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5 November 1941
Japanese War Orders are issued
5 November 1941 - History
Nov. 5, 1941: Pilot Ralph Virden dies after being trapped in the burning wreckage of his P-38, which lost its tail assembly as he was returning to the Lockheed Air Terminal after a test flight about noon, The Times reported.
Witnesses said the twin-engined, double fuselaged ship was booming westerward at near-maximum speed (unofficially reported to be between 400 and 500 mph) when the duralumin tail assembly “simply floated away.”
Homeowner Jack Jensen was awakened by the crash and tried to free Virden from the burning wreckage but was driven back by flames. The crash occurred during an outdoor luncheon for military officials and 25,000 employees, but they did not observe it, The Times said.
Virden was survived by his wife and son, Ralph Jr., who also worked at Lockheed. Fellow pilots said: “Ralph was the best we had, especially in power dives.”
Tom Treanor, who was killed covering World War II for The Times, says the Forum Theatre on Pico, the Warner Bros. Hollywood and the Roxie in downtown Los Angeles are experimenting with swing shift movies that start at 1:30 a.m.
Jimmie Fidler says: Sam Goldwyn doesn’t know it yet, but his ace cameraman Gregg Toland, an officer in the Naval Reserve, has been notified to stand by for active service.
Photo: Elm Street near Glenoaks, via Google’s Street View.
The Daily Sun (Goose Creek, Tex.), Vol. 23, No. 116, Ed. 1 Monday, November 3, 1941
Daily newspaper from Goose Creek, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.
six pages : ill. page 18 x 13 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.
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The first library building in the Baytown area was a branch of the Harris County Library, opening in 1925. Municipally funded public library service commenced with the dedication of Sterling Municipal Library in 1963. The name honors Ross Sterling for his vision and commitment to the printed word.
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- Main Title: The Daily Sun (Goose Creek, Tex.), Vol. 23, No. 116, Ed. 1 Monday, November 3, 1941
- Serial Title:The Daily Sun
Daily newspaper from Goose Creek, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.
six pages : ill. page 18 x 13 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.
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- Volume: 23
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The Baytown Sun
Newspapers have served the Baytown area since 1919, when the Goose Creek Gasser was founded. In 1924, the Gasser became the Goose Creek Tribune, publishing twice-weekly, and in 1928 – the Daily Tribune. With the Great Depression, several area newspapers merged, and in 1931, the first Tri-Cities Sun was published.
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Fact File : Declaration of War on Finland, Hungary and Romania
Location: Finland, Hungary and Romania
Players: Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Finnish Prime Minister Rangell, General Horthy (Hungarian dictator), Antonescu (Romanian ruler).
Outcome: Britain at war with Finland, Hungary and Romania.
Colonel General Von Falkenhorst, right, and Field Marshal Baron Mannerheim review Finland's armed forces©
Influenced by the Winter War, Finland joined forces with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. Germany provided Finland with military equipment because Hitler saw the strategic advantage of the Finns' co-operation in an attack on the Soviet Union. From 25 June to 6 July 1940, the Finns fought the largest military battle in Nordic history alongside the Germans, regaining much of the territory they had lost during the Winter War.
Romania and Hungary joined the Tri-partite Pact - originally signed by Germany, Japan and Italy - in November 1940, as Hitler prepared his attack against Bolshevism on the Eastern Front.
Hungary became essential in the defence of the Reich's outworks. Good soldiers, the Hungarians were nonetheless pitted against the daunting Red Army and the Hungarian dictator General Horthy considered defection until Hitler kidnapped his son.
Romania also played a vital role in the German war effort. After a German-Romanian economic agreement in 1939, German companies came to control much of the Romanian economy. By 1941, German-owned companies produced nearly half of Romania's crude oil output, and the German war effort relied heavily on Romanian oil.
Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary and Romania on 5 December 1941, following the signing of the Tri-partite Pact and Finland's alliance with Germany.
However, all three of these countries were to change their allegiance before the end of the war. By March 1944, the Romanian ruler Antonescu made contact with the Western Allies, and Romania declared war on Germany on 24 August that year. Hungary started negotiations with the Allies in early 1944, and was occupied by German forces in March 1944 and Finland went contrary to German wishes and made peace with the Soviet Union on 19 September 1944.
The fact files in this timeline were commissioned by the BBC in June 2003 and September 2005. Find out more about the authors who wrote them.
5 November 1941 - History
The Munson Report
In October and November of 1941, Special Representative of the State Department Curtis B. Munson, under Roosevelt's orders, carried out an intelligence gathering investigation on the loyalty of Japanese Americans. His report concluded that Japanese Americans are loyal and would pose little threat. He wrote: "There is no Japanese `problem' on the Coast . There is far more danger from Communists and people of the Bridges type on the Coast than there is from Japanese."
