The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 19, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Seventh, First, and Third U.S. Armies were each headed for the Rhine, the First breaking through from below Aachen toward Stolberg and Prum, the Third hitting the area between Metz and Nancy, striking toward Saarbrucken and Luneville, as well as joining with the Seventh Army to the south seeking to cut through the Belfort Gap east of captured Vesoul.

Meanwhile, the British Second Army, supported by elements of the Seventh Army as airborne troops, had captured Eindhoven in Holland. Additional paratroops in support of this northern drive into Holland were reported to have been deployed in the vicinity of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and the Hague, as well as at Arnheim.

In Italy, American, British, and Indian troops of the Fifth Army, in what was described as one of the fiercest days of fighting during the entire year-long Italian campaign, captured the 3,300-foot Monte Partone, as well as Monte Altuzzo, and Monte Celli, all three along the Apennines constituting the Gothic Line, twenty miles northeast of Florence. The British and Indian troops had provided flanking maneuvers to the central thrust by the Americans, facing intense concentrations of German artillery fire to their positions.

On the Adriatic front, the British of the Eighth Army drove into the neutral province of San Marino, taking Faetano across the Marano River, advancing a mile toward the town of San Marino.

American planes again had dropped supplies to the Polish Patriots fighting inside Warsaw, using Russian landing fields in one of the largest shuttle operations yet of the war. Two bombers and two Mustang escorts had been lost during the mission. None of the planes carried bombs and had to fly at lower than normal altitudes to effect the drop.

These supply missions were the result of a singularly important breakthrough in diplomacy, probably brought about as a result of the Quebec Conference and relayed to the Russians through diplomatic channels. In recent weeks, the failure to supply the Polish Patriots inside Warsaw had stultified their ability to fight in support of the Russian move from Praga, outside of which Russian troops had, until the previous week, been stalled as well, awaiting reinforcement and re-supply on the other side of the Vistula. The Russians had objected to the operations by the Patriots on orders taken strictly from the Polish government-in-exile in London to the exclusion of coordination with the Red Army. Apparently, that failure of protocol now had been remedied to the satisfaction of the Russians, who previously had forbade the Americans and British from use of Russian landing areas for the supply missions as well as refusing to effect the supply directly.

There continued to be a veil over the operations of the Red Army across the Vistula into Warsaw after the reported breakthrough on Saturday.

The Russians meanwhile were mowing down a German panzer division each day in Latvia during the five-day campaign thus far ongoing west of Jelgava. The Russians reported having destroyed 449 tanks and 365 planes during the previous four days and had captured Valga, a rail junction 60 miles east of the Gulf of Riga. The German Northern Army, estimated still to be at a strength of twenty divisions, was in considerable peril of being surrounded and cut off from their East Prussia supply lane maintained through a twenty-mile wide avenue of forested territory into Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

It was announced by Moscow radio that Finland had formally signed an armistice with Russia and Britain. The move had been in the works for several weeks.

From Denmark came a report of an uprising against the Nazis staged by the Danish police in an effort to defend against Nazi efforts to take the Royal Castle of Amalienborg at Copenhagen. The police were aided by Danish civilians.

In the Pacific, the American drives on Pelelieu and Angaur in the Palaus gained momentum after the Japanese had lost 5,543 troops during the first four days of fighting. American planes were already using Pelelieu airfield. The First Marines had captured Asisa, the principal town on Pelelieu. Associated Press reporter Leif Erickson told of the Japanese shackling their men to observation posts and in caves to prevent surrender.

Bob Hope, still in the dim print today, reports of arriving safe and sound after 10,000 miles of flying from somewhere in the Central and Southwest Pacific back to somewhere in Southern California. Upon landing, the pilot informed Mr. Hope that he could open his eyes and take a breath. He reiterated that the USO tour to entertain the troops throughout the Pacific Islands, from Guadalcanal to Munda in the Solomons, to the Gilberts, the Marshalls, and northern New Guinea, had been a memorable one.

Arriving back in Hollywood, he found everything about the same. Rita Hayworth was expecting a child. The sign of anticipation was that Orson Welles had been observed in the front yard putting up a wind sock for the stork.

Lana Turner, his favorite pin-up, had gone to Reno while he had been on tour, had gotten herself "unpinned".

Crosby had gone to England, despite its already having enough fog. He asks, "Can you imagine Bing capturing Germans with ballads?" The British officials, he further reports, had wired immediately President Roosevelt that they believed in Lend-Lease but this version of ridiculous.

Things were changing so quickly that he would not be surprised to find Gene Autry's guitar in Los Angeles.

He had to depart to broadcast his radio program and first take his aspirin tablets.

On the editorial page, "The Rebel" discusses the avowed campaign against the status quo within the Democratic Party on which Representative Cameron Morrison, former Senator and Governor, intended to embark after the election. He had not elucidated with specificity the things he intended to change, but appeared determined to change something. The piece remarks, however, that he had sought changes in the North Carolina Democratic Party as part of his losing bid to former Governor Clyde R. Hoey, fellow Shelby native, in the spring Senate primary race and that losing candidates generally had a difficult time effecting change.

"_____" is an editorial in the darkened print which defies interpretation. It has to do with the good working relationship which had developed during the war between Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt, apparently related to the close of the Quebec Conference of the previous week.

