Saturday, August 1, 2015

Postblogging Technology, June, 1945, II: The Defence Advances

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

Dearest Father:

It is I, Dame Grace, writing this to congratulate you on your appearance in the Birthday Honours. Does that sound stilted? Because one is given to understand that Dames write about themselves in the third person in English, and this is the closest one can achieve. Not that one is calling one's attention to the fact that the correct appellation in English is now "Dame Grace." One would never be so over the moon at . . . 

I shall stop. And I shall not kiss the lips of my husband any the more fervently when I see him for his being now "Sir James." Though I shall be ever so grateful for the new styling, if it means not having to field the line about "Captain C_., eh? Any relation to the Captain C_.?" "Well, yes," one would reply. And then. . .

To be fair, most Americans --most people, I should say-- are unaware that no children of his marriage lived to adulthood.  So they would not know that they were being whimsical --or hitting on an unacknowledged truth. And so one danced around the facts, and the implications of the answer, depending on what one wanted to imply, and to whom, especially, of course, about the mother. 

How did I get on to that? Perhaps it is that I am giddy; or that I am tired and out of time for having my time and schedule abruptly reversed by the sudden retirement of our housekeeper's father from his position at FMC. As he says, he has money enough to live comfortably, and a farm to keep up, and, I suspect, the same burgeoning dreams of subdivision (on a much smaller scale) as we. What it means for me, and poor Fanny, is more domestic work than we are used to doing, at least until things settle down over there. I am almost tempted --almost-- to broach the subject with the Wongs. But I shall be strong. Their daughter is to improve herself through education, and not be immured in domestic service. It may begin as "temporary," but who knows when it would end. If making breakfast for myself is the cost of keeping the Wongs' loyalty, I can manage it, although a man, before judging, should try it with the load which I am carrying around with me. 

So you will be glad to know that your son has not washed out of training, will not wash out of training, indeed, will place high in his class. He sounds only slightly melancholy at his separation from California. Miss v. Q. hangs over word of Fat Chow, who does not have much reason to stay in Japan, one would think. Except for bizarre invitations on a a trip to Turkestan via Manchuria for reasons unclear. Professor L has contacted me about the Amerasia matter, of which more anon.

As for the telephone installation in Couer d'Alene, are you teasing me? I am pretty sure that "Miss V. C." has more on her mind than receiving calls from beaus, as, after all, Lieutenant A was in town last week --I bet many a young officer would want a commission so liberal! (Speaking of, Miss v. Q.'s invitation east is now firm, but she has put it off until after her roommate is couched.)

We are glad to receive your intimation that methods and techniques are afoot to bring the war to a rapid, if not humane conclusion, for, as the Prime Minister puts it, we are looking through now towards the sunny uplands. . .

A vision of the American utopia, brought to you by Pontiac. 

Time, 18 June 1945


Allison Moore of Culver City, California, pleads for understanding with the Russians; Wolfram Hill of St. Paul points out that Russians would not be Communists if they weren’t Christians; Wei Yuan, of all people, appeals for American condemnation of Canadian anti-Japanese sentiment. A Canadian naval officer (name with-held) suggests that Halifax deserved to be plundered and looted, as some Haligonians were rude to the Navy. A random American soldier in Italy sends a letter to another soldier, who sends it to Time. It explains that the English are inferior to Americans for various reasons. Workers at the Chrysler Tank Arsenal suggest that the story about the Russian worker who bought his own tank and went to join the army might have been someone pulling the paper’s leg. The publisher writes back in his own letter to congratulate readers for being cosmopolitans who plan to travel twice as much after the war as before. So, good news for the travel industry, and I suspect the introduction to a longer article in Fortune.

Chrylser Tank Arsenal (Source). I'm told that Americans today are quite irrationaly nostalgiac for the days when they went to well-paying jobs at factories in nice cars. In 1941, this was 113 acres of land occupied by renters, in corn, buckwheat and onions in Warren Country, the "Winter Rhubarb Capital of Michigan." No bus service meant that employees had to have cars.

U.S. At War

General Omar Bradley is to be the new head of the Veterans Administration, replacing General Thomas Hines, who has been much-criticised in the last year. The President also appointed new Under-Secretaries of Agriculture and a new chairman of the National Labour Relations Board. There was talk about talking about post-war, peacetime conscription. Hearings at the OPA saw Republican conservatives argue for guaranteed profits  upon the lifting of price controls, which Chester Bowles said was inflationary. The naval air might get its own Commander-in-Chief, equal to General Arnold. Perhaps it would be Admiral Mitscher, back from the front, currently Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Air. I know I will be accused of having the awful John Towers on the brain, but I will point out that Marc is back because he is too ill to continue at the front, so the question before appointing him anything is, who will be his replacement? McCain is too painfully dumb even for the navy, and that leaves --well, it leaves Tower.  

The new Congress, as already noted, is fine with Bretton Woods. General Patton has had several welcome-back parades, plus at least one welcome-back banquet where he dissolved into tears, followed by a rally in Los Angeles, where he was introduced by General Doolittle, who actually sounds like a general. (Patton, if you haven't heard him, sounds like a male hysteric.) 

