America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Maulkorb über Anzio und Nettuno

Von unserem Madrider Berichterstatter

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

Communiqué No. 506

Pacific and Far East.
Two U.S. submarines recently returned from patrols deep in Japanese Empire waters report sinking 13 enemy merchant ships totaling 68,200 tons.

These sinkings have not been reported in any previous Navy Department communiqué.

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 36

Our forces have captured the enemy air base at Engebi and several other islands in the northern portion of the Eniwetok Atoll. Preliminary reports Indicate our casualties have been light.

Assaults on other portions of the atoll are proceeding according to schedule.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 273

For Immediate Release
February 19, 1944

Supplementing the major attacks on Truk and Eniwetok, our forces have continued to neutralize other enemy bases in the Central Pacific Area.

On February 16 (West Longitude Date) Liberators, Dauntless dive bombers, and Warhawk fighters of the 7th Army Air Force attacked four atolls in the Eastern Marshall Islands. At one base Warhawks blew up a fuel dump, damaged a small cargo ship, and sank three small craft. On the same day search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed ground installations at two other atolls.

On February 17, Army Liberators bombed warehouses and docks at Ponape, and harbor installations at Kusaie. Army Liberators and Warhawks attacked an Eastern Marshalls base, and Navy search planes bombed and strafed installations at two other atolls.

Between February 14‑18, our warships repeatedly shelled important enemy positions in the Eastern Marshalls.

Establishing the Surplus War Property Administration

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 19, 1944

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, particularly the First War Powers Act 1941, as President of the United States and as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

  1. There is hereby established in the Office of War Mobilization, the Surplus War Property Administration (hereinafter referred to as the “Administration”), the powers and functions of which, subject to the general supervision of the Director of War Mobilization, shall be exercised by a Surplus War Property Administrator (hereinafter referred to as the “Administrator”), to be appointed by the Director of War Mobilization.

  2. With the assistance of a Surplus War Property Policy Board, composed of a representative from each of the following: State Department, Treasury Department, War Department, Navy Department, Justice Department, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Smaller War Plants Corporation, United States Maritime Commission, War Production Board, Bureau of the Budget, War Food Administration, Federal Works Agency, Civil Aeronautics Board, and the Foreign Economic Administration, it shall be the function of the Administration, to the full extent that such matters are provided for or permitted by law:

(a) To have general supervision and direction of the handling and disposition of surplus war property.

(b) To have general supervision and direction of the transfer of any surplus war property in the possession of any Government agency to any other Government agency whenever in the judgment of the Administration such transfer is appropriate.

(c) Unless otherwise directed by the Director of War Mobilization, to assign, so far as it is deemed feasible by the Administration, surplus war property for disposition, as follows: consumer goods to the Procurement Division of the Department of the Treasury; capital and producers’ goods, including plants, equipment, materials, scrap, and other industrial property, to a subsidiary of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, created pursuant to Section 5d (3) of the Reconstruction Finance Act, as amended; ships and maritime property to the United States Maritime Commission; and food to the War Food Administration; provided that surplus war property to be disposed of outside the United States, unless otherwise directed by the Director of War Mobilization, shall be assigned, so far as it is deemed feasible by the Administration, to the Foreign Economic Administration.

  1. All functions, powers, and duties relating to the transfer or disposition of surplus war property, heretofore conferred by law on any Government agency may, to the extent necessary to carry out the provisions of this Order, be exercised also by the Administration.

  2. The Administrator may prescribe regulations and issue directions necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Order; and no Government agency shall transfer or dispose of surplus war property in contravention thereof. Each Government agency shall submit such information and reports with respect to surplus war property and in such form and at such times as the Administrator shall direct. When requested by the Administration, a Government agency shall execute such documents for the transfer of title or for any other purpose or take such steps as the Administration shall determine to be necessary or proper to transfer or dispose of surplus war property or otherwise to carry out the provisions of this Order.

  3. The Administrator may perform the functions and exercise the powers, authority, and discretion conferred on the Administration by this Order by such officials and such agencies and in such manner as the Administrator, subject to the provisions of this Order, may determine. In carrying out the purposes of this Order, the Administration may utilize the services of any other Government agency. The Administration, within the limit of funds which may be made available, may employ necessary personnel and make provision for supplies, facilities, and services necessary to discharge the responsibilities of the Administration.

  4. As used in this Order:

(a) “Government agency” means any executive department, independent establishment, agency, commission, board, bureau, division, administration, office, service, independent regulatory commission or board, and any Government-owned or Government-controlled corporation.

(b) “Surplus War Property” means any property, real or personal, including but not limited to plants, facilities, equipment, machines, accessories, parts, assemblies, products, commodities, materials, and supplies in the possession of or controlled by any Government agency, whether new or used, in use or in storage, which are in excess of the needs of such agency or are not required for the performance of the duties and functions of such agency and which are determined, subject to the authority of the Office of War Mobilization, to be surplus by such agency.

