America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Ferguson: Privilege-seekers

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Mustering-out and Social Security

By Burt P. Garnett, editorial research reports

Nelson: U.S. fascists aiding Hitler

They, pressure groups, seek to exploit America, destroy freedom

Senator Davis supports bloc against Oleo

Guffey votes for repeal of margarine tax, but it is defeated
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent

U.S. jury to hear Ickes on ‘Hopkins letter’

Interior Secretary asks to appear after name is linked with case

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Italy – (by wireless)
It has been more than a year since I last spent any time with our Air Forces overseas. So now for a little while I’ll try to tell you what a gigantic thing our “air” has become in this theater.

In the past year I have written so much about the ground forces that they have become an obsession with me. They live and die so miserably and they do it with such determined acceptance that your admiration for them blinds you to the rest of the war.

To any individual the war is seldom any bigger than the space of a few hundred yards on each side of him. All the war in the world is concentrated down into his own personal fight. To me all the war of the world has seemed to be borne by the few thousand frontline soldiers here, destined merely by chance to suffer and die for the rest of us.

All over the world other millions are fighting too, many of them under conditions as wretched as our infantry faces in Italy. But it is easy to forget them in your intentness upon your own hundred yards.

Death comes recently

But now, remembering once again, this column will do its stuff with the Air Forces. We may break it up with a short nostalgic jump back to the infantry now and then, but on the whole for the next few weeks we’ll be learning about the flying men.

You have to make some psychological adjustments when you switch from the infantry to the Air Forces. The association with death is on a different basis. You approach death rather decently in the Air Forces.

You die well-fed and clean-shaven, if that’s any comfort. You’re at the front only a few hours of the day, instead of day and night for months on end. In the evening you come back to something approximating a home and fireside.

In the Air Forces, you still have some semblance of an orderly life, even though you may be living in tents. But in the infantry, you must become half-beast in order to survive.

The subtle difference

Here is your subtle difference between the two: When I’m with the infantry I never shave, for anyone clean-shaven is an obvious outside and apt to be abused. But in the Air Forces if you go for three days without shaving you get to feeling self-conscious, like a bum among nice people, so you shave in order to conform.

I’m now with a dive bomber squadron of the 12th Air Force Command. There are about 50 officers and 250 enlisted men in a squadron.

They all live, officers and men too, in a big apartment house that the Italian government built to house war workers and their families. It looks like one of our own government housing projects.

It is out in the country at the edge of a small town. The Germans demolished the big nearby factories beyond, but left the homes intact. When our squadron moved into this building, it was their first time under a roof in six months of combat.

Stoves and dates

Now our airmen have wood stoves in their rooms, they sleep in sleeping bags on folding cots, they have shelves to put their things on, they have electric light, they eat at tables sitting on stools, and have an Italian boy to clear the dishes away.

They have an Italian barber, and their clothes are clean and pressed. They have a small recreation room with soldier-drawn murals on the walls. They can go to a nearby town of an evening and see American movies, in theaters taken over by the Army. They can have dates with nurses. They can play cards. They can read by good light in a warm room.

Don’t get the wrong impression. Their life is not luxurious. At home we wouldn’t consider it adequate. It has the security of walls and doors, but it is a dog’s life at that.

The toilets don’t work, so you have to flush them with a tin hat full of water dipped out of an always-filled bathtub. The lights go out frequently and you have to use candles.

Teamwork developed

It’s tough getting up two hours before daylight for a dawn mission. The floors are cold, hard tile. There are no rugs. Some of the windows are still blown out.

And yet, as the airmen unblushingly admit, their life is paradise compared with the infantry. They are fully appreciative of what the infantry goes through. There has recently been a program of sending pilots up to the front as liaison officers for a few days at a time. They come back and tell the others, so that the whole Air Corps may know the ground problem and how their brothers are living up there in the mud.

It has resulted in an eagerness to help out those ground kids that is actually touching. On days when the squadron divebombs the Germans just ahead of our own lines, it isn’t as academic to them as it used to be. Now the pilots are thinking of how much that special bomb may help the American boys down below them.

It is teamwork with a soul in it, and we’re fighting better than ever before.

Clapper: Strip by strip

By Raymond Clapper

Wounded Yank shoots down 8 Nazi fighters

Tail gunner bears brunt of 3-hour battle over Reich

Maj. de Seversky: ‘Secret weapons’ merely adaptations of devices used in First World War

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

U.S. Navy Department (January 19, 1944)

CINCPAC Press Release No. 231

Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two attacked Kusaie Island, a Japanese air base southwest of the Marshall Islands, in daylight on January 17 (West Longitude Date), bombing shore facilities.

In the afternoon of January 17, bombers of the 7th Army Air Force attacked Mille Atoll scoring hits on storage facilities and airdrome instal­lations.

All of our planes returned safely from both operations.

Enemy bombers made a nuisance raid at Tarawa at dusk on January 17 causing no damage.

