America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Wage parley are resumed by rail unions

Outlook now seems bright for settlement of new claims

65 plane carriers built by U.S. Navy

Nelson to appoint Maury Maverick

President blocked real labor policy, Senator charges

Reed: Roosevelt used influence in Congress to prevent effective curbs on wartime strikes
By Clyde M. Reed, U.S. Senator from Kansas

Editorial: The Polish-Russian dispute

Edson: Look out, Mama! Papa may snitch tokens for chips

By Peter Edson


Background of news –
Presidential candidates

By Harold Kellock, editorial research reports

Because of war uncertainties, the election year 1944 has begun with the identity of the presidential candidates to be selected by the two major parties veiled in more than usual mystery.

If the European phase of the war ends before the nominating conventions assemble in June or July, a hasty reassessment of campaign values may bring last-minute changes in the political picture; the situation would be complicated by the fact that post-war problems in Europe would demand attention concurrently with problems of speeding up the war in the Far East. Any candidate who offered glittering generalities as solutions to these diverse puzzles might find himself highly embarrassed before the electorate in November. The war has injected various imponderable factors into the choice of candidates for both parties.

The enigma of the fourth term is another factor of uncertainty which hangs over both nominating conventions. According to established political techniques, President Roosevelt will probably not reveal whether he will be a candidate to succeed himself in office until after the Republican convention. The dearth of candidates for the Democratic nomination this year indicates the extent to which a twelve-year President forces other leaders of his party into political obscurity.

Byrnes a possibility?

In 1940, Vice President Garner and National Chairman Farley, both opposed to a third term, were candidates for the nomination. The names of both, and that of Senator Tydings (D-MD), were placed before the Democratic National Convention, but Mr. Roosevelt was nominated by acclamation on the first ballot. None of these three seems in the picture this year.

War Manpower Commissioner McNutt and Vice President Wallace have lost political face recently, through reallocations of administrative power. None of the New Deal executives, except possibly James F. Byrnes, chief of the Office of War Mobilization who served in the Senate from South Carolina for 10 years, apparently would be acceptable to the powerful Southern wing of the party. Some Southern leaders, led by Senator “Cotton Ed” Smith (D-SC), have proposed to nominate Senator Byrd (D-VA) on an anti-New Deal platform, but Mr. Byrd has said he is not a candidate.

The Republican race is wide open. The four leading candidates thus far are New York Governor Dewey, Wendell Willkie, Gen. MacArthur and Ohio Governor Bricker. Others mentioned include Harold E. Stassen, who resigned after his third election as Governor of Minnesota to enter the Navy, and Governors Warren of California, Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Griswold of Nebraska.

Willkie most outspoken

Gen. MacArthur and Mr. Stassen, as officers in the Armed Forces, cannot engage in political activity, but would be permitted to resign to accept high public office. Gen. MacArthur’s friends have organized MacArthur-for-President clubs in nine states and Mr. Stassen’s supporters are preparing to enter his name in the Western primaries. Mr. Bricker has announced his candidacy and will file in the Ohio primaries.

Mr. Willkie has said his candidacy is contingent on adoption by his party of a satisfactory program of post-war international cooperation.

The most outspoken of the Republican presidential possibilities, Mr. Willkie has urged his views before party gatherings and public forums over a wide area. A number of party leaders are openly opposed to his nomination.

After Mr. Dewey was elected Governor of New York in November 1942, he said he planned to stick to his job for four years and added:

I am not and shall not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 1944.

He reiterated this stance a year later, but has never stated that he would refuse the nomination if it were tendered him.

Mr. Dewey leads in most straw votes for a Republican nominee to date, with Mr. Willkie close behind him.

Supreme Court rift may bring repercussions

Split between ‘New Deal’ justices finally gets into the open

Ida Tarbell dies; a pioneer journalist


AFL digs up labor views of MacArthur

Magazine’s release was ‘relevant’ in June 1942

Washington (UP) –
The statement by Gen. Douglas MacArthur that “labor has never failed the Army or the nation,” which the American Federationist, the official magazine of the American Federation of Labor, said would be a feature of its next issue, turned out today to be about 20 months old.

As distributed in advance yesterday, the publications’ handout suggested to editors that Gen. MacArthur’s statement was relevant to “a somewhat contrary statement made by an anonymous high personage.”

The reference was to the “informed source” statement warning that rail strike threats might prolong the war. AFL President William Green last Monday charged the statement was “inflammatory” and said “press reports” had attributed it to Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff.

Mr. Green disclaimed any knowledge of the AFL magazine’s release on Gen. MacArthur, and Philip Pearl, AFL representative, said he had no connection with the publication and that the release had not been issued by “anyone in authority.”

Gen. MacArthur’s statement was first carried by the American Federationist in its June 1942 issue.

