America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Background of the news –
Argentina and the United States

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

CIO sets goal to cover gains in living cost

Executive board’s action follows certification of steel case

Monahan: Garson and Pidgeon portray the Curies

And ‘the Minivers’ once again team up for an actors’ triumph
By Kaspar Monahan


Stokes: 4th term issue linked by GOP to soldier vote

And Democrats are quick to capitalize on Republican anxiety that Roosevelt will run again
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
The fourth-term issue is befogging consideration of the soldier-vote bill.

Republicans dragged it up in their first burst of anger over President Roosevelt’s message to Congress. Democrats pick it up, whenever it is offered, to capitalize on the apparent Republican anxiety that Mr. Roosevelt is going to run.

A few Republicans, including Senators Taft (R-OH) and Bridges (R-NH), have attracted so much publicity with their charge that the simple federal ballot in the Green-Lucas-Worley Bill is merely a device to get a solid soldier vote for the President, that it might appear this is a “party line.”

The President came out flatly for the federal-ballot bill and denounced as a “fraud” the Eastland-Rankin Bill, which leaves voting under state law, and which is supported by a majority of Republicans in Congress and by most Southern Democrats.

Some surprised

But it is not the case that Republicans have adopted the “fourth-term-plot” line as a party policy.

Some Republican leaders, notably Senator Vandenberg (R-MI), have been chagrined over this tack because of its defeatist taint. Mr. Vandenberg paced the center aisle, rubbing his chin in perplexity, when another outburst was precipitated yesterday by Senator Holman (R-OR).

He conferred with Senator White (R-ME), Acting Minority Leader, but nothing came of it, at least immediately.

The truth is that Senate Republicans have been lacking in real leadership since Senator McNary (R-OR), the Minority Leader, was compelled by illness to relinquish his duties.

Unable to agree

Their failure to adopt a party policy, and the resultant floundering, have been the subject of much comment. They were unable to agree at a party conference.

Republicans on both sides of the Capitol opened themselves up to the President’s pointed attack – particularly the House Republican leadership, which chose to ally itself with Southern Democrats in a scheme to support the “states’-rights” bill and to prevent a record vote in the House on the Worley Bill similar to the Green-Lucas measure in the Senate.

They find themselves in a dilemma.

The President sought to put them in the position of trying to keep the soldiers from voting, and by virtue of his office he has a much larger public hearing and can more easily dramatize and oversimplify an issue.

Public reaction feared

House Minority Leader Martin (R-MA) is trying to hold his Republicans in line against the public reaction which is expected from the President’s message. A few Republicans had already taken a position for the Worley Bill with its federal ballot, but the majority were backing the Rankin “states’-rights” measure.

A few days ago, it seemed certain that the Rankin Bill would pass in the House, which will take it up next week, but the President’ message may change this. The issue is closely drawn in the Senate, which resumes consideration of the legislation next week.

Three found guilty in race riot death

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Italy – (by wireless)
I’m sure the most interesting psychological thing around an American airdrome in Italy these days is the “rubbing out” process of the last few missions a combat airman goes on before he reaches that final one and returns to America.

It interests not only the man himself but everybody on the field from cook to crew chief. When a pilot gets within five missions of the finish, everybody knows and watches his total. If one plane is missing when the group gets back, the first thing on everybody’s mind is wonderment over whether or not it’s the guy who is about finished.

Most squadron leaders deliberately pick what are expected to be easy millions for the pilot nearing the finish. There have been so many ironic cases of pilots “getting it” on their last flight that the leaders are as nervous about it as the pilots.

In some outfits, pilots go home automatically after a certain number of missions. In others they go only if the flight surgeon thinks they are too battle-worn or nervous to continue for another 10 or so. I have yet to hear of a pilot who asked to fly beyond his allotted missions, although I am not saying there haven’t been such cases.

