Friday, June 16, 1944

The Charlotte News

Friday, June 16, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page and inside page report further of the Wednesday raid on Yawata, Japan in northern Kyushu, the longest bombing raid thus far in history, 2,500 miles each way. It informs that only two, out of "scores" of B-29's, failed to return from the mission, both from accidents. One of the crews was believed safe. The Japanese claimed that they had destroyed seven planes, including one bomber, but Japanese reports were notoriously wrong throughout the war.

Reports were that the Imperial Iron and Steel Works had been left in flaming ruin. That facility was responsible for a fifth of Japan's steel output.

The crews, accompanied by eleven war correspondents, reported, with few exceptions, seeing no fighter planes of the Japanese rising to meet or chase them. They encountered some small amount of flak but, for the most part, flew at an altitude too high to be reached.

Associated Press correspondent Thoburn Wiant reports of his experience aboard one of the new behemoths of the air, being piloted by Lt. Col. Warren Wilkinson of Lincolnton, N.C.

A report from Tokyo, unconfirmed by the Allies, indicated that American bombers struck also in the Bonin Islands, at Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima, 600 to 700 miles southeast of the mainland of Japan and considered part of the inner ring of its defenses.

Allied Headquarters confirmed the landing on Saipan in the Marianas Islands, as indicated by Japanese reports the previous day. The troops quickly captured Agingan Point on the southwest coast, and made their way two miles north across canefields to Charan-Kanoa, a sugar mill community. On Thursday, the troops were within five miles of Garapan, the largest town on Saipan, with a population of 10,000.

A report tells of the first pilotless planes, being launched against London from Calais by the Nazis, a distance of 90 miles. Eight people were killed. The first of these attacks had begun the night before and continued throughout the day, albeit on a smaller scale.

This robot plane was the vaunted secret-weapon of which the Nazis had warned for many months, the "rocket-bomb" or V-1. Between June 15 and October, the Nazis would launch against England 9,521 V-1 bombs, powered by a jet engine. When the sites on Calais were finally captured by the Allies, other sites were used to target Belgium, launching 2,448 of the buzz bombs. The Nazis also used Luftwaffe planes to launch 1,176 of the bombs from over the North Sea, continuing in this mode through January. The V-1 caused 22,892 casualties, nearly all civilian. It could not be aimed with any precise accuracy and thus was useful only as a terror weapon.

The first true rocket-bomb would not come until September 8, the V-2. It would account for over 9,000 casualties, 2,754 of whom were deaths.

The piece warns that the range of the new pilotless plane, being at least 90 miles, placed it within striking distance of Le Havre on Normandy.

On Normandy, as the worst weather since D-Day struck the area, the American troops on the Cherbourg Peninsula advanced to within 2.5 miles east of St. Sauveur, where a road junction was located for two of the roads leading to Cherbourg, 17 miles away. Another column pressed to within six miles of La Haye du Puits, the junction of the other road leading to Cherbourg. The Germans had rushed heavy reinforcements into these junction towns to try to save them.

Other forces made gains of between 2.5 and three miles west of Carentan after reaching Reigneville. Heavy action continued in Montebourg.

The British were engaged in a heavy tank battle with the Nazis two miles south of Caumont. Other tank battles were continuing in the areas of Caen and Tilly-sur-Seulles. As indicated earlier, the terrain of the northeastern tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula would not accommodate tanks.

Don Whitehead tells of being with troops southwest of Carentan where he described the fighting as the "toughest and bitterest" on the American front. Alongside the roads were dead Germans stacked high in the ditches. They had been shot from the trees and hedgerows by the dozens. During a battle for a crossroads two miles southwest of Carentan, one tank crew managed to take out three tank-mounted 105mm German guns with three shots.

Allied Headquarters estimated that the Germans had now committed 300,000 troops to the battle zone. Four German divisions had been decimated.

Another large RAF raid took place the previous night, losing fourteen bombers, against Boulogne and other targets in France, at Valenciennes, Lens, and Chatellerault.