These are excerpts from that report.
1. The ISSEI -- First generation of Japanese. Entire cultural background Japanese. Probably loyal romantically to Japan. They must be considered, however, as other races. They have made this their home. They have brought up children here, their wealth accumulated by hard labor is here, and many would have become Amercian citizens had they been allowed to do so. They are for the most part simple people. Their age group is largely 55 to 65, fairly old for a hard-working Japanese.
The Issei, or first generation, is considerably weakened in their loyalty to Japan by the fact that they have chosen to make this their home and have brought up their children here. They expect to die here. They are quite fearful of being put in a concentration camp. Many would take out American citizenship if allowed to do so. The haste of this report does not allow us to go into this more fully. The Issei have to break with their religion, their god and Emperor, their family, their ancestors and their after-life in order to be loyal to the United States. They are also still legally Japanese. Yet they do break, and send their boys off to the Army with pride and tears. They are good neighbors. They are old men fifty-five to sixty-five, for the most part simple and dignified. Roughly they were Japanese lower middle class, about analogous to the pilgrim fathers.
2. The NISEI -- Second generation who have received their whole education in the United States and usually, in spite of discrimination against them and a certain amount of insults accumulated through the years from irresponsible elements, show a pathetic eagerness to be Americans. They are in constant conflict with the orthodox, well disciplined family life of their elders. Age group -- 1 to 30 years.
There are still Japanese in the United States who will tie dynamite around their waist and make a human bomb out of themselves. We grant this, but today they are few. Many things indicate that very many joints in the Japanese set-up show age, and many elements are not what they used to be. The weakest from a Japanese standpoint are the Nisei. They are universally estimated from 90 to 98 percent loyal to the United States if the Japanese-educated element of the Kibei is excluded. The Nisei are pathetically eager to show this loyalty. They are not Japanese in culture. They are foreigners to Japan. Though American citizens they are not accepted by Americans, largely because they look differently and can be easily recognized. The Japanese American Citizens League should be encouraged, the while an eye is kept open, to see that Tokio does not get its finger in this pie -- which it has in a few cases attempted to do. The loyal Nisei hardly knows where to turn. Some gesture of protection or wholehearted acceptance of this group would go a long way to swinging them away from any last romantic hankering after old Japan. They are not oriental or mysterious, they are very American and are of a proud, self-respecting race suffering from a little inferiority complex and a lack of contact with the white boys they went to school with. They are eager for this contact and to work alongside them.
3. The KIBEI -- This is an important division of the NISEI. This is the term used by the Japanese to signify those American born Japanese who received part or all of their education in Japan. In any consideration of the KIBEI they should be again divided into two classes, i.e. those who received their education in Japan from childhood to about 17 years of age and those who received their early formative education in the United States and returned to Japan for four or five years Japanese education. The Kibei are considered the most dangerous element and closer to the Issei with special reference to those who received their early education in Japan. It must be noted, however, that many of those who visited Japan subsequent to their early American education come back with added loyalty to the United States. In fact it is a saying that all a Nisei needs is a trip to Japan to make a loyal American out of him. The American educated Japanese is a boor in Japan and treated as a foreigner.
4. The SANSEI -- The Third generation of Japanese is a baby and may be disregarded for the purpose of our survey….
. the Hawaiian Japanese does not suffer from the same inferiority complex or feel the same mistrust of the whites that he does on the mainland. While it is seldom on the mainland that you find even a college-educated Japanese-American citizen who talks to you wholly openly until you have gained his confidence, this is far from the case in Hawaii. Many young Japanese there are fully as open and frank and at ease with a white as white boys are. In a word, Hawaii is more of a melting pot because there are more brown skins to melt -- Japanese, Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino. It is interesting to note that there has been absolutely no bad feeling between the Japanese and the Chinese in the islands due to the Japanese-Chinese war. Why should they be any worse toward us?
Due to the preponderance of Japanese in the population of the Islands, a much greater proportion of Japanese have been called to the draft than on the mainland. As on the mainland they are inclined to enlist before being drafted. The Army is extremely high in its praise of them as recruits. They are beginning to feel that they are going to get a square deal and some of them are really almost pathetically exuberant….
The story was all the same. There is no Japanese `problem' on the Coast. There will be no armed uprising of Japanese. There will undoubtedly be some sabotage financed by Japan and executed largely by imported agents. In each Naval District there are about 250 to 300 suspects under surveillance. It is easy to get on the suspect list, merely a speech in favor of Japan at some banquet being sufficient to land one there. The Intelligence Services are generous with the title of suspect and are taking no chances. Privately, they believe that only 50 or 60 in each district can be classed as really dangerous. The Japanese are hampered as saboteurs because of their easily recognized physical appearance. It will be hard for them to get near anything to blow up if it is guarded. There is far more danger from Communists and people of the Bridges type on the Coast than there is from Japanese. The Japanese here is almost exclusively a farmer, a fisherman or a small businessman. He has no entree to plants or intricate machinery.