When a pilot comes back from his last trip, he turns out of formation as he nears the field and comes down wide open and screaming to “buzz” the field just above the ground. It is a gesture of elation similar to that of a fighter pilot doing a snap roll over the home field after shooting down a Nazi plane.

Even debt is cancelled

The pilots do all kinds of things after they finish. A friend of mine – Capt. Dean Schuyler of 144-55 87th Ave., Jamaica, Long Island, felt so good the night he got down that he cancelled a $300 debt another pilot owed him.

Another one who finished the same day – Lt. Swithin Shortlidge of West Grove, Pennsylvania – shaved off the beard he had been growing for months.

Last fall, Lt. Shortlidge fell down and knocked out his upper front teeth and cut his chin. He started the beard then because he couldn’t shave for a while, and he finally decided to keep it until he had finished his missions. The dentist made him a false plate to cover up the gaping hole in his mouth, but he refuses to wear it. With a long beard and a big grim and no teeth, he was a sight to behold.

Lt. Jimmy Griswold of Maywood, California, finished his missions while I was on the field. I asked if his last one was the hardest. He said:

No, it was all right once I got in the air, but thinking about it ahead of time almost had me in the asylum.

It’s just hard work

We were sitting around the mess-hall table, and Dan Schuyler said:

Yes, we thought it was going to be very romantic. And it was, for the first few missions when everything was new and strange and you were just learning. But since then, it’s been a job to do, just a job of muddy, hard work.

Most dive-bomber pilots go home without any enemy planes to their credit, for attacking enemy planes isn’t their job. Jimmy Griswold says the first thing his younger brother is going to ask him is how many planes he shot down, and when he says “None at all,” his brother is going to look at him awfully funny.

Some pilots finish and get home in as little as five months, while others are overseas more than a year before getting in their missions. Occasionally sickness or wounds will keep one out of the air for weeks, and he falls behind.

There is one hard-luck pilot – an excellent one too – who was laid up a long time with a bad flak wound in the leg. Then just after he started flying again, the jeep he was riding in was strafed by an enemy fighter and he went back to the hospital with another bad leg wound. As a result, he is far behind on his missions and is just now starting in again while all his pals have gone home.

The saddest thing about the strafing was that the pilot who was driving the jeep had just finished his last mission and had his orders home – and he was killed.

Völkischer Beobachter (January 29, 1944)

Die Dominien stehen auf dem Spiel –
Londoner Versucher, den Zerfall des Empire aufzuhalten

Washingtons weiteres Eindringen soll durch eine Konferenz verhindert Werden

Atlantikwall und – englische Löhne

U.S. State Department (January 29, 1944)

Marshal Stalin to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill

29 January 1944

Personal and secret from Premier J. V. Stalin to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill

On January 23 I have received your two joint messages, signed by you, Mr. President, and you, Mr. Prime Minister, on the question of transference for the use of the Soviet Union of Italian vessels.

I have to say, that after your joint affirmative reply in Teheran to my question regarding the transference to the Soviet Union of Italian vessels before the end of January, 1944, I considered this question as settled and it did not occur to me that there was a possibility of revision of this accepted and agreed upon, among the three of us, decision. So much the more, as we came to an agreement, that in the course of December and January this question should have been settled with the Italians as well. Now I see that this is not so, and that the Italians have not been approached on that question at all.

In order not to delay, however, this matter, which is of vital importance for our common struggle against Germany, the Soviet Government is ready to accept your proposal…

In your reply, however, is no mention made of the transference to the Soviet Union of eight Italian squadron destroyers and four submarines, regarding the transference of which to the Soviet Union still at the end of January, you Mr. President, and you Mr. Prime Minister, gave your consent in Teheran. Undoubtedly for the Soviet Union primarily is this question, the question regarding destroyers and submarines, without which the transference of a battleship and a cruiser is of no value. You will understand yourself that cruisers and battleships are powerless without destroyers escorting them. Since you have at your disposal the whole Italian naval fleet, fulfillment of the decision agreed upon in Teheran pertaining to the transference for the use of the Soviet Union of eight destroyers and four submarines from this fleet should not be difficult. I agree, that instead of Italian destroyers and submarines the Soviet Union be given to use the same number of American or English destroyers and submarines. Besides, the question of transference of destroyers and submarines cannot be postponed, but must be solved simultaneously with the transference of the battleship and cruiser, as it was agreed upon, among the three of us, in Teheran.

