Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Postblogging Technology, March 1944, II: A Pinch In Time Saves Nine

Mother and babies resting comfortably.

Actually, Mrs. Cook is flat out, with the twins by her, and the new Turkish nanny looking out for both. Funny how a Turkish girl looks Chinese and talks American with a Chinese accent.

Hi. You probably never heard of me, but this is Vince Murphy here. The babies were on their way when I left for my double shift, and they came an hour after I got back.  Not as long a delivery as my Mammy's first, but hard on everyone. Mrs. Judith put a brandy in the landlord and set  him to bed before settling down herself. My Mammie has a little one of her own to look after, came last week, the Captain's on a slow cruise on some lame-duck carrier coming back from Hawaii, Larry's driving the doctor home, and that leaves me as the adult of the house. And now I have this here courier at the door to pick up your mail. I scraped up what's on the desk in the Landlord's study, but I remember how my Dad worried out a furrow on the floor, and figure I'd add my own touch, which, well, you see. I figure this is on the first page, not that I read Chinese any to know.

P. Vincent Murphy. (That's me.)

My Dearest Reggie:

I am a little  hurt that the Earl has so little faith in my judgement. I understand that he is  inclined to be impatient when I make snide little comments in the face of the recommendation of the Economist itself that we invest in "Cousin H.C." I believe that The Economist is wrong about this, and surely their California correspondent's silly comments about water rights should underline his credibility?

In my defence, I offer the events of the past few weeks. I refer to them cryptically, I admit, but you know my business of the last few weeks, and most of my trip's consequences are playing out in the news. If "Cousin H.C." and "E. F.," if you know who I mean, trust my judgement....

As for my little game with "Miss V.C.," whatever you have heard from her mother, that is all it is. She is very disappointed that her investigations at Sacramento turned up no further information about her "McKee" forebears, but, nothing daunted, brings me the Yerba Buena indenture book to point out a name with eyebrows cocked. I dissemble: "Chinese family names come first," I say. "It is a coincidence."

"I know," she answers. Then she pulls out the popular biography and points to the alias that Bing Oh Mah took his Hudson's Bay Company indenture under. It is ironic that a half-caste guttersnape from old Canton could come out on top of his crew here in America; but, after all, he probably took after his EIC sailor father enough to be Black Irish in all but accent.

"Coincidence," I repeat, but she only puts a dinner club napkin from my Chicago visit down on the desk without comment.

I thought that I had left that lying out for nothing! A blank stare back is but a snare draws the young lady ever closer.

One thing, though. Do you know from your sources if the old man left the country at some point? Because his grandson once told me over too many drinks that he first came to the Coast in Gold Rush days....

Time, 13 March 1944


The Finns are surrendering more, and, for novelty’s sake, have sent a female ambassador to do it. Some Americans, rounded up in France when Vichy was occupied, are now returned from internment in Baden-Baden. Deep in the countryside, they have the impression that German public morale is still holding up, buoyed by brute statistics. Germany and her allies have 200 million people, 18 million soldiers, vast and increasing war production, massive fortifications against which the Allies must spend themselves. The Commons is agog over talk that the V-Cigaret tastes like horse dung. Or Indian tobacco, whichever is worse. There are automobiles in Bermuda, now. Koreans find Japanese arrogant and oppressive. Malaria is raging in Egypt. Egyptians cite malnutrition for the spike in deaths and blame the British, while the British (and the paper) blame the landlords. Whoever is to blame, malaria-carrying mosquitoes are certainly spreading northwards with the rising Nile. Vichy, in an unexpected turn of events, is turning  anti-Semitic. Wait, did I say “unexpected,” Reggie? 

The casinos in Monaco are closed. The paper notices that things are not as they could be in Italy, and unloads an emergency supply of condescension in the liberated region. Also failing to develop to the paper’s satisfaction, Argentina. Brazil, on the other hand, is colourful, Latin, and cooperative.

The paper asks whether the Second Front has been postponed, perhaps at the behest of the Air Marshals, whether there is something the matter in the Burma theatre, whether the Administration has a policy on Germany, Italy, Poland, de Gaulle, Finland? Answers are unclear. Hint: Perfidious Albion.

Various clergy think that we should not be bombing German civilians. Blowing up various places around New Guinea, on the other hand, is fine, as only natives, and occasionally General MacArthur live there, and you can always tell the General by his (Philippine) Field-Marshal’s cap. 7th Cavalry is involved in fighting off frenzied Japanese night attacks on Los Negros Island. Words fail. The Russians are advancing. The “little Blitz” is driving Londoners back into the tube, although the paper cannot help quoting an anonymous expert criticising the quality of German bombs. Please do not taunt the German air force, anonymous expert. 

The paper notices that the “full scale” bombing attack against Germany has only been going on for two weeks now, and celebrates the heroes of the American infantry who have, over the last seventeen days, made and held a bridgehead across the Rapido. The Germans are attacking ships in the Anzio roads with rocket-assisted guided glide bombs. Vice-Admiral Percy Nelles, RCN, notices that German submariners have high morale due to only doing three tours per year, high quality leaves, and good food. However, recent prisoners have been more polite and less arrogant, suggesting a change in the albeit still highly Nazi corps. Gigantic German five-engined planes have been seen in France.

Among famous soldiers and sailors: Alfred and George Vanderbilt, both lieutenants and commanders of PT boats in the south Pacific. The paper has a picture of them greasy, from maintenance work. I do not, as my copy was dropped in a broken bottle of milk by the postman. I do, however, have this.

Paulette Goddard, who is not a soldier or sailor, but did fly “over the Hump” to entertain troops in China; Joseph Wright Alsop, Jr. who likes to flit through the war, is currently with Chennault’s staff. Jesse Stuart, “Kentucky’s hillbilly novelist-poet” has just passed his pre-induction physical. Alan Ladd, discharged as too brittle by the Army last fall, is rumoured to be about to be re-taken. 

Missing in Action this week: P-47 ace Major Walter Carl Beckham, and P-51 pilot Wau-Kau Kong, previously noticed.


