Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - April 23, 1944, Abilene, Texas
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A TEXAS NEWSPAPER
AMLENE, TEXAS, SUNDAY MORNING, APRIL 23, 1944-THIRTY-SIX PAGES IN THREE SECTIONS <*F> v«iM PRICE FIVE CENTS
MARIANA^BOMBED FIRST TIME
Bombers Make 2,200-Mile Roundtrip lo Hi! Islands
"Pre-Invasion Hammering Continues at Full Blast
Nearly 4,000 Planes Aid In Bombing Hamm, Coast
* LONDON, Sunday, April 23-(AP)—Pre-invasion fleets of nearly 4,000 American and Allied bombers and fighters smashed the German rail center of Hamm, coastal fortifications in France, and airfields in Belgium and France yesterday in history’s greatest aerial offensive, which apparently still was under way early today after a week in which 29,000 4tons of explosives had been hurled onto Hitler’s continental rampants.
A U. S. Air Force bulletin issued early Sunday morning said “satisfactory results” were achieved in the main strike at Hamm by nearly 2,000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators Escorted by Thunderbolt, Mustang and Lighting fighters, but failed to mention any aircraft losses.
Large formations of RAF
Bombing Shower *Does Not Solve •Invasion Drive
LONDON, April 22 — (/Pl— The bombs now showering on Western Europe are making the ultimate Allied conquest easier but probably are not lengthening the immediate task of breaking into Hitler's fort ress from the sea.
Best information ta that German ^rlans and equipment for meeting the first phase of the invasion are pretty well solidified now and it is doubtful if the current bombing can knock out much of the stuff the .Jfazis are planning to throw at our banding forces.
Nor can bombing now or later be expected to blast holes in defenses through which the invaders can sweep unopposed. Cassino and Tar awa have given ample warning on %hat. The Germans* western fortifications undoubtedly include many deep, massive, concrete works no bombs could be expected to pene trate.
The long period of preparation ^for the Allied western operation obviously has given the enemy plenty of time to asemble all the material and men he will need in the first phase and to dig them in against the expected Allied efforts at dis-lodgement by bombing and shelling.
• • •
Those who talk of frightful Allied casualties in the invasion assault can be only guessing, since casualties must be decided by im-
• ponderables which will crystalize only on the day of oattle. But those who talk about the invasion being a pushover through air attacks or any other circumstance are equally off base.
However, the Anzio beachhead operation in Italy has been glaring proof that the initial assault is no more important than the follow-up campaign combatting the enemy counterattack. That is where the current bombardment is laying im-^portant groundwork and pressing *he big Allied advantage.
Rotan Airman Reported Dead
heavy bombers were heard outward bound over both the southeast and east coasts of England both last night and early today. Dover Straits residents heard explosions across the channel in France and saw German searchlights at Calais and Boulogne.
Axis continental radios faded off the air late last night after warning the German homeland "that fresh Allied formations were roaring into northwestern and western Germany.
The Amerian communique termed Hanam, one of Germany’s most important rail traffic centers.” Through its huge freight yards Hitler must pour his central reserves to dombat the long-awaited Allied invasion in the west.
“The attack was carried out in conditions of good visibility," said the bulletin whih a:so did not in-diate what degree of resistane was offered by German fighters.
While this powerful formation touched off violent air battles over Hamm, 60 miles northwest of smouldering Cologne which again was hit during the night by RAF bombers, wave after wave of American and British planes beat a bomb tattoo against the Atlantic wall redoubts across the channel nearest Esgland.
One group of American Mustang fighters, escorting the bombers raiding Hamm yesterday, reported catching a formation of about 25 Mes-serschmitts assembling over Germany.
The Mustangs boxed them in and shot down 17.
Approximately I .OOO American and British light bombers and fighters dumped at least 600 tons on the French coast, making a total of nearly 7,000 dropped there in six days. The heaviest battering of the mysterious emplacements oc-
See EUROPEAN WAR, Pg. 6, Col. 2
CRIMEAN COASTER—Leader of the Russian coastal army that drove westward from the Kerch peninsula, captured Balaklava and formed the southern arm of pincers clipping Germans in Sevastopol is stocky, brown-haired Col.-Gen. Andrei Ivanovich Yeremenko, above. Famed as “savior of Stalingrad,” he also played leading role in defense of Mosco w, was wounded seven times in 19 months.
