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  < Back to Table Of Contents  < Back to Topic: They Served

article number 725
article date 07-05-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
We Enter World War II - Part 2: You Enter the Service, June 1942
by ’Yank’ magazine writers
   

CORREGIDOR : “STAND BY. . ."

NEW YORK—It’s May 5, 1942. The deadly tropical rays of the Philippine sun that turn men’s faces a sallow tan is baking the rock-bound fastnesses of Corregidor, and’ the heat rays bouncing back look like steam from a distance.

But Sgt. Irving Strobing, 22, is far below all this. American soldiers, dead and wounded, are piled around him in the tunnel.

This is the last hour of Corregidor. For that hour, Sergeant Strobing of Brooklyn sat there, tapping out an epic blow-by-blow description of a last-ditch struggle.

“This One for Joe”

Upstairs men were smashing their rifles to prevent those rifles from falling into the hands of the enemy. There was only time for a word or two. This one for his big brother—for Joe in the artillery.

It was painful work.

“Tell Joe,” he began . . .

Corregidor upstairs was breathing its last, and its breaths were blasts of rifle fire.

“Tell Joe, wherever he is, to give ‘em hell for us.”

Joe was not only his brother, Joe was many men, millions of American men, like Sergeant Strobing.

“We’ll Be Waiting”. . .

“We’ve got about fifty-five minutes and I feel sick at my stomach. I am really low down. They are around now smashing rifles. They bring in the wounded every minute. We will be waiting for you guys to help. Damage terrific. Too much for guys to take. Enemy heavy cross-shelling and bombing. They have got us all around and from the skies. (Pause)

Cornered

“The jig is up. Every one is bawling like a baby . . . (Pause) I know now how a mouse feels. Caught in a trap waiting for guys to come along and finish it up . . . (Pause)

“My name Irving Strobing. Get this to my mother, Mrs. Minnie Strobing, 605 Barbey Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. Tell Joe, wherever he is. to give ‘em hell for us. (Pause) Stand by.”

   
Plotting the teamwork which will spell the downfall of Axis tyranny everywhere in the world are Gen. George C. Marshall flanked by four top-flight fighting leaders of the Army of the United States. Starting on the left and going around him are Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces; Mal. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, Air Force; Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Chief of Services of Supply; and Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, Chief of the Army Ground Forces.

Of Life And Love — And Blackjack With Troops In Land ‘Down Under’

By Pvt. E. J. Kahn, Jr., YANK Staff Writer

Australia, June 3 (By Wireless)

Perhaps there are other lands where Nature has chosen to be more unmanageable. Perhaps the sun can grin more fiercely than it does from the cobalt-blue sky of Port Darwin. Perhaps there are wildernesses on this earth more dense and deserts more arid and seas much wilder than those of Australia.

But this land “down under” is the last frontier of the white man’s world as we Americans in our history have come to know the word frontier.

It hit me as soon as I set foot on Australian soil. It is in the walk and carriage of the men, it is in the smile of their women and in the straight-forward independent gaze of their children.

Those are the marks of Australia. Those are the marks of frontiersmen.

Americans Fit In

And it is being absorbed rapidly by U. S. Army troops. The Americans throughout the world are known as the most adaptable of all soldiers, to climatic conditions, to the wiles of the enemy. They are proving they have kept that knack, and yet have retained their own identity and personality among a people more like themselves perhaps than any other in the world.

Take the case of Sergeant Murphy, U. S. Army. He is 22 years old now, half-French, born in Paris. His father, Sergeant Murphy, Sr., was a member of the first A.E.F. in France, where he fell in love, was married and begot Sergeant Murphy, Jr.

Father lived in France for two years with his French wife “before the blarney in her talk brought him back to old New York,” Junior with him.

He did bring up his boy to be a soldier and Sergeant Murphy. Jr., enlisted and was given a Springfield about the same time Chamberlain was giving Hitler an umbrella. He arrived in Australia on the first convoy.

Then one fine Australian night, as moonlit as a Virginia Woolf novel about this fabulous land, he met her. She was 20—tall, and well-built with a wind-swept look about her. She worked in a munitions factory. Her name was Mary. In a fortnight, as they insist on calling two weeks throughout the British Empire, the equation between Murphy and Mary was complete.