Five veterans’ organisations proposed that the prospective 11 million veterans of WWII get a bonus of $4500 each. The paper claims that “[s]ober citizens blinked as if they had been slugged” at word of Trillions for Bonuses. Gentlemen, that is how much it is going to cost. There is no point deluding yourself on the subject, or you will just be slugged later. In the mean time, may I humbly suggest a compromise: a home loan guarantee to the value of, say, $5000? Think of it as an investment whose dividends will pay those trillions. The South Carolina legislature denounces all organisations seeking “the commingling of the (white and Negro) races upon any basis of equality as un-American.”The paper points out that  the real issue is that Coloured teachers get $70/month in South Carolina, White teachers $90. I would take this a step further. The ostensible injustice is racial, but since men in war work can easily make $1/hour, the real injustice is the criminal underpayment of South Carolina teachers of both races. And Christians have the nerve to call Chinese heathens

Southern Senators, led by Tom Connally of Texas, might be using their influence on foreign policy to expert pressure on the President on racial and labour issues. Senators Wagner of New York and Taft of Ohio, thinking things much too peaceful and non-anti-American in the Middle East, introduce a resolution calling for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. General Marshall came before the Senate to ask that they hold off inflaming Arab opinion until after the war, when we shan’t need them anymore. Republican William S. Bennet nearly beat Tammany’s James H. Torrens in New York’s 21st Congressional District, no doubt foretelling a massive Coloured swing against the New Deal. Mr. Janeway? Is that you? 

The new Governor of Louisiana celebrated with a victory lap in the hay wagon that brought him to town.

Awful, rickety, improvised relief trains are pulling great loads of stranded Florida tourists home after the transportation infrastructure threatened to collapse under the load of would be escapees taking a spring break. Looking back in review as I prepare this packet for the courier, I can only say that there is more urgent news about transportation failures to

Obligatory Canadian news includes a notice that, unexpectedly, Canadians have not flocked to butcher shops to exploit the (temporary) end of meat rationing with an orgy of buying, and that Canadian authorities are attempting to clamp down on over-telephone sales of dubious stocks by “wheedle-wackers,” or American con-men, and word that Tappan Adney is a Renaissance genius who knows the ways of the Miami Indians and makes his own pickles. And also has compromising photographs of the Luces. 

Local draft boards are having more and  more difficulty in finding good men, with astonishing rates of rejection for neuropsychiatric illness. The question that I have, cynic that I am, is. . . Actually, I suppose I needn’t continue after esuggesting that one could approach such news cynically.

The Civil Aviation Authority is now recruiting married couples to go up to Alaska to run “isolated communication stations along the country’s farthest north air routes.” Homes are provided with electrical refrigerators and all other modern conveniences. Right outside their doors, the paper helpfully notes for those who have not yet grasped the point, “is the Alaskan wilderness.” Better than inviting it in, I suppose.

Science, Technology & Business

The Army is trying out “portable” oil pipelines of 4 and 6” diameters. The steel pipe segments are spirally constructed, like soda straws (if that tells you anything), a mile of pipeline with auxiliary equipment weighs only 13 tons, average capacity is 5000bbls/day, and it all goes up like a Mechano set. Engineer Petroleum Distribution Units are trained by the Army Service Forces at Camp Claiborne, Louisana. It beats storming beaches, I should think.

Navy fliers who have whispered behind waving hands of a dream plane that combines the best features of fighter and bomber, with the fire-power of a small battleship, as big a jump ahead of the pistol-hot Hellcat as that airplane was ahead of the Wildcat, finally have the Grumman F7F.

The Truman Committee report on the Navy’s disastrous tank-lighter programme has been released, after being embargoed for a year. The shorter version is that the Higgins design was better but that the Navy resisted and persisted with its own. The longer includes a transcript of a phone conversation (source not revealed by the Committee) between Captain John Crecca of the Boston Navy Yard and Commander Edward E. Roth of BuShips. Senator Truman does not fool around.

The paper reports that the New York Zoological Soceity has been able to keep “fish, guinea pigs and monkeys alive under completely germless conditions.” That is, a germ-free life is possible, with all that implies for health in the exciting age to come.

An interesting science story revives the thinking of old William Gilpin. It turns out that, besides being an obnoxious old-fashioned confidence man, he was a scientist! For it was he who proposed that America would play a master role in the history of civilisation akin to that of Rome by virtue of being  a bowl-shaped continent, unlike Europe and Asia, which are inverted bowls. Also, its population will rise to a billion. This is the first good I hear of Governor Gilpin, but I rather wonder about the abrupt insight of Bernard de Voto (Harper Monthly’s “Easy Chair Editor”) that he is some kind of forgotten prophet. Unless it may be of the easy money to be made from selling already-owned sagebrush to eastern investors. Though, to be fair, that is a prophecy on which De Voto seems to be making book.

An 18-year old welder in Mobile was taken to the hospital with meningitis two weeks ago. Refused admission, the head of the sick girl’s rooming house also tried to refuse her until the driver forced his way in. Mobile. She died the next day. Mobile is one of the towns worst hit by the doctor shortage, and this makes the current meningitis outbreak --23 in February, with a death rate of 25%-- especially frightening. The Army and Navy have a 3% rate.

Charles Sorensen has resigned as production boss of Ford Motors. Well, someone had to take the blame for Willow Run, and it was Sorensen's time to go. Not that I do not feel guilty. Speaking of sudden retirements of executives, Andrew Moffett, late of the Rockefeller oil empire, is on the war path against the Middle East oil plan. The American industry thinks that there is no shortage of American oil, and that American investment in the Middle East is a boondoggle, or against the Atlantic Charter, or something. Perhaps it is unconstitutional? surely a Southern Senator can be found.

The Texas vegetable harvest in the Rio Grande is at risk because of the failure of trucks needed to get it to market –and labour to harvest it.

Jahco’s Bill Jack came to Washington to throw a five course meal for 80 Congressmen and 180 guests, at which he gave a talk about the need for renegotiation to guarantee Jahco a 5% profit on gross war business, or $5 million, on top of his much publicised $891,000 salary. Mr. Jack seems astonishingly inept for a man of his estate. I hope that he does not try to manage his own fortune.

Arthur D. Whiteside, President of Dunn & Bradstreet, is the latest to warn of postwar economic disaster, foreseeing a glut of postwar consumer production. His solution: production control on a 1939 basis. While this will certainly keep prices high and so prevent a glut, retailers think it rubbish, and propose the release of Federal control soonest, followed by manufacturers rushing into the market, with the Devil taking the hindmost. Says American Retail Federation Chairman Fred Lazarus, Jr., “We cannot get a $135 billion economy out of 1939 quotas set on an $80 billion economy.”

The Truman committee seems to agree with Mr. Lazarus rather than with Mr. Whiteside, but the key thing here seems to me is that if we do not have a postwar depression on the merits, we could easily have one by following the wrong course, and it is hard to know whether the right course is to be set by Whiteside or by Lazarus. You can see why I would prefer to sidestep the whole matter and focus on products-and-markets-yet-to-be, however much the Earl scoffs at my utopian attempts to escape into the future.


