Thursday, April 2, 2015

Postblogging Technology, February 1945, II: Queen of the Pacific

Group Captain R_. C_., RCAFVR, DSO, DFC (Bar)

I imagine this letter will find you somewhat late, as, until we have set up a secure chain of transmission to Sydney, our courier must pursue you across the ends of the Earth to your new assignment.

On this connection, I can now confirm that Rose of Allendale docked in Sydney last month with Du's men still on board. James has fellows looking for them in Australia, although this is a bit tricky. White Russians, especially ones with some English, will find it a great deal easier to blend into Australian society than Chinese, at least outside Chinatown. At the moment, though, it seems that they left with Rose, which left Sydney two weeks ago, in ballast for Tulagi, to take on copra and a deckload of steel scrap for San Diego. Wong Lee is preparing a welcoming party there, and there is a certain irony, in that all that U.S. government steel scrap is probably intended for Fontana, at least after the alloy is salvaged.

I am more than a little concerned that they did not head for India, although at least now my concerns for Father are at rest. You may have heard that he has departed Chungking with our distant cousins, now that Chou has offered sanctuary to his household. I just wish that I did not hear sardonic comments from Yenan to the effect that he who wants to know the Chairman of the Party should study the Hongwu Emperor.

One hazard at a time, though. If Du's men are not returning to Chungking, and they are not pursuing Father, amongst, of course, many other potential targets in India, what are they after?

So that is one concern, and one that you may well allay by finding these men!

You will find this letter (that is, the nespaper review part) a little truncated. I have had no chance to look at the recent numbers of Aero Digest.  You will notice that I am upset about some technical coverage in Time, and perhaps all my fulminations would be set aside after reading the latest numbers of the technical press. You may take both my anger and my shortness of time as showing just how blasted busy we are around here.

The reason for that is the bombshell announcement at Yalta that we are to have the conference that establishes the United Nations Secretariat here (or up the Bay, close enough) in April! It is hard to imagine how San Francisco can possibly be ready so soon! There does not seem to be enough room for everyone who wants to live here already, although as some relief, the universities will go into intersession and the dormitories will be available.

Many famous people will descend on the city. You will see below that the President has done his best to keep the American delegation diverse, but there is no such luck with the Chinese, which will inevitably all be Soongs and their hangers-on. No Communists, unless America provides, and there in hangs. . .

With their close connections, it is no wonder that I have heard from the Engineer, very obliquely. His youngest came to visit me the other day. He is as much a delight in person, and I must keep those letters he sends to the FBI in mind to not fall completely for his charms. Like Uncle George's friend (of whom more soon), he puts on the stage-Irishness he inherits from his foster-father with aplomb. Although, unlike our friend, he does not have to "sell" a Catholic faith, since he can take refuge in his mother's people, and their small-sect Midwesternism.

The issue here is that the Soongs are looking for . . .shall I say, intelligence. . . in San Francisco? I cannot imagine that the Engineer thinks that we will provide it, so I assume that we are the object. 

At once I hurried to Berkeley, to see our gay young wives. (I had a mission from from Mrs. Wong's mother-in-law, who is quite convinced that the young woman lacks the sense to come in out of the rain, but no fears there.) Has Mrs. Wong been contacted by her friends in the Navy? If so, can she carry off the guise of a Russian translator? Can she turn to Miss v. Q., without drawing unwelcome attention to her Dutch cover? Has Miss v. Q. progressed far enough in her language studies that we can use her against the Soongs? (Not surprisingly, no; but soon, probably.) What is it like to live in a former anthropology lab?

That last sounds frivolous, and it is, but I do have a point, which is that I met with Professor K., and, well, with housing at issue, and battlelines to be drawn, and no sign of, say, Chinese Communists at San Francisco, I was very pleased to discover that an eminent colleague of Professor K wishes to spend some time in San Francisco. He is an anthropologist, of the sort who studies Mongolia and even advises Chiang. And, like everyone who has seen both, puts more faith, however little, in Yenan than in Chungking.

We shall be putting this eminent gentleman up, and perhaps some of his friends, as much for a stick in the eye of the Soongs as anything. I have even decided to stir things up by hosting a dinner in the Main Hall at Arcadia. (Which means getting the roof patched up, but I think this is manageable.) I am very much loooking forward to Professor K. seeing the Whale Man. It is pretty much unrecognisable to someone versed in the later flourishing of Northwestern art, but perhaps his eye will pick up the ancestral traits?

And now I must end, as, somehow, I have found myself agreeing to take Miss K. out for a ride, although I do not think it will be a long one, in my condition.  She is amusing, and surprisingly at ease with my other regular companion, Miss V. C., and with your youngest, who shares her literary interests, as you know, and is currently idled for a day by a drastic revision of his classroom curriculum. These are based, I gather, on the success of Mitscher's attack on Tokyo. Radio in the darkness and all that, with the additional input of a most unpleasant (it is a theme, you will see) scientist from Bell Labs, who oversaw some aspects of the matter from Saipan, and is now on his way home to report.

Oh, my. I say that I must end, and still I go on, digressing all over the place. Well, it positively must end, because there is so much to be done ahead of April. But I haven't told you about the progress we have made in sound-recording, and the absurd infrared project underway at Stanford, and Lieutenant A_., even more ebullient than usual at the news that San Francisco will shortly be the epicentre of American "counterintelligence." (Which is to say, looking under beds for Communists. I'm going to be a better hostess than that, and put my Communists on them. They may even get clean sheets.)



Flight, 15 February 1945


“Another Disbandment” BalloonCommand is disbanded more, as the balloon-minders are need to do more useful things, such as not freezing and cleaning up after V2s, which do not really care about barrage balloons so much.

“Too Many Accidents” Three Transport Command crashes this winter; one killing two M.P.s, another of a brand-new York carrying members of the Prime Minister’s staff; and one loaded with 23 RAF personnel. Your youngest claims that this happens every winter, and that the proper answer is to keep on flying as though nothing is happening. He is, however, quoting some blood-curdling lunatic of an editorial writer in American Flying, and his training flights are cancelled, it seems, every time there is a cloud in the sky. (Perhapshaps because the classroom load seems to increase on a daily basis as someone, somewhere, decides that he and his mates must master yet another arcane device.) As the paper notes, radio and radar aids to navigation should help with accident prevention.

“Ingenious or Ingenuous?” Indicator has an opinion. Explaining it some more seems like an easy way of filling up this page. Let’s do that!

War in the Air

The paper is claiming that there was a Big Three meeting in Yalta. I doubt it. There would have been something in the news. The Royal Navy has more aircraft carriers in the Pacific, and they attacked Palembang again.  Twenty-First Army Group attacked Nijmegen. Aircraft were involved. Our fighter bombers have a new “antipersonnel” bomb. Sounds very cold and gruesome. Our aircraft attacked many locomotives, as Germans do not feel cold the way we do, here in foggy San Francisco. Or near foggy San Francisco, where it is clear and bright, but perhaps a touch cold in the mornings, especially up on the crest, where we might be in the morning, feeling a bit clumsy as we inspect the best that a skeleton crew of Mexican roofers can do.

