Thursday, December 25, 2014

Techblogging November, 1944, II: Meanwhile, at the North Pole

Wing Commander R_. C_. RCAFVR, DFC (Bar),
L_. House,
Isle of Axholme,

Dear Sir:

I do not know if I can alleviate your concerns, but I will try. I know how urgent the last few days have been for you. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that you have to fly very close to a cyclotron --even a big one-- to pick up its x-ray emissions, and that the film exposure will be faint and difficult to make out. For all our sakes', I hope you cannot find any.

As for the Far East, Tommy Wong is not in the brig. In fact, he is in Sydney, right now, Thanks be to Heaven. He has been briefed to expect a transfer to Alaska, either in glory as a conquering hero or near-convict in disgrace will be determined later, although the posting will be the same. All depends on the decision of-

-Well, I should back up. At your request, I sought out one of Chester's pets in San Francisco, with some success. His most favourite of all, recently parachuted direct from his staff to command the latest battleship in the Fleet, is to conduct an inquiry. It will be left to him to decide whether a board needs to be convened, As he will not be on station until the new year, we must steel outselves to wait through the holiday season. I am told in confidence that you may expect inquiries through channels, and since you have your ducks in a row, you should be in no trouble.

In the mean time, looking for the silver lining to it all, "Miss V.C." points out that we will  have a new baby in our midst come the summer, as Miss Leung's military career is necessarily at an end, and her language skills have apparently recommended her to someone in San Francisco. (Not to jinx the case, but this has something to do with Chester's pet. It's also a bit alarming, as I gather that some of those skills have been a bit exaggerated, but in a fortunate coincidence, "Miss v. Q." has found lodgings with a professor's family, and there is room for Miss Leung. Iinstruction in Chinese for Russian, favours rendered, might be extended to West Fleet Hakka. I hope that Fat Chow, international man of mystery, will not be too discomfited to have a fiancee (yes, the official word is...) who speaks his own mother's tongue.

As a last consolation, or perhaps galley humour, we've been scratching our heads about what Tommy might be expected to do in Alaska, and it has been suggested that the Navy is looking for Santa Claus. Or Father Christmas. Whichever. The point is, that we ladies of Santa Clara are at our Christmas shopping already, and I was looking for an excuse to make this letter a little seasonal, anyway, and, so, all too early but perhaps not unwelcome, here are Christmas greetings from the women of the Home Front, your sons, your grandchildren, and your wife, who has flown down to spend the holidays with us on the single condition that no creature of the Engineer will darken our door. And although I find myself ending on a distinctly un-Christian note, nevertheless, best of the season and a Happy Christmas, sir.


Flight, 16 November 1944


The College of Aeronautics” The paper approves, and does not think £1200 per pupil per year is too extravagant. No-one ever does, when it is their hobby-horse.

“Runways –in War” The increasing performance of aircraft has forced everyone to embrace surfaced runways. Prewar grass fields have had to be paved or replaced, and, at the Front on the continent, pavement cannot be just whistled up. Even the temporary surfaces weigh 2000 tons for a single runway. This will be a real problem this winter, and it is very fortunate that the Germans could not be bothered to pave their airfields when they had the chance.

“—And in Peace” Not only that, but they are very hasty work. Warbuilt runways, even the thick, concrete ones, will not stand up to the giant airliners of the future. Something needs to be done. The paper looks back fondly at flying boats, which, contrary the paper, were never free of basing considerations.

War in the Air

We are bombing Germany a lot. It must be having quite an effect. Typhoons have rockets now. Belgrade has been liberated, and aircraft were involved. Vienna is a very nice city, although not to be compared to Edinburgh(!). Our bombers will soon fix this. They are also levelling Manila, but it is in Asia, more-or-less, and doesn’t count. The paper denies that Bomber Command is out to deliberately slay and wound civilans when it rains bombs on them. That would be a violation of the Geneva Convention. The approach to Antwerp has been cleared, and Metz will surely fall soon. Aircraft can safely be said to have been involved, the weather notwithstanding.

Here and There

The paper is not able to complete its coverage of the debate on Civil Aviation in this number. It is being held over to the next number, sadly. Allison has 12.5 milllions from the USAAF to begin jet engine production. A new England-India record of 14h, 37 minutes flying time is set by a Mosquito.  The Secretary of State for Air reassures the House that the Prime Minister flies British when he can, and now has an Avro York at his disposal in place of old “Commando.”

 The A-26 exists more. Four rocket-shooting pilots of Coastal Command have been decorated for shooting the Italian liner, Rex. Pan-American is involved in Latin America!

John Yoxall, “Bomber Support: Interceptors Intercepted: Reasons for Big Drop in Bomber Command Casualties” John Yoxall visits your Group, although not in a way that will make your agent very happy. Yoxall notes that last winter, the Germans were inflicting very heavy casualties on Bomber Command raids by flying in the bomber stream. He then describes night fighter escort operations in the bomber stream in vague detail.  Not until the last two paragraphs are efforts to “disorganise the enemy’s defence system of signals, early warning, and communications” discussed, and then vaguely. We are “exploiting the weaknesses of radiolocation!”

“Developments in Coastal Command” AirVice-Marshal A. B. Elwood gives a talk to the United Services Institute on what Coastal has been doing. A single page summary of a single talk seems far more than enough to go into all of the details! Plus, rockets.

Behind the Lines

The Germans are performing vital military experiments in a secluded part of Norway. Major Nowotny has been killed in action. 

German railway schedules are sffering. Aircraft are involved! Berlin is very pleased with the V-2. A Swedish paper reports that 10,000 flying bombs of a new type, with the range to reach New York, have been concentrated in western Jutland. The radius of destruction of the new weapon is around 3 miles. A usually reliable Swedish correspondent deems this exaggerated.  A picture of a Ju 188 flown out of Germany by a German-Jewish air mechanic who had been ordered to report to a forced labour camp is shown.

“German Jet Fighters” Artists’ conceptions of the Messerschmitt Me 262, Heinkel He 280 and Me 163 confirm that artists think that German jet fighters exist. Or rocket fighters, in the case of the 163. 
Artist's Impression!

British jet fighters are known to be in production. Uncle George’s heart throb is referenced. 

G. Geoffrey Smith!
An actual fact is accidentally supplied: German jets use axial flow turbines. (Uncle George is not here to explain this, but I recall from conversations earlier that this means that the air is compressed by a series of turbines on a common axis. This is theoretically more efficient than making the turbines bigger (“centrifugal compressors”), but requires careful fluid dynamic design. He throws up his hands at this point, as well he should, as awful and irrefrangible partial differential equations are involved, so no neat algebraic solutions, just endless experiment and slide rule work. Good industrial refrigeration will pretty much require axial compressors.

“The Chicago Conference” Let’s talk about talking about talking about civil aviation!