Small American colleges such as Kenyon may escape the worst effects of the curtailment of the Army Specialized Training Program by taking in an expanded new class of 18 year-olds through the Army Specialized Training Program Reserve. It sounds like a compromise to me, Reggie. It is suggested that there be United Nations inspectors in postwar Axis schools, so as to nip militarism in the bud. I certainly do not see any practical difficulties, Reggie. (It is a good thing that German and Japanese schools teach in English!) The paper quotes one critic who thinks that American schools will need such inspectors at least as much as German and Japanese. Due to backwardness, you see.

Press and Entertainment

Trini Barnes, Colonel McCormick’s niece, publishes a leftist monthly, which the paper finds amusing. The standard price of an American newspaper is up to 5 cents.
Freddie Kuh is the best American foreign correspondent, and female reporters (“newshens”) demand access to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
MGM has spiked plans for a remake of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, on the grounds that it would cause racial tensions.
I am not sure that it counts as entertainment, but Robert Sherrod’s Tarawa: The Story ofa Battle is out in time to prepare Americans for “many other bigger and bloodier Tarawas . . .”

Time, 20 March 1944


The paper has its turn dilating about the coal situation in Britain. The paper sees it as being as much a fight between miners and their unions as it is between miners and the government.  The paper finds the Prime Minister’s campaign for Basic English amusing. Latins are excitable. An amusing anecdote from Denmark, where crowds lingered after a visit by Field-Marshal Rommel passed by, when asked why, a wit replied that now they were waiting for Montgomery. The murder mystery of the Pajama Girl is solved in Melbourne. In an amusing incident, General Royce of the USAAF flew a DC-3 out into the Arabian desert to find King Ibn Saud’s hunting party and presented him with various princely gifts, courtesy of the American taxpayers, employees of the Rockefeller oil empire excepted. The larger gift, part of Lend-Lease (the better to assist the King in any future Axis-fighting endeavours) was a freighter load of 7 million silver coins valued at $1,250,000. If only a ship could reach Chungking. . . Argentina, apparently, dreams of uniting Latin America against the United States. Which sounds quite practical.

The paper covers the syndicated columnists of America on the subject of foreign policy with even more irony and sarcasm than I am capable of. I would be surprised if Dorothy Thompson did not have words with Mr. Luce when next they cross paths. Other sarcastic asides are noted in the context of a meeting between former Vichy ambassador to America Henry-Haye and former American ambassador to Vichy, Douglas MacArthur II. (Nephew to the general and son-in-law to Senator Barkley.) Various people are concerned that the Nazis are trying to trick us into bombing Rome.

Various apparently pro-Russian Americans think that Russia should be more pro-Polish.

Summoned for induction this week in an ironic turn, the War Manpower Commission’s Julius Albert Krug, 6 foot 3, 36 year-old father of two. 

The paper cites unnamed sources who suggest, with no obvious irony, that the current Battle of Berlin is in the “wearing-out phase” that precedes the decisive cavalry charge. Field-Marshal Haig was unfortunately not available for comment. A story follows which is the first-person account of a B-17 ball turret gunner on the big raid to Berlin. He knows that 68 Fortresses and Liberators were lost, and I think it tells under his bravado. Interesting to note that he saw some Polish RAF pilots flying Mustangs over the city. Not an escort flight, exactly, but a greater guarantee of safety than our boys have, notwithstanding what you've told me about your higher unit command's adventures with night fighter escorts, Reggie.

An amusing story about how, after Private First Class William Rozak wrote home to the effect that they could not come by eggs in Britain, his mother sent him a dozen, dipped in paraffin and packed in sawdust, which came out just fine. I think I shall go down and get myself a tea egg. Do I make you hungry, or jealous, or both?

The paper admires the manliness of Nikolai Voronov, now raised to the title of Chief Marshal of Red Artillery. The cavalry gets the glory while the artillery does the work.  Meanwhile, the Germans continue to retreat, and the Rumanians continue to surrender.

HMS Penelope is lost. The paper posthumously promotes her to a 6” cruiser. 

The paper is impressed with General Stlwell’s campaign in northern Burma. 


Having killed the Zionist resolution in the Senate, the President invited Rabbis Stephen Wise and Abba Hillel Silver to the White House in order to have it both ways. 

Lew Douglas has left the Administration again. Back in 1934, he resigned on principle, aghast at its spending. This March, he leaves the Shipping Administration with thanks for a job well done.

The War Labour Board has ordered an end to the AFL no-recordingstrike against RCA, Columbia, and RCA-Victor. It has ruled that “canned” music is not a threat to musician employment, and that therefore no payment should be made out of these companies' profits into a union-run unemployment fund. The paper is skeptical about the fund, to which the other recording companies of course contribute, and hopes that the music-canning industry will not be burdened with this special fee  any further. If the strike really is settled, which is unclear, it may have some implications for our friend.

“Dimpled, 27 year old” Dorothy Vredenburgh, the selected convenor of the 1944 Democratic Convention, proposes that the 1944 election will go Democratic down the line. Silly, silly girl, says the paper, especially given the Republican win in Colorado this week and falling approval numbers for the President in Iowa. 

Baron Sempill was in Nova Scotia last week discussing plans to transplant Scots from his estates in Scotland (of course) to lands that he would procure in Nova Scotia. It was amusing to relate that he is successor to the lordship patent originally issued for Nova Scotia by James I, although the patent was extinguished by the transfer of the province to France by the peace of 1632. I should imagine that a few years of peace will make the first settlement mentioned about as relevant as the second.

The Navy’s new depot at Hueneme has opened for business, as a new port with poor inland access is just what the coast needed.

Senator Vandenberg has thrown a tantrum about the Army’s War College Library and General MacArthur that is amusing but rather much to get into.

The Army  has a new ace, P-47-flying Walker Mahurin, who shot down three Germans in the big Berlin raid. With Boyington MIA and Hanson dead in a crash, Mahurin is tied with Donald Aldrich and Kenneth Walsh, both Marine Corsair pilots. Navy Hellcat flyers just do not tangle with enemy aircraft often enough to be in the running, and P-38 pilots are falling behind, with Bong highest at 21.

In related news, Colonel Karl L.Polifka, commander of the first specialised P-38 aerial photography squadron has been grounded, as too valuable to lose. Any gen, Reggie?

Private Dale Maple, who recently deserted from Camp Hale in Colorado with two German priosners, has been caught,and now other servicemen might be implicated.  2nd Lieutenant Beaufort Swancutt is to be arraigned on five charges of murder for a shooting spree at Camp Anza, near Riverside. The Army has now to explain how a man with a long civilian police blotter was allowed to first enlist, and then be commissioned. As well it should. It is not as though accounts of mania are lacking in this fallen world of ours.

