Editorial: Beating the flu
By Mrs. Walter Ferguson
Much money has been spent on recruiting for the women’s army. Coaxing girls to join up has been the wartime job of a large number of men who might otherwise have been fighting. The longer these efforts continue, the more we have a right to wonder whether the movement is justified. All the drives have been disappointing. Women are eager to help win the war, but they seem reluctant to put on uniforms.
Does the Army need them as desperately as it says it does? If so, why not draft the girls as well as the boys? And if not, why did we start the thing at all?
The end of the war may find us convinced that girls in uniform could have made a better contribution by donning overalls to take the place of men in essential industries.
Much as we admire the spirit and patriotism of those girls and women who have answered the call, time has proved that the whole idea of putting women into the Army was conceived too hastily and set up too hurriedly.
A small clique of women who no doubt saw in this move the way to new power for their sex, and others who were committed to the doctrine that the USA must pattern its war habits after those of England, were the promoters. Before the country had time to catch its breath, the women’s army was reality. But the men didn’t like it. Blame for lack of enthusiasm goes directly back to the fathers, husbands and brothers who could not change their thinking so quickly.
If they are really needed, it would save money, feelings and face for Congress to draft women.
By Ernie Pyle
At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
The cannoneers of an artillery battery lead a life that is deadly with monotony and devoid of any comfort or diversity or hope of diversity.
Ordinarily, they are firing only a small part of any one day. The rest of the time they either play poker, do their washing, sew buttons, write letter on their knees, or just sit around doing absolutely nothing and talking the same kind of small talk day after day after day.
If they had a comfortable place to loaf in, it wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s never anything but a water can or a sandbag to sit on, and a little straw on the ground to lie on. There’s no place to put anything, and the cramped confines of your pup tent are your castle.
And yet the average cannoneer that I was with was in good spirits and seemingly resigned without bitterness to going on and on that way indefinitely.
The regiment recently began a rotation system of letting a few men in each battery off on leave to go to Naples for five days. Naples is a nice city and the boys can get a bath and a good bed, go sightseeing, drink some wine, and maybe even have a date.
Little Cpl. Peewee Graham recently got back from Naples and he still has to undergo constant kidding about the hell he possibly raised in the big city.
The rotation plan of sending 1% per month of each outfit back to America also comes in for a lot of discussion. It isn’t working very well so far, and the quota has been cut to half of 1%. It’s an optimist indeed who figures the quota will ever get around to him personally.
Chances all figured out
Sgt. Jack McCray has his own chances all figured out. He says the way things are going now, he will get his five days in Naples around next July and will get to go back to America 17 years from now.
The boys, incidentally, cut cards to see who goes on the Naples junkets.
The shell they fire from these 155mm howitzers has a single metal band around it. Two or three times a day in every battery one of these bands will fly off as a shell leaves the gun, and the band will go careening and screaming through the air on its own. These are called “rotating bands.” They’re liable to go in any direction, and they make a variety of noises, one of which sounds like a whipped dog yowling in terror.
I was standing one morning with a bunch of cannoneers when a rotating band of the whipped-dog type cut loose from another battery, whereupon one of the soldiers said:
We’ve run out of ammunition, so we’re shootin’ dogs at ‘em now.
Dogs also figure in the conversation about food. Every day or so, somebody jokingly brings up the suggestion that the cook is putting Italian dogs in the chow. One of the boys said:
As soon as I don’t see no more dogs around, I’m gonna quit eatin’.
One day an ammunition truck drove past and it had a little black-and-white dog standing on top of the hood with his ears up and tail up, looking so damned important you almost had to laugh. When the truck came back the little dog was running ahead of it, nosing around into everything, still acting awfully important. When he saw us, he came bounding into the gun pit, walked right across a row of shells lying there, and continued busily on his way.
Big guns scare dogs
I don’t know why that struck the soldiers as so odd, but they kept talking about the dog walking right across those shells, as though there might have been some danger of his setting them off, which of course there wasn’t. In fact, the men themselves walk and sit on them all the time.
Lots of soldiers have picked up local dogs as pets. The dogs here are better and healthier looking than those in Africa.
Some dogs are absolutely indifferent to a blast from the heavy guns, while it scares others to death. At night, after a salvo, you can hear the farmers’ dogs all around yelling in fright as though they had been kicked. And the cannoneers say that sometimes a dog will just stand and shake all over with fright after a big gun has gone off.
In that respect, there is a lot of similarity between a dog and me.
El Alamein victory partly due to his genius; Tedder can quote Shakespeare’s poetry!
