Monday, June 7, 1943

The Charlotte News

Monday, June 7, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, as most of the coal miners in the country obeyed the Presidentís order to return to work, ending six days of strike costing ten million tons of coal, focus transferred from the insistent demands of John L. Lewis on behalf of the U.M.W. to dissension between the Southern and Northern coal mine operators. Most of the Northern operators wanted to resolve in private negotiations with the U.M.W. the primary remaining sticking point in reaching a new contract, that of the portal-to-portal pay, whether it was to be two hours as demanded by the union or whether something less than that. Most of the Southern operators wanted all remaining issues to be resolved by the War Labor Board.

Another U.S. bombing raid on Italy, comprised of fifty Flying Fortresses, struck San Giovanni, Reggio Calabria, and Messina. None of the B-17's were lost in the raid. Another raid attacked Pantellaria again on Sunday, while on Saturday, the largest raid yet of U.S. bombers from North Africa struck the Italian naval base at La Spezia and also struck targets on Sardinia.

During the previous week ending June 5, the Russian air force claimed 752 German planes with 212 losses of their own. The kills for the previous five weeks were 2,821 German planes. All of these figures, if accurate, were quite significant.

The RAF reported having destroyed 150 German locomotives during May.

No sooner than General Arturo Rawson had seized the reigns of power in Argentina, after the coup d'etat of Friday against the Government of President Ramon Castillo, he resigned his position for the inability to form a new cabinet; power was turned over to War Minister General Pedro Ramirez.

Speaking at commencement exercises in Berkeley, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz indicated cryptically that he was in the process of attending a conference which was not designed to benefit Emperor Hirohito and which he hoped would carry trouble to Japan. He indicated that the Japanese were clearly now on the defensive in the Pacific War and stressed that the U.S. must emphasize aid to China in order to win that part of the war, oust Japan from the Chinese mainland, and thereby acquire airbase facilities from which to launch raids against Japan.

In Chapter 7 of They Call It Pacific, Clark Lee reports of meeting the Pacific War's first hero and Medal of Honor winner, Colin Kelly, just before his dramatic feat of piloting a mission on December 10, 1941 from Clark Field, north of Manila, which struck the Japanese cruiser Natori, then was shot down on the return flight, with Kelly staying at the controls until all of his crew could safely bail out, at which point the plane exploded, resulting in Kelly being the only fatality.

And, Il Duce imposed a ban on the continuing tradition of strolling mandolin and other players in Italy. Violation of the ban carried a penalty of fine and imprisonment. The ban was to stress the gravity of the Italian fate in the face of imminent Allied invasion.

Non più musica violino, cane Italiano.

Oh yeah...

On the editorial page, "Last Minute" recounts the furious travel of Prime Minister Churchill during the previous three weeks, first to Washington to confer with President Roosevelt, then, with General George Marshall, flying to Algiers to consult with General Eisenhower and General Montgomery and the other Allied commanders, all of which, says the piece, harbingered the imminent invasion of the Continent.

"Cold Shoulder" examines the Republican Postwar Advisory Council membership and finds it, as had Samuel Grafton on Saturday, full of portent for renewed post-war isolationist policy to be embraced by the Republican Party, notably excluding Wendell Willkie and his advocacy of internationalism as set forth in his recent work, Our World, a runaway best seller during recent weeks. It predicts that Mr. Willkie would not be so lightly brushed off the Republican wedding cake for 1944.

"Surrender" refuses, in the hour of John L. Lewis's knee-bending to the President's directive for the coal miners to return to work, to forgive the union leader for his violation of the no-strike pledge of 1942 to capitalize off the war emergency, twice crippling the nationís coal mines for several days each time, during the first few days of May and during the previous six days. It suggests that he would and ought be remembered for his thusly demonstrated lack of patriotism.

Samuel Grafton remarks that the De Gaulle-Giraud rapprochement effected the previous week was emblematic of the direction in which the democracies were moving in these days to combat the Axis, burying political hatchets for the duration between ordinarily discordant factions within nations, agreeing not to disagree. The same had proved true in London; likewise, for the most part, in the United States.

Raymond Clapper ended his sojourn to Sweden with a trip back through dense cloud cover to London. He reports of the cautious flight plan by the Swedes to avoid the same fate of the passenger plane carrying Leslie Howard on June 2.

He further remarks on the Swedish desire to capitalize on the international run to acquire air routes across Europe after the war, believing itself to be a vital link between the West and Russia.

A piece compiled by the editors informs that there was rising pressure to place Senators on a committee to effect post-war peace treaties, that the primary reason for rejection of the Treaty of Versailles by the Senate was President Wilsonís refusal to include in the U.S. delegation to Paris any Senate representative for the enunciated fact that the treaty was yet tentative and thus without the need for Senate input.

An Air Force chaplain, W. C. Taggart, writes in The Christian Science Monitor of the power of prayer during war. He recounts the story of a Flying Fortress crew shot down while returning to Australia after a mission, forced to ditch, with nine men squeezed onto two life rafts meant to carry no more than three men each. All of the men aboard were concerned for their fate, with the sole exception of the continually buoyant Hernandez of Dallas.

Hernandez had sent up a prayer and proclaimed it had been answered, that help was surely on the way.

And, sure enough, by the end of the second day at sea, throats parched, lips cracked, tongues swollen, barely able to speak, the men of the drifting rafts, swept by a sudden current since earlier in the day, saw palm trees against which was etched the outline of two native canoes.

The aborigines in the canoes strangely had sensed the need to change from their homeward bound course toward an uninhabited island, they informed the men, just at the hour Hernandez had humbly issued his prayers to the deity.

Thus, the aborigines became the saving grace of the nine airmen adrift in the rafts, somewhere in the Pacific during the War.

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