America at war! (1941–) – Part 4

U.S. Navy Department (September 7, 1944)

CINCPAC Press Release No. 547

For Immediate Release
September 7, 1944

The Palau Islands were swept in force by fighter planes of a Carrier Task Group on September 5 (West Longitude Date). There were no enemy planes in the air. Several aircraft on the ground were set afire by strafing. Defense installations, including antiaircraft emplacements and warehouses, were heavily strafed. An ammunition or fuel dump on Babelthuap Island was destroyed. Seventeen small craft near the islands were left burning as a result of strafing.

Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Four bombed Paramushiru and Onekotan in the Kurils on September 5. Landing barges and patrol craft were strafed.

On September 6, the airfield at Iwo Jima was bombed by Liberators of the 7th AAF, encountering moderate to intense anti-aircraft fire. 7th AAF Liberators bombed Marcus Island on September 6. Moderate anti-aircraft fire damaged one bomber.

Nauru Island was attacked by 7th AAF Mitchells on September 5. Airfields and gun positions were hit. Moderate anti-aircraft fire was encountered.

Anti-aircraft positions on Pagan Island were subjected to rocket fire and strafing on September 6.

The Pittsburgh Press (September 7, 1944)

Yanks drive 30 miles in day; Siegfried outposts stormed

Allies massing forces for final phase of struggle in Europe
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Converging on Germany, U.S. forces today were battling hard on the approaches to the border. Meanwhile, along the coast (1), Canadian troops drove into Boulogne and Calais, and neared Dunkerque. To the north, British troops (2) were reported close to Rotterdam. The U.S. 1st Army (3) smashed across the Meuse River near the German border, while the U.S. 3rd Army was across the Moselle River in force (4) and attacking the approaches to the Siegfried Line. In southern France (5), U.S. and French troops were driving toward a junction with U.S. forces in the north and were closing on the Belfort Gap gateway into Germany.

SHAEF, London, England –
A dispatch from Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley’s 12th Army Group headquarters said tonight U.S. forces had advanced 30 miles or more in some sectors of the Western Front yesterday, and that the Siegfried Line fortifications likely would be under artillery fire soon.

Powerful U.S. armored forces today were storming through the Ardennes Forest and across the Moselle River toward the Reich frontiers less than 35 miles distant, driving back battered German forces seeking refuge behind the Seigfried Line, United Press writer Joseph W. Grigg reported from 12th Army Group headquarters.

Both the 1st and 3rd Armies were on the move again today, Mr. Grigg said. He reported “substantial progress” throughout yesterday by armored spearheads, with the main forces following closely. For security reasons, the location and direction of the gains were not disclosed.

One of the toughest blocks of Nazi resistance appeared to be around Metz, as well as along the Moselle where the Americans had to fight hard to get across against German troops dug in along the wooded banks.

The intense Nazi opposition along the 30-mile Moselle battlefront between Metz and Nancy – both of which the Germans appeared to hold – seemed designed to act as a breakwater against the American onrush until the main enemy forces reach the Siegfried Line.

Allied headquarters reported that Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges had driven a 1st Army spearhead from the Auchamps crossing of the Meuse “well into” the rugged Ardennes Forest to the area of Thilay, nine miles northeast of Charleville near the Franco-Belgian border.

Robert C. Richards, United Press writer with Lt. Gen. Patton’s 3rd Army, said U.S. assault forces were hammering ahead in the Moselle Valley between Nancy and Metz in a crunching assault on the steel and concrete fortifications before the Siegfried Line.

Supreme Headquarters disclosed that Gen. Patton’s army massing in the Moselle Valley includes the U.S. 5th Infantry Division, whose troops were the first of the U.S. Army to go overseas in this war. The division landed in Iceland in September 1941 and has not been home since.

Other units named

The 35th Infantry Division and the 4th and 7th Armored Divisions were also revealed to be taking part in the 3rd Army drive now menacing Germany proper.

