America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Wounded Yank shoots down 8 Nazi fighters

Tail gunner bears brunt of 3-hour battle over Reich

Maj. de Seversky: ‘Secret weapons’ merely adaptations of devices used in First World War

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

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

CINCPAC Press Release No. 231

Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two attacked Kusaie Island, a Japanese air base southwest of the Marshall Islands, in daylight on January 17 (West Longitude Date), bombing shore facilities.

In the afternoon of January 17, bombers of the 7th Army Air Force attacked Mille Atoll scoring hits on storage facilities and airdrome instal­lations.

All of our planes returned safely from both operations.

Enemy bombers made a nuisance raid at Tarawa at dusk on January 17 causing no damage.

U.S. State Department (January 19, 1944)

870.01 AMG/21

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, January 19, 1944

Memorandum for the President

On September 25 you authorized the Department to propose to the British participation of American political (Lincoln MacVeagh) and economic (James Landis) representatives on the ATB (Administration of Territories – Balkans) Committee in Cairo in order to meet the increasingly urgent need for a direct method of Anglo-American collaboration as regards the Balkans, and with a view to full American participation in the execution of agreed political and economic policies in that area. The ATB was then a British military-civilian committee, after having started out as a purely military body.

Although Ambassador Winant has subsequently pursued this matter, under instructions, he has been unable to get any concrete response from the British. Finally, in December, the British said this question had been “discussed at the highest level in North Africa” and promised a definite reply as soon as they knew the results of these discussions.

So far nothing has been received. Before instructing Winant to take the matter up again, I should appreciate being informed whether this question was in fact covered in your recent discussions; and, if so, what decisions were reached.


The Pittsburgh Press (January 19, 1944)

British drive into flank of Cassino line

Cross Garigliano River and pierce Nazi defenses near coast
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer

Bushmasters strike –
Yanks attack in New Britain

Gain ground in push from Arawe beachhead
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Russians rap defeats in U.S., Britain

Charge drive underway to split Soviet Union and Allies
By M. S. Handler, United Press staff writer

Unless tax bill is vetoed –
Financial affairs of unions opened to official scrutiny

Senate retains in revenue measure provision that non-profit organizations must file statement
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer


In 2 state elections –
GOP wins new seat in House

Democratic majority is cut to 8 votes

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (UP) –
The Republican Party cut the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives to eight votes today by retaining one seat and picking up another in two special Congressional elections in Pennsylvania.

The clean sweep by the GOP in both elections left the House standing:

Democrats 217
Republicans 209
Minor parties 4
Vacancies 5

Complete unofficial returns from Philadelphia’s 2nd Congressional District gave Republican Joseph M. Pratt an easy victory over his Democratic opponent, William A. Barrett, in a contest to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Democrat James P. McGranery. The vote was Pratt 24,910, and Barrett, 19,329.

McConnell leads Brunner

Although returns from the second election in Montgomery County’s 7th Congressional District were only three-fourths complete, Republican Samuel K. McConnell was leading Democrat Marvin S. Brunner by nearly 10,000 votes in one of the state’s leading Republican strongholds. Tabulations from 158 of 191 precincts gave McConnell 13,636 votes, and Brunner 3,892.

Mr. McConnell will fill the vacancy caused by the death of J. William Ditter, chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee, in an airplane accident last November.

The elections were watched closely by leaders of both major parties, especially the Philadelphia contest where the Republican candidate had campaigned on a strictly anti-Roosevelt platform. Mr. Pratt, an electrical appliance manufacturer, had predicted before the election that “experienced Republican Committeemen will win this election.”

Opponent backed Roosevelt

His defeated Democratic opponent, a former mercantile appraiser, had pledged support to President Roosevelt, and received the backing of Mr. McGranery and James P. Clark, Philadelphia Democratic city chairman.

