Group Captain R_. C_., RCAFVR, OBE, DSO, DFC (Bar),
Time, 16 July 1945
Our publisher writes that when the paper started, it had “the Bible, Xenophon’s Anabasis, and the Iliad on its desk.” All the syntax backwards came with the need for telestyle to space save. There is no”Time style,” people are rejected if they try to write for the paper using it, and all the parodies are wrong and stupid, although the paper will admit that it uses “tycoon.” Which is a Chinese word. Not that the paper is implying anything. Anyway, Columbia University says that Time has the “most interesting” style around. So there. Listen to the paper.
|This has been your weekly reminder that Eric W. Johnson is the Coming Thing.|
Mrs. Paul Koesten, of Glendale, California, isn’t nearly so self-congratulatory, and thinks America shouldn’t be, either. This patriotism thing is overdone, she thinks. Robert Braun, of Holliston, Massachusetts, thinks that universal military training is a ploy by generals to “drum up business.” Mrs. L. V. Honsinger speaks up for unfairly maligned “brass hats.” SP (X) 2/C Suzanne Maurer, USNR (W.R.), writes that Ernest Hooton’s* views on women are awful, and that he is “probably the only man in the world to deplore those ‘peculiarly localised fatty deposits” which seem to improve the morale of our fighting men by their presence in pin-up pictures.” Way to stand up for womankind, Specialist Maurer. Speaking of, the story about the (female) shape inspires Sgt. Jay G. Bundenthal of New York to write in to explain tell us about the shapes of European girls. Germans are the “bounciest,” and American girls should take note.
Mark Deller writes that the reason that shipyard workers “quit in droves” is that the newspapers are scaring them about their future. Actually, shipyard workers like Mr. Deller and his family (his daughters work summers, go to college in the winters) are swell. Philip Rubinstien of Roxbury, Mass, writes that girls today prefer wrinkled, distinguished looking men like the ones on the cover of the paper. I assume that Mr. Rubinstien is wrinkly.
U.S. At War
“Power vs. Statesmanship” Okinawa was a tough battle, but also saw the largest scale Japanese surrenders yet. The Japanese might yet surrender without an invasion if they can be persuaded that “unconditional surrender” does not mean “the extermination or enslavement of the Japanese people.” A further statement of aims, beyond “Kill Japs,” is called for. (It's interesting that a bit later, the paper mentions that "religious freedom" is among the things guaranteed.)
“On His Way” The President is on his way to Potsdam, we now know, thanks to the lifting on “the preposterous blackout on news of the President’s movements. . .”The President is not senior enough to preside over the talks, but he does carry invitations to Stalin to join the Combined Coal, Production and Resources, and Food Boards, and the papers for the $6 billion loan to give him leverage. On the domestic side, the departures of Harry Hopkins and Henry Morgenthau is another marker of the changeover from Rooseveltians to Trumanians (I’m helping the paper with my own coining, there, no parody intended, so help me). The GOP might talk about beating “the New Deal” in 1946, but by that time there will be no New Dealers left.
The U.S. has also recognised the Polish government and appointed Arthur Bliss Lane as ambassador. Francis Byrnes, the new Secretary of State, will be glad to see his man, Ben Cohen, go in as legal advisor, and Will Clayton (“at whose appointment left-wingers had raised a wail of anguish”) come in as assistant. Harold Stassen gave a radio talk about the United Nations Charter, then returned to the Admiral’s staff. Although food production is up 35% over five years, the farm population is down to 25,100,000, the lowest in 35 years. The week also saw final settlement for the Army’s seizure of Sioux horses in 1876, with a payment of $101,630; small change after the quarter-million dollar payment of 1891, but it gives the paper a chance to make fun of Indian names. Two more businessmen have come out to say that they lent Elliot Roosevelt money and were never repaid: David M. Baird, an insurance man, and Maxwell Bilofsky, Newark manufacturer, member of the National Republican Club pf New York, and owner of a $30,000 aluminum Rolls-Royce.
Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court’s “dissenter-in-chief, having reached the bench’s retirement age of 70, is leaving. Various persons I’ve never heard of, not surprisingly, are mooted as replacements.
“What They Bought” Delegates to the San Francisco Conference bought neckties, filmy nightgowns, Mexican silver plates, rayon hosiery, Hombergs and white shirts. The paper is a-goggle.
“Home Sweet Home” GIs rolling across America “from Boston to California” on their way from Europe to Japan took 5 days and 6 nights. It was very uncomfortable, as the Army was only allocated 4.055 sleeping cars. 895 will be reallocated, leaving civilians with a “rock-bottom” 3000. Another 1200 troop sleepers will be built by the end of the year, Since the American rails will need to do 21 million man moves, or 3 moves each for 7 million men, no-one is going to be comfortable on the rails for the next few months.
“Fire Season” It’s the ‘fire season’ of strikes! And “After three years of hard war use, the machinery of the War Labour Board is sadly worn.” Akron is paralysed by strikes at Goodyear and Firestone, and tyre and self-sealing fuel tank production collapsed last week until the Navy took over the Goodyear plant; but Firestone is still out. Other strikes are going on elsewhere, but the paper can’t say very much about them, because the metaphor factories are critically short of manpower.
“The Wreckers” Manila Bay was crammed with Japanese wrecks, but Commodore Sullivan and his men were on the job, along with Commodore Byron S. Huie. Apparently they have some prior experience in a place called “England,” and during the "Battle of Normandy," if you’ve ever heard of it. Speaking of all-American everythings, Carl Spaatz will take over command of the air war against Japan once 8th Air Force is there.
“The Bad with the Good” Since the war began, 101 US Army men have been executed, 47 for murder, 43 for rape, 11 for rape and murder, 1 for desertion. No Navy Department men were executed. In other military news, there was talk about talking about postwar universal military training.
For the first time in 13 months, US Army ground forces are not in major action anywhere in the world. General Stillwell says that 10th Army will be home before next Independence Day, Admiral Kinkaid calls for continuing the pressure on Japan. Admirals want to invade as soon as possible, while air men want to bomb some more. The B-29s, however, are running out of “industrial” targets and will be moving on to railroad, hydroelectric and port targets.
General MacArthur, meanwhile, has declared the Philippines campaign “effectively over.” 11,921 Americans were killed in 6th Army, in Luzon, and 8th Army, in the south. The Australians capture north Borneo more.
|"I'm confused. When did the Spanish come back?"|
“How Effective is 2%?” The U.S. Navy “admitted” last week that six more U.S. ships have been hit off Okinawa, including 5 destroyers, with 464 casualties. Twigg, just told that it was going home, had all its officers killed, the paper tells us. Pharmacist’s Mate Joseph Deworocki took command.Twigg and Porter were sunk, 3 others badly damaged, and one Liberty ship was also hit. The Admiral made fun of the Japanese as a “sixth rate air force,” and Marc claims that the kamikazes are not a problem, as they are “only 2% effective.” Other reports passing the censor are far less optimistic.
Speaking of Navy missteps, Iwo Jima has now received 1,400 diversionary B-29s, so perhaps it was not a complete waste of lives.
Bob Herwig, husband of Kathleen Winsor, author of Forever Amber, is a University of California All-Americand, a 6th Marine Division officer, and a hero for saving some men from a burning plane.
|Jessica Tandy, but not from Forever Amber.|
Nicaragua just became the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter. The paper talks about the talking about talking at Potsdam. The Paper’s London Bureau chief, Walter Graebner, reports that everyone in Europe thinks that some American troops should stay in Europe in case more war breaks out, with Yugoslavia particularly excitable, but also Greece, where rightists instead of leftists are in the ascendant and using the same apparatus of arrests, murders and imprisonments. In Greece there is deflation due to a devaluation of the drachma and rising wages, but the real bulwark against inflation is the expectation that the UNRRA won’t allow it. Italy is short of everything, and the British are suspected of pushing a restoration of the House of Savoy, probably unfairly. Most of Europe just wants to be more like America and Britain. Graebner thinks that Europe is having some kind of revolution, what I just wrote, summarising him, notwithstanding, and that the Americans and British should just “hold the line at the Elbe” and let the Russians get awful with the bits that are already awful enough.
