America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (May 1, 1945)


PRD, Communique Section

011100B May


(16) CMHQ (Pass to RCAF & RCN)


Communiqué No. 388

UNCLASSIFIED: Allied forces captured Leer, on the right bank of the Ems River and advanced to the east. In the Oldenburg area we occupied Huede.

North of Zeven we reached the outskirts of Bremervoerde. West of Hamburg we are fighting in Horneburg.

We expanded our bridgehead over the Elbe River at Lauenburg and ten miles upstream made a second crossing in the vicinity of Bleckede.

An enemy airfield at Banzkow, southeast of Schwerin and road transport in the area of Schwerin and Parchim were attacked by fighter-bombers. Twenty enemy aircraft were shot down near the airfield and others were destroyed on the ground.

Another linkup was made by our units with Russian forces in the town of Apollensdorf west of Wittenberg.

Northeast of Cham, our forces crossed the Czechoslovakian border in the vicinity of Vseruby and farther south, in Germany, reached the vicinity of Eckersberg.

Our armor entered Wegscheid, one mile from the Austrian border, and entered Griesbach in the area southeast of Deggendorf.

Farther west, armored elements crossed the Isar River and reached a point two miles south of Plattling. Southeast of Plattling, our infantry entered Kleegarten.

Northeast of Landshut, our units reached the Isar River in the vicinity of Altheim and other elements entered Ergoldsbach.

We entered Landshut and reached the vicinity of Oberglaim, Edenland and Bruckberg.

In the area northeast of Munich, our infantry cleared Freising and reached the vicinity of Berglern.

It is estimated that 110,000 Allied prisoners of war were liberated at Moosberg by our forces. Earlier estimates placed the figure at 27,000.

Organized resistance in all of Munich west of the Isar River has ceased. This is more than three-fourths of the city. Snipers are being cleared.

South of Augsburg, an airfield with six jet-propelled planes and other aircraft was taken intact. Several pilots were in the cockpits preparing to take off when captured.

In the approaches to the Bavarian Alps, armored spearheads driving south made contact with others advancing east in the vicinity of Oberau. From this area, we pushed southeast of Mittenwald on the German-Austrian border.

Other advances to the west expanded our hold in Austria to a width of 20 miles and an average depth of five miles.

From the Iller River westward to Wangen we advanced up to ten miles southward.

In a 15-mile drive through Wangen we pushed about one mile across the Austrian border near the southeastern tip of Bodensee. Lindau was captured. Farther west, Friedrichshafen was occupied.

Allied forces in the west captured 59,739 prisoners 29 April.

On the French Atlantic Coast, our forces have launched an attack to clear the Germans from the Oleron Island.

We captured St. Trojan les Bains on the southeastern tip of the island and took a number of prisoners.

Allied naval and air units support the attack.

Rail and road transport in the area east and southeast of Munich, and from Salzburg to Prague and near Pilsen, and an airfield east of Pilsen were attacked by fighter-bombers.

Yesterday afternoon, heavy bombers dropped some 1,250 tons of food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy-occupied Holland.



“P” - Others

PRD, Communique Section

D. R. JORDAN, Lt Col FA4655


U.S. Navy Department (May 1, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 349

Troops of the 7th Infantry Division continued to advance in the eastern sector of the lines on Okinawa on April 30 (East Longitude Date). By mid‑afternoon advance elements of the division had entered the village of Kuhazu. Local gains were made along the remainder of the front. The attack of the infantry was supported by heavy naval gunfire, heavy artillery and carrier and land‑based aircraft. A few enemy planes were in the area of Okinawa on April 30. One medium-sized ship was damaged.

Aircraft from escort carriers attacked air installations in the Sakishima group on April 30. Reports of the strike on these islands by escort carrier planes on April 29 reveal that ammunition dumps were exploded, radio facilities and barracks were hit and several planes were destroyed on the ground.