In winning both seats, the Republicans substantiated earlier predictions that they may come close to controlling the House even before the November election. There are still five vacancies in the House and four of them are seats formerly held by Democrats. One of the districts, however, is in Alabama, and is virtually certain to remain Democratic.

Should the Republicans win the other four seats, it would reduce the Democratic majority to only five votes, and only a margin of one over a combined vote of Republicans and minor party representatives.

McGranery’s record indication of trend

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – (special)
Congressman James P. McGranery, who resigned to become an assistant to Attorney General Francis Biddle, was first elected to Congress in 1935.

Indicative of the trend in this district, which takes in nine wards in the central section of Philadelphia, here are Mr. McGranery’s majorities:

1936 21,591
1938 4,677
1940 23,555
1942 713

Mr. McGranery sought the seat in 1934, but was defeated by a Republican by more than 12,000 votes.

The Congressman-elect, Joseph M. Pratt, like his defeated Democratic opponent, was a local ward leader.

Songwriter gains in Louisiana race

New Orleans, Louisiana (UP) –
James H. Davis, Shreveport songbird who has composed more than 200 hillbilly songs, today gained on the candidate of the old Huey Long machine, Lewis L. Morgan of Covington, in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

A recapitulation of returns late today gave Mr. Davis 60,351 votes to 66,998 for Mr. Morgan, a gain of some 6,000 votes since early morning. It was predicted that Mr. Davis would overtake Mr. Morgan before night as the returns came in increasingly from rural boxes.

Army morale hurt –
Strike unrest hit by Stimson

Secretary urges national service law

Fourth War Loan –
Drive depends on ‘little guy’

Buying of ‘E’ bonds stressed in first two weeks

Mass scale draft exams to be begun

Pre-induction physicals for hundreds of fathers to start
By John Troan

Of men and women

By Florence Fisher Parry


Ickes punishes an office aide in letter quiz

Hopkins-Willkie missive ruled a forgery; paper traced


Washington (UP) –
Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes testified today before a federal grand jury investigating authorship of the mysterious “Hopkins letter.”

Washington (UP) –
White House stationery – of the same type on which the so-called Hopkins letter was written – has been and is now available at the Interior Department, it was learned today as a federal grand jury moved ahead in its study of the political-explosive document.

The grand jury was expected to call soon on Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, who sought permission to testify after he suspended George N. Briggs, an assistant identified by Senator William Langer (R-ND) as the man who obtained a letter written on White House stationery, purportedly by Harry L. Hopkins, the No. 1 adviser to President Roosevelt.

Forgery tale upheld

My. Hopkins was also expected to appear before the investigating body to repeat his denial of having written the letter, which represented him as believing that Wendell L. Willkie would be the 1944 Republican presidential nominee.

Justice Department officials back up Mr. Hopkins’ assertion that the letter was a forgery. Briggs will remain suspended from his Interior post without pay pending outcome of the grand jury investigation.

Senator Langer entered into the controversy by producing photographic copies of alleged correspondence between Briggs and C. Nelson Sparks, former mayor of Akron, Ohio, and author of the anti-Willkie book One Man – Wendell Willkie.

Stationery checked

Mr. Ickes has denied any knowledge of the letters purportedly written by Briggs’ aid and which linked Mr. Ickes’ name with the “Hopkins” letter.

A United Press correspondent visited Briggs’ office in the Interior Department and saw there White House stationery which an employee said always had been on hand. This stationery, it was learned, is generally supplied to various government departments for use if officials who occasionally prepare letters for the President’s signature.

Justice Department officials were attempting to determine whether similarities in typing noted in the so-called Hopkins letters and letters allegedly written by Briggs were significant or mere coincidences.

The two typewriters in Briggs’ office – one for his own use and the other for his secretary – were removed yesterday on orders from Mr. Ickes’ office.

Ickes is irked

Briggs, who did not appear at his office yesterday. Issued a statement from his home charging that Senator Langer’s action was part of a plot to “wreck” Mr. Ickes. He and his wife later left their apartment in nearby Arlington, Virginia.