Science, Technology & Business

News of the astonishing new miracle invention, “Stabinol,” which eliminates mud. That is, an addition of Stabinol to dry soil binds it in a water-resistant way, making it useful as a road bed. Well, I have heard that only miracles will push the Ledo Road through.

Dr. Charles Greeley Abbot, grey, 72-year-old Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, has discovered a way of using solar radiation to predict the weather. And by “predict,” I mean that droughts in the (Old) Northwest will seriously lower the level of the Great Lakes in 1974 and 2020. AD. I, for one, predict that the Smithsonian will be found to have a crank working as its Secretary. This will happen sometime soon after late March of 1944.

Doctors Herbert McLean Evans and Choh Hao Li of the [which?] University of California have extracted a pure human growth  hormone from the pituitary glands of cadavers. I was going to make a joke about football and alumni boosters, but the story goes on to note that someone suggested making mass use of the hormone to rid the Japanese of their inferiority complex, and I yield the field The new Journal of Neurosurgery publishes claims of a new invention, Fibrin Foam, a, natural wound sealant.

A new world record for the mile has been set by a short, bespectacled divinity student named Gilbert Dodds, who shaved a tenth of a second off the four minutes, 7.4 seconds time with an amazing burst of last-quarter speed.

Dr. Alfred Koerner, a Manhattan gynecologist, has gloomily predicted that two out of every ten servicemen ill return from World War II sterile, leading to a postwar ratio of fertile men to women of 89-100, vice the normal peacetime ratio of 106-100. In past wars, the commonest causes of sterility in soldiers have been mumps, fevers, gastric poisoning and gland disorders. In this one, wounds and shock from mines, torpedoes and bombs may also increase the sterility rate. The good doctor therefore proposes that discharge papers list whether a serviceman is sterile, to avoid the lifelong unhappiness caused when sterile people marry fertile ones, and there is no baby-making. Well, there is baby-making, but you understand me, right, Reggie? What I am saying here is that there is something in the air in Manhattan that makes people crazy.

Wall Street is up. Various reasons are proposed by dyed-in-the-wool pessimists who expect it to start plunging again soon. These include: Roosevelt bashing bringing spirits up, the Baruch report suggesting that Washington will throw money at reconversion, thinking that the end of the war is delayed by the slogging in Italy and the Second Front, a mysterious quality called the “character of the market/” Or, even, and this is a stretch, good profit numbers from 1943 from bellwether stocks General Motors and Du Pont. (I shall plump with “war to go on longer!” Of course, I do not really believe that, as it would involve conceding that Mr. Janeway is right about something, but I do hope that you press this point with the Earl, omitting my scandalous cynicism. In my own defence, I believe in my prognostications, but do not expect them to be convincing. I suppose that it is too late by 40 years to dissemble my arrant cynicism to the Earl, though. Not that the paper is helping.)

The Truman Committee’s long awaited report on the magnesium industry is in. Dow did an excellent job, while the rest of the industry essentially just extracted money from the taxpayer. We are now well over any likely production needs for magnesium. Most of the nation’s half-billion-dollar investment will have to be written off as a war loss. Or we shall all be lounging about on lightweight magnesium lawn furniture soon, though perhaps with a cautious eye out for sparks drifting from the bonfire.

Six Liberty Ships have now cracked open in Alaskan waters this winter. The Maritime Commission, in its defence, reports that serious structural failures have occurred in  “only” 62 of the 1,917 Liberty Ships delivered up to 1 February, and the causes, have hitherto been mysterious. CIO National Maritime Union President Joseph Curran, invited to present testimony to the Truman Committee, accused not hazy, and technical factors but poor loading and handling. Captain Walter A. Brunnick, skipper of the Henry Ward Beecher, answered, “Flapdoodle.” For Curran, the blame lies on skippers. For Captain Brunnick, I assume it lies on builders. Common sense would suggest that building 2000 ships in three years in inexperienced yards with  the product of over-worked steel mills is the cause. But who wants to hear common sense?

Leather supplies are down 18% from the 1942 high and will continue to decline even as the Army and Navy take ever more of the supply. Therefore, the ration for shoes is down to 2 pairs/year, and the shortage will continue after the peace, as relief agencies have taken up prospective quotas.
Incidentally, shoes are the third most sought after item in the recent rash of hijackings, after liquor and rayon.

Arts, Entertainment, Press

Printer’s Ink denounces the recent overuse of the word “yummy” in advertising, and blames the recent influx of female copywriters due to the male side of the industry being off billboarding Hitler to death.

 The paper quite liked With the Marines at Tarawa, a cinematic experience of real war.
Congressman Robert Hale of Maine reports being pinched in the rear while chatting with Lord Halifax at a British Embassy tea. Turning gravely, he met the gaze of a woman who babbled apologetically that she had mistaken him for Justice Frankfurter. Now that’s a story, Reggie.

Flight, 23 March 1944


“The Hard Nut of Cassino” Guilty consciences? Not a bit of it! There are to be “seven Brabazons.” These are to include a 100 tonner, a landplane of 100,000lbs all up weight (so a puny little thing) for trans-Atlantic flying, allowing a stop in Newfoundland, a slightly smaller 70,000lb cruising at 220mph and carrying twelve, when you have to be there slightly sooner, and are even richer than other trans-Atlantic passengers, a 40,000lb type, a jet liner, and then some odds and end of a little 8 seater of 8000lbs, for picnics in the Cotswolds. Or maybe a Halifax conversion? Something like that. Also, perhaps, a flying boat, at which the paper’s ears perk up. It all sounds up in the air to me, Reggie.

War in the Air

Russians win victories! Planes were involved! Marshal Stalin even admits it! Mussolini’s press secretary was killed in a recent air raid, no great loss, the paper thinks, though I am sure that Mr. Grey will send a wreath. This week’s box score shows 116 Allied bombers lost in the West. An airlanding operation in Burma involved planes! And Indian troops!

Here and There

Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Henry MacLeod Frazer has been appointed Director-General of Repair and Maintenance at the Ministry of Aircraft Production. wonder if those who inveigh against the air marshals understand that the air force is training lieutenant generals to run engine shops. Oh, well, I am sure that we can find some fustian admiral to claim that commanding a destroyer flotilla is good preparation for such work. The He219 is announced.  A transport B-24 has made the 2100 mile flight from San Francisco to Honolulu in 9 hr 27 minutes, with a healthy tailwind.  Twenty-eight air training schools in Canada will close this year. Group Captain MacIntyre of Scottish Aviation predicted that jets will make the flight from Canada to Britain in only 3-and-a-half hours at some vague point in the future. Unless “unnecessary conservatism” slows down aeronautical progress, which it probably will.