  1. All prior Executive Orders, insofar as they are in conflict herewith, are amended accordingly.

February 19, 1944

The Pittsburgh Press (February 19, 1944)

Yank forces pour ashore on Eniwetok

U.S. victory on island group 750 miles from Truk in sight
By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

Second strike in the Marshalls found U.S. forces ashore on Eniwetok Atoll (1), 750 miles northeast of Truk (2), which was pounded this week by U.S. bombers. To the south, Allied planes destroyed a Jap convoy of 15 ships near Mussau Island (3).

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii –
Meager official reports indicated today that powerful U.S. Marine and Army invasion forces were rapidly extending their initial beachheads on Eniwetok Atoll, 750 miles northeast of bomb-battered Truk, with complete conquest perhaps already in sight.

While 16-inch-gun U.S. battleships joined cruisers, destroyers and planes in a pulverizing bombardment to cover the advances on Eniwetok, other elements of the Pacific Fleet were apparently retiring from the Carolines after subjecting the bastion of Truk to a smashing carrier-based air assault.

Radio Tokyo last night again told the Japanese people of “fierce fighting” at Truk and warned that the U.S. attack was part of an offensive pattern whose ultimate aim was an assault on Tokyo. The broadcast added no fresh details to yesterday’s Jap communiqué, which said Jap Army and Navy forces had intercepted U.S. units.

A Jap Dōmei dispatch from a Central Pacific base said U.S. warships had shelled and carrier-based planes bombed Taroa Island in Maloelap Atoll, east of Kwajalein, Wednesday and Thursday, causing “slight damage.” Fifteen planes attacked Wednesday and 16 Thursday, the dispatch said.

20,000 land

The 22nd Marine Division and elements of the Army 106th Infantry Division (probably a total of at least 20,000 men) pushed ashore on Eniwetok under a drumfire air-sea bombardment Thursday and successfully established beachheads, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet, announced in a communiqué yesterday.

Though no further bulletins have been issued by Adm. Nimitz’s headquarters, the fact that the invasion forces were able to consolidate their beachheads – the toughest phase of any amphibious assault – tended to justify optimism that Eniwetok might be occupied as quickly as was Kwajalein, 355 miles to the southeast, which fell after an eight-day battle.

To use Kwajalein pattern

The communiqué gave no hint as to the extent of the opposition encountered, but it seemed probable that the terrific preliminary and accompanying bombardment had razed most of the enemy’s long-prepared pillboxes and artillery emplacements.

RAdm. Richmond Kelly Turner, invasion commander, was expected to follow the Kwajalein pattern of sweeping rapidly across the invaded islands to smash all organized resistance with the aid of tanks, artillery and flamethrowers, then mop up the scattered remnants.

Though Adm. Nimitz did not identify the site of the initial landings in the 21-by-17-mile circular atoll at the northwestern corner of the Marshalls, the main objectives were believed to be Engebi Island (2,000 yards long and 1,500 yards wide at the northern end) and Eniwetok (a narrow heavily-wooded island about 4,000 yards long at the southern end).

Contains good anchorage

Possession of Eniwetok Atoll would give the United States one of the finest fleet anchorages in the Pacific and an air base on Engebi Island with a runway nearly 5,000 feet long which could be used in conjunction with Bougainville, to the southwest, for shuttle raids on Truk.

The lightning assault on Eniwetok, coming only 10 days after the final conquest of Kwajalein, carried U.S. ground forces 2,500 miles west of Pearl Harbor on the invasion route to Tokyo and represented an advance of nearly 1,000 miles in the past three months dating from the capture of the Gilberts.

The invasion of Eniwetok also further increased the isolation of Wake Island, 600 miles to the northeast.

Turner’s staff

Under Adm. Turner’s overall command for the invasion were RAdm. H. W. Hill, commander of amphibious forces; Marine Brig. Gen. Thomas E. Watson of Washington, commander of ground forces; Col. John T. Walker, 50-year-old Texan commander of the Marines, and Col. Russell G. Ayers, commander of Army troops.

Powerful naval task forces which sent carrier-based planes against Truk Wednesday were still maintaining radio silence and details of the destruction they wrought awaited their return to friendly waters.

Silent on Truk

Adm. Nimitz and his commanders remained silent on Tokyo’s implications that the forces, which included one of the largest concentration of aircraft carriers of the war, had tried to land invasion forces. However, it was generally assumed that Tokyo, for propaganda purposes, was attempting to twist an air assault into an unsuccessful landing attempt.

Though there had been no confirmation of Jap counterblows, it appeared certain the enemy would do all in his power to catch the task forces, which probably included battleships as well as carriers, cruisers and destroyers.

