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Chester Times (Newspaper) - December 22, 1942, Chester, Pennsylvania THE WEATHER Eastern Penna Slowly rising tem perature and rain tonight Last City Edition 67TH 20359 Dally Leased Wire Exports ol UP and International Sews Service 1SSI CHESTER PA TUESDAY DECEMBER 22 1942 PUBLISHED EVERT EXCEPT SUNDAY PRICE THREE CENTS EDS PINCH TRAP ON FOE NAZIS DRIVEN FROM BIG TOWN ON DON FRONT Germans Retreat Leaving Heavy Equipment Flee in Disorder Then Russians Sweep on Aiming to Capture Bulk of Armies Used by Reich in 1942 Summer Campaign Reduce Enemy Fortifications Hope To Free Stalingrad Soon Moscow Army forces on the Central Don front stormed a big town today and swept on toward their objective of trappingthe bulk of the armies of Adolf Hitler used in his 1942 summer campaign Although the Soviet noon communique did not disclose the name of the town it might be Millerovo an important junction on the VoronezhRostov railway only 120 miles from Rostov The Germans knowing that if Col Gen K Vatutin and his Red Armies reach Rostov all their forces from high above Stalingrad to the Caucasus mountains would be trapped counterattacked with desper ate violence southwest of Stalingrad Evidently the Germans retreating in disorder with most of their heavy equipment left behind did not offer the Russians serious resistance in the town they captured on the cen tral front In the area of the middle Don Soviet troops continued their offen sive the noon communique said Guardsmen dislodged the enemy from a large inhabited place and wiped out over 400 of the enemy and took 98 prisoners Guards sappers unearthed over 2000 mines On another sector priet artillery dispersed and partly out an infantry unit retreat 5g in disorder These losses were in addition to more than 45000 Germans killed and captured since the new offensive began a week ago The Germans mounted continuous tank and infantry counterattacks southwest of Stalingrad probably 57 miles away near Verchne Kumsky Warmer weather succeeding bliz Turn to Page 2 Number 5 JLATJ ft U i SMOLENSK This strategic city on the rail line from Poland to Moscow has been in German hands since July 1941 shortly after Russia was invaded But new Soviet counterattacks to the north threaten the Nazi hold on this strong point ffule Trees Are Plentiful But Rush Has Begun Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes are plentiful and Tomorrow according to the cen tralcity vendors they will be scarce and the prices of those that remain will be higher Despite rumors of a shortage of trees and exhorbitant prices a checkup this afternoon revealed that the cost of a tree this yeiar is only a shade higher than in past Yuletides and dealers explain this by the higher labor costs in the New England woods the origin of the vast majority of the trees One of the largest selections was found on Sproul street near Sixth where the prices ranged from 75 cents to S4 The tree most in de mand seven to 10 feet tall and bushy averaged and al though the selection was limited Rash On As many people are buying trees this year as ever before a salesman Turn to Page 2 Number 6 Buy Christmas ATTACK SEEN NEAR ON ENEMYS TUNISIA GRIP United Nations Sending Masses of Supplies To Front London radios reported new Allied attacks in Tunisia today and indications mounted that a grandscale British and American assault on the enemys coastal foot holds was imminent African dispatches reported that the Allies were sending masses of supplies and rein forcements to the Tunisian front lines preparing for unitedd action with Gen Sir Bernard Montgomerys Brit ish Eighth Army which was pushing across Tripolitania at a rate of 15 miles a day Montgomerys forces were believ ed on the outskirts of Sirte more than 170 miles west of El Agheila in pursuit of Meld Marshal Edwin Rommels fleeing Afrika Korps There were scone indications that the imperials might have occupied Sirte Both the German and Italian radios reported new Allied attacks in Tunisia Both of course said the new thrusts were turned back by Axis forces Activity Seen Intense Significantly however radio Rome said activity in Tunisia had become somewhat more intense and radio Berlin asserted that a major Allied action was imminent French troops made a new ad vance in the Protectorate and were operating near Kirouan only 32 miles from the strategic East Coast port of Sousse radio Morocco said Quoting a French communique A successful drive to the East Coast would deprive the Germans and Italians of a major reinforcement