Search planes of Fleet Air Wing One bombed and strafed radio installations on Kuro and Kuchino Islands in the northern Ryukyus on April 30. An enemy plane was destroyed on the ground at Kuchino. On the following day, aircraft of this wing sank a cargo ship and damaged another in the East China Sea; sank a small cargo ship off the southern coast of Shikoku; and destroyed a small cargo ship at Miyake Island, south of Tokyo.

On April 30, Army Mustangs of the VII Fighter Command, escorted heavy bombers of the XXI Bomber Command over Tokyo, probably shot down one enemy plane and strafed three picket boats off the coast leaving them afire and dead in the water. Iwo-based Mustangs on May 1, bombed and strafed military installations on Chichi Jima in the Bonins.

Mitchells of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing damaged a large cargo ship with rockets north of the Bonins on April 30. Corsair and Hellcat fighters end Avenger torpedo planes of this wing bombed enemy islands in the Palaus on May 1.

Army Thunderbolt fighters of the Seventh Air Force shot down a four-engine seaplane over Truk in the Carolines on April 30 and swept the seaplane base and harbor with rocket fire sinking one small craft and damaging two others. Army Liberators of the same force followed the attack with heavy bombing of the airfields on Moen and Param Islands. Marcus Island was bombed by 7th AF Liberators on the same date.

Eleventh AAF Liberators bombed Kataoka naval base on Shumushu on April 30. On the same date, installations on Kokutan Cape on the same island, were attacked by search planes of FlAirWing Four.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 1, 1945)

Patton slashes 25 miles into Nazi redoubt

Germans reported quitting Denmark

New peace offer denied

Negotiator reveals talks with Himmler – Churchill optimistic


LONDON, England (UP) – The German radio at Hamburg notified its listeners to stand by tonight for a “grace and important announcement.”

LONDON, England (UP) – Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish emissary reputed to be negotiating with Nazi leaders for Germany’s surrender, confirmed today that he had conferred with Heinrich Himmler 10 days ago.

A Swedish Foreign Office spokesman insisted, however, that Bernadotte had not brought back any new peace message from Himmler to be transmitted to the Allies through the Stockholm government.

Prime Minister Churchill, meanwhile, hinted in Commons today that an official statement clarifying the entire situation might be expected soon.

Mr. Churchill said he would inform Commons immediately of any major developments and the British Home Ministry said the Prime Minister would broadcast as soon as word of Germany’s surrender was received.

Mr. Churchill’s statement to Commons was made amidst reports from Sweden that German troops were withdrawing from Copenhagen and possibly from all Denmark in what may be the first step in Himmler’s plan to make peace with the Allies.

Advices from Copenhagen said tonight that Danish police in full uniform again were patrolling the streets of several towns in Denmark after the Germans withdrew from the towns without incident.

Bernadotte partially partly lifted the secrecy covering his recent activities during a press conference late today in the Swedish Foreign Office in Stockholm.

He refused to give details of any of his discussions with Himmler, beyond the fact that they had met 10 days ago in the Baltic port of Luebeck – obviously to discuss the Allied demand that Germany surrender unconditionally to the United States, Britain and Russia.

Bernadotte and the Foreign Office spokesman emphasized that no new reply from Himmler had been transmitted to the Allies through the Swedish government today – a statement which did not preclude the possibility of Bernadotte’s communicating direct with the Allied embassies in Stockholm or elsewhere.

New trip hinted

An Exchange Telegraph dispatch from Stockholm said Bernadotte was expected to leave there shortly for an unannounced destination. It said that he refused to go into detail on his recent activities. The dispatch said the Count was smiling happily, however.

Bernadotte had no comment on the persistent reports that the Germans were withdrawing from Copenhagen and possibly all Denmark as a prelude to their surrender.

Meanwhile, Germany’s few remaining radio stations warned the German people that momentous news was expected and that they must be “prepared for anything.”

Churchill sees King

Mr. Churchill conferred with King George in Buckingham Palace and then appeared before a tense House of Commons to deliver a guarded and deliberately vague statement. He did not deny that Germen surrender negotiations were in progress.