In case we have not made it apparent, the aim of this report is that all Japanese Nationals in the continental United States and property owned and operated by them within the country be immediately placed under absolute Federal control. The aim of this will be to squeeze control from the hands of the Japanese Nationals into the hands of the loyal Nisei who are American citizens. It is the aim that the Nisei should police themselves, and as a result police their parents.
A Telescopic History
From The New International, Vol. VII No. 10, November 1941, pp.𧈝.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan.
A Generation of Materialism, 1871
by Carlton J.H. Hayes
390 pp., Harper & Brothers, $3.75
HARPER & BROTHERS is now sponsoring a historical series entitled, The Rise of Modern Europe, which is being edited by Professor William L. Langer, of Harvard University. When completed, the series will consist of about 20 volumes recording the history of Europe from 1250 A.D. to and including the present epoch. It is the intention of the publishing company merely to “set forth in broad lines the leading currents in the political, social, economic, military, religious, intellectual, scientific and artistic history of Europe”! In such an event, the books may become, if the present volume is followed, summarizations of the various historical periods to be treated.
The instant volume by Professor Hayes, an experienced and authoritative writer in European history, is such a summarization of the latter period of the 19th century. The author of The Political and Social History of Modern Europe and The Political and Cultural History of Modern Europe has sought, within the covers of a volume consisting of 390 pages, to describe the dawn of modern imperialism emerging from the rise in the European industrial curve, the effect of Darwinism upon the philosophical, political and economic questions of the day, the significance of liberalism in a consolidating bourgeois order, mechanization and trustification in industry and the natural consequences of this development, the process of urbanization, the triumph of science, the struggle for universal education, the appearance of the labor and socialist (Marxian) movements, and, finally, the crowning of “nationalist” imperialism, the national state in the “Victorian Age,” and the seeds of modern totalitarianism!
Having described the main content of the volume, one will no doubt wonder about its title. A Generation of Materialism is obviously a misleading cognomen, since the book has nothing essentially to do with the philosophical disputes of the 19th century. Professor Hayes makes his meaning partially clear when he says: “I seldom use it in the strict philosophical sense. Generally I use it in what I conceive to be the popular, common-sense way, as denoting a marked interest in, and devotion to, material concerns and material things.” The great material development of a rising capitalism is the main theme of the book.
The “Victorian Age”
The author begins his volume with the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and its aftermath, the defeat of the Paris Commune. There follows a graphic description of the diplomatic intrigue and struggle accompanying the imperialist urge which dominated the leading European nations. Stated briefly and succinctly, the reader cannot help but grasp the future explosions inherent in the contending alliances which were passing through their preliminary stages: Germany, Russia and Austria Germany, Austria and Rumania Germany, Austria and Italy France and Russia and always the crafty British hovering around, pitting one nation against the other, bearing always in mind her main objective – maintaining a balance of power upon the continent. All the alliances were secret! This did not prevent, however, their being the common property of all the rival powers.
What is striking in Hayes’ review of this particular aspect of European history is its similarity to the diplomatic struggle attendant upon World War I and World War II. The problem, except that is has grown in magnitude, is the same: how to overcome the contradictions of capitalist production in a world divided by national boundaries. Just as now, war was the inescapable measure of “relief” adopted by all the countries. With few exceptions, universal compulsory military training and the permanent army became the vogue. For “arms in preparation” was the means of maintaining bourgeois state relations. The author is at his best in this section of the book, for he describes the permanently perilous conditions under which capitalism exists.
Hayes errs in attributing to Marxism a narrow, economic determinist, analysis of modern imperialism. His failure to properly assess the nature of the Marxist movement and its theories becomes at once obvious by the fact that he does not understand the place of historical materialism in Marxist doctrine. Marxists are not economic determinists, nor does the true Marxian movement approach social, economic and political problems from the point of view of the “self-interest” of the classes. What the Marxists do say about imperialism is that it results from the economic character of modern capitalism that imperialism is not merely the seizure of territories, i.e., a policy of conquest, but, above all, economic, political and military measures by which one nation dominates another. Modern imperialism is a specific type of imperialism. It is marked by the export of capital (something quite impossible in pre-capitalist or industrial capitalist society), distinct and apart from the export of commodities it is marked by a struggle for raw materials, for cheap labor, for control of the world markets, and finally, for divisions and redivisions of the world among the great powers. This struggle grows more fierce with the decay of the social order. But to do as the professor does, deny the Marxist concept simply because imperialism existed before the era of finance capital, is to prevent a fundamental understanding of this stage of capitalism.
