America at war! (1941–) – Part 3


Editorial: Two months late

It would be a fine thing if every person of voting age in the United States could vote this year at his home polling place.

It would be a fine thing if everybody could vote both in the primaries, which are straggled out from April to September, according to varying state laws, and in the November general election.

But the country is at war, and this isn’t possible.

It isn’t possible because millions of voters are fighting that war. Some of them are still in the United States, either in training or providing behind-the-gun service but they are scattered through hundreds of camps, depots, bases, stations and headquarters.

Millions of them are overseas, not only in Italy, England and New Britain, where the main fighting is going on, but at Pearl Harbor, in New Guinea, Algeria, Cairo, Iran, China, Burma, Australia, Bermuda, Panama, Brazil, Liberia, Tarawa, Alaska, Guadalcanal and hundreds of other places.

These men and women are not assigned their foreign stations, or their domestic bases, by geographical origin.

Members of the Armed Forces from Pittsburgh, as from every city, hamlet and township in the country, are distributed all over the world.

There are 48 states and 48 sets of election laws, widely different. To make it possible for each member of the Armed Forces to vote in strict compliance with the laws of his own state it would be necessary for the Army and Navy to suspend many other pressing war matters and detour an inconceivable amount of personnel and equipment to the job of distributing and collecting ballots from the thousand and one spots where American voters are stationed around the world.

Secretary of War Stimson and Secretary of the Navy Knox have said this is not possible. They have said the only way the Army and Navy can handle this problem is by making use of a “simple, uniform” ballot.

Some Congressmen and Senators dispute this. They say the whole matter can easily be handled by the Army and Navy despite the different systems, or by routine mail without any special help from the Army and Navy.

They could be right. But Mr. Knox and Mr. Stimson are in a better position to know. They have at their fingertips authoritative information from competent Army and Navy officers, at home and afield. They are familiar with the overall picture. And they have demonstrated a sincere interest in this problem.

How can we do else than accept their advice?

We have a letter from a Wilkinsburg naval officer, now overseas, who attempted to vote in the 1943 local election. Here is what he said:

My ballot for Nov. 2 election arrived Jan. 2. I didn’t even bother to fill it out. Personally, I’m quite disgusted. It was mailed Oct. 18. Whether it was the Navy’s fault or the fault of the Board of Education, I don’t know. But I do know that if ballots are held up for the presidential election, there’s going to be an awful howl raised by the men overseas. I wish something could be done about it.

Something can be done about it. Congress can do something about it. And Congress had better do it soon.


Editorial: Straight thinking from Willkie

Wendell L. Willkie’s views of fiscal policy, as set forth in his New York speech, are thoroughly sound. Unless we maintain vigorous economic health, we can neither play a successful major part in world affairs after the war nor realize our hopes for social gains and higher living standards here at home.

An economic bloodstream composed largely of debt will eventually starve all the cells in the body.

It has been said before that our standard of living will have to come down during the war. Mr. Willkie proposes to force it down by tax increases that would net twice the amount asked by the Treasury, about six times the amount voted by Congress.

We wish Mr. Willkie had been more specific as to what taxes he would lay. But he was thinking straight when he advocated, in general, ruthless levies on every dollar in every income group, leaving the American people only the actual necessities of life, in order to pay the costs of war while the war is being fought, to the limit of our ability.

This, he says, is only simple justice to the men who are doing the fighting; it is the way to save our standard of living in the future.

Expressing greater faith in the people than some others have shown, he predicts they would bear the burden willingly if given a clear understanding of the issues involved, and if assured that their money would not be wasted.

He recognizes, also, that the post-war period will present an entirely different problem. Then our desired objective will be to stimulate the flow of goods and services, the taking of risks, the creation of millions of peacetime jobs. Then will come the time for minimum rather than maximum taxes. And then the fiscal policy should be, not to impose the highest possible tax rates, but to provide the highest possible income so that relatively modest rates can provide necessary revenue.

Editorial: Bestiality vs. peace now

Edson: National service law will work, Patterson thinks

By Peter Edson

Ferguson: Revolt in the schools

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Adams: Unchanged man

By George Matthew Adams

Background of news –
Without President’s signature?