port There was no confirmation of Spanish reports that the Germans were massing a relief force in French ports British observers believed it unlikely because of the probability that Axis North African resistance at best could be only a holding op eration The French force advancing on Sousse was the column which previ Xurn to Page 2 Number 4 ALLIES BLAST MUNICH SEAT OF NAZIDOM Bombs of Great Weight Smash On City 12 Planes Lost London powerful force of Great Britains big gest bombers raided Munich birthplace of the Nazi party during the night and started large fires the Air Ministry announced today There had been reports re cently that Adolf Hitler was shuttling back and forth be tween Munich and Berlin dis cussing several internal and foreign problems with Nazi henchmen and he could have been in Munich his favorite city while the bombs fell A great weight of bombs were dropped Battling through a heavy screen of enemy night fighters and thick clouds and over a furious bombard ment of antiaircraft fire the great British bombers penetrated 500 miles into enemyheld Europe to blast the Bavarian capital where a shab by frustrated Hitler 20 years ago nursed his hatred for mankind 12 Allied Planes Lost Twelve British planes were lost the air ministry in dication that perhaps up to 250 planes had engaged in the raid But the bombers in a series of savage fights to reach their targets shot down at least two and probably more German night fighter planes It was admitted that the bombard iers had had difficulty in sighting their specified targets because of the clouds but the pilots stuck to the task until gaps permitted proper sighting The Air Ministrys statement that a great weight of bombs had been dropped was believed to mean that 800pound triple block busters as well as 4000pound 2000pound and incendiary bombs had been dropped Germany admittint material damage said only slight strong Ger man defense presented a concen trated attack on what it called mere ly southern Germany and said bombs were dropped at random The Germans claimed only 11 planes down as against the air ministrys admission of 12 Previously British listeners had heard the Berlin radio admit that temporary disturbance of work had been caused by the British raid the previous night on the industrial and communications center of Duis burg one of Europes great inland ports Bailroads Raided Observers along the southeast British coast heard the bombers go over the coast to the continnent in a parade which lasted 45 minutes last night An air ministry communique said that Whirlwind Intruder planes of the Royal Air Force raided railroads in occupied territory for the second straight day yesterday One freight train was blown off the line American Army headquarters an nounced that in the great raid Sun day on RomfllySurSeine Prance by United States Army Liberator and Flying Fortress bombers at least 44 German planes were shot down in ak battles Last nights raid was the fourth of the war on Munich The last raid on Sept 19 was made entirely by the biggest bombers in the Royal Air Force It was understood that last nights raid also was made prin cipally by heaviest type planes SPRINGER STILL IN HOSPITAL The condition of John Springer 15 of 24 East Twentythird street who suffered a slight brain concus sion yesterday morning at a fire which damaged the home of Mrs Emma Davis 100 East Twentythird street today at Chester Hospital was reported as good He was injured when he slipped and fell on the ice while rushing into the Davis home to secure fur coats for Mrs Davis and her daughter Anne to protect them from the bit ter cold New Rationing Board to Meet Tomorrow Night JOSEPH E PAPPANO Chesters new streamlined ration ing board will meet tomorrow night to discuss plans to speed up the system The three local boards have been consolidated into one officially known as Local War Price and Ra tioning Board No 2310 and headed by Joseph E Pappano local attor ney as chairman Under the new setup different groups or panels will handle different commodities and the result is expected to make things easier for the consumer and for the OPA agency All panels will meet totnorrow night in the offices at 905 Edgmont avenue from 7 to 9 oclock with Pappano to discuss plans for revis ing the system Previously each member of the rationing board had to be familiar with the rationing requirements of aE commodities and because the number of rationed products is in creasing daily the task grew too great and the result was a slowing down In the system To Study Procedure