“The Savage Hun” Lord Vansittart thinks that Germans are awful and must be kept disarmed forever. In news from prison camps in Germany, it is apparent that Germans have never been Nazis. Okay, the Germans admit, that’s a lie. But they do have a point, which is that they love Americans. They tell the paper.
“Boos and Ballots” The paper notes that while the best guess when polls closed was a small majority for the Conservatives, with a 100 seat gain for Labour. The Prime Minister was relentlessly heckled at his third-to-final campaign function, had a firecracker thrown in is face at the second-to-last, and predicted a Conservative victory at the end, in a radio broadcast in which he said, parsing his words, that a vote for Labour is a vote for Communism. Sounds like a Conservative majority to me! (Polls notwithstanding, because what does science know?)
In other English news, the Isle of Man is quaint, and the Duke of Windsor is coming over to cadge some money from the relations. I wonder.He can't very well pretend to go Nazi again. Will he suggest that he's seeing sense in Marx, cough cough, cross the palm with silver? In German news, Berlin is a “city of death.” American and British troops have taklen over their slices of the “Berlin pie” from the Russians. Berliners are either pleased or apathetic about it as much as anything else. The Russians keep making enemies by appointing German communists to official positions. In Poland, recognition of the Polish government means that the exile government in London has to find new employment. In Italy, southerners are excitable. In China, T. V. Soong has arrived in Moscow in a “four-motored plane.” Various things were discussed, from Darien to Sinkiang to French Indo-China. The Premier of Mongolia showed up on the fifth day of the talk, for reasons unknown to the paper. There is trouble between Greece and Yugoslavia, which I’m going to allow more dignity than an “excitable” comment because “terror is sweeping Macedonia,” and that sounds ugly. In China, Chiang gave a speech to the National Assembly in Chungking, preparing everyone for a civil war that is all the Communist’s fault. W. H. Donald recommends that the Communists should give up their arms on a promise from Chiang not to harm them.
Really, man. Father must have put a fright in the old monster to run him off to New York, but I am almost tempted to write Uncle George for some introductions. I am sure that for the right considerations we could reach the man, even in New York. No, I am just talking idly. I've no desire to give up those considerations, he is an old man, and Father says that he is in bad health, and that we can leave vengeance to his Maker.
The paper then goes on to tell a colourful story about the government’s decision to shift traffic to the right side of the road.
“The Empire, long united, must divide; long divided, it must unite. Thus it has ever been.”
In India, talking about talking about talking, now at Simla. This is why Field Marshal Wavell, the Viceroy, is on this week’s cover. Wavell is the product of three generals in three generations of his family, was twelfth of his line to attend Winchester, attended Sandhurst vice Woolwich, joined his father’s regiment, commanded the suppression of the Palestine revolt before the war, got thoroughly beat by Rommel, and is best known for publishing an anthology of poetry. Sounds like just the man to put in charge of the fate of India! Once India is a proper Dominion, under Imperial Preference, he intends to write a biography of a Roman general named Belisarius. In other colonial news, Canadian troops rioted at Aldershot this week over rumours that Canadians had been incarcerated there, and also at the fact that they were in Aldershot, as opposed to, say, Canada. Ottawa promised to look into that.
In Latin America, much excitement, but hopefully no terror.
Princess Elizabeth drew attention in England for her hat, Imogene Stevens of Texas for being "tiger eyed." And for shooting a man dead in cold blood. But it was in Texas, so it practically counts as hospitality.
Norah Carpenter, mother of quadruplets by American Sergeant William Thompson, is waiting for him to send for her, while he negotiates a divorce from his wife through the Philadelphia press. Men. Louise Bogan replaces Robert Penn Warren as official poet at the Library of Congress. General MacArthur was not assassinated by Japanese agents this week. Mary Astor Paul turns out to have been working for the French underground as “Pauline.” Colonel Norman H.Schwarzkopf, best known for heading the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, is back from three years of reorganising the Iranian police. James Petrillo is still fighting for union rates for the Interlochen Lakes National Music Camp, and the paper is still appalled. Joseph Schillinger’s “Rythmicon” got a test by the Juilliard School of Music, along with his entire “scientific” method for engineering music.
Mickey Rooney has had a baby –well, his wife has, but she’s less famous. Famous satirist John Erskine has married again, three days after his Reno divorce. (Men!) Sergeant Simon Eden, eldest son of Anthony Eden, is missing in action after an operational flight in Burma. Sergeant? John Curtin, Harold Norman Denny, and Dr. Theodore Leslie Shear have died.
The paper celebrates the ending of talking about talking about civil aviation. Now it is up to the airlines to actually fly all the services they keep talking about, at the fares they have promised. $100—150 to fly to London on a Constellation as soon as there is one. It also does its version of its sister paper’s Philippines report. No word on Philippinos being secretly anti-independence, but it does talk about inflation. (Too much money chasing too few goods, etc. How about money with uncertain value chasing too few goods? It’s not like its Yankee dollars that are being thrust around in wads. That might actually lead to business! I suppose that since there is a shortage of ships, this is inevitable, but it still strikes me that enough money that is likely to hold its value will bring goods to market from somewhere.) Instead, the Foreign Economic Administration is going to send some ships full of the goods it thinks Philippinos ought to like soon. The National City Bank says that so far the transition to peace has gone much better than expected.
“Budd Burgeons” The Budd railcar factory in Philadelphia is recapitalising and expanding, although people fear that he is being too ambitious.
“How Much is Enough” Federated Department Stores has caused controversy by proposing to pay 14 top executives very generous incentive packages which seem excessive to stockholders when the president of one subsidiary is already making $100,000 a year. Macy’s has bought O’Connor, Moffatt! Enough said here. Several stories about returning GIs going into business for themselves illustrate a story whose burden is that they are less than expected numbers.
WPBoss Krugg is pleased to report that even though America spent $61 billion on munitions in 1944, production of civilian goods also hit the highest levels since 1941.
Science, Medicine, Technology, Education, Etc
Birmingham, Alabama, has launched a mass campaign to eradicate intimate diseases with penicillin. The paper is more vulgar. Louis Doyle is doing well, in spite of having the top of his head sliced off by an aircraft propeller, and inventor Dr. Marvel Darlington Beem has developed a “bathroom bed” for hospitals which will turn nursing from “a charwoman’s task into a profession.” It costs $30,000. Charwomen are not expensive, but they are dear, right now.
“Crooked Shooter” The Germans seem to be more imaginative than given credit for, as a recent display of German secret weapons included an around-the-corner shooting rifle. Dr. John Grebe of Dow Chemicals is not giving the Germans much of a lead, though, as he introduces his “3500lb unit which will cook, wash the dishes, wash, dry and iron clothes, freeze food and provide all bathroom facilities.” Ick! It is a U-shaped room, 7ft by 12, and is intended to be inserted in existing houses, or added on with its own roof. Made of magnesium and glass, it just needs to have its water . . . pipes hooked up to be ready to go.
“The Reluctant Bee” Apiarist William Feedham, reporting from the Squamish Valley near Vancouver, reports that the local bees, hybrid descendants of Italian imports, refuse to sting, and that this important discovery will transform beekeeping.
“War Babies” In spite of the war, the world’s birth rate for the past four years has been higher than usual. The Lancet can’t understand why, but suggests that the war might have caused “an unexpectedly high level of mental stability,” or a shortage of contraceptives, or led an insecure world to raise children as a “shock absorber.” All much better explanations than higher wages, because then you would have an argument for paying the help more. . .
The Philippines have schools, and Chicago’s Edwin R. Embree, president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, thinks that American students today are “over-educated” know-it-alls, lack intellectual curiosity, and should take fewer natural sciences, more social sciences.
Press, Literature, Etc.,
The New York mail delivery strike has had Wall Street buying The Daily Worker, PM Magazine summarising the funnies, and Mayor LaGuardia reading Dick Tracy on the radio on Sunday. Dolly Thackrey is using family money to put together a newspaper chain which will include the Paris Herald Tribune. Isn’t it already a reprint service for American chains?
