America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Lardner: Nazis in Italy lose but they exact big toll

Allies being made to pay ‘through the nose’ for victories
By John Lardner, North American Newspaper Alliance

Halsey, MacArthur reach strategical, tactical unity

‘Tell your boss honeymoon is still on,’ general informs admiral’s liaison officer
By George Jones, United Press staff writer

Faulty ship launched, Congressman charges

Marines storm vital hill on Cape Gloucester front

Jungle veterans of Guadalcanal advance under fierce Jap fire on New Britain
By Don Caswell, United Press staff writer

Navy: Dates set for invasion; speedup in ship production urged

Injured Yanks, back home, say it’s wonderful

Men aboard hospital ship show how Americans ‘can take it’
By Corrinne Hardesty, United Press staff writer

Editorial: Needed – New labor leadership

Editorial: MacArthur’s matches

Edson: Inflation curbs may be ‘adopted’ to fix new base

By Peter Edson

Background of news –
‘Dig-‘em-out Doug’

By Col. Frederick Palmer, North American Newspaper Alliance

Jury indicts brewery heir in draft case

Physician, Army officer and board clerk also named

Diet for 1944 will be restricted but ample

There will be as much fluid milk as last year but there are 20% more customers due to higher income
By Gaynor Maddox

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Ernie Pyle has written many, many moving columns, but none more stirring than his description of the touching farewells to a young Army captain, killed in Italy. It is beautiful writing, about a heartbreaking scene. Ernie will never forget it, and we doubt if you will.

At the frontlines in Italy – (by wireless)
In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Capt. Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Texas.

Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had been in this company since long before he left the States. He was very young, only is his middle twenties, but he carried in him a sincerity and gentleness that made people want to be guided by him.

A sergeant told me:

After my own father, he comes next.

A soldier said:

He always looked after us. He’d go to bat for us every time.

Another said:

I’ve never known him to do anything unkind.

I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow down. The moon was nearly full and you could see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley. Soldiers made shadows as they walked.

Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed onto the backs of mules. They came belly down across the wooden packsaddle, their heads hanging down on the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking awkwardly from the other side, bobbing up and down as the mule walked.

Makes you feel small

The Italian mule skinners were afraid to walk beside dead men, so Americans had to lead the mules down that night. Even the Americans were reluctant to unlash and lift off the bodies, when they got to the bottom, so an officer had to do it himself and ask others to help.

The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule, and stood him on his feet for a moment. In the half-light he might have been merely a sick man standing there leaning on the other. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the stone wall alongside the road.

I don’t know who that first one was. You feel small in the presence of dead men, and you don’t ask silly questions…

We left him there beside the road, that first one, and we all went back into the cowshed and sat on water cans or lay on the straw, waiting for the next batch of mules.

Somebody said the dead soldier had been dead for four days, and then nobody said anything more about him. We talked for an hour or more; the dead man lay all alone, outside in the shadow of the wall.

It’s Capt. Waskow

Then a soldier came into the cowshed and said there were some more bodies outside. We went out into the road. Four mules stood there in the moonlight in the road where the trail came down off the mountain. The soldiers who led them stood there waiting.

One of them said quickly:

This one is Capt. Waskow.

Two men unlashed his body from the mule and lifted it off and laid it in the shadow beside the stone wall. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally, there were five lying end to end in a long row. You don’t cover up dead men in combat zones. They just lie there in the shadows until somebody else comes after them.

The uncertain mules moved off to their olive groves. The men in the road seemed reluctant to leave. They stood around, and gradually I could sense them moving, one by one, close to Capt. Waskow’s body. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him and to themselves. I stood close by and I could hear.

One soldier came and looked down, and he said out loud:

God damn it!

That’s all he said, and then he walked away.

Another one came, and he said, “God damn it to hell anyway!” He looked down for a few last moments and then turned and left.

Holds dead captain’s hand

Another man came. I think it was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the dim light, for everybody was grimy and dirty. The man looked down into the dead captain’s face and then spoke directly to him, as though he were alive:

I’m sorry, old man.

Then a solder came and stood beside the officer and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but awfully tender, and he said:

I sure am sorry, sir.

Then the first man squatted down, and he reached down and took the Captain’s hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face. And he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.

Finally he put the hand down. He reached up and gently straightened the points of the Captain’s shirt collar, and then he sort of rearranged the tattered edges of his uniform around the wound, and then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone.

