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December 16, 1943 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1943-12-16

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'yewitness Relates First

Report of Dawn Invasion at Arawe

Associated Press Correspondent
ARAWE, New Britain, Dec. 15.-
(Delayed)-This trim warship at
the moment is cutting a mean fur-
row on the homeward run from New
Britain after contributing the heav-
iest share of the dawn bombard-
ment which preceded this morning's
landings of American troops at Ar-
That it was a successful bom-
bardment we learned a compara-
tively short time after the cease-
fire order had been given. From

units of the ma i Iudiwm [orOec
which swarmed the beach came
word that they had been able to go
ashore unopposed.
Destroyers trained their five-
inch dual-purpose guns on the
intended beachhead and suspect-
ed enemy gun positions shortly
after 6 a.m. as the ships reached
the end of their firing courses
and turned to begin off-shore
patrolling, there was a blanket of
smoke lying over the target area
and shreds of it already had be-
gun drifting out over the sea.
In the passage between a little
island off shore and the mainland,
amphibious craft carrying Army

troops could be seen poking ieir
noses toward shore through a haze.
Our ship was in the lead of the
bombardment group. If anything,
ours was the most difficult assign-
ment since between the ships and
the shore target area stood the
small island with a 200-foot ridge.
meaning we had to do most of our
firing "blind."
On the bridge, our skipper-a
commander from Mayfield, Ky.,
who was a 1930 graduate of Annap-
olis-had the ship on its course at
a predetermined speed. From the
director control, our gunner officer,
Lt. (j.g.) Brian "Moose" McCauley.
had the crews ready and was com-
puting range elevation and other
figures for automatic fire.

Exactly on schedule, there was
a rocketing blast and the first
salvo let loose. A tracer showed
that the shells barely had cleared
the island ridge, so McCauley
called for more elevation. The
next salvo had more clearance.
For 20 minutes we plastered the
target. Our gun crews were work-
ing so smoothly in the opening
minutes that the gunnery officer
had to slow them down progressive-
ly until finally, in order not to ex-
pend more than the assigned num-
ber of rounds, he was calling for
guns to fire by twos and at the end,
singly on command.
The destroyers didn't draw a
single burst of enemy fire, though
at times during the two-hour pa-

trolling along the beach we were
within 1,500 yards of the shore.
One of our warships let go two
salvos against a Japanese mach-
ine gun position which before
dawn had fired heavily on a spe-
cial landing party. Two of these
parties had been assigned to at-
tack strategic points. After those
two salvos, nothing further was
heard from the machine guns.
At approximately 8:30 we turned
away from the beach, put the speed
up to 25 knots and started for home
in formation. Behind us, still close
inshore, was another destroyer from
which Rear Admiral Daniel Bar-
bey, Commander of the Seventh
Amphibous Force, had directed the

The only planes we had seen
were our own.
But we were no more than 20
minutes on our homeward course
when the destroyer with Admiral
Barbey aboard flashed word that
that she was being divebombed
by at least a dozen Japanese
planes. The attack was timed so
neatly it seemed almost as if they
must have been hiding behind
the nearest ridge waiting the sig-
nal that we had shoved off.
Seconds later the sky was spotted
with black ack-ack bursts. We saw
smoke rising from the water, in-
dicating that at least one raider
was downed. Then came word from
the destroyer .that she had got
through without a hit.

It wasn't until 10:15 that we
heard the welcome "secure from
general quarters."
That was welcome word be-
cause the men had been at "go"
since 3:30. Land was coming into
sight then but the actual tension
hadn't begun until about a half
hour later when aircraft which
was identfied as Japanese, twice
flew across our convoy.
Now, while the skipper is still on
the bridge, the majority of the men
are in their "sacks." Our 20 of-
ficers are either on their beds or in
the wardroom, where this is being
written, and "Doc" Haus has just
finished dressing the finger of a
gunloader who cut it opening a soft
drink bottle.

