Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas on April 1, 1943 · Page 1
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Hope Star from Hope, Arkansas · Page 1

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Served by the No. 1 News Organization — The Associated Press VOLUME 44—NUMBER 143 Hope Star of Mopff, 1899; Press, )9?7, Consolidated January 18, 1929. Star The Weather Arkansas: Local thundcrshowcrs in cast portion today; little temperature change in went, slightly cooler in east portion tonight. HOPE, ARKANSAS, THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1943 (AP)—Means A^ociotod Press (NEA)—Means Newspaper Enterprise Ass'n PRICE 5c COPY Net Tightened on Rommel Our Daily Bread Sliced Thin by The Editor ALEX. H. WASHBURN . Uniform Freight Rates Demanded A Justice Denied to the South You read in this paper March 30 an AP dispatch from Washington reporting that the Board of Investigation and Research created by the 1940 Transportation Act has recom- i *nended abolition of the regional differential in freight rates and the creation of a uniform national rate structure. ,OPA to Release New Prices on "Rationed Meats Washington, April 1 —(if)— The Office of Price Administration today polished up new standardized 'retail prices for beef, veal, lamb and mutton, which along with rationing, are expected by officials to iron out many of the kinds in that meat distribution machinery. . These price rules, which prob- 'fcbly will be released Monday, will be similar to the standardized retail pork prices that go into effect today, although they probably will not be effective until about April 15. •J) As 'ii the case of today's pork prices, the new rules on beef, veal, lamb -md mutton will set up two prices, one for small independent stores and the other for large independents and chains, in each of 4l zones into which the country Tins been divided. The two prices probably will be a cent to a few cents apart, with the small stores permitted • to charge the higher prices because of higher relative / operating costs. State Special Taxes Show Good Increase Little Hock. Anril 1 i/l'i Special lax SOUITCS produced $2,529,720 for Arkansas in March compared to $2,483.,UI> in March 1!)42 and $2,004.H28 in February 194,'i despite sharp drops in gasoline and liquor revenues, New March highs for cigarette, severance, income and beer taxes and a sharp increase in sales tax March 1942 more slump in gasoline 1. f * , . if Thin ..will do away with the confusion over meal prices which of ficials believe has done much to m.'tke possible widespread "black markets" in meat. Formerly, each store had its individual maximum |mcat prices depending on what that store charged for each cut in March, 1942. As wholesale prices rose, many stores wilh low maxi- miims could not afford to handle much meat. Some were tempted, Jiccortlingly, lo buy meat illegally •find sell il at illegal prices. As OPA sees il, il was impossible lo enforce the individual citlinp- because Ihc public could not determine easily whether il was being charged proper prices, f Under the new system, all .small stores and all large or chain stores in the same locality will have Ihc same maximum prices, enabling the public to dctocl illegal charges easily. ,» Today's pork prices provide samples of the new system. In Los Angeles and San Francisco and oilier cities in their zone, for instance, grade A sliced bacon cannot bring more than 49 cents a pound in small stores and 47 cents in the Qthcrs. In Ihe Chicago zont, con- tor slices of smoked ham are limited lo GO cents a pound in small '^stores and 57 cents elsewhere. In \thc Boston Now York - Philadelphia Washington zone, the top .•rice on smoked whole hams is 41 "•cuts a pound in small stores and 39 cents elsewhere. The pork regulation contains similar ceiling prices for a total of (i(i principal cuts, which are C ubdivided by grade and other vur- ,. jtions into 230 classifications. Revenue Inspector Attacked at Capitol ^ Little Rock, April 1 — (/!