America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Yanks smash into Pisa; British close on Florence

Germans blow up Arno River bridges in delaying action on Italian front
By Eleanor Packard, United Press staff writer

RAF blasts Kiel, Berlin, Bucharest

U.S. bombers rip France, Italy, Balkans

Pope studies plan for early end of war

Pontiff confers with Archbishop Spellman
By Reynolds Packard, United Press staff writer

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Normandy, France – (by wireless)
The cook of LST 392, on which I came to France, was a beefy, good-natured fellow named Edward Strucker of Barberton, Ohio, which is near Akron.

Cooking on these transport ships is a terrible job, for you suddenly have to turn out twice as much food as normally. But Eddie is not the worrying type, and he takes it all in his stride.

Eddie has a brother named Charles in the Army Engineers, and in the past year has been lucky enough to run into him four times – once in Africa, once in Sicily, and twice in Italy.

One of those small-world experiences happened to me, too, while on that ship. We lay at anchor in a certain harbor a couple of days before sailing for France. On the second day I was in the washroom shaving when a sailor came in and said there was a Cdr. Greene who wanted to see me in the captain’s cabin.

The only Greene I could think of who might be a commander in the Navy was Lt. Terry Greene, whom I had known in my Greenwich Village days. You didn’t know I ever had any Greenwich Village days? Well, don’t get excited, because they weren’t very lurid anyhow.

The same Terry Greene

At any rate I went to the captain’s cabin, and sure enough it was the same Terry Greene all right. By some strange coincidence, we had both got 17 years older in the meantime.

Greene held a very important position in the convoy. He was tickled to death with his assignment, for he had been in the States almost the whole war and was about to go nuts for some action.

I haven’t seen him on this side of the Channel to discuss it, but I’m afraid our trip over wasn’t as exciting as he would have liked. But you can’t please everybody, and it was just tame enough to suit me fine.

In your travels around the world, if you ever happen to be sailing on LST 392, you might climb a ladder to a high platform astern which holds a big gun, and look at the breech of the gun.

There, written on each side of the barrel, you’ll find my name. the boys in the gun crew asked if I would come up and write my name as big as I could on the gun, and then they would trace it over in red paint. Which they did. I’ll be very much embarrassed now if the gun blows up on them. To say nothing of how they’ll feel.

One of the gun crew is Seaman John Lepperd of Hershey, Pennsylvania. He is about the oldest man in the crew. He is 34, and has three daughters – 17, 15 and 13 – and yet he got drafted last November and here he is sailing across the English Channel and helping shoot down German planes. It still seems a little odd to him. It is quite a contrast to the building game, which he had been in.

Ernie meets a hometowner

Also on this ship I ran into one of my hometowners from Albuquerque, Electrician’s Mate Harold Lampton. His home is actually in Farmington, New Mexico, but he worked for the telephone company at Albuquerque, installing new phones. Now he is the electrician for this ship. He has been in the Navy for two years and overseas for more than a year.

He is a tall, dark, quiet fellow who knows a great deal more about the Southwest than I do. he said he has driven past our house many times, and we had long nostalgic talks about the desert and Indian jewelry and sunsets. We are both tired of being where we are and we wish we were back on the Rio Grande.

Every LST in our convoy carried two or three barrage balloons. With each balloon was a soldier.

Among the soldiers I talked to on the LST were Cpl. Loyce Gilbert of Spring Hill, Louisiana; Pvt. Oscar Davis of Troy, North Carolina, and Pvt. Floyd Woodville of Baltimore. They didn’t seem especially apprehensive going to war. I talked to them quite a while but never got much out of them except yes and no. Which was all right with me. I feel that way myself sometimes. Especially right now.



Give us our conventions straight

By Florence Fisher Parry

Am I alone in thinking the radio announcers appropriated entirely too much time reporting the Democratic Convention proceedings?

What the public wanted to hear was the actual goings-on themselves, and not the commentaries of the broadcasters.

There is nothing that provides so much honest interest to the American public as a typical party convention. It provides the biggest circus in our land. All its corn, all its bombast, all its noise and confusion make beautiful music to the ears of us Americans who recognize in this process the very essence of the American system of government.

We love it; we eat it up; we are cheered and comforted by its corn and clutter. We want to hear every pound of the gavel. We want to hear the unlimited roar of the delegates. We want, full blast, the whole din and dither!

We do not need and we do not want interference in our getting all this first-hand, however well-intentioned. We do not need interpretations. We prefer to make our own. We do not want cultivated commentators’ voices bursting in upon our circus, muting its roar so that they may be heard.

