The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 6, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied defenses had recaptured Yongchon at a highway junction 20 miles east of Taegu, halting the North Korean drive on Taegu and its highway approaches. Other allied troops moved northward from Kyongju, another highway junction 18 miles southwest of flaming Pohang. But the enemy had moved two fresh tank brigades and 84 Russian-made tanks into the front lines to lead anew a thrust against Taegu, in peril but still in allied hands. The east wing of the 120-mile allied defense arc was reported crumbling.

Correspondent Stan Swinton reported that in the southern sector near Masan, three enemy battalions apparently undertaking a suicide mission, infiltrated the lines of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, seeking to destroy the U.S. artillery which had been responsible for the deaths of 13,000 enemy troops during the previous week in that sector.

Mr. Swinton also reports of an American sergeant who said that he had been used as a human shield by a North Korean soldier as he searched house to house for Americans, before being able to jump the man and get away. He and another soldier had heard a buddy scream from torture for four hours, begging to be killed, before eventually dying. They said that the North Korean soldiers had laughed at his screams.

American Air Force planes destroyed or damaged 17 enemy tanks in the main combat areas, flying 317 sorties, 223 of which were in support of ground troops, following a day of curtailment of air action for rain. Bombers set fire to Pohang which had fallen to the Communists for the second time during the war.

MacArthur headquarters reported 2,035 enemy troops killed or wounded and 69 taken prisoner during the period between noon Monday and noon Tuesday.

The Defense Department reported that 8,863 American casualties had occurred in Korea as of September 1, including 599 killed, 5,366 wounded and 2,898 missing, an increase of nearly 2,000 in the week since the 6,886 reported as of August 25. Of those killed, 465 were in the Army, nine in the Navy, 97 in the Marines, and 28 in the Air Force. The report did not reflect all casualties suffered to that date as it took time for reports to catch up with the fighting and to notify relatives.

The 1,500 British troops who had arrived from Hong Kong the prior week went into action alongside the Americans.

The Daily Worker proclaimed in a headline that Yongchon and Pohang had been "freed" by the North Koreans.

Moscow Radio, in a note addressed to the U.S., stated that the Russian plane, admittedly shot down by a U.N. fighter patrol the previous day off the west coast of Korea as it attacked an allied air patrol screening a U.N. naval force, had been unarmed and had not approached the American vessel. The note demanded strict investigation and punishment for those responsible. U.S. Ambassador Alan Kirk declined to receive the note, saying that the proper forum for complaint was the U.N.

The President was considering sending a letter to the Marine Corps League to quell the controversy caused by his letter revealed the previous day to Congressman Gordon McDonough of California, saying that the Marines had a propaganda arm equal to that of Stalin and so needed no separate representative on the Joint Chiefs, as urged by the Congressman. Some staff members suggested that the President apologize to the Marines, after some League members threatened to expel him from membership. National officers of the League, however, were trying to hush the matter up. Marines in Korea were reportedly stunned, angry and profane at news of the President's remarks in the letter. One stateside former Marine described the statements as "the mouthing of an idiot". Other Marines urged that such criticism of the President in a time of emergency was detrimental to victory.

Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas charged that Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had once been closely allied with the Soviet cause in Communist front groups. Senator Joe O'Mahoney of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Interior Committee, said that the Committee would immediately investigate the charge. He said the charge was similar to that investigated by a Senate committee and dismissed as groundless in 1948. Senator Schoeppel, in favor of statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, said that he did not want Alaska and Hawaii under control of the Department of Interior with Mr. Chapman as Secretary. He also charged Alaska Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening with hiring a Communist from Poland to lobby for statehood.

The President urged Congress to vote on statehood for Hawaii and Alaska. Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas said that he would push for a vote the following week.

Three-term Senator Pat McCarran won renomination easily in Nevada. In Utah, Wallace Bennett won the Republican Senate nomination to face incumbent Senator Elbert Thomas.

The hurricane in Florida left two dead and 400 to 500 homeless as it moved through the citrus belt near Orlando with 50 to 60 mph winds. Cedar Keys had suffered the brunt of the damage.

On the editorial page, "Half-Hearted Mobilization" finds that the "half-hearted" mobilization by the Government was insufficient to meet the demands of Korea, where there were substantial problems still being faced in the latest offensive by North Korea before any counter-offensive could be launched. And in addition was the need to secure such potential trouble spots as Formosa, Indo-China, the Philippines, and Malaya in the Pacific, along with Iran and Yugoslavia, as well as Western Europe. The American people, it suggests, might well distrust, therefore, the experts in Washington who claimed that there would be no further Communist aggression in the immediate future.