Studies in Recognition

We notice the Halifax, FW 200, Junkers 290, Heinkel 177 this week. Oddly for this feature, I had not even heard that some of these were going out of service!

“Sir R. Fedden Reviews Anglo-American Efforts” The man who was sacked for failing to bring in the sleeve-valve engine in a timely way thinks that American aviation is much better run than British.

Short notes allege that Americans are anxious to keep up with Britain in civil aviation (Time is, anyway), and point out that British bomb tonnage carted over and dumped on Germany has grown much more impressively than bomber sorties through December of 1943.

“Napier Sabre II: Twenty-Four Cylinder, Sleeve-valve, Liquid-cooled Twin-crankshaft Engine Now in Full Production.” Were I not on tenterhooks waiting on your daughter-out-of-law, I would now amuse myself counting just how many times the paper has announced this sing-song apparatus.

Behind the Lines

Latins are excitable. The Belgian Fascist Youth League is recruiting for the Junkers works. “Engineer Rocca” is working on a high-altitude engine made up of two joined Hispano-Suiza 12Ys with a three stage supercharger with clutches on two of three impellers, two coaxial, electrically controllable, independently feathering airscrews, and two flexibly coupled extension shafts. Someone has some time on his hands. Perhaps the completed machine can go into the six-engined Latecoere flying boat, “Marshal Petain.”

German Overseas Radio claims that the Allies, having found difficulties with the “relay” fighter escort method, are relying instead on massed escort by long range fighters, which make up for their inferiority to German interceptors with numbers, introducing the mass principle of combat to the air. So the Western air forces have joined the Red Army in wearing down German superiority with numbers. Well, the Axis actually outnumbers the Russians by population –by quite a bit during the decisive days, and I am no more convinced by the claims about air forces.

“Seven Post-war Types” The House is in a fuss over the Brabazon Plan. It is all very well to plan a fleet of brand new airliners, but what about jets? On the Labour benches, concern over who benefits from civil aviation. Air Commodore Helmore answers that people will have to pay for speed, so that fast flying will be for the rich –at first. He hoped that, by general social improvements, the cost of flying will come within everyone’s reach, and the aircraft will be the omnibus of the future. Mr. Hore-Belisha, stewing on the backbenches since being removed as Secretary of State for War, intervenes to point out the need for a proper airport near London. Interesting, as the one thing Hore-Belisha has always been good for is pouring concrete.

Sir Stafford Cripps Surveys Output” Fedden is wrong. He notes that manpower per Lancaster has fallen 38% in the last 12 months, while for the Spitfire it has been a reduction of 27.5% over three years, impressive given that the Spitfire of 1943 is totally transformed from that of 1940. The amount of unskilled labour has risen by 500%, although the proportion is much less on new types. Some 40% of all new production is on spare parts.


This is “Mrs. J.C.s” favourite section, I have left it for last in my composition, for, as we came up a week past the due date, nameless fears clenched me every time I thought on her. I come back to it on this night of ages, as I try to distract myself, my heart clenching and fingers slipping as I draw those characters, Reggie. These will be the first twins in our line since 1779. Heaven is telling us something.
Oh, when will this infernal night end?  Patience, I tell myself. We have the best doctor in the valley, and Judith, who has seen more of these than she has summers, and now An Way.
A serviceman, “Projet,” leads off, writes to explain the thermodynamics of jet propulsion. Clearly the limiting temperature of the blades is crucial, and, as always in engine design, materials science will lead the way.
Then we have “correspondence” in the old style, with R. C. Abel writing to propose a “Jet-driven Plastic Flying Wing” flying boat. I would parse the letter, but my eyes will not  focus on the print. A service correspondent and J. C. Land write on the “best aircraft in the world,” (they are British, remarkably enough!), and “I. M. Leach,” an odd pseudonym, I must say, writes on B. J. Hurren’s claim that a single-seat torpedo-bomber-fighter like the old Blackburn Dart would be useful in the fleet, while Peter Masefield delineates four main roles. “Leach” thinks that a hypothetical aircraft, called, say, the Wyvern, of Hurren’s type could fill all four roles.

And so I am to infer that a Vickers, or possibly Westland, fleet multirole single-seater is in development.

A student writes to say that future aeronautical engineers should have a generalist, not specialist training. J. Winston proposes an alternative layout for the proposed “Thames-side” airport. I hope that the matter of the London international airport is resolved soon. It feels like it is dragging out.

Time, 27 March 1944


The King of the Yugoslavs has married a Greek princess! When people look back at the great historic turning points of 1944, they will . . . skip right over this article. Rumania is surrendering more. President Benes has suggested that Russia might award “the bleak potato lands of northern Transylvania” to Rumania, causing Hungary to surrender less. ((Another story notes that Benes is the best cook amongst the exiled ministers of London, and specialising, “in risotto, stews, soups and powdered garlic.” Oh, Good Lord, paper. Remember that sandwich place we stopped at on our way up from the border when I visited in ’34? If the country cousins of Vancouver have seen a naked garlic clove, is it too much to ask of Manhattan?)

Parisians are “under-fed and ill-clothed, declining into anemia,” says the paper’s “former Paris fashion correspondent,”   recently arrived in Manhattan on “the rescue-ship Gripsholm.” But they are still going to the opera and swanky balls, while “women defy restrictions with monumental hats that take six meters of fabric to erect…” Apparently losing no time in resuming her duties of filling out the paper, someone contributes a story about gruesome remains of mass murder found at No. 21 rue La Sueur, and one about Edouard Herriot being dead. Moscow has recognised the Badoglio government, causing anti-communists to be concerned that Moscow has not snubbed the Italian anti-communists causing fears that the anti-communists might not be not? I am having a little difficulty parsing it. The German ambassador to Vichy is forwarding the interests of “ultra-collaborationists.” In other news, the paper reports, Catholics and Protestants are squabbling in New York.

Captain “Chow Jockie” of the British merchant marine, and “U.S. Negro Bishop John Gregg” have both recently run afoul of the South African colour bar, too. On the other hand, Cape Town is scandalised by gangs of “skollies,” who roll American and British sailors. Such a crime has never been imagined before, and is well worth international coverage! Certainly the paper is above thinking that anyone would be pruriently interested in reading about young white men being “lured” by “young coloured girls,” only to be soundly thrashed by “young mulatto hoodlums.” And, yes, the “young” does repeat.