U.S. Navy Department (January 29, 1944)

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 25

Pacific Fleet carrier task forces have made attacks on Marshall Island bases today, including Taroa, Wotje, and Kwajalein.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 29, 1944)

Punish Japs, nation asks

Sneering at atrocity story, Tokyo says Allies troops ‘can’t take it’

A new battle cry – “vengeance!” – echoed through the United States today after disclosure of Jap war prison camp atrocities, and the conviction grew that only the razing of Tokyo and bringing home the horrors of war to the Japanese people could still the clamor for revenge.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo radio blared forth in ridicule over the atrocity report, taunting the Allies that United Nations fighting men “can’t take it.”

U.S. promises vengeance

Washington (UP) –
A Senate Committee chairman promised today to dig out still-unpublished facts about Jap prison camp atrocities which have already roused the nation to concentration fury and given it a blazing new battle cry – “vengeance!”

This promise, underscoring a White House hint that the full story has yet to be told, came as the conviction grew among Congressional and military leaders that only the destruction of Tokyo and the unleashing of war’s horror upon the Japanese people at home can quench this country’s thirst for revenge against an obscenely brutal and sadistic enemy.

There was no doubt that the American people had been aroused to a pitch of anger unparalleled since Pearl Harbor by the Army-Navy disclosure that the Japs – employing starvation, torture and butchery – had exterminated at least 7,700 American and many more Filipino heroes of Bataan and Corregidor.

Bond buying booms

A United Press survey showed that throughout the country, war bond sales skyrocketed yesterday as angered citizens jammed booths and banks, many of them speaking harshly of the Japs and vowing vengeance as they made their purchases.

White House Secretary Stephen T. Early intimated yesterday that the account of Jap barbarity was a continued story when he said:

The time has come to release factual, carefully-authenticated reports of Japanese atrocities.

Today, Chairman Elbert D. Thomas (D-UT) of a Senate Military Affairs Subcommittee on wear prisoners announced that he would soon summon Army and Navy intelligence officers to closed hearings.

Expresses surprise

Expressing surprise that his group had not been told in advance of the facts in the Army-Navy report, he added:

My committee is going to get all the information it can through the proper channels.

Later, in Los Angeles, Capt. Samuel R. Grashio, companion of the late Lt. Col. William Dyess in the infamous “March of Death,” told how 1,100 Americans and 1,400 Filipino prisoners died horribly in Camp O’ Donnell.

His descriptions, and the figures he quoted were apparently part of the general picture disclosed earlier by the Army and Navy.

Won’t alter strategy

Despite the rising demand for vengeance against the Japs – a demand which found its most clamorous expression among Congressmen – there was nothing to indicate that Allied staff chiefs would permit popular anger, however just, to alter strategic decisions reached after long and careful consideration of all military necessities involved.

These decisions, calling for the smashing of Germany and Japan in that order, will be adhered to unswervingly despite such demands as that of Chairman Andrew J. May (D-KY) of the House Military Affairs Committee that the entire fleet move at once upon Tokyo and “blow it into Hades.”

Plan heavy blows

This does not mean, however, that Tokyo will not one day be destroyed or that Japan’s bestiality will go unpunished until some dim and distant future time when individual and national war criminals shall have been brought to justice.

It is no secret that even now heavy new blows are being mounted in the Pacific, and observers here would not be surprised if Jap garrisons in the Marshall Islands were soon introduced violently to overwhelming force and sudden death.