Too Much and Yet Too Little
The other sections of the book, as outlined above, are treated in such a manner that the problem of mechanization, trustification and cartelization in modern industry, receive the same attention as the place of religion in modern society, and the role of the arts. Yet, the specific gravity of the structural changes which occurred in bourgeois society is so overwhelmingly preponderant in influencing the course of the twentieth century that they are in truth not to be discussed simultaneously. As is clear in this book, it leads neither to clarity in understanding capitalism, nor allows for a correct understanding of superstructural phenomenon.
The book is especially weak in its analysis of the trade unions and socialist movements. Through implication, at least, Hayes records the progressive character of the Marxist movement and Marxist theory as the inspirer of that movement, but his treatment of the place which this movement occupies in society is extremely superficial and indicates not merely a lack of intrinsic knowledge as to its real history, but an unmistakable prejudice which disallows him to make an objective appraisal of its true role and strength. He dismisses the Marxist movement as never really having any strength that its reputation was primarily the result of claims made for it by Marx and Engels and the great, but natural, fear of the bourgeoisie in observing the character of the socialist aim. Thus, the rise of the socialist movement is explained by the fact that it was “timely,” coinciding with the rise of liberalism and occupying an extremist position in the general liberal movement. The key to the author’s understanding of the most significant world movement under capitalism, is his declaration that “self-interest (is the) . essence . of Marxism.”
Finally, the professor poses the thesis that “national imperialism” is the forerunner to totalitarianism. Unquestionably the current world situation greatly influenced him in the development of what is by and large an obvious thesis. Capitalism is, despite its economic interdependence and world character, composed of national states the states are in sharp conflict with each other such a condition in the midst of recurrent crises gives rise to blatant nationalism and war. These, in turn, give rise to dictators, a more rabid nationalism, anti-Semitism, racialism, and totalitarianism. But we need not have awaited Hayes’s simple thesis. The Marxists described the real process of imperialist capitalism many years ago and forecast the development of totalitarianism and fascist rule.
The value of this book lies in its aid to a study of European history. In many parts there is brilliant writing. But the author attempted too much with the result that important phases of social development have been sketchily presented, and in a manner which prevents genuine historical clarification.
The Happy Hypocrite
From The New International, Vol. VII No. 10, November 1941, pp.𧈞.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the ETOL.
You Can’t Do Business With Hitler
by Douglas Miller
Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1941. 229 pp., $1.50
THIS IS THE BOOK that has been causing such a flutter in the bourgeois literary dovecotes. Writing recently in the dreary and reactionary Saturday Review of Literature, William L. Shirer solemnly said: “It’s a book that ought to be on the desk of every business man in the country.” Even Roosevelt has recommended the book – a form of criticism in itself.
The author explicitly directs the book at American business men, stating that they are – surprise! – “one group in America which has not been adequately brought face to face with the facts. Having spent fifteen years as a commercial attaché at the United States embassy in Berlin, Miller comes well equipped with first-hand data on the Nazi regime. The book serves as an economic rationale for the holy onslaught against German capitalism which American capitalism is preparing.
In order to prove his complete competency to prescribe to the American capitalist class, Miller hurriedly establishes in the very first of the book the moral basis for his judgments on the present world crisis. “I confess,” he says – in sharp contrast, we assume, to the amoralism of the Bolsheviks, which we hear so much about nowadays – “a preference for a little civilized hypocrisy once in a while, to conceal some of the ugliness of the world. If we cannot always act according to the highest standards of ethics, the least we can do is to be ashamed of ourselves and conceal our shortcomings as much as possible. Such hypocrisy is much better than openly wallowing in evil and claiming that this is an honest and natural way to live.”
Having established his moral authority to speak on the issues of the day, Miller hastens to prove in a hundred and one ways the hypocrisy of the war “for democracy against fascism.” The whole burden of his complaint can be summed up in a sentence: Hitlerism prevents the United States from exploiting Germany and it will shortly prevent the United States from exploiting the rest of the globe therefore, the sooner that Germany is destroyed the better.
The chapter headings give an idea of the field covered: Nazi Aims and Methods Nazi Plans for World Expansion The New Order in Europe Hitler Reaches Out for a New World and The United States Under Nazi Pressure.
A Primer for Innocents
Even as a capitalist analysis of German fascism the book is a superficial job. It was apparently dashed off as a fitting addition to the reading of those persons whose political education has been gained from a year’s subscription to Reader’s Digest. The book contains the standard bourgeois analysis of Nazi racial theories, the leadership principle, Hitler’s treaty-breaking and lying, religious persecution, etc. In these there is nothing more than the standard newspaper treatment.