“Airworthiness: The Air Registration Board and the Dominions” Let’s talk about talking down to Australians about civil aviation!(Canadians, too, but they’ll put up with it as long as we remember to say something nasty about the Frenchies.)

“A College of Aeronautics” An artist’s conception. Also, more thrills: an organisational chart! It will cost a mere £3 million or so, students will be charged the full cost of maintenance, and it is to be hoped that competent local authorities will come forward with scholarships.
v. Grand. Where is rugby pitch for character building?

C. B. Bailey-Watson, “Modern Airscrews-III: Descriptive Review of the de Havilland Hydromatic” I tried to sketch out a descriptive equation of the constant speed governor, which you can see in the margin of this letter, but it didn’t please me very much. I need to show it to James to find out where I went wrong.


Derek Moore-Heppleston revisits the paper’s memories of flying in the old days, before the war. “Ichthus” wants a notation in his service record that he spent a year washing out of pilot training so that in the future he will have an official record of what he did for that year of the war. Lest someone think he was hiding from the MPs in the attic of a washerwoman in Brighton, I imagine. The Conference of shipping lines that want to have air lines writes in to talk about talking about civil aviation. “Ensign” thinks that we should revisit observation balloons.

Time, 20 November 1944


“To the Fourth Power” The Prime Minister has gone to Paris to throw France a Welcome-Back-to-The-Great-Powers party.

General de Gaulle was cutting, and the national assembly has met. 

“Visitors” Talk is that Turkey will be rewarded for not entering World War II by being made to do something about the Straits with respect to Russia. Also, Russia has been said to have secured the resignation of Swizerland’s Marcel Pilet-Golaz for being too nice to fascism, and of iran’s Vice-Premier for being insufficiently pro-Russian. 

“Where?” Adolf Hitler has stopped making public appearances, it is noticed after he suddenly cancels an announced speech on the anniversary of the beer-hall putsch.

“The Case of the Elegant Beard” Accused mass murderer Dr. Andre Henri Felix Petiot has been apprehended in Paris. 

Hungary is surrendering more. Finland is done surrendering, but terrorists do not know that, and have murdered four Russian officers in three incidents. This is clearly politics, since Russian Communists, Finnish nationalists, and Nazi occupiers are such all moral and upstanding people that there were certainly no gangsterish-goings-on in Helsinki over the last five years. In other news, the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs has premiered a swank new diplomatic uniform, featuring a double-breasted suit and a ceremonial dirk, and the Japanese are officially upset and offended by the Russian advanced declaration of war, and have put Russia on notice of Japan’s intention to surrender in advance, within limits. The question now is whether Port Arthur counts as being “within limits.”

“Offensive Objectionable” Natal has passed an offensive segregation ordinance directed at Indians. Everyone is upset, and the question is whether Smuts will take it up in the national parliament and damage his government by colliding with South Africans who enjoy offending Indians.

“Solicissitude” The latest German death camp liberated, in Holland, had a nice nursery ward.

Latin Americans and official Washingtonians are excitable. Police are shooting civilians, and civilians are shooting police, in Havana. President Grau has tried to reform the police while disarming civilians.

“Losing Game” We are dropping lots of bombs on the Germans, have “new instruments” for bombing through overcast and flying in zero visibility. German defenders lose tens, no, hundreds, no, thousands of planes in a losing game of defence. Tirpitz has been sunk more.

“New Vistas” Will the Red Army advance from Hungary up the Danube? Or up the Morava into Bohemia, after it has taken Hungary? Well, first it has to take Hungary. “Northward of Budapest, the plain is flat.” “There, Bwana, are the Mountainous Plains of the Moon!”

“Forli’s Fall” Eighth Army, under its new commander, Lieutenant General Sir Richard McCreery, has taken an inconsequential town in Italy where Mussolini used to teach school. The paper likes General McCreery. And if the name sounds familiar from your visits to Santa Clara, sir, it is. Because this general is the grandson of Andrew McCreery, and thus the brother of the master of the old Aguilas Ranch, just up the road.  small world!

General Patton’s birthday was celebrated this week before Metz, where his army is bogged down. Or about to break through in a glorious victory, you pays your money, and you takes your pick.

“The Enemy: V2” Berlin officially announced that the V2 ballistic missile was being fired at London last week, which means that the secret was out. “A wingless,cylindrical missile, 40ft long and 5 ft in diameter, it soars to the astounding height of 60 to 70 miles,” has a range of 250 to 300 miles, and has a terminal velocity of 1000mph at sea level. It is fueled by “hydrocarbon,” presumably kerosene, and oxygen under pressure, has a centrifugal compressor and combustion chamber, is unspun, and has an explosive charge of one ton. It digs a deeper crater than the V-1 (I’ll say!) and so does more damage at the site, less in damage and injury from blast and flying glass. It is all a relief to some, who expected a 10—12 ton warhead. The paper supposes that it is mainly a propaganda weapon. I will reiterate that all and sundry are doing a terrible job of estimating the actual effect of the blast on built structures, but since the V2 has a smaller blast radius than the V1, the worst is over from that point of view. The Army and Navy do not think that V2s can reach America (I’ll say, not with that motor!), but do not rule out V-1 attacks from submarines.

“Invitation to Annihilation” The Battle of the Philippines continues. The Japanese are reinforcing Leyte,a and have sent General Yamashita Tomoyuki to command. “Fat-faced, Nazi-lovingYamashita, brutal, able conqueror of Malaya and Singapore, Bataan and Corregidor,” says that he expects MacArthur to surrender to him in the same way that Percival did at Singapore. The typhoon has tested the troops and challenged the fleet. Admiral Halsey scorns the Japanese. “I knew they were stupid, but not that stupid.”

“Rescue at Wotje” American ships rescued 700 Micronesians from Wotje, a Japanese island garrison left to “wither on the vine.”

“Our Bases Are Missing” With the fall of Kweilin, all of our bases in China belong to the Japanese. Or, eight of them, anyway. Major General Albert C. Wedemeyer, Stilwell’s successor, says that there is not much that can be done until the Burma Road is reopened. It is interesting that the paper says nothing about the Ledo Road here. I am almost beginning to doubt Stilwell’s civil engineering. Though if trucks can drive the Alaska Highway, I am sure that the Ledo Road will "open" on time.


“Superfacts” In time for an Army contract for another 1700 B-29s, the paper tells us about the B-29. It is very struck by its “push-button system of remote controls,” notably its “central fire control.” The paper ends by noting that “the army’s latest bomber has become its best.” At almost four billion dollars, I should hope so! That's billion dollars, thank you.