>)— State police joined Litlle Rock authorities loday in a search for an un- idenlified assailant who fires two shots at State Revenue Inspector A. B. Huddleslon as he entered the ' i^tute capitol last night. Huddleslon had gone to the cap' ilol lo check some automobile license number for the slate police. He said the building was unlighl- ed and that as he entered the li- I Jjense division in the basement "oinoone fired at him. The shots went wild. The building was searched with- oul success. The regular capilol nightwalchiiuui suid no ono left by the only door which was nol Cocked. Little Rock Plant , Damaged by Fire | Little Rock, April 1 —f/P>— Fire that .started in Ihe rcfinishing room caused damage eslimalcd ai more than $20.000 "to Ihe Little Rock Furniture Manufacturing com' pany's plant al 1498 East Second 'Wreet here early today. W The blaze set off an automatic sprinkler system and consider- i able water damage resulted in other parts of the factory. Uniformity is necessary, said the board's report to President Roosevelt, "lo provide equal opportunity for the economic development of all parts of the country wilhout arlificial rate handicap or preference." . Railroad freight rules represent the worst case of political discrimination lhal Ihe South has lo con- lend wilh. You read in this column recently our mention of a magazine attack upon the New Deal written by Governor Sum Jones of Louisiana. Governor Jones criticized the New Deal for having culled the South "the nation's No. 1 economic problem", when as n matter of fact the South hud been made so by Republican-conceived freight rales which the New Deal, immediately it had gotten into power, refused to change. In the freight rale issue alone there is sufficient political dynamite to cause the South to bolt the Democratic party, as staled by Governor Jones. Nol lo vole Republican, for there is no relief in that direction, but lo organize u third parly which, by making Ihe Soulh and Wesl doubtful political territory, would give them the bal-' ance of power. Every Northerner who comes South and views limitless territory and millions of citizens, immediately wants to know why we don't produce more with that land—and nourish industry in our cities. But the truth is, produclion is the smaller half of the American aticcc^s story. The larger half is the problem of transporting production lo market and commanding a profitable selling price. The Enst, wilh ils lightly-packed millions of voters, long ago held flic whip hand in fixing railroad freight rales lhal would protect established Northern industry and hurt all attempts to set up competition in the South and West. Only by a coalition of Ihc South and West is the Eastern political monopoly ever broken. You ask how important lliis freight rale question is. Let me quole the statement made in the House of Kcprescntalivos March 27 by Congressman Gavin of Alubaina: "Wo must ship the pig iron out of our area (Birmingham is a steel center) and let some other area make the stoves and then let those stoves conic back lo our area, al n much lower price lhan we can ship Ihose stoves if we manufacture them and Iry lo send tht-m into some other area." Under the present freight rate system a carload of Arkansas lumber could be hauled lo Grand Rapids, Mich., manufactured into furniture and shipped back to wilh- iii a couple of hunciied miles of an Arkansas plant and bold for less than the homo plant could sell it. So important arc freight rules. Blevins Boy Listed As Jap Prisoner collections over than offset the and liquor taxes. Salcj '.ix collections were up to S73H.025 from $009,385 in March 1942; cigarette revenues jumped from $17.'>,f>ir> k> $204.501. and severance- tiixes climbed lo $102,581 from $07.001. Income taxes produced $290.1)13 and beer laxcs lo- taled $115,900. Gasoline- tax revenue dropped to $7011.406 from $919,254 in March 1942 and liquor revenue declined to $50,437 from $99,029. Reds increase Tempo Despite Bad Weather By EDDY GILMORE Moscow, April 1 — i/l'i — Overcoming Ihr worst kinds of transportation difficulties, the Red Army i struggled today lo increase Ihe loin- po of its offensives despite the bad weather. In the Kuban valley of the Western Caucasus, the Soviet troops drove on from Anaslascvskaya, one of the German's last good-sized bases on the eastern of the Kerch strait. The Soviet midnight com- munique announced its capture yoslerday. The strait is but 42 miles from the town. There was evidence along other sectors lhal the Russians, by their great effort at quick consolidation of their gains, were beginning to give the Germans fresh worries. The Nazi commanders had been confident mud and slush resulting from the spring thaw would hall all operations. Now they were beginning lo wonder if their wishes would come true. (The Gorman communique said loday the Germans had repulsed Russian attacks at Ihc Kuban bridgehead and that, only local engagements were being fought in Pvl. William H. Mouser, 22. officially reported a prisoner of the Japanese today, is the son William A. Mouser, farmer of