7 days till Christmas

Clear and Colder













57 Persons
Killed in N.C.
Train Wreck'
More Than 50 Injured
Oln Two Atlantic Coast
Line Streamnliners
By The Associated Press
LUMBERTON, N.C., Dec. 16.-
-Two crowded Atlantic Coast Line
passenger streamliners piled up in
an early morning wreck near here
today, killing at least 57 persons and
injuring upwards of 50.
C. G. Sibley, vice-president of the
railroad,.said atthat comp ny's Wil-
mington headquarters tonight the
known dead included 37 members of
the armed services and 20 civilians.
He added that 15 injured were
taken to a Fayetteville hospital, 30
to Lumberton hospitals and others to
the Laurinburg-Maxton Army air
'base hospital. A report from the air
base hospital said more than 20 had
been brought there for treatment,
one of whom had died.
More than 17 hours after the
wreck in this rolling sandhills region
of North Carolina, there had been no
announcement of the list of dead.
Military Police barred reporters from
a mortuary in Red Springs, near
here, where the bodies were taken
after being removed from the wreck-
A broken rail was blamed by At-
lantic Coast Line officials for derail-
ment of three coaches of the Florida-
bound Tamiami West Coast Cham-
pion near the little town of Buies.
At least one person was killed in this
U.S. Bombers

FDR Arrives
Home After
President Expected
To Address Congress
On Historic Meetings
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16.-Presi-
dent Roosevelt, completing a prece-
dent-shattering and historic wartime
journey, has arrived back in the
United States from the Allied mili-
tary and political conferences in Cai-
ro and Teheran.
"Happily, I can tell you now he has
returned and is safely back in the
United States," Stephen Early, White.
House secretary, announced to re-
porters late today. "I have not been
advised when he will reach Washing-
Congress Plans Recess
At the Capital, meanwhile, Con-
gress was laying plans to take a
Christmas recess beginning next week
-meaning that any report to the leg-
islators on the Allied conferences pro-
bably will be delayed until after the
first of the new year.
Early said earlier this week he
would "naturally anticipate" that Mr.
Roosevelt would be invited to make a
report to Congress on his momentous
talks with Premier Stalin, President
Chiang Kai-shek and Prime Minis-.
ter Churchill.
Home Issues Paramount
Congressional leaders tentatively
agreed on a recess next week until
Jan. 4. The effect also would be to
postpone action on the subsidy con-
troversy and the new tax bill since
it was agreed that action before such
a recess would be impossible.
The delay might also afford Presi-
dent Roosevelt an opportunity to bol-
ster his domestic wartime program
which has been hard hit by opponents
during his 35-day absence from the
Major points at which the program
is under fire are:
1. The attempt by the Farm Bloc
and others in Congress to forbid use
of subsidies to hold down food prices.
2. The effort to put through Con-
gress approval for a 8-cents-an-hour
wage increase for 1,100,000 railroad
workers, opposed by stabilization di-
rector Fred M. Vinson on the grounds
it would break down wage stabiliza-
tion. A resolution of approval was
adopted by the Senate during Mr.
Roosevelt's absence and is pending
before a House committee.
21l New Coeds

Allies Invade Arawe, Spearhead into New Britain


PacificOcecn I - 20Q
S.J51'.51L 1 F4

Aitpe " ..Kavielig NEW IRELAND
'W1Yewak F4W VLOO
y Madang ,MBOI 'UKA j Invaded Nov.l
- ~~NEW BUA op
,. Oct.2 , aBRITAIN r
Keta Invaded Oct.28
i - -e- =La Finschhafen Gasmata BOUGAINVILLE
Salamaua SHORTLAN- O.ct:.
Merauke ,~~JOOMAGR/
Gulf f Kokoda OOLARK NEW /' 4 FLORIDA
SGreat Abau -
AUSTRAL Ree Nov. 3. 1942 Samaria . Coral Sea I29

Bombs Blast Path
In Surprise Attack
Yank Casualties Are Extremely Light;
Other Bases on Island Are Bombarded
Associated Press Correspondent
The American Sixth Army commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger smashed
ashore at Arawe, on the southwest coast of New Britain, Wednesday at dawn
supported by sea and air forces.
"The enemy's surprise was complete and his resistance was quickly
overcome," said Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who directed the operation from
his base on an island off the north New Guinea coast.
The American troops chiselled their hold on this cornerstone of Japan's
defenses in the southwest Pacific after the place had been blasted in the
mightiest air raid in this thbatre.
Planes had dumped 356 tons of bombs
Allies Sm ash on Arawe and islands in the ha6rb
there only the day before the .land-
1azi Railways If the aerial pounding of the day
before had not numbed the defend-
Li Italers, the pre-invasion hammering giv-
Lt y en Arawe by naval ships of Rear Ad-
miral Daniel Barbey's Seventh Arl.
300 Bombers, Fighters phibious Force and by Allied bombers
and attack planes served to discour-
Show Blasting Range age or destroy most of the opposition.
Of Combined Air Force Few Casualties

