Friday, November 19, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 19, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the RAF dropped a record load of 2,500 long tons of bombs on Berlin and Ludwigshafen the night before. The complement of bombers was believed to exceed 700. Of those, thirty-two were lost.

On the first anniversary of the beginning of the Stalingrad counter-offensive, the Red Army had repulsed the German counter-attacks reported the previous day around Zhitomir and Korostyshev. The Russians moved close in the meantime to taking Gomel and pressed on to the old Polish border from their newly won positions at Korosten and Rechitsa, affording rail routes to the west.

In the previous year, the Russians had advanced 720 miles from Stalingrad to Korosten, half the distance to Berlin.

In China, in the Yangtze River and Tungting Lake areas, the Japanese had increased their strength from 60,000 to 80,000, enabling the enemy to cross the Li River, apparently seeking a communications center at Changteh. In the western Yunnan Province, however, the Chinese had made gains, taking ferry crossings on the Salween River, north of the Burma Road.

In Italy, despite clearing weather, fighting remained largely in a lull except for patrol activity. The Eighth Army did gain some high ground in the area of the Sangro River.

Flying Fortresses, for the fourth day in succession, attacked Elevsis, a German airfield in Athens. The American bombers also hit Larissa airfield on the east coast of Greece, Larissa furthermore providing an important rail link between Salonika and Athens.

Thus far in the Bougainville operation since the landing at Empress Augusta Bay November 1, 807 Japanese had been killed against 107 Marines killed, 405 wounded, and 87 missing. Most of the Marine casualties occurred during the landing operations.

Future Admiral and Chief of Naval Operations during the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations, Captain Arleigh Burke, told of his successful naval operations between Rabaul and Buka on Bougainville, keeping enemy ships away from Bougainville, thus interdicting supplies and preventing evacuation of Japanese troops. He predicted that none of the estimated 40,000 Japanese soldiers on Bougainville would be able to escape.

Admiral Nimitz announced that for five consecutive days, American Liberators had attacked the Gilbert and Marshall islands. Speculation ran that the raids were forerunners of a new offensive in the Pacific, one closer to the mainland of Japan than the operations in the Southwest Pacific.

The Army had determined that it had on hand more funding than it needed and so returned thirteen billion dollars to the Budget Bureau. The Army had revised its manpower needs, reducing them by half a million, prompting some in Congress to question whether there was need at all for drafting pre-Pearl Harbor fathers.

Marshal Petain had developed a new French constitution designed to restore the country to a democracy, denouncing in the process his previously chosen successor, Pierre Laval. The Nazis, however, had refused him the ability to provide a speech to promulgate the new constitution or to seek to implement it. An earlier report from Berlin radio had indicated that the aging World War I hero of Verdun had not given the speech because of either a stroke or an attack by a member of the underground.

From the Bahamas came word that Alfred de Marigny, acquitted the previous week of the murder of his father-in-law, Sir Harry Oakes, was fined for having illegal gasoline.

Hal Boyle relates of the esprit de corps of Japanese-American troops fighting with the Fifth Army in Italy, not wishing, when wounded, to be sent to the rear for fear that they would never catch up again with their unit.

He also provides, continued on the editorial page, another offering from the "pup tent poets", as printed in Stars and Stripes, this one by T-3 Georges Piquet. Entitled "Brooklyn in De Rain", it went:

Dere's a spot wit poiple posies
In ol Brooklyn in de rain
Dere's a good old-fashioned ginmill
What I long to see again.

"Hi ya, sucker" hangs in the winder
Of dat ginmill down on Tenth,
Where dere's a Mickey for a stranger
An' the straight stuff for a friend.

Dere's a cartoon of a barfly
Painted by a jerk named Gus,
Of de neighborhood's big chisler
Tossin' down a slug of slush.

And it seems I hear de juke box
Tear out "Sugar Blues" again,
As I dream of poiple posies
Back in Brooklyn in de rain.

The only problem is that Gus's cartoon seems to have been of a barfly of the neighborhood's big chiseler, and thus a little hard to interpret critically--unless it is a misprint and Gus, instead, was in fact the neighborhood chiseler, perhaps a sculptor making cheap imitations of Rodin in his spare time.

Or, perhaps, the cartoon resembled John Mitchell.

On the editorial page, "Loss No. 2" condemns the short-sighted approach of Congress in refusing to raise taxes to stem inflation and pay for the war as the money for it was being spent.

"Slower Draft" finds encouraging the curtailment of the draft, indicating that America's war needs were being met adequately by current personnel.

"Old Stuff" places in the same crib with Bob Reynolds Senator Langer of North Dakota, finding fault with Fred Vinson, Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization, and advocating for more support of small radio stations and newspapers across the land to get the word out that the cost of living had risen substantially since the beginning of the war, necessitating higher wages.

The voices of isolation, concludes the piece, had not receded in their collective ardor to foist disunity.

"Bad Advice" criticizes Governor Broughton's counsel to the National Grange to eschew all Federal aid and instead stick with the states.

It was, argues the piece, the same old mistake of posturing behind States' Rights when the Federal Government offered ways to complement state programs and to insure benefits to the people, such as the case in Federal aid to education in the South.

Samuel Grafton remarks sardonically on the nationalism promoted by Robert McCormick, isolationist Chicago Tribune publisher, and by Senator Owen Brewster of Maine. Colonel McCormick had recently found fault with Rhodes Scholarships, sending scholars to England only to return as aliens among the American people. Senator Brewster, as elucidated earlier by Dorothy Thompson, was plumping for contesting British control of Persian Gulf oil interests.

Mr. Grafton finds neither point a fit rallying cry for nationalism, but nevertheless applauds the effort in furtherance of the spirit which had made America great.

Raymond Clapper again examines the spiral of inflation on the horizon since the resolution of the strike by the coal miners by granting them a higher wage. He points out that inflation had been kept to a minimum thus far in the war, especially food prices as compared to the percentages of increase in various categories during World War I. He finds it sickening that men were dying in the field abroad while men of commerce pursued their greedy ends at home, as the average worker had more disposable income than ever before because of the war.

A letter to the editor from a physician asserts that the recent News editorial, indicating that syphilis predominated in the black population of Mecklenburg County, was telling only a part of the story and that the problem lay throughout the population and not only in the South.

Drew Pearson examines the shortage of newsprint, finds that it was the result of sending packages of war supplies to the soldiers and suggests certain things which could be done to arrest the shortage, especially to the hard-hit medium-sized dailies.

He also finds it likely that the anti-subsidy bill would pass the House by a two-thirds vote and would also pass in the Senate. But, in the likely event that the President would veto the bill, he predicts that it would be unlikely that there would be an override of the veto.

Not mentioned on the front page or the editorial page was the fact that it was exactly eighty years since the Gettysburg Address had been delivered by President Lincoln.

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