Russians Report Little War News
LONDON. April 22—(ZP) —The Soviet high command in its shortest communique in months said tonight “nothing of any importance'’ occurred on any sector of the eastern front today, and the Germans explained this by declaring the Red army was forming its lines for a big new offensive in Poland to coincide with an Allied invasion from the west.
Late Soviet dispatches from the Crimea said the Red fleet was closing in to join land forces ringing the big base of Sevastopol in a final assault, but this draamtic battle, last reported rushing to a climax, was ignored in the Soviet daily bulletin.
The communique, recorded by the Soviet monitor from Moscow s broadcast, reported only a Friday night air raid on some shale oil refineries in Estonia and the destruction of 87 German tanks and 54 planes
on all fronts during Friday.
A later supplement to the communique said the Germans twice attacked the Russian lines southwest of Narva, Estonia, but both times “were forced to retreat without reaching our first line" and lost 300 dead.
Southeast of Stanislawow in old Poland, it said, a German infantry battalion lost 200 dead in a vain effort to capture a hill.
Although silent on Sevastopol, it added that naval aircraft sank a German landing barge, a patrol cutter and a 2,000-ton transport in the
Black sea. , , . ..
Berlin’s military commentator, Martin Halensleben, said the eastern
front was going through “the quiet before the storm.” Although the Russian drives have been “brought to a standstill,” he said, the Red army has massed troops from the lower Dnestr to the Pripyat marshes at the
top of the Ukraine. ...
“Preparations for forthcoming great battles are continuing on both sides ” he said, “and the Soviet high command apparently makes preparations’ to synchronize the impending Anglo-American invasion with a large-scale invasion of their own. ’
Sweden Rejects Export Request
STOCKHOLM, April 22 —(A*)— Sweden delivered a negative but conciliatory reply today to U. S. Minister Herschel V. Johnson on the American request that this country stop delivery of ball-bearings to Germany.
The Soviet government was reported to have joined the United States and British governments in asking that Sweden cease the deliveries to Germany.
WINDS SPREAD DUST HERE, LITTLE PROMISE OF RAINS
Gusty .iuds rolled up dry dust,Inch. *
in the Abilene area yesteidav bu HoUston ft trace and San Marcos rains which dotted the state behind a trace.
a cold front drifting down from1---
the Panhandle gavp slight promise of moisture today or tomorrow.
The temperature in Abilene fell sharply from the year’s high of 95 Friday to a more pleasant maximum of 79 yesterday, but strong winds, which at 3:39 in the afternoon reached 55 miles per hour, whipped up dust to cut visibility to a half mile.
Kansas, Missouri Get Heavy Rains
KANSAS CITY. April 22 -tfV-A
terrific rain—resembling a tropical storm—poured down over most of Kansas and Missouri today, bring
A* in an w nieht visibility ing many communities Ult threat of 1en^ to “v.n or el«m “!.« -he worst Moods in th.lr history.
RAF Joins Air War on Balkans
ALLIED HEADQUARTERS, Naples, April 22— (ZP) -Italy-based night-flying RAF Liberators and Wellingtons have teamed up with daylight American Liberators in pressing through another 24 hours their incessant pounding of Axis communications in the Balkans and northern Italy, Allied headquarters announced today.
The beginning of the fourth month since the Allied beachhead
ABILENE AND VICINITY Partly Hourly and much polder Sunday. Monday fair and conalderabl* Pooler. Kreah to strong winds Sunday, subsiding Sunday night.
EAST TEXAS: Partly cloudy and
much pooler in north and < entral portions, continued warm in extreme south portion Sunday. Monday, fair and continued cool in north and cooler in south portion. Fresh to strong winds Sunday, subsiding Sunday night.
WEST TEXAS: Partly cloudy and
cooler except in Panhandle and south plains Sunday. Sunday, fair and warmer In Panhandle. Diminishing winds Sunday.
Sat. AM Fri. 72 - «9
5 fi 7 s
Sat. PM Kri. 75 - Hfi
73 75 75
High and low temperatures to IO p. rn 79 and RO.
High and low same date last year
97 and RO.
Sunset last night: H:I3.
Sunrise this morning: 7.01.
Sunset tonight: S:tt.
but at the peak the puffing wind still blew at about 35 miles per hour.
The Abilene weather station, forecasting partly cloudy and cooler weather for today, disclosed that the cold front was headed for this
Many towns ordered evacuation of lowland areas and flood warnings were posted as far east as the Mississippi river.