Dec. 15 has 'been added to the
conquest dates in the Southwest
Pacific with the American landing
at Arawe, near the western end of
New Britain. About 75 miles west
of Gasmata, which is shown on the
Prime Minister
Churchill .ill
Of Pheumonia
LONDON, Dec. 16.-()P)- Prime
Minister Churchill has been stricken
with his second attack of pneumonia
in ten months and is under the care
of three physicians, including a heart
specialist, somewhere in the middle
east, an anxious British nation was
told today.
Taking members of Parliament
completely by surprise, Deputy Prime
Minister Clement Attlee announced
in the House of Commons that
Churchill, who celebrated his 69th
birthday with President Roosevelt
and Premier Stalin on Nov. 30 at
Teheran, now was ill with "a patch

map on the southernmost bulge of
New Britain, Arawe (not on map)
is the greatest undertaking against
the Japs begun in the war. To be
in control of Arawe would mean a
strategic position from which Ra-
baul, shown at the northern tip of

New Britain, could be jeopardized
by the Allies. Gasmata was also'
hit heavily by an Allied aerial at-
tack Sunday following the pound-
ing of Cape Gloucester, Borgen Bay
and other points in the same area
for two weeks.

17 Ship Allied Convoy
Sunk b German Planes
Lack of Aerial Defense Revealed as Cause
Of Loss in Battle at Italian Supply Port of Bari

By The Associatid Press

4cargo had been

discharged prior to

Blast Targets
In Germany

RAF Planes Hit Berlin
In Fifth Major Attack
In Less Than a Month
Associated Press Correspondent
LONDON, Dec. 16.-United States
heavy bombers blasted targets in
strategic northwest Germany in great
strength today and the Berlin radio
reported RAF bombers struck Berlin
tonight "in a terror attack on a con-
siderable scale."
This was the fifth major attack on
the German capital in less than a
month. Following a Stockholm re-
port of the RAF operation, the Ger-
man radio said: "British bombers to-
night again attacked the capital of
the Reich.
Residential Quarters Hit
"Well-informed circlespoint out it
was carried out in full visibility. Resi-
dential quarters in the capital again
were hit."
Heavily-escorted U.S. Flying Fort-
resses and Liberators plunged
through a circular wall of flak to
reach their targets in a daylight op-
eration and returned to darkened Eh-

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16.-Lack of
adequate aerial defenses, especially
fighter planes, around the supply
port of Bari, Italy, is now revealed
to have cost the Allies 17 cargo ships
and 1,000 casualties two weeks ago
today. Five of the ships were Ameri-
The anchored vessels were blown'
up like sitting ducks by a handful of'
German bombers which made a dev-'
astating low-level attack on the har-
bor at dawn Dec. 2. Approximately
1,000 persons were killed or injured,
including 37 American naval men.I
If there were any" losses to the
force of 30-odd enemy assault planes
which made the attack they could
not be determined here. Informa-
tion on the defeat, including details
released by Secretary of War Stim-
son at his press conference, dealt
only with United Nations losses.
While no one undertook to regard
the Bari raid as anything less than
an outstanding success for German
aviation, there was a mitigating cir-
cumstance. This was the fact re-
ported by Stimson that "most of the
Second Offering of
Comedy Is Today
Play Production of the speech de-
partment will present the second per-
formance of Emmet Lavery's "Brief
Music" at 8:30 p.m. today in the Lyd-
ia Mendelssohn Theatre.
"Brief Music" is a three-act com-
edy on college life in a suburban lo-

