Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 10, 1975 · Page 62
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 62

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 10, 1975
Page 62
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Page 62 article text (OCR)

!·§!-- August 10,1975 Sunday fauettv-Mail · Sales Rise Cuts Car Stockpile to 59 Days American Revolution's Most Infamous Prison Ship The Jersey Contained Thousands of American POWs HORRORS DETROIT (AP) - The auto industry's supply of unsold models continues to decline as sales rise. The trade weekly Automotive News reports that the domestic industry's stockpile of unsold cars fell to 1.455.000 as of Aug. 1. That is 150,000 Sewer cars than the industry had on hand July 1. The surplus translates into a 59-day supply, based on the July selling rate. The industry had a 65-day supply July 1. Industry analysts say a 60 -- to 65-day suppft is near optimal for the companies. * * * THE FALLING stockpile is good news for auto workers fearing new layoffs. The companies began cutbacks last winter when supplies ballooned to nearly a 100-day level. About 104,000 of the industry's 703,000 blue collar workers remain on indefinite layoff, well down from the more than 210,000 idled for long-term periods last winter. The number of layoffs is steadily dwindling. Automotive News said General Motors had a 55-day supply on Aug. 1, the same as on July 1. Ford Motor Co. had a 65-day supply, down from 88 days July 1. Chrysler Corp. had a 68-day supply, up from 67, and American Motors' stockpile dipped to 53 days from 56 days July 1. Meanwhile, not only will the buyers of 1976 models of American cars be hit this fall with a 6 per cent price increase averaging $200 to $300, many will also have to pay an additional 1 per cent, or $40, Jan. 1. American Victims of British Prison Ships the Unsung Heroes By Don McLeod The Attociated Press The greatest heroes of the American Revolution may have been the thousands who suffered and died in British prisons rather than renounce their country. The worst horrors of the war were endured by these soldiers, sailors and civilians. They were considered traitors by their British captors and worthy of no mercy. ; An American sailor transferred from ''one hellish prison ship to another recalled ;years later passing an air vent on the infamous ship "Jersey." "From this aperture proceeded a strong .current of foul vapor, of a kind to which I had been accustomed while confined on "the "Good Hope;" the peculiarly disgusting smell of which I then recollected, after a lapse of three years," Thorns Dring said. "This was, however, far more foul and ·loathsome than anything which I had ever met on board that ship; and it produced a sensation of nausea far beyond my powers of description." "The air was so foul at times," said another prisoner, that a lamp could not be kept burning, by reason of which three boys were not missed until they had been dead 10 days." HUNDREDS OF men crammed below decks spent years "some searing and blaspheming, some crying, praying and wringing their hands, and stalking about like ghosts and apparitions, other delirious. . . raving and storming; some groaning and dying -- all panting for breath; some dead and corrupting." As England scotched pleas for more humane treatment, Americans began to retaliate with harsh measures for British .captives. It worked to a degree, especially as large numbers of Redcoats began to fall into American hands, but barbarity continued throughout the war. · Neither side had been prepared to .handle the volume of prisoners generated by .the long war. Adequate housing and supply were lacking, and even the best intentioned officials were more concerned with flighting soldiers than captured ones. Two hundred years ago today a neglected British prisoner in Albany. N.Y., implored the local committee for mercy. "We are here as prisoners, and get nothing to support us." he wrote. "We have fasted for some days, and therefore hope that you will take it into consideration and get us some supply." The next day George Washington was threatening reprisals unless Americans got better treatment from their English captors. "I shall regulate all my conduct towards those gentlemen who are or may be in our possession, exactly by the rule you shall observe towards those of ours now in your custody." Washington said. "If sever ty and hardship mark the line of your conduct." Washington wrote Gen. Thomas Gage, "painful as it may be. to me. your prisoners will feel its effect." * « * THE BRITISH commander retorted that it was the Americans who were mistreating prisoners, forcing their captives to labor "like Negro slaves to gain their daily sustenance." Americans in his custody. Gage insisted. although more worthy of hanging, were treated with "care and kindness, and more comfortably than the King's troops in the hospital. But John Leach, a Bostonian suspected of "being a spy and taking plans" was at that moment in .one of Gage's prisons amidst "a complicated scne of oaths, curses, debauchery and the most horrid blasphemy. The worst man of war that ever I knew was nothing to compare with this diabolical place." Leach's prison journal is a litany os suffering: "Monday July 17th, my son Tileston died, whom I left well in my house; I was not permitted to attend the funeral. . . "August 11. Close confined; the Provost would not suffer the doors to be opened to put our victuals in, but made us take it through the bars. Today Amos Fish died. "Tuesday, 15th. Close confined. The weather hot. Died, Capt. Walker . . . Poor Mr. Lovell began to droop.. He is very weakly. It gives us all great concern, as we were all more afraid of sickness in this dreadful place than anything else. "Thursday, 17th. Kept close all day. Today, Phineas Nevers. . . died. "Saturday, 19th. The poor sick and wounded prisoners fare very hard, and are many days without the comforts of life. Some