Better weather has permitted a 1000 plane 8th Air Force raid on Berlin, in contrast to the last four months, when even reconnaissance planes could not find Berlin. The Foreign Ministry has been hit, putting Miss v. Q. in a bad mood during my visit. I am not sure that she is as cold to her former co-workers as she sometimes claims to be. The paper points out that there are many refugees in Berlin, which is why blowing in all the roofs of the city is a little regrettable right now. The Germans suggest that we are bombing and strafing refugees, whereas it was, in fact, the Germans who did that in 1940. I am not entirely sure how a fighter pilot flashing over a road at 300 miles an hour can be sure who he might be strafing, but I am sure that our pilots are angels, theirs’, well, not exactly devils, but. . .

Here and There

With the American Curtiss Wright “Ascender” (it’s a clever play on words, Time notes, as of course it does) in the news, comes revelation of the Swedish J-21 pusher-configuration fighter.

France is calling up air force reservists of the classes of 1924—42. The RAAF is spending £4 million on airfields and facilities to host the Fleet Air Arm, forcing it to pave over the billybong and root out the coolibah tree. Mr. Attlee can neither confirm nor deny reports of new weapons which might be used to bombard Germany, such as rockets or robots. The US Navy has rockets now, and a $35 million ordnance research station in the Mojave Desert. The Douglas B-19 is still very big and is still being justified to the taxpayer as a flying laboratory.

K. G. Atkins, “Jet Propulsion: Basic Principles Explained: Radial and Axial-flow Compressors: Open and Closed-circuit Systems” All done in two pages plus diagrams, and still with room for a first paragraph explaining that jets do not, in fact, “push” against the surrounding air. This note is apparently an apology from the paper, as  G. Geoffrey Smith’s Gas Turbines and Jet Propulsion is sold out, and the new edition is not ready yet. Or perhaps it is in way of reminding us that G. Geoffrey Smith wrote a book about jet engines. Or it is in way of covering a story spiked by the Ministry.

“England-Cape Survey” Speaking of shameless promotion, another story about the six Halifaxes that went to Capetown. The trip was “uneventful!” Because otherwise people might suspect that a flight that was routinely made by absurd-looking biplanes in the Thirties featured four-engined bombers falling from the sky. That being what you think about when you think about "typical Handley Page trash." I have a feeling that the Hermes is not going to shake the company's reputation.

“Future of Britain’s Aircraft Industry” Will be bright if it “receives the right kind of support” from the British Government, says Rotol’s chief, R. H. Coverley.

“More Hot Air” The paper is upset with Canada’s Commercial Aviation for reprinting Bell publicity material. Commercial Aviation should write its own material, instead of relying on company news releases that fail to give proper due to British priority. Well, it’s not quite kettle and pot, as the paper does give proper credit to British priority.

Walter Capley, a manager at Miles Aircraft, was killed in a flying accident on Saturday while testing a Spitfire.

W. S. Shackleton, “Cargo Aircaft, Part II: Dealing with Some New Facts and Figures of the Bristol Freighter” This is Mr. Shackleton writing in a serious vein, unfortunately. He is thrilled by the Bristol Freighter. I hope is being paid well to be thrilled by the Freighter, as I don’t think anyone else is. It has Perseus engines, for Heaven’s sake! All the complexity of sleeve-valve working, without the power of a Hercules!

Missing Studies in Aircraft Recognition? An inset shows the “Nakajima Irving II,” a reconnaissance bomber and night fighter comparable to the Ju 88. Bad news for the B-29 force, if they really have gone over to night bombing.

B. J. Hurren, “Report on Carriers: Their Good Work in the East: They Constitute 50% of British Naval Strength in the Pacific: Fairey Firefly in Action” It turns out that Britain has aircraft carriers, too, and by a top secret, strategical algebraic calculus, can be shown to have 50% of the “strength” of all ships in the Pacific, whereas the submarine arm has 23.667%, and the cruiser force is equal to 2 times pi, divided by the sine of forty-five degrees. Apparently, America has 100 carriers, and Britain 50, and most of these are of the “escort” variety. (Which, he does not notice, were built in the United States.) Apparently, the fact that our carriers overmastered the land aircraft garrison of Palembang shows that carrier aviation is not inferior to land-based, as is often asserted. This is good news to the carriers operating inshore of Japan. “Never before have four large carriers been assembled with a British Fleet force as a squadron operating at sea.” Wasn’t the 1942 Malta convoy? I look around to ask my husband, and remember again that he is in Sydney.

Hurren claims credit where credit is due, which is to say, to the new Fifth Sea Lord, Vice-AdmiralBoyd, and the new Chief Naval Representative at MAP, Commodore Slattery. The actual crews of the ships probably had something to do with it, too. Indefatigable, we are told, is the newest and largest carrier in the fleet, and the first British four-screw carrier. Escort carriers are very inefficient by comparison, Hurren thinks. Hurren thinks that a future fleet of carriers should include first-line ships of 30,000 tons or more and capable of more than 30 knots, and a new class of “scaled down” high-speed carriers of at least 20,000 tons. He also thinks that some of the Flying Branch captains cannot expect to advance to flag rank just because they are the only air-capable men, and so the only ones suitable to command fleets of warships based on carriers. Admirals Vian and Somerville prove the contrary.
Kent G. Budge

“Indicator” discusses “Safety First” According to the Leading summary, he thinks that winter flying might require specialised aircraft, and a “Bad weather flight.” “Indicator” thinks that weather delays are an inevitable part of commercial flying, but that commercial flying is still splendid.

Australia is flying brush-fire reconnaissance planes. Didn’t the old RCAF used to do this, or was it just forest survey and timber-crusing that they helped out with?
At an RCAF station in downtown Ottawa

Civil Aviation News

Talks in South Africa, Norway, Ireland,, North-East might get an airport, as soon as explorersreport back from the lost city of Newcastle. Egypt wants to own its own airports. Canada wants trade preference on tariffs for exported aircraft. Something about Prestwick not remaining Scotland’s only international airport. Dakotas and Lodestars are now available for export.  A study shows that California lettuce can be flown to Detroit at 3 and a quarter cents (per pound?) above the cost by rail, and that consumers would be glad to pay the difference for fresher lettuce. NewZealand has planes now. They might be nationalised. The Civil Aernautics Authority in America says that in spite of all the crashes, air transport is safer than ever. Also, iceberg lettuce survives air crashes just fine. Cheap trans-Atlantic rates might be a reality soon. Do we even have "trans-Atlantic rates," yet, technically? Pan American Airways wants to be America’s “chosen instrument” for foreign flying. No-one else thinks this is a good idea, but still the Senate is discussing it, perhaps because an unnamed railway company is backing Pan-America. Oh, please let it be the Southern Pacific, please.