U.S. State Department (January 19, 1944)

870.01 AMG/21

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, January 19, 1944

Memorandum for the President

On September 25 you authorized the Department to propose to the British participation of American political (Lincoln MacVeagh) and economic (James Landis) representatives on the ATB (Administration of Territories – Balkans) Committee in Cairo in order to meet the increasingly urgent need for a direct method of Anglo-American collaboration as regards the Balkans, and with a view to full American participation in the execution of agreed political and economic policies in that area. The ATB was then a British military-civilian committee, after having started out as a purely military body.

Although Ambassador Winant has subsequently pursued this matter, under instructions, he has been unable to get any concrete response from the British. Finally, in December, the British said this question had been “discussed at the highest level in North Africa” and promised a definite reply as soon as they knew the results of these discussions.

So far nothing has been received. Before instructing Winant to take the matter up again, I should appreciate being informed whether this question was in fact covered in your recent discussions; and, if so, what decisions were reached.


The Pittsburgh Press (January 19, 1944)

British drive into flank of Cassino line

Cross Garigliano River and pierce Nazi defenses near coast
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Bushmasters strike –
Yanks attack in New Britain

Gain ground in push from Arawe beachhead
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Russians rap defeats in U.S., Britain

Charge drive underway to split Soviet Union and Allies
By M. S. Handler, United Press staff writer

Unless tax bill is vetoed –
Financial affairs of unions opened to official scrutiny

Senate retains in revenue measure provision that non-profit organizations must file statement
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer


In 2 state elections –
GOP wins new seat in House

Democratic majority is cut to 8 votes

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (UP) –
The Republican Party cut the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to eight votes today by retaining one seat and picking up another in two special Congressional elections in Pennsylvania.

The clean sweep by the GOP in both elections left the House standing:

Democrats 217
Republicans 209
Minor parties 4
Vacancies 5

Complete unofficial returns from Philadelphia’s 2nd Congressional District gave Republican Joseph M. Pratt an easy victory over his Democratic opponent, William A. Barrett, in a contest to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Democrat James P. McGranery. The vote was Pratt 24,910, and Barrett, 19,329.

McConnell leads Brunner

Although returns from the second election in Montgomery County’s 7th Congressional District were only three-fourths complete, Republican Samuel K. McConnell was leading Democrat Marvin S. Brunner by nearly 10,000 votes in one of the state’s leading Republican strongholds. Tabulations from 158 of 191 precincts gave McConnell 13,636 votes, and Brunner 3,892.

Mr. McConnell will fill the vacancy caused by the death of J. William Ditter, chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee, in an airplane accident last November.

The elections were watched closely by leaders of both major parties, especially the Philadelphia contest where the Republican candidate had campaigned on a strictly anti-Roosevelt platform. Mr. Pratt, an electrical appliance manufacturer, had predicted before the election that “experienced Republican Committeemen will win this election.”

Opponent backed Roosevelt

His defeated Democratic opponent, a former mercantile appraiser, had pledged support to President Roosevelt, and received the backing of Mr. McGranery and James P. Clark, Philadelphia Democratic city chairman.

In winning both seats, the Republicans substantiated earlier predictions that they may come close to controlling the House even before the November election. There are still five vacancies in the House and four of them are seats formerly held by Democrats. One of the districts, however, is in Alabama, and is virtually certain to remain Democratic.

Should the Republicans win the other four seats, it would reduce the Democratic majority to only five votes, and only a margin of one over a combined vote of Republicans and minor party representatives.

McGranery’s record indication of trend

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – (special)
Congressman James P. McGranery, who resigned to become an assistant to Attorney General Francis Biddle, was first elected to Congress in 1935.

Indicative of the trend in this district, which takes in nine wards in the central section of Philadelphia, here are Mr. McGranery’s majorities:

1936 21,591
1938 4,677
1940 23,555
1942 713

Mr. McGranery sought the seat in 1934, but was defeated by a Republican by more than 12,000 votes.

The Congressman-elect, Joseph M. Pratt, like his defeated Democratic opponent, was a local ward leader.

Songwriter gains in Louisiana race

New Orleans, Louisiana (UP) –
James H. Davis, Shreveport songbird who has composed more than 200 hillbilly songs, today gained on the candidate of the old Huey Long machine, Lewis L. Morgan of Covington, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

A recapitulation of returns late today gave Mr. Davis 60,351 votes to 66,998 for Mr. Morgan, a gain of some 6,000 votes since early morning. It was predicted that Mr. Davis would overtake Mr. Morgan before night as the returns came in increasingly from rural boxes.

Army morale hurt –
Strike unrest hit by Stimson

Secretary urges national service law

Fourth War Loan –
Drive depends on ‘little guy’

Buying of ‘E’ bonds stressed in first two weeks

Mass scale draft exams to be begun

Pre-induction physicals for hundreds of fathers to start
By John Troan

Of men and women

By Florence Fisher Parry