America at war! (1941–) – Part 3


Stimson, Knox hit vote bill for soldiers

Recommendations to set up uniform state laws are outlined
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
Secretaries Stimson and Knox have dealt a heavy blow to the soldier-voting legislation recently passed by the Senate, and now pending in the House, which would turn the problem over to the states with their complicated absentee-voting laws.

A joint statement by the two Cabinet officers to the Council of State Governments said:

The services are unable effectively to administer diverse procedures of 48 states as to 11 million servicemen all over the world in primary, special and general elections.

While the statement emphasized that “the War and Navy Departments do not advocate or oppose any particular voting legislation,” it is expected to give impetus to compromise measures to be considered when Congress resumes next week.

Compromises outlined

The compromises, sponsored by Senator Lucas (D-IL) and Rep. Worley (D-TX) would set up a federal commission to supervise distribution and collection by the Army and Navy of a simple ballot for President, Vice President and members of Congress. The ballots would be turned over to the states for counting under their laws.

Secretaries Stimson and Knox submitted their statement in reply to an inquiry by Frank Bane, executive director of the Council of State Governments.

The statement explained that it is Army and Navy policy “to assist and encourage servicemen to vote, so far as practicable and compatible with military operations.” It said that service voting is subject to factors beyond control – weather, war and plane space – and that no assurance could be given that enactment or elimination of any legislative provision “will result in the casting of more votes by servicemen.”

Recommendation made

It ruled out, as impracticable of administration by the services, numerous requirements of state laws as to furnishing names and addresses of servicemen, a specific day or period for voting, and the like.

For uniform legislation, the Cabinet officers recommended that state secretaries of state be authorized to transmit to appropriate election officials the form prepared and distributed by the War and Navy Departments as an application for a state absence ballot and for wartime registration as a voter – when executed by the absentee serviceman – and that election officials be authorized to receive these at any time before election.

They recommended that, for servicemen within the United States, at least 30 days be permitted before election in which to send out absentee ballots and, for those outside the United States, at least 45 days and perhaps longer.

They also specified a limit of eight-tenths of an ounce for total weight of covering envelope, enclosed outer envelope, inner envelope, ballot and voting instructions, and outer dimensions of the covering envelope at 4⅛ by 9½ inches, No. 10 size. The outer envelope would be clearly marked “official ballot.”

Right to vote is preferred to Varga girl

Algiers, Algeria (UP) – (Jan. 4)
A poll of servicemen and women by the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, showed today that in a choice between the thinly-clad Varga girls which brought the wrath of the Post Office Department down on Esquire Magazine and the right to vote, the boys and girls in uniform prefer the latter.

The poll was taken following a recent observation by Rep. Ranulf Compton (R-CT), that servicemen were more concerned over the fate of the Varga girls than their right to vote. Mr. Compton’s lone supporter, reported the Stars and Stripes, was Seaman Moses Ellen Detroit, who said:

I’d rather have a Varga girl than a vote.

WAC Pvt. Marguerite Burney of Salem, Oregon, said that all the WACs with whom she had discussed Postmaster General Frank C. Walker’s ban on Esquire were against it:

…because the Varga girl is not really vulgar in this day and age, and it seems like an infringement of the freedom of the press.

Pvt. Burney said:

But we over here, the men who are fighting and the women who are helping, should have the right to choose our leaders. This Congressman made no sensible comparison at all.


Marshall urged by Rickenbacker for presidency

Boston, Massachusetts (UP) –
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker today suggested Gen. George C. Marshall as a presidential candidate, declaring that the Army Chief of Staff has all the qualifications which the next President should possess.

Speaking to the Advertising Club of Boston yesterday, the World War I flying ace praised Gen. Marshall for the statement which the latter was reported to have made that American rail and steel disputes have prolonged the war and cost the lives of American and Allied soldiers.

Capt. Rickenbacker said:

If Gen. Marshall was the author of this statement, he will be the first to admit it. We Americans should be thankful that we have a man in high position in the government who is not afraid to make such a statement.