Senator Tydings went to the Philippines with a promise of independence by next year, a hundred million grant, and a three- to five-year low tariff policy. Today’s cover story is Bill Mauldin’s cartoons. Senators Burton K. Wheeler and Albert W. Hawkes went to Italy and had a forum with 250 soldiers at a Red Cross club which turned ugly when the soldiers demanded more U.S. aid for Italy. Some American soldiers are taking their leave on the Riviera, which is quite nice. Kate Louise Mitchell, Philip Jacob Jaffe, Mark Julius Roth, Navy Lieutenant John Andrew Roth, Emmanuel Sigurd Larsen, and John Stewart Service have been arrested in Philadelphia for removing top secret documents from the State Department and other agencies and publishing them in the magazine Amerasia, as well as Collier’s and the Saturday Evening Post. The paper thinks that they are communists who have been trying to influence American official policy on China, but that the real point here is a crackdown on “leaks.”

…And, page over, a four page statement by Congressman Walter H. Judd on “our ally, China.” Or, more specifically, our ally Chiang Kai-Shek. Apparently, we abandoned Chiang with our Europe-first strategy, and now owe him even more support than ever. I hesitate to even imagine how upset the paper will be if the southern republic falls. . .

Walter Judd, politician, physician, candidate for President in 1964 on the Goumindang ticket


  “The Nations: Improvement,” Regrettably for all fans of excitement everywhere, it looks like there will not be an anti-communist war this week. Meanwhile, Harry Hopkins hurried to San Francisco to save the Conference. The draft constitution of the new United Nations is discussed. The paper also publishes the draft occupation zones in Germany. Berlin is in terrible shape. There is some thought Hitler, or Eva Braun, his newlywed wife, might still be alive. Pastor Niemoller reveals that even though he was anti-Nazi, he still volunteered to serve in the Germany submarine arm, because he was, after all, a patriotic German. The Pastor, and Chancellor v. Schuschnigg are agreed that everything was all Hitler’s fault. There is discussion of the legal briefs for the war crimes trials, and a post-mortem is underway already in Damascus.

“Blood, Gas and Morality” Japan has not been invaded, and has 1.75 million men under arms in the home islands. Given the losses caused by 85,000 on Okinawa, should we consider the use of poison gas? There are questions of morality, and of America’s reputation for humanity, and of course the fact that it is an untried weapon, at least of aerial bombardment. The bombardment continues, with B-29s raiding Osaka by day, escorted by P-51s, and carrier planes attacking Kyushu. The Japanese are reported to have new, faster fighters, and the Navy responds with the F-7F Tigercat. 

"F7F-3P Tigercat" by Kogo - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons -

The Japanese are retreating in south China, and have lost Naha Airfield on Okinawa. Homer Bigart, frontline correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, suggests that the Okinawa campaign only went on so long because the Army was so cautious, and that the Marines should have been landed behind Japanese lines. Columnist David Lawrence thinks that the campaign was the most incompetent American military performance since Pearl Harbour, and suggests that the Navy’s heavy losses were due to the bungling that delayed the conquest. (Chester, I'm told, is livid.) The Japanese suffered an Australian invasion of north Borneo, and the American troops in the Philippines are still offending, attacking, and taking territory from Yamashita in the north, long after –I here in my mind, “long after Bataan has fallen.” “Explained one grinning, bowing Jap prisoner, ‘Yamashita no good.’” 
Whatever, I suppose, helps General MacArthur sleep at night. (I wonder how Yamashita would do in the early primaries?) The Marines capture a group of Korean “tea-house” girls. The quotations are not explained. 

 An amusing story of Technical Sergeant William L. Brown, of DeWitt, Arkansas, who has shown a positive gift for capturing Japanese prisoners since bounties started being offered for them. The story features much wrestling and heroic combat. I am sure that Uncle George would suggest that Technical Sergeant Brown is secretly part-Japanese, can speak the language, and just offered them a share of the bounty. The Domei News Agency celebrates “special attackers,” this time the schoolchildren of Aka island in Kerama Prefecture, who charged U.S. invaders, grenades in hand. Clearly not all Japanese are so patrioitic, as Radio Tokyo warns of spies in the nation’s midst. Probably ungrateful Korean tea-house girls.

Foreign News
Source: Time has a full facial picture, in case anyone wants' to see if their grandmother is there.

“Utopias and Nightmares” Prime Minister Churchill’s “road to serfdom” speech against the Labour party gets play. Professor Hayek is in the British general election now! He’s everywhere! And what a handsome dismal scientist he is! I am almost tempted to read his book. . .


“Out of the Mouths of Babes” “Britain’s babies, of whom there are more now than for 20 years (5687,130 versus 1925’s record 843,405) face a shortage of rubber for bottle nipples. Hilarious jokes were heard in parliament, which I would not dignify were I not busy doing my victory lap in regards the continuing rise in the British birth rate, which you will recall James and I predicting last year. Now, our assumption was that we could model national demographics on a governed, time-decaying oscillating system, which we basically made up as we went along, with the governing constrained relaxed by war conditions. By the numbers, there is not going to be any residual effect six years after the war, so perhaps we were right for the wrong reasons? Wrong for the right reasons (as we shall see in 1951?), or just seduced by a pretty model. But, so far, we are right, and that's what counts.

“A Run for the Money” Everyone in France lined up to get their share of the new paper money issue of as much as 6000 francs per head of household and 3000 per dependent. L’Epoque claims that the French national library keeps a cat on its payroll at 30 francs a year.