near Blevins. I lie was born and reared in Hemp-' stead county. He attended Blevins High School prior to joining the armed service early in 1941. Following his last communication with his parent!; on Christmas 1941, he was listed as missing when Bataan peninsula capitulated to the Japanese by the War Department. Two youths from neighboring counties. Pvt. Bill B. Haynie, Jr. son of Bill B. Haynie. Sr.. of Prcs- cott route one, and Pfc. Wilson H. Wilhite, son of Jim Wilhile of Nashville route five, also were listed as prisoneds by the war department. Canadians Also to Have Meat Rationed Ottawa. April l—(<Vt— Canadians, who normally eat about two and a half pounds of meat per person each week, will be cut down to two pounds a week under a ration system to go into effect early in May. Finance Minister James llslcy. said meatless days would be observed in restaurants, hotels and other eating places when plans now in preparation are completed. other weclors of the eastern front.) The midday communique said that on the western front., after artillery duels, the Russians cleared the- Germans from some positions, although there was no material change in this front before Smol- ensk. The Germans threw numerous sharp counterattacks at the Soviet troops but gained no objectives, it was said. The Germans now were reported fighting from a g o o d depth .if defenses where they were wr:ll - armed and fully manned, and boasting supcriror numbers in sonic sectors. Thci-'.- was sonic evidence that they were piling in reserves as they strained every effort In hall the Russian a d v a n c e toward Smolensk. The Red Army had to use roads across 'he- marshlands because the- j Germans had wrecked the railway .is they moved buck. T h e Germans, on Hie other hand, slill had rail linos supplying the front from .Smolensk. The Germans continued sharp but. not biti - scale attacks in narrow sectors along the Northern Donets river, and failed to make any crossings or to drive the Russians from the footholds they slill had • in the western bunk, it was declared. Wost of lloslov, activity increased as warmer spring weather made the area boiler for military operations, and Soviet b i g guns battered the German positions. The Germans attempted violently to retake Ihe Kuban sector regained by the Rod Army. Led by dive bombers, 200 rapid fire rifle men advanced upon the approaches of a settlement. A Tass dispatch declared the Germ.ins shelled and bombed the sector every 10 or 15 minutes for several hours, and then the rifle men moved in. They wore repulsed. They launched a second attack; it, too, ended in failure. Anastusevskuyu is only 10 miles fro'ii a road le-uding south lo Novo- rossisk, the lormcr Russian naval base mi the Black Sea coast, and principal supply center now for what is left oj. the Nazi Caucasus army. If Ihc Russians can seize the road junction they could trap a sizable German force in that area. Another Soviet force' previously had been reported in Abinskaya. only 20 miles northeast of Novoros- sisk. Kxporl of Liberiun rubber increased from about 2,500,000 pounds in 1935 lo 14,000,000 pounds in 1941. The United Stales has only three cilii'.s served by subway systems; there are eight in Europe and five in 1hc ix-sl of the world. GOP Seeking to Bar Roosevelt From 4th Term —Washington Washington. April 1 — (/!') —Republicans angled today for Democratic support preparatory to nilro- ducing in the Senate a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment limiting a president's tenure in office in two four - year terms. Senator Butler (R - Neb. > said he and other Republicans planned to join in offering the resolution soon and hoped to have some Democrats listed as co - authors. An informal canvass indicated, hu said, "several" Democrats would support the measure. The Butler resolution is similar to a proposal being considered by Senator Wherry (R - Neb.) but differs ,in form from a constitutional amendment under study by Senator Bridges (R - NH), which would limit a president's tenure in office to ono six - year term. Obviously designed to counteract talk of a fourth term nomination for President Hoosevell, the Butler measure could be expected to have the solid backing of the Senate's i)fl Republicans, but a two - thirds vole by both Mouses is required to submit a constitutional amendment to the states. Impetus to the congressional move came with adoption of anti- fourth term resolutions by Republican - controlled slate legislatures in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Republican