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

Defense needs drop to submit spending cuts

Stimson: Army savings caused by reduction in early program

Navy air leader praised by Marshall

In Washington –
Army, Navy chiefs plead for labor draft

Gen. Marshall, Adm. King, Patterson, Bard and Land tell Legion of need

Airing of U.S. post-war oil plans asked

Probe of government’s entry into foreign field demanded

Retail sales show increase

Gain reflects brisk demand for spring merchandise

Poll: Dewey pacing GOP field in Michigan

New York Governor is given 2–1 edge over Willkie in home state
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Republican voters in Michigan, the birthplace of Thomas E. Dewey, pick him by an overwhelming vote as their favorite son for the Republican presidential nomination.

In fact, in a survey throughout the state, the New York Governor has a margin of better than 2–1 over his nearest rival, Wendell Willkie, in popularity as a GOP candidate.

Michigan will send 41 delegates to the Republican nominating convention in June. Only five states will have larger delegations.

The vote for Michigan is shown below in the most recent survey and in a similar study conducted last September:

Today September 1943
Dewey 47% 46%
Willkie 19% 21%
MacArthur 16% 16%
Bricker 8% 8%
Stassen 7% 3%

In today’s survey, two other Republican leaders, California Governor Earl Warren and Eric Johnston, president of the Chamber of Commerce, received a total of 3% between them. In the September survey, Senator Robert Taft (R-OH) received 5%, while Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall received 1%.

Throughout the East Central section comprising Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, Governor Dewey is also the leading choice at present among Republican voters, although this margin of advantage is not as large for the whole area as it is in Michigan.

The standings of the five men with the highest vote in the section are shown below:

Today September 1943
Dewey 35% 32%
Bricker 21% 19%
MacArthur 17% 16%
Willkie 15% 20%
Stassen 6% 4%

Pegler: ‘What is a tavern?’

By Westbrook Pegler


Clapper: Battle eve

By Raymond Clapper

The following dispatch from Mr. Clapper, written on the eve of the Marshall Islands battle in which he lost his life, was received a few hours after word of his death.

Aboard an aircraft carrier, somewhere in the Pacific – (by wireless)
On the night before a battle everybody gets a big holiday dinner. For breakfast on the morning of a battle beefsteak is served.

Everybody aboard knows when the time of battle is approaching. You begin to count the days as “D minus four,” “D minus three,” meaning four days or three days before the action is to begin. Sometimes, instead of calling it “D-Day,” they call it “Dog Day.” And for some time after a battle begins, the days are known as “D plus one day,” or “D plus two days,” instead of by the days of the week or month. The calendar is forgotten, and all time is counted as before or after the beginning of the battle.

A slow, almost imperceptible rise of tension takes place as D-Day approaches. But it is nothing very marked. Men begin to think more about their steel helmets, and to place them where they can be picked up quickly. At night you begin to have your red waterproof flashlight always within reach, and always in your pocket when you are moving about the ship. Some men keep heavy leather gloves in their pockets, because these are good to out on if you have to slide down a rope going overboard.

Always study landmarks

You are always studying the location of ladders, hatches and bulkheads, and making mental notes of little landmarks around the ship so that you can find your way in a hurry in the dark with only a dim red flash to guide you. It is surprising how different ship passageways seem when you try to find your way around them with the lights out, and when many of the openings are closed.

Some 3,000 men are aboard this ship, and when the call to battle stations is sounded, they must get to their places within seconds, or minutes at the most. Some of them must go the whole length of the ship, which is as far as a golf ball is ordinarily driven. Men are rushing both up and down narrow ladders. Hatches are being slammed. There is intense activity everywhere, with the general-quarters gong clanging its unmistakable warning of approaching danger.

Formerly ships would throw huge quantities of things overboard before going into action – all the mattresses, bedding, and other inflammable material. Now, with the vast improvement in fireproofing materials, and with greater fireproof construction and firefighting equipment, seldom is anything thrown overboard. there is very little around to burn.