At tomorrows session the work assigned to each panel will be dis cussed and suggestions for improv Tura to Page 2 Number 1 Japs Leave 1000 British Die on Sinking Prison Ship Shot Those Escaping Somewhere in West China Japanese let 500 to 1000 British and Canadian soldiers weakened by brutality die aboard a torpedoed and sinking prison ship survivors who have reached Free China said today Those who broke through hatches and jumped into the sea without life jackets were machinegunned by Japanese sailors the survivors said The prison ship was torpedoed by a submarine off the China coast after it left Hong Kong Sept 27 for Shanghai and Japanese ports Survivors whose identity cannot be revealed but whose accuracy is unquestioned related the story ol one of the tragedies of war Aboard the ship were 1500 pris oners of war They were ragged dis eased and starving after nine months of close confinement at Hong Kong where they said appalling sanitary medical and food condi tions prevailed Many of their com rades had died and hundreds were almost walking skeletone All prisoners were placed below decks hi cramped quarters with barely room to lie down We thought that the future might be brighter because the food served the first day was better than that at the prison one survivor said Late the second afternoon we heard shouting on decks Then the ship shuddered under a huge ex plosion and began to list in a few seconds We could hear firing above apparently at the torpedoing submarine The ship settled but continued to move Then The Nightmare Then the nightmare began The Japanese closed all hatch covers with tarpaulins and lumber There were no air inlets and hour by hour the hold became more unbearable There were no latrines and the stench was overpowering The worst hour came when sev eral men weakened by prison di seases died Next morning the ship seemed to be settling and there was no sound on deck The stronger men decided to es cape They forced through a hatch to the deck where they saw that the ship was being towed with no Japanese left aboard We could see the Japanese be ginning to cast off the tow Our ship lurched and began to go down by the stern Although they lacked life belts the survivors said men began jump tag overboard amid machine gun fire from several Japanese vessels cruising arund the ship Some of the ships continued fir ing at the men in the sea a sur vivor said We were swimming in groups but many drowned imme diately because of weakness The Japanese then began pick ing up many groups of men but made no attempt to lower boats to help the majority Probably not over a few hundred were rescued After vainly attempting to at tract attention the survivors swam to shore where they found Chinese fishermen who fed and clothed them RAF ASSAULTS JAP BASE AT ARYAB IN BURMA New Delhi India British communique reported today that Royal Air Force fighter planes again had attacked the vital Japanese base of Akyab in western Burma apparently softening up enemy de fenses in preparation for an assault by ground forces believed to have advanced to within less than 45 miles of the city The RAF formation the communi que said swept over the city and neighboring area yesterday at low level blasting objectives with can non and machine guns The British reported damage specifically to the important Akyab airdrome gun positions and a mediumsized steam er in Satyogya Creek The Japanese sent up a heavy barrage of antiaircraft fire and other British fighters on offensive patrol along the western Arakan coast met enemy planes But the communique reported only two Brit ish aircraft missing from these ope rations A Japanese broadcast heard by United Press in New York sought to make a great success of Japanese air ratfls on Allied airfields at Cal cutta and Chittagong in southeast ern India Sunday night The Jap anese said large fires were set and reported all their planes which al legedly met no opposition returned safely A message from an Indian Army observer at the front said British forces were in AlethanwYaw 45 miles northwest of Akyab four days ago and were proceeding with prac tically no opposition A few Japanese planes raided Cal cutta early today the second time since the war started Only slight damage and few casualties were re ported less than the ineffectual raid on Sunday The observers message said the Turn to Page 2 Number 7 LOSES FOOT IN TRAIN ACCIDENT Joseph Broginis 18 of 976 North Leithgow street Philadelphia had his left foot amputated in Chester Hospital today following an acci dent at the Sixth and