America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Editorial: Raymond Clapper

This exceedingly fitting and gracious editorial appeared in yesterday’s editions of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Press reprints it as an eloquent tribute to a reporter whose work we were privileged to publish.

Other newspapermen have followed the troops to the field and died in line of duty, but none as well known as Raymond Clapper who might be called a volunteer. A Washington correspondent, he could easily have stayed at his desk in that safe place and continued to write clearly and fairly about what was going on throughout the world. But that happened not to be his way, and he chose to go to the Pacific to get his views on war firsthand.

That was one reason why newspapermen rated Raymond Clapper pretty close to the top among our columnists. If he didn’t score as many sensational scoops as his rivals, he consistently knew that he was talking, or writing, about. He could express his views as boldly and as vigorously as anyone, but he always took the trouble to make sure of his facts. Thus, his writing was characterized by that quietness, that objectivity, that sweet reasonableness which was the measure of the man.

Or just say that he was a newspaperman’s newspaperman, a straight-shooter, a conscientious craftsman, a swell reporter who was killed on the job; and let that be his epitaph.

Editorial: Dr. New Deal goes south

Edson: When do wartime profits become ‘unreasonable’?

By Peter Edson

Ferguson: War books

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson


Background of news –
Soldier votes and some statistics

By Bertram Benedict, editorial research reports

From present indications, the number of men and women in the Armed Forces and the Merchant Marine will be around 11 million by Election Day, 1944. Of this total, perhaps 7.5 million will be outside the continental United States.

President Roosevelt, in his soldier-vote message to Congress Jan. 26, put the number overseas by Election Day as “more than five million,” but the President evidently slipped up on his mathematics, for that is the estimate given for the Army alone.

Of the 7.5 million overseas on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November 1944, perhaps 1,200,000 will be under 21 (Georgia is so far the only state which has reduced the voting age to 18). Perhaps another 300,000 will be non-citizens, so that the potential voting strength of the Armed Forces overseas will be in the neighborhood of six million.

That is only about 7% of the total potential voting population. It is slightly more than President Roosevelt’s popular majority over Wendell Willkie in 1940, considerably less than his majority over Alf M. Landon in 1936, slightly less than his majority over President Hoover in 1932.

Not likely to be decisive

Some of the six million soldiers eligible will certainly not bother to vote, whatever the facilities provided. Of those who do vote, the division among the two major party candidates is not likely to be much greater than 75–25. In other words, the overseas soldier vote could not decide the 1944 election unless the election should otherwise be considerably closer than the election of 1940, when almost 50 million ballots were cast for President.

From the above statistics, it appears that the overseas soldier vote is not likely to provide either major party presidential candidate a margin of more than 5% of the total vote cast. Under the electoral system of the United States, that must be broken down by states, to gauge its effect.

The Democrats are maintaining that most of the soldier vote will go to the Commander-in-Chief, so that if most of the soldiers are prevented from voting, the Democrats may charge that the election was stolen from them. However, the loss of 5% of his votes in 1940 would mean the loss of only four additional states from Mr. Roosevelt, if the Republican vote were the same as in 1940. These four states are among the largest in the Union – New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Wisconsin – and together they account for 104 electoral votes.

Would have made no difference

Mr. Roosevelt received 449 electoral votes in 1940, and the loss of 104 would still leave him 345, considerably more than enough to elect. So, if the Democrats were to lose the 1944 election with most of the overseas soldiers not voting, the loss would be due only in part to the absence of soldier votes, much more to a shift of civilian votes away from the Democratic column since 1940.

Chairman Spangler of the Republican National Committee has reported that informal polls taken by his friends indicate that most soldiers overseas are inclined toward the Republican ticket. If that be true the Republican presidential candidate will suffer if most of the soldiers don’t vote.

The states, with their electoral votes, carried by Mr. Willkie in 1940 by less than a 5% margin were as follows:

Colorado 6
Indiana 14
Iowa 11
Maine 5
Michigan 19

These five states accounted for about two-thirds of the total electoral vote for Mr. Willkie.

Tokyo labels treatment of captives too lenient

Another Jap broadcast recites tale of ‘love and benevolence’ toward war prisoners
By the United Press

The Tokyo radio said today that Kimachi Yamamoto, Vice Minister for Occupied Areas in Asia, told the Diet Thursday that “our treatment (of war prisoners) is too lenient in comparison to that given our prisoners by our nations.”