Thus run the cycles of America’s adaptability from war to war.

They Still Cut the Cards

Take the gentle art of blackjack for instance. Those who went through France will be glad to know it is not a forgotten art.

On one of my first nights here, I was quartered at a certain airdrome in barracks with a group of flying non-coms. I was dead tired, but I sat until I was thoroughly trimmed. The last thing I remember was a lullaby of the money being changed from hand to hand, tinkling ever so gently as it slid back and forth.

   
Poker in the “land down under.” American soldiers test their ability in the old Army game with Aussie troopers while they wait for an alert signal. Had reporter-soldier Kahn tried his hand here, he might not have had so much trouble with the blackjack he describes.

$5O A MONTH FOR THE WIFE?

Congress Considering Allowance Bill

WASHINGTON—Uncle Sam would be an uncle in fact as well as in fancy to his married nephews in the U. S. armed forces under a bill now up for consideration by Congress.

The bill, already approved by the Senate Military Affairs Committee, would establish allowances for dependents of men in the U. S. armed services. It provides $50 a month for the wife of an enlisted man, with Uncle Sam contributing $28 and his nephew-in-uniform kicking in with the remaining 22 bucks from his monthly pay.

Although Uncle Sam would insist that you chip in for your wife’s support, he’ll assume full monetary responsibility for your kids if you’re one of his khaki-clad relatives. The measure also provides $12 a month for one child and $10 monthly for each additional child, with Uncle Sam footing the entire bill.

Your $22 monthly contribution to your wife’s support hinges on passage of the Soldier’s Pay Bill which would raise base pay for soldiers and sailors from $21 to $42 month. Your white-whiskered uncle doesn’t expect you to come through with 22 bucks for your wife if your monthly pay is only $21. However, the dependency bill, as a companion measure to the increased pay bill, will probably be passed soon after the $42 measure is signed.

Another step towards protecting the families of men in service is included in the same bill. It makes war-risk insurance compulsory. Under the plan, a $10,000 policy would cost you about $3.50 a month with Uncle Sam contributing the remainder of the premium, about $3.

The Draft Blows Lower

Before Alexander the Great was 30, he wept because there were no new lands to conquer. As a teenage tyrant, he had conquered all that was worth grabbing.

Today however, there is little editorial weeping over the prospect that America’s youth of 18 and 19 soon may be required to register for the draft in compliance with a Presidential suggestion.

Generally, editorial opinion was resigned—”If they’ve got to go, it might as well be now.”

Aside from the President’s recent hint, however, there has been no official statement on lowering of the draft age. Final action rests with congress.

   
The Physical.

So Few Gave So Much

HARRODSBURG. KY.—You won’t find Harrodsburg listed in any world atlas. In fact, Harrodsburg is nothing more than a pinpoint on its own state map. But this little Kentucky mountain town will gets its proper spot in world history.

One Out of 60

When Bataan fell, Harrodsburg lost seventy-six fighting men—one-sixtieth of its total population of 4,673 persons. Figured equivalently, New York City’s losses would be approximately 124,250 men.

Harrodsburg’s victims were officers and men of the town’s own Company D, of the 192nd Tank Battalion, a former National Guard outfit.

IMSHI, DROGO YOU CAN’T SMOOGE HERE

Following is the wildest collection of outlandish terms you’ve ever encountered, unless you happen to be in Australia. Probably no less confusing to them is our own American slang, but let’s take a gander at a glossary of Anzac jive-talk as printed by Life.

You can pronounce ‘em your own way. This is just the spelling:

Drogo - Rookie
Sheila - “Babe”
Sprong - One of inferior rank
Cliner - Jane, skirt, broad, etc.
Shivoo - Party
lmshi - Scram
Shikkered - Stewed, Lit, Drunk
Chivvy - Lip, backtalk
Smooge - Neck, Pitch the woo
Boko - Snoz, beak, nose
Sninny - Girl
Beano - Spread (Party)
Joes - Blues
Magg - Shoot the jive too much
Dinkum - A Right Guy
Kinkum Oil - The Lowdown
Yokko - Hard Work
Gee-Gee - Horse (ordinary)
Brumby - Plug, Nag
Ta - Thanks
Ta-Ta - Goodbye

Yank Reporting for Duty . . .