National Chairman Harrison Spangler said the action in these states represented a spontaneous movement which apparently started too late to accomplish its objective by 11)44. Spangler made this observation as Democratic, NationalCljairm'aB Frank Walker returned from a three weeks' lour of 12 states of the west, midwest and southwest with an impression his party's chances for 1!)44 "look very good." Walker did not mention the fourth • term issue in talking with reporters in Chicago, but at Spokane, where he visited March ir>, he said "it is the opposition that is talking fourth term, not the Democrats." Butler said in drafting the Senate resolution he was moved by the belief that, to continue a president in office more than t W o terms could only lead eventually to a break - down in Democratic government. OPA to File on Rent Violators Little Hock. April 1 — </)'i— The Arkansas Democrat said today a "crack-clown" on rental proplrly owners charged with violating rent regulations was seen in the an- nouccmenl by the state OPA office that suits were being prepared for filing against eight landlords in the Jonosbore and Little Rock divisions of the eastern Arkansas federal court district. One suit was filed here against a Little Rock apartment owner charged with false declaration of apartment rentals, illegal eviction of tenants and failure to register one rental unit. OPA also announced the Fort Smith and two Hot Springs cases had been prepared for filing in the western district court tomorrow. U. S. Creating Doubts As to Post War Role Invasion Jitters Hit Nazis Amid Landing Report —Europe Measles, Whooping Cough, Pox in State Little Rock, April 1 —in'}— State Health Officer W. B. Grayson reported today mild epidemics of German measles, whooping cough and chicken pox in Arkansas. The weekly tabulation of communicable diseases showed 1,043 ] measles cases this year compared to 52 for the same period in 1942; 649 cues of chicken pox compared to 414 and 442 cases of whooping cough compared lo 135. Four new cases of meningitis i sary New York, April 1 (/!') Sumner Wells, undersecretary of stale- said today thai "one of the gravest doubts that exists in the minds of the partners of the United Nations today is the doubt as to whal Ihe policy of the United Slates will bo when the victory is won." Welles, in an address prepared for delivery to the Chamber of Commerce of the slate of New York and broadcast by the National Broadcasting company, declared oir Allies remember that after Uie victory of 1918 the United Stales "withdrew from almost every form of practical cooperation" with friendly nations in Iho reconstruction tasks, and "made no efforl lo win Ihc peace." "Our Allies arc asking Ihein- selvcs now whether wo will again follow thai same course," Welles said. "In a very real sense the decision that will be made with re- gai-d: lo Hie renewal of Ihe Iradc li'gi-orniw.ts act will' be regarded by people threitighoul the world us an acid tcsl of our future inlon- lions. "They will sec in that decision a clear indication as lo whether Iho people of the United Stales have determined upon a policy of international cooperation for the future, or whether they will once more turn back to that road of isolation which leads to inevitable disaster." Welles said the creation of a reliable and permanent peace is the greatest, single interest and objective- of the nation, but voiced an opinion that the greatest obstacle to sot-cess in the project was defeatism. "And I am even more convinced that unless the American people ' willing Huso iaihfm IT cm v.'bk b arc willing to assume their fair | share of responsibility for the main i tenance of peace in Ihe world of ' Ihe future, by joining in the exercise, of police powers when that may bo dclcrmincel by international agreement to bo necessary, and by participating in such other forms of international cooperation as may effectvicly prevent Ihc rise of economic or political dangers, the peace of the world cannot bo maintained," he said. In tho post • war period, the undersecretary .said, il will be ncces- lor this country to supply its London. April 1 — f/pj —Signs of increasing Axis invasion jitters from Ihe Balkan frontier lo the Scandinavian peninsula were highlighted today by a roundabout report that Allied parachute troops had established n base in the Nor- woigan mountains and had sallied oul in raids on Nazi - controlled factories. The Norwegian government - in- exilc here, commenting upon the report, declared "Quisling and the Germans appear to be