Capt. Rickenbacker outlined these qualifications which he thought the next President should have:

  • He should think in terms of America first – so that America will last.
  • He should stand by his convictions and not coddle pressure groups.
  • He should amend labor laws to protect workers.
  • He should protect states’ rights.
  • He should add a freedom of opportunity to the four freedoms.
  • He should cut bureaucracy to a minimum.

Gen. Marshall possesses these qualifications, Capt. Rickenbacker concluded.

In fire insurance case –
Supreme Court wants no help from Congress

Too many lawmakers ask right to participate in anti-trust case
By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

On the diplomatic front –
De Gaulle is now making allies pay for underestimation of his power

Strategy in Africa proves a flop in big way; Russia is far ahead in ‘understanding’ of Europe
By Henry J. Taylor, Scripps-Howard service writer

Simms: U.S. much like France before collapse

By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

500 Jap planes downed by Corsair-flying Marines; spectacular scores uphold traditions of the Corps

Individual exploits of pilots add luster to flying record of the Marine Corps


Guffey: President sure to run again

And he’ll be reelected, Democratic ‘victory rally’ is told
By Kermit McFarland

U.S. Senator Joseph F. Guffey is “sure” President Roosevelt will be a candidate for a fourth term, he told a Democratic “victory” rally here last night.

Mr. Guffey said:

I never have discussed it with him, but I am sure President Roosevelt will be a candidate for a third term–

Mr. Guffey immediately interrupted by a chorus of shouts, “Fourth term!” and hastily corrected his slip of the tongue.

Sure of reelection

The Senator said:

I think I know his mind and I think I’m safe in saying that not only will he be a candidate for a fourth term, but he will be reelected.

Mr. Guffey said he had never discussed the President’s candidacy in advance, save in 1932 when he was first a candidate – a significant intimation since the Senator was a bellwether of the 1936 and 1940 candidacies.

The Senator said he and Democratic State Chairman David L. Lawrence, now holding a series of pre-slate conferences with county leaders, were endeavoring to select strong candidates for Congress and the State Legislature “that will appeal to the people.”

High-class ticket promised

He said:

We’re going to get a ticket that will be an aid to President Roosevelt this time, and not a load to him.

Despite his fourth-term forecast, however, Senator Guffey took second billing on the program to County Commissioner John J. Kane.

It was Mr. Kane who “laid on thick” the demand for a high-class slate of candidates for the Legislature and for Congress.

He said:

If we are going to have a strong Democratic Party, we’ve got to do more than win public offices to get a few jobs. We’ve got to sell the people on the idea that we are the party Jefferson founded, that we are the party that does something for the people.

Urges able candidates

It is not so important, as I see it, who is Auditor General or State Treasurer, except for party prestige, but we’ve got to select and send to Harrisburg men who will do something for the people.

Ours is a government of laws, and the laws are made in the Legislature in Harrisburg and in Congress in Washington.

Don’t let us concentrate on just winning a few jobs. Let’s concentrate on winning the Legislature and Congress. The government of Pennsylvania is in the Legislature, and the government of the United States is in Congress.

Warns against reactionaries

And let’s concentrate on electing a liberal Legislature and a liberal Congress. We don’t want reactionary Democrats any more than we want reactionary Republicans, although we have some now.

Mr. Lawrence, as toastmaster, wound up the dinner rally with a similar plea, demanding a Democratic Congress to back up President Roosevelt in the peacemaking.

He said:

The same men who rushed to Washington in 1933 and pleaded with this man [Mr. Roosevelt] to save their crashing financial institutions, are now coming out of their storm cellars to crucify the man who saved them.

‘A Roosevelt party’

He said the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is a “Roosevelt Democratic Party” and described the rally last night as “an auspicious start of the 1944 campaign.”

Mr. Kane warned the new Democratic officials, in whose honor the dinner was held, that:

The people aren’t going to be satisfied with just a good job; they’re going to ask us to do a better job.

He said:

The boys in the Armed Forces don’t want to come back to the America they left. They want to come back to a better America.

Responsibility emphasized

The Democratic Party has a tremendous responsibility. They tell us about the democracies throughout the world, and I’m willing to go along with them if that will help win the war, but I don’t know any other place where the people have an opportunity to vote in elections whether there is a war or not.