Allies smash Nazi drive against Rome beachhead

Counterattacks by Yank, British tanks inflict heavy casualties
By Robert Vermillion, United Press staff writer

Roper: Nazi guns keep refugees inside Cassino monastery

But German guards flee when Americans launch bombardment, Italian survivor says
By James E. Roper, United Press staff writer

Truk invasion denied by U.S.

Knox calls landing report enemy propaganda

Washington (UP) –
U.S. naval and air forces have scored a “big victory” in their mighty aerial assault against the formidable Jap naval base of Truk, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said yesterday as he described as enemy propaganda reports that U.S. troops had attempted landings.

“This was a strike by carrier-based planes,” he told a news conference, and indicated there had been no direct contact between opposing warships.

He added that the full scope of the triumph will not be known until the powerful U.S. task forces can break their radio silence.

The Secretary said he did not know whether the attack was still in progress.

Mr. Knox revealed that the bold thrust was under the overall charge of Adm. Raymond Spruance, who directed the brilliantly successful invasion of the Marshalls a fortnight ago.

He said the assault was:

…but another in the overall campaign to destroy for all time Japan’s ability to wage war, whether it be on the sea, on land or in the air.

He said:

Now that we’ve started, we aren’t going to stop.

Mr. Knox labeled the assault evidence that the power of the Navy and its air arm is such that “we are now able to go on the offensive and strike the enemy at the time and place that we select;” that it is “of such magnitude in the Pacific area as to make itself felt from the Bering Sea down to Australia.”

He revealed that in recent months, the Allies have been sinking four times as much enemy merchant tonnage as they are losing by enemy action – “and that ignores the fact that we are building far more than we are losing.”

Mr. Knox said U.S. forces would conquer Truk, “eventually.” But he declined to say whether the Navy actually intended to seize the base eventually, or bypass it.

The Secretary announced appointment of VAdm. John W. Greenslade as head of the new office of Pacific Coast Coordinator of Naval Logistics to handle problems of supply which are expected to become of increasing importance as the Pacific War grows in intensity.

Adm. Greenslade, a native of Bellevue, Ohio, until recently was commander of the Western Sea Frontier.

Allied fliers wreck convoy above Rabaul

15 Jap ships sunk while trying to reinforce Pacific bases
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Two subs sink 13 Jap ships

U.S. raiders make hits near enemy homeland

C. E. Bedaux, Windsor pal, ends his life

‘Speedup’ expert held by U.S. on suspicion of treason


Miami, Florida (UP) –
Charles E. Bedaux, millionaire industrialist and financier who was arrested by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower on suspicion of treason and communicating with the enemy, died in Jackson Hospital last night of an overdose of poison self-administered several days ago.

Bedaux, 56, longtime friend of the Duke of Windsor, had been held by immigration authorities here who were determining the validity of his citizenship acquired in 1917.

Indictment sought

His death occurred as two special assistant attorneys general, Edward J. Ennis and John J. Burling, were preparing to seek a federal grand jury indictment for treason growing out of Bedaux’s activities in Vichy France and North Africa prior to the U.S. invasion of the latter.

Bedaux, inventor of the famous “speedup” system of production in modern industrial plants, had been in custody of immigration officials since last Dec. 23, when he was returned from military arrest in Algiers.

In Washington, Edward J. Ennis, chief of the Justice Department’s Enemy Control Unit, provided a clue to the reason behind Bedaux’s suicide. He said Bedaux was informed the day before his suicide attempt that his American citizenship was valid. That meant he could be tried for treason in American courts instead of being deported to North Africa as a Frenchman and turned over to French authorities for whatever action they might take. This might involve a trial as a traitor.

Found by attorney

Bedaux’s death was announced here by immigration officials and in Washington by Attorney General Francis Biddle.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Biddle said, Bedaux’s attorney found him unconscious in his quarters at the Immigration Service and he was taken to the hospital where he remained in coma until his death. Pneumonia and other complications contributed to his death.

Mr. Biddle said Bedaux, in a note to his secretary, explained he had accumulated a sleeping compound over a period of time from small doses allotted him by medical authorities at the detention station.

Born in France Oct. 10, 1886, Bedaux entered this country during World War I, established himself as a consulting engineer and was naturalized at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1917.

He became known as an efficiency expert and established companies bearing his name in this country and throughout Europe and the rest of the world, exercising overall management from Amsterdam, Holland.

In 1927, Bedaux purchased a chateau near Tours, France, and his visits to the United States became steadily infrequent.

Friend of Nazis

The special board of inquiry investigating his citizenship in Miami found that Bedaux admitted close friendships among many of the highest-ranking officers of the Nazi Party and of the Vichy French government.

It was said that he was visiting Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Salzburg in August 1939, when the German diplomat was ordered to Moscow to conclude the Berlin-Moscow Non-Aggression Pact.

