Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ads in America - 1945 - Cadillac

This ad appeared in
The Saturday Evening Post
21 April 1945.

Deep in German mud, this M-24 has left its imprint of Cadillac power. For, like more than 10,000 tanks that have gone before it, the M-24 is powered by two Cadillac V-type engines, driving through two Cadillac Hydra-Matic transmissions.
It is no longer a secret that tanks built and powered by Cadillac have long been laying tracks to Victory in every battle sector of the globe. For, with the help of Army Ordnance Engineers, we started building tanks for Army use more than 3 years ago. We have been steadily at it ever since.
The success of the Cadillac V-type engine and Hydra-Matic transmission in powering tanks —the ease with which these power units were adapted to tank use—and their inherent ability to bring a new degree of maneuverability to tank warfare—are all conclusive evidence of their fundamental soundness of design. Abnormal wartime use has subjected both engine and transmission to tests never encountered in civilian service. As a result, they have been improved in many ways.

Ads in America - 1945 - Maxwell House Coffee

This ad appeared in The Saturday Evening Post 21 April 1945.

HOME ON LEAVE ... but they haven't forgotten her... the first lady of our fighting forces. When the soldier returns he brings back grateful memories of a great American heroine—the Army Nurse. And so, a fragrant cup of Maxwell House is raised in friendly salute.
To this gracious gesture, the mellow richness of Maxwell House adds its own very special good cheer. There's so much flavor satisfaction in every cup of this famous coffee . . . extra flavor that has made Maxwell House the coffee that more people buy . . . more people enjoy .. . than any other coffee in the world!
The secret? Skillful blending of fine Latin-American coffees. Manizales for mellowness. Bucaramangas for full body. Medellins for richness. Other Latin-American coffees for vigor!
Great coffees combined into one great blend-then Radiant-Roasted through and through to develop all the flavor goodness of every bean! No wonder, in victory bag or vacuum jar, Maxwell House Coffee is "Good to the Last Drop!"

Ads in America - 1945- New England Mutual

This ad appeared in The Saturday Evening Post 21 April 1945.

A sailor wrote this in a letter to us after coming off a night watch at sea in the tropics. He was asking about his privileges as a veteran under the G. I. Bill of Rights, and what his chances would be for a post-war job.
These questions are close to the heart of every fighting man, for we've had thousands of similar requests from all branches of the service, and from every combat theater, as well as from men already demobilized.
To give them complete answers, we have put together a 4o-page booklet, "Information for Veterans," described below. It's free. We shall be glad to send it to you to forward to your son, husband, or friend in the service. It contains information he wants.
If you yourself are a veteran just returning to civilian life, you will find the booklet especially timely. Address us at 501 Boylston St., Boston, Mass.
Men in the Armed Forces ... If this magazine happens to reach you and you'd like us to send you the booklet, -write to us direct.

Ads in America - 1945 - Ethyl Gasoline

This ad appeared in The Saturday Evening Post 21 April 1945.

RIGHT NOW the world's best gasoline —millions of gallons of it—is being shipped to fighting fronts all over the world. Our fighting men are getting the cream of the petroleum industry's production—and all they need.
But as long as America is fighting two wars—one in Europe and the other in Asia—home-front gasoline supplies must be limited both as to quantity and quality. Only complete, final Victory will bring car-owners the Ethyl gasoline they look forward to—the Ethyl that will bring out the top performance of any car.

Ads in America - 1945 - Florsheim Shoes

Puppy Eats Ration Stamps

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This Saturday Evening Post cover from 19 Feb 1944 looks cute enough. If you didn't know any better you would think this puppy just made a mess of sorts. But if you lived in this time period you would quickly realize that the pup just ate your precious ration coupons. Rationing was a great part of the war years. Everyone was deprived in some way. We can't even imagine these deprivations in today's world. This amazing generation was just coming out of the great depression and knew what getting by on very little was all about. Something like 40% of the GI's that entered World War II didn't even have a refrigerator in their homes.