The Armed services now have a radio network in Europe; and all four radio networks now have Berlin bureaus.
You Came Along gets the leading feature review. The paper doesn’t like it because it is too sad –and pat. A Thousand and One Nights is not much of a movie but likely to do well, especially on the strength of harem girls Evelyn Keys and Adele Jergens, with comedy by Cornel Wilde.
Peter Quennell’s The Profane Virtues seems to be one of those books that you read so that you can talk knowledgeably about famous books (in this case English books from –let me count this out on my hand, a little less than two hundred years ago) without actually reading them. But it is not cheating because he has a point. About “profane virtues,” I imagine. Also, F. Scott Fitzgerald has a biography-like book-related thing, by his friend, Edmund Wilson.
Flight, 19 July 1945
“End of a Chapter” Now that there isn’t a war in Europe, and SHAEF is gone, it is time for the 2nd Tactical Air Force to be dissolved. Which reminds the paper of the long and storied history of RAF commands that were somewhat similar to the TAF. I suppose it could be worse: no mention of the Aerial Battalion or the Balloon Section, but there’s an awful lot of ancient history crammed into three paragraphs ostensibly about the TAF. They don’t even get around to mentioning that Typhoons have rockets, now!
“Pacific Strategy” Smash Japan until something breaks? No, apparently it’s to . . . smash Japan until something breaks –with planes!
“Empire Partnerships and World Relations” It’s been ever so long since we talked about talking about civil aviation, and here’s a chance to fit the Commonwealth and Empire in, too.
War in the Air
This week, we’ve been smashing Japan and hoping that something breaks. The smashing has involved B-29s, planes in Burma, aircraft carriers, and perhaps soon other planes from 8th Air Force in Okinawa. The Japanese have retaliated with balloon bombs and human-guided bombs, and there is no sign of the rest of their air force, which might be dead, or only resting. The Admiral’s raids must be very hard on the Japanese ego, as the Japanese people are very conceited, on account of the memory of one glorious naval victory long ago. (And you can bet your bottom dollar I am using this one on James!) .
“The Air Plan” The RAF has made quite a good movie about how Bomber Command won the war, with some help from the other Commands and possibly those other services, like the army, navy and coast guard. If England has a coast guard? Someone might need to help the Air Council out with that one.
Here and There
Lieutenant General Stratemeyer has gone to Chungking to replace Claire Chennault. Which is sad, because no-one can really replace General Chennault, although General Stratemeyer can make a start by never washing, taking up the eating of raw human flesh, and practicing nameless perversions. If you haven’t the personality, you can always try harder! Half a million people have been to see the “Britain’s Aircraft Exhibit.” The paper is pleased because aircraft were involved, and because Air Chief Marshal Portal called it a “wizard show.” Now that the war is over, it can be revealed that in November of 1940, the RAF experimented with aerial mines consisting of small bombs floating on long cables suspended from parachutes, dropped into the midst of German bomber streams. They accounted for 5 German aircraft, we are told, though how anyone could tell is beyond me. The Czechs have asked for their air force back, now that they’re a country again. From the way that we abbreviate “Czechslovakia” as “Czechs,” I have to wonder, for how long? The new Corsair F4U is a vastly improved version of the plane, in the 425mph class (wasn’t it in the 500mph class back in 1940?) It has 6 .50 machine guns and a 2100 Pratt and Whtney Double Wasp engine driving a four-bladed c.s. airscrew with a swept area of 13ft, 2”, can carry 2000lbs in bombs, and introduces a push-button radio transmitter, “long in use by the RAF,” the paper adds, waspishly. The Balkan Air Force has been dissolved, now that there’s no longer a war on, except possibly in Greece. There have been great developments in the field of inflatable rubber dinghies due to the war, the RAE wants us to know. The British motor trade wants us to look forward to a bright new future in which spare auto parts are delivered –by air! I’m feeling quite faint. The Salvation Army in Australia has acquired a Tiger Moth, so that it can spread the delights of Sunday door-to-door preaching to outlying areas of the country. Isn’t that most of it? Douglas Santa Monica has been instructed to cease B-17 production immediately. The last Halifax from the Roots plant at Speke, Liverpool, was delivered this week. Air Commodore Albert Fletcher, the last member of the Aerial Battalion on active service, has been appointed to administrative duties. However, this ancient mariner returned from retirement in 1939, so he has not been in continuous service since the day. Although when I looked him upin Who’s Who, it turned out that he was only a year older than the Admiral.
“Short Sandringham” If you’re like me and remember freezing in a metal hull (I’m repeating myself because it was awful) and stumbling out into a dinghy, and you’re asking, “For Heaven’s sake, why?” The answer is that even though the Short Sunderland was derived from a civil flying boat, the design has been incrementally improved, and there are now plenty of surplus Bristol Pegasus engines, as the museums can’t take all of them. Besides, you can always have a snicker about there being “Ladies’ powder rooms,” it being well known that gentlemen need no such conveniences for mere 20 hour flights.
“First RAF Flight to Luzon” A Liberator of RAF Transport Command made a “remarkable flight” with a “picked, all-British crew” from England to Manila, 7000 miles, although as the article diffidently notes, it stopped off in Calcutta. It is the first of many, as the RAF moves up to take its part in smashing whatever bits of Japan might be left to smash at that late date.
“New de Havilland Airscrews: Hydromatic C.S, Feathering and Braking Airscrew: Manually Operated Type” It’s quite exciting news that de Havilland has made some more of the same sorts of airscrews as have been made since 1940! At the risk of sounding too dismissive, the actual point of the article is that the company has come out with propellers suitable for its new line of low horsepower inline, aircooled engines for small civil types. An ad for the Dragon Rapide, apparently perfect for Canadian use, follows.
A. V. Cleaver, “Bombers or Rockets: An Evaluation of the Relative Economy of Military Technical Effort in Piloted and Pilotless Missiles: Continuing Development and Readiness Essential” The “readiness” part is a little sinister, since there is something abrupt and sneaky about the idea of an instant readiness rocket force. After all, the rockets would be falling within minutes of the order to fire. It’s a return to the old, pre-radar days of the “bolt from the blue,” although I guess less sinister than a bolt involving armies, as while rockets blow up, they do not pillage and despoil. In any event, the author, who is currently Chief Project Engineer (Airscrews), and so out of a job soon enough, anyway, wants to argue with Lord Cherwell, who characterised bombers as more efficient in a recent statement in the Lords, on the basis of economy of man hours to build. Moreover, Cleaver agrees with G. Geoffrey Smith, so he must be right! Cleaver points out that this analysis fails to take into account all of the training and administrative apparatus required to produce crews and maintain them. Multi-stage rockets will have greater ranges, and atomic physics offers the possibility of a increasing the destructive power of a given warhead weight, and very probably, increasing range by improving propellant efficiency. Rockets will also become more accurate, and, as Air Vice-Marshal Bennett said in a recent book, future rocket attacks will make the V-2 bombardment look like a mere nuisance raid.
R. Dyrgalla, “Pilot’s View: Limitations of Field Imposed by Aircraft Structure: A Yardstick of Measurement” Unlike the Czechs, the Poles haven’t asked for their air force back, probably as when they returned the young men would all want their 10,000 acre estates back. This leaves them with plenty of time to write articles for Flight. This one is about how a pilot can use sight lines from his plane (perhaps sighting over his wing tip and triangulating from its known length?) to get a better sense of the airfield he is approaching, which will allow airfields to be laid out on less land, and thus economy for all! Or something utterly impractical like that. I hear this “radar” thing will be big.
Indicator Discusses “Essential Simplification: The Parting of Ways in Civil Aviation: State-Owned Luxury or Business Proposition: Reducing Development, Production, and Maintenance Costs; ‘Controlled Freedom’” Current air transport is working off the back of the war effort, and so expense in Development, Production and Maintenance Cost is no object. In the future, they must be on a sound business basis, and some or other proposed civil aircraft may be impractical on that ground. Government being involved, this lesson might not be learned quickly enough, so “Indicator” fires his warning shot.
