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2 - in a sharp turn, throwing up the white spray...
in a sharp turn, throwing up the white spray plume aft as they churned right straight " in for the German ships. In this dash for the kill, the skippers on their tiny exposed bridges watched the gap of North sea between, them and the targets closing down. They came closer--closer. And then our, force opened up with everything it had. In another moment the boats were careening off to the Germans' stern to disengage. And then they circled and came back again, and back again, to spout metal and fire at the enemy. By now the cold north sky was red hot with tracers, both from German guns and from our own. Tracers flashed across the water like huge, incredible fast fireballs from hundreds of roman candles. They curved and dropped, some of them having killed as they were intended to, some of them plunging sterile into the sea. Some of them ricocheted and whistled up from the wave tops, others seemed to float away harmlessly and hurn themselves out before dropping into the sea. At least one of the enemy went up in a roar, and two others were unquestionably mortally stricken. They blazed like bonfires on the Bea. But we were hurt, too. Before our boats could untangle themselves from the mess of flying death, one of them was wounded. Tracers on the Bridge. A sudden furious burst of tracers crashed into the bridge. It hit like a cloudburst and then evaporated, gone as fast as it had come. Up on the bridge platform of our wounded craft the captain lay dead. A dozen tracers had found him. His first lieutenant lay wounded on the deck, and beside an E-boat, it tears it apart. Moreover, whenever the weather allows it, the British boats are out on night patrol, scouring the enemy coast. They've been so sue-, cessful with this, incidentally, that the Germans now describe their own shoreline as "coffin alley," and they complain that the British .are better armed and in better force. The boats do their job at night. They gallop across to the enemy coast and then sail a patrol looking for anything that comes along in the form of a merchant convoy, sometimes it's the armed defense vessels, and sometimes it's the old E-boat, still fast, and still with a bite, but now a little gun shy. Fight Still Left. When the boats sight an enemy, their [engines open up and then sweep in under his guns for the kill. The torpedo boats dig straight in for the target, let go their torpedoes and then sweep away to disengage. The gunboats prowl around the German's convoy lines and shoot it out with anything they find. Most of the boats now are scarred and worn, but they all have many a fight left in them. So now the royal navy's motor gunboats and motor torpedo boats run wild in the North sea and knock the wind out of Germany's coastal shipping. To watch these midget raiders in action, I paid a visit to one of the light coastal forces bases along the east coast of England. My host, an old time, gray- haired commander turned out to be modest, and at the same time tremendously enthusiastic about the work his forces were doing. "You might think I'm anti- publicity, but that's not true," he said as soon as I stepped into the ramshackle wooden operations government-owned synthetic rubber plants to start operations to date, and the first plant in which all operations in the production of synthetic rubber are carried on at one location. In loaves more than a foot wide 28 inches long and 6 inches thick --which looked like giant slabs of johnnycake--it popped out of great presses before the eyes of newsmen making the first detailed tour of the nearly-finished $56,000,000 plant which occupies 77 acres in the Kanawha valley near Charleston, and which is designed to produce more than 200,000,000 pounds of synthetic rubber annually. The loaves were the Buna S of synthetic rubber, the genera! product .selected for four-fifths of the government's program. End Product. Deftly wrapped in cardboard containers for shipment to rubber processing factories, the loave; were the end products of a process that began with grain alcohol, ben- zol and ethylene gas. The process consisted in making the raw material? of synthetic rubber from those products--butadiene from alcohol, and styrene from benzol and ethylene--and then combining the butadiene and styrene. "Gentlemen," said Dr. Sidney M. Caldwell, director of tire development for the U. S. Rubber company, which, along with the Carbide and Qarbon Chemicals corporation, is operating the plant foi the government, "you are witnessing the birth of synthetic rubber production on an enormous basis. "Up to now, while synthetic rubber has been produced in various parts of the country, there has been produced only enough to get our machinery oiled and in gear you might say. But from now on in this plant and others that are either completed or nearing completion to (By big evacuation the freedom for down only when by at to

Clipped from
  1. The Nebraska State Journal,
  2. 31 May 1943, Mon,
  3. Page 5

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