Although the Allied timetable calls for defeat of Germany first, Adm. Ernest J. King, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, announced only recently that American naval strength in the

Temper of people high

On the home front, there were plenty of indications that Americans will manifest their anger against the Japs coldly and practically as well as emotionally – through grater purchases of war binds and increased production of the weapons needed to make the Japs pay for their crimes against decency.

The temper of the people was high, however, as indicated in dispatches from all over the country and in statements by Congressmen. In San Francisco, Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, commander of the Western Defense Command, warned the public not to attempt retaliations against Japanese-Americans. At the proper time, he promised, “unremitting justice will be meted out to the Japanese who have been guilty of these dastardly and cowardly acts.”

Asks personal punishment

In the Senate, acting Republican Leader Wallace H. White Jr. (R-ME) said he hoped vengeance would be “visited not alone on the Japanese Army but on the authorities and the people of Japan.”

Senate Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley (D-KY) declared:

Retribution will be meted out to these brutes, these uncivilized pigs in the form of men. We will be satisfied with nothing less than personal punishment for those in Japan who have been guilty ever since Pearl Harbor of these unspeakable atrocities.

Hits scrap shipments

Senator Styles Bridges (R-NH) criticized the administration for failure to stop scrap iron shipments to Japan in 1937, but agreed that “Japan should be wiped off the face of the earth.”

Meanwhile, officials concerned with procuring the tools of battle recalled the spurt in wear production and the marked drop in absenteeism which followed disclosure that the Jap government – in its first bloody break with civilized conventions since Pearl Harbor – had executed some of the Tokyo raiders. They felt that the new disclosures might have a similar but greater effect.

Sees greater production

Cdr. Samuel J. Singer, acting chief of the Navy’s Industrial Incentive division, said that:

Everyone in America is shocked and incensed by this latest revelation of Japanese barbarism, and it can be assumed that this anger will be translated into even greater production efforts.

Joseph C. Grew, former Ambassador to Japan, said Americans will “want to fight this war on the home front with grimmer determination than ever before.”

Knowledge of what Secretary of State Cordell Hull called the “unthinkable tortures” inflicted on defenseless American and Filipino war prisoners was also expected to have its effect at the fighting fronts.

Bismarck battle cited

In military circles, it was freely predicted that there would be more “revenge operations” like that of the Bismarck Sea battle in which U.S. fliers destroyed 22 Jap ships and killed upwards of 15,000 Japs.

In that battle, Jap airmen made the fatal mistake of machine-gunning parachuting U.S. fliers. The Americans retaliated by sinking every ship in the enemy convoy and by strafing Jap troops struggling in the water. Not a Jap escaped.

Another way in which the atrocity report may have its effect at the front was suggested by a War Department officer.

Won’t surrender

He said:

From now on, nobody will let himself be captured by the Japs. He will shoot it out, no matter what the odds are.

One thing was certain – the Japs have contributed irrefutable evidence against themselves in the war criminal trials which will follow the war. Secretary of State Cordell Hull disclosed yesterday that this government is methodically collecting information which will assure punishment of those guilty of the atrocities.

This data, as it is compiled by the War, Navy and State Departments, will be transmitted to the United Nations commission for investigation of war crimes, sitting in London, the American representative of which is Herbert C. Pell.

Fate of captives uncertain

Active in collating such evidence on this side will be the State Department’s Far Eastern Division headed by Joseph W. Ballantine and the legal adviser to the Secretary of State, Green H. Hackworth.

Meanwhile, the fate of American fighting men still in Jap ear prisons remained uncertain. As of Nov. 30, these prisoners numbered at least 18,200, according to official estimates made before revelation of the deaths disclosed by the atrocity report. This total did not take into account the fact that some of the 5,000 soldiers listed as missing in the war with Japan may be captives.

Protests futile

Mr. Early disclosed yesterday that this government no longer had any hope of getting relief supplies to Americans in Jap prison camps, and Mr. Hull reported that American protests against Jap conduct had failed to produce satisfaction.

