America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

June Lang marries Army lieutenant

Straight-and-narrow line rules Hattie Carnegie fashions

Color is evident throughout collection, with revival of World War I blueprints have field day at New York showings
By Lenore Brundige. Press staff writer

Phooey on radio hooey

By Maxine Garrison

The dulcet tones of the soap program announcer pulsated across the airwaves. He queried:

Do you, too, want to have a lovely, man-tempting skin?

At that point, I became – to quote Mr. Lucius Beebe – sick in my hat. Or would have, had there been a hat handy.

This passion for purple prose has got to stop somewhere, and that little sample is as good a place as any to end it all, and better than most.


Maybe women do want “man-tempting skins,” if by that loathsome phrase is meant clear, bright complexions. But any woman who would express, or even think, her desire in such language should have her head examined. I think it’s an insult to women to appeal to them in such terms.

Insult to men

It’s also an insult to men to presume that such an item as a “man-tempting skin” is enough to make them fall madly in love on the spot, overlooking all possible flaws of character and any temperamental differences, ready if needs be to leave home, family and friends and follow the will-o’-the-wisp of a man-tempting skin.

Because that is precisely the implication.

Any woman wants to be attractive, if only to be able to face her mirror without flinching. To make herself more attractive to men is undoubtedly one of the aims of her grooming and primping, and from Cleopatra to Hedy Lamarr, such care has been a help.

But the distortion of such a phrase as “man-tempting skin” is a rank injustice all the way around. And that’s only one of many equally distasteful mistreatments of the language in vogue these days.

It’s enough to make a woman vow never to wash her face again, never to have a manicure, never to use comb or lipstick, never to dab perfume behind her ears (shades of Westbrook Pegler!).


No guinea pig

And it’s enough to make men swear off women entirely. Any self-respecting male would be likely to lay down the law to himself:

Just what sort of sucker do they think I am? “Man-tempting skin,” indeed! Well, there’s one man that won’t be tempted.

In fact, I henceforth refuse to be a guinea pig for any cosmetic treatment undertaken by any fair lady. I shall wear dark glasses so dark that I can’t see through them at all, and judge any woman solely by whether or not I like the sound of her voice.

Things have come to a pretty pass when it is generally accepted that the only way to appeal to a woman at all, whether you want to sell her scouring powder or a subscription to a magazine, is to promise her that she will promptly become irresistible to all men.

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Italy – (by wireless)
I was really starting to worry. Here I’d been in Italy a month and I was continuing to feel fine. What was going to become of my record of being sick in every country I’d ever set foot on? Could I be slipping in my old age?

But it’s all right now. I knew how to fix that. I just took a bath, and sure enough next day I started to sniffle. By neglecting the snuffles for the next two days, I promoted myself a first-class cold. And now everything is fine.

The only trouble with this cold is that I can’t find anything funny to write about it. I’ve moved into town for my convalescence, have a nice room in an apartment house, have good food and several friends, and don’t even feel too badly.

The only reason I’m mentioning it at all is just to let you know my record is intact. I’m ashamed not to have had a really bad sickness, but maybe I can do better when we hit Germany.

While sick I stayed at the apartment of some Air Force friends. Pilots from the various fields drop in there when they’re in town on leave. One of them is Maj. Edwin A. Bland Jr., commander of a bomber squadron.

Ed almost got his’n

Ed Bland is a tall, friendly fellow with blond haircut in crew style. He loves to fly and is torn between flying after the war or going back to Colorado and settling down to enjoy the mountains.

Ed almost got his’n a couple of weeks ago. These boys dive absolutely straight down at their target for about 8,000 feet and pull out at very low altitudes. This certain day, Ed couldn’t get his plane out of the dive.

The tab on his rubber had either been shot or torn loose by the pressure of the dive. The stick vibrated so violently that it flew out of his hands and he lost control.

The only chance of saving himself was to get hold of that stick again. I asked him if it was vibrating so fast he couldn’t grab it. He said, “Hell, it was going so fast I couldn’t even see it.” And he meant it.

So, Ed clasped his hands, reached clear up to the dash, then lowered his hands toward the cockpit floor and drew the, back toward him. He knew the stick had to be somewhere inside the circle of his arms.

As he gradually pulled back, the stick beat upon his hands and arms with killing pain, but he kept going back until finally he had hold of it. The infernally flailing stick hit with such fury it literally pulled a big hunk of flesh out of the palm of his hand, but he finally got the plane out of the dive, just by brute strength.

He was only 400 feet above the ground when he leveled off. It was as narrow an escape as a man ever wants to have. Ed said:

I thought it was my time. I figured my number had come up, and I sort of said goodbye to everybody.

