BILLINGS, MONTANA, MONDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 11,1944
First Big Victory '
In Philippines Since
Allied Headquarters, Leyte, Philippines,
Veteran Seventy-seventh division troops Sunday captured the bomb-shattered port of Ormoc, main Japanese base on the west coast of Leyte island, and scored the first big American ground victory since – General Douglas MacArthur led his avenging forces back to the Philippines 52 days ago, It was announced Monday.
Fighting hand-to-hand through the town, Major General Andrew D. Bruce's conquerors of Guam crushed Japanese resistance in Ormoc after a four-day battle that began Thursday— Pearl Harbor day—when they made a daring amphibious landing a few miles below the port.
Most of the men of the Seventy-seventh are from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The Ormoo victory drove a solid wedge behind the main force :of Lieutenant General Tomoyukl Yamashlta's battered Japanese Thirty- fifth army—estimated at 40,000 men—holding positions northward for some 18 miles along the Ormoc corridor bisecting the northwestern bulge of Leyte.
American First Army
Renews Rhine Offensive
Paris, Dec. 10.—(U.P.)
The United States First army renewed its Rhineland offensive on a 10-mile front Sunday and in advances up to two miles through a blinding snowstorm burst out of the northern edge of the Hurtgen forest to the approaches of Duren, storming seven towns before that keystone of the Roer river line.
This third anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on the United States found doughboys grappling with the inner defenses of the once far-extended reich on a front of nearly 300 miles where fighting was reported reaching an unprecedented peak of violence.
The First army ended a week's lull on the main Rhineland front with a surprise dawn attack that pushed two columns within three miles of Duren from due west, but brought quick reaction from aroused German paratroops' ordered to stand and die on the plain of Cologne.
Near the southern flank of the front, Lieutenant General Alexander M. Patch's United States Seventh army battled into the southwestern part of the rail hub and key defense base of Haguenau, 15 miles north of Strasbourg, where the Germans had hooked the upper Rhine section of the Siegfried line onto the old east-west Maginot line.
Patch's Seventy - ninth divisib was deepening its penetration to the city in a bitter house-to-house battle and had captured Kalten house and Oberhoffen two and three miles southeast of Haguenau
Other Seventh army columns entered Reichshoffen and Grlesbach nine and seven miles northwest of Haguenau.
France Once Again
In Front Rank
Of European Powers
Moscow, Dec. 10.—(AP)—
General DeGaulle crowned his mission to Moscow with a treaty of alliance and mutual assistance with Soviet Russia Sunday and started for home in France, once again in the front rank of European powers.
As a special train carried De-Gaulle's delegation across the frozen steppes toward Baku on the Black sea and his waiting plane the Moscow radio announced to millions of Soviet citizens the signing of the new entente with an old ally.
The treaty, the text ot which will be made public later, embodied Russian- French .determination to remove the menace of German aggression.
It pledged partnership in the war against Germany "until complete victory" and joint measures to safeguard Europe from new aggression after the war.
Superforts Set Tokyo Fires,
Make Four Raids on Japan
Washington, Dec. 10.—(U.P)—
American B-29 Superfortresses, operating singly or in pairs, set fires In Tokyo; Sunday and struck four times within 25 hours at the Japanese homeland
or at Japanese-held Korea on the Asiatic mainland to the west, Tokyo broadcasts said Sunday.
Two ' Marianas-based Superfortresses attacked Tokyo at 8:30 p. m Sunday according to a broadcast recorded by the federal communications commission, and dropped many" incendiary bombs. They started fires but the blazes were extinguished quickly, Tokyo said and the raiders "fled" from heavy antiaircraft fire.
There was no Immediate confirmation of these reports from head quarters of the newly-created Twenty-first United States bomber command, in whose domain the Tokyo targets lie.