The Army is made up of a bunch of guys who regard themselves, after awhile, as men who know something about this business of fighting.

Soldiers, all of us, look down on a rookie or a newly-minted officer with a professional disdain that makes the worldly-wise attitude of a Broadway lounge-lizard tame by comparison. The mark of a veteran should be a lifted eyebrow rather than a service stripe.

But the real soldier is rare who doesn’t take a recruit in hand, work him over a bit, and then let him prove himself. And the rookie is lost who doesn’t hitch up his pants, square his shoulders and say to himself, “I’ll show that guy.”

Today, YANK, recruit, AUS, reports for duty.

You men of the AEF have a rookie newspaper on your hands for the duration, starting out as green as any shavetail who ever won his bars in ROTC, but with a terrific determination to do a job and do it well.

That job is to make YANK the newspaper of American soldiers in the combat zones overseas. It is to make this paper, edited by soldiers for soldiers, a medium of American news and enjoyment that will reach around the world to the war fronts wherever they may be.

Generally, things are a lot different than they were bock in the old days in France, where YANK’s predecessor, “The Stars and Stripes,” became one of the greatest journalistic successes of all time from the standpoint of reader interest and service to a cause.

The front is no longer a few hundred miles in a single country. The new AEF is everywhere—in Africa, in the Middle East, in England and Ireland, Alaska, Australia and in India. Where there is one American soldier, there is the front. That’s where you’ll find YANK.

There’s going to be hell to pay before this thing’s through. There’ll be fighting in France again, and in lots of places the American soldier’s never fought before. Staff members will be popping up all over the world, when the going gets tough, to give first hand accounts of how the American soldier has proved himself to be the best in the business. “YANK” will go with you when you’re fighting, chum, and that goes for anywhere.

YANK is your paper. If you don’t like it, it’s no good. It’s going to talk United States, and it’s edited for your benefit entirely. It’s not interested in shavetails or the CO—it’s interested in the finest fighting man who ever rolled a pack and hit the field.

Move over, soldier—you’ve got company.

   
KEEP POURING, ADOLF!

HERE’S NEWS FROM HOME

“HERE’S NEWS FROM HOME” comes to you on these stations at these times. Times giver are EASTERN WAR TIME, GREENWICH MERIDIAN TIME, and times of reception in focal points nearest to Overseas Command Bases.

   
Table: Overseas Radio Stations and Frequencies for "Here’s News From Home" broadcasts.

ONE-WEEK SCHEDULE *

JUNE 6, SATURDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Red Barber from Brooklyn. New York
• Localized News by Henry Morgan (Here’s Morgan) from New York
• Event: U.S.O. Hollywood Variety Show
• Today’s Best Story: An untitled story by Rex Stout
• Song by Dinah Shore

JUNE 8, MONDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Windy Davis from Boston, Mass.
• Localized News by Jim Eberly from Detroit, Mich.
• Event: Belmont Park race
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Dinah Shore

JUNE 9, TUESDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Stan Lomox from New York
• Localized News by Gilbert Forbes, Indianapolis, Indiana
• Event: Unscheduled
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Connie Boswell

JUNE 10, WEDNESDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Mel Allen from New York
• Localized Broadcasts by Beckley Smith from Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Event: Unscheduled
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Andrews Sisters

JUNE 11, THURSDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Bob Elson, Chicago, Ill.
• Localized News by Arthur Godfrey, Washington, D. C.
• Event: Unscheduled
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Bing Crosby

JUNE 12, FRIDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Knox Manning, California
• Localized News by Franz Laux from St. Louis, Mo.
• Event: Unscheduled
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Dinah Shore

JUNE 13, SATURDAY

• Sports Broadcast by Red Barber from Brooklyn. New York
• Localized News by Cedric Adorn from Minneapolis, Minn.
• Event: Unscheduled
• Today’s Best Story: Unscheduled
• Song by Betty Hutton

* These schedules ore subject to change at the discretion of the C.O.I. (Coordinator of Information) broadcasting staff. Changes are most likely to occur in the Event of the Day spot where news of immediate interest may take the place of a regularly scheduled event. Write to YANK about the kind of programs you want . . . what songs you want to hear . . . what bands . . . what singers . . . and what type of short stories you’d like to hear dramatized. We’ll take it up with the broadcasting boys and try to see that you get what you like most.