Mr. Hull also disclosed that attempts to arrange a third exchange of Jap and American civilian internees – like the two thus far carried out aboard the Swedish liner Gripsholm - have thus far proved futile.

He added, however, that this government, at least, would keep on trying.

Japs ridicule atrocity story

By the United Press

A Jap radio spokesman today ridiculed charged that Allied prisoners of war have been mistreated by Japan and taunted sarcastically, “Why don’t they teach their men to stand up and fight to the finish?”

He said, in a Tokyo radio broadcast record by the United Press in London:

The way Americans threw up their hands at Corregidor, the way the British gave up at Singapore – on the heels of loud-mouthed assertions that they would fight to the finish – surely shows that these men must have carried on their backs a pretty wide streak of yellow.

He added that Americans and British “can’t take it.”

Ridiculous stories

He ridiculed the atrocity stories as:

…the final propaganda measure to which the enemy is forced to resort, due to the lack of any other favorable propaganda which they can dish up to their publics.

He charged that Jap women and children caught in the United States at the outbreak of the war were “fed only bread And water for days on end,” and that U.S. troops evacuating Davao in the Philippine campaign “lined up the Japanese residents including women and children and mowed them down with machine-gun fire.”

Allege Allied brutality

The first Jap reaction came last night when the Jap Dōmei News Agency described the atrocity charges as mere “vicious propaganda” and “not worth paying attention to.”

In a wireless dispatch for American consumption, Dōmei said the charges were actually designed to “cover up” United Nations “brutality.”

Jap military quarters, Dōmei said:

…marvel at the Anglo-American audacity to make such groundless accusations after the cold-blooded butcherings of our wounded soldiers by enemy troops at Guadalcanal.

The broadcast, recorded by U.S. government monitors, also reiterated charges that the Allies had “brutal assaults on our helpless hospital ships.”

A Tokyo radio broadcast quoted Jap Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu as telling his people in a nationwide broadcast that “if the enemy did not change his inhuman tactics” in sinking hospital ships, “Japan was preparing retaliatory measures.”

Japs don’t hear charges

Dōmei said the Japs will:

…not be surprised to see another recurrence of similar Anglo-American vicious accusations in the future whenever the enemy cares to resort to inhuman attacks, which are quite to be expected.

Government monitors reported they heard no mention of the Allied charges on any Tokyo broadcast to the Japanese people.

Earlier, the Tokyo radio beamed to the United States a talk entitled “Friendship in Wartime” in which a propagandist bemoaned the “misunderstanding” of Japan.


Political repercussion seen over atrocities

Washington (UP) –
Rep. Gerald W. Landis (R-IN) believes the report of Jap atrocities will have an effect on domestic politics.

He predicted yesterday that President Roosevelt “will not run for a fourth term because of the exposure of the Japanese atrocities on the men of Bataan.”

He charged:

Mr. Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins are directly responsible for not getting supplies to Gen. Douglas MacArthur that would have saved those men.

Record American armada smashes Nazi war plants

More than 800 bombers rip Frankfurt; Berlin fired anew
By Phil Ault, United Press staff writer

Allies closing Appian Way

Yanks shell Nazi lifeline to Garigliano front
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Allied planes pound island northwest of Rabaul base

123 tons of bombs rained on Manus in Admiralty group; 22 more Jap planes shot down
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Famous ‘country editor,’ William Allen White, dies

Heart attack fatal to 75-year-old Emporia, Kansas, publisher

White-collar problem –
Salary raises left up to WLB

Senate to end hearing, urge something(?)
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

Let go!

By Florence Fisher Parry

Union official won’t write a ‘blank check’

ITU secretary-treasurer tells WLB he’s ready to ‘cooperate’

Islands ripped in mid-Pacific

Yanks attack Nauru and three Marshall atolls

Presidential citation given to destroyer

Troops in Alaska ‘so shy,’ Ingrid Bergman declares

Too cold up there even for Swede, star says