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THE MONTH'S NEWS

NAVY GUNS POUND JAPAN . . . AIR WAR INTENSIFIED . . . BIG THREE CONFER

PERIOD 21 JUNE THROUGH 20 JULY

 

 
WHAT HAPPENED & WHERE

  1. Five Honshu cities attacked by B-29s (22 June), opening month-long incendiary and high-explosive assaults which partially destroyed 40 Jap cities in 13 raids.
  2. Australians hop 80 miles down Borneo coast, land at Lutong (22 June), capture Miri (27 June) completing re-conquest of West Borneo oil fields.
  3. British carrier planes raid Sumatra (24 June).
  4. 37th Infantry and 11th Airborne Divisions link up in Luzon's Cagayan Valley, splitting Jap forces into 3 pockets (28 June).
  5. Marines invade and capture Kume Island, west of Okinawa (30 June).
  6. Australians land at Balikpapan (1 July). Dutch forces invade north shore of Balikpapan Bay (10 July).
  7. General of the Army MacArthur declares all Philippines liberated (5 July).
  8. Jap Marines land on southeast China coast (9 July) but retreat under Chinese counter-attack.
  9. Tanchuk, former U. S. air base, recaptured by Chinese (10 July).
  10. More than 1000 carrier planes hit Tokyo and broad stretch of Honshu coast (10 July).
  11. Sincheng (11 July) and Liuchow (12 July) other former U. S. bases, recaptured by Chinese.
  12. Announce hurricane damaged 21 vessels of U. S. Fleet between Okinawa and Kyushu on 5 June.
  13. 1000 carrier-borne aircraft pound Hokkaido in northern Japan (14 July).
  14. Kanhsien, former U. S. air base, falls to Chinese (16 July).
  15. Big U. S. Fleet shells Jap steel cities at point-blank range (14-17 July).
  16. Tokyo plastered by 1500 U. S. and British carrier planes (17 July).
  17. Jap puppet troops revolt in French Indochina enabling Chinese to capture Moncay (18 July).
  18. Camouflaged remnants of Jap Fleet hammered by U. S. carrier planes in Tokyo Bay (19 July).

-- 40 --

IN THIS SECTION

  Page
The War 40
World Affairs 47
News of the Navy 48
Ships & Stations 52
Report from Home 53

Descending Doom

A bruised and shaken Japan, faced with all the factors that eventually spell defeat, last month rocked under the mightiest blows from air and sea that any nation has ever had to take and watched the remains of its stolen island empire being ripped from its greedy clutches. America's massive sea and aerial fleets hammered the home islands from the Kurils to Kyushu while Hirohito's harassed henchmen sent frightened cries of "invasion is near" over the air waves.

U. S. and British fleet ranged the seas unchallenged, so close to Japan that their keels barely cleared the mud. Bombers and fighters of every description thundered in increasing streams over scores of cities and thousands of square miles, burning, blasting, destroying. Against these challenges to come out and fight, the Japs were either unable or unwilling to put up any resistance: their fleet was almost nonexistent, their naval air power was smashed, their army air force apparently lacked fuel to take to the air.

The Japs' fear of invasion was well founded. Many high American leaders - all veterans of Pacific combat - emphasized the imminence of such an action. Boiled down into one, their collective statements amounted to this: "We can land on Japan any time and any place we choose and in sufficient strength to finish the job."

Fleet Hits Japan

There were no planes, no ships and only a timid spattering of fire from shore batteries to oppose them. The big battlewagons, their 16-inch guns pumping ton after ton of high explosive shells into targets that flamed and erupted and collapsed, paraded brazenly only a few hundred yards off shore, completely ignoring the fact that the shore was the enemy's - Japan.

For two ear-splitting hours, beginning at noon on 14 July, the 35,000 ton battleships Massachusetts, Indiana and South Dakota, the cruisers Chicago and Quincy, and the destroyers Black, Erben, Heermann and Southerland pounded away at Kamaishi, vital steel port on the island of Honshu, 275 miles north of Tokyo.

Targets, for the 16-, 8- and 5-inch rifles of the fleet were the huge Kamaishi steel mill and dockyards sprawling along the water's edge. When the ships finally put back to sea, after steaming in sight of the coast for more than five hours, the steel mill was completely demolished and adjacent coke ovens were blazing furiously.

The assault was the first surface attack on Japan since 1863 when three American warships destroyed a shore battery that had been firing on neutral shipping.

Just as had carrier-borne aircraft in previous attacks, the fleet caught the enemy completely by surprise. Following a heavy carrier raid on Tokyo four days before (p. 42), Tokyo radio confidently gushed that the 3d Fleet was heading south, only to have it turn up in the north with more bombs dropped in coordination with the fleet shelling.

Next day, another fleet of colossal warships - this time the Navy's newest battleships, USS Iowa, USS Missouri and USS Wisconsin - appeared off Hokkaido Island, 250 miles farther north, and began pummeling Muroran, another steel city at the entrance to Uchira Bay.

On the dawn of 17 July the fleet that had wiped out Muroran, reinforced by heavy units of the British Navy, began the biggest fleet strike of the war. Only 50 miles northeast of Tokyo the industrial city of Hitachi writhed and burned under the explosions of 2,000 tons of shells fired from battleships, cruisers and destroyers led by the Iowa and HMS King George V. Although the night was foggy and a low overcast and rain prevented aerial observation, the ships moved in firing full nine-gun salvos at steel works, munitions plants and engineering factories. Not even a rowboat put out from shore to offer resistance to the attackers. Several cities were hit including Sukegawa, Takahagi and Miri, all in the vicinity of Hitachi.

 

 

-- 41 --

Nor was that the end of the week long, unprecedented bombardment. On 19 July a force of six light cruisers and destroyers sped up to Nojima Cape, 55 miles south of Tokyo, and hurled shells at what should have been the most heavily fortified coastal district of Japan. Yet they drew no retaliatory fire during bombardment lasting several hours.

Although all four of these operations were conducted without damage to the Fleet, U. S. warships ran into difficulty early last month but not from enemy action. A howling typhoon, ripping through the Western Pacific at 138 miles an hour, crippled more than 21 Third Fleet ships on 5 June between Southern Japan and Okinawa. The cruiser Pittsburgh suffered the most damage when two heavy seas ripped off 104 feet of her bow. No men were lost because damage control parties had already evacuated the forward section of the vessel. Thin bulkheads were shored and the cruiser made her way back to Guam under her own power. The severed bow was discovered later by a Navy tug which radioed: "We have sighted a suburb of Pittsburgh and have taken it in tow."

Other ships damaged but now back in action included the battleships Massachusetts, Indiana and Alabama and the carriers Hornet, Bennington, San Jacinto and Belleau Wood.

The Third Fleet was not the only one to see action last month. Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid's 7th Fleet penetrated the waters of Macassar Strait between Borneo and Celebes Island late in June and fought off an airborne torpedo attack, shooting down three Jap planes. Later the fleet returned to Borneo, bombarding shore positions deep in Balikpapan Bay.

Far to the north, units of the North Pacific Fleet penetrated the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest of the Kurils, and sank a medium cargo ship, a small cargo ship and a large tug, probably sank another small vessel and damaged another. Japanese radio reported that U. S. submarines shelled Karafuto, the Jap half of the Russo-Japanese isle close to the Asiatic Coast, on 2 July, and that five surface ships shelled the area next day.

 

Official U. S. Navy photograph
UNBOWED is literally the way the cruiser Pittsburgh returned to Guam after 120-knot typhoon flayed the 3rd fleet. Shorn bow was recovered, towed in.

 

CASUALTY FIGURES

Casualty figures among naval personnel through 20 July totaled 136,256. Totals since 7 Dec. 1941:

  Dead Wounded Missing* Prisoners* Total
U. S. Navy 31,237 22,623 10,466 2,042 66,368
U. S. Marine Corps 18,402 47,747 902 1,721 68,772
U. S. Coast Guard 808 213 95 0 1,116
TOTAL 50,477 70,583 11,463 3,763 136,256
* A number of personnel now carried in the missing status undoubtedly are prisoners of war not yet officially reported as such.

 

Torrent of Fire

Bombs fell on Japan last month in a torrent of fire and destruction that left more than 40 cities on Honshu, Kyushu, Hokkaido and Shikoku blazing infernos. Air strikes rose to a new height of fury with shipping, transport and air bases buckling under the massive assaults that totaled as many as 1,500 carrier planes and 600 Superfortresses in a single blow.