An RAF pilot at Laredo Air Field writes to say how happy he is that the Technical Library gets Flight. “Aged” writes to tell hair-raising stories about bent and shot-up airscrews in service for lack of proper maintenance. They go just fine, he reports. He also asks why, even though theory says that airscrews that hit something under full power ought to bend to a 60 degree angle, they bend to 90 instead. As the aunt of a pilot (much as I hate to age myself by using that word), may I ask for less experimenting, please?

Colonel Richardson writes on the Bristol Freighter cruising speed controversy that it may be sweeping to say that speed sells, it is still true. There is not much point in a commercial plane, freighter or not, with a cruising speed of 130mph. W. Adam Woodward writes to say that better amphibians would have wheels that retracted into floats. R. Parbury writes on the absurd math we have seen on the subject of the “hypothetical” V2, as he points out that “Escapist’s” V2 implies a 10 ton rocket with a thrust of 50 tons maintained for three hours, which would require 3000 tons of fuel, he probably has a point. Perhaps connected to the ground through a hose? The “civil power plant” controversy over C. M. Pollitt’s article continues. He does not appear to know what he is talking about.

Speaking of, one Arthur C. Clarke, B.I.S., C.B.A.S, writes that "Escapist" is confused by the difference between orbital and escape velocity, as well. Though he is right that rockets launched from the equator go faster.

   Time, 19 February 1945


“In the Shadow of Ai-Dagh,” “Clear, Blunt Words,” “Moment in History,” etc. The paper leads off coverage in multiple stories by quoting Mark Twain, who was once invited to Yalta in the Crimea to visit the Tsar at his summer estate. “’O geeminy, what a stir there is! What a calling of meetings! What an appointing of committees! What a furbishing up of swallowtail coats!”


Mr. Twain was as cynical about international diplomacy as Uncle George! (I’m not cynical. That is why I can’t write only a paragraph about Bretton Woods, or bring myself to follow the civil aviation negotiations. I'm too on edge to know how they end!) Yalta is a nice place, and the President, Prime Minister and General Secretary met  there to talk, along with 33 generals, air marshals and admirals.  The clear blunt words promised that Nazi Germany is doomed (news!), but that the German people might have a free government and a free army after the war, when Nazism is expunged. Poland’s borders were defined more, the “provisional” postwar government discussed (there and in the rest of eastern Europe.)

Short Brothers gave Belfast beautiful scale models of its “Triple Twin,” “Two-Two-Five,” “Silver Streak,” “Sarafand,” and Sunderland, because the city had not said a peep all through Mummy’s shopping, and had finished all its liver.

. . . And this:

Dumbarton Oaks. "... A conference of United Nations should be called at San Francisco . . . April 25, 1945, to prepare the charter of [a world security] organization." The Big Three said that they had settled the tough problem raised by Russia's previous insistence that any major power should be able to veto any action against itself, withheld the details of agreement until France and China have been consulted. The date chosen for the San Francisco conference may be significant: April 24, the day before the conference opens, is the last on which Russia may legally end its neutrality pact with Japan.

None of us were there to see the Lady unroll that Spanish chart and ask the Founder's father to build her a pagoda by that bay, but I think that she would smile to see this moment come. Can we hope to replace Geneva as the home of the League of Nations?

Though I’ve a foreboding that between Lieutenant A and the Engineer, there is embarrassment ahead.

“Peace and the Working Class” The world’s trade unions had an international conference in London. Many things were said. Perhaps in the future, communist trade unions will take control of “conservative” trade unions. Also, French trade unionists are in government, and looking for the State to take a leading role in the resumption of economic activity in France.

“What France Wants” De Gaulle wants the left bank of the Rhine demilitarised, and has appointed a slew of mainly conservative ambassadors.

“A Ship for Poland” After much effort and negotiation, the UNRRA sends a ship full of relief supplies to Poland. Transport across Russia is still being negotiated, however. UNRRA looks pretty ineffectual. Also, Poles are excitable. And the Dutch and the Belgians, who consider themselves underfed and under heated.

“Right and Ripe” Germany is ripe for “simultaneous blows from east and west,” but General “’Ike’” Eisenhower’s armies are still recovering from the Ardennes counteroffensive. Meanwhile, “for the first time since December” –that is, in two months—SHAEF used the word “offensive” to describe an attack, by the British, against the Germans between Cleve and Goch near Einhoven. Patton’s troops also attacked across the Our and Sauer, near Luxembourg, or around there. The Colmar Pocket has been reduced, but fighting continues on the upper reaches of the Roer River, where a dam must be taken before the river can be crossed downstream, or at least breached by the Germans, so that the Allies have some certainty.  General Simpson’s new NinthArmy will be in charge of this, which is why General Simpson is this week’s cover story. He is Texan, very tall, the son of a Confederate veteran, bald and graduated 101st out of 103rd in the class of 1909, because he had a Texas education. 

“Remember Frederick” Remember how Prussia was on its last legs in due to everyone attacking at once, and how at the last minute he was saved by the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg? You do remember? Just checking. It looks like I'll be checking two or three more times in this letter, too.

“In Zhukov’s Good Time” Marshal Zhukov did not take Berlin last week, even though he probably could have. His rivals want you to know, but you didn’t hear it from them.

“Woman and Children First” V2 rockets killed an average of 19 people a day in England in January, twice the average of December. Two-thirds were women and children. (Precisely where they were killed, we do not know, since the British will not release this information, which would help the Germans aim.)

“If He Catches Me” General Yamashita has withdrawn his troops into the hills of northern Luzon, which is completely different from MacArthur withdrawing his troops into the peninsula of Bataan. He also presented a bold front to Japanese correspondents in Manila, which is very dishonest and Japanese-like.

“Thicker than Water” A badly wounded Japanese soldier is captured in the Marianas. The Marine company commander “makes the gesture” of asking for volunteers for a blood transfusion. Unexpectedly, every man in the company volunteers. the paper's tone suggests surprise.

“Who, When and Where” It remains to be decided whether MacArthur or Nimitz will be supreme commander for the next step of the war with Japan, which might go various places, such as Formosa or the Ryukyus, Also, Admiral Vian is a nonflyer, we are reminded, so it is not exactly kosher that he commands a carrier force. Honestly. Is John Towers editing the paper, now?

“Burning City” The rascally Japanese are blowing up their supply depots in Manila and demolishing bridges. There was even street fighting.

“Quaking Island” There is a volcanic island in the Pacific halfway between the Marianas and Japan called “Iwo Jima,” which translates as “Quaking Island.” Its Japanese garrison has been bombed for the last 66 days consecutively. In other news, while there is no new offensive in the Pacific anywhere this week, a naval spokesmen in Washington said that “I think you can say the Marines are ready.” I hope they’re readier than they were ready at Tarawa. Or Pelelieu.

“The Dawn in China” Truck convoys roar up the Ledo Road, under banners hilariously inscribed “Welcome Honourable Truck Convoy,” while Nationalist armies are poised on the plateaus of Yunnan, ready to strike towards territory that isn't wild jungle.

