Saturday, SEPTEMBER 2, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 2, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that American columns of the Third Army were moving from Verdun in the direction of the German border. Berlin radio reported that the Americans had penetrated to within eleven miles of the German border in the area of Thionville.

A bulletin picked up by NBC from Radio Atlantic contended that Allied tanks had crossed the German border during the afternoon. That would prove false. Radio Atlantic also reported that tanks had crossed the Belgian border and reached Namur and Charleroi.

The American First Army under Lt. General Courtney H. Hodges reached Charleville and Hirson, striking to within five to eight miles of Belgium on a 30-mile front west of Sedan.

The British Second Army, paralleling the American First, pushed 15 miles northeast of Arras to Douai, 14 miles from Belgium. British and Canadian troops took three bridges and isolated all German defenders to the south of the Somme River in the area west of Abbeville to the coast. The 51st Highland Division captured St. Valery below Dieppe, a locale where the same Division had suffered heavy losses four years earlier during the May-June, 1940 evacuation. The British and Canadians pushed in toward Abbeville, meeting heavy resistance, while Polish troops approached from the southwest to within two miles of the town.

The Nazis were completely evacuating the Pas-de-Calais rocket coast and appeared to be evacuating Belgium as well. German broadcasts had already acknowledged the loss of Belgium. The Nazi commandant of Belgium, however, addressed the Belgians, adamantly insisting that the National Sozialists would never abandon their "principles" and would await a future opportunity to return to Belgium.

American troops of the First Army continued to advance on Brest, reaching its western fortifications.

RAF Mosquitos attacked Bremen the previous night, after a prior assault on August 25 by 300 heavy bombers had wreaked havoc in the German port, destroying most of one of its principal shipworks and twenty warehouses.

Over France, Allied planes destroyed or damaged more than 1,800 vehicles, 987 railroad cars, and 127 locomotives the day before, plus 42 barges, nine tanks, nineteen guns, twelve gunsites, and eight horse-drawn artillery pieces.

The U. S. Ninth Air Force had flown more than 24,000 sorties in August and counted destruction of more than 10,000 transport vehicles. Its planes had damaged the previous day 607 motor transport vehicles and 142 horse-drawn units.

In the South of France, despite rain, General Patch's Seventh Army was closing in on Lyon while Nazi rearguard defenders sought to escape the Allied trap moving from the north and the south.

Americans on the east side of the Rhone Valley made contact with German forces in the area between Tournon and Bourge De Peage. On the west side of the Valley, the French occupied Charmes without resistance, 14 miles south of Tournon, and St. Agreve, 22 miles west of the town.

Thus far, since the landing in Southern France, the prisoners taken exceeded 55,000 of whom 35,000 had been captured by the French, including 15,000 at Marseille and 10,000 at Toulon.

In Italy, the Eighth Army had broken through the Gothic Line along a twenty-mile front, opening the gates to the Po Valley, last refuge in Northern Italy for the Germans--as predicted a year earlier with the first Allied landings on the Southern Italian coast. The Allies confidently asserted that the Germans would be finished in Italy very soon.

The American Fifth Army, not heard from in several weeks, crossed the Arno River from Florence west to the sea. Among the troops were African-American paratroops of the 82nd Infantry Division.

The Germans occupying Yugoslavia appeared to be evacuating in the face of the Russian advance from the east through Rumania.

In the wake of the resignation of Bulgaria's Premier Ivan Bagrianov, riots had broken out in Sofia as the Russians reached Bulgaria's northern border, within full view of several of the villages which bordered the Danube. At the rate of advance, the Russians, it was thought, would reach the point of junction between Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Rumania within a few days. The forces of General Rodion Malinovsky were less than 130 miles northeast of Yugoslavia, heading for joinder with Marshal Tito's Partisan fighting forces.

The Nazis were reported to have tried some new "secret weapon", a Junker aircraft towed near a target by a Messerschmitt and then released to fly as a robot on its own power. The robot-plane packed with explosives, presumably similar to that in the American Aphrodite program which had taken the life of Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., on August 12, was described as being too slow and wieldy to pose any serious threat to the Allies, making an easy target.

Although the attack was not yet reported from the Pacific theater, Lieutenant (j.g.) and future President George H. W. Bush this date was part of a bomber group which flew from the carrier San Jacinto on a mission against Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands. Lieutenant Bush's fighter plane, an Avenger, was struck by anti-aircraft fire and was going down when he and one of two of his crew members, Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lieutenant (j.g.) William White, bailed out over the water. Before doing so, Lieutenant Bush continued to pilot the plane over the target and successfully dropped his bombs. Both of the other crew members lost their lives, the parachute of the other person who bailed out, which of the two not being known, having failed to deploy. Lieutenant Bush was rescued by the submarine Finback after floating in an inflated raft for four hours.