Welsh streets station of the Pennsylvania Rail road when he fell under a train According to police the accident took place at 5 oclock when Erog inis who is employed by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Com pany ran and tried to board a train before it had come to a stop He missed his footing and slipped under the wheels REGISTRATION BEGINS ANEW Another group of Chesters youth is registering to answer the call to the colors All boys who reached the age of 18 in September and October started to register with the three local Se lective Service Boards on Friday and up to this morning 36 had appeared The first group those who be came 18 in July and August regis tered all last week and according to official figures today 123 are eligi ble for service Of this number 53 registered at Board No 1 30 at Board No 2 and 40 at Board No 3 The second group will probably average about the same number as the first draft officials said with registrations coming in slower be cause of the holiday week On Saturday the third group comprising those who reached the age of 18 in November and Decem ber will register until the closing date Dec 31 HIGHER FOOD PRICE CEILING FOR FARMERS Washington Admin istration officials appeared about ready today to discard most farm subsidies in lavor of higher food price ceilings A strong move to drop subsidies as a means of keeping down food costs followed closely the resigna tion of Price Administrator Leon Henderson their chief supporter Ceiling prices on wholesalers and retailers could be raised to permit higher prices to farmers whose products are not directly controlled by OPA ceilings Sen James M Mead D N Y a strong adminis tration supporter has predicted that the government will act soon to improve the agricultural price sit uation both by lowering costs to the fanner and by increasing some farm prices Farm organization leaders and many Congressmen are opposed to the subsidies The Agriculture De partment never has liked them Food processors have insisted they were doomed to failure Economic Stabilization Director James F Byrnes who was said to have sup ported Hendersons views now is expected to reconsider subsidies and possibly order their abandonment Some subsidies such as those to keep down food costs and to help small meat packers stay in business are expected to be continued Farm aid such as loans purchase pro grams and soil conservation pay ments would not be affected Like Turn to Page 2 Number 8 HAS HEART ATTACK James Grube 47 of the Chester Rescue Mission Sixth and Crosby streets was treated at Chester Hos pital yesterday for a heart attack and discharged Grube went to po lice headquarters yesterday and complained of being ill He was taken to the hospital in a patrol wagon ABERFOYLE TO CLOSE The Chester plant of the Aber foyle Manufacturing Company will close for Christmas at the end of the day shift on Thursday It will reopen with the day shift on Mon day In the meantime the guards and watchman will be on duty U S TREASURY BALANCE Washington INS Treasury balance 5754108692644 Internal Revenue customs re ceipts receipts S7 639400333 expenditures 776660 DELAYS SUN LAUNCHING The Delaware river acted up yes terday afternoon at Sun Ship de laying the launching of the S S Cowpens for 35 minutes while the sponsor Mrs Anna Piestrak and her two daughters and son busied themselves wanning her several grandchildren who were on the point of whimpering with cold Scheduled for launching at 124 p m it was just 149 p m when Frank McShane foreman of the launching crew and Wilmer Marine his assistant knelt between the ways directly under the prow of the big ship to direct the eight men who manned the saws at the launching blocks Mrs Anna Piestrak who chris tened the S S Cowpens yesterday afternoon is the wife of J Anthony Piestrak who has been employed at the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for 26 years Mr and Mrs Piestrak were born in Austria Turn to Page 2 Number 9 DEFENSE GROUP FLAYS COUNCIL ON BUDGET CUT Carey Charges City Group Let Down 5000 Volunteers City councilmen today heard themselves charged with let ting down the 5000 Chester volunteers who are trying to carry out the work of Civilian Defense They also stood accused of jeopardizing the welfare of the thousands of men and women engaged in the numer ous war industry plants which dot the Chester area which was described as a vulnerable military target because of these industries These charges were hurled at the three city councilmen by Paul J Carey Chester Coordinator of Civil ian