“Ace-Race Notes” Bong is definitely flying combat missions again, and has extended his score to 36. The Navy’s top man, David McCampbell, now has 32, 
not quite

while the Army’s number 2 ace, Major ThomasB. McGuire, has run his score up to 28. Also, Admiral Ingersoll is coming west to be CinC, Western Sea Frontier. You may have heard of him as the man who took Admiral A_.'s destroyers away, but I am sure that he is as able a man as his father. freeing up CinC Atlantic for new Admiral "Coach" Jonas Howard Ingram.

“On the Road to Mandalay” The paper has a “colour” story about Army engineers running the railway above Myitkyina with “locomotives” improvised from jeeps during the recent fighting.

“The Champ Comes Home” President Roosevelt arrived in Washington this week to begin Term IV, was promptly asked if he intended to run in 1948. I am officially sick to death of the 1948 campaign.

Various persons are resigning from the Administration, including the War Labour Board’s William Hammatt Davis, George W. Taylor, Frank P. Graham. Frances Perkin

and Cordell Hull might be out, while the appointments of Ambassador to China and War Mobilisation and Reconversion are open.  The paper is also upset at James Michael Curley of Boston, and is excited by new arrivals including cowboy Glenn Hearst Taylor of Idaho, pretty Helen Gahagan Douglas, who is quite sweet for a San Francisco Democrat, Emily Taft Douglas, distant relative of the Tafts, and grey, matronly Mrs. Chase Going Woodhouse (whose family you will know by a slightly different form of the name), a political economy professor from a Connecticut college. William J. Gallagher, a 69 year-old retired street sweeper, is joining the House from Minneapolis, and so is a left-wing, ex-college instructor turned shipyard worker from Seattle named Hugh de Lacy.

“What PAC Did” People are divided on whether the impact of the CIO’s Political Action Committee was more positive than negative.

“Post-Mortem” Republican strategists agree that since a shift of a mere 303,414 votes would have sufficed to give Dewey a bare electoral victory, Roosevelt didn’t really win in a meaningful way. Democrats counter that since a mere 282,000 votes would have given the President a 48 state sweep, it was really a rout. The President’s 4.8 million 1940 plurality was cut by almost a million votes, mainly because “sullen Southerners” stayed home. Dewey ran better than any losing candidate since 1924, but behind Willkie in five states. Returned is Pennsylvania’s Robert Fleming Rich, who owns a textile town and likes to “jump on the House floor after the prayer, wave the daily Treasury statement overhead, and shout: “Were are we going to get the money?” I don’t know, Senator Rich. I imagine that Congress will ask its father for a job, and then do some inside trading on the stock.

Oh, and one Claire Booth Luce was re-elected, too, in spite of New Dealers pouring money and speakers into Fairfield County in an attempt to defeat her, the whole “Broadway-Browder Axis,” in Congresswoman Luce’s words. Pure, objective journalism establishes that, on a district by districtcount, the factory girls of Bridgeport made her a kind of heroine,” while the “station-wagon vote” in commuting areas was less warm to her. She’s a working class hero! The scale of her victory is apparently shown by the narrowness of her winning margin, by some nicely mathematical demonstration that I am too dense to follow

“Triumph of Honesty” Columbia has cracked, ending the recording strike. Our friend can work with orchestras again. I am not sure about the Andrews Sisters. Some of us girls don’t naturally take to home and family, and it would be a pity if the Sisters were squeezed out of the business. Meanwhile, I am struck by the paper’s mean-spirited anger. It’s angle, of course, is that American Federation of Musicians’ chieaf James Caesar Petrillo is just playing the angle, and it does not even mention the union’s position that some kind of royalties arrangment is needed for studio musicians.

“Try a Pipe” The cigarette shortage has pipe tobacco salesmen discern a trend to pipes, especially by women, normally do delicate for things like pipes, roll-your-owns and snuff.  It’s the coming thing!

Canada is having a conscription crisis, while their army is celebrating the taking of the Scheldt. Since it was as muddy as Passchendaele, it was just like WWI. Except for the losing the battle part. Or the incompetence. The casualties were lower, too, come to think of it. Oh! And there was a point to the battle. But apart from that, it was just like the Third Battle of Ypres. The paper, which apparently wants the war to go on as long as possible, makes fun of General Daser for surrendering Walcheren. He is “fussy,” and “individualistic.” The Government has meanwhile ordered manufacturers to resume production of 5 cent cigars, although they will cost 7-and-a-half cents, because of cost of living. It will still be an improvement from paying 10 to 25 cents for brands no-one has ever heard of.
“Dangerous Terrain” The Army is fighting with the National Guard over the structure of the postwar conscript army.

 “Lynching Bee” Forty-three Coloured soldiers, employed as stevedores at Fort Lawton, and charged with involvement in the riot in which Italian POW Guglielmo Olivotto was lynched, have been ordered to stand trial, three on charges of murder. In England, court martial handed down sentences of hard labour for life to 9 Coloured soldiers who shot up a hotel in Kingsclere, Hampshire after an altercation with MPs.

“Mobsters Abroad”  It is noticed that the rampant black market/hijacking scene in Italy has drawn Allied deserters into the mobster life.

“Where are the Nurses?” The Army Nurse Corps is either understrength, or its personnel are misallocated. Opinions differ. The paper suggests that only a female draft will solve the problem.

“Cuddles and Snuggles” Are the two new WAC uniforms for arctic and tropical dress. “Ankle high field shoes!” Because boots might accidentally be flattering.


“B-29’s Big Sister” The Boeing Strato-Cruiser gets its debut in the paper. It is a “big sister” in the sense that the passenger fuselage is much larger than the bombers, but it still has “2200hp engines,” meaning the same, fire-prone Wright engine installation. So, no thanks, Boeing. My husband is not flying on one of those if I have anything to say about it, thank you very much, Renton. Not even at a cruise speed of 340mph, and a “fantastically low direct cost of 1 cent per mile,” or 11 cents/mile with all the bows and flourishes. Boeing foresees the two-decker postwar airliner having cabin berths on the top floor and either cargo or a cocktail lounge on the bottom. 

I should like, dear father-in-law, to imagine that I am too young to remember being promised that I would promenade and dance my way across the Atlantic in vast dirigibles. Alas, I am not. Perhaps, though, I will be able to indulge myself in one of these new powder rooms on my way to Honolulu or New York while I still have something worth powdering!

“The New Beveridge” Beverdige’s plan for “cradle-to-grave” security for the British people is only possible with a “socialisation of demand,” with “the state subsidising consumption.” I think this means giving people money during a business depression so that they can eat. Although then we circle round to world trade and the balance of payments. The report will be published in America by W. W. Norton next year.

“Liquor Holiday II” The War Production Board is relaxing controls on liquor production for the holidays again. Not very surprising given the bumper corn crop, the paper says.