They Drew Fire

Combat Artists of World War II

Back in 1999 PBS aired a documentary about the unsung "combat artists" of WWII. This is an amazing story of men who at great risk attempted to capture all the immensity of war in their individual artistic fashion. Several of the artists are interviewed and being very expressive and articulate describe in detail what it was like to be in that situation. Jason Robards narrates.

You can rent this video from Netflix, Blockbuster and others.

You can also go to the PBS site and view the art work and view information about the artists at:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rescue At Truk - Part 5

Saved from the sea after their planes crashed during the attack on Truk. These 11 crewmen stroll on the grounds of Honolulu's Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Rescue At Truk

By Sgt. Larry McManus

THE Tang's final rescue took place just at dusk. Lt. Burns had heard earlier that an SBD (Douglas Dauntless) had been downed by ack-ack from Eten Island and had landed in the ocean 500 yards from Ollan Island, the Tang's familiar hunting ground. Burns had passed up this crew for the larger group.
But now the sub sped to the scene, arriving just as Lt. Donald Kirkpatrick Jr. of Evanston, Ill., and Richard L. Bentley AOM2c of Los Angeles, Calif., fired their last Very flare. Kirkpatrick had been shot down once before and was once pictured by Life magazine as the "typical dive-bomber pilot." Bentley enlisted in the Navy on May 8, 1942, his seventeenth birthday.
The two had rowed desperately against the wind, which was forcing them toward Ollan's shores. "Then, when the wind died down," Bentley said, "we figured to stick around for a while and if we weren't picked up we'd try to sail to New Guinea. We had our parachute for a sail, and even if that was too far for us to make, it would have been a lot better than sitting around waiting to die."
After rescuing Kirkpatrick and' Bentley, the Tang headed for sea and a 16-day patrol assignment. Comdr. O'Kane put the flyers to work standing watches so there would be enough bunks to go around. Even so, it was crowded.
"They can have it. I'll stick to planes," said Gruebel, who has a Jap plane to his credit. "If the Navy did away with the air arm. I'd go into subs, but not before."
"If you like the air so much," drawled Gunner White, "why don't you stay in it? Then, on our next run, we might have time to get us some Japs —instead of sailing around to fish you flyers out of the water."

Rescue At Truk - Part 4

Rescue At Truk

By Sgt. Larry McManus

IN the meantime Lt. Burns, worried by the delay in the Tang's arrival, had landed his Kingfisher again to continue his private taxi service for stranded airmen. The first man he picked up this time was Lt. (jg) Robert T. Barbor of Rockville Center, N. Y., pilot of an F6F. Then, at 1415, with Barbor on his wing, Burns taxied up to a raft bearing three more men.
The wind, still strong, caught Burns' plane as it had caught Dowdle's and plunged the lee wing into the water for half its length, but radioman Gill somehow scrambled out to the tip of the high wing and brought the plane back to an even keel. As he did so, a wing float punctured the life raft and it shortly disappeared, carrying along the meager supplies its three occupants had salvaged from their TBF. The airmen—L't. Robert S. Nelson of Great Falls, Mont., a section leader; Robert W. Gruebel AMMlc of Memphis, Tenn., his gunner, and J. L. Livingston ARMlc of Lander, Wyo., his radioman—climbed on the Kingfisher's, wings, where Barbor was already perched.
Then Burns taxied the plane toward another raft a half-mile farther out to sea. He found Ens. Carroll L. Farrell of Ada, Okla.; Joseph Hranek ARM2c of Philadelphia, Pa., and Owen _F. Tabrum AMM2c of Portland, Oreg., whose plane had been next to Lt. Nelson's when Nelson's was downed during a formation approach to Dublon.
Ens. Farrell's plane and another from the formation had circled Nelson's life raft until fighter cover was available and then asked for permission to go in and dump their loads on Dublon.
"There was a jar," said radioman Hranek, "just before we dropped our bomb. We pulled out around 3,000. It was too high for good strafing but I couldn't resist all those targets so I gave them a few rounds as we left.
"The engine was windmilling—no power—and we set down about a half-mile seaward of Nelson's crew. It was a beautiful landing. I've landed with more force on carriers now and then. We had plenty of time. Mr. Farrell and Tabrum inflated the raft on the wing and stepped into it, barely getting their feet wet. I had to climb out the bomb-bay hatch into the water."
Burns took the men from Hranek's raft aboard, and spaced his passengers three on each wing and one on the ledge of the cockpit beside him. Everyone on the plane is still awed at the way Burns taxied his overloaded Kingfisher toward the Tang, which was coming to meet them.
The cross wind was severe and the plane took a terrible beating, but Lt. Burns radioed the sub that he had plenty of gas and was doing all right. After taxiing more than two hours with the seven-man overload, the Kingfisher met the Tang at 1730 hours.
The pounding waves had sprung the rivets in the float, and the plane had a severe angle. "If we'd had to remain in the water much longer—" Lt. Burns said later, not finishing the sentence. So Burns and his radioman Gill went aboard the Tang with the men they had rescued. "We sent Burns and Gill below so they couldn't see," said Comdr. O'Kane, "and then we sank their plane with gunfire." In its last 7 1/2 hours of existence, the Kingfisher had saved 10 men.