Meet Connie West "Girl Behind The Mike"

This story is for the men on the other end of the short-wave circuit who have been listening to the ear-easy voice of Connie West, the Roving Reporter on your “News From Home” broadcast beamed out every night by the COI office here.

You’ve heard Connie but you’ve never heard about her. No doubt, you guys in Australia, Africa, Ireland and the Middle East have worked out your own mental picture of “the girl behind the Army’s radio voice.” But here’s the real lowdown.

First off, Connie is a brunette. That may be disillusioning to you gentlemen who prefer blondes. But you’re the victim of circumstances, Joe. You just formed those opinions because you never met Connie.

Setting off Connie’s black hair are a pair of blue eyes and a satiny complexion which may be abetted, but was never instigated, by Elizabeth Arden. She’s tall — about 5’ 6”— but poised: that’s from several years experience on the legitimate stage.

Her age and weight are, of course, feminine secrets; and just as closely guarded as any of the G. I. variety. But, generally speaking on those two important questions, she’s young enough and, certainly, attractive enough.

Before taking over the Roving Reporter job on the COl “News From Home,” Connie was featured on many New York Radio programs. You’ve probably heard her on such popular network serials as "Show Boat.” “Gang Busters.” “Lincoln Highway.” “True Story” and “Mert and Marg.” Incidentally. Connie West is just her radio name. She is Helen Choat, a Boston-born actress who has appeared in several Broadway successes.

Connie is really “sold” on her job as the AEF’s “home town representative.” She’s enthusiastic about keeping you fellows in touch with your folks and she’s always working on ideas to jam her three-minute “spot” with as many items as possible about your Mother, Dad and best girl.

Her “Hello, fellows, and hello, particularly to Johnny Smith now somewhere in the Middle East” is the nightly signal to some American soldier in a strange land that he’s about to get a personalized message from his folks back in the States.

But Connie’s “News From Home” spot has only been on the short-waves for a little over a month so if she hasn’t mentioned you yet, why don’t you write her? She says she wants to hear from you. Then she can contact your family and gather some real hometown news to be relayed to you over the radio some night.

“I feel I know each one of the soldiers personally after I’ve met their families and then talked to them over the radio.” Connie says. “And I certainly would like to have them write me so we could get even better acquainted. That goes also for those men I haven’t ‘met’ yet over the air. If they’ll send me their names and home town addresses, I’II have a message from home for them as soon as possible.”

Well, what are you waiting for, soldier?

   
Helen Choat, alias, Connie West.

What’s Your Problem?

With all this talk in Congress about a pay increase for us, how about some figures on the U. S. Army pay scale in comparison with that of other armies.

by PVT. B. SOLSTEIN

For your $21 or $30 right at the moment, basic minimum monthly pay for soldiers in other armies is:
• Australia $45.00;
• Canada $30.00;
• Germany $21.60;
• Mexico $12.40;
• Britain $12.20;
• Argentina $4.76;
• Russia $4.00;
• Brazil $2.80;
• Italy $1.51;
• Turkey $0.40;
• Japan $0.30;
• China $0.28.

See story elsewhere in this issue on what you’ll be getting soon.

* * *

Once and for all, what’s the score on this left-handed salute business in the Army? Is it permissible, and if so, when? S/SGT. A. MOLINSKI

Don’t know any more about than what the AR says: that the hand salute, rendered anywhere, is with the RIGHT hand. Some people may take exceptions, but the book says uh-uh.

* * *

When I took out Class N Insurance I was under the impression it paid off only in case I should happen to kick off for keeps. Later on I was told the policy contains provisions for collection on injuries, too. How about it? CORP. C. CONDOS

Class N pays off certain amounts for total disability, or disability which renders you unfit for military service. For the details, talk to your CO.

* * *

Would you mind educating a poor dog-face as to the origin of this Horst Wessel Lied referred to in everything coming out of Germany? CORP. A. V. L.

Horst Wessel was a bully boy in Munich who was shot by a couple of guys for personal-political reasons during the earlier days of Hitler’s scramble for power. Wessel had written words to an old Austrian drinking song and, sensing a martyr angle, Mouthpiece Goebbels grabbed it up and made a national party song of same. The martyr idea was that the mortally-wounded Nazi supposedly refused to admit a Jewish physician who was called to treat him and as a result died of pure pig-headedness.