In all, the future President and Vice-President flew on 58 combat missions during 1944, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his brave service at age 20.

On the editorial page, "A New Day" comments that the country should not question the sapience of Josephus Daniels as he continued to resist the notion of compulsory military service in peacetime, despite the Administration's endorsement of a one year mandatory service requirement following the war. Mr. Daniels, despite being Secretary of the Navy under President Wilson, had always been opposed to such mandatory peacetime service.

But, his principles aside, he would need, opines the piece, to do more than merely assert that such a draft was inimical to democracy and ignoring of President Washington's statement of opposition to a standing army as being a threat to democracy. For the country had been caught unprepared for this war and did not wish to take that risk again with the speed with which war could be engaged having exponentially increased in the modern age.

"Wodehouse" is too blacked out to discern what is on its mind. There is something about Mr. Wodehouse, whether P. G., the author, or some other, not being disclosed in the scantly available print, having made a slight error on the Nazi side. But what it was, and precisely by whom and under what circumstances, we shall have to await another day to determine.

"_______" tells of the immovable bloc of women voters solidly in the President's corner, not listening to the jabberwocky about the President being aligned with Reds in Labor and other such calumnious charges being cast his way by Republicans. Women would, says the piece, comprising 60 percent of the electorate, have a decisive impact on the coming election.

"Chickenry"—not chicanery--laments the fact that the old friend of man, the innocent chicken, who incessantly laid down its life for the benefit of humans without so much as learning a lick to fly the coop, just sitting around waiting to lose its head and become a nice meal, had now become the enemy of the State of North Carolina and Governor Broughton.

Unfortunately, the column is blacked out after its opening paragraphs, and so we cannot relate to you why it was so and what the burning issue was anent chickens which had incurred the wrath of the Governor.

Perhaps he had found them one evening plotting against the State or posing as something they were not, contra the State motto, Esse Quam Videri.

Whether the chickens were in favor of compulsory peacetime military service is likely not related.

Regardless, in response to the presumed charge of the Governor, based on these flying rumours, we have the late report that the chickens did, in fact, band together in opposition to the scurrilous suspicions occasioned by Governor Broughton's self-qualifying illusory subjectification of their lot, formed their own State, whose motto was the well-known phrase: Subi dura a rudibus, the translation of which, loosely, is, "You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd," or Non esse o esse non, though you ought.

"V-1, V-2" is not perspicaciously anticipating the coming of the rocket age within a week, but rather discussing the prospect of two days of victory to be celebrated henceforth after the war, V-1 Day and V-2 Day, the first likely to be for Europe and the second for Japan.

And, of course, it would be so, even if not commemorated by any additional holidays during the year beyond those extant in 1944, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

V-E Day is officially May 8, even if April 30, the date of Hitler's suicide, is more appropriate. V-J Day is officially, by coincidence, precisely one year from this date, September 2, the date of Emperor Hirohito's signing of the formal terms of unconditional surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri, even if the terms had been accepted by Japan on August 14, following the bombs ending the war having been dropped August 6 and 9, 1945.

Drew Pearson reports that retiring House Un-American Activities Chairman Martin Dies of Texas had his 11-year old son on the Government payroll at $2,400 per year, as well his wife at $3,000 per year. The whole Dies family, however, had been absent from Washington since March when he had debated Walter Winchell. It was at that time that he switched his secretary onto the HUAC payroll and substituted his young son in her stead as his "secretary"—quotes being used with the due disclaimer that perhaps his son typed particularly fast and accurately for his age.

So, the Dies family took home $16,300 per year rather than the ordinary Senator's pay of $10,000. Family values...

Mr. Pearson next provides a series of parallels between World War I in 1918 and the current situation in Europe in 1944, first, with respect to the prospective exit from the war of the Balkan nations, their having done so in 1918 within weeks before the Armistice. Likewise, as with the present situation, there had been a statement by the British in 1918 that the Germans could retire to their own frontiers and hold the line through the winter to enable re-supply and reinforcement for a spring offensive.

The implication was that the war in Europe would likely be over within a month or two.

He next relates of the support of the President and Senator Truman for the long advocated creation of a Department of Defense under which both the Navy and the Army, now operated by the War Department, would be joined. Josephus Daniels had recommended the change in July, 1934, that it would be especially helpful in coordinating the separate air forces of the Army and Navy. Mr. Daniels had testified the previous spring to Congress that when he had been Secretary of the Navy, with FDR as his Assistant Secretary, during the Wilson Administration, he had sought from Lindley Garrison, Secretary of the War Department, cooperation in coordinating plans to avoid duplication of effort. The response by Secretary Garrison had been negative.

Finally, Mr. Pearson tells of how much respect the infantry held for General Lesley McNair who had been struck down by friendly fire in France in July. He often would visit camps without his rank showing, wearing ordinary dungarees, and participate in activities with the men, the while not knowing they were with a general. Once, he had done so in the South, participating at age 61 in a 25-mile hike, through 20 miles of which he had voluntarily carried a backpack of one of the younger infantrymen who had complained of its weight after five miles. At the end of the hike, when the soldier found out who his helper had been, he profusely apologized, to which General McNair smiled and indicated that he never asked any soldier to do anything which he would not do.

Marquis Childs addresses the issue of what the Democrats proposed as a role for Vice-President Wallace in the campaign. It had been suggested that he should form a committee of liberals in support of the ticket. The CIO PAC was thought to be too identified with the left wing of the party and labor for it to be effective in reaching mainstream liberals.

But the Vice-President, being from Iowa and heavily identified with farm interests, had determined that his best contribution would be to travel the country, stressing the isolationist Midwest, speaking to small groups. He had enjoyed success on a similar trip made recently into New England. The President, says Mr. Childs, had approved this role. The two men remained on friendly terms despite the maneuvers at the convention made with the President's approval to oust Mr. Wallace from the ticket.

The Vice-President was even considering a trip into Virginia to speak with small groups, despite its heavy conservatism led by Senator Harry Flood Byrd, who had been most fervent in his desire to replace Vice-President Wallace with another candidate. Mr. Wallace's pitch continued to be that the Democrats had to become a truly liberal party to survive. His role, it appeared, would be to court independents, and in that role he could maintain his own independence while wholly supporting the President for a fourth term.

Dorothy Thompson writes of the unpreparedness for the inevitability of the three Allied Armies now approaching Germany overrunning it before any plan was in place to govern. The determination of which Germans would be deemed "good" and which "bad" would depend on the goals sought by the Allies. The obvious initial goal was completely to destroy all vestiges of Nazism. That eliminated the current governing personnel, spread through the heavily bureaucratized framework of the society, from making any contribution to its future governance.

With 60 to 80 million people and twelve million foreign workers within its borders, Germany could not be adequately governed just by the Allies, but would need plentiful help from the native population. Ideally, those would have to be Germans who had been on record as being anti-Nazi. There were such Germans, insists Ms. Thompson. Else, the Nazis would not have needed to have been such a repressive regime at home. She names Dr. Karl Goerdeler, formerly connected with the Social Democrats, as a prime example.

But the problem was that many of the Germans who had sought to undermine the Nazi regime had been discovered and murdered by the Gestapo.

So, the question was posed as to which Germans would be helpful to the Allies and how the Allies would ferret them out. The Russians had their committee of Germans constituted in Moscow who were opposed to the Nazis, but the Western Allies had no such equivalent.

In contrast, France had an organized Resistance before the Allies entered, which had been ongoing throughout the Nazi occupation. Germany was the central keep of European Fascism and no such active resistance organization was known to exist within its borders.

Ms. Thompson concludes by asking several questions in need of urgent answers, addressing whether the Allies were seeking such organized assistance from within Germany, in readiness upon entry of the Armies, and whether the Allies were doing all that might be done to effectuate such an end.

Dick Young checks in with varied and sundry snippets from Charlotte and surrounding territory, among which was the report which he found representative of the summer polio epidemic: an African-American woman had phoned in a report that her young daughter was suffering from infantile paralysis based on the fact that she had been weak in the knees for nine months.

Dr. Herbert Spaugh warns of the unreliability of the conscience as a guide for behavior, for "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool."

As to the "Grin and Bear It"...

And, remember to rub your feet with castor oil when they are tired; then put on cotton socks and tie them with draw strings run through the cuff. You will be ready to roll, or hop, as the case may be.

Incidentally, you likely understand now why Dick Cavett wound up on the White House Enemies List, along with most other prominent citizens during those strange times for the country in the period 1969 through 1974 who publicly demonstrated an affinity to the idea that freedom of thought and speech was not an outmoded concept or one to be relegated to the far corners of the society, out of sight and out of mind.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.