Mr. Richards’ dispatch from the Moselle Valley did not make clear the situation at Metz and Nancy. It said the Americans were at the “approaches” of each. Unofficial reports said fighting was going on in Nancy and that the Americans held a part of it.

The U.S. 1st Army and the British 2nd Army were nearing a junction in Belgium. The Yanks captured Jodoigne, about 15 miles southeast of Louvain, which had been captured by the British. Louvain is 15 miles east of Brussels.

The London radio quoted its correspondent with the 2nd Army as saying British columns were about 30 miles from Germany east and northeast of Louvain, and reconnaissance units were ever nearer.

Reported at Yoncq

A U.S. column was reported at Yoncq, 10 miles southeast of Sedan, which was still in German hands, but official reports did not make clear whether it was a First or Third Army formation.

A general feeling was manifest at headquarters that another phase of Allied operations in Western Europe was finished, and that an interim period had set in preparatory to a new and probably final phase of the war, to come as soon as the buildup of communications and consolidation of newly-won territory is completed.

The German Transocean News Agency reported that the Americans had concentrated strong forces between Namur and Sedan. The Nazi agency acknowledged Meuse crossings at several places “behind a creeping barrage.”

Report Yank thrust

Transocean said powerful U.S. forces “thrust against the Moselle” on either side of Pont-aa-Mousson, midway between Nancy and Metz, where “crossing attempts and counterattacks followed each other in rapid succession throughout the day.”

The Allied sweep along the Channel coast closely invested Calais and Boulogne, and troops who bypassed Calais were reported approaching Dunkerque. Latest advices placed them in the area of Gravelines, 13 miles west-southwest of Dunkerque. The Canadian Army was in a period of buildup and preparation while conducting limited operations.

Canadian troops reached the famous World War I town of Ypres, 12 miles north of Armentières, and front reports said the city was captured.

Rain hampers raids

Rain and heavy clouds held down air operations early today. Headquarters disclosed that the German 1st Army, a relatively small force formerly stationed in the Bay of Biscay area, had been mauled after being withdrawn to the Paris area and eastward. This made a total of four German armies defeated in northern France – the 7th, 15th, 1st and 5th Panzer Army.

Today’s early reports at headquarters disclosed that the British had captured Ghent, Courtrai and the French border town of Armentières, immortalized by its Mademoiselle song of World War I.

Mr. Richards’ dispatch from the 3rd Army front in northeastern France disclosed that the stiffening German resistance had turned suddenly into a full-dress stand against Gen. Patton’s forces pushing stubbornly toward the Reich.

Supplants blitz

Mr. Richards said:

It is evident that for the next 48 hours at least the blitz type of warfare has been supplanted by grim, close-range infantry attacks supported by mortars, 105s and Long Tom 155s.

In many sectors of the Metz-Nancy front, Mr. Richards said, the Germans were exploiting to the utmost the advantage of the pillboxes studding the region since the early days of the war.

Fortifications of the old Maginot Line reached to this area, and it appeared that the Nazis had refurbished them in the week that Gen. Patton’s forces had been stalled by the lightning overextension of supply lines to prepare for a stand in the Moselle Valley.

Hamper air support

Clouds scudded low over the battleground, Mr. Richards reported, impeding Allied air support in the heaviest fighting the 3rd Army has done since it sped into eastern France.

The latest reports indicated that Gen. Hodges’ 1st Army was finding the going easier in the push across the Meuse in great strength – a drive which if entirely successful would roll up the flank of the German forces facing Gen. Patton’s army.

First Army troops were reported pushing beyond Namur, Dinant, Givet and Auchamps. The four spearheads were pointed at Luxembourg and the Rhineland.

Attack Channel ports

Far to the west, Allied ground and air forces attacked diehard enemy garrisons in Brest and the French Channel ports with a fury that presaged the early conquest of those bypassed German strongholds.

While hundreds of Allied planes shuttled overhead unlading blockbusters and fragmentation bombs on the cornered Germans, U.S. troops pushed in their siege lines on Brest.

