Friday, April 19, 2013

April 19, 1945: CASUALTIES ON OKINAWA TOTAL 7,988:


 (See below for one of Ernie Pyle's last Columns)

Brisk Fire Encountered;
Magdeburg Conquered
PARIS, Thursday, April 19.-(AP)—
Infantrymen and tanks of the U.S. Third Army, slashed across the border of Czechoslovakia yesterday, cutting Germany in two geographically, while other American forces conquered Magdeburg, 60 miles southwest of Berlin,
and drove almost to the heart of Leipzig, the reich's fifth largest city. The historic crossing into the Sudetenland, which Hitler annexed in 1938, was made north of Asch by doughboys of the 90th infantry division riding in jeeps and on the backs of tanks. Last night they were reported two miles inside Czechoslovakia in the vicinity of Gott-Mannszgrun, 10 miles east of the German city of Hof.
The last eight miles of the plunge to the border was made without opposition — symbolical of the present low state of Nazi arms—but a front dispatch
said brisk fire was encountered after Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's men and
armor had crossed the line southwest of Chemnitz, at the western tip of Czechoslovakia.
As Patton's veteran troops plunged into one of the last of Hitler's stolen nations, three other American armies fought to clear the important cities of Leipzig, Nuernberg and Duesseldorf, and Britisharmor closed within 18 miles
of the great North' sea port of Hamburg at the apex of an advance along a 40-mlle front.

Red Guns Throwing

325 Shells a Minute
LONDON, Thursday, April 19.—(AP)—
Millions of Russians, spearheaded by new "break-through" tanks and automtatic weapons throwing 325 shells a minute, were reported by the Germans today to be pouring across the Oder an Neisse rivers northeast and southeast of Berlin and directed into the city's eastern environs.
Moscow gave no official confirmation of any assault toward Berlin. The Nazis, however, reported heaviest pressure on a 10-mile arc 18 to 20 miles east of the city and said other powerful armies had crossed the lower Oder below the Baltic port of Stettin toward the plains northeast of Berlin and were across the Weisse river in Saxony south of the capital.

By The Associated Press
Invasion of Okinawa and , associated attacks on other Ryukyu islands and Japan itself have cost 7,988 casualties thus far for American Pacific fleet naval forces and Tenth Army ground troops.
This toll was announced last night by Adm. Chester W Nimitz,
Marines who reported U. S. had reached the northern end of Okinawa.
Nimitz reported, on the basisic information  available yesterday that 1,482 Army, Navy and Marine personnel had been killed in action since the Okinawa campaign started with Vice Adm. Marc A. Mitschner's carried plane strikes March 18 against the Ryukyus and Japan itself.
The wounded total 4,750, the missing 1,756. Naval losses were 989 killed, 2,22
wounded and 1,481 missing.  Army and ..Marine casualties totaled 493 dead, 2,530 wounded an 265 missing.

PAGE SIX Tune In on KRBC THE ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS Thursday Morning, April 19, 1945
Ernie Pyle, Now Dead, Found Fun With Marines
Edltor's Note: Ernie Pyle fell victim to a Jap sniper's bullet in the
Far Pacific. Here is one of the last columns he wrote:
OKINAWA—(By Navy radio)—After a couple of days with the headquarters of the Marine regiment I moved to a company and lived and marched with them for several days. The company Is a part of the first Marine division.
At first I introduced myself to the company commander and he took me on a half hour's walking trip around the company area before turning me loose with the men.
They had turned in for the night and put out perimeter defenses so no infiltrating Japs could get through and any big attack could be dealt with.
The company was on a hill about 3,000 yards long and about a hundred yards wide. The men were dug in down this sides of the hill. There was is mortar
platoon at the foot of the hill, all set up to throw mortars any direction.
Our part of the island had not then been declared "secured," and we had even received warning of possible attacks from the sea that night, so nobody was taking any chances.
This is the most perfect defensive position we've ever had in our lives," the company commander said. "One company could hold off a whole battalion for days. If the Japs had defended these hills they could have kept us fighting for a week."
The company commander was a young man with a soft southern tongue and his black hair was almost shaved. He was a little yellow from taking atabrine.
He is Capt. Julian Dusenbury from Claussen, S. C. He is easy going with his men, and you could tell they liked him. It happened that his birthday was on April 1—the Easter Sunday we landed on Okinawa. He was 24 that day. His mother had written him she hoped he'd have a happy birthday.
 "That was the happiest birthday present I ever had," he said, "going through Love Day without a single casualty in the company." While I was aboard ship somebody had walked off with my fatigue and combat jackets. So the ship gave me one of those Navy jackets, lined with fleece, which Is actually much warmer and nicer than what I’d had.
On the back of it had stenciled in big white letters: U.S. Navy. I had it on when I first walked through the company's defense area. Later that evening we were sitting on the ground around a little fire, warming our supper of  K rations. By that time I'd got acquainted with a good many of the boys and we felt at home with one another.
We had some real coffee and we poured it into our canteen cups and sat around drinking it before dark.
Then one of the boys started laughing to himself and said to me: "You know, when you first showed up, we saw that big Navy stenciled on your back and after you passed, I said to the others: "That guy's an admiral. Look at the old grey-haired ------. He's been in the Navy all his life. He'll get a medal out of this sure as hell."
The originator of this bright idea was Pfc. Albert Schwab of (1743 E. 14th St) Tulsa, Okla. He's a flame-thrower and flame-throwers have to be rugged guys, for the apparatus they carry weighs about 15 pounds, and also they are very much addicted to getting shot at by the enemy.
But to see Albert sitting there telling that joke on himself and me, you'd never know he was a rugged guy at all. I'm not an admiral and I won't get any medal, but you go get a lot of laughs out of this war business when things aren't going too badly.

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