Rescue At Truk - Part 3

Rescue At Truk
By Sgt. Larry McManus

MEANWHILE the Tang's crew had seen a TBF crash near Ollan and throw up a column of thick smoke. Following Lt. Burns' plane, the Tang cruised toward the island and hove to 4,000 yards offshore, giving Gunner White a chance to throw some more shells at Ollan. Comdr. O'Kane also called for planes as support and they blasted the island's, gun emplacements while the sub sped on to pick up the pilot of the crashed TBF, Comdr. Alfred R. Matter of Butte, Mont., and his two crewmen. Matter, who was also air-group commander, said that his plane had been hit as it made an approach to the target, Param Island, 25 minutes earlier.
"I was taking pictures through the bomb-bay windows when I felt a thud," said James J. Lenahan ARM2c of Westfleld, N. J. "When that shell hit our engine," added H. A. (Tommy) Thompson AOM2c of San Bernardino, Calif., turret gunner, "the oil covered my turret and- I thought, ‘What a pot-poor way to die.' "
After landing in the water, Comdr. Matter and Thompson had worked for several minutes to inflate the raft while Lenahan rested, one arm thrown over the fuselage just forward of the fin. , He was holding the emergency rations and chute pack in one hand. When the plane plunged toward the bottom. 250 fathoms below, Lenahan was momentarily dragged down with it. "What did I do?-'' he asked when questioned later. "I dropped the rations, of course."
Matter and his crew were hardly aboard the Tang when Lt. Burns radioed Comdr. O'Kane that three , more rafts had been sighted east of Truk. The sub started after them but was still 15 miles away when F6Fs reported sighting two other men down between Truk and Kuop. Since this was nearer, the Tang followed and picked up Lt. Harry E. Hill of Virginia, Minn., and Lt. (jg) James G. Cole of Killeen, Tex.
Hill had been in his raft overnight, while Cole had been in the water less than an hour. Cole, however, had been supported only by a Mae West and was ill from sea water he had swallowed. To pick up Cole was a ticklish job. Lt. Comdr. Murray B. Freeze, navigator of the Tang, stood in the tower watching the reefs as the sub came in slowly within 400 yards of the surf.