He sidestepped comment on the Swedish reports, asserting that he had no “special” news at the moment.

Victory celebration planned

Mr. Churchill revealed, however, that official plans for Britain’s victory celebration would be made public tonight, ready for application at a moment’s notice.

Later today, the Home Office announced that when news of the end of hostilities in Europe is made public, it will be done by Mr. Churchill in a radio broadcast.

An official announcement said that on the evening of the day the news is broadcast, King George will speak over the radio at 9 p.m.

Churches of all denominations will be open for prayer, and church bells will be rung throughout the country, it was announced. At the express wish of the King, the Sunday following the announcement will be a day of thanksgiving and prayer in Britain.

Throughout his brief appearance in Commons, Mr. Churchill spoke as if Germany’s unconditional surrender now were a foregone conclusion and that the armies in Europe might be engaged in occupying their various post-war administrative zones.

He promised that news of Germany’s capitulation would not be withheld until the complete occupation of the Reich is achieved, pointing out that the movement of the occupying armies and the surrender of enemy troops might take a considerable period of time.

Nazis may leave Denmark

Himmler’s rumored decision to evacuate Denmark as a preliminary to the unconditional surrender of the Reich was expected to be announced soon.

Radio Luxembourg said the Germans also were trying to negotiate the surrender of the Nazi-created protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, otherwise western Czechoslovakia, to the United States without a fight.

Another Stockholm dispatch said the Germans were expected to turn back the administration in Denmark to King Christian soon.

Swedish sources speculated that the German moves stemmed directly from Bernadotte’s conferences in Denmark, which included talks with the Nazi overlord there, Dr. Werner Best, as well as Himmler.

Earlier reports had said that Himmler in his original peace offer to the United States and Britain had offered to withdraw or surrender German forces in Denmark.

German soldiers wearing Red Cross badges arrived in Copenhagen several days ago, Stockholm said, to assist German refugees in “developments which will take place during the next few days.”

Other developments

The Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter said Himmler’s reply to the Allied “all or none” surrender demand was delivered to Allied diplomats in the Swedish capital yesterday by a member of the Swedish Foreign Office, believed to be Foreign Minister Christian E. Guenther himself.

Dagens Nyheter said a final Allied decision on the German note was not expected for another 24 to 48 hours because of the “complicated nature of the negotiations.”

Nevertheless, it said, the general trend of negotiations was “favorable” – a hint that Germany has decided to capitulate unconditionally to Russia, as well as to the United States and Britain as Himmler first offered.

Borneo invaded by Allied troops

Landings in Dutch East Indies announced by Australian leader

With brain removed –
Duce patched up, buried in box

He and mistress lie in Potters’ Field

MILAN, Italy (UP) – Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were buried secretly in unmarked graves in the Potters’ Field of the Maggiore Cemetery late yesterday, it was revealed today.

Former Fascist Party Secretary Achille Starace, who was executed yesterday, was interred a short distance away.

Ignominious burials

The only witnesses to the ignominious burials were 15 members of the cemetery staff who were sworn to secrecy to prevent mobs from learning the graves’ location and possibly exhuming the remains of the former dictator.

The three bodies were in rough, unpainted pine coffins, the tops of which were screwed on.

A military chaplain offered a brief Catholic benediction for all three as they were lowered into the ground.

An Italian Red Cross truck had transported the three bodies from the morgue to the burial site under some fir trees.

Duce’s brain removed

Vittorio Vertova, cemetery director who supervised the burials, said the brain had been removed from Mussolini’s body and criminologists were examining it.

Undertakers did their best to repair the damage to Mussolini’s corpse, which had been stoned, kicked, spat upon, and shot at by the Milan mob in two days of unparalleled crowd hysteria.

They built up his face so that it had regained some of its old-time arrogance. His mouth was stuffed to hide the loss of his teeth kicked out by the mob.