The rest of us went back into the cowshed, leaving the dead men lying in a line, end to end, in the shadow of the low stone wall. We lay down on the straw in the cowshed, and pretty soon we were all asleep.

Clapper: Australia

By Raymond Clapper

Heavy demand continues for steel plates

Shipbuilders press mills for materials needed to construct boats


Kidney: Western Democrats yell for Wickard, Black scalps

Fourth term, Wallace, Hopkins and farmer-labor issues due for blowup at meeting
By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
Western and Midwestern Democrats are making plans for some hellraising at their national committee meeting here Jan. 21.

Invitations for the Westerns to gang up before the meeting and present a program of demands have been sent to state chairmen and national committeeman and chairman of the Western States Democratic Conference organized at Omaha in 1942.

“No holds will be barred” when the Westerns caucus here, Mr. Quigley said over the long-distance telephone from his home. Topics will include the fourth term, Vice President Wallace, Harry Hopkins, post-New Deal planning, and farmer-labor problems.

Wickard, Black must go

Here in Nebraska, the Democrats want “a complete housecleaning in the Department of Agriculture,” he said.

He said:

Secretary Wickard should resign and take A. G. Black, governor of the Farm Credit Administration, with him. We can never again win votes in the farm belt with those two staying on the job.

Mr. Black is the man who sold Wallace the idea of killing the little pigs. Now he is just a stooge for Wickard, who is running things all wrong.

Our No. 1 plan is for them both to get out.

Hull, McNutt, Farley

Mr. Quigley had just talked to a “prominent Democrat” who told him he didn’t mind a fourth term for the President “if the war is still on,” but felt that “a strong Democratic leader should replace Wallace on the ticket.”

Should the President choose not to run, there is talk in Nebraska about Messrs. Hull, McNutt and Farley – in about that order – Mr. Quigley reported.

There is no complaint about the war on the international conferences, he said, and aside from the farmers wanting things run differently, the main criticism is the lack of a labor policy.

Little talk of Hopkins

Mr. Quigley said:

We haven’t much industrial unionism out here, but what union men we have never have struck in wartime, and they are just as much against strikes as are other citizens.

There has been little criticism there of Harry Hopkins, he declared, and added:

You just hardly ever hear of him or Wallace.

In fact, he would prefer Mr. Hopkins to Mr. Wickard as Secretary of Agriculture, he indicated.


GOP Army survey shows Republican trend is 56%

Spangler lets news of move slip as national committeemen gather in Chicago
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Chicago, Illinois –
Members of the Republican National Committee, state chairmen and chairwomen, and promoters of various presidential candidacies arrived here with the first big snowstorm, moved into the still-disarranged Stevens Hotel, occupied until a few months ago by the Army and things immediately began to happen.

Most talked-of was something let slip by the somber national chairman, Harrison E. Spangler. This was the revelation that he had enlisted the help of four Army officers – captains and lieutenants whom he knew – to make a survey of four battalions of American soldiers in England to see what percentage would vote Republican and what “New Deal,” as he put it.

The fact that this cross-section indicated soldiers would vote about the way Mr. Spangler estimates the folks at home will vote – 56% Republican, 44% Democratic – was interesting, but not as interesting to correspondents as the disclosure that the RNC chairman had asked Army officers to make such a poll.

Dope from South Pacific

Republican National Committee aides fidgeted nervously as the chairman was led on by reporters’ questions after he had let slip the story about the survey of soldier sentiment.

He also had information from the South Pacific – which he said he wouldn’t describe as a survey, just informal reports – and he also said that “we’re getting letters from soldiers every day.” He would not name the four officers who made the survey in England, but he thought they were within their rights.

Did he have evidence that Democrats were making similar surveys? No – but he had seen their claims about the soldier vote, which indicated they were getting information.

Candidates are praised

The Spangler episode was the highlight as Republican leaders went into session. But reporters were kept busy chasing off to headquarters of the promoters of various presidential candidates. Represented here are Governor Dewey of New York, Governor Bricker of Ohio

Mr. Willkie, as usual at such party affairs, is in the role of outcast.

That the 1940 nominee is ready to go to the mat with party leaders trying to block his renomination was made plain by the speech Saturday night by Governor Wills of Vermont, one of his champions, who ruffled the old-liners by accusing them of courting party suicide if they think they can win with anybody, and reject Mr. Willkie’s capabilities and popular appeal.