Mr. Lawrence also attempted to cement the theory, first announced in Washington several weeks ago, that he and Senator Guffey have patched up all differences and will function as a unit in the coming campaign.

He said:

To the great discomfort of the Republican Party, the relationship which existed for many years [before the break in 1938] has been revived.

Meet with county leaders

Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Guffey yesterday conferred with Democratic leaders from Butler, Armstrong, Venango, Erie, Warren, Indiana, Jefferson and McKean Counties. Today, they met leaders from Mercer, Fayette, Somerset, Cambria, Beaver, Lawrence, Clarion and Clearfield Counties and tomorrow will meet additional leaders in Harrisburg.

The purposes of the conference, which will take in Democrats from all counties, is to sound out sentiment on legislative, Congressional and statewide candidates.

New officials speak

In addition to the new Democratic officials – Judges Walter P. Smart, Harry H. Montgomery and Hugh C. Boyle, Prothonotary David B. Roberts, Treasurer Bernard H. Goodwin and Recorder of Deeds Anthony J. Gerard – the rally was addressed by Auditor General F. Clair Ross.

Judges Benjamin Lencher of County Court and Gustav L. Schramm of Juvenile Court (Republicans supported by the Democratic organization) were present. Missing were Judges Thomas P. Trimble of Orphans Court and Harry H. Rowand of Common Pleas Court (also Republicans backed by the Democrats).

Japs speeding more fighters to Marshalls

Reinforcements indicated by opposition to U.S. raids

Vermillion: Susie remains temperamental to the end

By Robert V. Vermillion, United Press staff writer

Navy reveals names of ships lost in action

Turner is blast victim; Leary sunk at sea by torpedo

Editorial: It’s up to the President!

Editorial: Comfort, pay, convenience vs. life and limb

Editorial: Economic warfare

Edson: Rail strike news spoils story of new bombing plan

By Peter Edson

Background of news –
Ring of steel around Japan

By Jay G. Hayden, North American Newspaper Alliance

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
You have been reading on the papers for weeks about the mountain fighting in Italy, and how some of the troops are so high and remote that they have to be supplied by pack mule.

Well, for the last few days, I have been hanging around with one of these mule outfits.

There is an average of one mule packing outfit for every infantry battalion in the mountains. Some are run by Americans, some by Italian soldiers.

The pack outfit I was with supplied a battalion that was fighting on a bald rocky ridge nearly 4,000 feet high. It fought constantly for 10 days and nights, and when it finally came down, less than a third of the original men were left.

All through those butter days, every ounce of their supplies had to go up to them on the backs of mules and men. Mules took it the first third of the way. Men took it the last bitter two-thirds because the trail was too steep even for mules.

The mule skinners of my outfit were Italian soldiers. The human packers were mostly American soldiers.

The Italian mule skinners were from Sardinia. They belonged to a mountain artillery regiment, and thus were experienced in climbing and in handling mules. They were bivouacked in an olive grove alongside a highway at the foot of the mountain.

Shells scare Italians away

They made no trips in the daytime, except in emergencies, because most of the trail was exposed to artillery fire. Supplies were brought into the olive grove by truck during the day, and stacked under trees. Just before dusk, they would start loading the stuff onto mules.

The Americans who actually managed the supply chain liked to get the mules loaded by dark, because if there was any shelling, the Italians instantly disappeared and you never could find them.

On an average night, the supplies would run something like this – 85 cans of water, 100 cases of K ration, 20 cases of D ration, 10 miles of telephone wire, 25 cases of grenades and rifles and machine-gun ammunition, about 100 rounds of heavy mortar shells, one radio, two telephones, and four cases of first-aid packets and sulfa drugs.

In addition, the packers would load their pockets with cigarettes for the boys on top; also cans of Sterno, so they could heat some coffee once in a while.

Also, during that period, they took up more than 500 of the heavy combat suits we are issuing to the troops to help keep them warm. They carried up cellophane gas capes for some of the men to use as sleeping bags, and took extra socks for the boys too.