“Road to Mandalay” Meanwhile, the British are up to something in south Burma. Columns passing through a central Burma village encountered “Regimental Sergeant Watts, Retired, of the King’s Own Scottish Borderes, now deaf, blind and 88 years old,” who retired to the village after 55 years in the army and 13 in the Burma police, where he “took a Burmese wife” and “fathered half-caste children.” Either the sequence is somehow wrong, or Sergeant-Major Watts is a very healthy old man.

“The Comrade and the 99,999” One hundred thousand of 2 million French war prisoners have been liberated by the Red Army. A communist named Corentin Le Du was hurried home last week, but, the paper suggests, this was special treatment because of his politics, and the other “99,999” are eagerly awaited. Communists are bad people.

“Move Over, Pharaoh” The 25,000 acre estate near Oels on which Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm eaked out a postwar living has been seized by the new Polish government and will be “sovietised.” Perhaps all the Hohenzollern’s vast, $17 million dollar real estate empire will go the same way, even the “rocky eyrie atSigmaringen, from which the Hohenzollerns originally came.” I made the mistake of asking Miss v. Q. where in Poland you might find a “rocky eyrie,” and got such a lecture on the laziness of the American press. Anyway, the Hohenzollerns seem as “safely mummified as Egypt’s XXIst Dynasty.” But not the XXth or XXIInd? Are they doing all right? Perhaps they have Polish estates?

“Report on Revolt” A report by a British trade union delegation to Athens vindicates the Prime Minister’s policy, suggesting that the pro-EAM reports by British correspondents were due to their being out of touch with the labouring masses of Greece. Also, “Peace.” There is peace in Greece.

“Some Riddles for the Sphinx” What will Egypt do about airfields after the war? It is all very riddl-y, in a Sphinx-y sort of way. Also, King Farouk is only 25. Also, the Suez Canal.

“Fear along the Andes” There might be war between Argentina and Chile any time, since all the countries are doing it, and it sure looks fun.

Besides, “reactionary elements” in Chile would welcome an Argentinian intervention to overthrow their democracy and take over the iron and coal in southern Chile. Besides, some Chileans are Germans, and Germans are all secret Nazis, except the ones in Germany. Or Austria, where they might not be Germans. With all this excitement, you might almost think that there was an election coming up in Chile. (There is.)

Latin Americans are backwards and excitable. One thing Mexicans are excited about is the tall man, masked like other Carnival celebrants, who shot the Governor of Sinaloa, “bearded, music-loving Rodolfo T. Loaiza.” The tall man also murdered two Americans trying to apprehend him. He is believed to be the mysterious El Gitano, a two-gun man, with a beautiful Japanese wife, in the habit of shooting the daisies out of pretty girls’ hair, except for that time he missed, and now held prisoner in the fortress of Santiago Tlatelolco. Apparently, a .38 bullet, with a “G” etched into it for “El Gitano,” is a passport anywhere in the Sinaloa hills.

Personally, I think that the paper should lay off Zorro serials followed by late night tamales with Tabasco sauce, washed down by mescale. (Is this the place or time to admit that I do remember that night in Tijuana when you introduced me, and, as it turns out, James, to mezcal?) 

“Hard to Get” William H. Donald, “trusted and confidential adviser to Chinese leaders from Sun Yat-sen to Chiang Kai-Shek,” turned up this week, alive and well, in a Manila prisoner camp, where he had been held by the Japanese since being captured there on his way from New Zealand to China. He was using a false name, which is why the Japanese couldn’t find him. I believe this story. Like the Young Marshal, I believe everything William Donald says.

Also, he is a Man of Mystery. For example, in spite of being in China for 43 years and advising all the Chinese, he doesn’t speak Chinese. This is a good thing: “he has helped China, but China has not changed him.” There were also some other prisoners of war liberated. They were, of course, very grateful to be visited by General MacArthur. 


“The Economic Side” Bretton Woods is the economics side of Dumbarton Oaks. Also more: there must be international agreements about trade barriers, cartels, oil, shipping, communications, civil aviation (sigh). All this freedom and cartel-busting, naturally, should be accompanied by boosting the capitalisation of the Export-Import Bank, so that foreigners can freely buy American stuff.

“Blaze’s Trail” The story of how Elliot Roosevelt’s dog got top priority on Air Transport Command continues to unravel. It turns out that the President’s family has great influence!

“Indian Fighter” Since 1933, John Collier has been U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He is an “Indian Fighter” in the sense that he fights for Indians, and expects to start winning quite soon. Fair enough. He’s only had twelve years!

“Petrillo v. the Boys and Girls” The paper thinks that James Petrillo is awful, Interlochen National High School Orchestra division.

Also in outrage, something about German P.W.s not being mistreated while U.S. boys on the front lines suffer. In news that confuses the paper’s outrage organ, a conscientious objector from Oregon named Henry Weber’s death sentence for “refusal to obey orders” has been commuted to dishonourable discharge and life imprisonment after his Senator (Burt Wheeler) got involved.

“Elder Statesman” Carter Glass, senior Senator from Virginia, is 87, bed ridden, and completely gaga. The question is whether that disqualifies one from sitting in the Senate. Or lying unconscious somewhat near it, as the case may be. A silly Professor of History from Virginia named Robert Douthat Meade thinks that it does, the cad.

“Relaxed” The new labour conscription bill isn’t going to pass because everybody hates it and nobody likes it. The paper suggests that the Senate is being a bit lazy. Also lazy, the “conchies” of the Tobacco Road Gang, who refuse to do all the CCC-style work they’ve been assigned in lieu of military service.

“Joy Ride” The paper’s Belgian correspondent was in Vancouver this week! He must be quite the high flyer, but how else explain the story of a US Coast Guard “Tars and SPARS” mixed review, now touring in Vancouver, with Victor Mature as its lead attraction. After the performance, 16 SPARS and six tars went on a cruise that turned into a “joy ride,” as drunken Canadian sailors molested the SPARs. But no worries, the SPARs enjoyed it, even if the Vancouver Sun is upset. In other Canadian news, Canadians are boring.


“Earnings: The Way Down” It looks as though US industry has passed the war’s profit peak. Rails, steel and meat packers led the way down, while oil bucked the trend. Nevertheless, signs are that industry will whether the comparatively small cutbacks planned for V-E day.

“Maybe. . . “ U. S. Steel may have begun to negotiate to buy the Geneva steel plant from the government. Big steel might also want to buy or lease Fontana, Benjamin Fairless suggested. This is interpreted as giving the Reconstruction Finance Corporation an alternative to the deal that many see shaping up, in which the remaining $8 million Kaiser owes the Government over Fontana is written down when he takes it over. Anyone reading this who wants to imagine Uncle George saying, “I told you so,” may now do so.

“The Other Half” American business hates cartels, unless it is involved.

“A Matter of Pride” Production in the Los Angelse rubber-tire industry is up. The paper attributes this to the new, seven-day week, the emergency furlough of 600 soldiers, and a fight against absenteeism., down from 12% to 3%. The soldiers, it is noted, are also motivated by the thought of earning up to $100/week in overtime. If the end were clearly in sight, I might be encouraged to work a few seven-days for $100/week in overtime alone. The Japanese sure as heck better not hold out too long, though.