While Yamamoto’s statement was confined to internment camps in China, a later Tokyo broadcast offered the more inclusive statement that Jap military forces:

…are at all times carrying out a war of moral principles which uphold righteousness and humanity and never mistreat prisoners.

The Jap broadcaster then substantiated this claim with what he modestly termed a “beautiful account of love and benevolence.” The account concerned a Chinese “commander” taken prisoner at the Yunnan front in November 1943, “who thought that if captured, he would be killed.”

The speaker said that because of the “warm care” accorded him, “the officer’s misunderstanding melted away” and he offered such wholehearted cooperation that “his subordinates surrendered in great numbers.”

Tokyo ended the “beautiful account of love, etc.” by declaring that it demonstrated the “high moral principles” of the Japs and showed that the Allies “must be trying to deceive heaven” in charging mistreatment of prisoners.

Washington (UP) –
The information bulletin of the Soviet Embassy charged today that Finland is trying to annihilate all Soviet war prisoners.

Millett: Should baby be priority?

Or must motherhood await war’s end?
By Ruth Millett

Big baseball confab opens in New York

By Jack Cuddy, United Press staff writer


Clapper: A hard war

By Raymond Clapper

Raymond Clapper knew that when he set out with our naval striking force, he might be unable to send any dispatches for many days. So he wirelessed a few columns in advance – from New Guinea, from Munda, from Guadalcanal, and from aboard an aircraft carrier. Other manuscripts may have been found among his effects aboard the ship from which he flew to his death.

Before leaving the country, Mr. Clapper wrote that “some people in Washington feel there is no sufficient awareness at home of how much our men are doing and in what a living hell they must sometimes do it.” His mission was to help increase that awareness. Hence, we feel sure that he would want us to print, posthumously, the columns that will appear during the next few days.

Munda, Solomon Islands – (by wireless)
It is already a long, hard war for most of the men out here.

Some of the outfits that were among the first to hit the beach at Guadalcanal are now over here. They have been through two hard campaigns. And the Marine airmen are still at it in the rain, mud, jungle. It is rugged living. There are no women, and men go around naked.

I have just spent an evening in barracks with the pilots of one of the most famous Marine torpedo-plane squadrons in the South Pacific. It is the second oldest in the Marine Corps, and was the first squadron on Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, where it brought down 15 Jap planes in the first 10 days.

Listen to some of their stories and you know it not only will be a long, hard war, but has already been one, so far as they are concerned.

It was land or else–

One skinny little guy over in the corner had not said anything, but after an hour somebody asked:

Did you hear what happened to him?

The finger was pointed at Lt. Garth B. Thomas of Dallas, Texas, who brought in his torpedo bomber a few days ago with a live bomb stuck in the bomb bay and ready to go off at the slightest jolt.

Lt. Thomas, who is 24, ordered his two gunners to jump, and they parachuted into coconut trees without a scratch. Thomas then tried to figure and swing out onto the wings, which are midway of the fuselage. Each time he gave it up, as he couldn’t figure out how to jump and clear the elevators.

His hydraulic system had been knocked out, so he could not use his flaps, or brakes. Also, one wheel was stuck.

I asked him what he thought as he went through 15 minutes of landing preparation, suspended between the ground and eternity. He replied:

I kept thinking I would land easy or else.

He shook for a day

At that point, Lt. G. C. Stamets, also of Dallas, interrupted to say:

You should have seen GB next day. His hand was still shaking so hard he rattled a sack of lemons he was carrying.

Anyway, he finally got his wheels down and came in to a landing. Then to his horror a slight ground loop began, but fortunately the plane went into a taxiway and stopped without smashing.

Lt. Thomas jumped out and started to run, warning others away. A bomb disposal man came and found that the bomb fuse was only four inches from striking the bomb-bay doors, which would have meant the end.

I asked the lieutenant what he did after that. He said he went to Rabaul on a bombing mission the next day. That is the kind of life led by this young fellow, who was an adding machine salesman until he enlisted in the Navy in January 1941. He began flight training in April 1942, after having been up in a plane just once in his life. He has six weeks more out here, after which he gets to return home.

Maj. de Seversky: Escorts

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Mihailović reports rescue of 19 Yanks

Gen. Draža Mihailović’s “Free Yugoslav” radio reported today that 19 U.S. fliers, the crews of two bombers which crashed in Yugoslavia on Jan. 24, had been rescued by members of his army and are now safe in the mountains.