Mail most tragic cargo

Mail was their most tragic cargo. Every night they would take up sacks of mail, and every night bring a large portion of it back down – the recipients would have been killed or wounded the day their letters came.

On the long man-killing climb above the end of the mule trail, they used anywhere from 20 to 300 men a night. They rang in cooks, truck drivers, clerks, and anybody else they could lay their hands on.

A lot of stuff was packed up by the fighting soldiers themselves. On the biggest night, when they were building up supplies for an attack, another battalion which was in reserve sent 300 first-line combat troops to do the packing.

Back to the mules again – they would leave the olive grove in bunches of 20, starting just after dark. American soldiers were posted within shouting distance of each other all along the trail, to keep the Italians from getting lost in the dark.

Those guides form a little sidelight that I wish everybody in America who thinks he’s having a tough time in this war could know about.

The guides were men who had fought all through a long and bitter battle at the top of the mountain. For more than a week, they had been far up there, perched behind rocks in the rain and cold, eating cold K rations, sleeping without blankets, scourged constantly with artillery and mortar shells, fighting and ducking and growing more and more weary, seeing their comrades wounded one by one and taken down the mountain.

Finally, sickness and exhaustion overtook many of those who were left, so they were sent back down the mountain under their own power to report to the medics at the bottom and be sent back to a rest camp. It took most of them the better part of a day to get two-thirds of the way down, so sore were their feet and so weary their muscles.

And then – when actually in sight of their haven of rest and peace – they were stopped and pressed into this guide service, because there just wasn’t anybody else to do it.

So, there they stayed, right on the mountainside, for at least three additional days and nights that I know of, just lying miserably alongside the trail to shout in the darkness and guide the mules.

They still had no blankets to keep them warm, no beds but the rocks. And they did it without complaining. The human spirit is an astounding thing.

Pegler: ‘Dr. New Deal’

By Westbrook Pegler

Clapper: Island war

By Raymond Clapper

Leaders of the second front –
Hero of Dunkirk evacuation ready to take Allies back to continent

Eisenhower chooses man active in invasions
By Boyd Lewis, United Press staff writer

A handful of Allied leaders will lead millions of soldiers in the “second front” against the Nazis on the continent of Europe. Who are these men? What are they like? Are they capable of the big job before them?

In this, the third of a series of articles, Boyd Lewis of the United Press tells the story of Adm. Sir Bertram H. Ramsay, the hero of Dunkirk, who has been chosen by Gen. Eisenhower to command the fleet that will take the Allies back to France.

Adm. Ramsay

“Ramsay got ‘em off and Ramsay’ll get ‘em on again,” is a common reaction to Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s designation of the naval commander-in-chief in Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “second front” invasion staff.

Adm. Sir Bernard Home Ramsay is the miracle man of Dunkirk, whose patchwork flotilla of motor launches, cabin cruisers, fishing boats, private yachts, tugs, trawlers and destroyers snatched 330,000 British troops out of France under the noises of the advancing German armies.

Gen. Eisenhower must have known when he asked Mr., Churchill to name Adm. Ramsay to command the “return engagement” that no other name would strike the Prime Minister with such dramatic impact, it fell to Adm. Ramsay in Britain’s “darkest hour” to extemporize the brave little fleet which chugged in under shellfire and dive bombers to take the remnants of the British Expeditionary Force and a few regiments of French to England to fight another day.

That bitter June

Now this tough old sea dog has been chosen to organize and command the naval armada which will thrust the Americans and British onto the western shores of Europe for the kill – the start of the March on Berlin.

In capsule form, the appointment condenses the panorama of Allied progress since that bitter June in 1940 when Britain clutched at the negative success in u=snatching a beaten army from utter disaster. In less than three years – from evacuation in a tatterdemalion navy to assault in what will probably be the greatest armada of specially-constructed landing craft ever floated on any sea.

There is nothing in the appearance of Adm. Ramsay to suggest a man with the daring and imagination of a Drake and Hawkins. He is clean-shaven, austere, studious-looking. His thinning hair is combed across a bald spot.