Precautions at sea

Before I left Washington, one of the survivors of the carrier Wasp, LtCdr. William C. Chambliss, gave me a copy of his article, “Recipe for Survival,” which has been issued by the training division of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics. I find that many of his suggestions are being commonly adopted aboard this carrier, such as waterproof flashlights, heavy gloves, a large steel knife in a scabbard hitched to the belt – which is useful, as Cdr. Chambliss says, in cutting yourself clear of lines or other impediments with which you may become involved in the water, and also for discouraging sharks or for opening emergency ration cans.

Those are the kind of normal little preparations everyone makes, although the conversation seldom touches on the possibilities of action. The laughing and joking go on as usual at mess and around the ship, with boys scuffling on the flight deck and the hangar deck, or playing cards, or sleeping under the planes, during slack times.

You always snatch a nap if you can, because in a combat area you are up long before dawn and until late at night, and there is considerable tension, at least subconsciously.

During battle, when the men are held at their stations for long hours, mess attendants carry sandwiches and coffee to them frequently, also hot soup, lemonade, fruitcakes, and various small items they can put into their pockets and nibble at while beside their guns.

The briefing lectures

For several days before an action, the pilots spend hours listening to briefing lectures concerning the impending battle. They are told what they need to know in order to carry out their part of the battle. Especially they are given lectures about the territory they are to bomb or strafe. They are told about the history of the locality, the characteristics of the natives, the estimated strength of the enemy, and they make a careful study of aerial photographs and maps to mark the location of enemy airfields and other installations that may be targets.

But there is not the high tension that you might expect. Sometimes, when a report of exceptionally heavy enemy strength is given, there will be raucous shouts of “Wow!” Once when the briefing showed our own forces to be far in excess of what the enemy would have, somebody shouted from the rear of the room:

Let’s go on to Tokyo while we’re at it!

But mostly the pilots are slouched down in their chairs, their favorite position being with both feet up on top of the high back of the chair in front. They act much like a bored classroom taking in a lecture with as little effort as possible, instead of fighting men some of whom will not come back from the missions under discussion.

You have a sense of living in a world apart from what you knew at home, and there is almost no talk of life back in the States now. You live only minute by minute through the routine that carries you smoothly, as if drifting down a river, toward the day of battle.

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Maj. Williams: Losses

By Maj. Al Williams

Of course, there will continue to be losses of men and planes in the war against Germany!

Among all the other fantastic impressions concerning airpower, its purpose, true objective and employment, we must never ignore the fact that air war is warfare, and warfare means loss of life and equipment.

I can’t understand why it should be difficult for anyone to realize that air war is only another means of waging warfare. Despite the fact that air war involves the use of weapons which can operate only from above the horizon, the same rules and percentages of profit and loss apply to it strategically and tactically that apply to war on the surface, on the sea or under the sea. The type of weapon means nothing when computing the success or failure of any kind of warfare anywhere. When a loss is out of proportion to the gain, then the strategy or tactics, or both, betoken poor thinking.

We at home cannot always expect to be informed immediately as to our exact losses. Such information would present the enemy with a cash register record of the efficiency or inefficiency of the latest tactics employed by our attacking forces or the latest expedient adopted by the Nazi defense. But we are getting out authenticated plane losses too far behind the claims made the Heinies.

“Probables” should be eliminated from reports. That “probable” field gives a rise to wishful thinking and lacks the accurate report the American people expect. Then, too, we must remember that the quick statement of claims by the Nazis may be only a device to sound out our military command.

As far as air losses are concerned, we can rest forever upon the consolation that they are infinitesimal compared with the manner of waging war in the 1914-18 episode, where 20,000 men were wiped out attempting to capture a quarter-mile advance on land.

But something must be done quickly about restoring the confidence of our people in official communiqués.

The accuracy of our communiqués on air losses are questioned. I find this question everywhere, and something must be done immediately by the responsible government agencies.

Gas situation to face crisis in 3 months

Best East can hope for is retention for present allotments

Uncle Tom’s Cabin to be super-dooper, with Lil’ Eva (maybe) in a helicopter!

By Erskine Johnson

Private joins church back home – off Sicily

Pity the housewife

Especially if she works 18 hours a day
By Maxine Garrison

Millett: Mrs. Average Woman gets all the criticism

If she takes a job, it is her children who are talked about in delinquency reports, not children of socialites
By Ruth Millett