* * *

How many four star generals have there been? How many are alive now? How many are in active service now? This is to settle a bet. PVT. HERB FICKES

Here’s the dope: There have been eleven since the rank was created in 1799. First to hold it was Ulysses S. Grant. After him came William T. Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan, and Tasker H. Bliss. Seven men still alive have held or still hold the rank. They are Generals Pershing, March, Summerall, Hines, Craig, Marshall, and MacArthur. Only the last two, Marshall and MacArthur. hold the rank in active service. Hope you won your bet.

We’ve been having an argument for the past three weeks on which is better, the Garand M-1 or the old Springfield. Everybody admits the M-1 fires faster, but a lot of the guys say it isn’t accurate and also that its machinery inside is too complicated and is liable to crack up under combat conditions? Could you throw any light on the argument? CORP. HARVEY MILFORD

Was a time, a year or so ago, when this subject would have been too hot a potato for us to handle. People were furiously debating the merits of the Springfield, the M-1, and the Johnson automatic rifle. Each weapon had its fans and a stranger horning in on the argument was lucky to out with a whole skin.

Now, under combat conditions in the Philippines, the Garand has proved itself beyond question. After a few clips, the Garand is not quite as accurate as the old Springfield, but its firing-speed and the fire-power built up through that firing-speed more than make up for this.

Its inner mechanism is more complicated than the Springfield’s, but not so complicated as to go haywire under field conditions. Garands stood up on Bataan, and that was no picnic. We’re not trying to talk down the Springfield; it’s a swell rifle. But, for all-around combat use and as a basic arm, you can’t beat the Garand, and General MacArthur said so, publicly, not long ago.

* * *

I haven’t seen any tank warfare yet, but I think I’m going to before the war is over. I wonder if you could tell me whether and how often, tanks are likely to be stopped by rifle fire? PVT. CAHIR PRYGELSKI

Definite dope on this question is almost impossible to assemble. And, if we could get it, it would probably come under the heading of “Military Secrets.” Light and medium tanks are vulnerable to rifle fire. It’s the old combination of luck and good marksmanship that can disable them.

Using armor-piercing ammunition (the bullets with the black tips) and aiming at the firing slits, you may be able to louse up the occupants of any size tank. Even with regular ammunition, a strong fire concentration will force the enemy tank boys to keep their firing and steering slits closed to the minimum, will make them lose visibility and maneuverability, will help to make them easy prey for your own anti-tank outfit.

* * *

What’s the low-down on soldiers’ marrying? When I left the States, I understood that a private was supposed to get permission from his superior officer in order to marry. Of course, hardly anyone did, but that was the way it was on the books. Now I hear that this has been changed. Has it? And, if it has, how? PFC. CHARLEY BROWN

Your rumor was correct. As you said, it used to be necessary (for the record) for a soldier to get permission to marry. Now, however, you can marry whom you like, but try to do it during off-duty hours. By the way, how are the girls in Iceland?

   

‘FOUR FREEDOMS’ CORE OF OUR FIGHT: WALLACE

A short time ago, Vice-President Wallace made a speech in which he made one of the clearest statements of future American policy yet given. Every soldier should know what he is fighting for and what he may expect from his efforts. With this in mind, YANK reprints key paragraphs of Mr. Wallace’s speech.

   
Vice-President Wallace.

“The people, in their millennial and revolutionary march toward manifesting here on earth the dignity that is in every human soul, hold as their credo the Four Freedoms enunciated by President Roosevelt in his message to Congress on January 6, 1941. These Four Freedoms are the very core of the revolution for which the United Nations have taken their stand.

“We failed in our job after World War No. 1. We did not know how to go about it to build an enduring world-wide peace. . . . But by our very errors we learned much, and after this war we shall be in position to utilize our knowledge in building a world which is economically, politically, and, I hope, spiritually sound.

“Some have spoken of the ‘American Century.’ I say that the century on which we are entering—the century which will come out of this war—can be and must be the century of the common man. Perhaps it will be Americas opportunity to suggest the freedoms and duties by which the common man must live.