“International Trade Conference” American businessmen had a national conference in upstate New York to talk about talking about international trade. I notice that British manufacturers are looking for a deal on their debt for American machine tools, on the grounds that American machine tools cost twice as much as comparable British tools, an odd way to achieve full technical efficiency, one would think. Eric Johnston was there, though not to say anything that had me feeling like jerking his leash, which is just as well, as I feel guilty every time I have those thoughts, like some Anglo-Irish lady complaining that the peasants just aren’t deferential enough about their dying-of-the-Potato-Famine. Professor Going is still the better model for our people, though! (Though she has the advantage in a nose favouring her mother's people.)

The Government got rid of only $85 million in surplus property last month. It has a long way to go. For example, when the war began, there were approximately 900,000 machine tools in the United States. Now the Federal Government alone owns between 500,00 and 600,000, over 25 years of normal prewar production. It needs to get rid of them without swamping the market. Tricky! 

“Invitation to Fratricide” The U. S. Government will subsidise exports of cotton and wheat to clear American surpluses. Some are concerned that this will lead to a massive international trade war, because it is dumping.

“Pig-Squeal” Radio William Burnett Benton, founder of the Muzak Corporation, went to the FCC to ask for three FM channels, which would be broadcast over the air, but on a subscription model, with subscribers getting devices to filter out a “pig-squeal” jamming signal. The New York Times is against it.

Science, Medicine, Etc

The Nobel prizes for 1943 and 1944 were awarded together this week. The 1943 award went to Otto Stern, a German refugee in America. The 1944 award went to an Austrian refugee, for a change, Isidor Isaac Rabi, currently at MIT’s Radiation (electronics) Laboratory. George v. Hevesy, a Hungarian refugee from Copenhagen’s Institute of Theoretical Physics, wins for Chemistry in 1943. As the paper notices, eight of the last ten Nobel physics awards have gone to atomic researchers. Hevesy has also been associated with work in “splitting the atom.”

“The Rape of the Ants” It has come to the paper’s attention that too many women still read it. The Germans stole a Dutch Jesuit entomologist’s collection of ants, by the way. Dr. Cecil v Bonde, South Africa’s fisheries director, claims that he may be  able to forecast the weather by hanging out dead fish.

“Harlem Shuffle” The first U.S. private hospital to take both white and Coloured physicians, Sydenham, has failed to collapse into anarchy after a full year of race mixing in semi-private rooms. “The hospital’s Negro backers hope that the proportion of Negroes does not get too high,” as this would defeat the purpose of the experiment.

“Plentiful Penicillin” Will be available in about six months. Eye, nasal and ear infections are all showing progress with experimental penicillin treatment, which is also efficacious for multiple boils in children.

Tsutsugamushi,” a tick-borne disease endemic to tropical areas of the Far East, is now afflicting American troops. At least the Army has the grace to be defensive about uniform footwear. 

“The Eyes of a Schoolboy” Horrid little prat Harris Wofford, Jr., is pressing forward to create a chapter of his Student Federalist Union in every precociously upwardly mobile high school in America. Various high-minded people, such as LIFE editor David Cort, approve. It’s to promote world union, but not from some awful left-wing perspective. A middle-wing one!

Press, Literature, Etc.

Cy Sulzberger has been made chief foreign correspondent at the New Yoirk Times at the age of 32. The paper notices that he is the nephew of the publisher. The paper finds “Marmaduke’s” column in the recent London World’s Press News to be hilarious, because it proposes that “Charge of the Light Brigade” would never have passed the censor if they had such a thing in his day. Didn’t they? That seems odd. Also odd is that the War Production Board waited until 10 November to announce a fine to the pro-New Deal Chicago Sun for exceeding its paper ration. Somehow also a news story is the autobiography of Ozarks itinerant preacher, Reverend Guy Howard. Hillbillies are quaint!

The paper likes None but the Lonely Heart for its portrayal of poverty in the East End of London in the 1930s, and Cary Grant for pushing the project through and bringing Ethel Barrymore back to the moving pictures. And only two months before the academy is polled for the Oscar awards, too! Rainbow Island is a technicolour magic kingdom in which Dorothy Lamour wears a sarong and has an “aquacade” and a “purification” scene. 

It is apparently a parody of “sarong and tomtom pictures,” with their Hollywood-style “Oriental music,” though, so that’s all right. 

Not this song, but aren't they cute?

Artist Marsden Hartley is dead. Albertos Santos-Dumont is still dead. Wells Lewis, son of Sinclair Lewis, has been killed in action in France, and Georges Suarez, in the same country, by firing squad for collaboration. George David Birkhoff, famed Harvard mathematician and author of an alternative theory of gravitation (to Einstein’s) has also died. Edgar Bergen insults people on the radio, but it is funny, because he uses a small-boy voice to do it. I would say that he is a ventriloquist, but how can you be a ventriloquist on the radio?

“A Revival of Reggie” Did your mother have Reginald de Koven in mind, sir? It did not use to be a family name, I know. Anyway, his operetta, “Robin Hood,” from which that old tearjerker, “Oh,Promise Me,” comes, has been revived. The paper is struck by how “rank” the dialogue is. The paper! This paper!

Books notes a new biography of Samuel Johnson by Joseph Wood Krutch, and that something called Kiss the Blood off my Hands is very popular with the Merchant Marine set.

Ann Sheridan, Andy Devine and Hedda Hopper paid off Hollywood bets on the election outcome in various amusing ways. Johnny Marquand, who has cut his writing down to one novel a year because of the income tax, credits high rates with improving writing.

Letter writers include griping soldiers who don’t like either Army men in other theatres or striking union men, and others who think that the Tuesday election date disenfranchises poor voters;, or, who, on the other hand, are secretly less pro-New Deal than their Presidential votes let on, by the evidence of their voting for Republicans in local races. Oh, and someone claims to have found the original Dirty Gertie of Bizerte.

Flight, 23 November 1944


“Towards the Setting Sun” Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert of Coastal Command agrees with other people that Fourteenth Army in Burma is the “Forgotten Army.” It is easily forgotten that airplanes are involved!

“Exit the Tirpitz” The Tirpitz has been sunk by midget submarines, bombers, torpedo bombers, Fleet Air Arm dive bombers.

“Exit the Battleship” Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

War in the Air

Tirpitz is sunk some more. A great attack is continuing on the Western Front, in spite of the weather, etc. Bristol Beaufighters shot rockets at King Zog’s palace in Albania, in case his stamp collection was still there, or something. A Japanese battleship was bombed in Malaya. Typhoons have rockets in the Far East now!

Here and There

Sir Frederick Handley Page received an Honoury Membership in the Institute of Aeronautical Science of America last week. At the presentation, the plaque fell off the mounting, but Sir Frederick fixed it good as new with a handy tube of rubber cement, not counting the half hour spent getting it unstuck from his hand. 