“Desperate Activity” In Japan, Premier Suzuki has shuffled his cabinet again, declared that Japan would fight to the last, put out, it is rumoured, peace feelers, presided over new directives to shore up sagging aircraft and munitions production, saw a hardliner replace a moderate as Imperial Household Minister, and admit to grave regional rice shortages.

“Bid for Power” Victorious in Kwangsi Province, Chiang’s armies promptly executed four Communists, while the Communist army advanced on Shanghai and the coast to the north.

I am sure that you will have heard the Canadian election news. Baron de Rothschild has won his case against the Canadian Custodian of alien property, the Supreme Court agreeing that his Canadian-held securities were never enemy property to begin with!


A small civilian ration of gasoline has had all the pleasure motorists in Britain out this weekend, where, it seems, they all broke down.
Hee: "Electrics by Lucas." (That's Lucas, not Lukas.) Source

16 million square feet of British factories have so far been reconverted for civilian production. The paper then quotes The Economist leader I’ve already quoted, and goes on to agree with it that Britain is doomed if it lets price rings and cartels keep prices high. Oliver Lyttleton calls for full technical efficiency in the automobile industry. There is trouble over superseniority for veterans. It is suggested by Ernest Schram that stocks are up too much, and someone will have to pay for all this prosperity, and it ought to be the wealthy European refugees who have supposedly been speculating tax free, since they are not American citizens, and so are not taxed. (In the two months since I sorted out James’ taxes as a temporarily resident, I have had plenty of opportunity to look back happily and thank Heavens that Uncle George is a citizen!) Steel mills are winding down production, uncertain of when war cancellations or peace orders will come in.


Walter Winchell’s daughter, the 18 year old Eileen “Walda” Winchell eloped, then annulled her marriage three days later. Colonel James Roosevelt is to have a baby by his second wife. Charlie Chaplin is in trouble in family courts again, and a remarkable number of men in the President’s new cabinet are parents to only one or two children, as was the fashion in the day. Harry Bridges’ wife is suing for divorce. Field-Marshal Montgomery is going under cover for the winter in a 75 room 17th Century castle in Oldendorf. Ex-Metroplitan Opera star Kirsten Flagstad, who has been in Norway since 1941, denied that she was a quisling and suggested that she wanted to return to the US. 

Sinclair Lewis has a reported $400,000 earnings on his new book, Cass Timberlane. The paper is appalled by the  nice coverage E. B. White gets from the New Yorker. Arthur Leslie Collin, 28, just received the first Ph.D. awarded in American culture, from Cleveland’s Case Western University. It is fine scholarship which gives the paper an excuse to put in a picture of Katherine Dunham. 
Off to a rocky start, academically speaking. But if you can titillate male readers and patronise a Black activist at the same time, that's a two-fer!

Equal opportunity. Only not really. Time has its problems with women reading it, but gays are fine. 
Theodora Roosevelt, the ballet dancer grand-daughter of the President has married. Horace Elgin Dodge, of Dodge Motors fortune fame, has married for the fourth time, to Lieutenant Clara Tinsley, an army nurse. Carl Crow has died. Father will be upset. Sixty-one is too  young. So has Sir John Arthur Marriott. George Putnam, former husband of Amelia Earhart, has also married for a fourth time, to 36-year-old Margaret Havilland, a U.S.O. executive. Hmm. HMM.

Radio, Press

“P.G. to the Market” William McCreary Ramsey II is celebrating his fifteenth year at the helm of Proctor and Gamble’s radio division, which has seen himn create shows ranging from Rudy Vallee’s Drene Show and Beatrice Kay’s Teel Variety Hall to Ma Perkins and Truth or Consequences.

Ernie Pyle’s friend, Leslie Miller, has been offered his column, and Arnaldo Cortesi’s special, uncensored despatch from Argentina has ruffled some feathers.

Art, The New Pictures, Books
A story about the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and another about Lieutenant Saul Steinberg’s book of drawings, All in Line.

Conflict is edgy, but flimsily worked out. Murder,He Says, combines the most easily (that’s bad) laughable aspects of Arsenic and Old Lace with the black humour of Charles Addam’s New Yorker cartoons, which it is probably too late to explain. That’s the Spirit is a comic fantasy and not a crime melodrama, but since it is not actually funny, perhaps they could have tried for the first, the paper implies.

Edgcumb Pinchon has a book out (Dan Sickles) about people shooting each other over an affair in Washington in 1859, which old people still care about. The murderer went on to have a long career, because he shot an adulterer.

Arthur E. Christy explains not just China, but the whole East in The Asian Legacy and American Life. Asians are spiritually advanced, it turns out.

Science, Medicine

Penicillin turns out to be an excellent treatment for intimate diseases. Sleepwalking is said to be a serious problem in neurotics. A doctor at Johns Hopkins, Curt P. Richter, claims to have found proof that rats bite men because they like the taste of human blood. Local surveys suggest that fluorine in the water supply might just about eliminate tooth decay. Nude sculptures were shown at Manhattan’s Museum of Natural History, but only for science. 

The Army’s M-74 incendiary bomb is noticed. It is a successor to the M-69, with which I may have confused it in an ill-tempered comment about last week’s Flight. Sociologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck report results showing that sentences and punishments do not deter crime, and think that they should be in the hands of psychiatrists and psychologists, who can instead aim to cure crime. Chicago physiologist Nathaniel Kleitman reports that movie-watching causes changes in the body temperature which might be correlated with its box office success. Spicy movies make teen girls hot under the collar, in other words.