of the limbs which have been taken off, it was said, were in a state of putrifi- cation; not one survived amputation. "Wednesday, 23rd. In the afternoon ber- geant Neal and Corporal Royal were confined prisoners by the Provost for giving us air and fresh water in his absence. They told him we were almost suffocated with heat; he replied, "God damn them, if they are dead and rotten, my orders to you is to keep them close." ciding to innoculate himself, a common practice for those who survived. "On looking about me, I soon found a man in the proper stage of the disease, and desired him to favor me with some of the matter for the purpose," Dring recorded. "The only instrument I could procure, for the purpose of innoculation, was a common pin. With this, having scarified the skin of my hand, between the thumb and forefinger, I applied the matter and bound up my hand. "The next morning I found that the wound had begun to fester; a sure symptom that the application had taken effect." As for hunger, a Continental physician told of prisoners in Philadelphia scraping mortar and rotten wood from the walls to stay the final agonies of starvation. The exact death toll will never be known, but enough bones were recovered to indicate that at least 11,000 Americans died in the 13 different British prison ships moored in Wallaabout Bay of Brooklyn, N.Y. * * * LATER IN the war Americans soldiers were seldom sent to the ships, but Yankee seamen were crammed into them. In retaliation. Congress ordered British seamen interned on ships, where hundreds died. Land prisons were little better. Thomas Stone was transferred from a ship to the infamous Sugar House prison in New York in 1778. "We left the floating hell with joy, but alas, our joy was of short duration." Stone recalled. "Not a pane of glass, nor even a board to a single window in the house, and no fire but once in three days to cook our small allowance or provision. Old shoes were bought and eaten with as much relish as a pig or turkey. "In the spring our misery increased: frozen feet began to mortify; by the first of April, death took from our numbers, and I hope from their misery, from seven to 10 a day; and by the first of May out of 69 taken with me only 15 were alive." Englishmen and lories suffered equal horrors in such Americans prisons as those planted in abandoned copper mines in Connecticut. Both sides used prisoners for what amounted to slave labor. Americans employed British and German prisoners as farm laborers, in saltworks and in munitions plants. AMERICANS captured on the high seas went to English jails or forced labor in the East Indies or Senegal on the west coast of Africa. There was an easy way out. All they had to do was renounce the Amerrican cause and fight for England. Most refused freedom at such a price. The naval commissioner at H a l i f a x conceded that 300 Americans, "surrounded as they are by distress, they arc deaf to every solicitude of taking the oath of allegiance of subscribing to any act whereby they may be liberated." Over 1.200 Yankees suffered out the war in English jails rather than renounce their country. England. Ben Franklin said, "ought to glory in descendants of such virtue." THE JANUARY increase on certain models will be caused by a new federal braking standard that requires front disc brakes, which are more resistant to fade and water than the standard drum brake, on all new cars by Jan. 1. All General Motors cars already, have disc brakes and will not be affected. All Ford Motor Co. cars have disc brakes, except the Maverick and Comet, which will be converted with the start of the 1976 model run later this summer. Chrysler Corp. and American Motors Corp. will wait until January to convert those lines that don't already have disc brakes. Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant will get disc brakes Jan. 1. They presently National Zoo Will Retain SmokeyBear WASHINGTON ( A P ) - Smokey'the Bear won't be retiring to his boyhood home after all. The National Forest Service said last spring it would send its veteran mascot back to his native New Mexico to live out his old age. But inflation has made that too costly, it now says, so Smokey will remain at the National Zoo. * The reversal was announced after the estimated cost of the bear's retirement home soared from $42,500 to $93,600. Forester William Hurst of Albuquerque said Smokey's poor health was also a factor in the decision to keep him in Washington. Meanwhile, a younger.bear given the same name has been moved into the exhibit quarters to receive the visits of schoolchildren and other Smokey fans. The original Smokey now has facilities next-door which allow him more privacy and dignity in light of his declining condition. have drum brakes. Drum brakes also are now on three AMC car lines - the Hornet, Pacer and Gremlin. China Boasts 3rd Largest Naval Force (C) JV.y. Timei Service HONG KONG-With Jittle notice by the outside world, China has quietly built up what is now regarded as the world's third largest navy. So far this new Chinese navy, which has tripled in size since the early 60's has confined itself to a defensive role of turning "China's coastline into a great wall of steel." Chinese ships have not ventured. outside their own coastal waters in the Yellow, East, and South China Seas, and there have been almost no reported incidents with United States or Soviet vessels. But despite this lack of overt activity, military specialists acknowledge that the Chinese navy has now become a formidable fighting force. With 230,000 officers and men, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Chinese navy is larger than the French and British navies combined. The Chinese are also reported to have over 1,000 vessels in their fleet, 60 submarines--possibly including one nuclear submarine-and 600 aircraft in their land-based naval air arm. + * * THE CAPACITIES of this force were demonstrated when the