The most usable sections of the book are those describing fascist economic life. How Germany acquired raw materials necessary for the creation of her war machine through exchange control, manipulation of clearing agreements, the use of the blocked mark, price fixing, job freezing, dumping, wage fixing and export subsidizing is briefly shown. These sections demonstrate very clearly that Hitler’s “planning,” which seems to charm certain “left” liberals as a snake does a bird, is the crudest sort of improvisation based upon severe exploitation at home and the baldest sort of racketeering on the international economic arena.
These sections of the book, however, are inferior even to those contained in such a study as The Vampire Economy by Guenter Reimann, whose contribution to the anti-fascist struggle consists in solicitously warning American capitalists against supporting a fascist movement in this country in view of the simply terrible things that the Nazis are doing to German capitalists. Daniel Guerin’s Fascism and Big Business, despite certain defects, such as a failure to analyze the rôle of the Social Democrats and the Communist Party in the rise of Hitler to power, remains head and shoulders above the rest of the books in the field.
Miller’s book contains an adequate account of the economic consequences to Europe, Africa, South America and the United States of a Hitler victory over Britain. He shows the economic necessity for world domination which inevitably brought Germany and the United States into mortal struggle. His argumentation, incidentally, effectively destroys the case of the isolationists, if only from a capitalist point of view.
It is a simple matter to snap the backbone of Miller’s reasoning. Miller becomes righteously indignant at the brutality of Hitler’s rule, present and future. But in condemning Hitler for certain practices he blithely overlooks these same practices when indulged in by Britain and the United States. Miller condemns Hitler’s barbaric racial methods he has not a word to say about the treatment of the Negro in the United States. He recoils in horror before Hitler’s future treatment of the colonial population in Africa he is silent on “democratic” England’s bloody subjection of 400,000,000 people in India. He is shocked by Germany’s economic penetration of South America he is clamorously silent on the unsavory record of the United States in that sphere. This smug hypocrisy permeates the book.
Remedies Worse Than the Disease
Since the origins of Hitlerism are not approached from a Marxist point of view, Miller cannot show its rise as an inevitable necessity for the preservation of German capitalism. Neither dare he show as the was an inevitable consequence of the struggle for the colonial markets if the world, if German, British, or American capitalism is to survive at home. Having only a capitalist perspective, he can promise nothing following the current war but that a “continuance of economic nationalism, reinforced by the new high-pressure tactics which the totalitarian states have worked out, is very possible. It is too likely to happen to suit me. The passions unleashed by war, the hatreds and fears of a hungry, disillusioned world, create national antagonism and national barriers. It must be plain that after this war there will be more hate, less trust and confidence and more suspicion, less friendship. After this war it will not be a case of getting the lions and the lambs to lie down together. The lambs will be mostly all devoured. There will only be well-armed but torn and angry lions left.” This is all he can promise – plus a dubious hope that “a decent measure of international co-operation” will be established.
And what changes does Miller propose which will have to be made in this country in order to achieve this new barbarism?
World War II: China's Declaration of War Against Japan, Germany and Italy
Japan waged an undeclared war on China from July 7, 1937, and China resisted that undeclared war without technically announcing the existence of a state of war until December 9, 1941, when the text of the declaration was issued by Lin Sen, President of the Chinese Republic.
Japan's national policy has always aimed at the domination of Asia and mastery of the Pacific. For more than four years China has resolutely resisted Japan's aggression, regardless of suffering and sacrifice, in order not only to maintain her national independence and freedom but also to uphold international law and justice and to promote world peace and human happiness.
China is a peace-loving nation. In taking up arms in self-defense, China entertained the hope that Japan might yet realise the futility of her plans of conquest. Throughout the struggle all the other powers have shown the utmost forbearance likewise in the hope that Japan might one day repent and mend her ways in the interest of peace in the entire Pacific region.
Unfortunately Japan's aggressive capacities prove to be incorrigible. After her long and fruitless attempt to conquer China, Japan, far from showing any signs of penitence, has treacherously launched an attack on China's friends, the United States and Great Britain, thus extending the theater of her aggressive activities and making herself the arch-enemy of justice and world peace.
This latest act of aggression on the part of Japan lays bare her insatiable ambitions and has created a situation that no nation which believes in international good faith and human decency can tolerate.
The Chinese Government hereby formally declares war on Japan. The Chinese Government further declares that all treaties, conventions, agreements and contracts regarding relations between China and Japan are and remain null and void.
(The Chinese Government's Declaration of War on Germany and Italy.)