Flight, 21 June 1945


“Bomber Command’s Offensive” Bomber Command has produced a history of its war. I am guessing that there will be more explanation than that of just what the paper is talking about later in this number. Meanwhile, the paper wants to point out that Bomber Command always better than the Germans; that this Bomber Command history should be read alongside an article on radar, which prospect would inspire me more if it were not described as a two-page effort (really? There’s that much to talk about?); and to disagree with the idea that Bomber Command never fought a “pitched battle” with the German Air Force the way that the Americans did. Just because the massive bomber stream flew at night rather than by day does not mean that it was not the same kind of fighting against the same enemy.

“Co-operative Research” The paper is very jealous of the two splendid new American wind tunnels. Air Commodore Banks, expected last week to talk about fuel chemistry, was instead on again about the “compressibility wall,” which is the point where objects moving through air cease to encounter it as air (infinitely compressible) and have not yet begun to reliably encounter it as, say, water (completely incompressible.) Physically, one bit of the wing is straight, and encounters infinitely incompressible. Another bit is curved so much, and encounters air that is infinitely compressible. But they are joined by a third section which encounters air which is in-between the two states. Mathematically, a constant term is replaced with a variable which depends on speed, giving  an unsolvable partial differential equation.  We either solve this problem by building fast aeroplanes, or by building expensive wind tunnels. The American wind tunnels cost two-and-a-half-million each, and were built in Buffalo by Curtiss-Wright and Cornell; and in Pasadena by  Consolidated-Vultee, Lockheed, Douglas and North American and twill be operated by the California Institute of Technology.  In summary, British companies should also spend vast amounts on research. But not as vast as the Americans, because everyone knows that Americans are extravagant free spenders.

War in the Air

Because there’s still a war on. 

Transport Command is flying troops to India, and the invasion of Borneo was anticlimactic in its involvement of aircraft. RAF Lancasters bombed Hong Kong. The paper regards this as the first notice of British heavy bombers in that part of the world. I take it as pointless vandalism. At least, please tell me that it is pointless, that Hong Kong will not be flattened in order to save it!

Here and There

The paper has an air mail letter carried from Australia in Qantas’ first Lancastrian mail service run. India is to have an air force of ten squadrons initially. General Pile says that “ninety-nine and a half percent” of AA Command’s success is down to scientists. The De Havilland Goblin is the first gas-turbine engine to pass the official type test. (I am guessing that that would be a hundred hours running on a bench?) 

"Rolls Royce Goblin II cutaway". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
Also, Farnborough Council is upset that some of the RAE’s research facilities are being moved, there are concerns about how the RAF is being demobilised, an Australian makes fun of inline, air-cooled engines, and “bombers into bungalows” continues to be funny. Rolls-Royce will continue to operate the Scottish factory the Government built for it, though what it will make is not settled. Desmond is to go from the AEL to be Director of Research of the Council of the British Industrial Internal Combustion Engine Research Association. I hope there’s money in it, because I suppose this means that he’s the latest runner out of the chase for  Engineer Vice Admiral.  Eighty Waves are to go aboard NATS aircraft as navigators on overseas flights, making them the first American women on active service. Uncle Henry’s baby is said to be on its way to active service. Dunlop Rubber is to have an exhibition of all its formerly top-secret stuff.   

“Overdrive Top” We are told that in 1940, President Roosevelt wanted America to gear up to produce 50,000 aircraft a year, and now it is producing them at “the rate of 80,000” a year. Now, I understand that the paper needs a certain number of items to fill a page. But why this, and why now, and what does the title mean? American aircraft production is decreasing!

“Rocket Projectile Development” Aircraft have rockets now!

John Storey, “Australian-Built”  Australians made planes during the war. For example, Beauforts and Beaufighters, but with Wright engines, since Australian factories were up to making slap-dash poppet engines, and not silly and over-engineered sleeve valve ones. They also made domestic designs, including the Wirraway trainer and Boomerang (if they don't want people making fun of Australia, why do they--) fighter, and were just beginning to build Mosquitoes. It’s not clear to me whether or not they were making Merlins for the Mosquitoes, but I expect not. 

“Overdrive Top” We are told that in 1940, President Roosevelt wanted America to gear up to produce 50,000 aircraft a year, and now it is producing them at “the rate of 80,000” a year. Now, I understand that the paper needs a certain number of items to fill a page. But why this, and why now, and what does the title mean? American aircraft production is decreasing!

“Radar: Partial Release of Some Systems used by RAF in Defeating the Enemy by Defence, and Fighter and Bombing Attacks” Information has been released in Electronic Industries in the United States about British radar. The paper covers it. There are no details that will be new to you, so I am just going to pick out what interests Electronic Industries, which is the fact that using radar requires measuring the very small variations in phase of the reflecting from the outgoing wave, which corresponds to time differents on the order of 100 microseconds. That is some clever electrical engineering! Having run out of things to say about the article, the paper ads that various famous air marshals were involved, and that airborne equipment requires very neat little Plan Position Indicators, whereas ground installations can work off cathode ray oscilloscopes. Presumably, the “PPIs” are on their way to being very compact and accurate “CROs,” and since televisions are essentially cathode ray oscilloscopes themselves, we will see the benefit when microwave radio towers beam Uncle George’s friend (rather tiresome in large doses, I think) into our living rooms. Finally, credit is due to the Great Men of Science, Pye, Ltd, and, as I already wandered off into saying, “leading British television manufacturers.”