Chinese, in a swift and decisive combined sea-and-air operation, seized control of the tiny Paracel Islands for South Vietnam in January, 1974. The Paracels, which are known by China as the Hsisha Islands, lie about 175 miles southeast of China's Hainan Island and 200 miles off the coast of South Vietnam. Further, the director general of Japan's National Defense Agency, Michita Sakata, disclosed recently that Chinese planes had been observing Soviet naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea. The Chinese navy's growth has been all the more remarkable because the West has traditionally considered that China lacked a maritime tradition, and because the Chinese Communists came to power as land-based guerrillas. As the Chinese sought to put together a navy, starting in 1950, they began with a collection of old United States Navy ships captured from the Chinese Nationalists, and then some vessels given them by Moscow before the Chinese-Soviet rift. The Chinese are thought to have one Japanese coastal defense ship built in 1905. But over the last decase the Chinese have been re- placing'this antique fleet with craft of their own design and construction. IN BUILDING their navy, the Chinese can not have been unmindful that in the 19th century the imperial powers who imposed their special privileges and enclaves on China,- a nation that had long prided itself on being the center of the world, came by Sea. Repeated attacks in the Chinese press on Soviet naval expansion suggest they are also acutely aware of that menr ace. . According to naval specialists, the Chinese seem to have concentrated on developing a fleet of 700 fast missile, gun", and torpedo boats, including over 100 comparable to the Soviet Komar canned with surface-to-surface missiles^ specially suited to coastal defense. THE BRITISH did not recognize Americans as prisoners of war. They were considered treasonous criminals deserving punishment -- not unlike the treatment other Americans received in Hanoi two centuries later. Until they began reacting to English abuses. Americans respected the traditional rules of war toward British regulars but regarded American tories as traitors. The tories. in turn, cried for rebel blood. Compounding the problem was the suddenness with which large numbers of POWs were cast upon captors unable to care for them even if they had been willing. Some 4.000 Americans were captured in the fighting anund New York City in 1776. Americans took some 1,000 Hessians at Trenton the same year. About 5,000 British. German and Canadians were snared at Saratoga in 1777. The Americans lost 5.000 at Charleston in 1780, and captured 8,000 British at Yorktown a year later. Because of mutual distrust and British disdain for American standing, prisoner exchanges were few. Officers were paroled but the terms of release were blatantly violated, limiting even this nicety of gentlemen's war. Those unfortunate enough to remain prisoners faced starvation rations, lack of clothing in the winter, near suffocation in summer, and rampant disease. * * * DRING TELLS of eating his victuals surrounded by smallpox victims and de- Arizona, California Under Forest Fire Siege New Alcoa Western Oak: aluminum siding with the warmth and good looks of natural wood. Alcoa * Western Oak is one of the newest aluminum siding products you can choose. And it's available in this area for the first time! What's so special about Western Oak? This newest Alcoa addition combines the low-maintenance characteristics of Alcoa aluminum that's oven-tempered for added strength, with the beauty of natural, rough-sawn lumber. The result is a long-lasting, easy-to-care-for aluminum siding with the freshness of all outdoors. The Ai$odated Preit More than 1.000 men battled to control a 13.000-acre brush fire Arizona's Tonto National Forest Saturday. Lightning started the fire Wednesday night near Sunflower, about 50 miles northeast of Phoenix. By Saturday it had destroyed $12 million in grassland and watershed, said Art Clinchy. forest information officer. Near Hemet. Calif., meantime, some of the nearly 700 persons evacuated from the path of a brush fire returned to their mountain home Saturday. But the blaze, started by a child playing with matches, burned out of control. BULLDOZERS scraped a fire-break the width offix dozer blades in front of the eft- rushing flames, hoping to prevent them from reaching the town of Anza, Calif- less than five miles away. Authorities told Anza residents who were not evacuated Friday to be ready to flee at any time. In the Arizona fire, two men were treated for heat exhaustion as temperatures in the vicinity of the blaze exceeded 100 degrees. No buildings were threatened by the fire which began near Bob's Cabin, a local landmark. Clinchy said. Near Apache Lake. Ariz., a fire also started by lightening Wednesday night burned over 500 acres Saturday. More that 4.400 acres of mountainous brushland was consumed by the California fire, which was burning in the San Bernardino National Forest southwest cf the resort city of Palm Springs. * Compare Alcoa Western Oak with ordinary aluminum siding and you will see why it's the talk of the industry! Authentic graining combines with the exclusive Alcoa Alumalure* finish to give your home a protective coat that defies the elements. And, there's a smart selection of today's earthy colors from which to choose. So, if you're planning to remodel, choose . Alcoa Western Oak. Complete the coupon below for more information on how it can add new life to your home. ·Registered Trademark of Aluminum Company ol America Yes, I'm interested in Alcoa Western Oak aluminum siding, and I'd like a home improvement contractor to call me. Alcoa Building Products, Inc. Suite 1200 Two Allegheny Center Pittsburgh, PA 15212 V I Alcoa Western Oak Phonc_ Address- _Siate__ -Zip- Change for the better with Alcoa Aluminum BALCDA

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