“The Biggest” Connie Hilton has just bought the world’s biggest hotel, the 2700 room Stevensin Chicago.
Cozy and intimate!

Science, Medicine, Education, Etc.

“Chains Cast Off?” Clarence and Lonnie Gapen, of Washington, Pa. claim to have discovered an abrasive tyre material which will replace tire chains. Some “tire men” are enthusiastic, others are skeptical, even though they admit that the Gopens might have found a solution to a problem that has been eluding tire science for a quarter-century.

“The War Against Weeds” The wonder insecticide DDT will be available in small quantities this year. (Because insects are like weeds.) As for things that might work against weeds that are new, the flamethrower, calcium cyanimide, light oil, borax and ammonium sulfamate have all shown promise, although the big news is a wonder chemical called 2-4-D. It is deadly to many weeds, harmless to animals, not flammable or corrosive, and does not reduce soil fertility, and is a 100% American invention. And you can tell that it is a wonder chemical of modern science because it has a “D” in its name, just like DDT.

“What the Navy Needs” Since the Army is encouraging inventions, the Navy is giving it a go. Inventors are wanted to work on everything from non-slipping shoe soles to a method of welding light-gauge aluminum.

“In Peace, Prepare” On a more systematic note, the two services are together forming a Research Board for National Security to ensure that secret weapon research continues in peacetime. Rear Admiral Julus A. Furer and Brigadier General William A. Borden are the joint heads, with Karl Compton, Roger Adams and Alphonse R. dochez the science side.

“Upswept Allergy” Upswept hairdos may harm future generations by leading to eczema in areas of a baby’s skin  touched by their mother’s hair in the vital first months of life. Because of the “lacquer” used in the upswept hair fashion, of course, Doctor Milton Plotz of the Long Island College of Medicine concluded after observing one mother and one baby for two months. Mothers are terrible. Thank Heavens that there are scientific doctors to help us.

In education, the German “school for supermen” has been overrun in southwestern Germany. it was to train Nazi supermen. Texan supermen are at the Texas Normal College, where the school’s machine shops are now to be used for munitions production while training industrial shop teachers.

Press, Literature, Culture, Etc.

“Federalese Dis-O.K.’d” Federal bureaucrats have a way of “making simple speech complex,” and Manhattan’s Herald Tribune won’t put up with it any more. In other news about news, the Chicago Herald-Tribune is, by edict from San Simeon, no longer allowed to call Chicago the “Dirty Shirt Town,” while Tennessee papers hate Boss Crump.

The paper isn’t sure what it thinks of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and calls The Three Caballeros  a rare Disney failure. Donald Duck’s “erotomaniacal regard” for various Latin beauties is “of strictly pathological interest.” Also, the Latin American cartoon characters are uninteresting, except for the nice penguin who travels north (because the South Pole is in the South!) and gets a tan.

“No Men on Horseback” The paper reads Dorothy B. Goebel and Julius Goebel, Generals in the White House and agrees that generals-as-presidents are no big deal.

“In a Jap Internment Camp” Shelley Mydans and Carl Mydans, repatriated after eight-and-a-half months in the Manila internment camps, did not enjoy themselves.  And Japanese cannot pronounce their “Ls!

Charles Brower has died, of old age, and not of, say, crashing his plane. Norman Bel Geddes’ daughter has married, and Charles Van Doren has been divorced in Reno.
Bel Geddes' designed "Street Intersection of the City of the Future," from the Futurama Exhibit, New York World Fair, 1939


Suggestions that Christian Century’s concerns about Romanism might be a bit exaggerated are vigorously refuted by many readers. Another correspondent notesthat the real cause of the cigarette shortage is all the women who have takenup the habit, which is a disgusting thing in the fair sex. In a lone brackets of sanity, a correspondent writes to show that American soldiers are much better educated than in WWI, and would be even better educated if public officials did a better job of educating them. This is at the head, while at the end, an official of the Veteran’s Administration writes to clarify amputation disability allowance policy. Boring!

“Dear Publisher” A letter to the paper from its Paris correspondents reveals that life is pretty tough, but also cheap, in Paris right now.

Flight, 22 February 1945

“Operational Automaticity” The recent revelation that the Mitchells and Bostons of Coningham’s Second Tactical Air Force bombed through 10/10ths cover on a bomb line only a thousand yards from our front implies that bombing was going on only 8 ½ seconds ahead of our troops. It is interesting, the paper says, to “speculate on the development of more and more automatic aids.” Will bombing be taken over by flying bombs, or by great bombers carrying enormous loads, “all under automatic control?” They would be slim and streamlined, as they would not have to carry crews, and could have television sets to transmit “some interpretable representation of the ground below.” “The bomb-aimer would be a controller sitting in an armchair hundreds of miles away.” After all, instrument bombing by a skilled operator is already more accurate than visual bombing by an average bomb-aimer.

As we shall see in a few days, when the current number of Time arrives, there is a reason to "speculate" about "automaticity" today.

“The Brotherhood of the Air” Lord Trenchard thinks that air force pilots shouldn’t have to bother with passports, as they can land at each others’ airfields throughout Europe already. What a fine idea! I endorse it without reservation –at least for as long as currency export controls last… I can see where non-pilots might have some objections.

“Supersonic Tactics” Reports that Mosquitoes are diving at 700mph to catch jet-propelled Me 262s are as impossible as the repeated fable in Canada’s Commercial Aviation last week that the P-47 could reach 840mph in the dive. However, in the future, it may be more important to know what “Mach number,” that is, what multiple of the speed of sound, a fighter can reach than its top still air speed or turning radius.

The Duke of Gloucester will have a personal Avro York at his service as Governor-General of Australia. It is called “Endeavour,” because Australia wants to claim the Founder, too. Hands off. He’s ours. Botany Bay was just an unfortunate diversion.

War in the Air

The fall of Budapest cost Germany 127,000 prisoners. It might have been Adolf Hitler’s fault. I am beginning to get the impression that this Hitler person might not actually be a good head of state. Aircraft were probably not involved in that, but they did hit Dresden with 650,000 fire bombs last week, in support of the Russian offensive. There was only a small amount of flak to interfere with bombing. 450 Fortresses followed up, attacking by day. Munich was also hit, making two capitals of former German principalities that joined “with the Prussians in trying to dominate the world.” The Jesuit fathers were actually pretty indignant at this snippet, by the way, with a professor of history in fine form as he explained about Maria Teresa and Frederick the Great. Though even he could help mentioning the “Miracle of the House of Brandenburg.” With all due respect to the learned, I do not think we are at risk of seeing the Czarina die unexpectedly this time around.

Austrians are not really Germans.

Back from 1761, or 1763, or whenever it was, to the agonies of Dresden, which was hit again the next night by British and American air forces. Twelve to thirteen thousand bombing sorties were flown in these 36 hours, not all by any means against Dresden, while the Germans are unable to switch troops from front to front, because there are attacks going in on all. The only thing really holding the Allies back is mud, in which aircraft are not involved.