General Montgomery, whose “worn brown face beneath . . . black beret” is universally recognised, visited Trinity College, saw a set of steps, claimed that his father, “militant Christian” Bishop Montgomery, had jumped them at one bound, causing Sergeant Charles Russell, USA, who claimed to have been quite a jumper at Waukesha High, to attempt the feat and fail, followed by “Vince Dunne of the Royal Canadian Navy,” who could get no more than five of seven steps. Then a “pink, diffident freshman” named Malcolm Dickson with “no jumping experience” tried, and cleared it easily. The intent of this story is to make Americans cringe at the thought of Wisconsinites being allowed to travel abroad?

 Quintuplets have born in Argentina! Probably Nazi quintuplets. Expect Cordell Hull to warn that American diapers will not be allowed into Buenos Aires until they repent their politics.

 Internationally-minded people also continue to talk about talking about civil aviation.

The Red Army has crossed the Dniester. There are signs of demoralisation amongst the “retreat-adept Germans.” Lieutenant Adolph Kannel told his Russian captors that “The clock of the German army is now at five minutes to midnight.” Has Prisoner Kannel consented to being quoted by the paper?

The paper covers the bombing of Monte Cassino, quoting General Eaker as claiming to have “fumigated it." 

Allied air attacks against Germany were heavy this past week, with the aim of breaking German war power and bleeding the enemy fighter arm. An amusing story of a Polish-crewed RAF bomber relentlessly harassed on its return flight from Berlin. On landing, the crew discovered that the navigator, meaning to turn on the heaters, had accidentally lit the navigation lights, too! 

Admiral Nimitz, commander of “the mightiest fleet and amphibious force in world history,” has left Washington for Honolulu, with, it is whispered, permission to go ahead with a major operation.

A roundup of news from the Burma theater notes fighting around the Ledo Road, an air assault by Indian Army troops, and an “attack across the Chindwin River in force” that was “almost across the Indian border to Manipur.” I have a feeling that the paper is a little at sea with the geography of the area. It is noted that American glider troops and officers involved in the air assault included the model of “Terry”, the first husband of Betty Grable

and Lieutenant John Lewis, “lanky, hard-hitting third baseman for the Washington Senators.” The paper, of course, manages to make something of the fact that Indian troops are flying through the air without giving way to superstitious terror!

Two Army P-38 aces, Colonel Neel Kearby of Texas and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas J. Lynch of Pennsylvania, are reported MIA in New Guinea. The paper covers an event at the University of Hawaii’s auditorium in “Honolouo” where sixteen “Japanese-Americans” were given Purple Hearts in virtue of their being “wife, sweetheart or next-of-kin of a Japanese-American boy killed in Italy.” It is almost as though the Luce papers are trying to make a point here, Reggie. Also MIA, Lieutenant Donal O’Brien, subject of a January 1942 profile by his father, a Chicago Daily News columnist, subsequently reprinted widely. Also MIA this week, the submarine-officer son of Georgia Representative Paul Brown.  and Brigadier-General Russell A. Wilson, shot down over Berlin in the first “big U.S.” assault.


The President received a delegation of Girl Scouts, wore green on Saint Patrick’s Day in his “annual curtsy to the Irish vote.” Notice that the story about P-38 pilots, featuring a Texan and an Irish-American from Pennsylvania, is headlined “Texas,” not “Sons of Eire.” (Although the paper’s retrospective on Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations does eventually get around to noting General Vandegrift’s observation that there are 220 men with the surname O’Reilly in the Corps.) 
The President still will not recognise De Gaulle, was unable to greet to new US Ambassador to Peru because of a “stiff neck,” and a breakdown of the elevator that normally carries him downstairs. Instead, the Ambassador ascended to the Presidential bedroom. The President’s two meetings with the press were not lively, even though fireworks were expected over a story by a “Hearstling." The President also pushed the “soldier’s vote” issue, met with Nelson and McNutt over the imminent announcement on drafting 18-to-25-year-old-indispensables,” and held a farewell party for Edward Stettinus, off to London to talk, perhaps about talks of a Big Three conference if the President can attend.

The paper to people who can read: the President’s health is dire; the paper to people who can’t: Don’t worry, everything’s fine! 

Will the AFL allow the CIO to attend the ILO? People who care, care because of “isolationism.”

Eric W. Johnston must have read Ladd Haystead’s column putting him forward as a presidential candidate in ’44, because he was in Boston giving one of twelve public speeches last week. It was, remarkably enough, on the theme of free enterprise. Apparently, long ago and in the distant past, American “management” made mistakes. Mistakes were made, no doubt about it, back in the old days of 1920—33. Ever since, labour has made mistakes! And, soon, things will even out, as the age of Labour comes to an end. Eric W. Johnston observes, in the friendliest way possible, that the mistakes of labour are born, understandably enough, out of fear of unemployment. So a better unemployment insurance scheme is needed before we get on with the business of putting Labour “in the dog house,” as eminent free enterpriser Mr. Johnston puts it. Johnston, the son of obscure parents from Spokane, showed remarkable fluency in Mandarin and other doings Chinese in his youth. Do you perhaps have a dossier, Reggie? Mr. Johnston smells like a natural friend to our family, who might be well served with a less dangerous outlet for his energies.

In Twin Falls, Idaho, a county auction for a used tractor was won by a bid of $1050, above the OPA-set maximum of $750. Now the County and the OPA are fighting over jurisdiction. The paper is amused to call this a fight over State’s Rights, and even more amused to report that Farmer Hubert has put a “deposit” of $1050 down pending resolution of the court case, and is using the tractor for spring planting. The OPA is also the subject of the next story, which is about how Administrator “SalesmanBowles”  of the OPA defended it to the Senate and argued for an extension to the act past June 30th this week. Bowles says that good administration and sound policy have held the rise in the cost of living to only 26%. 

This sounds suspiciously  unapocalyptic to me. I was promised wheelbarrows of money to pay for a loaf of bread! Where are my wheelbarrows? Maybe after the war, when too much money is chasing too few goods. After all, what more could we possibly need?

The paper’s version of the New Hampshire GOP primary is that it is bad news for Wilkie by virtue of his narrow margin of victory, good news for Dewey, who ran the slate in North Carolina without even (apparently) campaigning. Stassen’s lieutenants, meanwhile, are canvassing hard in Wisconsin, jumping obstacles, as it were. 

