

I haven’t room to give more than a couple of their names. One is George Edward Mallory, of Orange, Virginia. He is 32, and before the war worked as an unloader at a chain grocery store in Orange. He has been in the Navy for a year and has been operated on for appendicitis after arriving in the Mediterranean. He got seasick once but it doesn’t bother him anymore. He is tall, quiet, and serious. He had never waited tables before but he’s an expert now.

He’s little meek and dark

Another one is Fred Moore, who is the littlest, meekest and darkest one on ship. Fred has a tiny mustache that you can’t even see, and a perpetually startled look on his good-natured face. He is very quiet and shy.

His home is in 1910 Tenth Ave., South Birmingham, Alabama. He is just 21 and has been in the Navy only since March. He likes it fine, and thinks he may stay in after the war. Before joining up he did common labor at Army camps and fruit farms.

Fred has a gift. He is a wizard at baking delicate and beautiful pastries. He makes all the pastry desserts for the officers’ mess. He had never done any cooking before joining the Navy, except to fry a few hamburgers at a short-order joint. He can’t explain his knack for pastry baking. It’s just like somebody who can play the piano beautifully without ever taking lessons. The whole ship pays tribute to his little streak of genius.

Fred says he has never been seasick nor very homesick, but during some of our close shaves in action he says he sure was scared.

Young ‘stateside’ actress in South Pacific takes minds of Marines off their troubles

Ellin Brooke of Philadelphia directs recreation for Guadalcanal vets
By Sgt. Diggory Venn, USMC combat correspondent