The American carrier air raids on Tokyo are mentioned again, this time with Chester rather than Mitscher in the spotlight, and Raymond overlooked by all. Perhaps he should threaten to humiliate the Japanese after the war, in way of promoting an early peace? The paper notices the crossing of the Irrawady above Mandalay, and that aircraft were involved. German press pictures of an autogiro working as the “periscope” of a submarine are shown. I wish James were here to tell me whether this is at all practical. Actually, I wish he were here at all, but I am sure that you are tired of hearing that.

Source; Details

Here and There

The Spitfire XIV has a speed of “about 450mph.” The Germans are using the FW190A-8 in the Eastern Front fighting. Reuters reports from Australia that numerous graduates of the air training programme in Canada are wasting their time as fruit pickers or dock labourers in Australia. Better that than replacing “wastage” at the front! The P-55 Ascender, P-75, and McDonnell XP-67 are shown under the heading of “American Experiments.” I still cannot believe that someone thought it a good use of taxpayer money to contract experimental fighters from amateur enthusiasts such as McDonnell.


Sir Frank Spriggs is out of hospital, and T. C. L. Westbrook (also) has been “released” by De Havilland to find new fields to conquer. King Farouk has a new Anson. It’s not very Sphinx-y, so perhaps it is a pyramid? What else is clich├ęd and Egyptian? Mummies? It's as old as a mummy!  (Pooh. Now I feel old.) Bristol Aircraft has had a birthday. Our friend, B. J. Hurren, who was released by the Fleet Air Arm in late 1943 to work for SBAC on “special duties,” is now to take up an appointment at Fairey in “connection with public relaitons and air intelligence.” He is also a BBC presenter, I learn, an “authority on naval air matters,” and was formerly employed at the Admiralty and MAP. I could be unkind about “air intelligence,” but this is embarrassing enough.

John Yoxall, “Mosquitoes of the 8th USAAF” Americans are pleased with their “hot ships,” which they use for weather reconnaissance. Yoxall names the aircrew he flew with as Captain Lee and Lt. W. A. Biggers, and flew from England to San Severo in Italy. He describes the flash bombs and the multi-lens cameras used for associated night photography, and notes that the Americans now use the RAF model 24 camera by Williamson. Yoxall notes that it is hard for the Americans to scrape up night-qualified flyers for the squadrons, and reports the story already cited, of the Mosquito diving away from an Me 262 at 700mph. The next night, he flew over Holland with the squadron commander, England to Italy and back this week plus the Netherlands! I actually find myself quite envying Mr. Yoxall. Though not the part about flying into German flak.

“Flying Boats Freed from the Ice” RAF Coastal Command flying boats in Northern Ireland were iced in a few days ago, the seas freezing for the first time in fifty years.

“Endeavour 1945” The Duke of Gloucester’s personal Avro York deserves its own article! Because it is posh. Seriously: flush toilets, a gallery with electric cook plate, ventilation, oxygen supply to each individual berth (with bunks), stateroom and bedroom for the viceregal couple with absolutely wonderful decor. Card tables that can be adjusted to be level for any aircraft pitch in flight. No sunblinds, for some reason.

Civil Aviation

“A Scottish Plan” It’s a play on MacBeth, I am told. (I am not always confident that Jesuits are the right men to run, say, an electrical engineering school, but they certainly educate me!) The actual article is about which airport in Scotland is best, with a “plea for Prestwick.”

“Aircraft Operating Costs: Hours of Utilisation Multiplied by Speed is the Potent Factor in Air Transport Economy” Oh, Good Heavens. I am looking at a page of itemised particualrs and cost per passenger miles curves. It appears to be derived from A. S. Butler’s recent presentation to the Airspeed board on the A. S. 57.

“Turbines or Piston Engines” It is generally agreed that turbines will only take over from piston engines when turbine engines exist, says Air Commodore F. R. Banks to the Royal Aeronautical Society. And current jet turbine engines are much faster to design and develop than immensely complicated piston engines. The Air Commodore went on to discuss the immensely complicated piston engines of more than 3000hp that we might see in commercial service before jet engines with decent fuel economy begin to appear, probably in “five years or so,” There is some quite interesting information following about fuels and fuel air ratios. Apparently, piston engines have an ideal ratio of 15 units of fuel to one unit of air, while for jets it is currently 60 or 70 to one, because piston engines tolerate much higher temperatures than jets. This will change with materiel progress, but also with the addition of additional compressor stages and the like –so that jet turbines will become more economical as they become more complicated, and slower to develop. Speaking of speed, the jet turbine will bring us even closer to the limits of compressibility, so we should research this more.

“RAF Moved 300,000 Casualties Without Mishap” in 1944 Says Air Marshal Sir Harold Wittingham, Director of RAF Medical Services.  Also, “Colonel Boynton met his death in an experiment,” whatever tht means.


A. R. Blake points out that Mr. Hamilton-Adam’s letter about how liquid-gas guided missile bombs would put an end to war was probably incorrect. In a world in which “cargo-vessel sized” missiles are launched from the seabed off New York . war would be very strange, but would still exist. John Grierson thinks that slow commercial aeroplanes had their place before the war, and will after. Not finishing the column, although it should have, is an extended flatulence joke on a sparking plug theme, because boys will be boys.

Time, 26 February 1945


“The Secretary and the Blonde” Secretary of State Edward Stettinus took in Swan Lake at the Bolshoi after Yalta, sent a $250 bouquet to beautiful blonde ballerina, Marina Semenova, and then flew off to Mexico for his next engagement. I bet she’s not even a real blonde. Also, in “the Yalta Conference’s Implications for the Future,” (Russian) communists are nice, now. (French) Rightists aren’t. They want to keep Dakar and Indochina to themselves, unless they get to trade them for Hawaii, or something like that. To demonstrate how nice Russians are now, “A Simple Thank You” tells the story of an Englishwoman who wrote a thank you letter to Comrade Chairman Uncle Generalissimo Joe on hearing that her husband had been liberated from a camp by the Red Army. Which doesn’t seem to be a story about Russians, exactly. Poles, on the other hand, are excitable. The Prime Minister wore a nice fur hat.

In other conferencing news, very important steps are being made in the direction of brining Latin America into the war. And the International Trade Union Congress has agreed to form a new international federation of trade unions to replace the old one. This is apparently relevant because the Russian unions and the CIO are in, which entails progress for bad communists (as in Romania) versus the good communists (Ecuador? Russia? This is confusing.) 

“Maria of Monschau” A 17-year-old German girl named Maria, from Monschau, is thoughtless and naive. Germans!

“Bread and Ballots” France will have parliamentary elections in the spring. The French would also like to have more bread. Also, the French are appalled at Ministry of Health moves towards “long term rationing of wine.” Frenchmen!

Japanese, Arabs, Palestinian Arabs, Argentines, Ecaudorians and Rumanians are excitable.