In some instances the weather bureau quit trying to forecast the
crests of overflowing streams and
section b\Vt*‘ warned "the"situation just told residents to get out of the S -hinw fionn lowlands. The continuing torrents
Rain usually follows a cold front, made any specific predictions use-
"cold waPvf'weeping south- ‘Th most eses. though, the btuosu ward over the state, sent the tem- said the floods would subside quick perature at Amarillo down to 38 ly once rain stopped falling aa low degrees and promised cooler weath- water upstream would enable a
cr for all of Texas Sunday.
0 In the southwest th* weather was
Finland Rejects Revised Russian Terms of Peace
MOSCOW, April 22-(AP) Drei J. Vishinsky, Soviet vice commissar of foreign affairs, announced tonight that revised Soviet conditions for an armistice had been rejected by the Finnish government, bringing negotiations to a close.
The vice-commissar said Finland after two months of negotiations had informed Russia April 19 through Sweden that the Finnish parliament had decided the Russian terms would impose a burden on the people exceeding their capacity and that some of the terms were incapable of being carried out for purelv technical reasons.
Vishinsky said the Finnish representatives who came to Moscow March 27 at the invitation of the Soviet government included J. K. Paasikivi. They met with Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov.
These were the Soviet terms which Finland rejected:
1. Rupture with Germany and immediate internment of enemy armies and warships, or their expulsion before the end of April.
2. Restoration of the Finnish-Soviet treaty of 1940 and withdrawal of Finnish troops to the 1940 frontier.
3. Immediate repatriation of Russian and Allied prisoners and civilian internees. This repatriation to be reciprocal.
4. Fifty percent demobilization of the Finnish army.
5. Reparations of $600,000,000 payable in five years.
6. Return of Fetsamo to Russia.
7. If these conditions arc accepted, the Soviet government will renounce its elaim to Mango without compensation.
Vishinsky told a press conference that the Soviet government had ad vised the United States and British governments and that Britain had approved the Russian reply which declared that Finland's reasons for rejecting the armistice terms were “unfounded.”
In its note Russia said that Fin land already had lost its independence by permitting the entry of German troops and that the real leason for her refusal was not the payment of $600,OOO,090 indemnity asked by Russia, but the expulsion of German troops from Finland, Vishinsky estimated that there were about seven Nazi divisions of 70,000 to 100,000 men in the country’, mostly based in Hie north.
The Finnish army, he said, originally consisted of about 400,000 troops and 200,000 home guards, although the figure has been considerably reduced by Red army action.
By LEONARD MILLIMAN Associated Press War Editor
Japan’s Marianas islands, at the Pacific cross roads to the Philippines and Tokyo, have been bombed by American land-based bombers for ‘the first time.
Four-engined Army and Navy bombers made an overwater round-trip flight of more than 2,200 miles and shot their way through 25 interceptors to bomb Saipan and Tinian, air and naval bases in the Southern Marianas.
The raid was announced! § rf,
China s Future
yesterday simultaneously with the disclosure that the American flag had been raised over two more of Japan’s mandated Marshall islands in the Central Pacific, and anof-
Sat (mw Herb*
gy Tai iu nu bttf
ficial announcement that strong United States aircraft carrier force was operating in the Indian ocean with other Allied warships striking at the opposite flank of Nippon s
On the Oriental land front both the Allies and Tokyo claimed new rains in india and Burma, there was no word on the latest Japanese imperial army drive, originating in northern Honan province, which Chinese sources feared might develop into a campaign to
Endangered By India Activity
Bv CLYDE A FARNSWORTH
KUNMING. China. April 21-^
• iDrlavedi—China's whole military future t^ endangered by tim Japanese invasion thrust toward th# Allied lifelines in northeastern India and she is faced with the difficult derision of whether to risk an offensive against the Japanese rear from her Salween river positions.
It is conjectural how much th* struggle with Japan might ba shortened by a bold tlirust westward from the Salween. But thera is no question that a major Japanese success in the drive toward th® Bengal-Assam railroad and the Brahmaputra river in India would incalculably prolong the war in this theater.
I have Just returned from an air tour to the India-Burma front which carried me to one of the toeholds in Burma secured by air. borne Allied troop* on the enemV* Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad inside Japanese lines. I also travelled by automobile down the Manipur road to the Koluma front.