“New Aircraft Types” The Air Ministry is also tired of keeping secret the Westland Welkin, a high-altitude single-seat fighter with a specially-designed version of the Merlin, and a cabin supercharger; a version of the Sunderland with Pratt and Whitney engines; a version of the Halifax with Hercules engines; and a version of the Warwick with Centaurus VII engines. (That’s a lot of versions of the Centaurus for an engine we have hardly begun to hear about. Is it too much to hope for that it will soon turn up on an aircraft fit to grace the walls of your youngest?)

Too sexy for my service, too sexy by far.
 "Hawker Sea Fury FB11, UK - Navy AN0842969" by Anthony Noble - Gallery page Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons -,_UK_-_Navy_AN0842969.jpg#/media/File:Hawker_Sea_Fury_FB11,_UK_-_Navy_AN0842969.jpg

“Britain’s Largest Flying Boat” Has the paper mentioned that it is very, very excited about the Shetland? Well, it is!

“Simple Performance Testing: How the Ranger Aircraft Engine Determines Take-offs, Climbs, Glides and Landing Runs” This was the E. T. Jones lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the answer is that they do timed-exposure camera-plotted graphs, just like everyone else, but Ranger is the first aeroengine firm to set up a rig. As far as the paper knows
Indicator Discusses “Proper Propaganda: ‘Average Person’ Sublimely Ignorant of Important Facts Concering Safety: Information More Useful than Slogans” The airgoing public needs more information about maintenance, replacement, training, etc., than slogans.

“Navy Appoints First Air Admiral” Wasn’t that Admiral Phillimore? A very charming old gentleman,  for a bigoted old Tory, I thought. Anyway, it’s Dennis. B. J. Hurren spends most of a page on all of Dennis’s wonderful powers, responsibilities and such, but it is Hurren, so I am not going to read it.

“M.A.P. Exhibition” How the Ministry of aircraft Production won the war, with toys for boys. 
Dummies of very big bombs were shown, and airfield wreckers, and an older Halifax, and presumably even more exciting things.

Civil Aviation News

Tasman Empire Airways will have completed 1000 crossings of the Tasman Sea this month, bringing New Zealanders and Australians closer together than ever before, a worthy goal, I am sure. How many sheep can you fit on a . . . ? BOAC Boeings have also flown many flights. Various services here and there are authorised, forbidden, planned, flown. China, Ireland, the north of Scotland, Argentina and New Guinea are all in the news. The Tudor exists more. Now that civil aviation is happening everywhere, Congress has agreed to stop talking about talking about civil aviation next month. Without a United States of Europe to blather about, what will keep them busy? They must be very jealous of the British, who not only have the USE to talk about, but refuse to stop talking about talking about civil aviation, in the bargain.

“Bomber Command’s Offensive” According to the information box at the head, Bomber Comamnd dropped a million or so tons of bombs in just under 400,000 sorties, including about 750,000 tons of high explosives and 200,000 tons of incendiaries. It was done by night bombers, which “defeated the [German] bomber” by blowing up all the factories and such. (Mainly the “such,” as night bombers were not very good at blowing up individual factories.) Britain ultimately built 200/300 heavy bombers a month, suffered varying but often quite high casualties, faced a large night figher force, continuously adapted its tactics and techniques, used daylight raids once the German air force was out of the picture, used ever improving “navigational aids.”

The paper reviews Aircraft Armament, by Louis Bruchiss, and endorses his conclusion that the next air war will not consist of air staffs pressing buttons to actuate robot bombers.

Source 2000s versus. . .



B. J Hurren writes to say that he did not mean to insult “Vice-Admiral Boyd, the late Fifth Sea Lord” in a recent notice. B. J. Hurren clearly should not be held responsible for the words that spill from his brush, as he seems to have very little to do with them. “Realist” writes that various difficulties should be considered along the way to building a national air museum. Mainly, that central London needs to be knocked down to make room for it, and this is unrealistic. R. L. Hughes seems to be complaining that his application to be a Technical Officer at the MAP. John Grierson writes to disagree with Oswald Short about how flying boat mooring was done in the old days. Or agree! Like Mr. Hurren, I’m ignoring this. And spending more time telling you that I’m ignoring it than it would have cost me to read the letter.

Time, 25 June 1945


Mrs. Charles Frost of New York City passes on  a letter from her son in the Army, who is happy about peace and the end of the blackout, curfew, bomb shelters, starvation. 

Captain H. Peter Rand reports that it turns out that hardly any Germans were Nazis. Ronald Matthew, a self-described volunteer, says that Brits are a bit of all right. Studebaker’s Gaston E. Marque reminds us that the “Weasel” amphibious vehicle is not a Jeep.

U.S. At War

More Generals have come home, including Jimmy Doolittle and Alexander Patch. They have notes excusing them from General Eisenhower. There is continuing optimism about there being no World War III at least through the upcoming Big Three meeting, perhaps at Potsdam, near Berlin. Harry Hopkins is still in the Administration. Hugh Fulton is, now. Talk about talking about peacetime conscription. General Eisenhower had a nice reception in London, will have one in Paris shortly. Southern senators are upset that the annual anti-poll tax bill is going through the House to its inevitable defeat in the Senate, and about the Adminstration’s failed attempt to create a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission. The Office of War Information’s budget has been restored, in case there’s a war again. The Republicans have found someone to run against Mayor LaGuardia. Don’t they do that in boxing to build up the champ’s record? General Stilwell thinks that the Japan war will last another two years. General Patton thinks that there will be another war eventually soon. USS Saratoga is back in action after taking a kamikaze hit off Iwo Jima on 21 February 1945. George Patton called at the White House along with four Medal of Honour winners. Westbrook Pegler has told another unflattering story about Eliot Roosevelt, to the effect that his proposed TBS broadcasting network of 1939 was involved in some kind of corrupt dealing with the A and P grocery chain. Cigarette supplies are back to normal. 