Democrats are canvassing hard to win the byelection in the Second District of Oklahoma, having found a candidate who is one-half Cherokee, fifty percent better than the GOP candidate, who is but one-quarter Indian. Amusingly irrelevant anecdote: the county seat is named for the Democratic candidate’s family! Even more amusingly irrelevant anecdote: the Democratic candidate is tipped to win. I am beginning to take the idea that the paper writes at two levels as more than a joke, Reggie.

More news of the call-up required to make up a class of 1.16 million by 1 July, taking 1-As to 3-As. Since older fathers are to be protected after all, it seems that the call-up must go to deferred under-26s. Industry wants to protect men in steel and vital new war manufactures such as “radar.” (On this page of the paper, it is allowed to divulge that “radiolocation” has a name and is made in factories. On the next, who knows?)

The paper notices that the War Department has been forced to admit that 20 US transport planes were shot down by U.S. guns by mistake during the Sicily air drop. Mistakes, to be sure, happen, but General Patton’s name is dropped.

Commentator Hanson Baldwin of the New York Times has suggested that inexperienced Army commanders are giving poor leadership. Cat, pigeons, juxtapositions.

Obligatory Canadian coverage includes Mr. Dionne finally getting custody of his daughters, a colliery in Nova Scotia being shut down, and the arrest of 22-year-old Indian Alex Prince at Fort George  for the murder of two trappers, to hang, I suspect, on slim evidence because no-one dissents that it is best for all if he is done away with, and here are two bodies to be accounted for in the bargain. The wire story says that one of the trappers died from being shot in the back while the other froze after being immobilised by a a wound to the leg, which sounds like the sort of thing that happens to drunk men with rifles. The paper has it that “both had been shot in the back.” 

Friends of the US press note the drawbacks of press freedom include the “increasing sterility of editorial expression,” and “the taking over of editorial function by syndicated columnists.” A non-syndicated columnist (Charles Fisher of the Philadelphia Record) writes this week that of all them, he likes Wesbrook Pegler least, but he has dyspeptic things to say about many others, who are egotistical, conservative, know-it-alls. Now that the problem has been diagnosed, can  a cure be far behind?

Science, Technology and Business

The paper has an amusing story about how brown, foreign people eat bugs. This sort of stuff never gets old, Reggie! The Army Corps of Engineers has completed an 8 million dollar flood abatement scheme at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_flood.

The paper is at last permitted to reveal that the Dr. Alwyn Douglas Crow’s  eight years of secret rocket experiments have culminated in the British being able to shoot rockets at German bombers. Hitting them is next on the agenda.

A piece, strictly under business news, profiles youthful Detroit entrepreneur Tom Safady, inventor of an improved butter slicer. As far as I can find news in the story, it is that he is working out a way to share profit with his employees at Sav-Way Industries. I assume some big announcement is imminent.

Thomas Mellon Evans, who prefers to go by “Thomas Evans,” just got an order for 1800 box cars for his start-up Mt. Vernon Corporation, having made his way first in the field of “fireless locomotives” for munitions plant yard switching made by a firm he picked up from bankruptcy distress at pennies on the dollar. Is he related to those Mellons? Why, yes, he is, the paper notes!  Two levels, Reggie, two levels.

Would it be too personal to brag that “Cousin H.C.” is letting his Buffalo aviation enterprise go? I think so, and therefore will only smirk and point you to “Again, Brewster,” in this number.  Now if only he would listen to me over Detroit. At least, listen to me as much as Mr. Ford did.

“Red Signals” Covers the overworked, overstrained and accident-prone American railways, who, as the story above notices, at least are getting some new rolling stock this year. Whether this will be sufficient to move Canadian grain and American steel, and the vast trans-Rockies cargoes of munitions is another question.

The Office of Price Administration is relaxing controls on crude prices to keep marginal producers in business, promote wildcatting and put off the day when only a general increase in the price of crude will make up for declining production.

The South wants higher cotton prices. Textile manufacturers do not. Meanwhile, the national cotton stockpile is at 7 million bales.


After the war, Columbia’s Dean thinks that American universities like Columbia will be as prestigious as Cambridge and Berlin. The University of Illinois is buying an airfield, planned as the “No. 1 university-owned airfield in the U.S.”, to study aspects of aviation. Miss Elena Davila, winner of Columbia University’s twelfth annual medal for social architecture, studied at Chestnut Hill Academy, is an equestrian and stamp collector, and “an enthusiastic dancer in the Spanish manner.” In all, a most accomplished young lady, notwithstanding being Puerto Rican. No doubt, like most equestrian stamp collectors who study “social architecture” at Columbia, she climbed up from direst poverty.

Speaking of, it seems as though Avon Old Farms’ School must close in June, notwithstanding the $1450 annual tuition parents have been willing to pay. There seems to be some difficulty with the founder, as well as finances. 
Nineteen members of the Iowa State College have quite in a huff over a disputed report on the economies or otherwise of oleomargarine.


Two true sons of the soil competed in the “One Man Band World Championship” on the Blue Network’s Breakfast Club. “Redheaded James Howard Nash” (also known as Panhandle Pete) defeated janitor Archie Sweet with his patent Wabash Cannonball. I am acutely reminded (especially at the thought of the noise produced by a ‘Wabash cannonball’) of my own redheaded nemesis. These lads sound straight out of the Ozarks, while my troubles begin with an admiral from Texas….

Flight, 30 March 1944


“Hammers and Tongs” We are bombing the Germans hammers and tongs. We hope they run out of fighters soon. Mosquitoes are now carrying 4000lb bombs. “Power for the Helicopter” Aircooled Motors of Syracuse, New York, is offering one. The paper thinks that this is ridiculously premature. “The Most Fearful Form of Warfare” was brought on the Germans by their own efforts. The paper is defensive.

War in the Air

Even though planes reduced Cassino Abbey to “heaps of rubble,” New Zealand troops have not been able to occupy it. The Japanese offensive in Burma has crossed the border into the princely state of Manipur. The Commander-in-Chief, India, Claude Auchinleck, thinks that this is not significant in any way, that it is but raiding parties and a token invasion. Well, if the Auk says so!

“The Vickers Warwick” is like the Wellington, only larger and less practical. All  up weight is 45,000lbs, and engines are American, because… People must feel strong urges when Mr. Fedden talks about the superiority of the American aeroengine, as demonstrated by the fact that American radials are going into British planes. At least the latest Pratt & Whitney finally has a two-speed blower.

Here and There

Leonard Brown, who erected Britain’s first barrage balloon for Dunlop, has died at 61, three years after retiring. Which would  put his retirement at 58, immediately after the end of the Blitz. Am I being too romantic in sensing a story here. I hope that his last three years were spent with grandchildren playing at his feet.