One of the bombers made a forced landing near the town of Prokuplje, the radio station said. Two hundred Bulgarian troops were sent to capture the nine airmen, but units of the Yugoslav Toplica Corps came to the rescue, killing 17 of the enemy and taking four prisoners in a sharp engagement, Gen. Mihailović’s headquarters reported.

On the same day, in western Serbia, a crew of 10 Americans forced to bail out of a badly-damaged bomber returning from a raid on Sofia were rescued by units of the Yugoslav Zlatibor Corps who saved them from capture by the Germans, Gen. Mihailović’s headquarters said.

OWI assistant killed

Washington –
The Office of War Information announced today that John F. Trow Jr., 34, of the OWI’s Overseas Branch was accidentally killed last Wednesday as the result of a fall during a blackout in Bari, Italy. He was a native of Grosse Point, Michigan, and was the fifth OWI representative to be killed in line of duty overseas.

Clapper lauded by Democrats

State group adopts resolution of condolence

Poll: Stassen leads in GOP race in Minnesota

Willkie is a close second, while Dewey runs third in poll
By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Lt. Cdr. Harold E. Stassen and Wendell L. Willkie are at present the two top choices of Minnesota Republican voters for the GOP presidential nomination this year. Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York runs a close third, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur fourth.

The opinions of Minnesota Republicans were sounded in a survey by the Institute in which each voter was asked to make his choice from a list of men most often discussed as possible presidential candidates. Those who named a Republican candidate indicated the following preferences at this time:

Stassen 31%
Willkie 28%
Dewey 25%
MacArthur 12%
Bricker 3%
Warren 1%

Lt. Cdr. Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota, has been serving in the Navy for nearly a year. His political backers in Minnesota have entered his name in the Nebraska presidential primary.

Throughout the West Central se4ction, which also includes Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, Republican rank-and-file sentiment today leans toward Governor Dewey, as the following table indicates:

Dewey 40%
Willkie 23%
MacArthur 19%
Stassen 13%
Bricker 3%

‘Tarzan’ sees the real thing

Burroughs inspects jungle training center

Home of Mrs. Hoover preserved at Monterey

Monterey, California (UP) –
The sudden death of Mrs. Herbert Hoover will recall to those familiar with the Monterey Peninsula the Hoover Shrine here.

One of the many and substantial ornate signs erected some years ago calls the attention of the tourist to the “Henry House” as the “girlhood home” of one who was destined to become a “First Lady” of the Land.

The house, a simple wooden structure with the usual veranda frills of a past period and approached by steep stairs, stands on a slight elevation on Pacific Street.

Born in Iowa, Mrs. Hoover came with her parents to Monterey and the narrow street once known as Calle de Estrada. There are those living who recall her as a “belle Lou” for whose hand Herbert Hoover made a rapid dash from Australia to the Peninsula.

On Feb. 10, 1899, he carried her away as his bride to spend their honeymoon in China.

Völkischer Beobachter (February 6, 1944)

Schwere Kämpfe um das Bergmassiv von Cassino –
Erfolgreiche Gegenangriffe bei Kirowograd

Die Wirkungen der deutschen Luftangriffe –
In London ist man schweigsam geworden

Die Kämpfe auf den Marshallinseln –
Japan verzeichnet gute Abwehrerfolge

dnb. Tokio, 5. Februar –
Nachdem das Kaiserliche Hauptquartier am 31. Jänner nur die Tatsache eines feindlichen Angriffs auf die Marshallinseln im mittleren Pazifik gemeldet hatte, berichtet es am Samstag, daß in erbitterten Kämpfen von der japanischen Seite bereits gute Abwehrerfolge erzielt worden seien. Nach dieser Verlautbarung griffen starke amerikanische See- und Lufteinheiten, die sich in der Hauptsache aus Flugzeugträgern und Schlachtschiffen zusammensetzten und außerdem von Flugzeugen, die von Landbasen aufgestiegen waren, unterstützt wurden, am Morgen des 30. Jänner die Marshallinseln an.

Nach heftigem Luftbombardement und Beschießung der Inseln Lae, Kwadjelin, Wotje, Malölap und Arno durch Schiffsartillerie landeten feindliche Truppen am 1. Februar auf den Inseln Kwadjelin und Lae. Bei den sofortigen Abwehrmaßnahmen der dort stationierten Heeres- und Marinebesatzungen und der Marineluftwaffe wurden bis zum 1. Februar 52 feindliche Flugzeuge abgeschossen und 24 beschädigt, zwei Zerstörer versenkt und ein Kreuzer und ein Zerstörer in Brand geworfen. Während die Kämpfe bei Kwadjelin und Lae noch andauern, sind die Gebiete, die von den japanischen Kräften auf diesen Inseln verteidigt werden, fest in japanischer Hand.