“Races: Japs Are Human”  This is the conclusion of Commander Alexander Leighton’s The Governing of Man, published this week. “Oh, it were better to be a poor fisherman than meddle with the governing of men.”

Germans are setting right to work to rebuild their country. Ribbentrop has been arrested. There are still procedural wranglings going on in San Francisco, where we feel a little hurt that everyone’s in such a hurry to leave. Is it something we said? Or the fact that everyone’s tired of bunking two or three to a room in San Francisco? 

“The Nations” Perhaps we shall have World War III after all, because the Russians are not only Russians, but communists, too, which is worse. Also, Poland.

“No Honorable Cessation” Northern Luzon is difficult terrain, which is why General Yamashita is still holding out. Engineers are hard at work building roads in the midst of the rainy season. General Buckner was killed in action in Okinawa, following Ernie Pyle, but before his death predicted that Okinawa would fall and promised an “honorable cessation” under terms to the garrison. 520 B-29s are now flying in raids, and Japan is running out of first-class targets, which means that the second-class ones are up next. I notice that General LeMay thinks that Liberators will be used in the near future. I’m not sure why, though. U.S. Tenth Fleet has been dissolved, and this was the occasion for a report by Admiral King on the U-boat war, which was very long and difficult, not just because of torpedo attacks, but also because of mining actions, which, for example, closed New York harbour for three days, and the Chesapeake twice.

“The Politics of Rockets” This is the first anniversary of the buzz bomb offensive, and also an election, not that the two are related in any way I can construe from my all-too brief reading. Peter Koch, an assistant to the Gestapo chief in Rome, was executed in public in Rome this week. Leopold may return to Belgium, causing a bit of a crisis, while Wilhelmina did return to the Netherlands, quite without. General Franco received 500 Spanish diplomats and assorted others after they crossed the border with France, travelling from Germany in a sealed train. Eight passengers were killed in train-related rioting and violence in the crossing from Switzerland to Spain.

“Bolus” Talks about Indian independence! From the look of things, we might see India independent before we’re done talking. Actually, that isn’t surprising at all. Of all the things lately done with talking involved, only the United Nations waited for the end of the talking to be done. I hope that isn’t a bad sign for its future! Also, a phone line now connects China and India, and the Koumintang continues to shoot people, now turning on the  "corrupt," in a remarkable display of hypocrisy. The Nationalists are also cracking down on newspapers which deviate from the guiding principles of Dr. Sun. If Heaven has not already turned its back, it shall soon enough.

Latin Americans get a full page to be excitable on in this number.


The 1945 crop will  be very good in general, but the cold, drizzly weather in June means a short corn crop, perhaps, and hog shortages. Late rain and frost may also impact victory gardens, leading to a significant food shortage. Aluminum is now available priority-free for civilian goods. One billion pounds of second-rate ingots will be released by the Surplus Property Board, for whatever use manufacturers think they can make of it. The French auto industry, having got a good headstart into peace getting the Army moving again, is now producing vehicles on its own. There are, meanwhile, vast stockpiles of American war surplus building up in Europe. Cuts in US war production may therefore be on the conservative side, if this material can be fetched back for the Japanese war. Ford, which cannot get chrome in the United States, will have its parts chromed in restriction-free Canada. Gold mining is allowed in the United States again, and American steel production capacity reached 95 million tons


Charles Lindbergh reports that Paris is nothing like the old days. “I have been stopped on the street only once.” Colonel Lindbergh hasn't changed! Shirley Temple has graduated from high school. 

Governor Davis, the songwriter politician who found time while governing Louisiana (though how hard can it be?) to write You are my Sunshine, is to have a Saturday night radio show.

Science, Medicine, Education

“The Navy Looks Ahead”

You and I may, thanks to James, know Admiral Harold Gardiner Bowen as the man behind the carburisation crisis in the navy’s wartime machinery plant, but for the paper, he is the man the Navy trusts to head all research and development. Well, given that admirals apparently can’t fail out of the navy, and that he’s young for an admiral at a mere 61, why not? If the Admiral couldn’t lose the war for America, what harm will Bowen do? 

Because Bowen is the spitting image of Bunsen Honeydew, that's why

“Maedchen in Uniform?” Ernest Hooton, the physical anthropologist of Harvard, says that America should conscript women as well as men, thereby restoring balance to the family by teaching wopmern as well as men martiqal skills(?), allowing for posture training, eradicating “peculiarly localised fatty deposits,” and teaching them “to wear pants without spectacle.” 

Well. With that out there, I go on to notice a story about alcoholism, which may have a psychological explanation, and starts young. France saw 500,000 babies born annually during the occupation. Many of these are thought to have had German fathers. (Oh, la, those French!) That birth rate fell consistently below the death rate, so that France’s population fell by 4 million, including the prisoners of war. The return of 2 million so far has helped matters, and now comes news that the French government has bought £25 million in testosterone in London. La! Some more.  GI schools have now opened in France, as have elementary schools in Belgium and Aachen. Belgian education is boring compared with Nazi, we are told.