In the summer of 1941, I decided to get a new car. As usual I wanted a convertible. The Pontiac dealer in Albuquerque didn’t have a convertible but said he could have one sent from the district agency in Pueblo, Colorado.

Memorable convertible

So, three days later the shiny convertible arrived. It was a beauty and is still a beauty, even though it has spent half its life sitting in storage. But I’m happy just to have to anyhow, and it is often in my thoughts the way your wife, or your fireplace at home, or your dog, is often in your thoughts.

Now what, you are probably asking, does a convertible coupe in Albuquerque have to do with a dive-bomber pilot in Italy?

Well, when Maj. Ed Bland came to our apartment, he told me about that car. It seems that in the spring of 1941 he was a salesman for the Pontiac people in Pueblo.

They had just one convertible left, and salesman Ed had it all sold and was ready to deliver it next day. And then came word that the Albuquerque dealer wanted that car to deliver to me. So, they took it away from Ed and he thereby lost his $80 commission. He was so disgusted he joined the Army a month later.

I said:

Well, it looks as if I owe you 80 bucks, to be real ethical about it.

But Ed just laughed, and I didn’t have 80 bucks with me anyhow. And one thing led to another until we became good friends, and it wound up that I’m going out to live with Maj. Bland’s dive-bomber boys for a few days.


Pegler: On Ciano’s death

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
Nobody on our side of this war will drop a tear over the finish of Count Ciano. He was a nasty, grafting, continental society louse and a drawing-room parasite, who was way over his head in anything bigger than gin rummy and would have been at home and a social success in Palm Beach and some of our more expensive dumps in New York.

The only reason he ever amounted to anything in the Fascist regime was that he married Il Bum’s daughter and it was his marriage that finally caused him to fall before a firing squad.

But Ciano’s death probably can be taken as a horrifying promise of things to come as the Germans fall back into their own country because if Hitler would kill Mussolini’s own son-in-law and leading protégé, even though Ciano had backslid, what will be hesitate to do?

The Nazis are desperate men now who know that they must die for crimes already done and it is reasonable to expect that they will destroy everything behind them in their retreat to doom.

Had served Germans rather well

Ciano had served the Germans rather well and had lived on terms of personal acquaintance, although, of course, not of friendship with Hitler, who has never had a friend even in his own party, and if Il Bum had not been a prisoner himself, living on table-scraps and borrowed time, he undoubtedly would have been allowed to live in some prison until the arrival of the Allies.

But Mussolini had no power to save him and he died like Hitler’s own old comrades who went out in the purge.

This execution is shocking because of the family relationship involved, for civilized human beings do not execute their own kinnery and the Italians are as sentimental as the rest of us about family. In this savage killing, Hitler acted in the Duce’s name and thus kicked the Italians in the teeth, so God only knows what he will do in his retreat.

He might even shoot the Pope for having correspondence with the enemy and dynamite St. Peter’s and the Vatican as he blew up the post office in Naples. It is a refresher on the fiendishness which the world underestimated when Hitler early in his career destroyed a Polish countess accused of spying by having her head chopped off with a long-handled meat ax in the hands of an executioner wearing formal evening dress.

Lidice, the long, cold pogrom of the German Jews, the slaughters of hostages, occurred when Hitler was strong and on the offensive. The sort of enemy that the normal mind pictures would begin to moderate his ferocity in retreat in the hope of saving his people, even if he knew he himself was doomed.

No such thing as family

But Hitler set out to rule the world or obliterate as much of civilization and its personalities and works as he could, and there is no reason to expect that he will go easy, even to save the Germans from obloquy as long as the world lasts.

To Hitler, there is no such thing as family. He has been estranged from his own. He is queer and immeasurable by any human or civilized standards. He has butchered Germans as a farmer beheads a chicken on the stump and his deliberate spot-bombing of old churches in London may be taken as a portent of more stunning shocks to come.

It is futile to call Hitler a fiend, monster and butcher just as an expression of hatred. That stage passed long ago. The world knows what he is, but do we realize what he is capable of doing in the final days of a career that no human being could have imagined 10 years ago?

We did have civilization then and not even history gave us an example of Hitler’s satanic, personal indifference to the ideals and morals of a world which had come a long way since man emerged from the caves, his contempt for the opinions of mankind as to his people as well as himself, and, on the positive side, his delight in killing and destroying.

Of itself the killing of one Fascist by orders of another is nothing. But the peculiar surroundings of the Ciano execution give it greater and probably prophetic meaning.