“Death of Sir Francis Shelmerdine” The long time Director of Civil Aviation, who retired in 1941, has died. Four years to enjoy the best days of his life, in case anyone is still wondering why I am so eager to have James (Sir James, I shout, just once this letter) out of the Service at his earliest inconvenience.
“First Nuffield House in Burma” Off-duty RAF personnel need a place to relax and recreate, and the very strong Burmese opinion that “here is your hat and coat, if you leave now you will miss the traffic on the bridge” makes it hard to do this in public, so Lord Nuffield’s foundation has built a private place for this in a former teacher’s college. Because training teachers is one of the things that the British won’t be doing in Burma from here on.
G. Geoffrey Smith, “Progress with Jet Propulsion” It is finally permissible to describe the Meteor, the twin-engined jet fighter that chased V1s all over Kent at zero feet of altitude last summer, but were still secret until just now. Probably because they are, jet engine aside, embarrassingly pedestrian, and they also have their engines “buried” in the wings, whereas the Germans and Americans hang theirs from pylons, and this will be a matter of embarrassment for the Air Ministry until such time as jet engines are as standardised in size and layout as V-12s are now. I think. It’s also not that fast, in comparison to expectations from jets, in my understanding. On the other hand, that tricycle undercarriage is quite neat, and continues Mr. Dowty’s run of making very nice things that make him a lot of money, and which no-one cares about. (The kind of firm which Uncle George would like to invest in, if we could only get our money into Britian without raising eyebrows. Or if not our money. .. I have a lead on a certain Railway College’s endowment, but I’ll leave that aside for the moment, and just point out Dowty to the Earl.) There’s also some interesting industrial tidbits. Apparently Rolls-Royce traded its tank engine factory to Rover for the jet engine factory it was building? Presumably the fact that Rover and Rolls-Royce are noted as the sponsors has something to do with Group Captain Whittle’s recent personal problems. (That’s code for “Benzedrine,” if you were wondering.) The new Rolls-Royce engine is very slightly more powerful than the German plant in the Me 262, Smith implies, without saying outright. I may just be imagining things, but isn’t the vagueness a tacit admission that it is underpowered?
“Forward-Looking Design Policy” Hawker Siddeley’s luncheon was brightened by showings of exciting models of odd planes it will probably never build –the best kind, since they will never disappoint.
“A Magnificent War Record: Mr. T. O. M. Sopwith Discloses Achievements of Hawker-Siddeley Group” The son of the Chief Coal Mine Visitor of the Forest of Dean discloses that Hawker made many aircraft, and that the best of them were “private versions.” Government has no place in national defence! In America, where designs were selected by competition, and then builders by separate competitions, results were worse than in Britain. Too much private enterprise, and, in France, too little. Britain was in the sweet and virtuous middle, and nothing should be done to change that. Given that Hawker-Siddeley Group employment rose from 33,700 in 1938/9 to 100,157 in December 1943, and revenues no doubt in proportion, you can see why Mr. Sopwith would be pleased with the current arrangements.
“Empire Route Partnerships: Good Results at Commonwealth Air Transport Conferences” Just a word to the Earl? If he knows any English readers, can he ask them to go down to the editorial offices and cry in frustration on the desk until the Editor promises that all future articles about talking about talking about civil aviation be told as photo montages of babies and puppies? Thanks.
Civil Aviation News
Have you ever wondered what airport you will fly into when next you fly into London? The Heath Row location being difficult for dark and dusky foreigners to pronounce, it will probably be Swintonfield, although the paper suggests “Britonfield.” Manchester, have no pronunciation problem (and probably no “foreigners voluntarily flying there” problem) can settle for “Ringway.” There is air service now to Berlin, probably a Canada-Australia one in the near future, possibly freight services to Ireland to move agricultural goods, and talk of aerial spraying of insecticides after a successful Swedish campaign against the “pine looper” caterpillar using Gesarol, a contact poison “harmless to humans.” Well, good news, that!
“Apprenticeship Training: Sir Frederick Handley Page on the Importance of Maintaining a High Standard of Skill” If you are reading the headline and thinking, “Oh, for Heaven’s sake,” the body of the article is about training fitters and aeronautical engineers and the skills/knowledge space between them. To fill it up, various schemes for apprentices to take night courses, on the one hand; and for student aeronautical engineers to take terms in the shops, on the other. Then, for the usual reasons of social aspiration, the terms-to-class-appropriate-gainful-employment must be normalised, so that upper middle class and upper lower class boys have paying employment at the same age at an income suitable to wooing the right kind of girl for each, and there you go, a complete scheme for training the highly skilled fitters and riggers and maintenance engineers of the future.
Harold Pratley thinks that the postwar British aircraft industry should employ only British personnel, as foreigners are dusky, and smell of garlic. A. C. Critchley is not worried about the emergency the paper has declared about their being perhaps three, perhaps four American trans-Atlantic services to Britain’s one. The paper is undaunted, though, as Britain shall be outnumbered, and while one American line spars with BOAC, an another will slip around and sap the national flag carrier over the head. As it goes in civil aviation. I don’t know, I haven’t been reading all those articles.
Letters by David Dickinson, A. N. Werner, Tim Haley, and the editor establish that W. Parker’s complaint about aircraft being too loud these days was inspired by an Airspeed Oxford operating an ungeared American engine, resulting in a transonic tip speed. American, you say?
R. E. Gregory thinks that the paper doesn’t do enough to promote British aviation products, which is incomprehensible considering that British planes are the best in every possible way except for Britain not having a rival to the Mars yet. “Klaxon” thinks that airfield accidents and especially fires are horrible (probably the universal attitude of everyone who has dealt with them), and has various suggestions for improving the situation.
G. E. thinks that pilots need more spirit in order to resist the excessive demands of the engineers.
Time, 23 July 1945
Well, that settled my stomach. The paper’s cover for this week is the Admiral, with the tagline, “Kill Japs, kill Japs, and then kill more Japs.” At some point I can see myself being moved to forgive Nanking. Exaggerating. Mostly.
An Army sergeant writes that we shouldn’t go to war with the Russians just because the Catholic church’s propaganda campaign says that we should. Roy Webster of New York thinks that the United Nations will only work with an “international language.” Frank Canaday of Toledo has opinions about Americans having opinions about Britons, but doesn’t explain what they are. Richard H. Barringer of Radnor, Pa, thinks that now that Roosevelt has been buried, it is time to say that he is the third-best President ever. With Cleveland in the next slot. . . .Several naval officers are opposed to peacetime universal military training. Mrs. Robert Chamberlain of Tacoma, Washington, thinks that London women have nothing to complain about clothes prices wise, compared with Seattleites, based on what she’s read in the Post-Intelligencer. Robert H. Markoe of San Francisco adds to “Home Alive in ’45,” and “Through the Golden Gate in ’48,” “On the breadline in ’49.” Cheery! Our publisher writes to congratulate readers for being so attentive of world affairs.
U.S. At War
The President is in Potsdam! You heard it here first! Joseph Grew says that the Japanese need to understand what “unconditional surrender” will mean to them, as unofficial peace feelers make it clear that there are terms they are already prepared to surrender under, so we just have to move them from one camp to the next. Specifically, he suggests a purge of militarists, Japanese sovereignty and religious freedom under a post-militarist regime, and a reform of the Imperial office if the Japanese decide to keep it. A statement will be forthcoming after a significant military blow.
“I’m No Crackpot” Not having the votes to do anything about the Charter, Senate opposition entertains and is entertained by people like Mrs. Agnes Waters of the National Blue Star Mothers of America, Ely Cuthbertson, Mrs. Helen Virginia Somers, who thinks that the Charter is cover for a plot to make the Duike opf Windsor king of the world. (She’s the one who isn’t a crackpot.)
Mr. Bitle, a Russian-American of Philadelphia, appeared in court under a petition to change the spelling of his name to “Biddle,” only to find himself opposed by the Philadelphia Biddles. The judge had no patience with them, so perhaps Mrs. Waters is wrong about America needing a new revolution to get rid of the “real war criminals,” such as Mr. Stettinus.