“Yalta and Versailles” The Versailles system broke down, and this led to World War II. There is no :Yalta system” yet, but when there is, it might break down and lead to World War III.

“A House Divided” Chou came down to Chungking to suggest that the Soongs should probably decide what part of New York they want to live in now, and avoid the postwar rush. The paper interprets this as “negotiations between the Central Government and the Communists [that] ended in deadlock.”

“Child Victims” An inquiry brings to light cruelty to children in England’s enormous public care side of affairs –all the foster homes, orphanages, public nursery schools that you really cannot call a “system.”

“A Question of Balance” Chester is the cover story this week. Everyone likes him, because he never let the scene at his headquarters devolve into a war or anything. (The paper only explicitly notes that he’s gained a permanent tan and 30lbs since moving to Honolulu, but the implication is there.)

“A Hero Falls in Action” Thirty-Eight year old(!) Marshal Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky died of a battle wound this week.

“Monty’s Turn” Everything is now in place for “the last round,” as Monty puts it.

Germans are awful. Canadians are boring.

“Mitscher Shampoo” The paper is very impressed by the carrier strikes against Tokyo. Japanese have a “regimented” society, because they are at work when they’re supposed to be at work. Not a ship was damaged!

“Hell’s Acre” But the raids were incidental to the main act, which was to isolate the battlefield, which, turns out to be Iwo Jima, invaded on 19 February by the Marines, under “Howling Mad” Smith, who should do better there than on Saipan, as it's an all Marine Corps show, so he'll only have two enemies to fight. (Navy, Japanese, if you're keeping track.) The paper jauntily ends its coverage of the landing with the line that "many a marine had passed from hell’s acre to God’s acre.”

“Return to the Rock” While the Marines storm ashore on Shaking Island, the army takes the fortress of Corregidor by combined beach and parachute assault. Very few paratroopers ended up on God's acre. Just a thought.


“Second Thoughts” Americans are having second thoughts about Yalta!

“So Many Voices” The labour draft that won’t happen was discussed by many people. War Secretary Stimson thinks that everyone with soldier relatives at the front is appalled that America isn’t drafting labour into the war industry. Mr. Stimson seems to be listening to voices in his head and mistaking them for "Americans, and that's the newspapers' job.

“Effective Answer” The American labour movement continues to not derail the war effort. But give it time.

“By the River” Vice is an issue in the Peoria municipal election, which brings down a twelve-term mayor seen as “objectively-pro vice.” (In the spirit of getting ready for the Conference, I thought I’d throw in some old-time Communist talk.)

“Defeat, Victory” Remember last time, when the paper said that Henry Wallace would only be confirmed as Commerce Secretary if the department lost the Reconversion Finance Corporation? That happened.

“Onward Petrillo” Petrillo continues his awful, cruel, corrupt crusade to raise musicians’ wages. Even though he left school in the Fifth Grade, and therefore shouldn’t be listened to about matters of high culture, such as how much money the musicians involved in putting on a Shakespeare play should be paid. There are musicians at Shakespeare plays? Well if that doesn't beat anything. They didn't wake me up!

“Legends of Lee” Unsourced rumours paint Lieutenant General John C. H. Lee as a pompous blowhard. Which I am sure is true. The question is, why are these rumours being reported now? In Time? Who did he cross?

“Post-Yalta Tactics” The American delegation to the San Francisco conference is coming together.Senator Vandenberg, Harold Stassen, Charles Eaton and Crocheron Gildersleeve are the Republican members, Stettinus, Cordell Hull, Tom Connally and Sol Bloom are the Democrats. The selections are seen as “tactical.” Stassen, for example, is an insult to Dewey. I hope that it is not "tactical" there is a woman and a Jew on the delegation.

“They Think of the Moment” Like an anthropologist braving his life to study the mysterious Kwakuitl, the paper ventures amongst that strangest and most alien of tribes, American women, to discover what they think of the war and victory.

Mrs. Jane O’Gormnan, of Burbank, California, mother of a two year-old son, thinks she was very lucky to get her cottage, and that she and her husband will have to make some accommodations when he comes back from the war. Other American women haven’t been hussies, while still others are lonely, and yet others want to have nice kitchens full of new gadgets after the war.   Other women miss their husbands, and still others have been unfaithful. Perhaps the same ones who go out dancing with servicemen!

In Amarillo: "Give me any kind of night work. It's the evenings that get me. I want to work till I'm so tired I'll just drop off."
In St. Paul: "I want to talk to a man so bad I could scream."
In Chicago: "Bill sent me a picture from the Pacific. He had a new hard look in his eyes. They all have it. It's something you can't quite describe."
In Denver: "Will I ever have a baby?"
“Flood Tide” Prices are surging against their controls with the force of an angry sea! For example, commodity prices are at 104.9% of their 1926 average, and might go higher yet. For example, with U.S. income payments in December hitting a new high of $14.4 billion in December, clothing sales in New York were up 22%. (The two thoughts are related –I’ve left out a bit about arguments over excess profits in cotton mills.) Also, a price rise of $1/ton has been approved for pig iron. Although this is strictly intended as a book-keeping measure, because it is the price that integrated iron and steel makers pay themselves, in good book-keeping practice, it apparently must be passed on to the consumer. Also, the black market in meat and cigarettes seems to be doing well. In short, wage increases are too large.
And stocks are up. This is clearly another example of a rising cost of living, because I know we here serve stocks for supper every Thursday night. I hope you are building an ark, sir, if it is not too late in this summary to poke fun at the “rising sea” metaphor.  
“Light on Lights” Now there is a match shortage.
“Gift for Mexico” Sears, Roebuck has bought a $516,000 site in Mexico City to expand its mail-order business in Mexico, following Sears. The thought is that Mexico’s creaky retail service is ripe for challenge by mail-order methods.
“Mirage” Even though cattle deliveries to Chicago stockyards are at a 26 year high, Mr. Eastwood, President of Armour, foretells a 15% drop in production in 1945 due to the ceiling on cattle prices, which is why the shipping animals are 40—65lb less on average than 1944’s marketing weights. A “meat famine” is predicted by the summer, withhogs down 30% and lambs down 14%. (Famine at last! I've grown so tired of waiting.) The American Meat Institute predicts that there will be only 151 million lbs of meat a week in the summer, versus 263 million last year.
“New Oil Burner” Gulf Oil is trying to promote private aviation. This is so that everyone will buy more gasoline, and gasoline is made from oil. It reminds the paper of how the Chinese were persuaded to buy lots of oil by first flooding the Chinese market with cheap kerosene lanterns. What?
Science, Medicine, Education, Etc
“The Brain” The paper reveals the existence of the Air Position Indicator, called “the brain,” by its makers. The paper claims this to have been invented by Colonel Thomas L. Thurlow and the Bendix Aviation Corporation, apparently because it is determined to give my darling husband an excuse to boom outrage all over the property and supply us with a whole winter's worth of stovewood. A “mechanism of over 500 parts” automatically translates data from weather reports, compass and speed indicator into latitude and longitude. (1,2,3)


“Who Believes Rumours?” Science, specifically, the science of Psychologist Floyd H. Allport of Syracuse University, shows that about one in four people believe any given rumour. “Mechanics, clerks, salesmen, housewives, oldsters, fault finders, people who objected to rationing and anti-New-Dealers,” were particularly susceptible to believing in rumours. Men believe more rumours than women (Hah!), although the paper suggests that it is because “they hear more rumours.” You know? Because we gossip all the time? Gals!  