"Everywhere the common man must learn to build his own industries with his own hands in a practical fashion. Everywhere the common man must learn to increase his productivity so that he and his children can eventually pay to the world community all that they have received. No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. . . ."

   
Eclipse!

More Money Now En Route

PROSPERITY AT LAST

WASHINGTON — The enlisted men of the Army are practically on higher pay right now. It’s $50 a month for privates instead of $21, and substantial increases for grades and ratings, unless the President exercises his power of veto. The new pay, effective June 1, may reach you men at the June 30 pay call.

There are a few snarls to be ironed out yet by a Congressional committee but the big problems are solved, including the date the pay hike is effective.

Apprentice Navy seamen will receive the same $50 monthly base pay as Army’s buck privates.

The Figures

Here is what a soldier, sailor, marine or coast guardsman will draw this month as compared with previous earnings:

   
Current and New Pay for Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Coast Guardsman.

With his $50 a month, the American buck private will rank second only to the Australian as the highest paid G.I. in the world.

• The Australian private draws $62.50;
• the Canadian, $30.00;
• German, $21.60;
• Mexican, $12.40;
• British, $12.20:
• Argentine, $4.76;
• Russian, $4.00;
• Brazilian, $2.80;
• Italian, $1.51;
• Turkish, 40 cents;
• Japanese, 30 cents;
• Chinese, 20 cents.

The new bill raises the pay of Army shavetails and Navy ensigns from $1,500 to $1,800 and nurses from $70-130 to $90-150. It increases the rental and subsistence allowances of officers in the higher grades.

Under the new bill, rental allowances for officers without dependents range from $45 monthly for second lieutenants and ensigns to $105 for colonels and naval captains. Correspondingly, the range for these same officers with dependents is $60 to $120.

Subsistence allowance ranges from 70 cents to $2.10 per day.

Under existing minimum pay scales in the Army, second lieutenants either with or without dependents receive $40 per month rental allowance and $18 per month subsistence. Colonels without dependents receive a minimum of $80 rental, $120 with dependents. Subsistence allowances are $18 minimum for colonels without dependents, $54 with dependents.

Delayed Three Months

A difference of opinion between House and Senate on how liberally to pay the fighting forces delayed final action on the bill for more than three months. It was first introduced March 4 in the Senate by Senator Johnson, Democrat, of Colorado, and called for a 100 per cent increase in privates’ pay to $42 a month.

In the House, however Rep. Rankin of Mississippi offered an amendment to $50, which the Senate refused to accept in a joint conference committee. A compromise of $46 a month was reached after a long fight by Rep. Rankin to hold the pay at $50.

When the compromise was returned to the Senate for final approval last week, Senator Robert M. LaFollette of Wisconsin proposed that the Senate meet the House at $50 a month and this was approved June 9.

Meanwhile the House brought almost to final approval a bill which helps dependents of enlisted men. Now passed by both House and Senate and awaiting only adjustment of minor differences, the measure gives a soldier’s dependent wife $50 a month, of which $22 is mandatorily deducted from the soldier’s pay. The government kicks in the other $28. Each dependent child would receive $12 a month additional.

The same bill makes war risk insurance compulsory for U. S. fighting men. A. $10,000 policy would cost you $3.50 a month from your pay, with Uncle Sam adding $3 from his own pocket to make up the $6.50 monthly premium.

   
Even in a South Seas island, it’s the same old story—pay day means fresh paper, hard cash, and an old G.I. blanket. Must be too hot down there for this buck to stand at attention.

A SCREWBALL?

The 1942 Inventors’ Exposition includes a round tank invented by E. P. Aghnides, who thinks it’s an answer to a tankman’s prayer. Built like a bowling ball with treads, it rights itself immediately after turning over. The occupants will spin around a little but, what the hell, tankmen are sough already, aren’t they?

Flag Day

It happened one night at a port somewhere west of Suez.

British sailor tipsy. Goes in saloon. Meets three U. S. sailors. Limey slams U. S. Navy. Yankees buy him a drink. Limey slams U. S. Navy again. Yankees buy him another drink. Limey slams U. S. Navy third time. Yankees buy him third drink. . . . buy him tenth drink.

Limey passes out. Yankees sympathetic. Take him back to ship. Stop en route at tattoo shop. Limey still out.