“Transition” The Bethlehem Shipyard on Hingham Bay near Boston is shutting down, having been laying off men at the rate of 500 per week for some months now, a rate easily absorbed by the rest of the city’s war business.
“Midnight Massacre” Private Clarence Bertucci, who took over guard duty at a POW camp in Salina, Utah, and then used the machine gun in his watch tower to strafe the tent line below him and kill 8 German POWS, has been revealed at his court martial to have already been court-martialed twice in England. On the other side of the wire, five German POWs who killed another POW for political crimes have been executed in Fort Leavenworth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_prisoner_of_war_massacre
“Bonus March” Henry Wallace normally walks to work, but this week he took a Government Cadillac, as his office is being picketed because it shares a building with the War Shipping Administration, and the National Mariners’ Union is on strike. Good luck with that large postwar merchant marine!
“Kickless Cannon” The paper is taken by the Army’s new 57mm “recoilless” cannon, which vents erxhaust gas, and is the most revolutionary development in artillery since the invention of the last revolutionary thing –rifled artillery, the paper says, which, naturally, is some kind of American thing by virtue of having its start in the Civil War.
In other army news, a childless 38 year-old wife has appealed for the expedited release of her husband before her womb fails. The Senate Committee on army waste has the biggest story since the Canol Road, a 905 mile highway from Panama to Mexico, originally budgeted at $14 million, which ballooned to $42 million before it was abandoned. Congressman Albert J. Engel is not surprised, and points out from his own investigations other over-priced items.
As you have heard at length, the Third Fleet went inshore and tried to beat the Japanese into sending up planes to fight. They didn’t. This is the entrée into the Halsey story, so we get to hear more about Uncle George’s “Only American admiral to have lost two carrier battles.” I suppose the question now is where Leyte Gulf counts on the credit/demerit scale. We’re told, by the way, that Halsey won his nickname, “Bull,” with his tackling style as a fullback on the “oft-defeated Navy team,” and that he graduated two-thirds of the way down the class. We’re told that he is “62,” which I suppose he is by some ways of counting, and that he lost three destroyers in a typhoon, but not that he was out with an alleged psychosomatic illness during the Midway campaign, or that his father was an admiral and his grandfather a senator. More credit to the Navy is Robert Sherrod’s profile of the Captain of Ticonderoga, Dixie Keefer, wounded in the recent kamikaze strike. General Chennault, as we have heard, is out in Chungking.
A navy lieutenant says nice things about brave Japanese fighting men, and some other lieutenants invent the new grade of “lieutenant super grade” for men stuck at that rank for more than two years while their army counterparts advanced. A Japanese hospital ship, on its way to evacuate 1000 Japanese invalids from Wake Island was “embarrassingly friendly” to the US destroyer which inspected them.
Command details in the Pacific are close to being finalised. Spaatz, Nimitz and MacArthur won’t have to take orders from each other because, you know, army, navy, air force.
The Pope sent a nice letter to the head of UNRRA to thank him for his good work. News! (He typed it himself.) The paper then goes on to explain the Bretton Woods agreement, which is news, but why now? Because this week is its hearings before the Senate, where Robert Taft is waging a last stand battle against it.
“The Long Road Home” In Europe, populations are on the move as Germans evacuate Poland, slave labourers go home, and Jews have nowhere to go.
“The Line is Busy” The transatlantic telephone cable is too busy, and the queue of incomplete calls mounts steadily.
“Volcanic Tremors” The Russians are bullying Turkey now. In Italy, there are Communist riots, and in Spain, Franco is on the verge of dissolving the Falange. (Which didn’t really exist, anyway.) In Great Britain, there are tremors over the unopened ballot boxes, which some believing that the forthcoming Conservative majority will be “unworkably small,” and others, including the paper’s London bureau, pointing out that available information is of a heavy swing against the Conservatives. Some kind of Liberal-Labour government is predicted by others. Actual polls, of course, continue to show a Labour sweep of at least 100 seats. The paper forecasts that if socialists win in Britain, communists will win in Europe. More news of housing “vigilantes” in England, led by one Harry Cowley, who this week seized a vacant house in Maida Vale. In Germany, organisation of Allied control in Berlin continues. Bastille Day celebrations in France were restive, in a communistic sort of way. The Balkans are excitable this week. Premier Soong flew back to China this week, and Yenan announced that it was on the verge of forming its own government. In Japan, a reformation of the cabinet around the Emperor may or may not make peace easier to achieve.
Oops –from here on I revert to 16 July for a few pages. Never mind. Talking about talking continues in India. “India, among nations, is the ancient of days. Before even China, there was India. Before human memory congealed from legend into record, India loomed from the unimaginable reach of time. Its landscape matched its origins –an immense wedge of the world, vast plains cracked by a too-hot sun, vast jungles writhing with growth from too dense rains, vast cities melting under the unflagging onset of oblivion. . . “ What I’m getting is that the paper had too much apple pie and cheese last night, and didn’t sleep well. Etc etc cover profile of Viscount Wavell. In other fronts of oblivion-prone ancientness, Russia demands the return of the Kars Basin from Turkey. The paper insists that Turkey not be left to yield, for as goes Kars, so goes Turkey. Canadian troops riot in Aldershot over various issues, but primarily the fact that they’re in Aldershot, and not Toronto.
In Latin America. . . Well, excitable might understate news of the loss of a Brazilian warship at sea with almost all its crew, probably to a drifting mine, and the appearance of U-530 at Mars La Plata more than two months after the end of the war, with munitions and papers jettisoned. Whether it sank the aforementioned Brazilian vessel or landed Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun is unknown.
Princess Elizabeth has some quite fetching hats. Mrs. Imogenes Stevens, in spite of being “tiger-eyed,” is defended by her husband for shooting someone, because it’s Texas, and shooting people is practically hospitality. Speaking of different standards of hospitality, Sergeant William Thompson has returned to Philadelphia to negotiate a divorce through the newspapers, while the mother of his quadruptlets, Norah Carpenter, waits to hear whether she will be allowed to follow her man from England. Men! General MacArthur was not assassinated or inconvenienced in any way by the seven-man special squad of Japanese soldiers sent to, well, assassinate/inconvenience him. It turns out that Mary Astor Paul was working for the French Resistance all along, and Colonel Norman Schwarzkopf returns from Iran to celebrate his three year mission to train the Iranian police to the standards of the New Jersey State police. I’m thinking about making a sarcastic comment, but I’d probably have to contribute to the policemen’s ball if I uttered it aloud. The paper is still appalled by James Caesar Petrillo. Joseph Schllinger’s “rhythmic engineering” and Ryhthmicon are being given a try-out by the Juilliard School, in case he’s on to something. Brenda Helser wears a bathing suit well.
[continuing 23 July]
“Limited Supply” Agriculture Secretary Clinton P. Anderson told the U.S. “two blunt facts.” First, America can’t feed the world. Second, unless we get better weather in the Midwest soon, we might have difficulty feeding ourselves next year. The feed grain harvest is set to be the smallest since 1941, you see. Although the hay crop is set to be a record, the prospect of a feed shortage has led to the postponement of plans to increase the subsidy price for pork and beef. He may also ban the diversion of grain to alcohol production starting 1 August, or divert more wheat to animal feed. The wheat crop is set to be the largest ever, but due to the impending diversion will not be enough. Thus, the famine of next-year. Of course, you do need to bear in mind that there is a famine every next year.
“Wall Street Reds” Oklahoma’s Congressman Lyle Boren (D, of course) has discovered evidence that Wall Street investment bankers intend to “socialise” the $18 billion US electrical utility industry and make “many billions in the process.” Guy C. Miller and Howard L. Aller, of American Power and Light, are said to be behind the scheme to sell utilities to cities at inflated prices. In other swindling news, the “shocking, disgusting” tax cheat not named by Secretary Morgenthau is named by the Daily News as Harry Lustig, operator of the twelve-restaurant Longchamps chain.
Uncle Henry has found a new way for the Government to give him Fontana for free. His plane makes the front page of the section, too!