Since the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact of September 1940, Germany, Italy, and Japan have unmistakably banded themselves into a block of aggressor states working closely together to carry out their common program of world conquest and domination. To demonstrate their solidarity Germany and Italy successively accorded recognition to Japan's puppet regimes in northeastern China and at Nanking. As a consequence, China severed her diplomatic relations with Germany and Italy last July. Now the Axis powers have extended the theater of their aggressive activities and thrown the whole Pacific region into turmoil, making themselves the enemies of international justice and world civilization.
This state of affairs can no longer be tolerated by the Chinese Government and people. The Chinese Government hereby declares that as from midnight, December 9, 1941, a state of war exists between China and Germany and between China and Italy. The Chinese Government further declares that all treaties, conventions, agreements, and contracts regarding relations between China and Germany and between China and Italy are and remain null and void.
Sources: Contemporary China, Vol. 1, no. 15, December 15, 1941 ibiblio
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On This Day - 1941
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS TOOWOOMBA, (LCDR P. H. Hurst, RAN), was commissioned. TOOWOOMBA was laid down in Walker’s Yard, Maryborough, QLD, on 6 August 1940, and launched on 26 March 1941.
The auxiliary minesweeper HMAS ORARA, was commissioned. ORARA was laid down in Kinghorn, Scotland, in 1907. She was requisitioned for the RAN, from her owners the North Coast Steam Navigation Co, NSW, in September 1939.
N. J. O. Makin became Minister for the Navy, succeeding W. M. Hughes.
HMAS CAIRNS, (minesweeper), was launched at Walker’s, QLD. The ship was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1946, and renamed AMBON.
HMAS NORMAN, (destroyer), sailed for Sevdhisfjord, Iceland, to transport a British Trade Union Congress Delegation to Archangel, Russia.
HMAS BROOME, (minesweeper), was launched at Evans Deakin, QLD.
The German submarine U111 was sunk by HMS LADY SHIRLEY, (trawler), off the Canary Islands. Forty German prisoners were taken by the trawler. For outstanding courage in the action, the following awards were made:
HMAS GAWLER, (minesweeper), was launched at Whyalla, SA.
HMAS NESTOR, (destroyer), arrived at Devonport, England, for docking and repairs after being damaged by a premature depth charge explosion off Gambier. Several turbine feet were broken, and structural damage was sustained.
HMAS STUART, (destroyer), arrived home at Williamstown, VIC, for a refit
HMAS VOYAGER, (destroyer), arrived home at Sydney for a refit.
The auxiliary minesweeper HMAS WARRAWEE, was commissioned. WARRAWEE was laid down in 1909.
The Bathurst class minesweeper, (corvette), HMAS WARRNAMBOOL, (LEUT E. J. Barren, RANR(S)), was commissioned. WARRNAMBOOL was laid down in Mort’s Dock, Sydney, on 13 November 1940, and launched on 8 May 1941. The vessel was lost in 1946 while sweeping a minefield off Queensland.
The production of mines in Australia reached 3000 per year. Orders were received for 1500 for the Admiralty, 2500 for the RAN, 300 for New Zealand, and 100 for Noumea
On November 15, 1941, shortly before the U.S. enters World War II, the first United States Army mountain ski unit is created. Formed at Fort Lewis in Pierce County, it is designated the 1st Battalion, 87th Mountain Infantry. The National Ski Patrol assists in the recruitment of skiers and those with mountain experience. Many of Washington's and the world's top skiers, mountain climbers, and Mount Rainier summit guides enlist in the unit, which boasts at least 12 of the world's best skiers. The ski unit spends its first winter training at Mount Rainier National Park, located in Pierce County not that far from the base. The skiing soldiers test and select ski equipment to be standard army issue. In late 1942 the ski unit will be transferred to the army's new mountain training camp in Colorado. It will see battle in the Aleutians and in the Italian campaign as a regiment in the 10th Mountain Division.
Crusading for Ski Troops
In the years before the United States entered World War II, Charles Minot "Minnie" Dole (1900-1976) was a tireless crusader for incorporating mountain or ski troops into the U.S. Army. He noted that other armies had specialized ski troops that had achieved dramatic success. Dole was an important skier on the national level and thus had considerable influence. In 1939, with the assistance of the American Red Cross, he founded the National Ski Patrol, which rescued many injured and stranded skiers.
On July 18, 1940, Dole wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) regarding the value of ski troops and offering the National Ski Patrol to recruit for an American ski or mountain army unit. The president forwarded the letter to the War Department for its consideration. Dole continued his push with a letter on September 12, 1940, to the Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall (1880-1959). Dole and Marshall then met to discuss ski troops in the U.S. Army. At the meeting Marshall, who had already ordered a study of ski and mountain troops and instructed the Army Quartermaster Corps to develop clothes and equipment for mountain forces, committed to forming six small, experimental ski units.