There is still no definitive word of Sir Trafford Legh-Mallory, and his wife, whose aircraft is overdue in southeast Asia as from November 14th. Sir Charles Craven is dead. A bust of the late Amy Johnson has been unveiled. Time may now amuse itself. An appeal for contributions to the Amy Johnson Scholarship of the Women’s Engineering Society was then circulated to attendees. A worthy cause for which I encourage you to cut a check, as well, sir. Air Commodore Geoffrey William Tuttle will command the RAF in Greece. The London-Liverpool air service was revived last week. By a DH 86. 

Next stop, the stars! The Boeing 377 Strato-cruiser exists more. 

Mr. Purbric (Con, Walton) has asked the Air Ministry to bomb Dresden, Breslau and Wroclaw in retaliation for German attacks on British civilian targets. The Air Minister’s deputy in the House replied that Bomber Command targets are selected by their strategic value, and not on a policy of retaliation. Mr. Murray Stewart dismisses as glib overestimates calculations that “thousands” of airliners would be required after the war. There were only 1800 in the world in 1939! AirVice-Marshal Dickson received the Order of Suvarov in a recent ceremony in Rome. It comes with a free Russian rail, bus and tram pass for life, and a monthly subvention, payable at any Soviet embassy.

B. J. Hurren, “Pacific Struggle: A Story of the Development of the Far East Conflict: Rise of the Aircraft Carrier and Carrier Aircraft” Hurren wants us to know that the Pacific is large, which makes the Far East far away. The Spanish have a proverb that this means that no-one cares about B. J. Hurren. The Spanish are a wise people.

“The Bristol Freighter” A Bristol plane that does not exist yet will have an operating cost of one shilling per ton-mile. It will have an initial gross weight of 27,600, a cargo load of 9000lbs at a range of 300 miles. It will be arranged to carry quite bulky things. We keep doing these things. Eventually, I am sure, it will work out.

“Civil Aircraft Engines” A summary of Mr. Hives’ talk to the R.Ae.S. He suggested that automatic control and good distribution will matter more than specific power. Rolls-Royce engines are excellent for this. Lord Brabazon replied that he was very confused about what the Merlin’s power actually was; Mr. Petter pointed out that fuel economy was all important and that engines should come in off the wing to reduce drag. Air Commodore Banks doubts that anyone would want to fly to Australia in thousand mile hops, so that large airliners of high performance will be required. Dr.Roxbee Cox still thinks that 600 ton airliners re feasible. Various respondents pointed out that work needed to be done with pressurisation, blind landing, under carriages.

Behind the Lines

Lt. Colonel Rudel and Captain Hartmann have been sent to Hungary to stop it from surrendering more. Lt. Otto Dommeratzky and Lt. Colonel Freiherr von Gravenreuth have been killed in action. The Danish resistance is very daring. German industry has dispersed. An Essen newspaper reports that the towns of the Ruhr really have been heavily affected by bombing. V.2s are good for German morale, according to a recent poll.

C. B. Bailey-Watson, “Modern Airscrews—IV: Elements and Procedure of Blade Design” This is mainly a discussion of blade aerodynamics, although it does go into elements of manufacture, notably the painstaking process of balancing them, especially the hollow, steel forged ones. It certainly is striking that airscrews have gone from absorbing less than 800 horsepower to more than 2000 in six years, and this is down to progress in aerodynamic design as much as the mechanical effort to put ever more blades on the drives. I just find it boring, because it is all been subsonic fluid dynamics to this point, and comparatively easy to model mathematically.

Studies in Aircraft Recognition

Today we learn to tell the WatenebeJake float reconnaissance bomber from the Arado Ar 196, because this is a useful thing to know. Or perhaps I am being unfair, and the point is that the Arado plane influenced the Japanese plane?

“Q.F. Mosquito” Coastal Command has a Mosquito which carries a six-pounder Q.F., or 57mm cannon. To shoot at submarines, and not because boys will be boys.


W. Adam Woodward compares the V.2 launching process to the giant gun that fires the explorers to the Moon in Jules Verne’s From Earth to the Moon. Not content with that completely misleading comparison, he moves on to something about steam propulsion of toys.  J. H. Lower, of the R.Ae.S., is disappointed with the quality of current talking about talking about civil aviation, and whishes more would be said about flying boats. L. B. Greensted ridicules the recent article on test flying in a way that might cause him to regret signing his own name to the letter, and A. R. Ogston agrees with Mr. Shackleton, not “Anti-Squirt,” who at least had the sense to remain anonymous while saying silly things about one of Britain’s foremost aviation writers.

Service Aviation Understands that some girls do read the paper.

Time, 27 November 1944


“Chiang Reorganises” Cheng Chen and Yu Hung-chun are in, Ho Ying-chin and H. H. Kung are out.
The paper is dreadfully . . . afraid, yes, that’s the word, afraid. . . that there will be turmoil, civil war, communism, and, in general, excitement in postwar Europe. As opposed to rebuilding, working, having families, with no fuss, no bother, and no interesting news stories. That would be a . . . good thing. Yes, a good thing. Speaking of . . .preventing, yes, preventing . . . turmoil, the paper approves of the Belgian deflation, in spite of the popular resistance to it.

Wang Ching-Wei has died.

Speaking of the bad people, the government of Eire has refused to rule out giving sanctuary to any German political exiles in advance, and General Peron seems to be getting the upper hand on other members of the Argentine junta.

“Winter” Winter has slowed down the fighting on the Western Front. The war will not be over by Christmas. At home, the end of the Indian Summer in the East has brought war production down to a trickle, for reasons ranging from weather-related transportation woes to reconversion to the persistent labour shortage. “the new ice box, the new car and the civilian helicopter were no longer just around the corner.”

“Crisis –New Style” Further to the above, there is a crisis in American war production as consumption far exceeds expectations. The example of the Gopher Ordnance Works in Rosemont, near Minneapolis, is cited. A typical cornfield-to-factory project, it was finished in a year, stood idle for two, and the, last February, dismantling began. But now it is in a rush-rush push to get out nitric acid for ammunition. The reason is that we’re running out of trucks in Europe, need 500 tires daily, have expended 300,000 rounds of 105mm ammunition in two weeks at Aachen. The fighting in Leyte has opened up a whole new front in ammunition consumption, Artillery ammunition consumption, in general, was heavily underestimated. And then there is the manpower shortage. We are  200,000 workers short nationally, but that is counting up bottleneck shortages. No-one is exaggerating the threat, but last week the Army was flying 400lb shells to the Rhine.

“Ike’s Answer” The “climactic battle in the West,” which the nay-sayers –that is, my delightful, smelling-of-hair-tonic old Jesuit professor friends—said would not come until the spring, is on now! Six Allied armies are smashing the tough outposts of Germany on a 450 mile front. Also, Italy.