Mr. Ickes declared that he knew “nothing whatsoever about the alleged events” referred to in the purported Briggs’ letters.

He said:

I do not relish the bandying about of my name in connection with a matter which seems to be as bizarre and absurd as it appears to be contemptible and vicious.

Justice Department Attorney Henry A. Schweinhaut, who characterized the Hopkins letter as a “definite forgery,” said he “wouldn’t be surprised if the forger turned up shortly.”

A Senate elections subcommittee postposed for “two or three days” a decision on Senator Langer’s proposed investigation of Willkie’s 1940 Republican presidential nomination pending a check on the committee’s legal authority.

To aid the bond drive –
Socialites sell services as butler, chef and nurse

Chicago tycoons ‘bound out’ for such chores as washing dogs, watching babies

Back the attack –
President aids war bond drive

Difficult days are ahead, Roosevelt stresses

Bridges: War holds key to U.S. politics

Senator tells group here heavy casualties would hurt administration

In Washington –
House group rejects proposal for higher mustering-out pay

Effort to include merchant seamen among discharge pay beneficiaries fails as showdown on issue nears


Soldier poll probed

Washington (UP) –
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson revealed today that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower is making an “intensive investigation” to determine whether the political sentiment of soldiers overseas was polled for Republican National Committee chairman Harrison E. Spangler.

He said the inquiry was ordered by the War Department after Mr. Spangler told reporters in Chicago 10 days ago that at his request four Army officer friends had polled American soldiers in Great Britain and reported that 56% were opposed to the administration.

In a letter to Senator Theodore F. Green (D-RI), Mr. Stimson said Gen. Eisenhower has submitted a preliminary report saying that any survey or poll so made was done without the general’s consent or knowledge. Gen. Eisenhower added that he was continuing the investigation.


Poll: Dewey holds slight lead in 2 states

Willkie runs close second in California and Nebraska tests
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Surveys of Republican sentiment in Nebraska and California show Governor Thomas E. Dewey holding a slight lead over Wendell Willkie in popularity as a 1944 presidential candidate.

The political tides in Nebraska are important because it is one of the states which has open presidential primaries. The situation in California holds equal interest for political leaders because of talk of Governor Earl Warren as a possible vice-presidential candidate.

The California Governor has announced his intention of entering his state’s primaries as a presidential nominee.

In gathering the views of Republican voters in California and Nebraska, each voter was handed a list of candidates and asked to name his preferred choice.

Based on those who named a Republican, the results for Nebraska are given below. The figures are not a poll of Republican leader, but the rank and file of the whole party.

The survey procedure used gives proper representation to all shades of opinion within the Republican Party – the independent Republican, as well as the more rock-ribbed Republican.


Dewey 35%
Willkie 29%
MacArthur 16%
Stassen 10%
Bricker 9%
Warren 1%
Johnston <1%

The California survey shows the following results:

Dewey 32%
Willkie 30%
Warren 13%
MacArthur 13%
Stassen 6%
Bricker 4%
Johnston 2%


Squabbles in the making –
Stokes: Rift in Democrats’ ranks may be brought into open

Quigley ready to demand ousting of Wickard when DNC meets Saturday
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
The meeting of the Democratic National Committee here Saturday will bring into focus the rift between the New Dealers, notably Harry L. Hopkins, and the conservatives and practical politicians who formerly looked to James A. Farley for guidance and jobs.

There is likely to be a lively session, characteristic of Democratic performances before the assembled party leaders sit down with government officials at dinner to celebrate their patron saint, Andrew Jackson, and hear Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn and others praise the achievements of the administration, with undertones of unsure hope that it may continue in power.

Squabbles are in the making. How much gets into the open may depend on the finesse of Democratic chairman Frank C. Walker who is retiring – and partly because he can’t stomach so much friction – to give away before the younger Robert E. Hannegan of Missouri, Internal Revenue Commissioner, who is slated for election to the chairmanship Saturday unless there is a last-minute hitch.