Cross last barriers

But the decisive battle of Western Europe was shaping up swiftly on the borders of the Reich where the U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies were pouring tanks, troops and guns across the last water barriers before the Rhineland.

Berlin said heavy fighting was raging along a front of more than 200 miles from the Belgian North Sea coast to the Lorraine Gap, and the Allied march had admittedly slowed at a number of points, particularly in the U.S. 1st and 3rd Army sectors.

Headquarters spokesmen were confident the battered Nazis had neither the men nor the will to make a successful stand on the Siegfried Line or any other barrier on the road to Berlin.

They revealed that German casualties in the battle of the west already exceed 500,000, excluding thousands killed by French Maquis.

Captured 230,000

The U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies were alone disclosed to have bagged more than 230,000 prisoners in their triumphal sweep across France and the Low Countries, including 25,000 taken by the 1st Army in the now-destroyed pocket southwest of Mons, Belgium.

Gen. Patton’s hard-driving troops were estimated to have taken 76,000 prisoners since Aug. 1, wounded 65,000 and killed 20,000 – a five-week total of 162,000 casualties inflicted on Nazi divisions now attempting to hold the borders of the Reich.

Yanks in south advance 20 miles

By Eleanor Packard, United Press staff writer

U.S. casualties total 365,759 –
Stimson: Prolonged defense of Reich improbable

U.S. losses for first 25 days in France reach 42,000, half of anticipated cost

Washington (UP) –
The bulk of the German armies in Western Europe have been destroyed or crippled to an extent that they “seem insufficient to maintain prolonged defenses of Germany,” Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson declared today.

In contrast, Mr. Stimson disclosed that U.S. Army casualties during the first 25 days of the invasion of northern France were about one-half of the losses which had been expected.

Mr. Stimson said that from D-Day on June 6 through June 30, the Army suffered approximately 42,000 casualties of all types in France. Pre-invasion estimates had set the figure at about 81,000, he revealed. Of the 42,000, the Secretary said, 33,933 were battle casualties.

Mr. Stimson also announced that U.S. Army casualties in all theaters of war through Aug. 21 totaled 305,795. This brought total U.S. casualties announced here through Aug. 21 to 365,759, including:

Army Navy
Killed 57,677 23,926
Wounded 156,933 21,894
Missing 45,967 9,678
Prisoners 45,218 4,466
TOTAL 305,795 59,964

Of the Army wounded, Mr. Stimson said, 63,986 have been returned to duty.

Mr. Stimson also disclosed that in the later fighting in northern France – through July, when the breakthrough at Avranches was achieved, and August, when the breakthrough was being exploited – U.S. casualties “were slightly less than the estimates.”

While German forces are shrinking, Allied forces are growing and their advance is speeding up, Mr. Stimson said.

He told his press conference, however, that supplies must catch up with the advancing armies before they can administer a death blow to the Nazis.

“The war won’t be won until Allied troops are in Berlin,” he said.

German forces are now evacuating all of southern France from the Rhône to the Atlantic, according to Mr. Stimson, who said the gap between the U.S. 3rd Army of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. (now on the Moselle River) and Lt. Gen. Alexander M. Patch’s 7th Army (along the Rhône) is gradually being eliminated. It is only through this gap that the German forces in southern France can escape.

Speaking of the action in the north, Mr. Stimson said that:

As far as we can judge, a great part of the German soldiers on this front are bewildered and without hope.

He said:

The speed of our action and the overwhelming strength of our air forces are large factors contributing to this state of mind. Over 300,000 prisoners have been taken in northern and southern France. Yet the German Army discipline is holding up and we must still test the product of the last desperate mobilization efforts of the Nazi government. We have yet to strike the final blow.

Mr. Stimson stressed importance of aerial support for the advance of the ground forces. The 19th Tactical Air Force was in practical effect a right flank for the U.S. 3rd Army’s tank columns, he said.