Rescue At Truk - Part 2

Rescue At Truk
By Sgt. Larry McManus

EARLY the next morning the Tang spotted a Jap sub escaping from Truk through the South Pass. The Tang dived, made an approach and came up for a quick periscope search, but the enemy sub had dived, too. because American planes were overhead. All the way back to Pearl, the Tang's crew blamed the flyers for driving away its quarry just when the American sub was closing in for the kill.
After the Jap sub had escaped, the Tang dived again and cleared away from the area for an hour at good speed. Then she surfaced and found American fighter planes overhead. The Tang followed them toward Ollan Island, expecting to find the pilot sought the night before.
Instead Comdr. O'Kane's men found one of the Kingfisher planes, piloted by Lt. (jg) John A. Burns of Wynnewood. Pa., with Aubrey J. Gill ARM2c of Compton, Calif., as his radioman. Crowded aboard the plane were Lt. (jg) Bert F. Kanze of Freehold, N. J.; Lt. John J. Dowdle Jr. of Wilmette, 111., and Robert E. Hill ARM2c of Houston, Tex.
Lt. Kanze had been piloting his F6F over Fefan Island around noon of the first day of the Truk strike when his plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. He was forced down into the lagoon, climbed into his raft and put up the sail.
"But I yanked it down in a hurry," said Kanze, "when ack-ack tried to blast me. I camouflaged the raft and myself with sail and drifted till dark; when I set sail again. I wasn't thinking about being rescued; I was scared stiff I would wash up on the Jap shores."
The wind carried Kanze away from Fefan Island, and once out of range he set sail again. Finding that he was drifting toward Ollan, .he rigged up a sea anchor to slow the raft. Then, by paddling and sailing all night, he managed to cross the reef of the lagoon at high tide, the only time it was possible to do so. At daybreak he was two miles out.
Soon after, Lt. Burns and Lt. Dowdle, who was flying the second Kingfisher, plane, spotted Kanze. While Burns patrolled above, Dowdle went down to make the rescue. His Kingfisher landed in the heavy seas, bobbed dangerously and finally -overturned as a gust of wind caught under one wing. Dowdle and Hill, his radioman, were tossed in the water alongside Kanze.
Then -Burns landed in waves five feet high and the men climbed on the wings of his plane. Fifteen minutes later he taxied up to the Tang, put the three flyers aboard and took off again with Gill, his radioman, to resume the patrol. Dowdle's overturned plane was sunk by the sub's guns.

Rescue At Truk - Part 1

Rescue At Truk

By Sgt. Larry McManus

PEARL HARBOR—A submarine, many people believe, is a sleek, stealthy craft devoted to the science of destruction and manned by pallid sailors who consider a mission successful only when thousands of tons of enemy shipping have been sent to the bottom of the sea.
If that is true, then the U.S.S, Tang's mission -in the two-day attack on Truk was a failure. For on that trip, the sub sank only two objects— Navy scout planes, venerable OS2U Kingfishers which were set afire by the Tang's deck guns.
It was in the first raid on the first day of the Truk attack that a Jap shell blew a four-foot hole in the port wing of the TBF (Grumman Avenger) piloted by Lt. (jg) Scott Scammell II of Yardley, Pa. Scammell continued his run and dropped his bomb on the atoll before banking steeply for a crash landing in the ocean. A fire kindled by the shell near the wing tank changed his plans, and to prevent an explosion that probably would have killed him and his crew, he ditched the plane in the lagoon two miles south of Dublon Island, principal Jap base of the atoll.
"The indicator read 200 knots when we hit the water," said Harry B. Gemmell ARM2c of Philadelphia, Pa., the radioman, "and we usually land at about 80. Somehow nobody was hurt. We just climbed into the raft and took a look around. We saw Dublon a short distance away and started paddling like hell."
Scammell. Gemmell and Joseph D. Gendron AMM2c of Oakland, R. I., the turret gunner, wanted to raise the sail but they were afraid the Japs would spot them if they did.
''The sail is yellow on one side and blue on the other." said Gendron. "It's okay when you're sailing away from the Japs: you can face the blue side toward them. But what can you do when you're right in the middle of the Japs?"
The three airmen solved that problem, after a fashion, by folding the sail to hide its yellow side. This left a ridiculously small surface but enough to help somewhat as they paddled toward the sea.
Two more strikes hit Dublon while the raft was in the lagoon, and Jap planes fled into the clouds as American flyers blasted the navy yard there. Between raids the men in the raft watched the Japs come out from their cover, make fero­cious passes at the empty air and then go into hiding again as the Americans returned.
"We'd see a flight of planes overhead," Gemmell said, "and we'd make believe they were F6Fs (Grumman Hellcats) coming to protect us. Then those damned meatballs would show up on each wing." When that happened, the men tried to cover, the bright yellow raft with their bodies and with the blue side of the sail.
At noon, four hours after their crash inside the Truk reef, the three men steered their raft into the open sea between the islands forming South Pass. Joe Gendron, the only one aboard who wasn't seasick, bailed out the raft until the Tang —directed by fighter planes circling above— pulled alongside four miles southeast of Ollan Island. The three men were hauled aboard the sub. Lt. Comdr. Richard H. O'Kane of San Raph­ael, Calif., commanding the Tang. told them to bring the raft aboard, too. "For my kid," he said.
Some time later another flyer was reported down off Kuop Island, 30 miles to the east. To save time, Comdr. O'Kane decided to keep the Tang on the surface for a full power run. This meant that the sub had to pass close to Ollan Island. The commander figured the Japs might open fire, so he ordered his men to fire first to keep the Japs busy. A tall, red-haired subman named James M. (Gunner) White GMlc of Springfield, La., was the first man to shell Truk. By the time the Japs recovered and opened fire, the sub was 1,000 yards out of range. After searching vainly for the flyer until dark, the Tang pulled out for the night.