Quigley leads malcontents

The leader of the malcontents is National Committeeman James Quigley of Nebraska, a Jim Farley man who has been raising Cain for some time in his Midwestern bailiwick, has organized a bloc of protest in that section with some support in the South, and is ready to speak out Saturday just as he did at the Chicago meeting a year ago.

His complaint, in general, is that the bureaucrats won’t pay enough attention to the politicians out along the line, and, specifically, that they don’t see eye to eye with him and other organization leaders on recommendations for jobs.

Currently he is sore at Secretary of Agriculture Wickard and Governor A. G. Black of the Farm Credit Administration because they did not follow his recommendations, approved by organization leaders in his area, for two appointments to the Omaha Land Bank Board. He is demanding the ouster of Secretary Wickard.

Hot against Hopkins

He is also hot against Mr. Hopkins and David K. Niles, Mr. Hopkins’ chief political lieutenant.

Later in an interview, Mr. Quigley denied the United Press reports that one of the objectives of the Friday meeting was to “blast” Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Niles.

He said:

That’s rubbish. You don’t hear Hopkins’ name mentioned in a blue moon where I come from and I didn’t even know who Niles was until I came to town.

Mr. Quigley has the support here of Eugene Casey, who like Mr. Niles is one of President Roosevelt’s “anonymous” assistants. Mr. Casey, a staunch supporter of the President, has many friends on the National Committee, and he has taken the politicians’ side generally against the Hopkins-Niles dispensation.

Another controversy brewing

Mr. Casey won a resolution of commendation from the National Committee a year ago – a resolution presented by Mr. Quigley, Mr. Casey and Mr. Niles occupy adjoining offices at the State Department.

There is another controversy brewing for the Saturday meeting, growing from the criticism among some members over the presence among committee officers of Oscar R. Ewing, a vice chairman, and George Allen, secretary, because both represent corporate interests which have business before government agencies or Congress.

Mr. Ewing represents the Aluminum Company of American. Mr. Allen is with the Home Fire Insurance Company. Fire insurance companies are now pushing legislation before Congress to exempt them from anti-trust statutes.

Early in the New Deal, President Roosevelt forced three members of the Democratic National Committee who had set up law-lobbyist officers here to resign from the committee.


Guffey slated to be dropped from committee

Campaign group to get along without Senator in harmony move
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent

Washington –
Senator Joseph F. Guffey, Pennsylvania New Dealer, will be replaced as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the interests of party harmony, it was reported in Capitol circles today.

The charge will be made, it was said, as part of a program to wipe out effects of the bitter party split that resulted last month from Mr. Guffey’s charge that Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans teamed up in an “unholy alliance” to beat the federal soldier-vote bill.

The feud died down after compromise proposals were made by soldier-vote advocates in both the House and Senate, under which Southern states would continue to set qualifications of voters, but administration leaders were represented as eager to overcome any resentment.

Barkley silent

Senator Alben W. Barkley (D-KY), Majority Floor Leader, is said to have promised Southern members that a new chairman will be named for the party’s senatorial campaign committee – largely a money-raising job.

Mr. Barkley, whose own seat is at stake in this year’s election, would not comment on the reports Mr. Guffey told friend a month ago that he has asked appointment of a new chairman and has presented his resignation.

Byrd leads movement

Leader of the “Oust-Guffey” movement is Senator Harry F. Byrd (D-VA) who was named by the Pennsylvania Senator as the leader of the Southern Democrats who killed the soldier-vote bill in the Senate.

Mr. Byrd contended that Mr. Guffey had disqualified himself by attacking members of his own party, in whose interests the committee functions, and threatened at one time to take up the fight in the Senate caucus, if Mr. Guffey is not replaced.

Mr. Guffey has had two terms as chairman of the committee, stepping out in 1940 when he ran for reelection. The post is filled by appointment of the Senate floor leader.