genuinely alarmed," but said it could not give any confirmation. The story came to London in Stockholm dispatches which said the Allied parachute base w a s somewhere in the Nardangcr Vidda mountain lakes area, an indcal district for an airdrome and lhal il was equipped with a meteorological station. The London daily press quoted the German radio as announcing Nazi troops arc hunting the parachutists, said to be British a n d Norwegians. On 'he southern border of the Allied invasion arc, meanwhile, Italian Propaganda Minister Alcssan- dro Pavolini announced Sicily, oft the toe of the Ilalian bool, had become "a forlified oulposl of Ihe Ilalian bool, had become "a fortified outposl of Ihe European continent itself against any a n d all attacks coming from the Mediterranean." Yesterday Italy announced a new mobilization law to be applied in event of invasion. The Daily Mail said in a d i s- patch from Madrid thai 350,000 Ions of French shipping imtno- hilized in Mediterranean ports since the German ouccupation of southern Franco had been ordered sent lo Genoa, Spezia and ports in Sardinia and Sicily. "The obvious inference is that a Dunkerquc fleet is being collected for Rommel," the Mail said. Emergency crews of Italians would man the ships, the paper said. Mills Makes Longest Talk on Tax Plan Adkins Promised Aid in Mine Development Washington, April 1 (K-) —Gov. Homer M. Adkins returned lo Arkansas loday wilh assurances from Director H. R. Saycrs of the Bureau of Mines that he would assist in efforts to oblain priorities for a pilot plant to process diamonds from the Arkansas diamond fields for war industries. Adkins called on Sayers after President Roosevelt had referred him to Secretary Ickes, who in lurn sent Adkins lo Sayers. The Arkansas governor lold the president he was anxious lo see Ihe now idle diamond field in his stale placed in produclion. Adkins, scheduled to arrive in Litllc Rock tonight, went to the WPB with Senator McClcllan (D Ark.) to request consideration for Arkansas in any expansion of aluminum production. They also discussed proposed completion of power units at the Lake Catherine, Ark., aluminum planl bul Adkins said they rcccvied the impression that completion must wait until after the war. Chinese Armies Beat Off 13 Jap Attacks were re-ported during the week, increasing the total for the year to 3!i as cnmpaied lo nine for the same period last year. Pi-eliistoric Europe is believed to have been virtually at peace for 000 years before 1,200 B.C., about the lime thai iron weapons were introduced. fair share of immediate relief to Iheisc left destitute in Ihc wake of : the war, "not omily for humanitarian reasons bul for reasons of purest se'lf - interest." Liberia and ils neighboring slate. Sierra Leone, have the lu-av- i iest rainfall on western Africa's ' coastal bulge. This Is All Fool's Day- but the War Rationing Does Away With Fooling By KENNETH L. DIXON Washington. April 1 —I/PI— This is April Fool's day — sometimes known as All Fools' day, which doesn' 1 . leave any doubt as to whal the ancients thought about most folks. But in view of the war's restrictions on what some fools consider fun, the Society for the.- Preservation of Practical Jokers today warned ils members throughout the nation to proceed with caution in the matter of pranks otherwise, there may be casualties. For instance: Don't use lhal old wallel-on-a- hals Jii the sidewalk, for passing pedestrians to kick. It's sabotage —shoes are rationed. Don't ue that, old wallet-on-a- string trick. If the sucker bends over to pick it up, he may bust his suspenders. Rubber elastic is scarce. Don'l put salt in the au^ar bowl. One jup of coffee ruined by a spoonful of salt is considered grounds for justifiable homicide. Don'l let the air out of your neighbor's tires — unless you've made your will. Don't drain his gasoline out on the ground. Not a lawyer in the country would dare touch your case. i Don'l sneak into an army camp wilh a bugle and blow reveille an j hour carlv. Tearing you limb from j relief Washington, April 1 — i/l'i —One of the longest speeches during the income tax debate in the House was by Representative Wilbul Mills (D Ark.I. Mills, wno is a member of the Ways and Means committee, vigorously supported the lax bill written by that group and attacked the Ruml plan which lie said was "nol Ihe American way." "Musi we forever be confronted wilh schemes which when slrippe 1 of their glowing colors always, show a tendency to change ih'! American way of life'.'" he asked. He spnko for 45 minutes without being interrupted, though interruptions were frequent in most of Ihe tax speeches as members hurled charges of "dcinagoluei v" al one another across Ihe ybile •••.