the attack, and the loss of supplies
was not great."
As far as announced reports go,
Bari was the greatest single loss of
merchant shipping the Allies, have
suffered within a protected harbor.
Details of the Bari raid were slow
getting to the public. A German
communique of Dec. 5 claimed the
sinking of four commercial vessels
and hits on nine other freighters and
a ''medium warship."
Such an underestimate is unusual.
Stimson said that the Bari bomb-
ing had been announced by General
Dwight D. Eisenhower Dec. 4.
House Group
Inspects Campus
'U' Post-War Role
Told by Ruthven
University officials assured a dele-
gation of the Ways and Means Com-
mittee of the State House of Repre-
sentatives that "Michigan will be
foremost in meeting the needs of re-
turning servicemen," after the group
toured the campus yesterday.
The four-man delegation headed by
Rep. John Espie, spent part of the
afternoon conferring with President
Alexander Ruthven as part of their
tour of the Michigan institutions.
The current role of the University
in its war training program as well as
problems of postwar building expan-

By The Associated Press
giers, Dec. 16.-America's powerful
new striking arm-the 15th Strategic
Air Force-tangled the slender rail-
road threat linking Germany and the
10th Nazi Army in Italy with an
"accurate and concentrated" attack
yesterday on rail junctions in Austria
and the Brenner Pass.
More than 300 bombers and fight-
ers winging north on this deadly mis-
sion demonstrated the great destruc-
tive range of the Allied Air Force in
the Mediterranean by hitting railroad
yards at the world-famous ski resort
of Innsbruck in the Austrian Tyrol,
1,000 miles from targets they attack-
ed 24 hours previously at Athens,
The paralyzing blows of the big Fly-
ing Fortresses and Liberators, which
left railroad yards a jumble of wreck-
ed and twisted equipment where it
would hurt the enemy worst, again
took the war spotlight in the Medi-
terranean as the Allied Fifth and
Eighth Armies pushed slowly and la-
boriously deeper into German defens-
es below Rome.
Canadians and Indians of the
Eighth Army, struggling forward
from their bridgehead across the
Moro Rover near the Adriatic Coast,
chopped the road between Ortona and
Orsogna in three places and reached
a good position to bring heavy pres-
sure on the blazing port of Ortona,
which the Nazis apparently had fired
in antitcipation of its evacuation.
Salvage Committee
To End Drive Today
Climaxing a week-long drive, rep-
resentatives of the Washtenaw Coun-
ty Salvage Committee will tour cam-
pus today making pick-ups of stu-
dent-collected waste paper to help
relieve the current paper shortage.
Bundles of old newspapers, maga-

Our ground casualties were ex-
tremely light, MacArthur said. Most
of the casualties were among the first
assault groups who went shoreward
in rubber boats.
At 8:00 a.m. after 'the destroyers
finished their work and turned fr
home, Japanese bombers with fighter
escort came over to attack the beach-
heads and the surface craft. Two of
the planes were shot down.
The invasion was achieved without
the loss of a single Allied plane or
surface ship, MacArthur's communi-
que said.
Other Spots Bombed
While the American troops were
establishing a base which MacArthur
said will insure the Allies surface
command of Vitiaz Strait, between
New Britain and New Guinea, and
adjoining waters, other Allied bomb-
er groups were hammering at other
important enemy coastal bases on
New Britain Island.
Gasmata, the big supply air field
center about 75 miles east of the
Arawe landing, was hit by 32 tons
of bombs. The Cape Gloucester area
on the western tip of the island, 60
miles west of Arawe, received 92 tons
of explosives among its airfield in-
stallations. Other bombers struck at
See INVASION, p. 2
U.S. Heavies
Blas-t Marshalls
PEARL HARBOR, Dec. 16.-(M-
A new 40-ton bombardment of the
Japanese mid-Pacific Marshalls was
announced today, and, for the first
time in five weeks of almost daily
attacks, the loss of one of the raiding
Liberators was reported.
The new airfield of Taroa on Mal-
eolap atoll and the main fortified
base of Wotje were the targets.
Thirty enemy planes battled it
out over Taroa. Two were shot



Child Directors
An additional 21 women signed up
yesterday for child care work at Wil-
low Run, bringing the number to 43,
Lucy Chase Wright, chairman of the
committee, announced yesterday.
Although there will be no more
formal registration until after vaca-
tion, Miss Wright said that any wo-
man interested in the program may

- reported ill.
of pneumonia in the left lung." Att-
lee concluded his report:
"His general condition is as satis-
factory as can be expected."
Commons found at least a measure

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