After it’s over, yes; or even at discreet and very occasional intervals, yes – let the commentators then be heard. But spare us in future conventions, please, their incessant, persistent, unstoppable, chatter!

Take it away!

Friday night the Democratic Convention put on a wonderful show. No hoss race was as exciting as the neck-and-neck race between Truman and Wallace as they swung around into the home stretch. The roar from the galleries, the bedlam from the floor; the anvil pounding of the gavel; the horse, spent yet still mighty, voices of the delegates’ spokesmen – composed an orchestra of such noise and thunder that its millions of listeners all over the land closed in around their radios gleefully for the kill.

And what happened. Some gabby commentator cut the whole thing down in order that his one inconsequential voice be heard! He couldn’t be shut up. He went on and on, and ruined for millions one of the biggest circuses America has been treated to for a long time!

Every once in a while, this incessant voice would say, “Take it away!” and for a split instant we would cherish the fond expectancy that we would be allowed to hear the whole works again.

But, no! “Take it away” meant that only some other commentator, even more garrulous, would pick up the mike, and the mighty roar of the delegates and the galleries would mute down again, and once more we would be cheated of the chance to share in the Convention Hall excitement.

Now I am not blaming the radio commentators themselves – theirs was a job they were assigned to and they can’t be blamed if they played it to the hilt. Besides that’s a part of their training. Radio abhors a vacuum. The dread nightmare of all broadcasters is a dead spot on the air. This accounts for the awful, incessant chitter-chatter that takes place on all too many radio programs.

But there ought to be a way to save our big national events from this plague, and especially our Republican and Democratic National Conventions!

We were humbly grateful that we were allowed to listen finally to the states’ balloting. It was music to our ears to hear the cracked, hoarse, exhausted, still mighty voices of the various states’ spokesmen rise to the occasion of their brief prominence.

Especially did we revel in the rounded rhetorical periods of the Gentlemen of the South, those magnificent disciples of oratory, who, whatever the crisis, never fail to deliver the rhetorical flourish!

Greatest of all hoss races

We did not begrudge these chivalrous gentlemen of the old school their moment of “grand-eloquence.” The Solid South may not have been quite as solid politically as in other Democratic Conventions, but it was united at least on one score, and that was when it was called upon to answer the roll call.

It rose to a man as to a majestic platform and delivered itself of its statements with a pomp and ceremony that did its chivalrous heritage full justice, and somehow managed to distinguish the assembly in which it stood, by its patent relish of the English language in which it couched its count.

It was wonderful, Friday night, to receive again assurance that the American way still functions in all its faultiness. Health and exuberance abounded in this convention as in all others. And Republicans and Democrats and New Dealers alike sat glued to their radios, drinking in every moment and enjoying the Fracas as the American people will always enjoy any sport that has in it the elements of a good hoss race.


In Washington –
Congress due to end holiday next Tuesday

Extension hinges on German situation

Washington (UP) –
Congress headed today into the final week of its summer recess with prospects that it may take still another extended holiday unless there are unmistakable signs of an early German collapse.

With both the Republican and Democratic Conventions over, the lawmakers are slated to return Tuesday of next week to begin an August schedule that calls for only two days of work a week. Many members plan to remain at their homes until after Labor Day.

Demobilization important

Two principal items of unfinished business left on the docket when members recessed June 23 for the political conventions were bills on demobilization and reconversion – measurers Congress hopes to have on the books and ready for operation by the time the war in Europe ends.

Also in the offing is an amendment to the Soldier Voting Act which Senator Robert A. Taft (R-OH) has announced he will introduce in August in an attempt to relax the Army’s censorship of political matter sent to troops.

Another soldier vote amendment by Senator Theodore F. Green (D-RI) is pending in the Privileges and Elections Committee, would permit any serviceman who does not receive his state absentee voter’s ballot by Oct. 1 to vote the so-called “federal ballot” – the same provision which caused a bitter four-month wrangle in Congress earlier in the year.

May wait until election

Congressional sources said the recent upheavals within Germany, which many likened to the strife that preceded Germany’s collapse in the last war, made it imperative that early action be taken on the reconversion and demobilization measures.

However, they added, if Hitler managers to reestablish his grip on Germany, the urgent demand for immediate action on the measures will be lessened and Congress then may feel free to take another recess from Labor Day until after the November presidential election.