“As in Normandy” A combined-arms offensive like the ones waged in Normandy is cracking German resistance around Aachen, while the Germans attempt to husband their reserves, to protect the Rhine’s west bank. The day may not be far off when “Ike” Eisenhower launches all his reserves, including the airborne army, into “one bold stroke for finality.”

“La Pucelle” Metz might soon fall to Patton. Belfort has fallen to de Lattre de Tassigny.

“Too Soon” Slovakia had an anti-German rebellion. Hardly anyone noticed, but credit for effort.

“Alias Graph” It is announced that the Royal Navy captured German submarine U-570, renamed it “HMS Graph.” Father McMahon points out that this is standard Royal Navy practice. The real story is that they waited until 1944 was almost over to announce it, which rather implies that they captured the craft’s codebooks, an interesting sidelight of history, at least if we ever hear about it in detail. (He is currently immersed in a huge French book about the Seven Years War which goes on at length about French spies in British pay, amongst many other things, so perhaps he has these things on the brain.)

“Power of the V-2” Speaking of, the paper points out that what the Allies might actually know about the V-2 is a security secret. Except its fuel, which they could do something bout, which is why they bombed oil storage depots last week. I am confused; haven’t we been bombing petroleum industry targets since 1940? Also, it turns out that the V-2 is a ballistic rocket, which is still news, no matter how many times we are told. All this story needs now is a mention of rocket-firing Typhoons and a sly comment about new instruments that let our planes see in the dark.

“On the Flank” Hungary is surrendering more. And being overrun. The Hungarian War Ministry promises troops higher pay and postwar jobs, and even “adequate warm clothing.” Little Steelers, take note. You can get management to offer a pay raise; you just have to be on the verge of being overrun by the Red Army. Hmm… capitalists, their money, communists on the march. It’s almost as though… No, can’t be.

“A Matter of Supply” On this page, the paper believes in the “Burma-Ledo Road.”  Chrysler’s Dodge Division announced sending several thousand trucks of “special design” for the road, beginning in November. Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Daniel Sultan had Bhamo surrounded, “needed only 65 more miles to link India with the Burma Road.” The question is how long before the Burma road is retaken. That might happen sooner. The inconvenient problem is that, if it happens, it will be accomplished by Anglo-Indian troops, and then Chiang will fall on his knees in gratitude before the English. I’m much funnier than Edgar Bergen. 

“Rain and the Enemy” Progress in the battle for Leyte has slowed down as the typhoon brings heavy rains.

“Story of Victory” The Navy Department this week released a summary report on the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the related question of whether Admiral Halsey was too stupid to be a fleet commander because of nurture, old age or college football injuries. The conclusion is that the premise is wrong, that Halsey is actually a military genius, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. 

“Iron Man” 45-year-old Colonel Henry Pierson Crowe of the Marine Corps had been cleared to return to duties after being severely wounded in Saipan. His friends in the Corps nicknamed him "Jim" Crowe. Oh, Marine Corps, you.

“Curtain Raisers”  Comparing the two fronts, American observers are agreed that Japanese troops are ill-equipped, fanatical and “dumb.” Contempt for the enemy seems like a fantastic attitude to cultivate in your troops, I must say. Even of the dwarf barbarians.

“Runner-Up” Commander David McCampbell’s rapid rise up the ace tables merits a full article.


The President makes fun of Harry Byrd for overspending on the inaugural ceremony, and Senator McKellar of Tennessee aims to take the Presidency pro tempore of the Senate. Paul Porter is to be Chairman of the FCC, no word yet on the Ambassadorship to China, although Major General Hurley is said to be in the running.

“Dead Duck” The Dies Committee is “lame duck” due to the defeat and retirement of most of its members. The paperlooks forward to a day without an irresponsible Congressional committee lookingfor communists under every bed.

“Exhibit A” The Davis Committee, created to investigate the Bureau of Labour Stastic’s estimates of the rise in the cost of living, finds that theincrease was, indeed, only 30% over a period where the BLS had measured 23.4%. Some Congressmen believe that the actual increase in the cost of living is much higher, but “hidden.” This may be because the report will be used against Little Steel. Higher profits, without a higher cost of living, suggest that employers can afford higher wages.  To non-employers, anyway. Employers realise that wages are always too high.

“No Concrete Jeep” The WWI monuments around the nation now seem dreadfully stodgy. (I’m a little hurt. I like sitting on the steps of ours.) Anyway, the idea is that WWII’s monuments will be more practical: memorial parks; a youth activity centre to combat teenage juvenile delinquence; American Legion halls; scholarships for veterans, and the like.  Certainly no statues of jeeps.

“Stay Home” The president of Simmons Travel warns that European summer vacations are years away. “Assuming that the global war lasts another three years,” passports won’t be issued for another two, because of very good reasons which the company president does not need to explain. So while you might have contemplated saving money against a flight(!) to Europe in the summer of 1946, you should, in fact, see the Grand Canyon or Mexico this summer. I don’t know. I kind of suspect self interest here.

“Wrap it as a Gift” Traditionally, the Christmas shopping season started at Thanksgiving, but it seems to be creeping earlier this year. Guilty with an explanation, your honour!

“The Bishops Speak” American Catholic bishops are agreed that world peace is nice. The Baptists announce that they are reconsidering the virtues of eternal war.

“November Vacation” Governor Dewey goes on vacation in Georgia, fires his campaign organiser. At least no reporters had the bad taste to ask about 1948, and the paper is kind enough to pretend that this is about the 1946 gubernatorial election. Because everyone is just so excited about an off-year state election.

“Golden Opportunity” The Anti-Cigarette Alliance sees a silver lining in the cigarette shortage. Dorothy Thompson, by way of contrast, claims to be smoking a pipe tobacco blend called “Strange Fruit.” I know that not everyone is hip to the Greenwich scene, but Miss Thompson is a news reporter, for Heaven’s sake.

“The Secret” People are awful.

Canada is having a conscription crisis. It also notices renewed interest in the old scheme of a “seaway” which would make it possible for ocean going ships to reach the Great Lakes, incidentally control flooding, generate considerable hydroelectricity and create many postwar jobs. It sounds good. But, then, I am sure that that old scheme of a trans-Saharan edible-oil pipeline that Uncle George uncovered seemed like a  good idea to someone, at some point.

“Ike’s Answer” The “climactic battle in the West,” which the nay-sayers –that is, my delightful, smelling-of-hair-tonic old Jesuit professor friends—said would not come until the spring, is on now! Six Allied armies are smashing the tough outposts of Germany on a 450 mile front. Also, Italy.

“And Dishonourable Discharge” The Mare Island mutineers were sentenced last week to various terms of imprisonment, followed by dishonourable discharge.

“Christmas Come But Once” Christmas was celebrated early for three-year-old Forest (“Nubbins”) Hoffman, dying of sarcoma of the bladder. He was surrounded by gifts sent by well-wishers from around the nation. Well, I have a tear in my eye.