Bedaux opened his chateau to the U.S. Embassy staff at the fall of France in 1940, it was said, and subsequently appeared to carry on negotiations intimately with the Germans and the Vichy French.

Invited to Berlin

Sent to North Africa in July 1941, at the request of Vichy, Bedaux developed a plan whereby oil refineries on the Persian Gulf could be protected by the Germans against bombing. He was invited to Berlin to discuss this plan less than a month before the United States entered the war, Mr. Biddle disclosed.

In the summer of 1942, Bedaux undertook to construct a pipeline across the Sahara Desert which he said would bring edible oils from French West Africa to shipping points on the Mediterranean in order to relieve the critical shortage of such oils in Europe.

Bedaux claimed that the pipeline could be employed in reverse, it was said, to supply water for the construction of the Trans-Sahara Railway connecting Dakar with the North.

Named French aide

Bedaux was appointed an economic consultant to the German military administration in France and gained authority from Chief of State Pierre Laval for the pipeline. He also obtained permission for the manufacture of 60,000 tons of steel pipe and pumping equipment and 25,000 liters of gasoline in connection with the project.

Reaching Algiers in October 1942, Bedaux set up headquarters in the Aletti Hotel and began to assemble an expedition of men and equipment scheduled to move Nov. 15. British and U.S. forces invaded North Africa Nov. 8. It was shortly afterward that he was arrested.

FBI men killed

When military authorities determined that Bedaux should not be tried by a military court, Mr. Biddle dispatched Assistant Director Percy E. Foxworth and FBI Special Agent Harold O. Haberfeld to North Africa to investigate. They were killed when their plane crashed somewhere over the Brazilian jungles in January 1943, but other agents were immediately sent to carry out the assignment.

Bedaux is survived by his widow Fern, a native of the United States said to be living in France, and a son, Charles Jr., believed to be in North Africa.

Trip canceled

Bedaux had been a friend of the Duke of Windsor for many years. The Duke and Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson were married in Bedaux’s chateau near Tours in June 1937.

Several months later, when the Duke and Duchess decided to go to the United States to study industry and housing, Bedaux appeared as sponsor of the trip. His sponsorship caused a loud protest from labor and the trip was subsequently canceled.

Baruch reports –
Ways to avoid chaos at end of war given

Two offices to handle demobilization, reconversion recommended

Night bonuses placed by WLB on areas basis

Policy outlined in ruling that reverses order in Milwaukee

Bomber crash takes 17 lives

Two B-24s come together in Arizona flight

In Washington –
Subsidy ban veto will be refought on price control

Farm bloc foes will pass credit agency extension, then challenge bill continuing price curbs


Soldier vote hopes

Washington (UP) –
The germ of hope for enactment of compromise soldier-vote legislation was kept alive today as states’ rights adherents and federal ballot supporters mulled over three compromise proposals – but it was a feeble germ.

House and Senate conferees were to consider the proposals when they meet again Monday, but there was no indication that the House conferees would back down from their adamant opposition to any form of federal ballot. They voted 3–2 against considering any plan whatsoever.

A dropkick, he says –
Diplomatic drinking liquor costs U.S. $300,000 a year

Appropriation wins over protest that we feed ‘em, why wine ‘em to make ‘em like us

Former governor dies

Wilmington, Delaware –
Richard C. McMullen, 76, former Governor of Delaware, died of a heart attack at his home yesterday.

Weirton Steel case examiner for NLRB dies

E. G. Smith was preparing brief on close shop when taken ill

Stuntman arrested

Wife supports alibi of hubby’s black eye

High Soviet award given to Eisenhower

‘Scuttle butt’ on flattop keeps men ‘rumor happy’

Gossip of news-thirsty sailors embroiders facts with wildest fantasy

Editorial: ‘By Raymond Clapper…’

Raymond Clapper’s last dispatch, an unfinished column which he apparently interrupted to set out on the flight that cost his life, is printed today.

It may have seemed remarkable to some that we should continue printing Mr. Clapper’s column for so many days after his death. And it has indeed been remarkable – a notable testimonial to the hardworking nature of this great reporter.

It was no matter of chance which enabled us, when Ray Clapper set out from Washington for the Pacific, to continue his column daily without interruption. Whereas some of us might have considered the arduous journey to Australia and the South Pacific islands job enough in itself, he managed not only to keep his column coming in daily, but to build up a “cushion” of advance columns against the day when he would go to sea with a task force and be unable because of radio silence to send us anything for days and perhaps weeks.

And when the task force did set out, and he could no longer deliver his copy, he kept on turning out columns so that he would be ready when transmission was available. After his death, the Navy delivered these articles.

He was as hardworking a newspaperman as we have ever known.

Editorial: No Manna from Heaven