Thirteen times the great B-29s lifted into the skies from the Marianas and roared over Japan, sometimes splitting into as many as five forces, each pounding a separate city or oil refinery. Four times the carriers swept up close to enemy shores and launched hundreds of fast planes in powerful sweeps on shipping, airfields and cities. Two of the carrier strikes pummeled Tokyo in hours-long raids. Army Thunderbolts and Invaders, Marine Corsairs and Avengers, Navy search Privateers and Liberators pounced on enemy ships or laced airfields with rockets, bullets and bombs.

The carrier strikes were the most audacious yet mounted against the Jap homeland and were coordinated with U. S. and British Fleet bombardments of Jap coastal cities (p. 41) and with preparatory and diversionary assaults by B-29s, Iwo-based Mustangs, and Corsairs, Mitchells, Thunderbolts and Mustangs from Okinawa.

Early on the morning of 10 July the massacre began. Some 550 Superforts lumbered over before dawn, putting to the torch the minor war production cities of Sendai, Gifu, Sakai, Yokkaichi and Wakayama with 3,500 tons of explosives and incendiaries. With the light of the blazing cities to guide them the carrier planes struck, smashing straight at the ruined Jap capital and its 70 to 80 surrounding airfields. Standing off Japan, Vice Admiral John S. McCain's Task Force 38 carriers sent wave after wave over Tokyo until at least 1,000 aircraft were blasting the city with bombs and rockets.

Admiral McCain made no bones of his intentions or his location. Repeatedly he broke radio silence to give a running account of the strike and even named the carriers Lexington, Essex, San Jacinto and Independence, and the battlewagons Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts and South Dakota as part of his task force.

Kyushu's airfields, from which suicide planes ordinarily take off, were hit repeatedly by the 5th Air Force Mustangs from Okinawa while other fighters struck as far north as the Yellow Sea, strafing airfields, communications and shipping and diverting attention from the carriers.

Throughout the entire attack, in which at least 2,000 planes participated, no serious defense was offered by the Japs. TF 38's planes alone destroyed or damaged 340 enemy planes on the ground and shot down two prowlers which dared to near the fleet.

While Jap leaders speculated on the whereabouts of the 3d Fleet after it had broken off the attack, preparations were under way for another big strike, this time with the battlewagons turning their big guns on targets instead of only protecting the carriers.

Sprinting 250 miles to the north, the carriers struck again, this time against shipping, cities and installations on southern Hokkaido and northern Honshu. Again 1,000 planes were launched.

Climax to the naval battering came on 17 July when 1,500 carrier planes - some from a British task force which had joined the 3d Fleet the day before - again hammered at Tokyo and the surrounding area. While U. S. planes shot up installations in and around the capital, sinking small craft and destroying or damaging plane

-- 42 --

hangars, locomotives, factory buildings and oil dumps, the British hit airfields at Niigata, Matsushima and Masuda, destroying 13 enemy planes on the ground, three locomotives and damaging a railway station, barracks and hangars.

For the second day the Navy planes roared in but this time in poor weather which obscured the results. On the third day the assault continued around the Tokyo area. Some 250 of the bombers and torpedo planes found what they had been looking for. Hiding in Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay, about 18 miles southeast of the capital, they found Jap Fleet units under camouflage. Although met with accurate, intense antiaircraft fire, they pressed home the attack. No reports of damage have been announced as yet.

Starting on 22 June with a five-way bombing of Jap cities on Honshu, the B-29s continued their fire and bomb raids at intervals throughout the month. Targets were smaller industrial cities, most of which had not yet felt the whiplash of American air power, and oil refineries bombed in small precision raids. Eight times the Superforts made multiple raids on four or five cities on Honshu or Shikoku.

 

BOMB BURST blooms in Borneo as six 7th Fleet Venturas and eight Army Lightings sow havoc in Jap base at Brooketon. Target was 95 percent destroyed.

 

Topside Shift

Top-ranking Navy and Army officers were reassigned to new jobs last month in moves coordinated with the rapidly mounting offensive against Japan and designed to utilize their combat experience in the planning and direction of the final phases of the Pacific war.

In the largest shift of top commands ever announced at one time, the Navy Department announced changes of duty for 29 flag officers, including two Fast Carrier Force commanders, Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN, and Vice Admiral John S. McCain, USN. Admiral Mitscher will take over the duties of DCNO(Air), succeeding Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, USN, who goes to the Naval Academy as Superintendent and Commandant of the Severn River Naval Command. Admiral McCain will be relieved as Commander, Second Carrier Task Force, by Vice Admiral John H. Towers, USN, and will report to SecNav for duty and an unannounced further assignment.

Other Navy duty changes announced on 14 July include:

Admiral Henry K. Hewitt, USN, member of the General Board, will relieve Admiral Harold R. Stark, USN, as ComNavEu. Admiral Stark will retire, having passed the statutory retirement age.

Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman, USN, will succeed Admiral Mitscher as Commander, First Carrier Task Force, Pacific.

Rear Admiral John R. Beardall, USN, whose Academy post will be taken by Admiral Fitch, will relieve Rear Admiral Howard F. Kingman, USN, as Commandant, 15ND, and Commander, Panama Sea Frontier and Southeast Pacific. Admiral Kingman will report to CincPac for assignment.

Rear Admiral Van H. Ragsdale, USN, Commander, Fleet Air, Alameda, Calif., has assumed additional duty as Commander, Fleet Air, West Coast, relieving Rear Admiral Alfred E. Montgomery, USN, who relieves Vice Admiral George D. Murray, USN, as ComAirPac.

Admiral Murray will relieve Vice Admiral John H. Hoover, USN, as Commander, Marianas.

Admiral Hoover will relieve Admiral Towers as Deputy CincPac and CincPoa.

 

Official U. S. Navy photographs
THEY'RE DOWN; THEY'RE UP! That's the story of Jap ships in Okinawa. First the Navy sank 'em; then salvaged 'em to clear harbors for our Fleet.

 

Vice Admiral William R. Munroe, USN, will be detached as ComSoLant, to relieve Vice Admiral Robert C. Giffen, USN, as Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier and Commandant, 10ND.

Admiral Giffen will relieve Vice Admiral Sherwoode A. Taffinder, USN, ComSerForLant, while the latter will relieve Vice Admiral David W. Bagley, USN, as Commander, 14ND and Hawaiian Sea Frontier.

Admiral Bagley will relieve Vice Admiral Alfred W. Johnson, USN (Ret), as member of the U. S. - Mexican Defense Commission and member of the Permanent Joint Board of Defense, U. S. and Canada, and Admiral Johnson will return to inactive duty.

Rear Admiral Edward W. Hanson, USN, recently detached from temporary duty in BuPers, will relieve Rear Admiral William R. Furlong, USN, as Commander, Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor. Admiral Furlong will report to the Chief of Naval Personnel for temporary duty pending retirement.

Rear Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, USN, commander of an amphibious group, Pacific, whose relief has not yet been nominated, will relieve Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth; USN, as Commander, Cruisers, and Commander, Destroyers, Pacific.

-- 43 --

Admiral Ainsworth will relieve Rear Admiral David M. LeBreton, USN, as Commandant, 5ND and Commander, NOB, Norfolk. Admiral LeBreton will become President of the Naval Examining Board.

Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell, USN, whose functions as Commander, Amphibious Training Command, Atlantic, have been absorbed by Commander Training, Atlantic, will relieve Rear Admiral Gilbert J. Rowcliff, USN, as senior member, Board of Inspection and Survey, West Coast. Admiral Rowcliff will retire.

Rear Admiral Louis E. Denfield, USN, Commander of a BatDiv, will report to SecNav for duty. No relief has been nominated.

Rear Admiral Russell S. Berkey, USN, commander of a cruiser division, Pacific, will report to CNO. No relief for him has been nominated.

Rear Admiral James L. Holloway, USN, will relieve Rear Admiral Francis C. Denebrink, USN, as Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific. Admiral Denebrink will report to CincPac for further assignment.

Most of the Army changes dealt with air power in the Pacific as the result of the program of redeployment from Europe. Two top generals who were responsible for the bombing of Europe have been shifted to the Pacific. Gen. Carl Spaatz, former European strategic air force chief, now heads strategic bombing in the Pacific. Lt. Gen. James Doolittle, who headed the 8th Air Force in Europe, will command the same outfit, under Gen. Spaatz, in the Pacific.

Gen. George C. Kenney, General of the Army MacArthur's air chief since the early days of the war, has assumed command of all Army tactical air forces in the Pacific.

Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, former commanding general, Army Air Forces, India-Burma theater, now holds a comparable post in the China theater.

Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, famous commander of the old Flying Tigers, resigned his post as commander of the 14th Air Force.