Dsfsrse who said that if Coun cil persisted in retaining the nearly Turn to Page 2 Number 10 LAST MINUTE NEWS NAZI AIR CHIEF REPORTED REMOVED London Rcuter dispatch from Stockholm today quoted the Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau as reporting from Ber lin that Nazi Marshal Albert Kesselring Chief of the German Air Force in the Mediterranean has been relieved of his command and sent to the eastern front NAVY ASKS WAR BOARD TO SETTLE STEEL STRIKE Washington Navy Department today asked the War Labor Board and the Mediation Service of the Department of Labor to take appropriate action to settle the strike of 1000 work ers at the Republic Steel Co Cleveland 0 Navy officials refused further comment LOWELL MAYOR GETS YEAR TEKM Cambridge Mass George T Ashe of Lowell pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy and bribery and was sentenced to the East Cambridge House of Correction for a year Mayor Ashe was alleged to have accepted gratuities in 1940 in con nection with city hardware contracts NAZI NUISANCE RAIDERS OVER ENGLAND London German planes taking advantage of low clouds carried out nuisance raids against England today and two were destroyed by midafternoon RAF fighters shot down one raider and an antiaircraft battery whose crew included women auxiliaries destroyed a Dornier217 bomber off the east Anglian coast Several persons were killed in an cast Anglian coastal town and two women were killed and four persons injured in a south east inland town Some German planes appeared over the north east coast ALLIES SEIZE JAP AIR STRIP IN BUNA AREA Another Section Under Attack From Each End in Heaviest Fighting Of Guinea Campaign Enemy Holdings Well Protected With Concrete and Steel Many Tanks In Action Gen MacArlhurs Headquarters Australia of the two Japaneseair strips on the beach southeast of Buna was in Allied hands today and the other was under attack from both ends in some of the heaviest fighting of the cam paign The main attack was at the southeastern end of the strip in the Cape Endaiadere section about two mOes from the Buna Mission with light tanks overrunning the enemys bunker type strong points of connected steel and concrete Thousands Dead In Quake That Sweeps Turkey London Of per sons were killed and hundreds in jured when devastating earthquakes swept the central Black Sea area of northern a German radio broadcast reported today Many high Turkish officials were said to have perished as the quake levelled buildings in towns in the Erbaa district 80 miles southeast of the port of Samsun Heavy cas ualties were reported also from Tokat and Niskar said the Berlin broadcast which was recorded by Reuters Earlier reports placed the death list at 600 Later accounts indicated that a second series of shocks had swept the stricken area adding to the death roll The Berlin report said Premier Ismet Inonu was making a tour of the devastated district Every build ing in Erbaa which is 120 miles northeast of Ankara the Turkish capital was said to have been lev elled by the quakes GSO MEMBERS GUESTS AT PARTY The Girls Service Organization the hostesses at scores of affairs dur ing the year for servicemen and de fense workers had the tables turned and came as guests to a dinner dance held by the dormitory men of the Y M C A last night at the as sociations social rooms Members of the Y staff were also guests The president the residents is Charles Gordon who acted as toastmaster during the eve ning Also on the Arrangements Committee were John Matley Mar tin Goris and Miss Mary Sawka president of the girls group A telegram from Martin Goris committee member and originator of the idea two years ago was read He is now taking instruction at an officers training school Talks from Miss Sawka Emery M Nelson Y M C A general secre tary and Leslie E Crabbs were heard Following the meal group singing and instrumental selections were heard Old Saint Nick ap peared and distributed gifts Nov tlty dancing for the two groups then filled out the evenings entertain ment Tells of Disaster Reds Have Wreaked on Germans By HENRY SHAPIRO With the Red Army on the Sta lingrad Front de For hundreds of square miles around this battle ground in the Don river bend there stretches a mammoth Axis grave yard Red Army salvage squads have been working day and night for weeks removing war materials of all sorts to base points in the rear whence they will be thrown in ac tion against the enemy soon Burial squads have been collect ing and burying the bodies of men which along with those pi horses and the