Fort Lewis was selected as a mountain training site, with two of the six small units. Washington skier John B. Woodward (1915-2003) was recruited by the army to be a Fort Lewis ski and mountain instructor. Woodward had been captain of the University of Washington ski team and in 1935 was the Northwest Downhill Ski Champion. In November 1940, Lieutenant Woodward took 18 volunteers from the 15th Infantry Regiment to Longmire in Mount Rainier National Park. The ski trainees lived in a converted garage and spent six weeks testing equipment and developing mountain skills. Toward the end of the training they made a seven-day overland traverse from Snoqualmie Pass to Chinook Pass.
In addition to the 15th Regiment team under Lieutenant Woodward, the 41st Division had a training camp at the former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in Ashford, three miles from the national park. The 25 ski troops of the 41st trained at the same time as Woodward's team. They learned ski movements that would be useful in wartime. At the end of their training period, Lieutenant Woodward joined them in March 1941 for a trek across the Olympic Mountains from west to east, some forty miles.
The First Ski Unit
On October 22, 1941, General Marshall wrote Charles Dole that a mountain battalion would be formed at Fort Lewis. The post in Pierce County became the site for the development of ski warfare tactics and equipment. After some 20 months of effort, Minnie Dole had his mountain troops.
The 1st Battalion, 87th Mountain Infantry, was formed on November 15, 1941. Over the next three weeks soldiers, especially those with ski or mountain experience, transferred into the unit from the 3rd, 41st, and 44th divisions at Fort Lewis. In December 1941, after the U.S. entered World War II, the 87th Mountain Regiment was officially activated. The National Ski Patrol helped recruit many top skiers to join the army to serve in the 87th. Among them were a number of Mount Rainier rangers and summit guides. H. Edward Link (1914-1989), a Roosevelt High School graduate from Seattle and a downhill ski racer, was an early enlistee.
Fellow Seattleite Nobuyoski "Nobi" Kano (1914-2008), a Garfield High School graduate and excellent skier, who was interned along with other Japanese Americans, enlisted on February 26, 1942. He served as a ski instructor for 18 months. Born in Washington, Kano had studied in Japan as a child, and his understanding of Japanese language and ability to translate made him more valuable to the Military Intelligence Service so he left skiing for intelligence work.
Top skiers from across the United States also learned of the 87th and enlisted to join the unit and train at Fort Lewis. Among them was champion ski jumper Torger Tokle (1920-1945), who held the record for American ski jumping. Sergeant Walter Prager (1910-1984), a downhill skiing champion, joined the 87th and was a leading instructor at Fort Lewis and when the unit relocated to Colorado.
Training on Mount Rainier
Lieutenant Colonel Onslow S. Rolfe (1895-1985) was named the 87th Regiment commander. He was a cavalry officer who had no skiing experience, but learned the skill in a short time. In February 1942 his first administrative action was to obtain a lease from the National Park Service for Paradise Lodge and the Tatoosh Club in Mount Rainier National Park. The Fort Lewis ski troops were housed in the lodge and trained on the mountain. They tested equipment and skiing techniques while carrying loads weighing 90 pounds each.
On May 8, 1942, a team of 10 ski troops started a ski ascent to the summit. Led by Corporal Peter Gabriel (1907-1979), a famous Swiss mountaineer, the group tested clothes, food, stoves, and tents. During the ascent, skis were left behind since much of the climb was over rocky terrain. The ascent was filmed by Lieutenant John C. Jay (1915-2000), a former ski coach and ski photographer.
While the ski troops had excellent mountain and ski training at Mount Rainier, a major deficiency was noted. They were not allowed to train using live or blank fire. The National Park Service would not allow either in the park since it might frighten wildlife.
The park lease ended in May 1942 and the 87th returned to Fort Lewis and additional training. On May 1, 1942 the 2nd Battalion of the 87th was activated. With no mountains on the base, a 30-foot high climbing wall, built of notched logs, was erected near the regimental stables. One month later the 3rd Battalion was activated, creating a full regiment. For mountain transport horses and mules were acquired. A corral was established at Fort Lewis. At the entrance to the corral was a sign overarching the gate that read "Mountain Infantry Regiment: Through These Portals Pass the Most Beautiful Mules in the World." Cavalryman Colonel Rolfe enjoyed the opportunity to order his ski troops to ride horses and work with mules.
On September 22, 1942, the 87th Mountain Regiment marched in review for President Roosevelt, who was inspecting Fort Lewis and its troops. They paraded with their skis and poles over their shoulders. It was an impressive sight and was repeated on special occasions in the future. There was also an attempt to create parade-style soldier ski movements as is done with rifles. After several experiments and injuries when troops hit each another with their skis the idea was dropped.
