America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Ferguson: Training for citizens

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Tōjō fortifies defense arc

By Col. Frederick Palmer, North American Newspaper Alliance

In Washington –
Stimson unable to get support for labor draft

Senate Military Affairs Committee contends War Secretary failed to show need for national service in testimony


Willkie throws support behind federal vote bill

Washington (UP) –
The CIO Committee for Political Action today pressed a last-minute drive to mobilize support for federal soldier-vote legislation as the controversial issue came a step closer to a showdown in the House.

Sidney Hillman, chairman of the CIO committee, appealed for support for a federal plan in telegrams to Wendell Willkie and Governors Thomas E. Dewey of New York and John W. Bricker of Ohio, prominent prospects for the 1944 Republican presidential nomination.

Mr. Hillman drew almost immediate response from Mr. Willkie, who said he favored federal soldier-vote legislation.

He declared:

I do not believe that it is possible in a practical manner under state statutes for every member of the armed services to be given the opportunity to vote. I would not wish to be elected President of the United States without every member of the armed services having an opportunity to vote to decide whether I should be.

House action on the soldier-vote issue appeared likely next week. Meanwhile, there were charges that the administration was trying to stall the Elections Committee’s state’s rights bill and threats of possible “civil war” should returning servicemen find their political “freedoms” abridged.

Chairman Adolph J. Sabath (D-IL) said his House Rules Committee would open hearing tomorrow to determine rules under which the bill would be debated.

Mr. Hillman’s statement urged Congress to maintain the honor and justice of the nation, its people, its Congress and its Constitution by supporting a federal ballot. He called on the Senate to reverse itself and pass a federal ballot law and the House to recommit this “disgraceful bill” which would keep all the machinery except the carrying of the ballots by mail in the States.

He said he had appealed for the third time to Chairman Harrison E. Spangler of the Republican National Committee to rally the GOP to the support of the federal ballot proposal.

House may avoid soldier-vote roll call

By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent

Washington –
Soldier-vote Congressmen today tried to head off a parliamentary situation which would enable their opponents to avoid a House roll call on the proposal to give every member of the Armed Forces a federal ballot.

The Eastland-Rankin “states’ rights” bill, referring the soldier vote to state legislation, will come before the House as a result of its approval by the House Federal Elections Committee.

Chairman Eugene Worley (D-TX) and other soldier-vote supporters plan to offer the Worley compromise measure for a federal soldier ballot as a substitute for the Eastland-Rankin Bill.

Under House rules, however, there can be no roll call on the Worley substitute bill, because it was defeated in committee and will be offered as an amendment to a bill already amended in committee.

Accordingly, Congressmen who are shaky about voting for a federal ballot, can avoid placing themselves on record for or against it by supporting the bill which comes before the House – the “states’ rights” version.

Rep. James A. Wright (D-PA) pointed out:

It permits them to duck. By supporting the Eastland-Rankin Bill, they can say they voted for a soldier vote. If they vote against it, through preference for the Worley Bill, they can be represented as against the soldier ballot.

The sole chance of getting a clear-cut expression of the House on the Worley compromise bill lay with the Rules Committee.

Hollywood aces work under fire

Experts filming war in Italy for FDR
By Thomas R. Henry, North American Newspaper Alliance

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Italy – (by wireless)
If you ever heard a dive bombing by our A-36 Invader planes, you’d never forget it.

Even in normal flight, this plane makes a sort of screaming noise, and when that is multiplied manyfold by the velocity of the dive, you can hear the wail for miles.

On the ground, it sounds as though they are coming directly down upon you. It is a horrifying thing. The German Stuka could never touch them for sheer frightfulness of sound.

Also, the Stuka has always dived at an angle. But these planes literally come straight down. If you look up and see one a mile above you, you can’t tell where it’s headed. It could strike anywhere within a mile on any side of you. That’s the reason it spreads its terror so wide.

But our pilots have to hand it to the Germans on the ground. They have steeled themselves to stand by their guns and keep shooting. Pilots say the Italians would shoot until the bombs were almost come out and start shooting again after the bombs had exploded. But not the Germans – they stick to their guns.

German truck in gunsights

Maj. Ed Bland, a squadron leader, was telling me about coming suddenly over a hilltop one day and finding a German truck right in his gunsights.

Now it’s the natural human impulse, when you see a plane come upon you, to dive for the ditch. But the German gunner in this truck swung a gun around and started shooting at Bland. German and American tracer bullets were streaming back and forth in the same groove in opposite directions, almost hitting each other. The German never stopped firing until Bland’s six machine guns suddenly chewed the truck into complete disintegration.

Our dive bombers don’t have much trouble with German fighters. The reasons are several. For one thing, the Luftwaffe is weak over here now. For another, the dive bombers’ job is to work on the infantry frontlines so they seldom get back where the German fighters are. And for another, the Invader is such a good fighter itself that the Jerries aren’t too anxious to tangle with it.