Press, Art, The New Pictures, Books

“The Future of Doubletalk” the Washington Post is upset about all the new words that politicians use, such as “activate” and “sweat.” John Boettiger is stepping down from the publisher’s position at the Hearst paper in Seattle, ending that strange alliance. Izvestia says something about the American press which is wrong, just like everything it says, because it is an official Russian communist paper. Marshall Field continues his campaign to extend leftist views in the American press by starting left-leaning local papers. Kenneth Langley, 16-year-old San Francisco Conference correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor is something else. Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin have married, although not to each other, as Ernest Hooton might speculate. So has Jinx Falkenberg, while Amelie Rives, author of The Quick or the Dead, has died.

Amelie Rives in 1890

Blood on the Sun features James Cagney in a slightly-historical melodrama of would-be Japanese world conquerors. Those Endearing Young Charms is a movie with romance and kissing in it, which the paper doesn’t like so well as Cagney judo-chopping people. (It would be a recommendation to me, but I can't go see movies right now, poo!)

Alice Payne Hackett, Fifty Years of Best-Sellers is an exercise in making the forgotten books of yesterday interesting again on the strength of their being old and quaint and all those things. Remember Turkish corners and Charles Dana Gibson? Bicycle scorchers? Trilby? See Here, Private Hargrove? Old people do. (Well, not so much the last, which came out last year.) In the same spirit, an  autobiography of the late Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, revealed as then “Q” of Victorian thriller fame. Old people must really remember him, because the paper gives him three pages.

Artzybasheff’s “Island Hopping” mural for Manhattan’s Grand Central Station is setting mouths gaping.

Flight, 28 June 1945


“the Air-based Campaign” “GeneralSir Joseph Slim” says that Burma was an air-based campaign. I wonder what General Sir William Slim thinks? (They're both knights, just like my husband, and must be feeling uncommonly pleased with themselves.) 

“Per Avro ad Astra” The Avro Tudor exists even still more again plus.

"Avro Tudor 5 Nome Airways Stansted 1953" by RuthAS - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Night and Weight” The paper has noticed that the Americans are conducting night area fire raids on Japan. It’s only been three months, so that’s quick work. It points out that night raids allow bombers to drop very much larger bomb loads than in day raids. Also, very big bombs are involved.

War in the Air

The monsoon in Burma means that aircraft are not much involved in the non-fighting. Okinawa has fallen. It is still quite close to Kyushu as these things are reckoned for lack of closer places. Japanese suicide bombers have not done well against British carriers.

Aircraft carriers are designed to have airplanes crash into them. Or, at least, they should be. 

“Operational Sorties” Statistics of sorties and losses of RAF commands are released. I started writing out the casualty statistics before reminding myself how well you must know them.

Here and There

Roxbee Cox, “Smithy” and his mate, John Ulm, have been about. The paper is mad keen on "Smithy." I've no idea why. RAF has investigators looking for missing aircrew. The six-bladed Rotol contra-rotating airscrew recently shown is designed for a double, contra-rotating engine shaft. An Australian parliamentarian thinks that Goering should be abused and tortured, because he is bad. A limited number of RAAF pilots are “to be made available” to the Pacific Fleet. Goodyear Aircraft is making airships for intercontinental routes. Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin is a new trustee of the Imperial War Museum. An exciting lecture on the Bendix Stromberg carburettor is in store for attendants at the southeast area council of the SLAE at the Zenith Company’s premises at Honeypot Lane, Stanmore, Middlesex. Only one linethrower pistol is authorised for use by the BOAC, and it is the Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus. The RAF Association is expected to increase very largely, just like the RAF.

“Gas Turbines for Aircraft Propulsion” This is a summary of a paper read to the Derby branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society by Dr. S. G. Hooker of Rolls-Royce. It is fairly long and technical, but the summary points are the turbines are currently most useful at high speeds and high altitudes, because of the limited compression available to them compared with piston engines. (This leading to lower thermodynamic efficiency.) Future multi-stage centrifugal, or especially axial compressors will be more competitive. A great deal of work remains to be done, and Rolls-Royce is apparently doing it.
Technically, it's the Bristol Olympus, but it sure is pretty.
"Bristol Olympus". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“M.A.P. Exhibition” The opening ceremony was nearly rained out, and many exhibits were not ready in time. Various current and former ministers ensured that it was  in no way a partisan event.

“The Avro Tudor: Survey of the First British Long-range, High-spped, High-Altitude Luxury Passenger Aircraft: Pressurised Passenger Aircraft; Production Quality” Flight has a special, copyright drawing to show! It can take a variety of engines, and is very exciting. Production details are laid out, the layout is explained, and so is the pressure system, intended to give positive 5 ½ lb/sq in at 25,000ft. We note that the key feature is an “ingenious Westland pressure system.” To think that a week ago we were forbidden to know that Westland had built a high-altitude, pressurised fighter. I’m left feeling more sympathy for writers and censors, and intensely curious about what kind of hijinks the Westland Welkin might have been up to in the war. Unfortunately, it's a tailwheel design, so, pass.