Cartoon from Yank 1 Sept 1944

Cartoon by Pvt. Thomas Flannery.

If you have knowledge of Pvt. Thomas Flannery please leave a comment in this post.

Dining Out in France

Cover for the 1 Sept 1944 issue of Yank.

His carbine resting within easy grabbing distance, Pfc. Russell Smith of Monona, Iowa, toys with a light lunch of K rations in his foxhole near La Haye du Puits, better known as Hooey La Pooey, France. The cigar and the battered topper were found by Smith in an abandoned Nazi dugout. The picture was taken by YANK photographer Sgt. Reg Kenny.

Man of the Year (poem)

The following was published in the 1 Sept 1944 issue of Yank under the section "The Poets Cornered."


And I will walk through the night unseen, unheard—walk through dark avenues where shadows dart and fade;
And I will be followed by many more walking —walking through crumbling cities, past many a gutted church and smashed facade.
Stumbling through mangled fields and -shredded trees, wrapped in heavy mist, grope the forgotten and the broken.
Sing the wind and the rain, tell our lonely tale in the night, write on the scarred and tortured earth our token,
For we are the earth, we are the sand of Tarawa, the rich loam of Sorrento and the red clay of Tunisia.
We felt the cool spray on coral reefs and the hot sun of Africa's wadies, and we saw the spires of Rome come nearer.
And yet once more this earth, this loam shall feel the plowmarf's hand, and wheat shall rise,
And once more the builder shall touch his brick and steel, and cities shall reach the skies;
And we the shadows, who walked in the night through dark avenues broken, and forgotten, shall rise, too.
We shall enrich the wheat and our souls shall strengthen the spires and we shall encourage the true,
And we shall leave the dark mangled fields as silently as we came, past gutted churches and reddened rivers.
And where we walked the sun shall bathe many towns and fresh green fields, and we will live forever.

If you have any knowledge of Pvt. DAVIS H. MARKOE please comment to this post.

Jeanne Crain

Jeanne Crain.
YANK Pin Up Girl for 16 July 1944.


Cherbourg.. Our engineers clearing away the wreckage of a bridge on one of the main streets of the city which had been blown up by the Germans. American, British and French flags were flying from the balcony of one of the buildings across the way. The engineers worked so fast that before noon on the morning I worked on this drawing most of the bridge still visible had been cut up and removed. One of the first organizations of "French sidewalk-superintendents" met here to watch the construction. The men were all in black berets with an occasional orange shirt lending a touch of color. In the background at right is a gendarme on his inevitable bicycle and behind him one of the endless columns of troops that passed by all morning. Sgt. John Scott


This was Valognes. It's all like this. At the right is the Cathedral of St.
Malo. The houses at the left were almost medieval with a stream just a few
feet wide winding around in the backyards, and picturesque moss-covered steps leading to the water's edge from alternate houses. The engineers were busy, when I did this, clearing the debris to make way for military traffic. Nothing was left of most of the buildings except an occasional wall. While I worked I could hear the rumble of explosives as the tottering walls were brought down by demolition squads. This was only a few hours after the infantry had moved in. Sgt. John Scott

The Railroad Station at Carentan

Here the engineers are well on the way to clearing up the mess of the railroad station at Carentan. Two days earlier this was a shambles, a hopeless tangle of splintered and shattered freight cars piled crazily one atop the other and rails and ties; twisted about like so much spaghetti. The yards were pocked with craters 30 feet across and as much as 15 feet deep. Some of the shells had struck underground springs and the craters were half full of fresh clear water. Sgt. John Scott