U.S. Fleet totals 1,149 combat ships

U.S. to train Mexican Army fighter pilots

Allied fliers sink Jap ship 70 miles from Philippines

45,000 starving diseased enemy troops pounded from air, ground in New Guinea

Churchill hints at early end to Nazi war

Prime Minister sees troops in France

Prisoners’ views on revolt vary

Young Nazis, plain soldiers differ
By B. J. McQuaid

With U.S. forces in Normandy, France –
Reactions among captured Germans to reports on the attempt on Hitler’s life and of revolutionary developments inside Germany fall into three main classifications:

  • Dyed-in-the-wool young Nazis of the SS {Elite Guard) stamp. They discredit and minimize the reports much the same as official German propagandists.

  • Plain soldiers of the Wehrmacht. They have a philosophy of war in some prospects not unlike that of the average American G.I.’s, namely, to “get this thing over and let’s all go home.” They are noncommittal, often falling back on the familiar theme that as “the little men” of Germany they never had a voice in shaping their country’s politics, and hence accept no responsibility for what happens from now on nor for what has happened.

  • Large numbers of impressed foreigners in Germany’s ragtag, bobtail Normandy armies, as well as Austrians and Germans from sections like Bavaria which have never been more than superficially loyal to Hitler. In most cases they go further than the most optimistic speculations outside Germany concerning the extent of the seriousness of the revolt and declare that the whole Nazi applecart is about to tip over.

It is reassuring to find little disposition on the part of our military leaders in France to put any great faith in the reports, from the point of view of easing their own task. There was a brief wave of high optimism among troops in some sectors, but this quickly gave way to renewal of that cold determination to beat the hedgerows and that realism which accepts the great probability that in addition to whatever turmoil threatens within, Germany will require more stout blows from without before the war can be considered “in the bag.”

Coliseum is the background for Deanna Durbin movie

Dinah lauds Latin tunes

Believes they’ll sweep the USA

Westinghouse employees ask pay increase

‘Typical’ workers cite living costs

Cdr. Barclay considered dead

Roosevelt’s cousin dies in New York

Japs learn bitter lesson, abandon suicide attacks

But vigorous Allied patrolling, bombing and strafing wipe ‘em out just the same
By Francis McCarthy, United Press staff writer

Editorial: Stick to the job

Editorial: Doubletalk?


Editorial: You can’t blame ‘em

Few voters pay any attention to party platforms, a nationwide Gallup Poll reports. Fewer than two in five persons claim to have read any part of the Republican platform – which was the only one that had been made public when the poll was taken. Readers of the Democratic platform may be more numerous due to the fact that it was so much shorter than the Republican.

Here is an issue on which an editorial writer should be properly outraged and aggrieved – a plain dereliction of duty, a disregard of the obligations of democracy, a callous indifference toward the responsibilities of citizenship.

But, somehow, we can’t. We are inclined to feel that three out of five persons have merely escaped the platitudes, straddling and doubletalk which go to make up party platforms.

Of course, that isn’t the right view – because if more people paid attention to platforms, the politicians might treat them with greater respect and care. But, things being what they are this year and have been in many previous campaign years, who are we to blame the poor citizen who escapes the boredom and insincerity of the party platform by the simple expedient of not reading it?


Editorial: Beware the tax promiser

Pre-election promises have been giving many people the impression that a tax holiday is just around the corner. This impression has been bolstered by the fact that several state legislatures have approved a proposed constitutional amendment limiting federal income, gift and estate taxes to 25 percent. A surge of optimism about the possibility of lower taxes has also followed the recent publicity given to post-war plans calling for dramatic slashes in tax rates.

Don’t be misled. Campaign statements on taxes are just that, whether they come from Republican or Democratic sources. There is about as much chance of taxation being held to a top limit of 25 percent as there is of a law forbidding the thermometer from going above 80 degrees.

Similarly, post-war plans calling for drastic tax reductions are just wishful thinking. Any reductions in general tax rates would undoubtedly force the government to use a general sales tax as a substitute source of revenue. But even most proponents of a sale tax during wartime would shy away from it in the post-war period when the emphasis probably will be on spending rather than saving.

Although no reduction in personal tax rates can be expected for some years, it is a safe bet that business taxes will be softened in the effort to shift American industry from war to peace with as little dislocation and unemployment as possible.

The present excess profit tax probably will be eliminated. And although industry in general has been able to show a substantial net profit even after this drastic tax, a major business complaint is that the tax laws have not allowed companies to set aside enough money as a reserve to meet the contingencies of the post-war period. For instance, owing to wartime conditions company may have had to put off necessary repairs to its factory buildings, or the job of replacing war machinery with the machines it uses for peacetime production may be very expensive.