Notre Dame? Boom! Then flames and ruin beyond salvage. Why not?

Clapper: Jungle life

By Raymond Clapper


Maj. Williams: Jap airmen

By Maj. Al Williams

The sanest and best thing the American people can do to hasten the end of the war is to quit underestimating our enemies.

However, it isn’t the American people who make the news nor interpret the value of items in the news.

It’s simple enough to call the Japs “monkey people,” but if we insist upon calling names and let it go at that, okay. Name-calling, however, tends toward underestimation of an opponent, and that’s dangerous business. Our best military minds deem the Jap a tough, first-class soldier. We can call him a fanatic and whatnot, but he is evidently determined to win or die, and that’s the type of military spirit our boys encounter on the combat fronts and in the air against the Jap.

It’s this hullaballoo stuff far behind the combat fronts which upsets public psychology.

Gen. Billy Mitchell, after returning to this country from a visit to Japan, said the Jap airman is a good pilot and a hard fighter. And Mitchell, 20 years ahead of his time, showed his moral courage by saying this against the general opinion to the contrary. There’s no doubt about the fact that our forces, air, sea and land, are hurting the Jap, but we are a long way from licking him to the point where he will quit.

One of the most amazing developments in our air war against Japan is the discovery that this – as we recklessly assume – backward aeronautical nation is today building single-seater fighter planes that are topping off 350 miles an hour, possessed of a much higher maneuverability than ours, and a rate of climb that is not to be sneezed at.

No one ever dreamed, prior to the outbreak of this war, that Jap aeronautical engineers were worth their salt, nor able to do more than copy the aircraft and engine designs of foreign engineers. Be that as it may, they have done a mighty good job of assembling existing aeronautical engineering details which suited them and in turning out first-class fighting aircraft. I’m not saying the Jap fighter planes are better than ours. The Japs have their ideas of what a fighter plane should be able to do in speed, maneuverability, and rate of climb, and how many and what kind of guns it should carry, and what its armor protection should be, and what its structural factors of safety should be. And we have our own ideas on these subjects too.

Of course, American airmen are shooting down the Jap fighters, and apparently greatly in excess of our losses. But that is undoubtedly due to the fact that, man for man, training system for training system, the American airman is superior to the Jap airman, and we can outproduce the Japs.

If we can whip our advertising propensities, which largely means exaggerating, our victory in the Pacific will come all the sooner.

Sherwood: ‘Doughnut Girls’ cheer fighters

By Lydia Sherwood, North American Newspaper Alliance

Lydia Sherwood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Murray Sherwood of New York City and niece of Robert E. Sherwood, noted playwright and overseas director of operations of the Office of War Information, is currently serving with a Red Cross clubmobile behind the frontlines in Italy. In the following story, she relates some of her experiences and tells of the reaction of our fighting men, on seeing real American girls so near the firing lines.

Fifth Army front in Italy – (by radio)
“Hey! Where’s the doughnuts?”

That cry has been ringing in my ears for almost a year. It has followed me through Africa and Sicily and for the last two months I have been hearing it in Italy.

As our three-quarter-ton truck with its red and white “American Red Cross” markings speeds (or wallows) over the muddy Italian roads, the shout goes up – from the crew of a Long Tom hidden under its camouflage net beside the road; or from a handful of combat engineers standing knee-deep in icy, muddy water, rebuilding a bridge; or from a mud-drabbed bunch of Texas and Oklahoma muleskinners packing rations and ammunitions up the mountains.

If we have any doughnuts left from our last assignment, we stop, and the boys come scrambling out of the gun pit or whatever it happens to be, and tack back doughnuts in their helmets for friends who can’t leave their posts. We were goodbye and off we go again.

Officially I and my teammates – Mary Ann Landis of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Betty Jones of Oklahoma City and Connie Briggs of Houston, Texas – are known as American Red Cross staff assistants, clubmobile. But to the thousands of G.I.s to whom we serve coffee and doughnuts, all clubmobile girls are known simply as “Doughnut Girls.” The sight of us and our Red Cross truck means doughnuts; and conversely the presence of a doughnut usually means that we’re somewhere around, too.

Added together, we and the doughnuts and the truck and the Victrola that we carry with American records when we can get them, means a link with home to the boys in the remote outposts that we cover.

Some of them are pretty remote, too, from civilization at least, for they’re not always so remote from the Germans. We’ve ladled coffee and handed out doughnuts within about a thousand yards of the German lines; and our base of operations, the village where we lived and had our doughnut machine set up, was within artillery range when we first move in.