Other Army changes included the appointment of Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson Jr. as commanding general, Middle Pacific; Lt. Gen. Wilhelm 1). Styer, commanding general, Western Pacific; Lt. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton, former commander of the 1st Allied Airborne Army, as commanding general, 3d Air Force; Gen. Jacob L. Devers, former commander of the 6th Army Group in Europe, as commander, Army Ground Forces, succeeding Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell who now commands the 10th Army in the, Pacific.

The WAC also had a new commander last month. Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, chief of the corps since its organization three years ago, resigned and was succeeded by Col. Westray Battle Boyce, deputy Director of the WAC since last May.

 

Official U. S. Navy photograph
POWERHOUSE BELOW! Two Navy planes survey a sector of the transport area on the west coast of Okinawa. Visible under first plane is Kadena airfield.

 

New Air-War Base

"There will be more airfields on this island than ever were squeezed on any patch of land this size in the World."

The words were those of Commodore Andrew G. Bisset, (CEC) USN, commander of construction troops. The island is Okinawa which last month began to pay off for the thousands of American lives lost afloat and ashore during the bitter battle for that largest of the Ryukyus.

Although Kamikaze planes sporadically plunged out of the sky and groups of isolated Japs skirmished with infantry and Marine patrols, Okinawa was already serving as a base for fighter and bomber attacks against the Jap home islands.

Already in control of Okinawa, the Kerama group to the southwest and small islands nearby, U. S. forces reached farther westward during the month as patrols occupied little Kume Island, 45 miles west of Okinawa and 300 miles from the China coast.

Fleet Admiral Nimitz also disclosed that Marines had occupied - early in June - the islands of Iheya and Aguni, the former 20 miles northwest of Okinawa's northern tip, the latter 30 miles west of central Okinawa. In none of the invasions was any Jap opposition reported.

 

COMPARATIVE CASUALTIES IN PACIFIC

American sailors, marines and soldiers are killing 17 Japs for every U. S. serviceman killed in action in the Pacific, statistics released by the OWI and the War Department last month disclose. Even including wounded and missing Americans the rate is four Jap dead for every American casualty. The table below shows comparative casualties of American and enemy forces from Guadalcanal through Okinawa. The figures on Japanese dead do not include a great many thousand drowned or killed in ships or barges sunk or damaged by aerial and Navy action, or killed by bombing behind Japanese lines, or fatally wounded or diseased in the garrisons which have been cut off and isolated.

  U. S. NAVY & MARINES U. S. ARMY JAPANESE
  Killed Wounded Missing Killed Wounded Missing Killed or Captured
Guadalcanal 1,053 2,620 58 529 1,847   25,0001
Attu       342 1,135 58 2,525
New Georgia       835 3,494   25,0001
Papua       687 2,186   7,050
Arawe       118 352 4 586
Bouganville       446 2,368 12 12,503
Gilberts 988 2,087 3 66 187   6,000
Cape Gloucester       326 844 2 4,652
New Guinea       40 111 10 1,235
Marshalls 399 1,240 15 177 1,037   17,3861
Admiralties       237 1,032 11 4,174
Aitape       597 1,989 85 9,113
Hollandia       88 459 17 5,179
Wakde       630 1,742 41 5,054
Biak       530 2,570 54 6,958
Marianas 4,453 20,273 719 1,235 5,514 415 53,195
Noomfoor       76 521 19 2,866
Sansapor       13 29 2 959
Palaus 1,198 4,974   251 1,465 13 13,460
Morotai       26 116 12 111
Philippines       11,914 40,388 529 428,732
Iwo Jima 4,189 15,308         21,200
Okinawa2 7,480 17,389   4,417 17,033   115,899
TOTALS 19,760 63,891   23,580 86,419 1,284 768,837
1 Estimated.
2 Okinawa campaign killed and wounded totaled together.

-- 44 --

Previously unreported casualties continued to increase the cost of conquest of the strategic island. Navy losses, according to last reports, were 4,907 killed or missing and 4,824 wounded which, added to Army and Marine Corps casualties, raise the total to 11,897 killed or missing and 34,422 wounded for a total of 46,319.

Enemy losses, also increasing during the mop-up stages, totaled 115,899, including more than 9,000 captured.

TINDER-BOX SCORE

The following is a partial list of Japanese cities hit by B-29 Superfortresses of the 21st Bomber Command, showing the percentage of each destroyed from 24 Nov. 1944 to 9 July, as announced by the War Department:

City % Destroyed Population
Tokyo 51 6,788,804
Osaka 26 3,252,340
Amagasaki 11 *
Nagoya 22 1,328,084
Yokohama 44 968,691
Kobe 51 967,234
Kawasaki 25 154,748
Hamamatsu 70 165,000
Kagoshima 44 181,736
Yokkaichi 25 102,000
Omuta 2.5 177,000
Toyohashi 52 242,000
Shizuoka 66 212,000
Fukuoka 20 323,317
Sasebo 18 206,000
Moji 29 140,000
Nobeoka 36 80,000
Shimonoseki 36 196,000
Okayama 63 163,000
Kure 46 275,000
Kochi 48 106,000
Tokushima 74 120,000
Takamatsu 78 110,000
Himeji 72 104,000
* Included as part of Greater Osaka.

Underwater War

Hard-pressed to find targets for their torpedoes as Japan's Navy and merchant fleet, hounded by air and surface craft, dwindled to next to nothing, Allied submarines operating in the Pacific last month sank an enemy cruiser and 10 other vessels in Far Eastern waters.

The cruiser, a 10,000-tonner of the Haguro class, was destroyed by a British submarine HMS Trenchant - operating under U. S. Navy control in the southwest Pacific.

The 10 other vessels destroyed, all by American undersea craft, included a converted gunboat, a patrol escort vessel, four medium merchant vessels, a large tanker, two small merchant vessels and a small tanker.

Two U. S. submarines were reported overdue from patrol and presumed lost. They were USS Kete and USS Trigger. Other American losses reported during the month were four minesweepers - USS Salute, YMS 39, YMS 50 and YMS 365 - off Borneo, and the destroyers Twiggs and William D. Porter, victims of suicide planes, off Okinawa.

War Ends in the Philippines

General Tomoyuri Yamashita, the Japanese commander in the Philippines who boasted last November that he would demand "unconditional surrender" from General MacArthur, once commanded 450,000 Japanese troops. Today, if he's still alive, the Jap general may have 30,000 left but they're scattered throughout the island of Luzon, without communications, adequate food supply or any hope of reinforcement or rescue.

The end of the war in the Philippines was announced by General of the Army MacArthur. He said "The entire Philippine Islands are now liberated and the Philippine campaigns can be regarded as virtually closed" on 5 July, seven days after he disclosed the fall of Luzon with the juncture of the 37th Infantry Division and the 11th Airborne Division in Cagayan Valley.

"Some minor isolated action of a guerrilla nature in the practically uninhabited mountain ranges may occasionally persist," said the general, "but this great land mass of 115,600 square miles with a population of 17 million is now freed of the invader."

American Army losses during the campaign - since the landings on Leyte 20 Oct. 1944-totaled approximately 54,000 killed, wounded and missing. The campaign was fought by 17 American divisions against elements of 23 Jap divisions and, said General MacArthur, was "one of the rare instances when in a long campaign a ground force superior in numbers was entirely destroyed by a numerically inferior opponent."

Credit was given the Navy and the air forces. "Working in complete unison the three services inflicted the greatest disaster ever sustained by Japanese arms . . . [the Navy] reduced the Japanese Navy to practical impotence."

 

 
Official U. S. Army Signal Corps photographs
KICKLESS CANNON, battle-tested in Europe and used by the Army on Okinawa, give infantry the firepower of artillery. The 45-pound 57mm (left) can be fired from shoulder. The 110-pound 75mm is mounted on machine-gun tripod.

 

Winning Borneo's Oil

Already in a precarious state for lack of fuel for its air force, Japan suffered further punishing blows last month as Australian and Dutch troops landed in other sections of Borneo and captured some of the great fields and refineries which have supplied the Nips for the past three years.

Although the Japs had effectively destroyed most equipment before retreating, the Allies held all three great oil centers in the Borneo area. Tarakan fell on 23 June after 54 days of fighting. Experts said that although Jap destruction had been effective they expected to renew oil production in a comparatively short time.

Eighth Year of War

China rounded out its eighth year of war with Japan last month with cracking offensives on all but one of its many fronts and by recapturing four former U. S. air bases and seriously threatening another.

-- 45 --

Hitting with more power than ever before, the Chinese armies completely cleared all of southern Kwangsi province to the French-Indochina border and, taking advantage of a revolt among Jap puppet troops from Thailand, swept into the Indochinese seaport of Moncay, on Japan's direct shipping route to southeast Asia.

Two of the four former airdromes - once used by B-29s - were in Kwangsi. Liuchow, the largest, fell after a prolonged siege while Tanchuk, in the western part of the province, was taken during a general advance. In Kiangsi Province, cut off from the rest of China by the Jap defense line running in an arc from Shanghai to Hong Kong, two more bases toppled before vicious Chinese attacks. The main drive was aimed at Kanhsien which fell after a five-day battle. Troops on the march for Kanhsien had overrun Sincheng, also a former U. S. base.

Marianas Mop-Up

Six small islands in the Marianas surrendered last month to two platoons of Negro infantrymen in a pair of LCIs accompanied by a DE. Sailing close to the islands the DE announced surrender orders over a loudspeaker to Japs on the islands of Anatahan, Sarigan, Alamagan, Agrihan, Asuncion and Maug. Only one pistol shot was fired when a Jap refused to surrender and was killed by a native guide. Twenty-four Jap civilians who might have caused trouble and 38 natives who were ill were removed from the islands. Food was left for about 260 remaining native and Jap civilians. Only two of the 14 islands in the Marianas chain remain occupied by the Japs - Pagan and Rota.

 

Photograph from Press Association, Inc.
GERMAN SPIES, captured wearing U. S. uniforms and driving U. S. jeep, are lined up for execution by firing squad after conviction by court martial.

 

Nippon's Nonexistent Navy

As far as ability to interrupt future Allied operations goes, the Jap Navy has ceased to exist, according to two of the U. S. Navy's top tacticians - Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN, last month assigned the post of Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air (see page 43), and Rear Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, USN, CincPoa's deputy chief of staff.

Only approximately 50 combat vessels of an estimated original 300 remain to the Japs, according to the admirals. Included in the 50 are:

Two partially converted battleships which the Japs have attempted to make half dreadnoughts and half carriers;

Two or three fairly large carriers;

Thirty destroyers and a few cruisers;

Nagato, an old battleship similar to USS West Virginia, and two other old battleships not ready for action;

A small number of carriers which are alongside docks with camouflage nets over them.

Supine Wind

In an astounding torrent of words poured from the transmitters of Radio Tokyo last month Nip announcers talked a very blue streak indeed. There were rumors and alarms - an expected American invasion south of Japan, a food crisis, an expected American invasion in northern Japan, government operation of communications and railroads, an expected American invasion on Honshu, B-29 and carrier plane raids on homeland cities, and expected American invasions.

From all parts of the Jap empire came reports that great fortress defenses were being erected and that civilians in the People's Volunteer Corps were preparing to repel the invaders. First reports indicated that the Nips feared an invasion of islands between Okinawa and Japan. Next they declared the U. S. 9th Fleet was prowling the North Pacific and that a U. S. mountain division was awaiting action in the Aleutians. Fortification of North China, Manchuria and Korea was also under way on a big scale comparable to the redoubts on Iwo and - Okinawa, Chinese sources in Chungking reported.

Members of the civilian army must "not allow themselves to be taken prisoner alive or die dishonorable deaths," a handbook issued to them declared.

Bombed, rocketed and gunned on an ever-increasing scale, Japan's railroads were placed on a two-months' state of emergency to speed distribution of food and arms. The railroads were also militarized with trainmen becoming "volunteers" in the civilian army. All communications-telegraph, telephone and radio-are now under government control to "cope with the conversion of the homeland into a battlefield."

The Japs have also been putting out so-called peace feelers. Acting Secretary of State Grew said there had been four specific approaches on behalf of the Japs but that none were real peace offers. Mr. Grew said the Japs were using feelers in much the same way as Germany did, to try to stir up trouble among the Allies.

 

QUOTES OF THE MONTH

  • M/Sgt. Frederic Hensel, who lost parts of both arms and legs on Okinawa: "This sure changes things a lot . . . I'd make an excellent propaganda photo to end all wars."
  • Donna Rachele Mussolini, widow of the late Il Duce: "We should have gone to America when we first got married. We planned to do it . . . But then Mussolini changed his mind."
  • Norah Carpenter, English mother of quads fathered by an American soldier: "They have a bigger and better way of doing things in the States."
  • Brazilian Air Force lieutenant, asked if he was going to fight Japan: "Well, 90% of us would love to go." His interrogator asked about the other 10%. "They were killed in Italy."
  • Sankichi Takahashi, former Jap Navy chief: "As long as the air force, which is the main strength, is sound and healthy," the present inability of the Navy to fight "does not matter."
  • Playwright Moss Hart, returned from acting tour in Pacific: "You can put me down as a ham-cured variety."
  • Army lieutenant, speaking of Pfc. Clarence B. Craft who killed 58 Japs in 15 minutes on Okinawa: "I could think of only one thing - that damn fool is determined to get out of the Army either via the Medal of Honor or death."

 

-- 46 --

E U R O P E

Redeployment

Sobering evidence was on hand last month of America's intent to prosecute the war in the Pacific as vigorously as it had in Europe.

Veteran campaigners from Germany and Italy were swarming into the States but their stays were brief, their 30-dav leaves passed quickly, their assignment to retraining camps and to Pacific battlefronts accomplished with a minimum of delay.

By the end of June 258,000 troops had come home by sea and 82,000 by air, the latter mostly air-force personnel.

SHAEF Dissolved

Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, the organization the Allies under General of the Army Eisenhower had used to win victory over Germany, was dissolved last month, its job completed. The general, just returned to Europe after a visit to the United States, declared SHAEF dissolved one minute after midnight on 14 July and the generals and admirals and others who had planned and carried out the campaign went back to their own armies and navies. Gen. Eisenhower's new headquarters from which he will administer the U. S. part in Europe's occupation becomes USFET (United States Forces, European Theater).

Corral Movement

A fatal disease was sweeping Europe last month. Its symptoms: a tightening of the throat muscles, a fear of enclosed places, a neurotic allergy to barbed wire and an over-all feeling of despondency. Its diagnosis: terror of death from hangman's noose or firing squad. Its victims: Nazi war criminals, still being hauled into PW stockades by the Allies' relentless dragnet.

By the end of the month only a few were missing, among them (possibly) Adolf Hitler and Martin Bormann, his Nazi party secretary.

Meanwhile, the Allies agreed that war makers themselves are just as criminal as the men who cremated slaves and murdered Allied prisoners. Other categories to be prosecuted included those suspected of offenses against U. S. military personnel, offenders who will be returned to the scene of their crimes for prosecution, and the Quislings and traitors whom each country is free to prosecute on treason charges in its own courts.

The Hitler enigma was still unsolved. War correspondents reported a bloodstained sofa in a shelter beneath the Berlin chancellery where Hitler and Eva Braun, his mistress whom he is reported to have married just before his supposed death, are said to have committed suicide. But no high official would commit himself to saying der former Fuhrer was actually dead. Scuttlebutt as to whereabouts of Hitler and Eva Braun - if they were about - continued to be lively. One rumor had them popping up in a submarine and landing on the coast of Argentina; Argentina denied it.

Indictments of war criminals proceeded in several countries. Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, former Vichy leader, was to appear for trial in Paris on 23 July. Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, director of the nazi world "Fifth Column," was indicted by the United Nations War Crimes Commission. Paul Derdonnet, Stuttgart radio traitor known as the French Lord Haw-Haw, was condemned to death. John Amery, son of the British Secretary of State for India, was charged with high treason on grounds that he broadcast for the Germans and Italy.

Under New Management

Occupied - but still confused - Europe moved slowly last month from chaos towards order. Several big issues had been solved, among them the occupation and rule of Berlin. And the GIs of the American occupation force decided the job might not be too bad after the Army partially lifted the ban on fraternization.

Most of the major problems of defeated Germany - food, industry, politics and transportation - were expected to be solved by the Big Three meeting in Potsdam (see below).

After weeks of disagreement the Allies finally formed a four-power "Kommandatur" (command post) for the government of Berlin and the pooling of food and fuel. Each American, British, Russian. and French commander will head the military administration for 15 days, rotating the leadership. Each occupation force will provide food from its own occupation zones in Germany to feed the city's populace.

Displaced persons - the millions that the Nazis grabbed from all over Europe for slave labor - were gradually getting back to their homelands. The Allies had uncovered almost 5,800,000 of them but 3,260,000 of these had been repatriated.

 

Photograph from Press Association, Inc.
BIG THREE LINE-UP had a new face when President Truman stood with Premier Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill for first time at Potsdam on 17 July.

 

WORLD AFFAIRS

Big 3 at Potsdam

President Truman, Prime Minister Churchill and Marshall Stalin met in Potsdam, a Berlin suburb, for their anxiously awaited conference on problems faced by the Allies both in Europe and in the Pacific.

The meetings, known officially as the Berlin Conference, were formally opened at 1700, 17 July, with President Truman presiding by invitation of his two colleagues. This was the first Big Three conference at which there was a formally elected presiding officer. The other conferences at Yalta, Casablanca, Teheran, Quebec and Washington were headed by only a semi-official officer.

At the first formal session of the meeting a preliminary exchange of views took place and it was decided that the Foreign Secretaries of the three countries, James F. Byrnes, Anthony Eden and V. M. Molotoff would plan the work of the conference.

Public announcements regarding the deliberations were to be made at the close of the conference. Among subjects known to be on the agenda for discussion were those of the control of Germany, including the future government of that state, boundaries and the extent of her industrial rehabilitation; the feeding of the starving populations of Europe next winter and the problem of the transportation of fuel and supplies. A Soviet foreign office spokesman said that discussions would also be held on Russia's request to be included in conferences on the future administration of Tangier.

The President, accompanied by a staff of diplomatic and military advisers, crossed the Atlantic on the battle-tested cruiser Augusta to Antwerp. There he boarded the C-54 transport plane which formerly had been used by President Roosevelt, to fly to Potsdam.

-- 47 --

The Augusta, the first ship to enter Casablanca harbor in 1942 and Rear Admiral Alan Kirk's flagship in the Normandy invasion, was the scene of the historic Atlantic Charter meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. The Augusta was escorted to Antwerp by the cruiser Philadelphia.

President Truman, speaking on the occasion of the raising of the American flag over the capital of Germany on 21 July, said:

"We are not fighting for conquest. There is not a piece of territory or one thing of a monetary nature. we want out of this war."

Carpatho-Ukraine (Ruthenia), which is a mountainous agricultural region of 5,500 square miles and the easternmost province of Czechoslovakia, was ceded to Russia under a recent agreement and is to be incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. The area has a population of about 800,000 and has been an autonomous province of Czechoslovakia since 1919. The agreement also provides for the exchange of population by Russians and Czechs.

A new Polish government, including representatives of both the London and Lublin factions, has been formed and will hold power until elections can be held. The United States government will assist in the supervision of the elections and U. S. Ambassador Arthur B. Lane plans to go to Warsaw as soon as possible.

King Leopold III of Belgium announced that he would not abdicate until the Belgians had had a democratic opportunity to select their own leaders in an election. He said that he surrendered to the Germans in 1941 because "I felt I should stay with my people and also because I felt that with me in Belgium the Germans would rule the country on a military basis instead of a civilian basis."

 

Official U. S. Navy photographs
INFORMAL INSPECTION of the Augusta was made by the conference-bound President in shirt sleeves. Here he makes his way through engine room.

 

NEWS OF THE NAVY

The Navy is becoming an "Air Navy" and sometime Air probably will be 60% of the Navy's strength both in men and material, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal told a press conference 14 July 1945 at the Navy Department.

The Secretary explained: "It will be an evolution-not a revolution."

Pointing out that for the first time in the Naval Academy's history, air officers now hold the posts of both superintendent and commandant of midshipmen (see p. 43), Mr. Forrestal said he looks forward to the day when everyone who goes to the Naval Academy and who is physically qualified will learn to fly.

Such a plan was being contemplated when the war broke out, Vice Admiral Randall Jacobs, USN, Chief of Naval Personnel, revealed at the same conference.

Secretary Forrestal said he could visualize a day when the leading commands of the Navy will be occupied by men who deal with air in one form or other.

"We mustn't forget, however," he added, "that there are submarines, surface and amphibious forces. The submarines, for example, in the Pacific, are picking up airmen all the time, and I can assure you that every time an airman gets picked up, he becomes a convert to the submarine."

When asked whether the Navy might eventually have a Deputy Cominch for Air, the Secretary replied that it would be a naval office, not an air office - the difference being that instead of calling it a Deputy Commander in Chief for Air, it would be a case of almost the entire Commander in Chief's staff being Air. The office would be Navy, but it would be a Navy comprised mostly of Air.

Dedicated primarily to the enlisted personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, a new nation-wide radio program - "The Navy Hour" was inaugurated on 10 July over the National Broadcasting Company network.

Secretary of the Navy Forrestal took part in the first broadcast as did the 90-piece Symphony Orchestra of the U. S. Navy Band.

The programs will be broadcast at 2100 (EWT) each Tuesday. Jointly created by the program department of NBC and the radio program section of the Navy's Office of Public Information, future "Navy Hour" broadcasts will include guest stars, dramatic selections and highlights of naval activity on the battlefronts.

 

NOON LINE-UP on the crews' mess deck on the Augusta found President Truman, destined for Postdam's state banquets, pushing his tray with sailors.

 

One hundred and eighty-nine reserve officers who have distinguished themselves in the service have been selected for the 10-months course in naval science and tactics to be given starting 7 August at the U. S. Naval Academy, the Secretary of the Navy announced last month. This course, the first of its kind, is considered especially significant as it will serve as a test of the educational pattern proposed for postwar training of reservists who plan to transfer to the regular Navy. (See p. 67).

Nearly 800 candidates applied for the course, following announcement by Alnav 56-45 (NDB, 31 March, 45283), and 31 lieutenant commanders, 137 lieutenants and 21 lieutenants (junior grade) were selected on the basis of previous education, experience in the Navy with particular emphasis on sea duty, and general performance record.

About 10% of present Naval Reserve officers will be needed for the postwar Navy, Under Secretary of the Navy Artemus L. Gates revealed last month at the graduation exercises of the Midshipmen's School at Notre Dame University.

-- 48 --

"It has been estimated," said Mr. Gates, "that the peacetime Navy will need, in addition to its regular line officers and this year's and next year's graduates from the Naval Academy, some 30,000 other officers." They will come, he said, from the Reserves.

Paying tribute to the Naval Reserve, Mr. Gates indicated that of the approximately 350,000 officers now in the Navy "less than 4% are graduates of the Naval Academy. The figure is about 11,350. Nearly all the rest - well over 300,000 - are Reserves. In short, the Navy which is fighting this war, and winning it, is a civilian Navy."

 

Official U. S. Navy photograph.
HIGH SPEED TOWING is now standard Navy practice for getting forced-down planes to base fast. Oil line failure in this plane started the idea.

 

The following nominations to flag rank have recently been confirmed by the Senate:

To be rear admiral:
James L. Holloway Jr., USN.
David W. Mitchell, (SC) USN, pay director.
Wilfrid N. Derby, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 1ND.
Frank J. German, USCG, as chief planning and control officer.
Raymond T. Mclialigott, USCG, as assistant chief personnel officer.
William K. Scammell, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 12ND.
William F. Towle, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 11ND.

To be commodore:
George H. Bowdey, USN (Ret), as chief of staff to the president, Naval War College.
Lewis L. Strauss, USNR, as member of the Joint Army-Navy Munitions Board.
Gerald A. Eubank, (SC) USNR, pay director, as fiscal director of BuSandA.
William H. Godson Jr., (CEC) USNR, as O-in-C of a naval construction brigade.
Milton C. Jackson, USNR, as field representative and assistant director of NATS.
Bernard O. Wills, USNR, as port director of 12th ND.
Penn L. Carroll, USN, as deputy chief of staff to commander 7th fleet.
Charles T. Dickeman, (CEC) USN, as O-in-C of a naval construction brigade.
Henry Hartley, USN, Service Force, Pacific.
William C. Wallace, (SC) USN, pay director, as fleet supply officer, ServForLant.
Thomas A. Durham, (SC) USN, pay director, as O-in-C, NSD, Aviation Annex, Oakland, Calif.
John E, Wood, (SC) USN, pay director, as senior assistant to the aviation supply officer, Philadelphia.
James B. Ricketts, (SC) USN, pay director, as force supply officer on staff of ComAirPac.
Virgil E. Korns, USN, on staff (shipping) of CincPac (reappointed).
Thomas J. Keliher Jr., USN, Service Force, Pacific.
Elmer E. Duvall Jr., USN, Service Force, Pacific.
Jasper T. Acuff, USN. Service Force, Pacific.
Norman C. Gillette, USN, chief of staff to commander Philippine Sea Frontier.
Herbert J. Ray, USN, deputy director naval division, U. S. Group Council, Task Force 124.
Jennings B. Dow, USN, director of electronics, BuShips.
Michael J. Ryan, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 6ND.
Ellis Reed-Hill, USCG, as Chief, Public Information Division.
John E. Whitbeck, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 7ND.
Edward M. Webster, USCG (Ret), as chief, Communication Division.
William H. Barton, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 10ND.
Beckwith Jordan, USCG, as district Coast Guard officer, 9ND, St. Louis.

To be lieutenant general in the Marine Corps:
Roy S. Geiger, USMC.

To be major general:
Harry K. Pickett, USMC.
Raymond R. Wright, USMC.

To be brigadier general:
Ray A. Robinson, USMC.
William C. James, USMC.
William O. Price, USMC.

Also Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman, USN, was designated last month by the President as Commander 2nd Carrier Task Force, Pacific, with the rank of vice admiral, and Vice Admiral Sherwoode A. Taffinder, USN, was redesignated as Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier and Com14.

 

Official U. S. Navy photograph.
SMOKE POTS on the stern of LCVPs were used to draw protective screen around U. S. ships at anchor off Okinawa. It's an old trick but still good.

 

The results of German experiments and developments in weapons of war will be used by the Navy against Japan, according to Commodore Henry A. Schade, USN, chief of a 200-man technical mission now in Germany.

The commodore reported that German scientists "had a large development program under way" and "we are reaping a fairly rich harvest."

Except in the fields of some weapons, particularly buzz bombs and V-2s, the commodore said the Germans, although possessing excellent technical ability, had not advanced in general any farther than American research experts.

Commodore Schade said he had "heard a good many expressions of admiration from German naval officers for our amphibious developments" and reported that the Germans were not amphibious-minded. German naval officers felt that their Navy did not have a chance to develop because the Army received preferential treatment and administered naval affairs.

-- 49 --

In gunnery the Germans were "very good" and their torpedoes and mines were excellent while their E-boats, longer than American PT-boats but of the same general type, were very fast.

One of the Navy's crack air evacuation squadrons - VRE-1 - flew 446 missions of mercy during the bloody Okinawa campaign, evacuating 9,424 casualties to the safety and comfort of hospitals on the Marianas. Starting eight days after the invasion the squadron's four-engined Skymasters flew 1,248,800 over-ocean miles, hauling whole blood, medical supplies, flame throwers, mortar shells and other equipment as well as 35,484,000 letters to the island, and evacuating wounded on the return trips. Other flights to Honolulu carried 4,663 wounded fighting men.

The squadron reached peak operation late in May with 12 round trips to Okinawa in 24 hours to return 576 wounded. During the final days of the campaign it flew 8 to 10 planes to the island daily (16-hour trips). On the last day before the island was secured VRE-1 flew eight evacuation missions, returning 254 wounded.

This and other NATS squadrons have saved thousands of wounded with their shipments of whole blood direct from the United States to island battlefronts. Over 15,000 gallons of blood were flown to the Pacific by NATS aircraft during the first four months of the year, enough to replenish the entire supply of 10,000 men. Only 90 hours after blood is taken from donors' arms it is landed in the Marianas. End of the war in Europe contributed greatly to the amount of whole blood available to Pacific fighting men.

 

Official U. S. Navy photograph

NAVAL AVIATION STARTS 33d YEAR

Naval aviation - virtually our lone bulwark against the Japs in the Pacific immediately following Pearl Harbor - observes its 32d formal anniversary on 30 Aug. 1945.

Powerful weapon in the Navy's unrelenting attacks on the Japanese enemy, naval aviation has grown from World War I strength of 38 officers, 163 enlisted men and 54 airplanes to a vast sky armada of more than 37,000 planes and 55,000 naval flyers; air facilities throughout the world; a Naval Air Transport Service operating over 60,000 route miles; a 30,000-a-year pilot training program; a 100,000-a-year mechanic training program; scores of new combat carriers and "baby flattops," and numerous new fields of activity, including Air Information, Aerology (weather forecasting), Combat Photography and Photo Interpretation.

But 32 years ago, when Admiral George Dewey signed the report of the General Board recommending establishment of an air department "suited to the needs of the Navy in war," it is doubtful whether he could have foreseen what an important part it would play in global warfare.

Capt. Washington Irving Chambers, USN, might well be called "the father of naval aviation," although not a flyer himself. He became interested in flying when assigned as a Navy observer at some early air meets and in 1910 he interested Glenn Curtiss, the plane designer, and Eugene Ely, well-known pilot, in a proposition to fly a plane off the deck of a ship. This Ely did, from a platform built on the bow of the USS Birmingham. In January of the following year, Ely landed a plane aboard a ship, this time on a platform built on the stern of the USS Pennsylvania.

Lt. Theodore G. (Spuds) Ellyson, USN, qualified as the first naval aviator, and early in 1911 the Navy's first aviation unit, consisting of three planes, was set up at Annapolis.

First taste of battle action came when Vera Cruz was occupied by American forces in April 1914, but it was World War I that brought the first great expansion, with 24 stations and training schools established in North America and 22 aviation bases abroad.

Naval aviation was considerably reduced in size following the war but experiments continued. A Navy plane, the NC-4, landed in Plymouth, England, on 31 May 1919, the first plane to fly the Atlantic Ocean. The collier USS Jupiter was converted into the first aircraft carrier and re-christened the USS Langley. The success of this experiment led to the conversion of the Saratoga and Lexington, originally laid down as cruisers.

Need for a bureau to design and procure aircraft was recognized in 1921 and the Bureau of Aeronautics was established. In 1925 a five-year building program was authorized, calling for 1,000 modern planes.

World War II found naval aviation ready. While initial strength was not great, planning had been complete and less than two months after Pearl Harbor, Navy planes blasted the Gilbert and Marshall Islands in the first of a long succession of aerial triumphs over the Japanese. In the Atlantic, the Navy provided an aerial cover for the North African landings and waged a successful campaign against the German submarine menace. Today, in the Pacific, the Navy is knocking down 9.4 Japanese planes for every one we lose.

 

Twenty-seven times during April PBM Mariners of a Navy squadron landed in open sea near Japan - six times under enemy fire - to rescue 39 U. S. airmen downed in the Pacific. With the aid of JATO - jet assisted take-off - the Mariners were able to lift their bulk from the sea in a fraction of the ordinary time, thus cutting down the hazard of the operation.

If Admiral William F. Halsey, USN, gets his wish to ride Emperor Hirohito's white horse through the streets of conquered Tokyo, he'll probably do it in a handmade, silver-mounted, super-duper saddle made for that sole purpose. Work has already started on the special saddle at Reno, Nev., as the result of a 7th War Loan drive promise made by the Reno Chamber of Commerce to Washoe County, Nev. The Chamber said it would make the saddle if Washoe County exceeded its War Loan quota. It did. The promise resulted from Admiral Halsey's expressed desire to ride the Emperor's horse of which he had seen a picture. He asked B-29 bombardiers to spare the Imperial stables so that the horse would be in good shape for the triumphal march. As an added precaution the Reno Chamber is adding a lasso - "just in case there are any Japs left."

The U. S. Navy is "the greatest in the world" in the opinion of Pope Pius XII. Giving the Navy his blessing during a visit by members of the naval subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, the Pope said:

-- 50 --

"May its most cherished successful mission of the future be to protect and defend the most precious treasure of this world - peace, a peace among all nations because all nations are at peace with God governed in the spirit of justice, equity and Christian charity."

The natives of the Marshall Islands learned one lesson from comparing their life under Jap occupation with that under the U. S. forces which liberated them.

Naval Military Government officials recently received petitions from the Marshallese requesting that the Marshall group become a U. S. protectorate. Documents signed by residents of Majuro, Arno and Aur Atolls, comprising 43% of the population under U. S. control, were presented to the Navy.

"When this world war is over we request as it is written below," stated the petition from Arno Atoll. "1. We ask the United States of America to look over us; 2. And it should also keep our customs; 3. We want the United States as long as we live on the world." Names and fingerprints of 380 men and 455 women were affixed.

Every person on Majuro Atoll - a total of 1,025 men and women representing Majuro and eight other atolls - signed another petition which stated:

"We make this request for when the war is over and the United States will deliberate about the Marshall Islands. We all agree to this, that America should not give away these Islands to any other nation. We have known Americans for 89 years and Americans have lived with us since 1857.

. . . We want and ask the United States of America to be our guardian and protector."

Material Recovery Units of the Navy, following closely in the wake of island battles, are recovering millions of dollars in vital scrap materials to be converted into usable war items again.

In one month Unit No. 14, composed of 3 officers, 34 enlisted men and 50 occasional helpers, saved for reissue materials worth $597,681 and sent critical scrap valued at $259,060 back to the States. Salvaged material included 400 tons of steel pipe fittings, plates and structurals and 286,000 board feet of lumber. Scrap returned to the States included 100 tons of used rubber tires, 380 tons of fired brass shells and 10,028 tons of prepared heavy-melting scrap. Issues of usable material were made to 63 ships and 124 shore bases.

In order to eliminate any possibility that Navy men will suffer from scurvy, the disease that once was the curse of sailors on long voyages, the Navy has developed a new type of vitamin C-enriched lemonade for distribution to Fleet vessels. Compounded of dehydrated lemon juice,, fruit acid and pure ascorbic acid, the lemonade is packed as a powder concentrate in 12-ounce hermetically sealed cans. When added to water, with five pounds of sugar, this makes six gallons of the beverage. The new lemonade, iced, is served as a daily drink. One 12-ounce glass provides more than half of a person's daily vitamin C requirement. The Navy has earmarked 40,000,000 gallons of it for the Fleet.

 

TROUBLE AT TAKEOFF sent this Navy scout plane careening wildly into the sea from the deck of a carrier. BUT as plane went to pieces (left) pilot (arrow A, right) and crewman (arrow B) climbed out to safety.

 

Jap-hunting Navy and Marine Corps air fighters have been armed with a new weapon, the Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair, an improved version of the original Corsair which has been scourging enemy airmen throughout many Pacific campaigns.

Although almost the same in appearance as the older type F4U-1, the new Corsair is speedier, can climb higher and faster and carries more armament than the earlier model. The first enemy plane to meet one was shot down in a two-minute battle with three bursts from the Corsair's six .50-caliber machine guns.

Main changes are a four-bladed propeller measuring 13 feet, 2 inches from tip to tip, and a 2100-horsepower Pratt and Whitney radial engine which gives it tremendous speed. The gull wings have been retained as has the Corsair's noted maneuverability.

The Corsair is in the 425-mile-an-hour class. It's rate of climb has been increased almost 1,000 feet a minute and it has an altitude advantage over high-flying land-based Jap aircraft.

The new Corsairs can be used both as bombers - with a 2,000-pound load - and as fighters. They also can carry rockets under their wings.

The battle of the Pacific Fleet against fanatical Jap suicide planes around Okinawa will be presented to the American public in a two-reel motion picture - "The Fleet That Came to Stay" - scheduled for release 26 July.

Produced by Navy Photographic Services, the picture is based on 200,000 feet of film taken under fire by more than 100 Navy, Marine and Coast Guard combat photographers for tactical study and training purposes. It is the first official two-reeler of the fight against Jap Kamikazes, and the first film ever made of a complete battle between land-based planes and sea forces.

Sgt. Lena Mae Basilone, USMCWR, widow of GySgt. John Basilone who was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism on Guadalcanal, will christen a destroyer to be named in honor of Basilone at Orange, Tex., late this fall. Sgt. Basilone, whose husband was killed on the first day of the invasion of Iwo Jima, is stationed at Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, Oceanside, Calif.

Preventive measures employed by Navy and Army doctors overseas have reduced malaria among American troops and naval forces to a fraction of the 1943 peak. Through the use of protective clothing, chemical repellents and spraying with DDT, the overseas malaria rate among Army personnel has dropped to 40 hospital admissions per 1,000 men per year from a peak of 155 in August 1943. A marked decrease in malaria among Navy and Marine forces has also been reported, with only about one-sixth of the patients hospitalized in early 1944 and the latter part of 1943 now being treated.

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SHIPS & STATIONS

A German U-boat loaded with mines which it intended to spread at the entrances of either New York or Halifax harbors was rammed and sunk by the DE USS Thomas on 5 July 1944, the Navy Department disclosed last month.

Ordered to proceed toward Cape Race, Newfoundland, to intercept the 1600-ton minelaying sub, the Thomas, part of a task force, attacked with gunfire after the U-boat was depth-charged to the surface by USS Baker, a sister ship.

"We were about 11,000 yards from the scene of action when the sub's bow broke water dead ahead," said Lt. Comdr David M. Kellogg, USNR, the Thomas' skipper. "The Baker opened fire. At 9,000 yards the Thomas opened fire with all forward guns and continued rapid fire all the time she was closing in for the kill . . .

"Word was passed throughout the ship to stand by for a ram."

The crash knocked men sprawling all over the ship although they had been warned and were prepared for it. The Thomas picked up 29 survivors including the sub's commander.

Eleven of the 12 guns installed on the USS Pennsylvania when she put into drydock at Hunter's Point, San Francisco, for regunning were salvaged from the ruins of Pearl Harbor.

After pouring 6,700 rounds into Jap installations from Attu to Luzon, the old battlewagon's main batteries were somewhat worn.

At Hunter's Point, ordnance experts installed five guns from the USS Oklahoma, sunk by the Jap attack; six more from USS Nevada, damaged but later returned to service. The other 14-incher installed had been removed from the Pennsylvania herself after her damage at Pearl Harbor.

The entire job took only five days after preliminary work was completed, due mainly to a new method of regunning battleships that was used for only the second time on the Pennsylvania job. The battleship's old 14-inchers will be relined and put back in service again aboard another ship.

The battle-scarred, smoke-grimed Nevada State flag, missing from the battleship USS Nevada for more than three years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, reposes now in the State Capitol at Carson City, Nev.

Apparently thrown away by mistake while the Nevada was undergoing repairs the State flag was recovered from a refuse "skidbox" of the dry dock at Pearl Harbor where the battleship was towed following the 7 Dec. 1941 attack. It was presented to Gov. E. P. Carville of Nevada on 19 June 1945 by Capt. Howard A. Yeager, USN, executive officer of the Nevada.

Like the Phoenix bird of mythology, which died in the flames of her own nest, only to rise anew from the ashes, the light cruiser USS Phoenix emerged from the chaos of Pearl Harbor to complete more than 30 operations against the enemy - and with the loss of only one man killed, one missing and 27 injured.

In eight actions in the Philippines campaign, the "Poo-bird," as she is called by her crew, shelled the beaches of Leyte, participated in the landings at Lingayen Gulf and Corregidor and, as flagship of her division, took part in the Surigao Strait engagement.

Prior to this, the Phoenix had participated as a unit of the 7th Fleet in raids and invasions at Bergen Bay (near Cape Gloucester), Madang, Finschhafen, Los Negros, Hollandia, Wakde, Noemfoor, Sansapor, Galela, Morotai and many others.

Cash War bond purchases by naval personnel in June topped the hundred-million-dollar mark for the second time in the program's history, with sales totaling $110,517,669.75.

 

BAKA BOMB LAUNCHING from the under-belly of a mother plane is shown in this series of four Navy photographs.

 

BAKA: Latest Development in Kamikaze Bag of Tricks

The low mid-wing monoplane with a 15-foot wing span, oval fuselage and twin vertical fins and rudders came skidding above the water at more than 400 miles an hour to crash into the USS Mannert L. Abele at the waterline. A terrific explosion shook the DD, its second in an hour. She sank.

That is how the latest development in Jap suicide planes - the Baka bomb - looked to survivors of the destroyer sunk off Okinawa after first being hit by a Kamikaze plane.

Additional details of the construction and operation of the Baka were disclosed at Naval Aircraft Modification Unit in Johnsville, Pa. The pilot aims the plane - and the 2,645-pound bomb in its nose - at the target through a rifle-type sight. Three tail rockets, fired singly or at once, increase its speed to 600 miles an hour. When released from the parent plane, the bomb fuse is automatically set to explode on contact. The pilot is assured death for Hirohito.

 

DETAILS OF BAKA (fool) bomb which lets Jap pilots join ancestors.

 

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REPORT FROM HOME

Less Travel

Tens of thousands of European war veterans streaming home ahead of schedule for furlough and reassignment placed a record and increasing strain on the nation's transportation , systems last month. In a series of swift moves to provide more and better accommodations for servicemen, the Office of Defense Transportation gave first call to the armed forces on virtually all of the nation's railway cars. First, the ODT ordered that no sleeping cars be operated between cities 450 miles or less apart. It was estimated this would result in withdrawal of approximately 900 cars from civilian use. Then the ODT banned shipment of race horses, racing dogs and show animals by rail or other public carriers. Third move saw the placing of all passenger coaches, baggage and express cars in a huge pool to be available on demand for use of the armed forces. This order affects more than 30,000 cars. It does not automatically curtail service available to civilians, but ODT said that, in the end, there will be less equipment for civilian use and as the impact of redeployment increases it may be necessary to cancel some regularly scheduled trains.

ODT acted after the nation's indignation was aroused over stories of returning GIs being forced to ride cross-continent in hot, airless coaches because Pullmans weren't available. In some cases, soldiers reported seeing German POWs and Italian labor units in Pullmans. The War Department explained that in one instance the Germans were mental cases being transferred from an Oklahoma camp to a New York hospital. The only Italians who get Pullman accommodations, the War Department said, are sick and disabled men being repatriated.

Bretton Woods Approved

The Bretton Woods international monetary agreement was approved by the U. S. Senate, and, having been acted upon earlier by the House, was forwarded to Berlin for the signature of President Truman.

In approving legislation bringing the U. S. into the 44-nation Bretton Woods agreement, the Senate passed bills under which the U. S. will put a total of approximately six billion dollars into (1) an International Bank for reconstruction and development and (2) an International Bank for the stabilization of world currencies.

The Senate also passed a $2,800,000,000 increase in the lending powers of the Export-Import bank. The increase in this fund would be used to start world trade flowing until the International Bank begins operating in about 18 months.

Capital Notes: FBI's annual report showed that 10 spies and 45 saboteurs were convicted during the past fiscal year. There also were 974 convictions for illegal wearing of a uniform and 3,093 convictions under the Selective Service Act . . . The War Food Administration announced substantial increases in supplies of beef, chicken and canned goods for civilians because of cuts in military demands . . For the first time in its 156 years' history, the Patent Office couldn't issue patents to inventors. Reason: there was no Patent Commissioner. Conway P. Coe had resigned and the Senate had not yet acted on the nomination of his successor, Casper M. Ooms ... Under a new War Department policy, all officers and enlisted men with less than six months' overseas duty will get foreign assignments by 1 May 1946. Only exceptions are enlisted men over 38, physically unqualified personnel and those covered by the policy exempting members of families from which two or more persons have been killed, prisoners or lost. Those shipped out will be replaced by returning combat veterans, civilians and Wacs . . .

Employment Notes: Reorganization of his cabinet was continued by President Truman. Edward R. Stettinius Jr. resigned as Secretary of State soon after conclusion of the San Francisco Conference and was succeeded by James F. Byrnes, former director of war mobilization and reconversion. Mr. Stettinius, at the same time, was named U. S. member of the Security Council and chairman of the American delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations when that organization is established (see p. 6). About 10 days later, Henry Morgenthau Jr. resigned as Secretary of the Treasury. President Truman nominated Fred M. Vinson, currently war mobilization and reconversion director, as Mr. Morgenthau's successor.

 

 
UNITED NATIONS CHARTER arrived in Washington under heavy guard, but just in case it got lost the State Department's return address was on case.   BARREL OF FUN was had in Rockford, Ill., when 295-pound Sheriff King went to his local ration board to campaign for a suit of summer clothes.

 

Home-Town Topics

A runaway horse raced through 20 blocks of New York City's teeming traffic - pausing cautiously at each red light! . . . Gals can't wear shorts on the streets of Decatur, Ill. . . . In Cleveland, blind William Johnson was convicted when a deaf-and-dumb witness testified in writing he saw the blind man rob a deaf man of $323 . . . Robert B. Evans keeps his Elkmont, Ala., postoffice open six hours on Sunday to deliver servicemen's mail to their sweethearts.

Two ex-GIs found a fortune in ambergris floating off Long Island while clam-digging; another in Cripple Creek, Colo., hit a rich vein in a gold mine he got for nothing . . .

Army doctors are puzzled over the appetite of 140-pound Pfc. Chester J. Salvatori of Southbridge, Mass. Under observation at Ft. McPherson Station Hospital, Ga., he thinks nothing of devouring a breakfast of 40 eggs, 20 pieces of toast, several quarts of milk, eight pieces of bacon, a quart of coffee and a whole box of cereal.

New York's Central Park is going to be stocked with fish for convalescing GI Izaak Waltons . . . Teaneck, N. J., which already provides free marriage, birth and death certificates to ex-servicemen, has voted free licenses for returning war dogs. . . William (Red) Hill slipped through police lines and shot Niagara River rapids in a barrel - the same barrel his dad used three times for the same stunt . . . New Yorkers had to stand in line at newspaper offices for their daily papers during the month; the deliverers' and mailers' union was on strike for 17 days. The union returned to work under its old contract while agreeing to accept the jurisdiction and authority of the War Labor Board in settling the dispute.

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SPORTS

Turfmen saw the doom of Florida and California winter racing as the result of the ODT's ban against shipment of horses, dogs and show animals. The ban was necessary because of the railroad situation (see p. 53). Owners can transport their animals in vans if they have them, but long trips cannot be taken in this manner . . . In the month's big races, Pot o'Luck, the Calumet Farm's Kentucky Derby runner-up, captured the $85,450 Arlington Park Classic at Chicago with Air Sailor (owned by Lt. Comdr. T. D. Buhl, USNR) second and Fighting Step third, while Wildlife took the $50,000-added Dwyer Stakes at New York's Aqueduct with Gallorette second and Esteem third. Pavot, Belmont Stakes winner and a 4-5 choice in the Dwyer, was a dismal last in the sixhorse field . . . A world record daily betting average of $2,723,408 for seven-race programs was set during the 18-day Aqueduct meeting. July 4 saw a record $3,804,362 wagered . . .

Byron Nelson, transplanted Texan of Toledo, Ohio, won the Professional Golfers' Association championship, beating Sammy Byrd, former Yankee outfielder, 4 and 3 in the final. It was Nelson's ninth straight tournament victory. The Army Rehabilitation Fund realized $50,000 from the tournament; Nelson got a $5,000 war bond.

Seven major league exhibition games netted $242,000 for war relief. Top take was at Boston where $73,000 was contributed. Best show was at Washington where Lt. Bert Shepard, who lost his right leg when shot down over Germany, pitched the Senators to victory over the Dodgers before a crowd that included Gen. Alexander Vandegrift, commandant of the Marine Corps, and Lt. Gen. A. M. Patch Jr., 7th Army commander . . .

Hank Greenberg's comeback with the Tigers has been marred by a pesky sore arm . . . Pat Seerey of the Indians blasted three homers in one game against the Yanks recently, one with the bases full and one with two aboard . . . Both major league races continue tight with the Tigers, Yanks and Senators scuffling around the top of the American while the Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers scramble for the National lead . . . Tommy Holmes, Braves' outfielder, set a new consecutive-game hitting record when he batted safely in 37 straight games . . .

The world outdoor record for the mile was lowered to 4:01.4 by Gunder Hagg, long-striding Swede, as he beat Arne Andersson at Malmo, Sweden.

 

 
HANK GREENBERG, released from Army, received this welcome from young admirers as he joined Detroit Tigers.   WELTER KING WELTED! Freddie Cochrane sprawls on canvas in ninth. Tommy Graziano KOed him in tenth.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Alla Nazimova, noted stage and screen actress, died from a heart attack in Hollywood at the age of 66. Her better-known films included "War Brides," "Blood and Sand," "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," "In Our Time," "Escape," "Since You Went Away," and "The Passion Flower" . . . The House Committee on Un-American Activities has assigned an agent to investigate reports of "subversive activities" in the Hollywood film colony . . . In a poll of 2,000 actors, stagehands, critics, producers and technicians in New York, "The Glass Menagerie" was chosen the best play of 1945, "Carousel" the best musical, Laurette Taylor's the best actress' performance (in "Menagerie") and Frank Fay's the top male performance (in "Harvey") . . . Harold Lloyd has signed to make two films under Preston Sturges' direction. The veteran comedian hasn't performed before the cameras since 1938.

Sally Rand divorced Turk Greenough . . . Barbara Hutton sued Cary Grant for divorce . . . Merle Oberon married Lucien Keith Ballard, a cameraman . . . Luise Rainer and publisher Robert Knittel were married.

VETERANS

Veterans looking for homes will be given high preference for the purchase of any Government-owned war housing that becomes surplus to war needs. While little is expected to become available in the immediate future, there are some 200,000 publicly financed permanent family dwellings which will become surplus either during or after the war.

Changes in ration regulations now permit veterans to open small businesses making use of rationed foods.

Two types are opened to veterans by the OPA: (1) establishments using rationed foods as raw materials, such as bakeries, ice-cream makers, softdrink bottles, potato-chip fryers and candy manufacturers, and (2) establishments using rationed foods in the service of "refreshments," such as small restaurants, hot-dog stands, ice-cream and soft-drink stands, etc.

All disabled veterans with amputations because of service-connected injuries are to be furnished with an additional artificial limb, so that they will always have a "spare" on hand for emergency use, under a new policy of the Veterans Administration.

Previously, a veteran who incurred damage to his artificial limb had to get along without one while it was being repaired or a new one made.

Apprenticeship agreements entered into by former servicemen have been analyzed by WMC's Apprentice-Training Service, and the study shows that about three-fourths of the veterans are receiving or have applied for financial assistance from the Federal government. (For types, see p. 22.)

Rights for women are part of the GI Bill set-up, War Manpower Commission wants it known, and WMC's U. S. Employment Service is giving discharged servicewomen the same assistance as returning servicemen with respect to counseling and placement.

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