Having been reported banned from France by the British and Americans, General De Gaulle was now reported nevertheless back from a visit to the front on Normandy. He would now proceed to Algiers.

Also, an arcane fact, litle known to history, was that Howard Hughes, during the primary run of "The Outlaw" in 1946, sought to use as a promotional gimmick one of the subheadings from this date's front page, but the Hays Office intervened to prevent it.

On the editorial page, "Great Day" finds the news of the B-29 strike on Japan to open a new phase of the war in the Pacific, every bit as much as had the D-Day invasion of France for Europe. When combined with the invasion by land troops of Saipan, the bombing of Japan, now to begin on a regular basis, hearkened the beginning of the end for the Japanese Empire.

The piece adds, however, that the war, as with the war in Europe, could not be won by air power alone, that many bloody fights lay ahead, just as was now transpiring on Saipan. But prospects for an early end to the Pacific war had never looked brighter.

"Grand Juries" comments on the proposal of Superior Court Judge Hoyle Sink that the Grand Jury system in North Carolina be overhauled by constitutional amendment to allow the calling of it only by a Superior Court judge or the Supreme Court in select instances. The system cost the state a million dollars per year and resulted in the delivery of indictments in only a half percent of the cases which were presented to the Grand Jury. Grand Juries were used to bring charges on all major crimes and, in some counties, on all crimes, presumably limited only to felonies.

Few people understand what goes on in a Grand Jury proceeding because it is not public. It is a one-sided affair, usually only utilized in cases where there is a lot of attendant publicity or a public figure, to avoid the taint to the district attorney or U.S. Attorney of political motive in either bringing an information of charges or not. It is within the prosecutorís discretion in most places today as to whether to seek an indictment before a Grand Jury or to go through the ordinary proceeding of filing charges directly by information.

The Grand Jury only hears one side of the case, that presented to them by the prosecutor. They may hear hearsay evidence or any other type of evidence, whether normally admissible in a trial or not. There is no defense; the accused is not present or privy to the proceedings. The only witnesses called are those summoned by the Grand Jury.

Thus, that a person is indicted by a Grand Jury does not by any stretch mean that they are guilty, any more than it is so simply because someone is charged with a crime. The sooner this country becomes educated to that elementary premise in the law and stops, en masse, prejudging the guilt of persons accused of crime or even suspected but not yet formally charged, or even post-judging them as actually guilty after they are acquitted or the charges dismissed, as a who-done-it, because peaheads at the networks who need to ruin lives in order to sell cornflakes and have something for their fat faces about which to talk to all the boobs who blithely sit at home and watch the uninformed garbage they spew, sell it that way, the sooner that the country might begin to heal in its fascist tendencies, growing ever more prevalent for the last 30 years, since the advent of 24-hour news, although well on its way prior to that, since the reign of Richard Nixon.

On that point, though not having to do with any criminal action, we were encouraged to hear this gent's take on a recent matter pervading the news, which, while giggly and googgly, was wholly ridiculous. The gentleman makes his point and we wholly agree. It is time the little girls and boys among us, posing as adults, brave, sober adults, take a breath and get hold of themselves, Democrats included. One would think it is somewhere around 1711, not 2011. Grow up, you dummies. You challenge people more for language and sexual conduct and lying about sex than you do for patent dishonesty on matters affecting the public interest in fact. It's an absurdity.

But, then, isn't it supposed to be that way? That way, you can throw the bait to the groundlings to keep them from focusing their suspicions on those in the towers, those who take corporate bribes, those in front of the cameras who make seven-figure salaries for looking nice and opening their mouths and jabbering about nothing, certainly nothing about which they are typically well-informed, destroying in the process the fabric of our democracy.

We might be better off, candidly, if the entire Congress were to follow the lead of Mr. Weiner and resign, and then we had special elections to elect some people in their stead who are interested in representing their constituents more than playing word games with the law and ethics to keep the spotlight off their own manifold crimes and indignities to the public, someone who can and will get the damn job done and not worry about penis envy or investigating, literally, the underwear of their colleagues.