A routine autopsy was performed yesterday because no doctor had attended the dictator’s death before a firing squad. The body later was sewed together roughly.

Fittingly, the body of the “Sawdust Caesar” rested on sawdust, loosely thrown in the bottom of the coffin. He was nude and his blood-soaked uniform was tossed on top of him.

In Casket 165, still next to him, was the body of Clara Petacci, his mistress.

Achille Starace was executed yesterday in Loretto Square in view of the dangling bodies of Mussolini and his mistress.

The Partisans asked Starace whether he wanted to be shot in the front or the back. He replied in the front. They promptly shot him in the back.

The Milan mob stormed Vittore Prison howling for the life of Marshal Rudolfo Graziani, Fascist minister of war and commander of the Italian Fascist Army still resisting in North Italy. However, Partisans turned Graziani over to Col. Norman Fiske, of Portland, Oregon, of the Allied commission.

Col. Fiske also accepted the surrender of 150 to 200 SS troops, including their general, who had been barricaded in the Hotel Regina since the Partisan uprising began here last week. When the Germans filed from the hotel, a crowd of thousands spat upon them, hissed, and shook their fists.

Molotov plans early return to Moscow

Reports of dispute denied in ‘Frisco
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Big Fortresses on mercy flight drop food to starving Dutch

Crewmen on low-flying planes report seeing happy smiles of crowd below

U.S. ready to seize hard coal mines

UMW members go out on strike

Nazi offer timed to upset Allies

By Paul Ghali

Truman defenses OPA, warns of shortages

Sugar rations cut one-third

Truman warns of ‘great job’ AFTER V-E Day

New Superfortress will honor Pyle

NEW YORK (SHS) – William Pyle, father of the late Ernie Pyle, will christen a new Boeing Superfortress at Wichita, Kansas, this afternoon, naming it the Ernie Pyle. In the ceremony he will swing a bottle of water from the old family well in Indiana.

The bomber was purchased through sale among Boeing employees of $600,000 in Seventh War Loan bonds. It is being dedicated to Ernie’s memory at the request of the employees.

Mr. Pyle was accompanied by his Dana, Indiana, pastor, Rev. H. L. McBride.

Classroom to the left

By Florence Fisher Parry

Pose as a drunk fails –
Last hours of Mussolini described by witnesses

‘We have come to liberate you,’ Patriots tell Duce – and execution follows
By James E. Roper, United Press staff writer

GIULINO DI MEZZEGRA, Italy – Mussolini and his young mistress spent the last 14 hours of their lives together locked in a room of a mountainside villa here, overlooking Lake Como.

The details of how Mussolini and Clara Petacci died side by side were told to me by Partisan eyewitnesses of their execution.

After their “People’s Tribunal” trial, the couple was brought to this tiny hamlet of 150 and put in a room in the mountainside house. That was at 2 a.m. Saturday.

Mussolini depressed

There they remained until 4 p.m., disturbed only by the serving of meals.

When a guard entered the room Saturday afternoon, Mussolini was fully dressed and wearing hat. Clara was in bed, wearing a silk slip.

“You must go away now,” the guard told them.

Clara began to dress slowly. The guards told her to hurry. Mussolini seemed very depressed.

The guards drove the couple 500 yards in an auto, then made them walk another 500 yards.

‘Come to liberate you’

“We have come to liberate you,” one guard told Mussolini.

Il Duce seemed to believe it, and for the first time he smiled.

The small group walked down the narrow “24th of May” Street, which has a stone wall on either side. They stopped in front of No. 14, from where Mussolini could see the snow-tipped Swiss Alps to which he had tried to flee. The couple stood with their backs to a stone wall.

Then a Partisan proclaimed: “By order of the General Command of Comrades of Volunteers, I am charged with rendering justice for the Italian people.”

Clara grows hysterical

Clara threw herself across Mussolini’s chest as a shield and cried hysterically, “You shouldn’t kill him.”

“Then we’ll kill you first,” the Partisan said.

