(See Below for second article in which Bud Hutton, Stars and Stripes Stars and Stripes staff writer who spent 60 days in the U.S. after three years overseas, reports on~how things are back there.)
Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces in the: European Theater of Operations
VOL. 4 No. 298—Id TUESDAY, Oct. 17, 1944
America's mighty Superfortresses plastered hard-hit 'Formosa for a third time yesterday, while in nearby waters of Japan's inner defenses, where Adm. William F. Halsey audaciously sailed his U.S. Third Fleet, developments of the greatest significance to the whole course of the Pacific war appeared
to be moving to a climax.
The Japanese announced with great fanfare that their "Imperial Fleet has finally made its appearance off Formosa," and this much, at least, of a sensational
announcement from Tokyo appeared to find corroboration in the • latest communique from Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, which said tersely that "this fight (off
Formosa) is continuing. Further details will be released as they become available."
Alter announcing that its fleet had finally come out of hiding and been committed to action, the Japanese claimed a great "victory" on a par with the damage they inflicted at Pearl Harbor.
But" their claims were so sensational as to appear fantastic—ten U.S. aircraftcarriers sunk and three damaged, two battleships sunk and one damaged, three cruisers sunk and four damaged," one other warship sunk and 11 damaged, and 832 planes destroyed.
We no immediate confirmation or
All of these enemy claims came from Pearl Harbor or Washington, as was to be expected, at least one factor cast serious doubt on them, aside from their
general implausibility—the fact that Halsely apparently was able to divert a part of his carrier forces_ from the Formosa commitment to strike south of
there at Manila, the Philippines capital.
The First Army pincers around Aachen snapped shut yesterday as the forces making up the northern and southern prongs sealed the gap northeast
of the frontier city after beating off three German counter-attacks within 24 hours. The Nazis' desperate efforts to keep open the gap in the American ring cost them between 50 and 60 tanks in the five assaults they carried out in the three-day period ended, yesterday.
The American forces joined at Wuerselen, driving the last Germans out of that town, which was the scene of some of the stiffest fighting in the battle for Aachen.
Nazis Parachute Supplies The Germans apparently regarded Aacheft as the most critical spot along the Western Front, parachuting supplies into the besieged city and rushing. Up men and armor to delay the First Army's push. Nazi tanks are still massed between Wuerselen and Haaren and a tank battle in that area appears inevitable.
In France, one of the strangest battles of the war ended at 2 AM Friday when U.S. Third Army troops withdrew, on order, from the bitterly contested underground passages in the southwestern corner of Fort Driant, five miles southwest of Metz, dispatches said yesterday.
"Casualties were light," an Army spokesman said of the conflict, which lasted for almost three weeks. "Much valuable information on the construction of the forts in the Metz area was gained."
'How'd You Like It Over There,'
Folks Ask—They Don't Know
This is the second article in which Bud Hutton, Stars and Stripes staff writer who spent 60 days in the U.S. after three years overseas, reports on~how things are back there.
By Bud Button
Stars and Stripes Staff Writer
You say you asked to come back? You're glad to be here? Why? It's hard to put in words. I:'s hard to be specific. It's hard not to –exaggerate some bitterness. It's compounded of a lot of things. Maybe it's best to tell how some of the others found it, fellows who had seen combat over here and found, after they'd been home a while, that they wanted to go'back to the war. Wait a minute, first. You can't blame the folks back home because they haven't been bombed, you know. No, you can't blame them because they don't know what war's like. But you can blame them for not caring.
Tom Kelly was a technical sergeant, a gunner who finished up his tour of missions back in the early days, when there weren't any fighter escorts and losses
used to get up around five per cent a haul. He went home a year ago. The second day he was home in Boston a fellow said to him, "Boy! I'll bet you're gonna miss all that good. Scotch you got over there now you're home." A couple of weeks ago, Tom, who had been trying to get a waiver for his eyes so he could go back to the war, was in a bar in Oakland. N.J. - He got talking to some people and finally one of them said. "Well, you fellows have had a tough time all right,
but it hasn't been any picnic for us back here, either. The cost of living has gone right out of sight." Tom got his waiver last week and ought to be in the Pacific any day now.
Just an Isolated Case
Yes, but those are just isolated instances. There always have been jerks like that.
Okay, maybe Tom was just unlucky, and maybe I was just unlucky one day on the Erie ferry from New York to Jersey City when I heard one woman say to another, "You know, Ella, if this war'll just last two years more my husband and" I aren't ever going to have to worry again." And maybe I was just unlucky when I went to dinner in the home of some folks who knew I'd spent a fair share of the first 50 days of 'he invasion eating K rations; the husband, who was in the last war, said. "We're having canned pineapple tonight because you're here. You'd never know how hard it's been to get decent food back here."
In Atlantic City, on Labor Day night, Sylvester Dudek, a staff sergeant gunner who flew with the Polish Air Force and then the American, stood on the highway leading out of town and watched a procession of cars, solid without a break, pass for three hours and they were still coming when Dudek said' to hell with it and went back to the rest home there with a strained, hard look on his face.
Okay, maybe those are just isolated instances. I guess it was so with a Kid named Howard Hartney, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., a Liberator gunner, who stood outside the railroad station in' Washington and watched people going past and said with a face that was too young to be hard, but was hard, nevertheless,
"I been back three days and if the rest is like I've seen so far I'm going back to the goddam war just as soon as I can."
And maybe it's an isolated instance with a kid named Eddie Foulds; Eddie was on the New Haven, going home to Stamford, Conn. He ran into a fellow he'd
known in England, and the fellow asked him how did he like it at home. Eddie had been laughing, but then his face, straightened and he said : "All right, I guess. Good. Boy! Those milk shakes. But some of it I can't understand." He shook his head slowly and frowned, staring down at his shoes, then looked up, and his words came fast:
It's Not So Fresh
"When I got home everything was good and I didn't stop to think what anyone was saying. They were saying hello, I guess. But now it's not so fresh and I'm beginning to listen to them, and I don't always know, what they're talking about. At least I hope I don't. "They come up to you and they look at the ribbons and ask if you've been overseas, or maybe they can tell, so what's, the first thing they ask you: " 'How do you like it over there?' •
"Can you imagine that? How do I like it over there. They ask you that? Sure, I know. And there's one kind that's worse. That's the guy that comes up to
you—and mind you I don’t begrudge him the dough he's making in some defense job with nobody shooting at him ; I don't begrudge him that a bit. But anyway, he comes up to you and, the worst thing that's happened to him in the last year is maybe his butcher speaks real cross to him, and anyway he comes up and says, " 'Tough over there, eh, bud?' and he leans forward and kinda taps you on the chest and nods his head.
"Jeest!" ; Well, all right. Maybe some of It is that way. But what are you going to do about it? How is it going to be any different? And do you think it's going to do any good telling the guys who are in the war over here about it? Won't it just worry them? Isn't it bad for morale,: granting that's the way it is?
That's not so hard to answer. . . .