The 87th Mountain Regiment left Fort Lewis in November 1942, but other units subsequently trained at Mount Rainier. In the fall of 1943, the 938th Aviation Engineers had snow camouflage training here. Signal Corps Camera Unit Number 9 shot a training film on the mountain. When these units left at the end of 1943, use of Mount Rainier for military training in World War II came to an end.
87th Mountain Regiment Goes to War
In November 1942 the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 87th Mountain Regiment went to California for maneuvers. After these maneuvers the regiment transferred to the army's new winter training center at Camp Hale in Colorado. Here the 10th Light Infantry Division (Alpine) as organized with two new regiments, the 85th and 86th, activated to join it. The division trained in skiing, rock climbing, and weapons use.
In August 1943 the 87th participated in the invasion of Kiska Island in the Aleutians, having been selected given its cold-weather experience and gear. During an earlier battle at Attu Island, some 2,000 soldiers, poorly trained and equipped for the winter weather, were put out of action by frostbite and trench foot injuries. On August 15, 1943, some 4,000 men of the 87th Mountain Regiment landed at Kiska. They landed unopposed, but once ashore came under heavy fire, suffering casualties. However, the Japanese had evacuated the island and it was friend-to-friend fire. Some additional casualties resulted from booby traps and mines placed by the enemy forces.
Back at Camp Hale, the 10th Light Infantry Division instituted a Mountain Training Group (MTG) for new recruits. Captain John Woodward served as its first commander. He selected instructors from the most qualified soldiers in the division. Chuck Hampton (1923-2005), a Tacoma mountain climber, was picked as a mountain-climbing instructor. The division continued its training and in December 1944 was renamed the 10th Mountain Division.
In January 1945 the division entered the ongoing battle in Italy. Its soldiers did not fight on skis, but as mountain troops attacking German positions in the Apennine Mountains. On February 18, 1945, the 87th Mountain Regiment participated in an assault on Monte Belvedere. The mountain had a dominating position above 10 miles of a critical highway. The German defenders were in well-fortified positions and could rain down artillery on the attackers. There was a heavy loss of life in the Monte Belvedere battle. On March 3, 1945, Sergeant Torger Tokle was killed in battle when a German artillery shell hit nearby. The battle in this sector continued to March 5.
In April the regiment led the attack in the Northern Apennines, overcoming a number of well-fortified positions. When the war was over, the 10th Mountain Division had lost 990 killed. After the end of the fighting in Europe, the 87th Regiment served occupation duties there. The regiment returned to the United States in August 1945 and was deactivated three months later. On November 30, 1945 the 10th Mountain Division was deactivated. (A new 10th Mountain Division would be formed in 1985 and go on to served with distinction in numerous deployments as a light infantry division. The division provided troops for military operations in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan.)
Veterans Shape Post-war Recreational Skiing
Veterans from the 10th Mountain Division had a major role in the expansion recreational skiing in the years after World War II. Some established new ski areas and resorts following their return home. Several 10th Division alumni were involved in the establishment of the Crystal Mountain ski area near Mount Rainier. Lieutenant Colonel H. Edward Link, who retired from the army in 1966, was central in its development, serving from 1968 to 1981 as president of the company operating the resort.
In 1955 John Woodward became a partner in the Anderson and Thompson (A&T) Ski Company in Seattle. The firm produced laminated wood skis and then became a ski-equipment distributor. Woodward continued in the mountain training of army units as a colonel in the Army Reserve.
After his discharge from the army in 1946, Nobi Kano returned to Seattle and, with assistance from the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (often referred to as the "G.I. Bill"), expanded his photography skills and became a manager with Tall's Camera in Seattle. He helped found the Rokka Ski Club, an organization for Japanese skiers, and served as its president. Kano went onto to own four Nobi's Camera Corner stores.
Webb Moffett (1909-2008), owner of the Snoqualmie Pass ski areas, offered free skiing to 10th Mountain Division veterans and had annual "ski-ins" for the former ski troops, a good opportunity for them to share with each other fond memories of the early days.
There is a memorial plaque honoring the 10th Mountain Division in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park, along a flower trail on Theosophy Ridge where the 87th Regiment trained. Film footage of the ski troops on Mount Rainier shot by Lieutenant John Jay (who left the army in 1945 as a major) is shown by the National Park Service at the Paradise visitor center. John C. Jay became a famous ski photographer after the war.
Cultural Resources Program, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
U.S. Army ski troops drilling at Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park, ca. 1942
Courtesy National Park Service
87th Mountain Infantry Battalion, Fort Lewis, 1942
Courtesy United States Army
Military ski unit training at Mount Rainier National Park