"Texas, Oklahoma, Now Virginia" discusses the expected decision of the Federal District Court in Virginia the previous day, which had ordered admission of Gregory Swanson to the University of Virginia Law School for graduate study based on the absence of any black law school in the state. It was a simple decision after the Sweatt v. Painter decision of June 5, which had ordered admission of Mr. Sweatt to the University of Texas Law School for want of a substantially equal separate facility in the state. The Virginia State Attorney General had conceded that the matter was defenseless and the case took but thirty minutes to hear and decide, the decree signed by the Court having been proposed by the Virginia Attorney General.

The case of Floyd McKissick, et al., in North Carolina, seeking admission to the University of North Carolina Law School, would be more complicated than the Virginia case, as North Carolina had a black law school at North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, now N. C. Central University, one of the better black law schools in the country at the time. It questions, however, whether, after Sweatt, that law school could pass muster in the eyes of the courts to withstand the challenge under the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson, that it was not substantially equal to the UNC Law School, resulting in denial of Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to deny admission to the latter based solely on race.

It also wonders then how long it would be before the public school systems of the South would similarly be forced into integration.

The McKissick case, as previously noted, would be decided for the plaintiffs in 1951.

"The Garrulous Gyrenes" supports the President's letter to Congressman Gordon McDonough of California, saying that he had no intention of making the commandant of the Marine Corps a member of the Joint Chiefs for the fact that the Marines were the "police force" of the Navy and had a propaganda arm equal to or superior to Stalin's in any event. The piece finds the latter statement true, that all one had to do was to listen to the average Marine brag on their battlefield exploits in the last war to bear it out. All Congressman McDonough had to do was listen to some Texas Leatherneck tell some sailors of what a breeze it had been at Guadalcanal.

"False Fall" tells of the cooler temperatures in the area being only temporary, produced by the winds occasioned by the hurricanes in Florida. Fall leaves had not yet turned and football had just started. It was too soon to say goodbye to summer weather.

A piece from the Atlanta Constitution, titled "Nehru Loses Important Election", tells of a recent election in India determining the presidency for an opponent of Prime Minister Nehru, Purshottamanda Tandon, over two other candidates, one of whom was Nehru's friend. Nehru had been favorable to the U.S. and had supported the U.N. position in Korea. Thus, the change in government might portend a change also in that position.

Seymour Topping of the Associated Press reports from Saigon on the situation in Indo-China, where the Soviet bloc had given recognition to the Ho Chi Minh Government and thereby withdrew recognition of the French-backed Bao Dai Government. The recognition gave Russia and Communist China the basis for cooperation with Ho's Vietminh in Vietnam, the largest state within Indo-China. A danger existed that the Soviets would prompt another international crisis, similar to that in Korea, through the Communist Chinese, for the purpose of providing Communist control of Southeast Asia and to bog down Western forces in another conflict without Soviet troop participation.

If Communist China were to intervene in Indo-China, the same kind of unanimity of reaction of the democracies would ensue as had been the case with the invasion of South Korea. The same would be true of Burma. But there would be hesitation within Asia, as the Bao Dai Government was not popular. India had refused recognition of it and Thailand had to be cajoled through Anglo-American effort to grant it, while strong pressure was being exerted against Indonesia recognizing Ho.

Asiatic countries were less afraid of that which American officials called the new "Communist colonialism" than of the remnants of the old, established colonialism of the British, French, and Dutch.

"Editorial Tidbits" provides six short editorials: One from the Richmond Times-Dispatch re General Harry Vaughan, the President's military aide who had disappeared from the scene since the previous year, suggests that he might be sent to the Far East where "deep freeze units should be worth their weight in Chanel No. 5", a reference to the John Maragon five-percenter investigation of the prior year, which had uncovered gifts of five freezers in 1945 to General Vaughan which he then forwarded to First Lady Bess Truman, then-Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson, and others, all arranged by Mr. Maragon in a complex scheme involving the importation of French perfume without paying proper import duties.

One from the Charleston News & Courier finds that the reports of arrests of blacks for various crimes never showed any of them wearing masks.

A piece from the Minneapolis Star, quoting from Senator Taft's weekly report to Ohio constituents, saying that he believed five billion dollars could be cut from domestic non-essential spending to balance the budget, finds it to have reminded that the Senator had then proceeded to vote for a half million dollar pork barrel project in Ohio under the harbors and navigation bill.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch objects to description of American women as "half-pints" for their averaging five feet, three inches in height, finds it suggestive of some inadequate quantity, corrects that it was a half-pint of champagne or fancy perfumes, not lemonade.