Science, Medicine, Etc

“V-3?” London is rife with rumours that the V-3 will be an atomic bomb, provoked by repeated attacks on the Norwegian heavy water plan at Rjukan, rebuilt by the Nazis after its destruction by the RAF and Norwegian partisans last year. A dispatch cleared by British censors reports that
“According to this account, the Nazis may have discovered an entirely new approach to atomic explosives. Before wartime censorship blacked out all talk of atomic experiments, it was known that most scientists put their atom-smashing hopes mainly in cyclotronic bombardment of atoms with deuterons—the heavy hydrogen nuclei derived from heavy water. Individual atoms have been smashed, but in a bomb atoms must explode in quantity, each disintegrating atom setting off others. The new Nazi experiments are said to be along lines suggested by the composition of the "White Dwarf," companion of Sirius, which is the densest known star.The White Dwarf is so dense (specific gravity: 61,000) that a cubic inch of its substance weighs about one ton. Physicists believe that ordinary atoms could not be compressed to such density, and they suppose that the tremendous pressures and high temperature of the White Dwarf have broken up its atoms, letting their space-hungry electrons escape and leaving only the much more compact atomic nuclei.The speculative London report suggested that the Nazis are using the same pressure principle to crush atoms. The crusher: A "Neuman" demolition charge, which explodes inward instead of outward. Used in a sphere, the Neuman charge might develop pressures of tens of thousands of tons per square inch at the center, perhaps enough to disintegrate an unstable atom such as uranium and release its explosive atomic energy. British scientists believe that such an explosion, though not far-reaching in area, would develop unheard-of violence at the point of impact.”
The introduced detail of the all-neutron matter detected by astronomers seems confused here. As I understand it, energy is released atomically either by forcing the positron-neutron nuclei of light atoms to “fuse,” producing heavier atoms and incidentally releasing energy; or by forcing the nuclei of heavy elements to “fission,” as when unstable isotopes of uranium spontaneously split up (which is what causes ionising radiation). Both processes overcome forces that are only seen at the atomic scale, but it is the former, not the latter, which is seen in the far reaches of space –and in healthy, wholesome sunlight, which does not care that I dipped into chemistry textbooks to elucidate this story for my dear father-in-law, who should be grateful at my sacrifice. Why, it is barely more of a science than biology!
“Superman of the Waldorf” John J. O’Neill, science editor of the New York Herald-Tribune, tis week publishes a biography of Nikolai Tesla, describing him as a “superman –unquestionably one of the world’s greatest geniuses.” My gentle husband, home with his children for a day all too rarely these last few weeks (apparently there is much pressure from the Fleet for the new director after the Japanese suicide air attacks), nearly wastes one in acold rage. Fortunately, “Miss V. C.” intervenes, and he spends a good hour ranting before her and your youngest about the inequities of the American patent system and the ways of the patent fraud, while they gamely act interested. It’s rather more maturity than I expect of teenagers, and it worked wonders on James.
“Preparing Fathers” Dr. George De Swiet gives a talk to a London working women’s conference on the subject of special fortifying diets for prospective fathers.  
“Malaria Secret” Mayor La Guardia announces that New York’s Public Research Institute had discovered a vaccine for malaria that works in animals. (Science!) Discovered by Dr. Jules Freund, the mayor hopes that it will lead to a vaccine that works in humans soon, although current developments have attracted army and navy attention and are secret. And he should know. He's the mayor!
“Rh in Marriage” The recent discovered “Rh” factor in human blood can lead to infertile marriages in incompatible couples, and it is suggested that premarital tests should look for it.
“Tonsorial Tolerance” Laws preventing Coloured barbers from working in Oberlin, Ohio, are attacked by Oberlin College students. In contrast, a State Senate investigation of the ouster of University of Texas’s liberal President, Homer P. Rainey, has finally been presented with evidence of his alleged incompetence by the Board of Regents. Specifically, Doctor Rainey was not sufficiently vigorous in handling what ought to have been a discrete morals breach by members of the faculty.
“Rye and Water” There hasn’t been nearly enough coverage of the International Business Conference in Rye, New York. Here is more, with words and everything, which we will spray at the page while waiting to think of things to say. Say, has anyone hear about my job application to The Economist, yet?
“Profits from Inches” The Big Inch Pipeline, built in 1942 to connect Texas oil fields with New Jersey, has proven quite profitable. It might not remain so after the war due to declining demand and competition from war surplus tankers. Look out for a financial play uniting tankers with pipeline to create a big oil-moving company with flexibility of means.
“Tobogganing in China” The Chungking regime is a sad joke, peddling useless paper “Chinese dollars.” The paper hopes that this will reverse itself at some point.
“American in Paris” The mystery of how American advertisers were buying billboard space in Paris almost before the city was occupied is apparently resolved. It was all one big mixup involving the Red Cross’s Allen Reasoner and Pierre Elvinger.
“Londonderry Heirs” “Ice cream, low as 8 a pint. Sure to be pure –you make it. Combine cream, milk, or evaporated milk, sugar and Londonderry. Whip –then freeze—that’s all. No ice crystals . . . 15 cents package makes 2 qts., any flavor.” Milton A. Holmes and Gladys L. Both are making mint on their product. And “Londonderry Heirs” is a hilarious play on “Londonderry Airs,” which is a double entendre, as they say in Paris.
“Try to Get It” There is relief for firms unfairly penalised by the new excess profits tax, written right into the legislation, but it is confusing and complicated and some firms are not getting it.
“Keep ‘Em Plowing” The War Food Administration wants to plow four million more acres than the record 364 mmillion acres plowed last year. This in spite of farmers, recoiling from the unfortunate lack of famine in 1944, are predicting surplus and farm-busting prices next year. The WFA is worried about weather, and also the alarming shortage of good crystal balls.
“Made in California” In spite of the “almost blasphemous rain storms” lashing Los Angeles, announcements of numerous new textile plants in California is good news for the state. Mabs of Hollywood is a good example of new fashion lines that will carry the “Made in California” brand name.
Jean Harlow in Mabs of Hollywood. Source.

Press, Literature, Etc
“Elsa at War” Knight Syndicate columnist says cruel things about Elsa Maxwell. Elsa responds in kind. In other gossip columnist news, Drew Pearson is going from United Feature to Bell, which, amongst other things, offered to distribute his column by wire instead of mimeograph, reducing press lead time from five to a day-and-a-half. Apart from being completely different in all technical details, I am minded of what we are trying to achieve for our friend. Euegene Lyons has been forced by paper restrictions to sell AmericanMercury and his true confessions and comics lines in order to start Pageant, which will compete with Reader’s Digest rather than Coronet.
The paper enjoyed Meet Me in St. Louis. So have yourself a merry little Christmas. It did not like Madomeiselle Fifi, because it was not true to the book.