The couple was pulled apart and one Partisan – according to villagers, he was a Milan man – fired several pistol shots into Mussolini’s chest and several more into Clara’s chest.

Mussolini squirmed on the ground, so they fired a shot through his head.

“Mussolini didn’t die immediately probably because he twisted just as the shots were fired, making the bullets miss his vital organs,” said a witness.

Rain falls on bodies

The bodies were left there for several hours until it began to rain.

The rain washed away the bloodspots and now the historic spot is marked only by a silvery splotch on the black, iron grill which runs along the stone fence. That splotch is where a bullet, which passed through Mussolini’s or Clara’s body, smacked into the grill.

The Partisans told me that Mussolini was first spotted at a roadblock at the town of Musso, just south of Dongo on Lake Como. He was lying under a blanket in the back of a truck in a German convoy of 32 vehicles. He wore the overcoat of a non-commissioned Luftwaffe officer and a pair of dark glasses.

Posed as drunk

Partisan Negri Giuseppe lifted the blanket and looked down at Mussolini. A German soldier said, “That’s just a drunk.” But the ruse failed.

Mussolini was taken from the truck, and after some negotiations, the Germans were permitted to continue toward Switzerland, minus an armored car which was part of the convoy.

When the convoy was first stopped, the Germans had moved the armored car to the rear of the column, under pretext of towing a truck. The Partisans thought Mussolini first was in the armored car and that he used that opportunity to slip into the truck and hide under the blanket.

He was taken at 6:50 a.m. last Friday.

Duce’s nemesis says –
‘One jackal gone to pitiful end’

Violinist Spalding reveals spy work

WASHINGTON (UP) – Violinist Albert Spalding, revealed today as the Allies’ contact man with the Italian Partisans, said he was glad the Partisans killed Mussolini.

“There’s one jackal that is gone,” the Chicago-born musician commented. “A pitiful end to a miserable career.”

Mr. Spalding returned here several months ago after directing Partisan activities in Italy as spokesman for the Allied High Command.

Until now, however, he refrained from revealing his work which the Office of War Information hails as a propaganda job “unbeaten by any individual in any theater.”

Mr. Spalding missed the incident in which the Partisans shot Mussolini and symbolized an end to Italian tyranny, but he was not surprised it happened.

“I’ve heard them say they’d like that opportunity many, many times,” he said.

Bases hope on Partisans

Mr. Spalding bases his hope for a democratic Italy on the Partisans, whom he considers “the true emblem of a nationalist movement and the real symbol of unity for the Italian people.”

“They come from the homes of the humble instead of the seats of the mighty,” Mr. Spalding said.

He predicted that they would seek political expression in an effort not to return to the rule that suffocated them.

“I look to them for the rejuvenation of Italy,” he said.

Garibaldi recalled

If some wear red shirts, he added, they are not flaunting an allegiance to Communism, but are harking back to the era of Italy’s own short-lived republic of 1849 – and Garibaldi.

They’ve worked heroically at breaking enemy communications, removing and replanting enemy mines and piloting Allied forces through mined territory, Mr. Spalding said.

Mr. Spalding left his violin at home while he was on his eight-month mission in Italy.

“You know, music is a pretty absorbing job,” he explained.

Tax evasion inquiry uncovers 2,500 leads

In Washington –
Senate death predicted for nurse draft

Opposition warning keeps it pickled

Senate snags ‘secrets’ bill

By Douglas Smith, Scripps-Howard staff writer

On Okinawa –
Naha outpost under fire of U.S. tanks

Americans within 2 miles of capital

Tortured, starved and insane –
Nazi camp’s walking dead comprised mostly of women

Three pits filled with 5,000 bodies each – raging typhus still killing 700 a day
By Henry J. Taylor, Scripps-Howard staff writer

250 massacred by Nazi sadists

Political prisoners are mowed down

Reds really toss a party with dancers, food, drink

By John McDermott, United Press staff writer