We may not like what Mr. Weiner did, finding it adolescent. Yet, we had just as soon not been made aware of it. For, except among those of adolescent mind, there is a grave difference between private, non-criminal behavior, and matters which truly impact the public interest. The scheming, reactionary, bottom-feeding pseudo-press, the Drudgites, would hasten this country into a Fascist dictatorship if they possibly could. For the Congress to fall for that trashy bait is the real crime. These yellow-press deviants who crawl in gutters for trash on everyone of any responsibility and sense are the little boys and little girls with dirty minds and evil intent, who are harbingers of a state not unlike Nazi Germany. The accusers are the bad people, sick being too kind a word to apply to them.

As Mr. Olbermann suggests, the people of the country who elect our leaders would rather have someone who can get the job done, and could care less about what they might do in their spare time as long as it is not criminal. Indeed, we second the motion of Mr. Olbermann, and hope that Mr. Weiner will run in the special election for his vacated seat. Whether he is suited to office or not is then put to his constituents and not the babbling booboisie of the country at large, ranting on in a fit of pique about nothing, appearing in a state nigh psychotic, of apparent drug-induced hysteria, over a picture of a man in his underwear--which you see every night on television in the Hanes ads.

Indeed, one sees more exposure at an average basketball game than that which Mr. Weiner inadvertently showed to the world, having purposely done so only in private to consenting adults.

As Mr. Rangel said, in so many words, none of us are perfect. Let him or her step forward and be counted should thou art be.

"Discrepancy" wonders at the reports that North Carolina had gone through its most expensive state election ever, only then to find out that successful gubernatorial candidate Gregg Cherry had gained a net of $97 over expenditures. It wonders whether the expense account, required to be filed, perhaps could be a bit inaccurate.

"Our Hope" presents a quote from Senator Tom Connally of Texas, urging his fellow Senators from both sides of the aisle to come together on the issue of support for a post-war peace organization and the enforcement mechanism for it, and not to make it a partisan issue. The words had come in the wake of a somewhat acrimonious partisan debate on the matter during the week, as imparted the day before by the column, echoing words of Republican Senators Vandenberg and Bridges challenging Democrat Senator Carl Hatch re the President's willingness to resign to insure the post-war peace.

Drew Pearson presents a column of potpourri, starting with the determination of Adlai Stevenson to leave the Navy Department and head back to his native Illinois to try to buy the Chicago Daily News, owned by the estate of his former boss, the deceased Frank Knox. Described as being regarded as the brightest young man in the Navy Department, passed over by new Secretary James Forrestal for the position of undersecretary, Mr. Stevenson had, during the fall, recommended that the Badoglio Government and King Victor Emanuele be ousted from power in Italy and a democratic regime installed in their stead. Now that Rome had fallen to the Allies, his plan was implemented.

He would go home to Chicago and remain there the rest of his days in stark anonymity, never to be heard from again--except for that damned hole in his shoe in 1952 and 1956, and his determination to wait, if necessary, until hell would freeze for an answer from Mr. Zorin at the United Nations during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, as to whether there were in fact missiles with offensive capability installed on the island of Cuba.

Next, Mr. Pearson turns to the primary role of the British Navy in support of the D-Day landings, that their ships had the principal role in shelling the beaches. American ships, he points out, also were present--including the U.S.S. Nevada resurrected from the attack at Pearl Harbor.

He indicates, notably, that Admiral Alan Kirk, either the result of bad weather or getting his signals confused, did not properly provide sufficient bombardment from the ships under his command to cover Omaha Beach in advance of the landings, leading to the disaster at that location. It is the first mention of this attributed cause of the high death toll on Omaha, even if that nomenclature was not yet in the public domain.

The column goes on to mention numerous other snippets, among them: that head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Eric Johnston was being tapped by Hollywood as their new ambassador to Washington; that Governor Earl Warren, keynoter for the upcoming Republican Convention but ten days away, had angered ranking Republicans in Washington for not consulting with them on the substance of his speech, as had Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota, Republican keynoter four years earlier; and the determination by Democratic National Chairman, Robert Hannegan, that Vice-President Wallace was finished, no longer had the support of Democrats whose opinion the chairman had sampled in 25 states. The Vice-President was considered too liberal, too internationalist. He was that there fella who wanted to give all them Hottentots a quart of milk a day, weren't he?