Bitter undercurrent

The fighting mood of Mr. Willkie and his lieutenants was also manifest in the attitude of his group here, headed by National Committeeman Ralph H. Cake of Oregon, his campaign manager, who indicated Mr. Willkie would enter the California primary against Governor Earl Warren.

Foes panicky, GOP head says

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
New Dealers are “panicky” and “in their panic, they have become ridiculous,” Harrison E. Spangler, Republican National Committee Chairman, today told GOP committeemen, gathered here to choose the city and date for the party’s 1944 presidential nominating convention.

The group is expected to select Chicago as the convention city at a meeting tomorrow and to fix the date for the gathering as the last week of June.

Mr. Spangler told the committeemen that they have good reason for being confident over the outcome at the polls in November.

Jim Farley quoted

He said:

An administration which sought to feed on class prejudices has been rebuked.

He quoted James A. Farley, former Democratic National Committee chairman who managed President Roosevelt’s first and second campaigns but broke with the Chief Executive over a third term, as saying the American people are “tired, terribly tired, of being kicked around.”

He said:

They are quarreling among themselves. A potent number of Jeffersonian Democrats, fed up with the New Deal, threatens to bolt and form a party of their own, free from executive domination.

The record in domestic affairs for the last 11 years rises to haunt them. In their panic, they have become ridiculous.

New Deal terms won’t die

Mr. Spangler said that the term “New Deal” which Mr. Roosevelt proposes to replace with a “Win-the-War” party label “is now an embarrassment,” but he said the term would not die.

He said:

It will live on as a description of the kind of government people of this country will not tolerate again.

Mr. Spangler earlier said the Republicans will not make their plans with an eye to what the Democrats will do.

He said:

We can beat them with any candidate we name.

‘Victory through unity’

Meanwhile, the committeemen read a pamphlet entitled “Victory Through Unity” which was headlined by the declaration that “Indications Point to Smashing Victory for Republican Party in November.”


Prohibitionists name attorney as candidate

Los Angeles, California (UP) –
Claude A. Watson, formally notified of his nomination as the National Prohibition Party’s presidential candidate, today called for a fight against governmental bureaucracy and extravagance and against the “strongly entrenched liquor power.”

His acceptance speech was the first political platform to be announced officially by a 1944 presidential nominee.

The Los Angeles attorney said:

Today we find the liquor power again strongly entrenched, in legal and quasi-legal partnership with government everywhere. It is the same old liquor power, the same liquor traffic, but in even more insidious form than when the righteous wrath of an aroused nation sounded its death knell.

Mr. Watson described his platform as a “four-square” stand and urged an end to “overlapping, liberty-destroying bureaucracy” and demanded “real economy” in government.

Calling for freedom of individual enterprise and an end to government competition with private business, he said his party was still opposed to establishment of monopolies of trade and wealth.


Communists ask new name

Browder urges wide discussion on change

New York (UP) –
Earl Browder, general secretary of the Communist Party, recommended last night that the organization at its May convention delete the word “party” from its name, but continue under a title “indicating its character as a communist association for political education.”

The recommendation was in a report by Browder to a meeting of the national committee, which unanimously approved the proposal and others involving policy and party organization changes.

Browder asked that the proposed name change “be thrown open for wide discussion, in which the general public is invited to participate,” before the May convention.

Challenge national policy

He suggested a name:

…more exactly representing its [the party’s] role as a part of a larger unity in the nation, not seeking any partisan advancement – a name, for example, like “American Communist Political Association.”

The committee, which concluded a three-day session today, issued a statement warning that the “Win-the-War” policies of the nation will be challenged in the coming national election.

The statement said:

A rejection by the people of all defeatist attacks on the President’s and the nation’s war policy is an inseparable part of the successful and speedy victorious conclusion of the war. The national election of 1944 is as much a test of the people’s support of the war as was the election of 1864.

Big Three conferences lauded

The statement said it was evident that present political issues “will be decided within the form of the two-party system traditional in our country” and said the party’s contribution in the election:

… will be to aid the struggle for the unity of the people in support of the nation’s war policies, without partisan or class advantages.

The committee lauded the Moscow, Tehran and Cairo agreements and described them as “a program to banish the specter of civil wars and war between nations for several generations,” but warned that the war “is not yet won. The really decisive fighting lies ahead.”

Simms: U.S. may call home envoy to Buenos Aires

Move would show American reaction to Argentina’s pro-Axis policies
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

In Washington –
Navy post-war demobilization studied

Efficient method sought for returning men to civilian life; survey doesn’t mean early end to war, bulletin warns