The Treasury says that the present tax law does recognize this problem, if only indirectly. For instance, when a company has a bad year and shows a loss it can claim a refund from the Treasury of part or all of the taxes it paid in years when it showed a profit. Or, in certain cases, the company waits until the next year it shows a profit and then claims a deduction in its taxes for that year.

But these “carry backs and carry forwards,” as they are called, are limited to a two-year period. This means that no matter how much tax a company has paid in previous high-profit years, it cannot later claim a tax refund if the profit period is more than two years in the past. Similarly, it can claim no reduction of taxes in a good year unless its loss period occurred within two years of that time.

Probable elimination of the excess profits tax and existence of even the two-year carrying back privilege will be a financial boon to many companies. There is also a strong likelihood that corporate tax rates I general will be decreased in the government’s attempt to stimulate business activity after the war.

It is in line with this primary goal that various “incentive taxation” plans are being urged. The idea is to determine from the point of view of the national interest what overall goals the country deems desirable – for instance, maintaining as high a level of production as possible and providing as many jobs as possible. The tax structure would be so arranged that companies that best fit themselves into this national design would get certain tax advantages and benefits denied to other companies.

Reduction of corporation taxes and some “incentive plan” may give some post-war relief – but beyond that there’s little hope in sight for a real tax cut. Campaigners who promise it the coming year won’t be able to make good and will be misleading the voters.


Heath: Dewey prepares to conduct blitz campaign

By S. Burton Heath

S. Burton Heath, writing a series of articles from Albany, is substituting for Peter Edson, regular conductor of the Washington Column, who is absent from Washington for a few days.

Albany, New York –
A short campaign and probably a red-hot one is beginning to shape up as Governor Dewey prepares methodically for his attempt to break President Roosevelt’s lease on the White House.

Both the Republican candidate and his campaign manager, National Chairman Brownell, declined to hint about details. They say nothing definite has been decided yet.

I think it is safe to prophesy that the Dewey campaign will begin soon after Labor Day; that it will include one – probably no more – major swing around the circuit; that it will rely heavily upon radio.

For the next month and a half this campaign probably will resemble a “pony war.” President Roosevelt will be busy as Commander-in-Chief. His supporters will taunt Governor Dewey with inaction. Mr. Dewey will go about his chores in person and through a lot of lieutenants who will appear to have a “passion for anonymity” and reticence.

But when the storm does break early in September it will be of blitz proportions, and there will be activity enough for two months to satisfy the most ambitious.

There are a number of reasons for a short campaign, and the war ranks as No. 1. Skilled politicians believe that the public would resent a long siege of oratory and travel in the midst of all-out war. Nor is it necessary for Governor Dewey to set as hard a pace as for a candidate less well known at the outset. He does not need to take weeks to introduce and identify himself; he can start right in selling his bill of goods.

This does not mean that the remainder of July and the month of August will be wasted. Quite the contrary. They are already being utilized efficiently.

Focus on 26 states

The campaign, as has been pointed out, is planned around the 26 states that have Republican Governors and which, in the aggregate, cast about 60 more electoral votes than Mr. Dewey would need to win.

Each of these states has an aggressive, successful GOP organization which elected its governor, and in turn has been strengthened by him. Each has candidates for Senate and House seeking election and reelection.

Mr. Dewey has talked with National Committee members and state chairman from all the states. He is meeting all 26 Republican Governors in St. Louis. State by state, delegations of Congressional candidates are calling on him.

These visitors have been leaving the executive chambers loud in their praise for Mr. Dewey. They are in position to go before their constituents and remark, casually:

“As Tom Dewey said to me–” or, perhaps oftener: “As I said to Tom Dewey–” That builds them up with the folks at home. It also builds up Candidate Dewey.

Possible blitz plan

Meanwhile, skilled assistants who have campaigned with Mr. Dewey in other years are quietly gathering material for the blitz in September and October, whipping it into shape, giving the candidate opportunity to know before he starts into the field what he has and how it can best be used.

Obviously, there will have to be one trip to the Pacific Coast. Naturally that would take one route – perhaps the northerly one – going, and another route – perhaps the southerly – returning. There would be stops at major cities for speeches and conferences and handshaking.

It is too early to be certain, but that one trip, plus perhaps visits to two or three major Eastern cities, and the use of radio, might constitute the campaign.

Radio will be used heavily in any event. The GOP feels that for the first time since Franklin Roosevelt entered the scene, he will be up against a skilled orator who can meet him on the air without a handicap. Every attempt will be made to capitalize on Mr. Dewey’s radio personality.

Ferguson: Foreign brides

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Background of news –
Military control of Japan

By Bertram Benedict