"The Scrap" indicates that Mecklenburg County, while performing considerably better than the state average, had still not lived up to its rank in state population in the recent scrap paper drive. It was second in size to Guilford County but had finished seventh in per capita contribution of paper. It had also failed to render any tin at all in August to the needful campaign for that crucial war raw material.

Perhaps in September, with the taking by the French of Dijon and the Allies harrying the German Westliche Wand, each of those drives in Mecklenburg would find shaves of improvement.

"Monopoly" comments on the movement in the country to wrest control of foreign policy from the favored aristocratic class and democratize it. The Foreign Policy Association had so advocated, stressing that the wealthy and privileged should no longer be dominant within the State Department, that an Ivy League diploma or its equivalent should not be prerequisite for employment.

While the piece finds the concept acceptable on its face, the glaring problem to insisting on its implementation was that Secretary of State Hull, himself, was no aristocrat, had grown up a rural farm boy in Tennessee. And his policies largely determined and shaped the State Department and had for the previous dozen years.

Furthermore, the better educated members of society were in fact arguably better equipped to deal with the problems of international relations. The efficient British diplomatic service drew its membership from the privileged classes and served as apt model.

But, the piece concludes that it was signal of the times that democratization was favored in foreign affairs, that the people should have a substantial voice in the matter, especially after having fought in the war and engaged in war work at home. Thus, to employ in the State Department the graduates of institutions of higher learning which were populated by the sons and daughters of the middle class and proletariat was an experiment worth undertaking.

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to Prime Minister Churchill, warning that there was afoot in the United States a hint of the same strain of disillusionment with Great Britain which had, at the end of World War I, caused much of the Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson not to be accepted in the United States.

A prime basis for the disillusionment came from the situation in India and the lack of resolve of the Indian military to fight in the Burma-India theater, their blaming the British policy of continued dominion over India as the root cause for their insouciance.

Further, returning American troops who stopped in Accra learned that the commander of the air base there had to pay the British $25 per day in rent for each truck used by the Americans, trucks which had been supplied Great Britain by America under Lend-Lease.

Yet again, in the Near East, King Ibn Saud had sought from the United States pipes and bathroom fixtures for his lavish new palace, but had been refused on the basis of war shortages. Nevertheless, Great Britain had obliged the request, doing so out of the product of Lend-Lease.

King George of Greece, despite prior Fascist leanings and lack of support from the people, was being maintained on the throne at the behest of the British, representing not the sort of policy for which Americans were fighting and giving their lives to support.

Mr. Pearson, apologizing to the Prime Minister for his frankness, concludes with the statement that these issues needed to be redressed to avoid repetition of the unfortunate history of 25 years earlier.

Marquis Childs discusses the effort to make Sidney Hillman, native of Lithuania who spoke with a pronounced accent, appear as someone foreign to the country and, in consequence, his CIO PAC likewise foreign to the country. Moreover, he was being implicitly labeled a Jew for his rabbinical training, to which routine reference was made in the anti-CIO literature, seeking to tap into the strain of anti-Semitism in the land. The attempt was to associate Mr. Hillman with the Democrats in the hope of corralling the independent voters for Thomas Dewey.

Mr. Childs asserts that the attacks, by their nature, were un-American and dangerous. There were legitimate complaints to be leveled at Mr. Hillman, that he was too dogmatic and not very effective at dealing with people. But the emotional racial and ethnic appeals were antithetical to the country's founding principles.

Samuel Grafton comments on the House rejection of the proposed transportation stipend of $200 or $300 for war workers to return home after their jobs were terminated. It was consistent with their earlier rejection of a plan for increased unemployment insurance for the war workers. During reconversion, everyone else in the war economy was going to receive benefits and subsidies, the soldier, the farmer, the businessman. But, says Mr. Grafton, the war workers were going to be left out in the cold. It did not portend well for American unity after the war.

Dorothy Thompson's column is mostly lost this date. She writes of Governor Dewey's speech on September 8 regarding the future peace. He had indicated his essential agreement with President Roosevelt on the form which the United Nations organization would take, that is a Security Council and a General Assembly, with the Security Council comprised of the Big Four plus France as permanent members and six or seven additional seats which would be occupied on a rotating basis by the smaller nations. There was also essential agreement on having a world court which would adjudicate justiciable disputes. The separate armed forces of the member nations would enforce the decisions of the body.

Ruth Cowan, substituting for Hal Boyle, still recovering from his injuries suffered on Liberation Day in Paris, writes from Steinfort in Luxembourg on September 11, that she, along with three American medical officers, two G.I.'s, and a Frenchman, riding in two jeeps, had received accidental credit for saving Steinfort from attack. They had been reconnoitering for sites for Army hospitals on a four-day sojourn which extended 800 miles, when...

As to just how the fortuity of saving Steinfort came to be, we shall have to await explanation another day, as the rest of the column is suffering in pallor.

Dr. Herbert Spaugh tells of the number in the Greek connoting Jesus being 888 and that two I's formed a V for Victory in the war, the I's being the self conjoined with the eye of God.

Whatever the case in terms of the questionable cult of numbers, deriving from the Pythagoreans, we are glad that the I of World I and the two I's of World War II have not, thus far, attracted the third eye of World War III, the origin of which, we suggest again, is the cockatrice.

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