“A Very Tough Baby” American Philips announced expansions of its three New York plants this week, apparently “setting the whole $3 ½ billion U.S. electronics industry on edge.” The reason is that this is deemed to be a foreign invasion, since Philips is a Dutch company. This well-cartelised firm might challenge GE, RCA, and Westinghouse. Philips made soothing noises about staying out of the lightbulb business and sticking to inoffensive items such as cathode ray tubes, diamond dies, etc., but the fear is that eventually the firm would exercise its American patent rights in the radio and electronics fields and compete with the companies which own those licenses.
“The British Are Coming” The first post-war British car import arrived in New York harbour this week. It is the 10 hp Austin sedan. It will be followed by 20 more export models, featuring chrome trimmings and leather upholstery, absent from domestic models, with 15 going to Argentina. Austin expects to send 2400 cars to America by year’s end, 30% of its output. “Detroit’s motormakers are not worried.”
Science, Medicine, etc
Master Sergeant Frederic Hensel, the first American “basket case” of this war, is back from Okinawa. As he says, he’ll make An excellent propaganda photo to end all wars.” Last week’s eclipse ovbservations were the best in years, and may help scientists understand why the Sun’s corona is so much hotter than its body. Experimental fog sprays of DDT seem to have been successful in Long Island, with no effect on humans, animals and birds. That being said, the next story features a man who recovered from DDT poisoning in a lab exposure, so not that harmless.
“A Machine that Thinks” Dr. Vannevar Bush, who has appeared in a story like this before, if I’m recalling things correctly, says in the July Atlantic that he believes that a “thinking” machine of limited intellectual capacity can be built. It would be a brain robot that would spare humans much of the spadework of thinking. An electrical and photographic contraption, it would contain and sort many of the ideas and images that a man uses to think, and recall them logically. It would be a sort of “memex” machine, combining microfilm and electronic tubes, actuated by a keyboard rather like a typewriter’s. He is especially taken by the way it might improve on a library catalogue, and thinks that the memex is inevitable due to the coming age of devices of great complexity and reliability.
Stars and Stripes is upset at Frank Sinatra, who is upset at the USO. Infantile-paralysis stricken Marjorie Lawrence is doing a tour of British camps in a wheelchair. Judge Arnold and Attorney General Clark look well in bathing suits. Colonel James Roosevelt, on active duty with the Marines since 1940, arrived in San Diego from the Philippines this week for “rest and routine checkup” at a Navy hospital. The quotation marks are the paper’s, because I’m not trying to imply anything. (Imagine me making drinking noises.) Marlene Dietrich is back in New York after a seven month USO tour for what she describes as a “complete overhauling.” The Diligenti quintuplets make an appearance in Buenos Aires, looking like fresh-scrubbed angels. Luise Rainer, who, appallingly, beat out our starlet friend for the lead in The Good Earth, has married. The death of Joseph Morton, the “only war correspondent executed by the Nazis” is announced. As has Alla Nazimova.
Radio, Press, Cinema, Books
The paper notices that everyone is singing the Chiquita Banana song. Please, sir, make it stop. Editor Andrew Kemper Ryan of the Catholic Standard and Times of Philadelphia thinks that soap operas are un-Christian. The paper is in a tizzy over The Daily Mail being in a tizzy over the postwar fate of the “pirate” Radio Luxembourg, which American interests may or may not be trying to take over. The paper reports that the New York newspaper strike might be about to be resolved by Chicago-style tactics. It is quite taken by ‘Weegee,’ Arthur Fellig, the celebrity photographer.
“The New Pictures” The Story of GI Joe is out. The paper thinks that by showing that war is hell, this movie might be Ernie Pyle’s most enduring memorial. Christmas in Connecticut, on the other hand, is “moth-eaten.” It also thinks that there is a mistake in tone, that Warner Brothers thought that the characters were attractive, so that the whole thing was a comedy, whereas in fact it was some kind of awful detective noir, only with no murders, because of the holiday, and so, no life.
The paper leads off with a review of Stuart Cloete’s Against the Three. It’s a book about things that happened in South Africa, which might interest you as a veteran. Harry Brown’s Artie Greengroin, Pfc is an American soldier in England waiting for D-Day who has amusing misadventures. Ricardo Palma’s book about Pizarro and others, the Knights of the Cape, is out in translation. Because originally it was in Spanish, and presumably hade another title, in Spanish.
Flight, 26th July 1945
“The ‘Sixth Freedom’” The freedom to talk endlessly about civil aviation policy, no matter how readers cry in frustration and boredom, is the sixth freedom, which Mrs. Roosevelt forgot to mention.
“Continuity of Policy” Just to clarify, what is meant is that the new Labour Government is welcome to change anything to do with anything except aviation, where everything is fine. So go away. Also, no nationalisation.
“Australian Airlines” Just to be clear, that goes for Australia’s plan to nationalise its airlines, too.
“Private Enterprise” Just to reinforce what Mr. Sopwith said last week, Rolls-Royce wants us to remember that the Merlin started out as the “P.V. 12,” short for “Private Venture.”
War in the Air
Have we mentioned that we are now bombing Japan and now naval-ly bombarding it with battleships, now? Word is that 8th Air Force will re-equip with B-29s when it arrives in the Pacific, and in exciting recent news that has just broken and is very exciting, there will be British heavy bombers there, too! Since most Japanese live in rickety wooden houses, burning their cities has been very effective, but the Japanese have recently caught on to the modern, exotic, Western material called “concrete,” which was personally invented by John Stuart Mill using the Scientific Method. These are better blown up with very lar6e bombs, such as Lancasters can lift. It is a good thing that the Japanese do not have “the butterfly,” a radio-controlled anti-aircraft rocket projectile capable of reaching 600mph and a ceiling of 50,000ft, which doesn’t actually sound like the formula for performance advantage that actually ends up with a B-29 being shot down (if the ignition period is as short as a V-2s, anyway). Still, quite a start, and, radar-guided, probably a more than sufficient answer to night-bombing Lancasters.
“Beechcraft UC-43 Traveller” Is a plane which exists, and has been sold in large numbers to the USAAF for training purposes, but it still needs to be shown here! (See below.)
Here and There
Wing Commander A. G. Pither points out in a recent radio address from Melbourne that the Germans were working on a disintegrating uranium bomb that would have been many times more destructive than a V2 rocket. A single 24lb uranium charge has more explosive power than the entire charge of a V-2. Is that including the kinetic energy of the impact?
In other frontiers of aviation science, the RAF has begun parachuting mules to frontline troops in Burma. Although since the frontline troops in Burma are relaxing and waiting for the end of the monsoon, either we are now doing it for fun, or this is an old story.
“Britain Leads” Says Major H. P. Kilner, deputy-president of the SBAC in charge of patting yourself on the back. The Duke of Sutherland, on the same line, tells the Aerial League of the British Empire that only the vastest possible RAF can make future aggression impossible by threatening would-be aggressors with aerial annihilation. Not getting the memo is New York Radio, which reports a B-17 four-engine aircraft altitude record of 43,400ft.
“Westward to the East”
Hey! That’s my joke! Anyway, the last of 2,118 Fortresses and Liberators of 8th Air Force flew out of Britain last week, carrying the last 31,000 of 8th Air Force’s personnel, bound for home, and, eventually, the Far East. In the Far East, a Chungking newspaper says nice things about General Chennault. “It’s nice to see you go, etc.”
U.S. aircraft production is down to only 5,794 against the 6,022 quota, says “WPBoss Krug.” No, the paper doesn’t call him that, but I can’t resist. Anyway, this is one of the longest term trends around at this point, and spells out American war weariness in twenty feet letters of fire, but I suppose we have to ignore that and pretend that it is news every month, or morale will suffer. Sir Edward Campell, long time parliamentary secretary to Sir Kingsley Wood, has died. Never mind James, sir, when are you and Uncle George getting home?
The suspicious death of A. J. Sikora, who plunged from the 20th floor of a Chicago high rise hotel after checking plans for B-29 production out for the weekend, is being treated as enemy action. By Curtiss Wright and Reuters. No word on whether the FBI is looking for Mata Hari’s daughter, newly in possession of precise details about the thickness tolerances for B-29 wing skinning.