Millett: Winner!

‘Best dressed’ list is lacking uniforms
By Ruth Millett

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
The Italian mules we’ve been using to pack supplies to our troops fighting in the mountains are smaller and weaker than the average American mule. Also, they have been taken around in trucks from one place to another until a lot of them are sick from it.

At first, we misjudged them and put too heavy a load on them. In fact, we put on more than an American mule could carry over such a trail. We lashed on four cans of water and two cases of rations, making a load of around 240 pounds. The mules just couldn’t take it. They’d all be sick next day. So now we load them with only two cans of water and one of rations, cutting the weight to 120 pounds.

They say the Italians are cruel to their mules on the trail but take good care of them when they’re not working.

The Italian method of saving “giddyap” to a mule is to go “brrrrr,” the way we do when we are cold. If you stand along the pack trail at night and listen to the skinners’ “brr-ing” their miles upward, it sounds as if the whole population is freezing to death.

At first, there were some white mules in the pack train, but they were too easy to see by moonlight, so we stopped using them. A few hours are used in some of the outfits, and several were discovered with the brand of the Italian royal family.

Mule shoe shortage

When the mules arrived from Sardinia, the most pressing problem was to get them shod. It took days to scour the country and jig up shoes for them. Then horseshoe nails became the problem. They finally found enough racetrack nails to do the job.

Horseshoe nails are so scarce and so precious in Italy that the nails had to be counted out to the civilian blacksmiths to keep them from stealing them. If a smith broke a nail, he had to bring the pieces back before he could get another one.

Some of the pack trains are run exclusively by Americans. I’ve been told the Americans are better mule skinners than the Italians and I’ve also been told the opposite, so I don’t know which is right. But as one soldier said about the Americans:

Them old city boys hadn’t never fooled around with mules before, so they didn’t go so good at first.

In emergencies, some pack trains were sent up the mountains in the daytime, but it was dangerous business, for the Germans kept the trail pretty well plastered with shells.

Luckily there have been no casualties on the trail in my outfit, but seven Italian soldiers were wounded in the mule pack in a dive-bombing.

The Italians are very nervous about bombs and shells. Any night the shells stary dropping too close to the mule pack, the Italians disappear into their foxholes as if by magic, and you can never find them in the dark to rout them out again.

The men have fared much better than the mules, for unfortunately a mule doesn’t know about foxholes. My outfit alone has lost 50 mules to shellfire and bombing, and another 100 are sick from overwork and too much riding around in trucks.

Interpreters for the asking

The Italian mule outfit is under two Italian lieutenants who wear plumed Tyrolean caps and look sort of romantic. Neither of them speaks English, but in the American Army you only have to tell twice a find a soldier who speaks Italian, so the little group has an interpreter. Everybody has to depend so heavily upon him that he practically runs the show.

He is Cpl. Anthony Savino of Newark, New Jersey. His job would drive anybody crazy. The Italians are not as quick as efficient as we are, and about the time Savino gets a pack train all ready, everything collapses and chaos takes place. Then he catches it from both sides.

The officer in charge of this mule pack is Lt. Harmon W. Williams of Flint, Michigan. He was named after Gen. Harmon, who won fame in the last war. Some nights Lt. Williams is up till 3:00 a.m. seeing that all the skinners get back down the mountain. Other nights he gets to bed as early as 7:00 p.m. he sleeps whenever he can. For it’s an unusual night when he isn’t routed out to get some emergency supplies to the top.

He sleeps in a stone cowshed along with a dozen of his enlisted men. He was an undertaker in civil life, and is an anti-tank man in the Army, but a mule expert for the moment.

Cpl. Savino takes his interpreting job so seriously that he even talks about it in his sleep. I slept in the same cowshed with the boys, and one night when I happened to wake up about 3:00 a.m., I heard Savino saying:

Well, if we can’t use them as interpreters, let’s make guides out of them.

He thought that was pretty funny when I told him about it. He had never known before that he talked in his sleep.

Clapper: Work clothes

By Raymond Clapper

Leaders of the second front –
Man who beat Luftwaffe in 1940 leads fighters under Gen. ‘Ike’

Leigh-Mallory hailed as victor in Battle of Britain in England’s dark days
By Boyd Lewis, United Press staff writer

A handful of Allied leaders will lead millions of soldiers in the “second front” against the Nazis on the continent of Europe. Who are these men? Where are they like? Are they capable of the big job before them?

In this, the fourth of a series of articles, Boyd Lewis of the United Press tells the story of Marshal Leigh-Mallory, the hero of the Battle of Britain, who haws been chosen by Gen. Eisenhower to command the air fleet that will help the Allies back to France.

When the American, British and Canadian armies swarm across the English Channel in their supreme assault upon Hitler’s “Fortress Europe,” a quiet-spoken, dapper, middle-aged former lawyer will sit in a secret headquarters somewhere in England directing the greatest air armada in the world’s history.