By Boyd Lewis, United Press staff writer
Opening of the “second front” and victory this year have been heralded by Allied military leaders.
In a series of articles of which this is the first, Boyd Lewis of the United Press War Desk in New York, describes the kind of men chosen to lead U.S. troops into their supreme assault on the German continental bastion.
The first leader is Air Chf. Mshl. Sir Arthur William Tedder, the British air genius whom Gen. Eisenhower has chosen as his deputy.
Air Chf. Mshl. Sir Arthur W. Tedder: He knows what to do with blockbusters!
New York –
“War is a beastly thing and the sooner we get it over with, the better.”
The speaker is a compact, jug-eared little man with kindly blue eyes set in a weather-reddened face, a pipe drooping from a corner of his mouth and the insignia of a British air chief marshal on his tunic. He is Sir Arthur William Tedder, the dynamic human force which Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower has recruited as his deputy commander of the forthcoming Allied assault against Germany’s continental bastion.
The phrase quoted is the war philosophy of one who had lost his son in a raid over Germany and his wife in a plane crash in North Africa, but in no way does it imply pacifism. Sir Arthur Tedder’s idea of the way to get the war over with as soon as possible is to hammer the enemy into submission with overwhelming airpower.
Sir Archibald Sinclair, British Air Minister, has described him as a man “with fire in his belly,” but this describes his quality of dynamism, drive and good-humored enthusiasm. Physically he is the antithesis of the fire-eating warrior. He is short of stature and he laughs frequently.
Plays good cricket
His diminutive frame is well muscled and he is said to play as good a game of cricket as many a man far less than his 53 years. When his airplanes are out, he likes to put on a faded blue RAF blazer and drop over to watch ground crewmen playing cricket or soccer. He avoids the symbols of rank whenever possible to save frequent salutes.
He can quote Shakespeare or the “moderns” by the yard and his personal scholarship rests firmly on a study of the British Navy in the time of Charles II which is still regarded as authoritative.
He was married last autumn to a tall, auburn-haired widow, the former Mrs. Marie Black, 18 years his junior, whom he met at a canteen in Africa where she was stationed as a WAAF officer. The first Lady Tedder died in the crash of a military plane in Africa the previous winter.
Thrust into his greatest opportunity by accident, Marshal Tedder is almost unknown to the general public, although his professional reputation among military leaders – on both sides of the line – is supreme. Two and a half years ago, he was hardly known outside the Air Ministry in London, where he had the reputation of being a rather cocky little individual given to advocating innovations and experiments.
The son of Sir Arthur and Lady Tedder, he had the advantages of education at Whitgift and Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1914, he was simply Mr. A. Tedder, an employee of the Colonial Service.
He volunteered at the outbreak of the war and was commissioned in the Dorset Regiment. The following year, he saw active service in France. In 1916, he requested transfer from the ground forces to the Royal Flying Corps and since then, the air has been his ruling passion.
Become squadron leader
Fighting as a pilot in France, he was mentioned in dispatches three times and in 1918 went to the Middle East as a squadron leader. Between wars, he employed himself in a succession of endeavors all aimed at developing the air weapon to its highest perfection. Successively he was a member of the Imperial Defense Council, the directing staff of the RAF Staff College, officer commanding the Air Armament School, Director of Training of the Air Ministry and Director General for Research and Development in the Air Ministry.
He was in this last post, working feverishly with Lord Beaverbrook to arm Britain’s skies, when fate trapped him for his big opportunity. To favor Marshal Tedder, it dealt unkindly with Air Vice Mshl. O. T. Boyd, who had been sent to Egypt in a Wellington bomber to become deputy to Air Chf. Mshl. Sir Arthur Longmore. The Wellington was compelled to make a forced landing on Sicily and Boyd was taken prisoner. Britain’s Air Council dispatched Tedder to take Boyd’s place.
Marshal Tedder arrived at Cairo in November 1940, a dark hour in Britain’s Mediterranean ordeal. British airmen were striving to match the speedy Nazi fighting planes with cumbersome biplane Gladiators and to bomb the enemy with lumbering Blenheims. Doughty little Malta had only three planes left to defend her against the mighty onslaughts of the Luftwaffe and the Italians.
Had tough task
In June, Tedder was promoted to command as Air Chief Marshal, was knighted and lost his son. With tenacity and imagination, he plunged unswervingly into the task of building an indomitable air cover for the desert troops. His first job was to get the planes. Gradually the Gladiators gave way to the Hurricanes and Spitfires and the Blenheims to U.S. Lend-Lease bombers.