Hirohito warns of grave crisis

Jap Premier also expresses gloom
By the United Press


On air at 10:00 p.m. –
Dewey makes first campaign speech tonight

Domestic economy to be stressed

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey said today he will open his campaign as Republican presidential nominee tonight with a speech covering the “fundamental issues of the campaign” – which he termed a healthy domestic economy in peacetime.

Governor Dewey, in Philadelphia on the first leg of a 6,700-mile cross-country campaign trip, said the question before the voters in November is whether they want “to go back to their [the New Deal] 10 million to 12 million unemployed or go ahead.”

Governor Dewey’s address will be broadcast locally at 10:00 p.m. ET over Stations KDKA and WJAS.

Governor Dewey said this afternoon:

The question before the people is whether they want to elect an administration which will be largely, if not wholly, a peacetime government which believes in this country, or one which proved for eight straight years it couldn’t solve its problems and didn’t believe in it.

The New Deal tried for eight straight years, from 1933 to 1940, to solve the depression with more power and more money than any administration in 150 years, yet it failed.

Confidence in victory

Governor Dewey told reporters, in effect, that he was confident of victory in November.

Asked whether he thought that the way the war is now going would be favorable to the present administration, he replied: “I believe the people will change their administration next January.”

What of Pennsylvania

In response to a question on whether he had any recent reassurances regarding the large Pennsylvania vote in November, Governor Dewey said that he had “in the last half hour.”

He referred to his ride from a railroad station to the hotel with Governor Edward Martin of Pennsylvania.

In response to other questions, Governor Dewey said that a visit to this country by British Prime Minister Churchill for a conference with President Roosevelt, his opponent, reportedly scheduled in the near future, “would be an amazing coincidence.”

He did not elaborate, however, on the question which was prompted by the fact that the fourth-term campaign has been pitched largely on a “commander-in-chief” theme.

Wants no new CCC

When asked for his attitude on post-war military training, as suggested recently by President Roosevelt with little emphasis on the military phase of youth training, Governor Dewey said:

I am not for another CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] as a substitute for jobs. I would not put anybody in the Army unless they are needed for the defense of the United States.

Governor Dewey was greeted at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station here by a crowd estimated at between four and five thousand persons.

Rides with Martin

From the station, he rode in an open car with Governor Martin, to the Bellevue Stratford Hotel.

Along the route, Governor Dewey was greeted by scattered applause and showers of paper confetti.

Governor Dewey, leaving New York this morning, embarked on a 6,700-mile, coast-to-coast campaign trip with stops in 10 states where 134 Electoral College votes, almost one-fourth of the total, are at stake in the November election.

Other speeches scheduled

Before he returns to his gubernatorial office in Albany, New York, Sept. 28, he is scheduled to make six other major campaign addresses as well as confer with party leaders along the route.

In addition to Mrs. Dewey, the campaign party included Elliott V. Bell (New York State Superintendent of Banks and his closest political adviser), Lt. Gen. Hugh A. Drum (U.S. Army (retired), commanding officer of the New York Guard), Paul E. Lockwood (Governor Dewey’s executive secretary), Jack Flanagan (assistant secretary to vice-presidential nominee Governor John W. Bricker), half a dozen National Committee Research Staff members, and more than 50 newspaper, radio, newsreel and magazine reporters and photographers.

Churchill to meet with Roosevelt

Session is expected to be at Québec

Eisenhower to handle Nazi peace overtures

Mr. Brown’s flag

By Florence Fisher Parry

Meat rations may be ended by Oct. 1

But points to stay on diary products

Liberators blast Japs’ Marcus Isle

White-collar union asks raise of 35%

14 victims gassed by ‘mad phantom’

Mattoon, Illinois (UP) –
The “Mad Man of Mattoon,” a phantom prowler who has anesthetized more than a dozen persons in their beds, remained as much of a mystery to police today as the “gardenia” anesthetic he uses to overcome his victims.

No further attacks were reported last night, and police said the phantom was apparently replenishing his supply of the anesthetic.

Police, baffled, asked the Illinois State Crime Bureau to aid them in tracking down the tall, thin man who wears a skull cap and sprays his victims with a “sickly sweet” anesthetic.