Limey comes to. U. S. battleship on chest. Also red, white, and blue inscription, “God Bless America.”

   
Limey comes to.

CABLE HOME AT 60¢ PER

Sixty-cent cables and microfilm mail are now available to American expeditionary forces.

A list of 1033 fixed-test phrases, covering practically every situation in the life of a G.I., have been written. The sender may incorporate up to three of these texts in a cable or radiogram. Cost of the entire message will be 60 cents plus Federal tax, including address and signature.

The ordinary cable rate is 20 to 40 cents a word.

Soldiers send the new Expeditionary Force Messages to the U.S. from Britain, Alaska, Newfoundland, Puerto Rico, Panama, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Plans may extend the service to Australia, New Caledonia, Egypt, India, China and Iceland.

Relatives and friends may send outbound E.F.M. cables and radio-grams to you under the same conditions. Service overseas will be handled through central stations, with local deliveries and collections made by the Army Postal Service. The location of foreign posts to and from which messages are sent will not be indicated.

Very Expressive

The guy who prepared the 103 available text didn’t miss any tricks. If you get cleaned in a black-jack game, you need only go jaw-bone for sixty cents to wire home for seconds. If you need it quick for a Saturday night date with a blonde in Melbourne, you may group your phrases this way: “Urgent. Please send me ten dollars. Best wishes for a speedy return.”

Or if you suspect that “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place,” you can make a comeback with “No news of you for some time. Are you all right. Loves and kisses.”

Light for Postmen

A new mail service, known as V-Mail, is now in operation between Army units in England and Northern Ireland and the United States. Mail is dispatched to a central station, censored and photographed on small rolls of microfilm. The British have used this system for some time.

The microfilm rolls ace dispatched to America, where they are developed and photostatic copies made on special forms, which are sent through regular mail to the addressees.

V-Mail so far is handled only on a one-way basis between England, Northern Ireland and the United States, but it may soon be extended to U.S. armed forces in other parts of the world.

A Flaming Nightmare

Time was running out on Corregidor. Everyone knew the siege was nearly over. They had started to kill the horses; the meat was tough, but it was better than nothing. A man could fight on its nourishment, and fight well.

Out of the fortress’ vaults the finance officers brought $100 million in currency—useless paper. It couldn’t be taken off the island, and it couldn’t be left for the Jap. The only thing to do was to burn it.

Ten thousand dollar bills burn well. Around the fire stood silent soldiers, watching a fortune go up in smoke. A dirty-faced private stepped forward, picked up a $100 bill, turned it over and over in his hands. He put a cigarette in his mouth, bent and let the $100 touch the flames, then lit his cigarette from the blazing currency. “Always wanted to do that,” he said.

Other soldiers followed him silently, doing the same thing. For once, money didn’t matter much. Time was running out on Corregidor.

   
"Oh, some slip-up somewhere. I imagine we’ll be back on regular rations in a day or two."

Mail Call

   

Dear Yank:
If Yank is going to be another of those corny Army papers with cartoons about rookies peeling potatoes and jokes about supply sergeants and top-kicks, you can cancel my subscription before I even subscribe. Before we left the United States it looked like all we ever saw about the Army was that sort of thing. And I for one do not want to be chased all over northern Ireland by the same damned thing. What do you say about giving us a break? Sgt. Anthony J. Lavagetto

A: We promise to do our best to keep the corn out. To us, the potato peeler and the supply sergeant have grown a little thin and none of our readers are rookies. We will step heavily on those antique stories and cartoons. Brother, you are among friends.

   
Somewhere in Ireland

Dear Yank:
There isn’t anything down here but lizards. What I mean is that there isn’t anything extra to listen to. We have a short wave that’s pretty good, but there isn’t enough of it. So we figured that you’d be willing to write Crosby and Allen, and maybe Benny, and tell them to talk louder or more often or something. Very truly yours, T/Sgt. Mander Lunk

A: Don’t worry. You’ll be getting more broadcasts.

   
Somewhere in Australia

Dear Yank:
We were looking over an old Lee-Enfield rifle the other day, and it reminded me of different kinds of rifles, which I’ve always been interested in. A new magazine like yours might want to feature foreign rifles sometime. I mean with pictures and making comparisons with our Garands and Springfields. I thought it would be interesting. Just a suggestion. Yours truly, Pvt. Homer Alexander

A: We’ll see what we can do.