In den Gebieten der Insel Neubritannien hat die japanische Verteidigung dem Kaiserlichen Hauptquartier zufolge weitere Abwehrerfolge zu verzeichnen. So wurden am Morgen des 29. Jänner von 257 feindlichen Flugzeugen, die Rabaul angriffen, 39 heruntergeholt. Die japanischen Verluste betrugen fünf Flugzeuge, die noch nicht zu ihren Stützpunkten zurückgekehrt sind. Ain Morgen des 30. Jänner wurden von 290 angreifenden Flugzeugen 63 abgeschossen. Aus diesen Kämpfen ist ein japanisches Flugzeug nicht zurückgekehrt. Von 180 Feindmaschinen wurden im Verlauf eines weiteren Angriffs auf denselben Stützpunkt am Morgen des 31. Jänner 14 Maschinen abgeschossen. Zwei japanische Flugzeuge sind von diesen Verteidigungskämpfen nicht zurückgekehrt.

Der Feind sucht die Entscheidung

Keine Überhastung, so erklärte der frühere Botschafter in Washington, Admiral Nomura, in einem Interview mit Jomiuri Hotschi. Die günstigen Gelegenheiten mehren sich, den Feinden im Pazifik den entscheidenden Schlag zu versetzen, jedoch können wir nicht ununterbrochen angreifen. Wir sind vorbereitet, den bestgeeigneten Augenblick abzuwarten.

Die Nordamerikaner seien gezwungen gewesen, wie Nomura weiter erklärte, nach dem Fehlschlagen der „Insel-zu-Insel-Taktik“ einen direkten und kurzen Weg zu suchen. Diese Wendung und die Verlegung des feindlichen Offensivschwerpunktes nach dem Mittelpazifik sei von Japan erwartet worden.

Es sei wohl zu verstehen, daß der Feind in diesem Jahr alle seine Kräfte einsetzen werde, um die Entscheidung zu erzwingen. Die Nordamerikaner würfen augenblicklich anscheinend ihre Hauptstreitkräfte in den Pazifik und führten den Angriff gegen die Marshallinseln mit ungewöhnlicher Hartnäckigkeit durch.

Wenn Japan dem amerikanischen Ansturm standhalten könne und erst dann zur Offensive überginge, wäre dies, wie Admiral Nomura fortfuhr, der Weg zum sicheren Sieg. Die Japaner dürften nicht in Ungeduld und Überhastung verfallen und müßten einstweilen nichts anderes tun, als das Kriegspotential zu stärken.

Bis zum glorreichen Sieg

Im japanischen Unterhaus wurde eine Entschließung eingebracht, die die unerschütterlich Entschlossenheit des Hauses zum Ausdruck bringt, den gegenwärtigen Krieg bis zum siegreichen Ende durchzukämpfen. Unter Beifall wurde die Entschließung einstimmig angenommen.

Premierminister Tojo sprach von der festen Entschlossenheit der Regierung, diesen Krieg nicht eher zu beenden, bis der glorreiche Sieg in den Händen der Japaner sei. Nach Abschluß der Debatten und nach Annahme sämtlicher 32 Gesetzesanträge ging das Repräsentantenhaus in die Ferien.

U.S. Navy Department (February 6, 1944)

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 32

Occupation of the Kwajalein Atoll is nearly complete.

Gugegwe, Bigej, and Ebler Islands have been captured after moderate resistance, and several additional undefended islands occupied.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 254

For Immediate Release
February 6, 1944

Carrier‑based aircraft struck Eniwetok on February 5 (West Longitude Date). No further information is presently available.

On the same day Warhawk fighters of the 7th Army Air Force hit Jaluit, bombing and strafing ground installations.

On February 4, 7th Army Air Force Liberators and Mitchell bombers dropped bombs on Wotje, starting large fires among ground facilities. Mitchells and Liberators hit airdrome installations and gun emplacements at Maloelap, and Liberators and Warhawks struck Mille.

No fighter opposition was encountered in these raids, and all of our planes returned to their bases.

On February 3, Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed radio facilities and ground installations at Wotje, Ujelang and Taroa Island. None of our planes was lost.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 6, 1944)

Yanks wreck six airfields ringing Paris

Nazis ignore challenge to airpower; invasion coast also hit
By Walter Cronkite, United Press staff writer