Some never caught in a fight

There have been pilots in this squadron who have finished their allotted missions and gone back to America without ever firing a shot at an enemy plane in the air. And that’s the way it should be, for their job is to dive-bomb, not to get caught in a fight.

For several months the posting period back to America was set at a certain number of missions. Then it was suddenly upped by more than a score. There were pilots here who were within one mission of going home when the order came. So, they had to stay and fly a few more months. Some of them never lived to finish the new allotment.

There is an odd psychological factor in the system of being sent home after a certain number of missions. When pilots get within three or four missions of the finish, they get so nervous they almost jump out of their skins. A good many have been killed on their very last mission.

The squadron leaders wish there were some way they could surprise a man and send him home with still six or eight missions to go, thus soaring him the agony of those last few trips.

Nowhere in our fighting forces is cooperation closer or friendship greater than between Americans and British in the air. I have yet to hear an American pilot make a disparaging remark about a British flier. Our pilots say the British are cooler under fire than we are. The British attitude and manner of speech amuse our pilots, but they’re never contemptuous.

Spitfires mother crippled Invader

They like to listen in on their radios as the RAF pilots talk to each other. For example, one day they heard one pilot call to another:

I say, old chap, there is a Jerry on your tail.

To which the imperiled pilot replied:

Quite so, quite so, thanks very much, old man.

And another time, one of our Invaders got shot up over the target. His engine was smoking and his pressure was down and he was losing attitude. He made for the coast all alone, easy meat for any German fighter that might come along. He was just barely staying in the air, and he was a sad and lonely boy indeed.

Then suddenly, he heard over his earphones a distinctly British voice saying:

Cheer up, chicken, we have you.

He looked around and two Spitfires, one on either side, were mothering him back to his home field.

Pegler: Absentee ballots

By Westbrook Pegler

Clapper: ‘Yellow Beach’

By Raymond Clapper

Flying Windmill

We’ll have helicopters but the day is far away, experts claim
By Thomas Cope, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Nazis reported making Argentina future Balkans

By Roger W. Stuart, New York World-Telegram staff writer

Maj. de Seversky: Planes alone can win wars if given chance, high-ranking airmen contend

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Millett: Rumors

Many people repeat all they hear in wartime
By Ruth Millett

Midwest crops threatened by dry weather

Subsoil moisture in Wheat Belt lowest in many years
By the United Press

Völkischer Beobachter (January 21, 1944)

Die Westmächte in vollem Rückzug –
Restlose Kapitulation vor Stalin offen eingestanden

Hände der plutokratischen Außenpolitik durch den Verrat von Teheran gebunden

Das britische Empire im Umbau –
Canberra zwischen London und Washington

Eigener Bericht des „Völkischen Beobachters“

Die schweren Verluste der Terrorflieger –
‚Ein zweites Pearl Harbour‘

dnb. Genf, 20. Jänner –
Bei dem Luftangriff auf Schweinfurt hat die US-Regierung nach üblichem Rezept nur den Verlust von 60 Bombenflugzeugen mit 593 Besatzungsmitgliedern zugegeben.

Bekanntlich hat aber selbst diese Zahl schon so großes Entsetzen in der US-Bevölkerung erregt, daß die Presse aufgefordert wurde, beschwichtigend zu wirken. Jetzt erklärt nun ein Leitartikel von Colliers, die Verlustmeldung habe so erschütternd gewirkt, wie seinerzeit die Nachricht von dem Angriff auf Pearl Harbour und man fürchte weitere Einbußen dieser Art.

Diese weiteren schweren Einbußen sind inzwischen bei dem Tagesangriff auf Mitteldeutschland in noch größerem Umfange eingetreten.

U.S. Navy Department (January 21, 1944)

Communiqué No. 497

Pacific and Far East.
U.S. submarines have reported the sinking of twelve enemy vessels in operations against the enemy in these areas, as follows:


  • 1 large tanker
  • 1 medium cargo transport
  • 1 small transport
  • 7 medium freighters
  • 2 small freighters

These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 233

For Immediate Release
January 21, 1944

Wotje was raided on the afternoon of January 20 (West Longitude Date) by Liberators of the 7th Army Air Force. We lost one plane.

Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two made a low-altitude at­tack on Imieji and Tmiet Islands during the morning of January 20. One of our planes was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

A Navy search Liberator of Fleet Air Wing Two damaged an enemy cargo transport near Maloelap on January 19.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 21, 1944)

U.S., British subs strike heavy blows

Enemy warship destroyed ‘in the vicinity’ of Singapore

Bombs rip invasion coast; record raid blasts Berlin

2,000 tons of explosives rained on France, 2,300 on Reich capital
By Phil Ault, United Press staff writer

Nazis pushed farther back toward Rome

Germans reported planning new ‘Adolf Hitler’ defense line
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer