Friday, September 22, 1944

The Charlotte News

Friday, September 22, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the British Second Army attempt to relieve the surrounded British paratroops of the First Airborne Division near Arnhem on the northern bank of the Neder Rhine, the branch of the Rhine running through Holland along the German border, had been stopped along the southern bank of the river by a German counter-offensive line along a six-mile front.

The so-called "Lost Division" of 8,000 to 9,000 men had been fighting to establish a bridgehead across the river since their deployment ten miles north of Nijmejen on Sunday. Two other airborne forces had landed, one near Eindhoven ten miles inside Holland from the Belgium border and the other at Nijmejen.

Some 1,200 American heavy bombers struck from both England and Italy at Kassel behind the Siegfried Line and at Munich beyond the Belfort Gap. Also hit were Ehrang, Gerolstein, and Pronsfeld. Targets in Northern Italy and Greece were also struck. Four planes were lost in the raids. Thirty Luftwaffe planes were shot down.

The Germans were said to be evacuating the Pelopponesus in southern Greece, representing one-sixth of the land area of Greece.

In Italy, the Eighth Army captured Rimini, now in ruins, after a four-week offensive against the port, and moved into the Po Valley. Canadian troops to the west of Rimini mopped up San Fortunato and moved to the Marecchia River.

American troops of the Fifth Army captured the road junction of Firenzuola in the central Gothic Line, placing them within 20 miles of Bologna, another gateway into the Po Valley.

Near the West Coast, Brazilian troops had captured Pietrasanta and were moving steadily up the 4,000-foot Mt. Prano, six miles to the east.

In Rome, the last Fascist police chief there, Pietro Caruso, was executed by a firing squad for crimes committed during the Nazi occupation, specifically, aiding the Germans in rounding up 50 hostages for execution. He was also convicted of arresting Italians seeking refuge within the Vatican, violating its sovereignty. An Italian mob had delayed the trial on Monday by lynching the State's chief witness. Caruso's co-defendant, Roberto Occhetto, also convicted, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

In the Pacific, American planes of the Third U.S. Fleet attacked Manila the previous day, the first time the capital of the Philippines had been hit since the fall of Corregidor in May, 1942. Hundreds of carrier-borne planes shot down 110 Japanese planes, destroyed another 95 on the ground, and sank 37 ships, including two destroyers. The Japanese promptly put the Philippines under martial law. The Americans lost 15 planes and suffered no damage to any ships.

Domei and Manila radio had reported further raids this day by about 800 planes attacking in four waves between 7:15 and 10:00 a.m.

In Los Angeles, police shot and killed a 23-year old man fleeing from them through the skylight of a restaurant. His crime had been trespassing in the restaurant while it was not open. He had also, however, taken $12 from a bowl on a table collected for purchase of a wreath for the grave of a former patron of the cafe, converting his crime to felony burglary.

Yet, there was no reason to shoot at him and kill him. But those were the times.

Bob Hope tells of what the troops in the South Pacific found to talk about. He reports that their sense of humor predominated, always finding its way into the conversations to stimulate something about which to laugh.

On Makin Island, for instance, they were joking about a Lieutenant Carter Huston who, while flying over Japanese-held Mille, had seen blinking flashes, wondered why the Japanese were turning on and off so many electric lights in such rapid succession. He had been viewing anti-aircraft fire.

Likewise, they enjoyed making cracks about Tech Sgt. Air Force Smith, Jr., who had one of his hip pockets shot off to the bone and now had to ride in his jeep side-saddle.

There was one island so small, said the men, that when the tide came in, the Army holding it had to try to get Uncle Sam for them submarine pay to dole out. Mr. Hope says that it would be a good island for Crosby to own because the landing strip was too small for a stork to effect a landing.

One woman had told her husband while back home on leave that when he returned to the front, he should take it easy, take respites to eat and get rubdowns in between knocking off a Japanese soldier here, another there. When he inquired of his wife what if the Japanese first knocked him off, she responded that he was being silly. The Japanese had nothing against him.

On the editorial page, "A Sample" comments on the letter-writing campaign of the previous month urged by The News for Mecklenburgers to voice their opinions on the upcoming presidential election. Fully 79% of the letters had favored Roosevelt, most fervently. The 21% who stated their intent to vote for Governor Dewey were similarly, for the most part, just as adamant in their opposition to the New Deal and in favor of the New York Governor.

"____" is completely in the black and so we cannot comment as to its subject or opinion on that subject.

"____", beginning in the dark, berates the commentary of Samuel Grafton of twoi days earlier against the plan of Beardsley Ruml for a post-war tax plan to encourage high employment by eliminating corporate taxation. The editorial finds Mr. Grafton's attempt to cast the plan as a scheme to allow the wealthy corporations to escape taxation at the expense of the individual taxpayer to be disingenuous and full of sophistry.

The proposed plan, explains the piece, merely sought to alleviate double taxation, first on the profits of the corporation, then on the distribution of the profits to individual shareholders in the form of dividends. In that way, there would be greater incentive of the corporation to invest, produce, accumulate profit, and thus develop jobs.

It did not shift taxes to the poor, for it exempted the first $2,000 of individual income from taxation. True to a progressive tax plan, it also disfavored a general sales tax. The plan faced the reality of a huge post-war debt, some 18 billion dollars worth, and sought to effect the reduction of that debt through extremely progressive taxation, proposing as much as a 75 percent tax on very wealthy individuals.

Mr. Grafton, it concludes, while extolling the virtues of accomplishing social engineering through tax policy favoring the individual, would allow the debt to continue to spiral upward.

The piece, we note, is likely by J. E. Dowd, recently returned from the Navy Reserve. It was consistent with his conservative economic philosophy voiced repeatedly during his earlier tenure. Burke Davis, by contrast, almost always gave praise to Samuel Grafton's insight whenever there was comment in the column concerning one of his editorials.

"No ____" is another editorial completely in the blank. We can discern neither subject nor content.

Today's editorial page therefore wins the prize for the least discernible of our rugged two months of hedgerow country through this set of prints. Again, we shall endeavor soon to provide the clear versions. There is only one more week of problematic pages and then it will be smooth sailing for the duration, beginning October 2.

Drew Pearson reports of the President greeting Prime Minister Churchill in Quebec by announcing, "Eleanor's here," apparently a friendly gibing in reference to the fact that Mr. Churchill and Mrs. Roosevelt did not get along. She did not appreciate his views disfavoring independence for India, on not returning Hong Kong to the Chinese, and his favorable statements regarding Francisco Franco of Spain. She had made no hesitancy of letting him know those differences whenever he dined at the White House, compelled by protocol as a visiting head of state to be assigned a seat beside the First Lady.

Mr. Pearson had reported a few months earlier that whenever Mr. Churchill stayed at the White House, Mrs. Roosevelt had expressed her sincere disdain of his wandering about smoking his cigar while wearing only his Japanese kimona.

He next explains how new War Production Board chief J. A. Krug had put the quietus on an attempt by a member of the WPB, Sam Anderson of Lehman Brothers, to undermine former chief Donald Nelson's orders to allow limited reconversion to peacetime production by certain companies obtaining approval from the Manpower Commisison, the Army, and Navy. Mr. Anderson had unilaterally determined that, despite a comapny's ability to obtain that approval, to cut off allocations of steel to companies engaged only in peacetime manufacture of goods, despite there having been an overabundance of manufactured steel available in the country at the end of 1943.

Marquis Childs discusses the shoe-in election of Republican Governor Saltonstall of Massachusetts to the Senate. But, he reflects, whether the Governor could carry along the Dewey-Bricker ticket with him remained to be seen.

Samuel Grafton again addresses the notion that isolationism appeared once again to be creeping onto the landscape with the prospect of peace at hand. The more he heard dichotomies being drawn between the "war period" and the "peace period" and between the "war Presidency" and the "peace Presidency", the more he sensed the loathesome creature slinking back upon the landscape.

Hal Boyle, continuing to report from Romorantin in Southern France, explains the "screwball war", as the American soldiers had come to call it, after witnessing the surrender procession of the 20,000 Nazis under the command of Major General Erich Eisner. The label had been attached for the fact of American soldiers having been seen giving directions to Nazis in jeeps packed with machineguns. The Americans guarded huts where German officers moved about freely with pistols. One German soldier had even volunteered to join the American Army and direct the Yanks into Germany. Nevertheless, remarked one American soldier, this bloodless screwball war was better than having to battle through the hedgerows of Normandy.

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