In books, Robert Graves has published a critical biography of John Milton. Timely!  and Will Durant has taken time out from writing the history of everything and philosophy, too, to tell us about how ancient Rome and modern America are dangerously similar, and will no doubt go the same way unless we learn important lessons about “dole[s] of grain that [bring] men into the cities to join the workless proletariat,” birth control,  tax avoidance, and too many games and too much benefaction. So charity and family planning caused the fall of Rome. Good to know! Doctor Ella Lonn, professor of history at Baltimore’s Groucher College, has, after many years of delay, a book on the colonial agents in prewar London out, her fourth. Apparently, 200 fixers of colonial affairs worked in London prior to the Revolution.
Flight, 27 November 1944
Short wants you to know that the Sunderland is the “supreme flying boat.”
“New Under-Secretary of Air” Commander R. A.Brabner, RN, the first Fleet Air Arm flyer in that position. Captain Balfour is to become Minister Resident in West Africa. At least it’s warm and sunny.

“Performance and Purpose” In his article, “Arctic Patrol,” the paper’s correspondent complains about the inconvenient layout of the B-24. You see, Americans do things one way, and we do things another way! The paper might take notice that the B-24 was designed in 1938, when Consolidated had hardly a clue what it was doing.
“The Civil Air War” Talking about talking about civil aviation, incivilly.
War in the Air
The weather still means that airplanes were not involved, even though Strasbourg has been liberated. Tempests and V. 2s exist more, and Typhoons have rockets. Chiang’s reorganisation is important, becacuse Japan “must” be defeated on land in China. Merely invading the Japanese homeland and imposing terms in the bombed-out ruins of Tokyo will be  insufficient, for some reason.  Tirpitz is still sunk.
Here and There
Mr. J. Nelson has resigned the secretaryship of Saunders-Roe on the completion of 25 years of service. Twenty million Airgraphs were sent from the United Kingdom to India in the last year. Mr. W. R. Groves, hydraulic engineer, has been appointed chief engineer of Turner Manufacturing of Wolverhampton. The Martin Marauder III has twelve .50 calibre machine guns. Because boys will be boys. A Spanish glider pilot has set a new soaring record, and even at that height could still see no signs of Fascism. Finland has scrapped its blackout. Naafi Christmas fare will not be extended to German and Italian prisoners or to Italian “co-operators.” The paper “jokes” that we have become brutal. The Swiss air mail via Lisbon has been interrupted again.
W. S. Shackleton, “Horace Says: The Square Cube Law –ModernVersion” An American ad says that 25,000 planes have flown the Atlantic, enough to cover most of England. Horace, his “tame stressman” makes  numerical fun. It is a good return to form by Shackleton, and your youngest read the whole out to an amazingly indulgent “Miss V.C,” doing his best not to choke up in laughter. Nicely done for an almost-Christmas number!

John Yoxall, “Arctic Patrol: ‘Bluenoses of Northern Latitudes: Work of V.L.R. Liberators: Navigational Problems” A VLR Liberator takes 2500 gallons of fuel –more than a lorry load—to fly a meteorological reconnaissance mission north of the Arctic Circle, where navigation is hard and compasses do not really work. Icing is a problem on the ground as well as the air; wings have to be sprayed every three hours on the field, and planes must be heated to keep oil from congealing. The Liberator lacks a galley, which is inconvenient. (As we have heard from our courier many times!) The radio-altimeter, a long-promised, never delivered Western Electric improvement of the prewar era, is indpsensable, as is the Leigh-light for attacks. The Honeywell-Minneapolis autopilot is excellent, and the only special maintenance problem is with the c.s.u airscrew.
In short news, the Canadian Air Minister, C. G.Power, has resigned over conscription, and Doctor Lanchester has received a medal from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Behind the Lines
Lt. Kurt Ebner has been shot down. The paper takes a rather unseemly pleasure in reporting that the German army is said by the German press to have plenty of urban ruins in which to practice street fighting now.  German factories are increasing their second shifts, and working ever more hours. To withstand the strain, “stimulants” are available. The German press notes caffeine and cola. The Germans are building more underground factories, lit by “low pressure mercury lamps” that give artificial daylight.
“Controlling as a Career” Indicator discusses airfield controllers and suggests that is a career for the right kind of person. No “plonks or prunes,” please! Indicator thinks that they should have pilot training, but should not be retired service pilots.
“Air Route Facilities” The R.Ae.S. talks about civil aviation. Well, it’s an improvement.
“Chicago” and “The Future of the I.A.T.A” On the other hand….
Studies in Aircraft Recognition
By some horrifying misfire, actually relevant planes are discussed: the Hawker Tempest and Typhoon.
Alfred Battle thinks that tailwheel aircraft where the passengers must climb a “slight” elevation are just fine. Mr. Battle might want to take his turn on the perambulator at some point. 

K. W. Gatland of the “Combined British Astronautical Societies” thinks that the interplanetary implications of the V. 2 should be considered. He calculates that a two-stage V.2 could reach orbit with 100lbs of instrumentation. Or New York, with a very small bomb….J. H. Stevenson is disappointed that only experts get to talk about talking about civil aviation and gives it a turn. Arraph wishes that the discussion of same involved more flying boats.  
And now for the monthlies –Or a gallop through Aero Digest,anyway.

The  paper wants to talk about reconversion, the history of Wright aeroengines

, and what makes a good smoothing compound. I confess to being more immediately struck by a “Letter from England” by John W. Morrison, which, being published in Aero Digest, is allowed to mention a version of the Hawker Tempest with the Bristol Centaurus engine, of which I know, officially, nothing. I assume that is supposed to be a rival to the American 2000 hp plus radials, and is a sleeve valve, so with better specific power on a smaller installation, but with more expensive maintenance. The paper editorialises that the country needs an independent air force, and that anyone who disagrees is some kind of rat fink or navy stooge, for example Hanson W.Baldwin. I also learn that the DC-4 is ready to be shown. Not that DC-4, or the other one. The new one. In the November 15th number, I learn that quite a large numbe of people worked for the industry in World War II, and that perfidions British officials are coming to steal our civil aviation. “Washington In Formation” reports that the new DC-7 will be something, and that Ford is building a flying bomb to bombard Japan. Alexander Klemin writes on helicopter engineering, and there is quite a long article on the design of the B-24 –a dollar short, since Aviation’s came out months ago, but interesting nonetheless. Mr. Burnelli is still flogging his flying wingie-thingie about, and many people worked in the aircraft industry in this war, ranging from old craftsmen 

to pretty young things.

So even if a month too early, as the scolds scowling at we, the early Christmas shoppers are sure to say, it is never too early to wish you a 

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