Retired in 1938

In 1938, he had been retired at the age of 55 to his home at Coldstream, Berwickshire, home of the famed Coldstream Guards.

He returned to active service shortly after the outbreak of the war and was appointed flag officer commanding the Port of Dover. This was a not-too-demanding post for a “retired gaffer” and somewhat of a familiar hob for Adm. Ramsay, for in World War I, he had sailed from that port in HMS Brooke in the famed Dover Patrol.

The nature of Adolf Hitler’s blitzkrieg across France changed all that. Gen. Erwin Rommel’s panzers slashed through the French lines to Abbeville. The Germans commenced a steady squeeze that compressed the British and French into a pocket by the channel at Dunkirk.

He was ready

Little is known of Adm. Ramsay’s epochal decision to organize the “Little Navy.” The Admiralty communiqué recorded that several days before the evacuation order was given, the Dover commander sent out questionnaires to every boatowner on the coast. When the word came, he was ready.

His command sent the weirdest conglomeration of shipping the channel had ever seen scuttling across 35 miles of choppy waters to save as many as could be taken off Dunkirk Beach.

In his office at Dover, Adm. Ramsay and his assistants worked through four feverish days and nights to keep this ferry service working.

At first, they came in driblets – little clusters of exhausted, shell-shocked soldiers – then in larger groups. They accumulated on the Dover shore and were rushed inland as fast as trains could load them aboard.

Dazed nation thrilled

A dazed nation counted the arrivals and slowly it dawned upon them that the BEF was returning not in broken remnants but by hundreds of thousands – returning without its tanks and artillery, but proudly carrying its rifles and ready to contest an invasion if one should follow.

The King spoke for a grateful nation when he knighted Adm. Ramsay.

Recognition of a different sort came in 1942 when the Admiralty selected him to organize the huge fleet which was to sail in utter secrecy in April of that year to plant Americans and Britons on North Africa. Here he showed that retirement had not dulled him.

He was a natural choice of Gen. Eisenhower to organize the assault upon Sicily. Drawing upon the tremendous supply of special assault craft coming off production lines in the United States, Adm. Ramsay used more than 2,000 troopships and landing craft to bridge the water gap between Tunisia and Sicily. Gen. Eisenhower paid tribute afterwards to the “precise training” and “perfect technique.”

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Bradley will seek election to Senate

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (UP) –
Congressman Michael J. Bradley, Philadelphia Democrat, announced his candidacy last night for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

He said he felt:

My record merits for me the support of the Philadelphia Democratic organization, the party leaders in the state and the Democratic State Committee.

A member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, Mr. Bradley is serving his fourth term in the House, to apply the decision to other cases pending in various federal courts, including cases in which “permit fees” charged by unions on federal construction jobs are in question.

Fees went to stewards

These cases include instances in which, the government charges, some of the money collected in permit fees went, not into the union treasury, but to business agents or stewards.

Assistant Attorney General Tom C. Clark said:

Where the union doesn’t extend union membership, but simply collects fees for the right to work, we are hopeful of putting that under the federal statute.

The Supreme Court opinion did not touch on application of the “kickback” law to labor unions but, significantly, stated that the court was not passing on “the outside limit of the statutes.”

Labor cases pending

In some of the pending federal cases, labor unions, providing workers on requisition of contractors, certified them for jobs on payment of “permit fees” which did not entitle them to union membership.

One of the pending cases which will come before the Supreme Court on argument later this month involves the right of a federal grand jury to subpoena books of a labor union to determine what “permit fees” were collected by the union on a federal project.

The case came up on appeal of Jasper White, official of the Stationary Engineers Union of Philadelphia, who refused to present the union records during a grand jury investigation of kickbacks in construction of the naval supply depot at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Justice Black pointed out that the kickback law was part of a Congressional program, including the National Industrial Recovery Act and a law requiring minimum wages on federally-financed construction projects to assure that federal funds provided for workers would actually be received by them for their own use. The law provides a penalty of $5,000 fine or five years in prison or both.

Kay Kyser gives rookie soldiers a chance

Sergeants serve breakfast in bed
By Si Steinhauser