The ATC is getting new hats, or something, now that the war is over. The United States Navy stops the presses to reveal that it has now 26 “line” aircraft carriers and 65 escort carriers, plus two 45,000 ton vessels of the new “battle” carrier type. The Air Ministry reports that the search for a Liberator which left Montreal on 3 July with Government officials coming back from San Francisco has been abandoned. Mr. G. Vokes was made President of the Association of British Filter Manufacturers in a nailbiting vote at its inaugural meeting. Mr. E. M. Frazer, formerly of ICI, has been released from official duties at the Ministry of Aircraft Production at his own request. I don’t have to remind you that you are invited to Santa Clara for the twin’s second birthday, do I? I’m not going to make out that it will be quite the shindig, but you will need to book at least two weeks.
Sqn Leader Charles Gardner, “Close Support in Burma” Whee-ow! Pow! Pew-Pew! Ro-arr! Bang! It is amazing how much better radios have gotten in the last six years, not that Gardner has a moment to spare for that while he is rhapsodising about how well close support is controlled, and how quickly it responds to ground calls for assistance.
“Sir F. Bowhill’s New Post” The Air Chief Marshal who led Coastal Command in its most difficult days is rewarded with a nice appointment having to do with international civil aviation. I say “nice,” because it has been decided that this will need to be done in Montreal. It’s not New York or San Francisco, but its not rationed, either.
Victor L. Gruberg, “Europe’s Air Transport” Forget crying. Bring a gun to the paper’s office. (Actually, There are some nice illustrations of air routes, and an explanation of why American civil aviation was more common before the war in terms of density of routes and economy of carriers. I think that the structure of the air mail subsidy had more to do with it than that, but what do I know?)
“Postwar Cirrus Engines” They will provide power in ranges from 90hp to 155hp, and Cirrus will get very upset at anyone making a “putt-putt” noise.
W. O. Shackleton, “Weighty Problems: If One Ounce Saved is Worth Its Weight in Gold, a Nine-stone Pilot Ought to be paid £630 More Than a Twelve-Stone Pilot –Says Horace”
Well, it’s not a photo montage of babies and puppies, but it’s an improvement. W. O. and Horace enter their office, and see the pile of unpaid bills. “The telephone is ringing wildly. It is the Editor. He says we will write an article on the importance of saving weight in aircraft. So we say wew have no desire to do any such thing and why is it so important to save weight in aircraft. The Editor says everybody knows it is important to save weight in aircraft, so we say if everybody knows about it what is the point of writing about it? He can have all the weight that is saved, and what ide does with the weight that is saved is none of our business. Besides, we are now dealers in aircraft, and if aircraft can only carry half as much payload, perhaps we can sell twice as many! The Editor says that is a plausible but entirely fictitious argument, and will we write that article? We say that we are not interested, so he says of course we will write that article, and he wants it typed in triplicate, double spacing. He would like to be about 1,587 words so that it will just fill up a space he has left, and it must be well constructed, snappy, and informative, wiuth no split infinitive=s –in fact, a sound, scholarly bit of prose.
“We tell him that our name is Shackleton, not Shakespeare. Then he says that it will be written so that if he or the Censor blue-pencils anything it must just read on as if nothing has happened. Also, we are not to use unnecessary words, such as saying something is pressed out in two halves, because everybody knows how many halves there are, and he would cut the word out and we should not be paid for it.”
Which is probably as good an explanation as any for why things get in this paper, why they are written as they are, and why, if weight saving is so important, small pilots are not paid more than big ones. The rest of the article –about 600 words, per request, takes on various statements by various people, notably including Dr. Klein of the SAE Journal, to the effect that. . .
“Air Registration Board: Some Interesting Facts Disclosed by Sir Maurice Denny” If B. J. Hurren articles didn’t prove it already, there is a bit of a double standard going on here, as ‘interesting’ wasn’t blue-pencilled out.
Civil Aviation News
Oh, Good Heavens. It’s at least vaguely interesting that the whole of Sabena is coming home, having flown away in 1940, spending the war years flying such as needed flying about the middle bits of Africa, where the Belgians are in charge, with much less head and hand cutting off than formerly. It’s also interesting that the total number of American civil airliners is 279, down from 354 in 1941, although they do fly a lot. Canada is to have a trans-Atlantic service, which it will not pool with the rest of the Commonwealth.
“OSC-1 Air Survey Camera” It may look like a fishing tackle box, but it is an air survey camera, which the RAF used in the late war, and which everyone is now using. The writers cannot help ending with observations about massive German state-supported military precision engineering manufacturing and the vast resources of the American government and interior market, and pointing out how the plucky British manufacturer overcomes the competition with pure pluck. It makes a better story if you don’t look at prewar Air Estimates. Various details on its “automatic precision” are provided for potential customers, which probably include you, sir, for timber cruising, so I should probably have noted more details when I had the chance.
“Technician,” “Test Pilots and Designers: ‘Indicator Taken to Task for his views on Pushers: Of Water-Cooled Slide Rules” Indicator is like an old time fastest gun in the West. Someone is always taking him on. As for water-cooled slide rules (if you were wondering what to get James for Christmas, get two!), they’re apparently overdone in this whole aircraft design thing, but that doesn’t mean that test pilots are equipped to understand all the very complicated things that designers have to know, and they shouldn’t bother their pretty heads with them.
A. Sipowicz, “Dangers in Turning: Author of Original Article Replies to his Critics” The critics are silly; but also no-one cares about the dangers of turning high performance aircraft at high speed except a few fighter pilots.
“The End of the Line: Last Airspeed Oxford Trainer Delivered to the RAF” But they will remain in service forever, high-speed tips and all. Airspeed just needs to focus on its AS 57, is all.
E. Lindsay Shankland tells the paper not to get so worried about international trans-Atlantic competition. M. T. Moore thinks that Mr. Pratley, of the last issue, is an idiot. W. Adam Woodward contributes to the vexed issue of flying boat moorings. “Dicer” and S. Field contribute to the airscrew noise discussion with observations about technical considerations such as abrupt pitch changes and bladed tip waves. Senrab thinks correspondent Douglas Deans is a little silly to be worrying about large and expensive planes with lots of gadgets. You are not going to cross the Atlantic with small planes without kitchens and “powder rooms!” As for cheap holiday excursions to the Continent, Deans should worry about convenient airfields, not cruising speeds. A two hour jaunt to wherever it is Britons go in France to have their snail legs and frog tails and cheap wine becomes a three hour jaunt if the airfield is in some impractical nook and cranny. Or the middle of San Francisco Bay, and, no, I will never let that go.
Time, 30 July 1945
Lieutenant George Sleicher has thoughts about democracy. Grace Dumm, of Garden Grove, California, is appalled at the avalanche of criticism General Patton has received. Howard Coonley, of New York, writes to say that he agrees with everything that Congressman Judd had to say about China, and, in particular, to praise Wong Wen-hao. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph C. Stehlin, “public relations officer” of the (Fightin’) Thirteenth Air Force writes in to take credit for the Australian success in Borneo, because Australia isn’t Red enough and anti-American enough, yet. A serviceman who withholds his name recounts being chided by a German woman for American treatment of Jews and Negros, and is appalled that the only difference is hypocrisy. And not mass-murdering. That’s a difference, too. Mrs. Marion Reilly of Arlington, Virginia, is appalled at Senator Bilbo’s filibuster of the Fair Employment Practices Commission, while on the other hand R. E. Brenneman, of Glendale, California, thinks that the paper shouldn’t have publicised this action against a piece of legislation that “common sense and good taste” should not have allowed to advance. Notice that we don’t need to discuss the legislation or its intention, because it is just not in good taste. Robert E. Fullilove of New Orleans and Mrs. Carol Whitney of Westborough, Virginia, agree with Mrs. Reilly over Mr. Brenneman, however so he is in the minority. Marcia Davenport observes that the new Navy remedy for air and seasickness (scopolamine) is not new at all, but was marketed before the war by a German company. But the navy stole the idea from foreigners fair and square!