One of the most decisive engagement* o, thrwar in the ‘ast still j is shaping up where the Manipur jungle rolls out of the mountain*
slice of all of eastern (; bln,if and engulfs the Brahmaputra plain Japanese armio.s on the offensive 1 ,,
rn the orient virtually encircled the ®lon*\ : ,s * r»llel to river
northern Chinse city of Chenghsien way. This line is parallel to river
and claimed new victories in India transport
quick run off. ,
In Kansas City the 24-hour rail- Finns Think Nazis
hot—climbing to 101 degrees at Mc- fall totaled 5.30 inches, and rain \A/~ _
still was falling without any sign of IVXQy (NOT LOSe WOf
Allen, a high for the season. At Laredo the mercury rose to IOO de- j slackening. Much of the city was grees and it was 90 at Brownsville. ; flooded, and some areas which never
before had been reported water, were inundated.
Wichita Falls had a severe dust storm Saturday afternoon. At Big Spring the 30-mile-per-hour wind which reached 55 miles per hour in gusts churned up a blinding sandstorm. Clarendon, in the Panhandle reported a 40-mile wind and , , . J .. . u .
the velocity at Amarillo was reg- j communique today that it was ob istered at 27 miles per hour. vious the British restrictions placed
Pampa and Electra both had hail. on diplomatic channels were the
Pampa reported .03 of an inch of result of the "exceptional military rain and Electra .02. Gainesville (situation” and therefore strictly
got the most rain with .19 of an temporary.
STOCKHOLM. April 22-t/P>--Thr Swedish government declared in a
By EDWIN SHANKS
STOCKHOLM, April 22 iJPl-In arguing for rejection of Russian
armistice terms, Finnish right-wing i ... . i
elements, headed by Prime Minister1 »f» »"*d M
Edwin Llnkomles, contend thai e. aK(
Chungking announced crack Nipponese troopshad driven into the suburbs of (heugl.sem from the cast and blocked the dismantled railway to the west. Other Japanese forces previously were reported a few miles northwest and 20 miles south of the strategic Honan province town in ( hiua'a wheat country.
Southwest Pacific headquarter.' said 460 tons of bombs were dropped on the Wewak-Aitape area of northeast New Guinea, “continuing the neutrals Hon” of the Wewnk air base and raking installations at the nearby Aitape harbor.
The heavy bomber raid on the Marianas last Monday was the second American air blow at Saipan and Tinian, 125 miles from Guam which the Japanese oc< upied early in the war. In the first strike, by carrier forces, 135 Japanese planes
the two together forming a feeder line for China’* troop* under Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell on the Ledo road. China also ha* air transport over the "hump "
A Japanese victory there easily would offset the toe-hold advantage® gained bv the Allies’ air-boij‘ exploits and ind* ed it might spell disaster for the American forces in upper Burma.
Report Ex-Local Flier Missing
Sgt. J. W Bartee. son of Mr. and Mr^ R. O. Bartee, formerly of Abilene and now residing in Houston, is missing in action in the European aren, the War Department announced Saturday.
Sergeant Bartee, 24, was at on®
Germany still may not lose tile war, informed sources said tonight. Summarized by informants from
Dom hers reported only that they *liot down one or two interceptors. Anti-air < raft lire was moderate.
Finland, this is the view taken bv!No °,lier were announced.
ROTAN, April 22—(Spl.)—S. Sgt. landings at Anzio, which brought flames W. Fleming, 23, one of three the Allied armies nearest to any of ^;ons Mrs. Walter Fleming has given j the Axis-held capitals in continen-to the nation’s armed forces in the : tai Europe, found the stalemate current war, has been killed in ac-1 continuing on the ground along the tion, the War department notified entire Italian front and the Med-his mother today. iterannean Air Force alone carry-
Sergeant Fleming, an aerial gun- i ing the offensive to the enemy, oilier on a B-24 and veteran of the North African and Italian campaigns, was killed April 4 on a mission over enemy-occupied Europe.
Sergeant Fleming had been on
duty overseas almost one year, and ^n his last letter to his mother he ■laid within another week he expected to complete enough missions to entitle him to return to the United States.
Although he never knew it, Sergeant Fleming became the father £f a son, Robert Walton, April 16,
Bad weather which has hamstrung the Allied air efforts to destroy key rail centers In the Balkans continued, but some Liberators yesterday penetrated leaden skies and screens of enemy fighters, which attacked in 60-plane waves, and bombed prime rail targets at Bucharest and Turnu-Severin at the Yugoslav-Romanian border.
Forty-three enemy planes definitely were destroyed yesterday by Allied planes and anti-aircraft fire, 35 of them shot down by bombers and escorts on the mission to the
almost two weeks after the date of; Balkans ^ A]liPS lost l7 planeSt his death. His widow, the f°rm?r ; inciUding eight heavy bombers, in
Genevive Doughtery, and infant son are at the home of her parents in Denver City, Texas.