“School for Salmon” The Grand Coulee blocks the Chinook salmon run, so the Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to teach returning salmon to spawn below it, by raising salmon in hatcheries there. Old-time fishermen are skeptical.

“Penicillin by Mouth” American Cynamid has devised a pill coating that will allow penicillin to be administered orally instead of by injection. In all the coverage of penicillin to this point, I was never made aware that treatment required shots every two hours. No wonder it took so long to catch on!

“Cheerful Case” Up to last week, 6,027 U.S. soldiers had lost at least one arm or leg in WWII. Of these, 331 had lost two, none were “basket cases” (all four.) Last week, Corporal Ralph A. Brown, of Youngstown, Ohio, the first to have lost three, was put on public display, on account of being cheerful about his postwar prospects, for some reason.

“Teaching in America” Allan V. Heely, headmaster of New Jersey’s Lawrenceville School, Allen B. Crow, president of the Economic Club of Detroit, Jacques Barzun, of Columbia, and Episcopalian churchman Bernard Iddings Bell, all agree that something is wrong with education in America. They just do not agree on what it might be. Too much science? Too little? Money-wasting? Great Books? It’s got to be something or other. On the bright side, someone in Oklahoma is teaching a class on being a church usher. On the less bright side, student journalist Marilyn Kaemmerle was fired from her position as editor of the weekly Flat Hat at William and Mary for advocating the end of “white-supremacy nonsense.” At least she was not expelled, as state officials originally demanded. Because of academic freedom, or some such. Students protested until it was suggested that the protests might lead to race riots or the loss of state funds for the college, at which point they all settled down.

Press, Literature, Art, Etc

The paper does not like some contemporaries. For example, it uses the example of a Madrid speech by “Hearst newsman Karl H. von Wiegand” to suggest that the Hearst syndicate is a bunch of Fascists, and Nazi, and tells us that the Moscow’s War and the Working Class is Russian propaganda, which is why it says mean things about Chiang, John L. Lewis, the Pope and the Engineer. Well, I am not sure about the Pope, and I think that Mr. Lewis is in his heart of hearts, well-meaning. So I suppose that I am half some kind of Communist.

Speaking of religious matters, the paper notes that Protestants hate the Pope, and Catholics hate the Ku Klux Klan, and so the two American denominations are comparable.

“Nature Lovers” Francis Guy, Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, John Frederick Kensett get an exhibition together in Chicago this week.

“Synonyms Snipped” A radio station bans the use of words including “gimp” and “derelict” to protect children from brutality, vulgarity, etc. Also protecting us, the British Variety Artists’ Federation, which agrees that for ten years after the war, no members will appear with Japanese, German or Italian performers.

The paper liked Objective Burma, starring Errol Flynn and written by Randal Mac Dougall. Though it does get “pretty long.” The latest “Thin Man” movie is better than doing domestic chores. Roughly Speaking is funny, as is Having Wonderful Crime.

“Mobile Might” Lieutenant Oliver Jensen’s book, Carrier War, lets us into the top secret of an American aircraft carrier force, which has had something or other to do with the Pacific War.

“A Matter of Opinion” Radio KFI, Los Angeles, will drop all its commentators, because they have too many opinions, and it is upsetting the sponsors and manager, William B. Ryan.

Admiral Halsey approves of the policy of not bombing the Imperial Palace in Tokyo because, after the war, he wants to ride the Emperor’s horse. Wendell L. Willkie gets a building named after him in New York, because, if he’d ever accomplished anything in his life, he would have accomplished quite something.

And then there is Bonnie Clare McNair is noted for wearing the decorations of her grandfather, General McNair, and her father, Colonel McNair. She lost both in the same twelve day span in 1944. Unless you hold that awful name against her, she's done rather more for this country than Wendell Willkie ever accomplished.

The Publisher’s letter tells us about Bill Walton’s return to the editorial offices. He went overseas at 33 in March of 1943 looking young and blond. He’s returned “ten pounds thinner and looking ten years more mature,” having flown on bombing raids with 8th Air Force, jumped with the paratroopers on D-Day, and, in general, seen all the fighting. (The Hurtgen Forest, in the news again lately because of the breach of the Roer dam, was the worst.) Before returning to the Western Front in March,he is going to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he vaguely recalls having  misplaced a wife and two children. If found, please contact Mr. Walton c/o this paper.


Various correspondents are appalled at Michigander girls consorting with German prisoners of war. Robert Graves writes to defend his biography of Milton, and one Gerald H. Slusser to point out that Dr. Orestes Caldwell’s alleged discovery of the static electric charge of snowflakes is no discovery at all. Dr. Caldwell assures the paper that he was the first to see this “snow” on television screens.

Here's my peroration, inspired mostly by the "Brain" article. It is this: Dr. Caldwell is both rich and famous. I suppose that I will be dismissed as being a vindictive female when I point out the role of the Engineer, his boy, and the chummy arrangement between the FCC and the Radio Corporation of America. As the editor of multiple electrical journals, it is beyond me how he could have imagined that he "discovered" that snow (and rain) carry electrostatic charges. Actually, it is not, as I assume that his editorship in practice means that he is paid for his name on the masthead.

Now, having caught out making these lazy boasts in the pages of Time, he shows no sign of even being capable of shame. Why should he? Who will hold him to account? It is the same with the "Brain." I do not know that the "Air Position Indicator" will be revealed in coming months to be a British invention, although, practically,  I do not see how it could be anything but. In the meantime, Colonel Thurlow and Bendix get to reap some cheap publicity from the Air Ministry's slower censorship.

James' parochialism can be frustrating as well as amusing, but I have a V-Mail before him which tries to pour out his frustations in far too few words at a young fool of the branch who decided to make a trial of a patent American boiler compound in Formidable's condensor on the voyage out from Suez. Nothing ill came of it, but the risk was foolish, and the argument, of course, is that American boiler compound must simply be better than fussy old British.

So there was James, trying to sound like an engineer while dressing down the young fool, only to have him intemperately defended by the flagship's Chief Engineer, a particularly ill-favoured thirty-year-old know-it-all. James tells me that he has been longing to punch the cocksure know-it-all in the face since 1934, and came very close to doing it in front of Bruce. Yet there is the young man, going through his paces in front of the Admiral. In the end, it will be this vain  horrible courtier who will go on to great things while James will retire to "tend his garden," because he took on thankless tasks in California instead of keeping his face before the good and great at Scapa. (Thanks once again to the Jesuit Fathers for my belated education in Great Tags of Western Literature. It's from an old French book, I'm told.) 

Also, James will have far more money out of it than the young man, but is that a consolation?

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