Civil Aviation News

Vancouver airport is, indeed, to be expanded as a Pacific hub. A Calcutta-Rangoon service is to be established. Other services are to be established, American civil flying is up, and BOAC has conducted a thorough test of reheating apparatus for quick-frozen, re-cooked food on long runs. Immersion heaters are the most immediately promising solution. No word on the undoubtedly titanic successes of the Whirlwind Oven.
“Bomber Command’s Offensive: Part II of the Official Story of Britain’s Heavy Bombers” You already know all of this, and I’ve enough to do to keep up with the new news, never mind the old, so I will pass it over.


R. Marsh wants a competition to determine the vest kind of private owner design, as in America. H. Goodall writes that anything can happen when an airscrew blade is lost, and did.  C. A. Rea agrees. His example is a full airscrew from a Rolls-Royce Eagle, which detached from a Handley Page O/400, complete with its reduction gearing. V. D. Dickinson wants to argue with “Indicator” about civil pilot ratings. “Upstart” wants to argue with “Indicator” about something. T. E. G. Gardiner agrees that engineers should fly. Frederick Brundle, (Captain, RA), writes that the “high, fast and heavy” bombers proposed by the paper may become obsolete before they are even ready for service, as defence advances to meet attack. Radar will progress to plot them, and they will be constantly harassed by radio-controlled rockets from below, and, possibly, by pilotless rammer aircraft from every direction. Besides, their bases will be under constant, long-range rocket bombardment. The paper hopes, “for the sake of old England,” that Captain Brundle(?) is right. But at a deeper level, it is sure that he is wrong, because 500mph, 100,000lb bombers flying at 50,000feet would be just so amazing. I mean, because attack is the best form of defence.

Aviation, June 1945


James H. McGRaw, Jr. “Russia and America: Allies or Else” Junior calls the Red-bashing to order along with the Russians, who are also at risk of provoking us.

Leslie E. Neville, “Our Immediate Steps To Permanent Peace” More planes, more research, a good plan for dealing with surplus.

Blaine Stubblefield, “Carrier Aircraft Maintenance is Really Tough” Stubblefield reports from the field again, and, again, it is from a carrier, Bonhomme Richard. It is difficult, planes are heavily-handled by carrier operations (a 20 foot drop to the deck is not uncommon), and space is short. Fortunately, the men who maintain the ships are all from virtuous places like farms, and have no faith in ideas of the “rights of labour.” Or none they would share with Stubblefield, anyway. I suppose the loud, beery obnoxiousness. . . 

Five articles on finance, marketing and airline operating costs follow before we reach a Chester S. Ricker report on “Design Details of Aeronautical Products, Inc., Helicopter”

Charles D. Flagle, Design Engineer, Aviation Gas Turbine Div.(?), Frank W. Godsey, “See Prime Role for Gas Turbine in Aircraft of Tomorrow” Almost worth quoting just for the Aviation-speak title. Jets are more efficient at high speed, turboprops at medium, reciprocating at low. Etc.

Julian Rogoff, Assistant Chief Engineer, Burndy Engineering Co., “These Connection Techniques Solve Aluminum Cable Problems”
Entirely different kind of wires, but worth noting.

E. K. Fry, Assistant Superintendent, Curtiss-Wright Columbus Plant, “Induction Heating Speeds Helldiver Production” Case hardening some lock pins, reworking tools, localised annealing, these are just some of the exciting uses of a portable induction heating coil.

K. R. Jackman, “Trimming Research to the Postwar Pocketbook” I suppose it’s a good corrective to the calls for all research, all the time. Before the war, not enough research was done, especially during the Depression. During it, more was done. After the war, cost-benefit analysis will be needed.

Someone has got to do a cultural study on the rise of "research and development" some day. 

After the shop practice and maintenance articles, yet another one on super-flying boats, this time a proposed Blackburn “155 ton airliner.” Pressurised, even! At the other extreme, an article on good airport turfing practices.

m. J. Wainwright, Pilot Officer, RAF, “Distant Reading Compass Takes Lag out of Headings” An article about the “new” instrument.

The Washington Windsock notices that President Truman knows about aviation, that President Roosevelt is dead, that the local range landing system is dead, and that there is more competition than ever for radio frequency channels.

Aviation Manufacturing

Cutbacks! Unit production in April was 6,142. While this is low, it is 64 above the low-balled schedule, and since this is the last two-war month, from here on we can take official cognisance of the cutbacks and say goodbye to endless, embarrassing stories about declining production numbers.  They were never as bad as they seemed, because producing bad aircraft was never good for the war effort, except insofar as they were still better than Russian models. The United States managed to make more than enough good airplanes in their total to win the war, after all! A picture of Wright’s newly designed Cyclone 7 700hp light aeroengine shows where half hte problem lies. This is pretty dim-witted management. How does the company expect to get into a sector which Lycoming and Fairchild engines have locked up when it is competing against itself?

And if that seems like a truncated version of my usual review of Aviation, it is, because I had trouble getting a copy, until Miss C. took it upon herself to descend into the depths of the engineering library to make sure that I got the university's copy as soon as it turned up, as otherwise it would be waylaid by someone, and never see the light of day.

America is a strange place, sometimes.

1 comment:

  1. Well. That was incomprehensible. The 23 June number of Time has a half page picture of some teenaged Korean "tea girls" (original style) captured by the Marines on Okinawa. I was going to post the picture as an illustration of the magazine's smarmy style before I realised that their grandchildren could conceivably see it.