Marshal Tedder was everywhere laying the groundwork for his tactics. He would bob up unexpectedly at an airdrome close to the front firing questions at pilots and ground crew and taking careful note of the answers which were often given with amazing bluntness, for the braided fatigue cap he inevitably prefers to his round cap with the gilded “scrambled eggs” on the visor gave no hint of his rank.
When the time came to launch the 8th Army’s march from El Alamein, Marshal Tedder was ready to deliver the mightiest air cooperation ever given an attacking army. He had shared a tent with Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery and their land and air plans were synchronized.
Up into Italy
From El Alamein to Ortona, Marshal Tedder has covered the 8th Army and blasted its path. Across the desert he perfected the most deadly and sustained air bombardment yet seen in the war.
When Montgomery and Tedder reached the borders of Tunisia, Eisenhower flew to them in a B-17. The impression he received of Tedder impelled him to draft him for the land and air team he was forging to drive the enemy out of its last stronghold on the African continent.
He saw a man “supremely vital,” spare with the leanness of the warrior, keen with the sharpness of the great military leader, speaking with the scholarship of a Shakespearean student. He was “Gen. Ike’s” kind of man.
On May 6, 1943, Marshal Tedder launched his greatest experiment carpet bombing. Across a stretch of German Gen. Jurgen von Arnim’s almost impregnable line, he threw wave upon wave of bombers of every available type. In 2,000 sorties, they laid a carpet of destruction through the German line four miles long and 1,000 yards wide.
No defense could live under such an attack. The troops who charged through the gap and drove the Germans and Italians to their Tunisian debacle said there was hardly a yard of that strip which had not been plowed by explosives.
While his bombers were laying this carpet, Marshal Tedder sat in a bed in his headquarters chaffing a young flight lieutenant who was a writer of poetry.
Of course, you fellows aren’t impressed with me. You think I’m not much good because I don’t know modern verse. Well, I do.
Warrior and scholar
He rattled off quotations from contemporary poets – including the lieutenant.
In another man, this would have been incongruous. In Tedder, it was consistent. Those who have known him well have always struggled to describe him in contradictory terms – “warrior and scholar,” “more than a mere fighting man.”
His good humor is proverbial. Once in the sweltering desert when he had discarded his tunic, an officer who did not recognize him joshed him for wearing his tie.
Marshal Tedder explained:
Oh, I’m a headquarters bloke and you know how stuffy the chief is.
Lady Tedder was killed last winter while on her way to visit wounded at a hospital. Marshal Tedder went in her place the next day and chattered and laughed with the men in the wards. One of them remarked afterward: “What a man!”
Industry could pay average wage of $2,200, Fortune asserts
Government points out low cost for FM
By Si Steinhauser
Völkischer Beobachter (January 4, 1944)
Skandalöse Zwischenfälle verschärfen die Spannungen zwischen den USA-Truppen und den Einheimischen
Eigener Bericht des „Völkischen Beobachters“
U.S. Navy Department (January 4, 1944)
For Immediate Release January 4, 1944
Heavy bombers of the 7th Army Air Force attacked Wotje and Taroa on January 2 (West Longitude Date). Approximately 30 enemy fighters were encountered in each strike. Our bombers shot down eight Zeros at Wotje and probably destroyed five more. At Taroa two Zeros were shot down and two more probably destroyed.
Medium bombers of the 7th Army Air Force raided Jaluit Atoll on January 2. Damage and losses to our planes for the day were slight. Ten enemy planes bombed our installations on Apamama on the night of January 2 with slight damage. Two men were killed.
For Immediate Release January 4, 1944
Two U.S. destroyers which were announced yesterday as lost now may be identified as the USS LEARY (DD-158) and the USS TURNER (DD-648). The USS LEARY, a 1,090‑ton destroyer completed in 1919, was announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 494 as having been torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic on December 24, 1943.
The USS TURNER, a 1,700‑ton destroyer commissioned April 15, 1943, exploded and sank six miles off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, yesterday morning. Its loss was announced by 3rd Naval District HQ, New York City.
Cdr. James Ellsworth Keyes, USN, 37, of 11621 16th Ave., South, Seattle, Washington, was the Commanding Officer of the USS LEARY.
Cdr. Henry Sollett Wygant Jr., USN, 37, of 26th and Lincoln St., Camp Hill, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, commanded the USS TURNER.
Both Commanding Officers are listed as missing in action.
Notifications have been sent by the Navy Department to the next of kin of all casualties aboard the USS LEARY and the USS TURNER.
The Pittsburgh Press (January 4, 1944)
18 planes lost in raid on Reich; Berlin still afire from raid
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer
Ball-bearing factory hit in Turin area
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer