Altoona Mirror, August 12, 1944, Page 2

Altoona Mirror

August 12, 1944

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Issue date: Saturday, August 12, 1944

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - August 12, 1944, Altoona, Pennsylvania HOME EDITION The Circulation of the Altoona Mirror Yesterday Was— 30,251 Hltoona SIR ttrot. WEATHER: COOLER Waste paper is one of the things needed to supply the winning punch for victory. Save it for the next drive. VOL. 60—NO. 52 PHONE 7171 ALTOONA, PA., SATURDAY EVENING. AUGUST 12, 1944. TEN PAGES—PRICE FOUR CENTSGERMANS REEL BACK TOWARD PARIS * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * rn *    * * * * Martial Law Proclaimed Throushout Slovakia as Reds Near Border BATTLE WOUND KILLS FORMER LOCAL SOLDIER Pvt. Eugene A. McHugh Reported Dead In Action In France July 25. CASUALTIES Pvt. Eugene Albert McHugh. aged 30, a son of Mrs. Gertrude McHugh of 2215 Washington avenue, was fatally wounded in action July 24 while serving with an army infantry unit and died on the following day. First word of Pvt. McHugh’s death was received yesterday morning by his wife, Mrs. Mary (Black) McHugh, at her home in Toledo, O. She immediately notified her mother-in-law here by telephone. Pvt. McHugh entered the service on June 4, 1943 and was assigned to Camp Sibert, Ala., where he remained in training until sent overseas to England last October. He was with the first invasion troops in France and spent a short time in a hospital there because of a foot ailment. He returned to active duty only a short time before being fatally wounded. Born In Altoona. Eugene Albert McHugh was born in Altoona, Aug. 21, 1914, a son ot Matthew and Gertrude McHugh. In addition to his wife and mother he is survived by the following brothers and sisters:    Mrs. John King of Toledo, O., Mrs. Roy Scheeler of Baltimore, Md., W. V. McHugh, Mrs. Joseph McIntosh and Mrs. Ernest Unverdorben, all of Altoona. He attended Cathedral grade school and was a student at Altoona Catholic High school for one year before going to Toledo, O., where he graduated from Central Catholic High school and was a member of the varsity football team. He was a resident of Toledo for eighteen years and was a member of the city fire department at the time of his enlistment in the army. ANGLO-AMERICAN CONFERENCE SOON? WASHINGTON, D. C„ Aug. 12.— The capital speculated today with the possibility that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill would hold another of their conferences soon. Such a meeting would permit them to discuss climactic phases of the European war, the post-war treatment of Germany, and coordination of Anglo-American plans in prosecuting the war against Japan. From the swift course of events in Europe, a new conference would appear in the cards. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill have conferred on a rough average of once every six months. But they have not met now for eight months—since the Cairo and Tehran sessions last December. And Mr. Roosevelt indicated early this year that he felt he should meet Churchill oftener, even, than every six months. FLORENCE IS GERMANS IN CAPTURED BY BALTIC AREA ALLIED ARMY FACING DEATH J^7t#ENE A. McHI'GH, Killed In Action. mm PVT. BENJAMIN P. PULCINI, Killed In Action. Missing Pilot Killed Over Yap Island FLYING BOMBS IN NEW ROUTE LONDON, Aug. 12.—German flying bombs, apparently launched over a new route from behind Boulogne, were sent into southern England and the London area during the night on the largest scale in some time, causing casualties and damage. Tile attack began shortly before midnight and bombs were sent over at intervals until after daybreak. Previously reported missing in action on July 13, 2nd Lt. Walter E. Ball, jr., a son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter E. Ball of 525 Third avenue, was declared killed in action on the same date over Yap island according to a telegram received this morning by his parents from the war department. The message stated that a letter would follow. Lt. Bi*ll, aged 23, pilot of an AAF B-24 bomber in the south Pacific area, and Lt. Wayne L. Simpson, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Simpson of 207 Eighth avenue, Juniata, were crew members of the same plane and were reported missing in action on the same day, but efforts of the Altoona Mirror to contact the Simpson family today were unavailing. Lts. Ball and Simpson had been overseas for less than sixty days and it was only by coincidence that they were serving aboard the same ship, since the AAF does not permit two men from the same community to serve together. Lt Simpson had given his home address as Juniata, while Lt. Ball’s home was in Altoona. Lt Ball entered the service as an aviation cadet in July, 1942, and was called to active duty on Jan. 12, 1943. He trained at San Antonio, Corsicana, Greenville and I Houston, Tex. Prior to entering j the service he was employed in the Twelfth street shops of the ' (Continued on page 8, column 4) Ancient Treasure House of Italian Art, Falls After 2 Weeks’ Siege. By JAMES E. KOPEK U. P. War Correspondent ROME, Aug. 12.- Florence, ancient treasure house of Italian Renaissance art, fell into allied hands today as the Germans withdrew most of their troops from the city to new positions northward, ending a siege that started two weeks ago. While tl^e British 8th army troops had not yet crossed the Amo river, which cuts the city in half, allied military government officers moved into the northern sector and began administering relief to the civilian population. For the last two nights, a special communique announced today, the Germans have been withdrawing their main forces from Florence to a new lino north of Mug-! none canal, which runs through the 1 northern outskirts of the city. Snipers Still Active. Front dispatches reported that enemy snipers, however, still were I active in the city’s northern sec-I tion. Florence, with a pre-war population of approximately 250,000, was reported in recent dispatches to | have had some 100,000 civilians still j within its gates when the British drove the Germans back of the \ Amo and began jockeying for po- I sitions to take the city without re- j sorting to artillery fire which would | damage its priceless art treasures, j AMG officials it was believed, j would give first attention to pro- ! viding food and water for civil- I ians. The water situation became i critical several days ago when the : Germans blew up a power station J used for pumping main supplies ; to the city, and those fortunate | enough to have water were selling 1 it at 20 lire or $1 a bottle. Flagman’s Fall Ends Fatally At Hospital Steve Mehalic of Bradenville, Pa., a freight flagman in the Pennsylvania railroad service on the Pittsburgh division, died at the Altoona hospital this morning at 1.29 o’clock as the result of injuries received when he fell from a bunk in a cabin car early yesterday morning. Mehalic and other members of his crew were sleeping in the cabin when he fell from an upper bunk to the floor. His fellow trainmen went to his assistance and when he lapsed into unconsciousness, he was removed to the hospital. An examination showed that he had sustained a fracture of the back, the injury proving fatal. Steve Mehalic was born in Derry township on Jan. 16, 1908, a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Mehalic. He had been in the service for several years and his home address was box No. (Continued on page 8, column 4) Soviet Forces Break Through Enemy Lines Below Lake Pskov. COURT ON MONDAY. A session of miscellaneous court is scheduled Monday morning at IO o’clock at Hollidaysburg with President Judge George G. Patterson presiding. Relief Figures Show Decrease (Special to Altoona Mirror.) HARRISBURG, Aug. 12.—State Treasurer G. Harold Wagner reported that direct relief payments made to needy residents of Blair county during the week ended today show a decrease of SII from those of the previous week. Payments for the week totaled $1,201 which was $158 lower than those of the comparable week ot last year. Payments by the bureau of assistance disbursements in the state treasury department were $1,201 for the current week and $1,212 for the previous week. At the same time State Treasurer Wagner announced total payments (Continued on page S, column I) Mexicans to Work In P. R. R. Shops The Pennsylvania Railroad company is striving to meet the man-I power shortage of the past year or I more and has augmented its laboi 1 forces at various points on the system with Mexicans brought into the country through negotiations and agreements between the United States and Mexican governments. Their importation was made necessary as the result of the thousands of employes who have entered the various branches of the nation s armed forces since the United States entered the war. The P. R. R. company’s service flag denotes that some 46,942 employes were in the service as ot June I and of this number 232 have made the supreme sacrifice. To meet the wartime emergency the Pennsylvania and other roads, through the machinery of the United States and Mexican governments, took on several thousand Mexicans. Their stay and employment in the country is directly under the strict jurisdiction of the United States government. All must measure up to immigration (Continued on page 8, column 3) WEATHER FORECAST. WASHINGTON, D. C„ Aug. 12.-Western Pennsylvania—Clearing and cooler tonight. Pleasant weather Sunday. New Measure On Sidewalks To Be Passed Examination by Mayor Brumbaugh of the city’s sidewalk ordinance bears out his contention embodied in his statement, issued early this week, that it is obsolete and he announced today that it will be redrawn by City Solicitor J. Banks Kurtz and submitted to council for enactment. The existing sidewalk legislation was enacted many years ago before much use was made of the modern bituminous and bitulithic materials, with the result that it I provides that walks shall be laid or repaired either with brick, stone on concrete. Nowadays few people would think of laying a new walk either with stone or bricks, although in making repairs these materials necessarily are utilized if they were used in the original construction. Mr. Kurtz said today that he will go over the subject carefully with the mayor and frame an ordinance that will be adapted to present-day needs. As indicated by the mayor in his statement, sidewalk construction is going to be one of the important factors in post-war improvement in the city and he will insist that all who need new walks get ready when the time comes, which all hope is not very far away. (By United Presa.) LONDON, Aug. 12.—Martial law was proclaimed throughout Slovakia today as powerful Russian armies drove through the Carpathian mountain passes to within seventeen miles or Jess of the nazi puppet state’s northeastern frontier. Death Penalty. The German transocean news agency said the Slovak cabinet issued the proclamation this morning following a meeting in Bratislava. Tire edict invoked the death penalty for “revolutionary activities,” robbery or .sabotage of transport communications and health services. By HENRY SHAPIRO Staff Correspondent MOSCOW, Aug. 12.—A soviet campaign to destroy perhaps 300,000 Germans trapped against the Baltic in Latvia and Estonia was greatly intensified today wtih red army tanks and infantry ripping deep into the enemy flank on a forty-five-mile front below Lake Pskov. Gen. Ivan I. Maslennikov’s 3rd Baltic army went over to the offensive after a powerful artillery barrage yesterday, broke through the enemy’s main defense line and captured 200 towns and villages in a fifteen-mile advance in southern Estonia. One column seized Petseri, junction of the Pskov-Tallinn and Pskov-Riga railways, in a thrust to within fifty miles southeast of the Estonian stronghold of Tartu, while another captured Stukolowa, forty miles southwest of Pskov and two miles north of the Latvian border. Some 1,500 Germans were killed at Petseri and 300 others captured. Germans Hurled Back. Gen. Andrei I. Yerkenko’s 2nd Baltic army, to the southwest, hammered the southeastern corner of the German pocket back another six miles toward the Baltic with the capture of Sumakste, fifty-five miles southeast of Riga, and fifty other places after forcing the Viesite river along its entire length. The twin blows tightening the encirclement of Gen. George Linde-mann’s Baltic army of thirty divisions were announced as the nazi command apparently called off its all-out counter-attacks along the approaches to the eastern frontier of East Prussia after suffering tremendous losses during the past week. Stark evidence of the utter destruction wrought by modern war are the photos above, of cities, taken after their recapture by the allies. Top photo shows the heart of St. I.o after artillery and aerial bombardment. Below Is an airview of Terriers, with American armored seen entering the ghost city. French terrific forces Marines List Railway Yards Aleutian Base G.R. McGraw as At Metz Struck Is Visited by Dead In Action In Air Sweeps Mr. Roosevelt BRITISH HIT NORWAY. LONDON, Aug. 12.—Warplanes from a British carrier task force smashed at the German-held western coast of Norway yesterday, inflicting extensive damage to shore installations, destroying at least six enemy planes and setting fire to two nazi warships, it was announced today. CHURCHILL IN ITALY. LONDON, Aug. 12.—Prime Minister Churchill was paying his first war-time visit to Italy today amid German speculation with the possibility of a new allied landing in the Mediterranean, possibly in .southern France. Reported missing in action in the Pacific on July 5, 1943, Pie. George Richard McGraw, aged 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. George I. McGraw of 3971 Sixth avenue, is now officially listed as “died in action." Confirmation of the Altoona marine raider’s death was received in telegrams from Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandegrift, marine corps commandant, received this week by the parents and his wife, Mrs. Larue Wicker McGraw, of 3005 Pine avenue. The telegrams read: “An official declaration of presumptive death has been made in the case of your son, Pfc. George R. McGraw, U. S, M. C. A. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. Letter follows.” The promised letter was received by the parents yesterday from Maj. Gen. D. Peck of the marine corps and its contents follow: “The death of your son, Pfc. George R. McGraw, U. S. marine corps reserve, in action against the (Continued on page 8, column 3) ROOSEVELT TO SPEAK TONIGHT SEATTLE, Aug. 12. — President Roosevelt, making his second radio speech from the west coast within a month, will give the nation a first-hand account tonight of his inspection of the Pacific war theatre and his conferences with the top Pacific commanders Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. Mr. Roosevelt speaks from the Bremerton navy yard across Puget sound from Seattle at 5 p. rn. (8 p. rn. F1WT) and his address will be broadcast by the four major networks. By W ALTER CRONKITE I'. P> War Correspondent LONDON, Aug. 12. A fleet of approximately 750 American heavy bombers, escorted by 500 fighter planes, attacked railway yards at Metz in northeastern France near the German border, and German airdromes in northern France today. The smashing blow against Metz, one of the key junctions in the nazis’ transportation system for troops and material in France, was carried out by Faying F’or-tresses and Liberators of the 8th air force. Among the air fields attacked were those at Le Parthe, Chamant, and But, about thirty miles east of Paris, and others at Atheis, Couvron, Juvincourt and Laon, The weather was clear and results generally good, the United States 2nd tactical air force announced. It was the thirteenth consecutive day of the allied aerial offensive against Germany and German-held territory. By LLOYD TUPLING Stat! Correspondent AN ADVANCE ALEUTIAN ISLAND BASF], Aug. 3.- (Delayed)— President Roosevelt, visiting this fog-shrouded, far northern outpost of American military and naval might, said today that the United States never again would trust the Japanese and must see to it that they never again set foot in the Aleutians. Arriving here aboard a new cruiser five days atter leaving Pearl Harbor and his strategy conferences with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, Mr. Roosevelt made a whirlwind, four-hour inspection tour of this island bastion which little more than a year ago was only a short distance from enemy-held territory. (This must mean that the base is in the westernmost Aleutians close to Kiska or Attu which the Japanese occupied on June 3, 1942. Attu, reconquered after brief but bloody (Continued on page 8, column 4) Pennsy Begins Demobilization Building    Bill Adopted Improvements By U. S. Senate Heavy Casualty Lists Reveal Blair County’s Bole In War War’s high cost in human lives is brought home daily to Blair coun-tians as the casualty lists are released by the war and navy departments. Grim reminders of the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces appear in the accounts of hard fighting on various war fronts and of the heavy losses entailed in attaining objectives by land, sea and air power. But the war is brought home most forcibly to members of families that have received those terse telegrams informing them that a son has been killed in action, was wounded, or is missing. Altoona Mirror files reveal that since the outbreak of the war on Dee. 7, 1941, more than 500 of such .shocking messages have saddened homes in Blair county. And the list probably is incomplete since many families prefer to withhold the sad news. Daily casualty records compiled by The Mirror reveal that 141 Blair county soldiers, sailors and marines have been killed in action in the various theatres of war. This total includes thirty-three since the be- (Continued on page 8, column I) The Pennsylvania Railroad company has begun improvements at the Altoona freight station to speed up and expand the facilities for the handling freight. The work is to be completed in the course of the next sixty days according to Superintendent H. G. Hostetter of the Middle division. J. C. Orr & Son of the city has been given a contract to build a 540-foot loading platform along No. 4 track at the station and to put it under roof. The location, is at Tenth avenue and Eleventh street. The material for the job has been placed and a force of men began building operations yesterday. The new platform will supplant the use of a number of flat-cars which were utilized for loading and unloading cars in the transfer .service. The local station has been performing considerable transfer work for several months. The new platform will add to the facilities for handling such traffic. TEMPERATURE HIGH. A temperature of 85 degrees at 9.30 o’clock this morning forecast a new high temperature for the summer unless a storm brought relief from the heat. The low temperature last night was 73 degrees and the high for yesterday afternoon was 94 degrees. By JOHN L. (’UTTER, Staff Correspondent. WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 12.— The senate, having rejected overwhelmingly the theory of federal standards for unemployment compensation in the post-war period, turned its attention to surplus property disposal today as one of its major remaining problems on war demobilization. Chairman Robert R. Reynolds (D., N. C.) of the military affairs committee promised to get before the senate at the earliest possible date a bill which would set congressional policy on disposal of sur- I plus war goods, including indus-trial plants, estimated to total at I least $80,000,000,000. j The senate completed one phase | of its demobilization problem late yesterday when it sent to the house by a vote of 55 to 19 the bill by Senator Walter F. George <D., Ga.) setting up general policies on reconversion, a $l5,000-a-year director of war mobilization and reconversion to coordinate the program, and extending federally-financed unemployment compensation to about 2,500,000 workers in federal shipyards, arsenals, ordnance plants and similar jobs. The senate earlier defeated, 49 to 25, the Murray-Kilgore proposal i (Continued on page 8, column 4) 1 ALLIES ARE CLOSING IN UPON ENEMY Americans and British Strike Out In Vast Encirclement Drive. By VIRGIL PINKLEY, I . I*. War Correspondent. SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, AEF, Auf?. 12.—The German 7th army of perhaps 100,000 men reeled back toward the Seine and Paris from the Normandy pocket today under triphammer attacks by two allied armies which recaptured hotly-contested Mortain and were closing in on the hard-pressed Germans from three sides. Encirclement Drive. The American 1st and British 2nd armies struck out in a vast encirclement drive in Normandy while another American spearhead in Brittany forced the Loire river and drove ten miles south along the roads to the submarine base of La Rochelle and the big port of Bordeaux, seventy-five and 170 miles below Nantes. Cloaked by Secrecy. Secrecy cloaked the progress of the American Lank columns spearing directly toward Paris. Most quarters doubted an American radio station’s report that the Americans already had reached the outskirts of Paris, though the columns were believed in tin* vicinity of Chartres, forty-six miles southwest of the capital, and Chateau-dun, twenty-six miles farther south. The German garrisons at isolated Brest, St. Nazaire and Lorient, Brittany submarine and naval bases, continued to hold out despite overwhelming odds. Marauders of the 9th air force dropped 4,000,000 leaflets on the three ports last night calling upon the garrisons to surrender to save useless bloodshed. A Motley German force also was resisting all American attacks on an underground citadel in iterated St. Malo, a fishing port on th* north coast of Brittany. TRI CK STRIKE GOMES TO CLOSE WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 12.— Settlement of the General Motors I strike at Detroit and the midwest truck strike reduced by 57,000 the I number of men idle because of 1 labor disputes today, but some 13,-I OOO workers still were out in minor work stoppages throughout the na-j tion. The five-day truck strike was set-j tied at 12:01 a. nu, (CWT) today when the office of defense trans-! portation took over 103 truck in eight states. President Roosevelt ordered the seizure last night because the walkout, which started Monday over the refusal of the operators to grant a seven-cent hourly wage increase approved by the war labor board, affected the shipment of critical wrar materials in ten states. Japs Execute U. S. Prisoners By It. II. SHACKFORD, Staff Correspondent. WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 12.— Japan’s decision to wait a year to notify the United States of the execution of three prisoners of war placed her today in the position of ignoring technical provisions of international law regarding the treatment of prisoners. Japan has never ratified the Geneva convention to which most of the nations of the world adhered in 1929. Designed to "diminish... the unavoidable rigors and to mitigate the fate” of prisoners of war, it provides that in case of a death. (Continued on page 8, column 4) ;