(-iiarating Democrats and Republicans. Mills devoted nearly all of his lime lo analysis, witlmul much reference- to personalities. One .if Iho lighter passages of Ihe speech was as follows: "The proponents of wholesale cancellation admit thai their plan will do sonic damage lo our social structure. However, they c 1 n i m that this damage will not com-? to liKlil until Judgment Day. Tlu-y say Ih;il we can therefore disim-:.-: il fur Ihe time- bring from practical considerations. "Now tin- exact date of juelge'- nie'iit Day lias been Ihc subject of considerable dispute, some of which has been of a sectarian na- j lure. However, if Judgment Day coincides wilh the day when harmful effpf-ls of wholesale rancolla- tion will be felt, Mr. Ruml's rating of this momentous occasion is Ihe earliest 1 huvo heard from any responsible authority. ' He continued lhal actually the Carlson bill i embodying Ihc main feature's of the Ruml plan: "would threaten a very formdiablc day of reckoning in the near future." He cat led the bill "a bill for the tax of congressmen and t h e By the Associated Press Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese armies have crushed a series of 13 Japanese altacks and launched 17 of Iheir own during Ihc past week, a Chinese spokesman said today, while on other Far Pacific fronts the Allies struck at the Japanese by a i r from Burma to the South sea. The Chinese spokesman's report j indicated Japan was making little headway in her new all - out offensive to knock China out of the war. An official summary declared that the situation in Sothcrn Hu- peh, in Central China where the Japanese have been attacking an eight - column drive, had been "very much stabilized and improved" since last week. A Japanese force on Ihc Yangtze- Kiang river has been "more or less destroyed," the spokesman said. Far lo Ihc wesl, at China's "back door" along Ihc Yunnan - Burma frontier, severe fighting was reported in progress as the Japanese attempted to capture the town of Tain south e>f the Burma road. On the Burma front, RAF warplanes blasted railway yards at Japanese - occuicd Temple City of Mdiidalay and set. oil fires raging at Bhamo on the Irrawaddy river. In Ihe Southwest Pacific, Gen. Douglas Mat-Arthur's headquarters announced that Allied planes carried out a devastating three - hour assault on the big Japanese base al Salamaua, New Guinea, and also attacked Lae, Timika and Babo. Direct bomb hits lore a 30-fool hole in Ihe new 150 - fool Japanese supply bridge across Ihe Timper river in New Guinea, a communi- que said, heavily damaging the span which forms 'a link in the enemy's Wewak - Medang coastal supply road. Imperial Tokyo headquarters, whose communiques recently have been i'ow and far between, assorted that Japansc planes had sunk a 5,000 - ton transport and damaged four 500 tonners along the Burma coast and destroyed 20 Allied planes between March 26 and | 30. | The claims were not confirmed by Allied sources. More Bombs For Kiska Washington, April 1 (/IV—Ajeri- can bombers ami fighters raided Japanese positions on Kiska island in Ihc Aleutians twice Tuesday and attacked Altu island once, the Navy I reported loday. One bomber was lost lo anli - aircraft fire. Fredendall May Succeed Gen. Leer limb would expend valuable mili- ! rich." tary -jnergy. i Above all. don't jump up and I surprise your acquaintances by j shouting: "Hcil Hitler!" They may not know what day I il is — and there's enough absenteeism without taking time oul to attend fools' funerals. P. S. — April Fool! There's no saich ihing as a Society for the Preservation uf Practical Jokers. To Move Branch Camp Robinson, April 1 i/Pi The branch immaterial replacement training center at Camp Robinson will move to Camp Fannin at Tyler, Te.x., Maj. Gen. Richard Donovan, eoiniTumdnv.; general of the Eighth Service Cummand, announced here laM niaht. Memphis. April 1 — l/l'i — Maj. Gen. Lloyd R. Fredendall, a veteran of the Tunitisian campaign, appeared today a certain choice to succeed Ll. Gen. Ben Lear, who retires May 31 as commander of Ihc 2nd army. Fredendall reported lo Lear yes- yesterday as deputy commander of the Army and laler the three-star general announced he was retiring al Iho age of 64 under statutory law. There was no olficial announcement of Lear's successor, but there appeared little doubt thai Fredcn- dall. hero of the American