wreckage of machines lie in the snowdrifts prey to carrion crows and wild cats Military police are rounding up tens of thousands of German and Rumanian prisoners Axis Suffers Rout The moment I crossed the north bank of the Don to enter the terri tory wrested from Germans and be gin a tour toward the east bank where Gen I N Clrhstiankovs 21st Red Army is steadily pressing the Germans toward the Volga it be came evident that the Axis had suf fered an immense rout The Axis losses already surpass those of last winter when the Red Army made its first historic and crushing winter offensive My observation confirms reports that the Germans bore the brunt of casualties in the battle which is es timated to have cost the Axis so far 400000 men killed wounded or cap tured But the Rumanians in their small segment of the line have suffered perhaps the greatest military disas ter in their modern history one which may prove catastrophic to Rumanian home morale Rumania had lost enormously in previous operations probably more than any other Axis vassal Ruman ians were put in the front line from the very start They lost heavily at Odessa and at Sevastopol This time they were crushed Scores of Ru manian prisoners officers and men talked to me as they were escorted as prisoners toward the rear When the people at home learn the real extent of our tragedy there will be hell to pay an infantry Turn to Page 2 Number 2 Read Bill Burks Column To the Soldiers Today on Page 18 defenses As this and another attack from across the Buna Creek continued at the main front it developed that Australians who captured the vil lage of Gona almost two weeks ago were still finding Japanese rem nants and some of the enemy troops who landed a week ago at the Main bare Estuary 40 miles northwest up the coast from Buna were still try ing to organize for action In the Buna beachhead fighting Allied infantry was pushing between the two air strips behind a screen of tanks which had overrun the Japanese defense perimeter and knocked out 15 Japanese strong points near Sinemi Creek between the old and new landing areas This force was reported to be within 2400 yards of the Buna Mission Americans attacking the Mission from the other side on the north west from the creek were much nearer the building but were up against deep entrenchments and strong mortar and machine gun posts protected by log barricades They had made no substantial prog ress Analysis of Gen Douglas Mac Arthurs communiques for the last several weeks showed that only when light Americanbuilt General Stuart Turn to Page 2 Number 3 Winter Arrives A her Cold Snap Believe it or not winter just ar rived this morning The last two bittercold days were merely the tailend of autumn and the arrival of winter at 640 a m today brought relief from the ex treme weather Temperatures which went below zero rose yesterday afternoon degrees and this morning at 7 a m it was 16 which made it warm by comparison with yesterday mom ing The mercury is expected to rise slowly today and the bitter cold of the last few days has gone at least temporarily according to the weatherman Coldest Since 1901 It was revealed that so far this has been the coldest December since 1904 The break in the cold wave brought relief to home owners mo torists and transportation officials Heating systems in many homes be came more normal last night when the temperature was 20 and hun dreds of motorists whose cars froze were able to drive to work again re lieving bus and trolley lines which were crowded beyond capacity by the added influx of passengers Schools in Upper Darby Colling date and Darby Township which were forced to close yesterday morn ing because of the extreme coid re opened today Topics of Times Even after some politicians toss their hats into the ring they con tinue to talk through them For the duration guests should bring their own sugar Which wont be anything new to unmarried men Horse meat will give some wives a new way of nagging friend husband The Mikado has ordered a fight to the last is the same idea our armed forces have A nice shiner is one proof that bridge games often end in a grand slam In Todays CHESTER TIMES Page Amusements 19 Answers to Questions 6 Bedtime Story 21 Bridge 9 Comics21 23 Crossword Puzzle 21 Deaths22 Editorials 6 Fiction 21 Financial 16 From The Times Files 6 In Hollywood 9 Marriage Licenses 8 Obituaries2 Pegler 3 Radio Time Table20 Serial 9 Society News 8 Sports1819 The Brighter Side 6 With Our Service Men 12 Womens Pages 8 9
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