Wednesday, September 15, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 15, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a back and forth battle continued to rage in the area of Salerno, down the coast to Agropoli, 27 miles south, as the Eighth Army closed to 80 miles the gap down the coast from the Fifth Army.

Without suffering any loss, the Northwest African Air Force under the command of Lt.-General Carl Spaatz flew a record 2,000 sorties in just 24 hours in support of the Allied movements in Italy. The attack eclipsed anything yet thrown at the Nazis in such a short span of time in the Mediterranean.

The Germans were reported to have moved up part of a motorized division to support the three divisions already fighting in the area, which included the crack troops of the Hermann Goering Division.

A report out of Turkey indicated that the British Ninth Army was sending units toward the Balkans from bases in the Middle East. Speculation ran that the troops might be sent to support anti-Axis rebellions occurring in Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, and the Dodecanese Islands, each revolt having arisen in the wake of the news of the Italian surrender.

From the Russian front, it was announced that the Red Army had captured Nezhin, an important junction on the railroad from Kursk to Kiev, opening the way for breaking German defenses on the Dneiper, potentially forcing Hitler to yield all of southern Russia. The Soviet troops under the command of General Constantine Rokossovsky had moved 200 miles in 40 days since the fall of Belgorod.

In the Pacific, the earlier Japanese report of an attack by the Allies on the Kurile Islands was confirmed by the Allied command. The Monday attack had centered on shipping facilities on Paramushiro Island.

After relating that the Japanese Zeros flew close enough to the attacking Allied planes that American pilots had actually used their side arms to shoot back at the Zeros, a report by Norman Bell contains the rather puzzling concluding paragraph:

Technical Sgt. William Clark, 22, of Eunice, La., told of seeing the youngest member of the attacking force, 10-year-old Staff Sgt. Roy Cline of Knobsville, Pa., standing alone at his side gun--among fallen comrades--in a Liberator at the height of the Zero attack.

You figure it out. We had always heard that George H. W. Bush was the youngest pilot in the war. Someone apparently had him beat by a mile. Perhaps, the crew members were subject to a relaxed age limit.

On the editorial page, "What's This?" offers up a first for The News, praise for Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, Chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, for his stand against the Wheeler Amendment to delay drafting of fathers until January 1. The Senator had admitted that the military situation in Italy had deteriorated and that the draft of fathers should therefore be left as it was, to begin October 1. In so doing, the Senator had opposed one of his old isolationist cronies. It was a red letter day. Senator Reynolds finally appeared to have recognized the reality of the war.

Of course, he may have been speaking instead of the Nazi situation deteriorating.

"The Price" assures that Americans were about to begin dying in unprecedented numbers in the Battle for Italy. The price of victory would be heavy, says the piece, as the German defenders were prepared to hold Italy, exerting a counter-force unlike that in defense of any other objective thus far taken by the Allies from German hands.

"Twelve Years" marks the twelfth anniversary of the attack by the Japanese on Manchuria, initiated September 18, 1931, purportedly a policing action of seizure following the Mukden incident--the dynamiting of a Japanese-owned railroad attributed, probably fallaciously, by the Japanese to the Chinese--and the twelfth anniversary therefore as well of the beginning of World War II.

It was from Manchuria that Japan was able to obtain much of its raw materials to feed its manufacturing base to prepare for a larger attack, first on China, then on the United States and the British and Dutch possessions in the Pacific. The piece thus insists that unless the nations of the world would come to realize this simple truth, the same mistake made after the invasion of Manchuria, a simple condemnation by the League of Nations, might yet be repeated.

Members of the neighborhoods surrounding the recently approved recreation facility for blacks addressed a letter to The News criticizing its September 11 editorial in praise of the lower court decision to deny the objections to the park registered by the property owners. The writer holds hope that the appellate courts would yet reverse the decision and force the park to be located elsewhere, away from whitey.

Yet, wasn't it apropos next to Harding Place? For President Harding was reputed to be the first Negro President.

Raymond Clapper again urges that the Administration take a firm policy stand on the form which a post-war peacekeeping organization should take, whether as a bilateral treaty organization with Britain for instance, or as a multinational body, and whether it should have at its disposal a world police force.

Drew Pearson discusses the opportunity for Italians to undertake sabotage against their Nazi oppressors and the likelihood, now that the battle had reached the mainland, that the Italians would begin to fight alongside the Allies rather than, as in Sicily, remain content for the most part to sit on the sidelines and watch.

He then turns to chronicling various vignettes starring Mary Churchill, young daughter of the Prime Minister, visiting Washington with her father.

And then concludes with an explanation of the putative causes of the sudden spate of train wrecks in recent days: outmoded equipment, bad inspection, and lack of available skilled and experienced manpower to operate the trains.

Dorman Smith looked into his crystal ball and foretold pretty accurately the future.

And "Street Noise" supports the local ordinance passed in Charlotte to dampen the cacophony pervading the city, even if finding the new law unlikely to reduce much of the din echoing up the canyon walls from traffic and pedestrian shouting.

But if the attempt was to be made, resigns the piece, then it might as well include the newsboys of The News, notwithstanding the belief asserted by the circulation manager that the cries of newsboys performed music to his ears and that their absence would deprive the city a piece of its traditional atmosphere.

Well, the circulation manager probably had his point. But how could a newsboy cry out on the streets of contemporary times such a headline, for instance, as "President Impeached for Bird in Hand"? Or, "Bush Beats Gore after Supreme Court Stops Recount"? Or, "Palin Finds Tea Party Appealing"?

Somehow, they don't stack up to "Nips Attack Pearl Harbor" or "Yanks Raid Tokyo" or "Tommies Make Hamburg Huns Red Hot".

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