The Charlotte News

Monday, October 26, 1942


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of yet another RAF raid having taken place on Saturday night on northern Italy, this time against a bomber factory in Milan, after daylight raids by American high altitude bombers had let loose on the city during the warís first daylight attack on Italy. These raids followed the attacks on Thursday and Friday nights of Genoa and Turin, adding Savona on Friday.

Coffee, thanks to hoarding activities by consumersóperhaps emblematic of which had been the coffee hogging couple, the subject of a News editorial, "Pigs Is Pigs", September 30, who bought three pounds between them in one fell swoop, perhaps the result of the same couple, known as Maxwell House and Brown Gold, going about the whole countryside doing the same thing over and over againówas now added to the list of rationed items, principal among which were sugar, rubber, and gas. One pound per five weeks for those over fifteen was to be the rule. Those under fifteen would have either to live without coffee or beg from their elders.

"Hey, yeah, come ovuh heya--yeah, closa. Right heya. Yeah. Ovuh heya, in the shadows. Yeah, you.

"Say, a, like, a, ye know, havenít had a cup in, a, must be three weeks now, maybe more, five, eight--and, a, itís like everything is spinning, man, driving me crazy, ye dig? Falliní asleep standiní up. Got a big exam cominí up, a, in eighth-grade history, like next week, and, a, was hopiní, ye know, like, a, maybe, a, yous beiní an adult and all, in high school, that ye might spare a poor fellow student a few ounces oí java out oí your stash there. Iíll pay ye plenty. Throw in a little sugar and Iíll double the price. Throw in a couple oí tires and Iíll do your homework for ye for the rest of the year.

"Hey, come back here. Iím hurtiní, here. Whereís your patriotism? Iíll be cannon fodder just like you inside a year. Whereís your compassion for a fellow future veteran? Just a little some o' that wake-up juice. Itís all I ask. C'mín."


"Beard? Yeah, so what. Iím fourteen. It sprouted early. What díye want from me? It runs in the family."

Life was tough, and getting tougher by the day.

As the entrenched fighters in and around Stalingrad began to hunker down for the winter, the fighting had just begun again at El Alamein in an Allied offensive operation, had begun again at Guadalcanal, the Allies defending successfully during the previous four days yet another concerted attack on Henderson Field by the Japanese, and, this day, in a new enagagement not yet reported, would need defend again against the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, taking place in an area east of Guadalcanal and north of Santa Cruz.

The Japanese had been spotted for several days moving a large contingent of ships from New Guinea and Bougainville to the vicinity of Guadalcanal to support the effort to re-capture Henderson Field. The infantry portion of the offensive having been soundly defeated the previous day, with losses by the Japanese estimated between two and three thousand while the Allies lost eighty, the naval engagement would prove less impressive for the Allies.

The Japanese sunk the carrier Hornet which had carried the Doolittle raiders successfully on their April 18 mission to bomb Tokyo, Yokohama, and other key cities in Japan. Of the Hornetís crew, 118 were lost in concerted bombing shortly after 9:00 a.m., stranding the ship within eight minutes, making it a sitting duck for the rest of the day. The sinking was slow, enabling the bulk of the crew to be rescued.

Shangri-La, even if the Japanese did not realize it, was no longer in the service of the Allies. On April 2, it had departed San Francisco Bay; on October 26, it was sunk north of the Santa Cruz Islands.

In addition, the only other Allied carrier in the South Pacific, the Enterprise, was heavily damaged, killing 44 men aboard. The destroyer Smith was damaged, killing 57 of its crew. The destroyer Porter was also sunk, killing 15.

The Allies also lost 81 planes, with the loss of 22 men among their crews.

The Japanese suffered heavy damage to the large carrier Shokaku, one of the two remaining Japanese fleet carriers which launched the attack on Pearl Harbor, leaving only Zuikaku as a heavy carrier operational in the South Pacific. In addition, a light carrier of 14,000 tons, Zuiho, was damaged, each of the two damaged carriers being thereby eliminated from operations until early 1943, Shokaku not returning to action until March.

More importantly, Japanese air strength was depleted with the loss of 99 planes, including 148 of the most experienced Japanese airmen, adding to the already decimated ranks of Japanís best carrier pilots, those who had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, over half of whom had been killed since December 7.

In all, the Allies suffered 266 killed; the Japanese, an estimated 400 to 500.

The outcome of the battle, as with the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, was indecisive in terms of relative losses. But it was clearly not the decisive victory for the Allies which Midway had been in early June or which the Battle of the Eastern Solomons had been on August 24. Thus, in terms of confidence in naval strength, the results had a dampening effect on Allied morale, on the increase since Midway.

The editorial page comes replete with a biographical sketch of a musical genius whose name is not revealed until the end of the piece. We guessed wrong on the subjectís identity, relying on the similarity of nuances to those attributed to another composer by a popular play and film of twenty-five and thirty years ago. Match your wits with history without first peeking at the answer.

Who is it? Who is it?

The Herblock and Paul Mallon piece blend in such a way as to be missing only a reference to Lewis Carroll to be compleat in spookily juxtaposed familiarity, as translated a quarter century later in song and story. As it is, it isnít half bad for five days in advance of Halloween.

Isnít it a pity that the piece by Deems Taylor did not mention Berlioz or one of his themes from Symphonie Fantastique, or perhaps Mahler's Titan, to make the round fully synchronous? Perhaps, another in Mr. Taylorís series did.

Anyway, the flow of it all reminds us of this piece by Cash from March 29, 1941.

And the Herblock sort of reminds us of this photograph.

Donít get us wrong, love. We arenít suggesting that they were rats--or sons of Vichy either.

Blame Ďerblock.

Dig it.

If he is a stranger to the universe who does not know what is in it, no less is he a stranger who does not know what is going on in it. He is a runaway, who flies from social reason; he is blind, who shuts the eyes of the understanding; he is poor, who has need of another, and has not from himself all things which are useful for life. He is an abscess on the universe, who withdraws and separates himself from the reason of our common nature through being displeased with the things which happen, for the same nature produces this, and has produced thee too; he is a piece rent asunder from the state, who tears his own soul from that of reasonable animals, which is one. --from The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Book IV

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