Fire Control Post outside Carentan

This is a fire control post for a battery of 75-mm. howitzers, part of our airborne • artillery. I ran into them on June 20 outside of Carentan and they were a busy bunch. The men in this sketch are Pfc. Andrew Wright, of Brooklyn; Pvt. John Libero, of Clifton, N.J.; and Pfc. Thomas Skonier, of Beccaria. Pa. Sgt. John Scott

If you know what happened to Pfc. Andrew Wright, of Brooklyn; Pvt. John Libero, of Clifton, N.J.; and Pfc. Thomas Skonier, of Beccaria. Pa. please comment to this post.

Sleeping in the Hedgerows

The hedgerow where we bivouacked just outside of Isigny the first night we were ashore. This is a typical scene beside a typical French hedgerow, pitted with foxholes of the infantry who had gone on a few hours earlier. The ground is littered with all sorts of things—plasma bottles, bloody bandages, K-ration tins and boxes, grenades, mortar shells, both German and American.
Sgt. John Scott

Private Glen Blackburn

One of the GIs of the airborne artillery near their shelter in a ditch just behind a hedgerow that helped shield their gun emplacement. Pvt. Blackburn and others like him doubled in brass. They served not only as artillerymen but also as airborne infantry, helping to rout out German snipers and clean up their machine gun nests.
Sgt. John Scott

If you know what happened to Pvt. Glen Blackburn from Parsons, Kansas, please comment to this blog.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Engineers At Work

ENGINEERS removing an 88-mm. gun and cleaning out ammunition from an enemy flak ship which was sunk in the harbor of Isigny. It was heavily armored and armed. The center tower was made of two sheets of heavy armor plating with a core of concrete about eight inches thick. Smoke still rose from the town. SGT. JOHN SCOTT

Operating Room Tent

This is a typical field hospital operating room, just off the beach, set up by an amphibious section surgical team. These medics told me that in this operating tent they had all the equipment and facilities that would be available in the finest operating room in a New York hospital, making it possible to give the wounded the full benefit of surgical science. The man on the table had a bullet through both thighs. He said it felt like being hit with a baseball bat. SGT. JOHN SCOTT

Beachhead June 16

The beachhead on June 16. In the foreground is a burned-out LCI beached by the tide. It was hit by 88-mm. shellfire. Crushed against it is a landing craft. A constant stream of traffic moved along these improvised roads along the water's edge. The roadside was littered with the debris of the landing operation— discarded lifebelts, helmets, water cans, gasoline tins, and other bits and pieces. In the foreground is the beach home of a Gl engineer. It is roofed with heavy timber as protection against flak and night strafing. The sky is a cloud of barrage balloons, one or two attached to each ship and some moored to shore. SGT. JOHN SCOTT

Artwork of Sgt. John Scott

SGT. JOHN SCOTT was in the backwash of battle from the beachhead to Cherbourg. He went over with a regiment of engineers, arriving at the beachhead on D plus 5. He wasn't in any battles, didn't witness any great heroics. The closest he came to combat was a visit to a battery of airborne artillery that was shelling enemy mortar positions. But being away from the front lines he was able to see much that would be missed in the confusion of battle. What he saw is recorded here in the drawings on this and succeeding pages. (excert from Yank 16 July 44)

If you have knowledge of Sgt. John Scott please comment to this post.

Yank Cover from 16 July 1944

Yank Header

Yank Magazine was the common soldiers publication. It was published by the "men," for the "men." Men, refers to enlisted personnel rather than officers. There was no direct involvement of officers in the operation and management of this amazing publication. It was all run in the field and at numerous administrative sites by enlisted men. Even the editors were enlisted. There was oversite, but it was a "hands off" situation to officer intervention in the day to day operation of creating a no nonsense magazine for the soldier. This was supported at the highest levels in our government. No doubt a publication like this will never exist again. But you can see some of it's amazing qualities here at this blog. Let me know if you find it interesting. This is a slice of America in a time which also will never be repeated. It was one of our best moments.