Each of his 14 victims was overcome, but recovered without serious consequences. The prowler apparently sprays the anesthetic through bedrooms.

Police theorized that the man may be a crank, a berserk scientist testing a weird gas, or a fanatical high school chemistry student. Robbery has been ruled out as a motive because the phantom has never entered any of the homes.

The last of the red-hot holdouts –
Weirton Steel booked for final (?) bout with old foe, NLRB

10-year-old feud continues as company again faces charge of union interference
By Fred W. Perkins, Pittsburgh Press staff writer

British storm Nazi barrier to Po Valley

Planes, warships hit defenses at Rimini

Gorrell: Army of million Belgians aids advancing Americans

By Henry T. Gorrell, United Press staff writer

In Washington –
Draft needs to follow Nazi defeat studied

Demobilization plan hinges on inductions


Ex-Senator opposes Clara Bow’s husband

Reno, Nevada (UP) –
Former U.S. Senator Berkeley L. Bunker, who lost two years ago in the Democratic primary, won a victory in Tuesday’s primary contest for representative over incumbent Maurice J. Sullivan, returns showed today.

He polled nearly 12,000 votes to Mr. Sullivan’s 8,300 and will meet Rex Bell, one-time movie cowboy and husband of former “it girl” Clara Bow, in November. Mr. Bell was unopposed on the Republican ticket.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Patrick A. “Pat” McCarran maintained a safe lead for renomination over Lieutenant Governor Vail Pittman.

Equal voice on Germany demanded by de Gaulle

Frenchmen point out that nation has great interest in future status of Reich


Thomas hits Roosevelt peace plan

Socialist candidate visits city

Norman Thomas, who has had his eye on the White House door for 20 years, came to Pittsburgh today to continue his consistent, if futile, efforts to become the President of the United States.

Making his fifth stab at the Presidency on the Socialist ticket, the tall, gray-haired ex-minister is perfectly frank about his chances to beat out President Roosevelt or Governor Dewey.

He said:

No, I don’t think I’ll win this time, either. There’s no law against it but it doesn’t seem to be the custom.

‘Open ballot’ is goal

One of his main concerns, he said, was the keeping of the ballot open. He said:

There may come a time you know when a third party can muster sufficient strength to be more than just a name on the ballot.

Recently returned from a cross-country tour, the Socialist candidate declined to pick a winner in the Roosevelt-Dewey race. He did say, however, that he found more “anti” as well as “pro” Roosevelt feeling than he did Dewey backing or opposition.

During an interview in his room at the Fort Pitt Hotel, the well-known lecturer and writer talked more of winning the peace than of just winning the war.

Roosevelt plan hit

He claimed in no uncertain terms that the proposals of President Roosevelt are merely laying the groundwork for a third war and decried a “triple alliance,” masked as a new world order, that will “have cracks beneath the veneer in a few years.

He denied any infiltration of Communism into the Socialist Party, claiming beliefs of the parties were as far apart as the poles.

Mr. Thomas will speak at a rally arranged by local officers of the Socialist Party in the Fort Pitt Hotel tonight and will confer with Socialist leaders and a group of Allegheny County labor leaders.


Dewey, Hull agree on ‘waging peace’

Washington –
A new American attitude on world collaboration has emerged from the Dumbarton Oaks Conference.

Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican candidate for President, has received through his emissary, John Foster Dulles, a complete picture of the plans for post-war security. He has accepted those plans as being above party politics and agreed with Secretary of State Hull that henceforth this country will wage peace as it has waged war – united.

It is the first time in U.S. political history that the two great parties have joined in an avowal to pursue peace with the same determination that they have waged war. In this act, Governor Dewey has gained prestige while Secretary Hull has added another brilliant achievement in diplomacy to those which have marked his work for peace.

Owing to the complete success of his mission, Mr. Dulles will now have his place in history as the man who helped lift peace efforts above the range of debatable issues in domestic politics.