US Flying Ambulances have evacuated 173,000 casualties since the outbreak of war. Loudspeakers outside the paper’s offices remind everyone that it is “Salute the Soldier Week.” Portugal is to have an airline. A Mosquito has made the 377 mile flight from Toronto to New York in 55 minutes, an average speed of 411mph, with a 30mph tailwind. A 20ft airscrew has been built by Hamilton Standard of New York for experimental purposes. Although if the war dawdles on, we might see it in a less experimental venue, hard as it is to imagine a plane designed around it!

G. Gordon Smith, a devilishly handsome managing editor of the paper, was heard to speak on the subject of turbine-driven airscrews on the radio the other night. Women, and not a few men, swooned. Messrs. H. Lazell and W. J. Shilcock have taken over the direction of Cellon, Ltd, after Mr. Wallace Barr was killed in a recent air raid.

The paper is upset at Canadian Aviation for using writings on the subject of jet propulsion by the tall and dashing Mr. G. Gordon Smith of this paper without attribution.

“Manpower for the Mammoths” Indicator criticises the Hundred-Ton Projects. They are “trying to run before we can walk.” The paper disagrees with the idea that we will not be able to find aircrew for such monstrosities any time soon. Or, I suspect without parsing the column, passengers likely to tolerate their expected imperfections. Whatever the paper says, “Indicator’s” enormous experience is a valuable counterweight to “Brabazon” enthusiasm.

Paratroopers prepare for the invasion.

“Wrens of the Fleet Air Arm” Female air mechanics are keeping the training aircraft of the FAA in action. I do not suppose that a girl would have any difficulty with such duties, at least so long as there is something pressing, like a war, to keep their attentions fixed.

W. P. Kemp, “The Flying Boat: A Reply to Mr. Pollitt: Loading Freight Not Difficult with Proper Equipment: The Question of Lateral Stability.” Years from now, Mr. Kemp, you will look back on the time you wasted writing this, and contemplate that you could have been pitching woo, or tasting the new vintage, or tramping over some beautiful vista, and you will be melancholy.

Short numbers include “Rocket or Racket?” Time’s story of the London rocket gun has been mocked by a Swiss expert, and the paper repeats the speculation that the actual weapon is a counter-invasion device. I hope that the paper does not feel foolish, when and if German rockets begin to fall in London.

Studies in Recognition

Notices the Taylorcraft Auster III and Miles M-28 Kestrel, aircraft so innocuous that one hardly needs to be able to tell them apart.

“The Cameron Rotor Plane” Mr. Goldberg’s column is usually carried in another paper. Or, perhaps, the day when the “helicopter, gyroplane and orthodox aircraft” are combined with retractable rotor blades and variable incidence wings is nigh.

Lieut. Commander B. S. McEwen, who was the first British pilot to score in this war, while flying a Blackburn Skua from Ark Royal, visited the Blackburn factory to “explore future possibilities for the Pacific.” These presumably do not include a refurbished Dart.

Behind the Lines

As from today, work lost due to air raids in Germany must be made up, and time so spent will not count as overtime. Says the paper. La Suisse reports a new German secret weapon: a high altitude bomber that flies at nine miles and drops a new type of incendiary bomb. Japan will have a complete Air Raids Precaution apparatus by the end of June. Germans wondering where the masses of planes claimed manufactured in recent months might be are reassured that they are in a massive strategic anti-invasion reserve. The Hungarian press notes a new German night fighter of unspecified type. Trees must die in occupied Europe, too. German bombers are developing new tactics such as the “Hairspring” to penetrate into London airspace.

R. H. Bound, “Levered Suspension…: An Interesting Undercarriage Development Explained and Reviewed.” The author needs to buy a new dictionary, as his current one is defective, giving incorrect meanings for some words in the “Is.” In any case, this device seems better under side loads, and that is important, right, Reggie?


Judith has just gone by, revisions still—

Aero Digest, 15 March 1944

"The Invasion Day Is Set"

Stupendous Statistics! Reveal American Might! I think the paper is less interested in investigating how much of the Very Large Numbers (planes, destroyers, mechanics, whatever) will actually cross the beach on invasion day.

The paper is upset about the Wagner Act, and thinks that the best way to fix it is by randomly insulting the Administration. It may be puerile, but it is easier reading than "Statistical Accounting Procedures in Aircraft Production," an article at the head of the engineering section offered by James R. Crawford of Lockheed. My mind wandering, I notice that, like Northrop, Lockheed uses punch cards to keep track of records. Perhaps these things will turn out to be more than the fashion of the day, after all.

Another article proposes using a paper product of some kind to make aircraft parts. With some relief, it seems to be for the most part not critical parts, but things like flooring, which brings to mind this ad. 

Right now she is all workmanlike, but she is a proper lady, and her proper  home will have lightweight plastic flooring, developed by Martin! Though probably not anywhere that guests can see. 

Aviation News

Notices some training plane cancellations, announcement of the gigantic German "BY-222," and that 8760 planes were produced in the United States in February. I think we can safely write off the idea of America making 120,000 planes in 1944, although 100,000 is well within reach. 87%, we are told, are fighter and bomber types, and structure weight is up 4%. Company news notes that GE cleared 45 million in profits last year. See, Reggie? Electrical engineering! Du Pont admittedly made 69, but 20 of that was from its investment in GM. 

Aviation People Notes that Lieutenant Gertrude Dawson, a stewardess for United on military leave to serve with the USAAF, has returned to her home in Philadelphia after escaping from occupied Europe. There are three pages of "Aviation people," but otherwise they are all about salesmen moving around, with the occasional engineer to break up the monotony. 

Well, there you go, I have rather slighted this number of Aero Digest here, but that is because I have included a marked up version of an article on turbosuperchargers in this package. It is not that the magazine is unimportant. It is that the tedious technical details need space to bring out their real importance. As you will see, even if very little money is spent on stratospheric flying in the next few years,it seems likely that it will be spent on frozen food, and the two technologies are far more akin that one might realise. With this explanation, I shall now proceed backwards and begin to give you my usual precis of the news, various and technical, with some sense of why I think it is important for the future of our investments. 

And just so you are sure that I do not neglect the many insights supplied by Aero Digest, here is a new theory explaining the decline and fall of Rome.

*I do not think that this is the Time picture referenced,but I take what Google Search gives me. Who knows? One of those backsides could be a Vanderbilt's.

**Because "Wearing of the Green" is too much.


  1. I do hope that when you finish this a family tree will be provided for those of us whose subtlety proves insufficient to extracting the information indirectly presented in the postings.