   
We like to stick Japs with all rifles.

Dear Yank:
A bunch of us were arguing last night about gas, and somebody said the worse a gas smells the less harmful it is. Lewisite smells like geraniums, phosgene smells like hay and tear gas smells like apple blossoms. That kind of stuff. Does it work that way all the time? Pvt. Marvin Wilson

A: What about mustard gas—or do you like the smell of garlic anyway? ‘There’s ethyldichlorarsine, which has a biting odor and blisters the bejaysus out of you. There’s chlorpicrin, or “puking stuff,” which smells like flypaper. White phosphorus, which can burn your arm off, smells like burning matches. Gas is gas, no matter how it smells.



EDITOR’S NOTE: A few paragraphs ago the ’Yank’ Mail Call column writer promised no more potato peeler jokes. Evidentially the writer did not know that there was one more coming . . . (below).

   
“Show Betty your wound from peeling potatoes.”

Movies Over Seas

   

(All pictures reviewed In this column are scheduled for distribution to overseas forces by the Special Services. This is designed as a brief preview of what’s in the works.)

THE INVADERS (Columbia)

Eric Portman (a tough Nazi), Raymond Massie (a tougher Canadian private), Laurence Olivier (a French-Canadian trapper), Leslie Howard (a literary guy).

Six Nazi fugitives from a U-boat land in Hudson Bay and try to beat their way to freedom across Canada. It proves, but not heavily, that we don’t think and live like Nazis.

KING’S ROW (Warner)

Robert Cummings (hero), Ann Sheridan (a nice Irish dish), Ronald Regan (a small-town playboy), Claude Rains (a wise old doctor), Charles Coburn (a sadistic old doctor), Betty Fields (wacky daughter of the wise old doctor).

This one is about the private lives and conflicts in a small American town in the early 1900’s. Don’t let that deceive you. Plenty goes on, both wholesome and unwholesome.

BROADWAY (Universal)

George Raft (tough), Pat O’Brien (rough), Janet Blair (mm-m-m), with good support by Brod Crawford, Anne Gwynne and Marjorie Rambeau. The treatment is novel since it is a biography of Raft. He is seen in the first part of the picture as himself. The story then cuts back to the “roaring ‘20s” to deal with the stage hit, “Broadway.”

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (Warner Brothers)

James Cagney (Yankee), Joan Leslie (Dandy), Entire cast (good). “Yankee Doodle Dandy” tells the story of the life of George M. Cohan, and his theatrical triumphs on Broadway as a producer, writer, composer and star. It proves, without trying to, that this army needs a marching song.

MRS. MINIVER (M-G-M)

Greer Garson (a beautiful woman), Walter Pidgeon (a London husband in the Blitz). This is one of the war’s best movies so far. It’s the spirit of ordinary people under fire. Recommended for men who think all the fighting is done by soldiers.

MAISIE GETS HER MAN (M-G-M)

Ann Sothern (and you know what we mean), Red Skelton (funny), Allen Jenkins, Donald Meek, Leo Gorcey, Fritz Feld, Rags Ragland (all as crazy as you’d expect).

This is a typical Maisie yarn. There’s an Army camp sequence at the end that’s good for a laugh and is strangely accurate for Hollywood. The title tells the story.

THE SPOILERS (Universal)

Marlene Dietrich (herself), Randolph Scott (manly), John Wayne (equally manly).

This is blood-and-thunder stuff about the Yukon gold rush, features one of the nicest knock-down, drag-out fights ever screened. If you like action, if you like Dietrich, you’ll cheer this.

TAKE A LETTER, DARLING (Paramount)

Rosalind Russell (Lervley), Fred MacMurray (she thinks he’s cute, too), Robert Benchley (the business man).

This is about a dame advertising executive who falls flat on her face in love with her male secretary. Light as the crust on mother’s pies, but good entertainment.

   
This Indiana girl who is making good out Hollywood way is Anne Baxter. She was chosen by Orson Welles for a starring role in his forthcoming “The Magnificent Ambersons.” She is only five feet, weighs 110.
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