landing in Onm, would take over. Second army troops are scattered in training camps and military posts throughout the Middle Wesl from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. An army man for 42 of his 59 year:;, Frcdcndall, like Lear, is known as u strict disciplinarian and outhU-iiiding trainer of Iruops. Huge Group of Fortresses Hit South Sardinia —Africa By DANIEL DE LUCE Allied Headquarters in North Africa, April 1 — (IP) — British and American troops squeezed tighter the vise upon Axis division in Tunisia today while it was disclosed the largest single force' of U. S. Flying Fortresses ever massed had blasted the shipping and air fields of Southern Sardinia, to which Field Marshal Erwin Rommel looks for aid. Nearly 100 Fortresses, escorted by strong formations of Lightnings struck yesterday at the Sardinian port of Cagliari and three airdromes, hit five merchant ships- and 21 smaller craft, spread acres of fire across industrial targets, damaged or destroyed 57 aircraft ground and shot down 14 enemy fighter planes on a'mission from which every raider returned. Gen. Sir Barnard L. Montgomery's Eighth Army patrols began preliminary skirmishes against a line of Rommel's rear guards newly dug in about 24 miles north of Gabcs on the coastal highway north to Sfax. Military sources here said the line was about 12 miles north of newly - captured Oudrcf, flanking the coastal highway north to Sfax and well above the Gabes bottle neck. / To Montgomery's left, United States armored units from the command of Lieut. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., pushing eastward in the El Guetaria pass area encountered deep mine fields which made progress difficult, but the junction wil'n the Eighth Army appeared near. British and French infantrymen pushed forward- in the sector of ' Sedjenane, itself 40 miles spulh-~- west of Bizerte. The Tebou'na line! • overlooking Sedjenane and the Ma- teur Tabarca road from the south; was captured by a British battalion of the First Army after a series of eight bayonet charges. Making good progress cast of Sedje- nane, the First Army has captured much enemy war equipment, a communique said. (The Radio said in a broadcast recorded in London that the battle of Tunisia was approaching a climax. The announcer said it was probable "the British First Army and the American army in their turn will soon assume tasks of no less importance than ihose of the Eighth Army." (The Russian Army Newspaper Red Star said Rommel was in serious danger, adding "our Allies possess sufficient power and battle means to squeeze the ring of their troops around the Italian and German units and exterminate them.") It was officially announced the Axis lost 31 aircraft in combat yesterday with the Allied North African air forces, while 12 Allied planes failed to return. American Warhawks supporting U. S. ground troops in the El Geu : taria pass area destroyed 10 enemy planes for a loss of one of their own. The Flying Fortress - Lightning assault upon Cagliari, 140 miles north of the Axis - held Naval base of Bizerte, crippled a major port for the dispatch of both planes and ships to the armies of Marshal Rommel and Col. Gen. Jurgcn Voa Arnim. Of Ihc five merchant ships directly hit, two were left afire. Schooners, coastal craft and mot- orboals were among others damaged by the raiders. High explosives were loosed upon the factory districts, the waterfront, the railway freight warehouses, a passenger station, repair ynrds and a fuel pumping station. Fires crackled in the debris and enormous columns of smoke arose. Heavy machine - guns of the Fortresses cut down challenging enemy fighters one by one. There were so many of the big bombers in the formation that some crews had no chance to fire at the Axis planes. Heavy blows also were struck ut the Axis supply port across the Sicilian narrows by American Mitchells escorted by Lightnings. They scored a direct hit on a merchant vessel and dropped a bomb alongside a small freighter in a sweep against a six ship convoy. Another wave of Mitchells attacked the convoy iwo hours later,' sinking one large merchant ship, leaving another burning and sinking and another in flames. A large transport was hit twice and observers said she was last seen down at the bow. The Mitchells destroyed four German fighters which attempted to intercept them and damaged several others while the top-covering Lightnings shot down two. On Tunisian soil, the great Al- (Conliimed on Past Two)

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