^ Sergeant Fleming, one of Rotan nvigh school s greatest football players, enlisted in August, 1942, and went to North Africa early last year. He had attended Howard
all operations, which included widespread raids over Italy. The enemy planes shot down included five Italian-made macchis.
Last night Wellingtons and Liberators bombed the Italian ports of Genoa, Santo Stefano, Livorno (Leghorn) and Piombino, starting
Payne college in Brownwood the fires and disrupting German ship-
year before volunteering. I ping.
k His two brothers in service are The Germans facing the Anzio *. Sgt. James M. Fleming, 25, on beachhead threw a slightly heavier
quota of shells Into Allled-held territory yesterday and raided the Anzio harbor four times with a total of 37 planes, five of w’hich were
duty with the air corps in England, and St. Willie Fleming, 30, in the air corps at Barto, Fla. Other survivors are a sister. Pauline, now
the influential conservative bloc In the Finnish government.
“There still is a possibility Germany will not lose the war even if she does not win it in other words, the struggle may end in a compromise."
Supporting this view, this Finnish group asserts. "Germany’s military strength is unbroken: her supplies still are good: strong forces
The attackers came from the central Pacific, probably from Enlwe-tok in the western Marshalls, 1,100 air railes to the southeast.
Both new atolls ocupied in the Marshalls — Aur and Erikub — are in tile eastern chain almost within artillery range of two of the four remaining enemy bases in the Marshalls which have been undergoing dailv air bombardment, for months.
remain at her disposal; her stamina Aur is 12 miles south of Maloelap is great; and among the people and . aul Fjlkub is six miles south of in the army the belief in Germany’s Wotje, Twenty Mai.diall atolls are
victory is unshaken.
“One must conclude that time is working in favor of Finland There still are several possibilities the country may emerge from thr war with success, but if it loses Its nerve now and in fear of death J commits dishonorable suicide, then the future will have nothing better to offer."
under American rule.
Adm. ( heater W. Nimitz also announced continued air sweeps along tile ( aroline islands. Four Islands in the Truk lagoon were bombed by Army liberators Tuesday. Nimitz previously an-
See PAC I FIC WAR, I’g «. Col. 2
County GOP Chairman Believes Even Snakes Are Trying to Warm Up to Party
^corking at Big Spring, and a half j downed by Allied flak and three •Brother, Cecil Edwards, Rotan.
i by Spitfires.
HOW PACIFIC DRIVES CAN ‘CORNER’ JAPS — Map above shows how, with Allied forces on offensive drive whose tempo is stepped up daily, Japs slowly, but surely, will be forced back to their inner defense perimeter around the home islands.
A. John, Taylor county Republican chairman, swears even the snakes are trying lo get on th" warm side of the GOPs.
He was awakened Saturday morning by a 38-inch water moccasin in his pajama sleeve.
About 3 am., he felt something slick and slimy making its way up his wrist toward his elbow in his sleeve, he said. His wife and children in an adjoining room heard him jump from the bed and cry. ’Snake, turn on the light quick!”
The light came on, the snake still under cover save his head and neck, locked ai John and John at him, he said.
“Bring me a stick,” he asked and Mrs. John brought him a two-by-four. In the meantime th snake was making his way to the wall. John rammed him to the wall and held fast. The snake struck the timber several times then the bed sheet and tfiuck to It.
Another stick was brought him and the snake was killed after several attempts.
John has built a new two-story rock veneer home recently nine miles north of Abilene The fireplace has not been sealed as yet and the snake evidently entered the house ^ there, climbing the stairs to John s room.
time a member of the famed Lost Battalion stationed at Java. He was transferred to the air corps shortly before Java tell to the Japanese in March, 1942. and left th® islands in time to escape capture.
Following his training in the air rorps, he was transferred to Australia. flying back and torth on bombing missions to New Guinea as a gunner on a Flying Fortress. He was awarded the Putple Heart and the 19th Group Individual Device for service while in the South Pacific.
The sergeant joined the National Guard in 1940 while his family was living at Olton. A gradual® of Spring Lake high school, he was working for the Panhandle Transport line when he went into activ® duty. ^
HALLSVILLE, April 22-— —
Heavy rain, accompanied by wind and "lightning, uprooted tree* and resulted in other damage In this area tonight.
No injuries wer® reported immediately.