Another piece from the same newspaper tells of two South Korean women who were members of "Kelly's Boys", a combined American-South Korean guerrilla force which operated behind enemy lines as an expanded intelligence unit of the Fifth Cavalry Regiment, with the two young ladies acting as pistol-packing spies, who could also cook.

And another piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a quarrel had occurred between Tennessee Senator Kenneth McKellar, 81, and Missouri Congressman Clarence Cannon, 71, during debate on the omnibus appropriations bill, with so much bellicosity exhibited on both sides that the thought occurred that the draft age brackets were upside down.

Drew Pearson tells of the Marines, in an effort to get more troops to the fight, having, in some instances, assigned green, half-trained high school boys to combat units due to join the fight as soon as they landed. Senator Kenneth Wherry and other Senators had called for an investigation of the matter. The column notes that as a general rule, Marines were not to be shipped overseas for combat before completion of four months of training, but that some of the Reservists were being sent into combat with no more than the two weeks of summer Reservist training. In the rush to get troops to the front, the green Reservists appeared to have been confused with the battle-seasoned veterans.

Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, during his nine months in the post, had done quite a lot in a quiet way. The previous month, he had reversed the power lobby in the Senate and had basically won the issue of whether the Government, as opposed to private companies, could distribute power from Government-owned dams. Mr. Chapman had learned how to operate from one of his predecessors, Harold Ickes. After the Senate Appropriations Committee, stacked with Senators favorable to the power interests, tried to cut Interior appropriations for various projects, Mr. Chapman went to see Congressman Clarence Cannon, favorable to his position. Mr. Cannon asked Mr. Chapman to prepare a list of the items cut. Then, with the list in hand, Mr. Cannon told the House-Senate confreres on the bill that the listed items had to be skipped from the cuts. In the end, Mr. Chapman got every appropriation he sought, including the one for the controversial transmission lines.

Joseph Alsop, in Korea, tells of a lieutenant colonel, after a battle in which he had lost most of his battalion in the assault on the Second Division position which had begun the current crisis in the Korean fighting on the northern front. The North Koreans had been halted in the area by the regimental engineers, cooks, and bakers, as Mr. Alsop had described the previous day, holding the bluff and neighboring high ground. The lieutenant colonel unemotionally described what had happened. The Second Division had been hurried into the line to defend against the North Korean offensive on the Naktong River, to permit the decimated and exhausted 24th Division to go into reserve in the rear. The line to be held was long, causing the troops to be spread apart such that the draws between four knolls could not be defended.

For a time, things had been quiet for the lieutenant colonel's battalion, while the enemy troops prepared for the offensive. Two nights earlier, the North Koreans had held a strange torchlight parade, getting "sakied up" for the battle. American artillery fired on the enemy as they crossed the Naktong, but they continued to come, behind a screen of refugee women and children. At least 4,000 troops attacked the battalion. Many were killed but they continued to flow over allied positions. The allies held the position until 11:00 a.m. the prior day, at which point they were ordered to retire. Almost all of the men in three rifle companies had been cut off by mid-afternoon.

In the rice fields, the engineers had been halted by enemy machine gun fire. Many of the trapped members of the battalion had gradually filtered back through enemy lines to rejoin the unit. The lieutenant colonel hoped that eventually most would do likewise.

The great allied superiority in fire power might have overcome the North Korean advantage in numbers had it not been for the green allied troops becoming paralyzed in confusion, preventing the battalion from acting as a cohesive unit.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his boxer dog, which had become neurotic at age one, causing him to purchase for it a poodle puppy, which had finally quieted the young boxer down. He no longer chewed the furniture, bit his master, or committed nuisances out of spite, as when he "un-housebroke" himself as a gesture of defiance. He had once swallowed two five-dollar bills and then got sick on the carpet. The final straw was when he fell in love with a duck and two cats. Mr. Ruark found that unnatural and so bought the poodle. Since that point, the boxer had been fine. But Mr. Ruark no longer had a pet and so thinks he might have to buy a third dog to have one to play with.

It appears clear that Mr. Ruark was using his household menagerie as a metaphorical representation, at least loosely, of a century of Asian history, with the boxer rebellion being quelled by the opiate of the French poodle, steering the boxer's fixation from ducks and cats, yet leaving him with no pet, requiring a third dog to fulfill the need—perhaps, a Pekingese. Or, maybe it represented, on a subconscious level, psychological release from post-war stress derivative of his time in the Navy during the Pacific war. In any event, should the third dog prove also too much to endure, he might benefit from the services of a dog expert.

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