Samuel Grafton reminds again that the war in France was not going to be won in miles or in numbers, but rather by strategy, annihilating the Wehrmacht. The invasion of France, he suggests, had introduced to the war several new factors, the exploitation of which would enable Allied victory. They were that: German soldiers were now less effective because they were subject to deployment at several different locations within France and could not be concentrated; the guerillas of France were now problems for the German military and not just, as before, a mere nuisance, for interruption of communications and supply lines at this juncture presented real barriers to German fighting capability; the German people were now more susceptible of being induced to revolt against the Nazis, with their ever-shrinking outer defenses reminding them daily of their ultimate vulnerability, no longer protected by the Nazi Superman myth; and that Vichy had now to try to force the French people to fight the Allies against their will, whereas before, Marshal Petain had only needed to coerce them to remain neutral.

Elmont White writes of the double tragedy at Betio Island in the Gilberts, as with other islands of the group, denuded of their palm trees and taro-root pits on which the natives had depended for sustenance. Since it took twenty years to grow palms sufficient to produce edible cocoanuts, the natives would likely not ever return to their native island.

It was here, on Tarawa Atoll, that a thousand Marines had lost their lives in late November during the landings in the Gilberts, in the most costly single battle in the history of the Corps.

The British were now having to determine the damages to the native landowners to compensate them for the loss, as the Gilberts, before the war, had been British colonial possessions. It had been rumored that the British had sought reimbursement of the substantial costs from the United States, based on the fact that the U.S. military operations against the Japanese had directly precipitated the devastation, but this cotention, says Mr. White, was untrue.

The Gilberts, incidentally, have been known as the independent nation of Kiribati since 1979. The islands currently support a population of about 98,000, the bulk of whom live on Tarawa.

Marquis Childs writes of the new leadership in Bolivia, under Major Villaroel, apparently changing the state from one heavily favoring the landowning classes to one more inclined to democracy. Mr. Childs does not mention whether the government reforms to be implemented included redstribution of land, as in Mexico in 1938 under the ejido system of communal farms.

The hope was now, with several other Latin American countries ready to recognize the new government, including Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia, that the United States would lead the way. Yet, the State Department appeared to want to wait until after the election of July 2 to make a decision on recognition, to assure that the Bolivian people would give full support to Major Villaroel.

Mr. Childs counsels prudent consideration of the issue of recognition of Bolivia, given the positive changes under the new regime, to avoid resentment, already brewing in Brazil and other quarters of Latin America against the United States. If such favorable trends were not positively reinforced, they might wither, enabling economic conditions which remained harsh among the bulk of the people to foster revolution which would favor either Fascism or Communism.

And, Tom Jimison again writes from Richmond County, nonplussed and put out and downright dispirited, regarding the determination by Dave Clark that The News was Red. Says Mr. Jimison, during his stint on The News staff, he remained completely oblivious to this fact and wished that someone had told him. Now that it was a well-known fact that The News was Red, he, himself, had been suspected by some of his fellow Richmond County associates as being Red as well.

Concludes he, "You had better make haste to repent you of your folly, for America is for the orthodox of yesteryear, and not for the daring souls who hanker for the morning to break."

You can say that again, Mr. Jimison.

Also, remember, young boy or girl, whenever you dip into the shellac to afford a nice shellacking to mama and daddy's floor there at home, down on your hands and knees, brushing on that shellac--as we, ourselves, were compelled to do many a time--, the 150,000 helpless insects of India who had to slave for six long, arduous months just to produce for you a single pound of that shellac. Thus, spread it evenly and thinly, carefully and insistently stretching that shellac as far as it will go. You might wind up the shellac-conservation King, and thus be dubbed by the little insects their saviour, preserved in song and story in the canon of laccifer lacca lore, forever and ever more.

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