In dive-bombing attacks

Naturally, the section of the infantry division we serve won’t let us go right up to the frontline; and even if we could get there, we’d just be in the way. They also steer us away from areas where there’s a lot of “incoming mail” (enemy shelling). But even in supposedly quiet areas, there’s no way of telling when it may start up again and we have seen a few 88 shells land uncomfortably close.

We’ve also been in two or three enemy dive-bombing attacks, though Jerry’s aim didn’t seem to be good enough to cause much alarm. Far more alarming was our own ack-ack going up all around.

In Africa and Sicily, from March to the end of October, I was in clubmobile work with the Air Forces.

In the Italian campaign, we clubmobile gals are classified as “expendable” – which we weren’t in Africa. We like it better this way because we feel that our work is more valuable the nearer we get to the frontlines.

To the boys in the rear, who have good food and a dry place to sleep, coffee and doughnuts and American girls are a pleasant break in the Army routine; but to the boys who’ve been living in mud and snow on the mountaintops, eating “K” rations and undergoing the mortar and shellfire, our coming is really an event.

Their first reaction on seeing us is complete astonishment; then come the inevitable questions: “Are you really an American girl?” “You mean you speak English?” “Where are you from in the States?” “How long have you been overseas?” and so forth.

Men quieter at front

The closer we get to the front, the quieter the men are as a group. Most of them are physically dead tired from a week or maybe two or three weeks in the lines; many of them have seen their friends killed or wounded. After the coffee and doughnuts have been served, they like to stand around quietly and talk and to show us snapshots of their families at home.

Often, we get requests to write to a soldier’s family and say that we’ve seen him. What most of the boys say:

Just write and tell my Ma you’ve seen me and that I’m okay. She doesn’t believe me when I write. She thinks I’m just trying to make her feel good.

More than anything else, they like listening to the Victrola; they crowd around it playing record after record. It’s heartbreaking when you have to say:

Sorry – as soon as this record is finished, we’ve got to take off.

Sometimes the outfits we serve are so far forward that they have no regular mess tent or kitchen facilities, so that we have to resort to some strange expedients to make our coffee. At one tank destroyer outfit, I made coffee in a can that had last been used to boil clothes over a bonfire whose fuel was the cardboard casings from 105mm shells.

Another time an inspired Special Services officer loaded an entire G.I. unit stove onto an open three-quarter-ton truck with two G.I. cooks as crew and we made the coffee en route from one outfit to another. The officer led the way in his jeep, we followed in the Red Cross truck and the coffee truck brought up the rear, so we made quite a convoy as we steamed up the mountains. Usually, we make up a batch of coffee in the mess tent of our forward CP and carry it the rest of the way in five-gallon G.I. water casks.

Often we feel that what we do – dishing out coffee, handing out a few doughnuts, cranking a Victrola and just talking – isn’t much to do for the boys who are living in holes, sweating out mortar fire, suffering from cold, rain, snow and mud, enduring every kind of discomfort and privation every hour of the day and night. But it’s the best we can do and perhaps the best anybody can do for men situated as they are.

Eight killed in rail crash

Three U.S. fliers among victims in Britain

Golf heads’ stand in wartime seems to lack enterprise

Policy shows marked contrast with ‘go ahead’ decision of tennis body
By Joe Williams

Growth cited in government aid to states

Grants rise to $3 billion a year in generation

Völkischer Beobachter (January 18, 1944)

Der Schwindel von Teheran entlarvt –
Polen für Stalin überhaupt kein Verhandlungsfaktor

Eine schallende Ohrfeige für die Londoner Polacken und ihre bisherigen Schutzherren

Ein schwieriges Problem –
Sand in Roosevelts Steuerschraube

Eigener Bericht des „Völkischen Beobachters“

The Pittsburgh Press (January 18, 1944)

French seize north anchor of Nazi line

U.S. patrols ford stream in mountains during heavy storm
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Rabaul net tightened –
Yanks destroy 3 Jap vessels

Catalinas rip convoy near Kavieng, New Ireland
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Adventure in Tibet –
Five Yanks bail out – land in Shangri-La

Cargo plane crew, among only 10 Americans to see holy city of Lhasa, take month to reach Indian base on horseback
By George Palmer, United Press staff writer

Greenlight awaited –
New rail pact goes to Vinson

Proposed increases range from 9 to 11 cents

Record quotas spur efforts in bond drive

Douglas Fairbanks’ widow to become ‘a lady’ again

Mary Pickford offers congratulations to happy pair

Broadway to take Congress for ride

‘Jimmy’ Stewart honored

Harriet and Sally

By Florence Fisher Parry