US At War
The President is talking about things at Potsdam, while Congress declines to talk more about Bretton Woods, on the grounds that they’ll just end up exposing how little they know about it, and, besides, a nything Robert Taft is against must have good qualities. More rumours of cabinet changes in Washington. Ickes and Stimson might be out, with the latter replaced by “blowhard” Louis Johnson, and also Forrestal, to be replaced by John Lawrence Sullivan. Clare Booth Luce is back from Russia, saying not-nice things about Reds. Madame Chiang is still in New York, on account of suffering from exhaustion, nervousness, a chronic skin condition, and the fact that her money is having trouble getting used to American ways, and needs its Mummy around to comfort it. Rustling is becoming an issue in ranch country. John McCain is coming ashore to Washington, and the Veterans Administration, to be replaced by Towers. John Hoover goes in as Towers’ replacement. Louis Denfeld is coming ashore to an unannounced post ashore, perhaps Bureau of Personnel. But the old men still aren’t budging.
“Hurry Home” On one recent day, 31,445 soldiers arrived in New York. That includes Queen Elizabeth’s mammoth load, and it can’t arrive every day, but that’s still a huge number of men. To illustrate, the paper tells the story of the 30 day furlough of Private Charles Horn of the 86th Division, late Los Angeles, on his way to the Pacific now. He slept, showed his Dad all his souvenirs, slept more, went out to bars with his buddies, lived at the Hermose Biltmore for a few weeks on some war bonds, shipped out for Japan.
“Guesses and Explosives” Still no-one’s seen Japanese aircraft lately. Are they dead, or just resting? The navy says dead, the army says resting. Heavy bombing, and Halsey’s raiding, has failed to draw them up, but Admiral Ramsay thinks that 9000 Japanese aircraft are waiting for the invasion. The paper wonders why the Army Air Force bombed Hitachi four days after the naval bombardment without even waiting for the navy’s damage assessment, but, it is pointed out, the navy wouldn’t share it anyway, and the army doesn’t care. Good way to fight a war, gentlemen. The first European veteran combat troops arrived in the Philippines this week. Unlike them, the Japanese are still fighting the Australians. At least since, according to MacArthur, the war in the Philippines is effectively over. Or, as the next story says, “the defeated enemy fought without hope.”
“China’s Need” Is more supplies, says Chiang. American bombers from Okinawa raided Shanghai this week, because it was too nice for the Japanese as it was.
There’s so much talking going on in Potsdam that it needs two stories! The paper certainly likes Alger Hiss! I mean, I quite liked him, but he’s that certain kind of man, at least, I thought, and the paper should be careful about starting rumours, as they can come back on you. Who the paper doesn’t like in Berlin is Russian soldiers, who are too soldiery. And they’re packing German factories off to Russia, which they’re allowed to do, but still seems like bad form, somehow.
The blackout is over in Britain for good, and so are hairdos, at least, at a show in Albert Hall. The Times of London, surely not by accident, prints the obituaries of Richard Dudman, killed at El Alamein, previously reported missing; of Peter Dudman, now reported killed in action in Italy in November 1943, and of Pilot Officer John Dudman, reported missing on 11 June 1944. They were the three sons of William James and Nora Dudman, killed by enemy action in September 1940. The Athenaeum Club is threatening expulsion of members who steal the times of London, Economist, and Times Literary Supplement. But not Engineering. The Youth Advisory Committee thinks that British young people lack a place to meet friends, talk and eat, and could use something like the American drug store.
French, Belgians, Spaniards, Irish, Italians, American soldiers on leave in Paris and Czechs are excitable. Russians are somewhat awful, and Berlin is less awful than reported.
“Top Secret” T. V. Soong is back from Moscow, but what he talked about is top-secret. Stalin, though, wants the Communists in government; and asserts that Russia must have special rights in Sinkiang,Outer Mongolia, and “China’s northern provinces.” Soong holds out for “special regions,” only.
“Free Japan Committee” Yenan has formed this committee around Susuku Okano and Yukio Ozaka.
“The UP Trail” This is the cover story –no general, at last, but “[Bill] Jeffers of the Union Pacific,” so insufferably long, but at the same time, very much of the moment. It’s up to the UP to get the men across the Continental Divide to the Pacific embarkation ports. He’s been in rails all his life, except for a spell in Washington as the rubber boss in 1942 –not exactly a recommendation, in my book, and, no, I don’t feel very good about the black market tyres I dole out--. Anyway, railroads, a thing right now.
“Joe Kennedy Buys” The former Ambassador to the Court of St. James proves his dignity by buying Merchandise Mart.
Talking about talking about civil aviation wil never end!
Willys-Overland debuted its civilian jeep this week. Pan American will face competition from Unitged on its Pacific route. New tyres are expected on the ration cards in February or March. This will, however, required finding 75,000ts of hard rubber somewhere. Concidentally, the last of the 1942 cars have been dropped from rationing. You want one (of 20,000 remaining), you got it.
Polio cases have soared 26% over 1946, although the increase has tapered off since June. A Navy sailor has now officially survived suffering burns to 83% of his body. The War DEepartment is discharging 900 doctors immediately, 7000 through year’s end. The discovery that there are 8, not 2 Rh blood types improves the accuracy of paternity tests from one in three to 50-50, so look out, men! Vannevar Bush, in the news last week for his memex machine, appears this week with a blueprint for American science, which is sort of a cradle-to-grave scheme for scientists to lead to America ruling the science-world. He also wants a relaxation of science censorship, which naturally leads to W. L. Everitt revealing the radar secret. “John, don’t you think we ought to tell Junior about radar before he picks it up in the street?” The paper finally reveals the real problem: a patent fight between alleged British and American inventors. Well, from what I know about Amjerican inventors, I know how that’ll go! J. B. S. Haldane thinks that the universe is 500 bilion years old, that the Earth is 4 billion, and has been cool enough for life for 3; and that it is actually getting warmer, due to radioactive decay, and will continue to get warmer for a billion years yet.
Clara Driscoll died this week. The Duke of Windsor is on to the south of France looking for somewhere affordable to do nothing. Marlene Dietrich is still back in New York. Patrice Munsel looks well in a bathing suit. General Ben Lear is still being ridiculed by the troops.
Roy Howard is going to the Pacific now that Lee Miller has “flopped” as Ernie Pyle’s successor. Sounds like a job for the boss’s son! Norman Rosten, a writer for radio, went public to lash out at sponsors for dictating what writers can say. Radio manufacturers hope to have a million units out by year’s end, with Sentinel of Chicago promising a “shirt pocket” 12 oz model which will be able to pick up standard stations almost anywhere, at a price of between $20 and $30. A radio that you can carry in your pocket? At one and the same time my cynical self is moved to doubt that this is going to turn out to be correct; while my technically minded self (thank you, Sister Maria Agnes!) can see it as a near-future inevitability. Just imagine!
“The New Pictures”
Anchors Aweigh features Sinatra dancing opposite Gene Kelly. He’s a far braver man than Uncle George gave me the impression of his being! Also in it are some girls to dance with them, as otherwise see my comments about Mr. Hiss. And I know what they say about San Francisco, but it still remains that men of sensitive and artistic mien were all over the Conference! Where was I? Oh, yes: Kathryn Grayson. Teen-Age Girls and Where’s the Meat are topical. The former reminds us that girls between 13 and 19 or so are difficult –I just thank Heavens that I had a little dose of “Miss V. C.” to remind me of how silly I was a few short years ago ahead of my own reaching that age in –oh, Good Heavens, 1957. Where’s the meat is about how the demand for meat is growing faster than the supply, I guess. Don John Quiilligan is supposed to be fuynnyt, succeeds occasionally.
In books, this is the publishing doldrums, and there are none to speak of.
*"A future America, populated by horse-faced, spindly giants with big feet"; Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/reckless-breeding-of-the-unfit-earnest-hooton-eugenics-and-the-human-body-of-the-year-2000-15933294/#ooo6uytpXLDbTqQR.99