For Air Marshal Sir Trafford L. Leigh-Mallory, Allied air commander-in-chief under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, that will be an historic day.

As his planes hammer the enemy’s stronghold and provide an umbrella of protection without which the ground assault would not be possible, he will be reliving the Battle of Britain, when, as commander of the famed Fighter Command Group No. 11, he was one of the men chiefly responsible for saving Britain from invasion.

Prime Minister Churchill said of the RAF:

Never have so many owed so much to so few.

The Spitfires and Hurricanes exacted so punishing a price from the German Air Force for its bombing that it was compelled to call off its mass raids when a few more weeks of smashing attacks upon British industrial centers might have turned the tide of the war.

Predicted disaster

The dark-haired, trim-mustached ex-barrister had organized his forces coolly and helped produce a result which he had forecast. He had said before the outbreak of war:

Although the enemy may send over very large numbers, I believe that with the organization we have, the enemy’s efforts would not last very long.

In August 1942, he made further impression upon the Allied Command by organizing the fighter umbrella thrown across the Channel to protect the skies over the famous Dieppe Raid, an operation which dragged the wary Luftwaffe off the ground and cost it 170 planes.

To airmen, Marshal Leigh-Mallory’s appointment caused no surprise because he is famed among them as one of the most capable and methodical of air chiefs.

He is 50

The public was inclined to ask, “Who’s he?” Marshal Leigh-Mallory has always sought to avoid the spotlight, even to the extent of not disclosing his age in Who’s Who. He is 50.

Had it not been for the First World War, he might have spent his life in the wig and robe of a lawyer instead of the uniform of a commander of fighter pilots. He had a typical “upper middle class” education at Haileybury College and studied law at Cambridge.

In August 1914, he joined the army. Two years later, he joined the Royal Flying Corps, then in its infancy. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for service in France.

When peace came, Leigh-Mallory turned his back on the law and decided to make a career as an air officer. He was commissioned a squadron leader. For several years he commanded the School of Army Cooperation. He is married and has two children.

Progress is steady

His progress was like his methods – steady. Outbreak of this war found him a vice marshal in command of Fighter Group 11. He has stuck with the fighters across the Channel in relentless sweeps which have all but driven the German planes out of the sky during daylight.

His dogged philosophy is illustrated by recent advice to British air cadets:

When we have our “downs,” don’t get the jitters. We can take it and we mean to go on taking it until we have defeated them.

A year ago, he issued this Christmas order of the day:

Best of luck in 1943 and damnation to the Luftwaffe.

It was a prophetic order: The RAF had excellent hunting in 1943. Now it is ready to carry rout Marshal Leigh-Mallory’s further orders and bring “damnation to the Luftwaffe” so that the Allied forces may fight under friendly skies.

Maj. de Seversky: Fall of Pantelleria, Schweinfurt toll are landmarks of military aviation

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Phone records shattered by war demands

Bell Company reports new highs in installations, long-distance calls

Völkischer Beobachter (January 7, 1944)

Stalin läßt Willkie rüffeln –
Moskau lehnt jede USA-Einmischung in Osteuropa ab

Auch die schüchternste Anfrage von Neuyork durch die Prawda frech zurückgewiesen

Nur die Juden sind in Nordafrika zufrieden –
Große Erbitterung über die Besatzungstruppen

U.S. State Department (January 7, 1944)

Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt

London, 7 January 1944

No. 536

Prime Minister to President Roosevelt. Personal and most secret.

Bedell Smith and Devers came through here morning of 5th. Bedell told me that he and Montgomery are convinced that it is better to put in a much heavier and broader OVERLORD than to expand ANVIL above our pre-Tehran conception and that he is putting this to Eisenhower and your Chiefs of Staff…

It also seems to me from what I heard very probable that the Y Moon (see my immediately following) will be at the earliest practicable date. I do not see why we should resist this if the Commanders feel they have a better chance then. At Tehran, however, COS recommendation was Y1 or one day earlier which you and I agreed to express more agreeably as “During May.” In conversation with UJ we never mentioned such a date as May 5 or May 8 but always spoke to him around 20th. Neither did we at any time dwell upon the exact phase of the operation which should fall on any particular day. If now the Y date is accepted as final I do not feel that we shall in any way have broken faith with him. The operation will anyhow begin in May with feints and softening bombardments and I do not think UJ is the kind of man to be unreasonable over 48 hours.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Pittsburgh Press (January 7, 1944)

8 others hurt at main gate of air base

Men killed at Kingman, Arizona, as they return from gunnery practice

Yanks smash back Nazis

Breakthrough onto Rome road imminent as Axis resists bitterly
By C. R. Cunningham, United Press staff writer