- 2/18/45: Doug Edwards: General MacArthur announced that Corregidor has been invaded. [The U.S. 5th Air Force dropped a parachute regiment on Corregidor on February 16th.] Iwo Jima is being shelled in support of an imminent landing by U.S. forces. [This invasion occurred on February 19th.] Japanese troops inside Manila were told to surrender. In France, Charles Collingwood reports that the 1st Canadian Army is pushing its way through the Siegfried Line and is a mile away from the town of Goch. From somewhere in Belgium, Bill Downs reports that rain is hindering troop movements. The Germans are preparing for a final great battle. Teaser ad for the Admiral “dual temp” refrigerator: “two refrigerators in one.” London (Eric Sevareid): Surrender for Germany will be unconditional. It is still being debated as to who will run Germany after the war ends. This includes German industries, police, fire, press & radio, etc. Pearl Harbor: Staff Sgt. Charles Alamin who flew 13 missions over Tokyo as well as missions over Iwo Jima and Truk is interviewed. Carrier-based planes attacked Tokyo last week. [These attacks began on February 16th and lasted for two days.] Control of Iwo Jima is important because it is only 750 miles from Japan. Major George Fielding Eliot reports that there has been no official confirmation of Japanese radio reports that the invasion of Iwo Jima has begun. The carrier strikes against Tokyo are not isolated events and might be an attempt to bring out what remains of the Japanese fleet for a final sea battle. Washington: Chris Coffin interviews a private who was starting a career as a professional baseball player when he was drafted in 1941. Serving as a medic, he lost both legs at Anzio. After the war, he plans on becoming physical ed instructor. In a message to his troops, General Montgomery said that they are engaged in “the last and final round” of the German war. Major Eliot returns to comment that this remark is “significant.” Teaser ad for the Admiral “Slide-away” phonograph, which will be available “when peace comes.” PSA for car-pooling. “Join one today for victory.”
- 3/4/45: Doug Edwards: the Germans are retreating, blowing up bridges over the Rhine as they fall back. Heavy daytime bombing raids are being made over Germany. Tokyo has been bombed. [The Musashino aircraft factory in Tokyo had just been bombed by 192 B-29 Superfortresses.] Japanese forces on Iwo Jima have been split. CBS Paris (Charles Collingwood): German resistance at the Rhine River is cracking. 52,000 Germans have been taken prisoner. Howard K. Smith (with the 9th Army in Germany): the German bridgehead has been reduced to 9 miles. German citizens are surrendering. Smith’s driver went off to reconnoiter and never came back. He has been reported as “missing in action.” Teaser ad for the Admiral electric range with two ovens and “flex-o-heat.” “For the best in cookery, use electricity.” London (Larry LeSueur): Germany has launched a new air offensive against England using planes and not “robots.” These raids have been ineffective and are being done to help boost Germany morale. German industrial cities are now being taken with little resistance. Foreign workers inside Germany are a possible guerrilla force. Pearl Harbor: Marines are pushing the Japanese defenders to the north end of Iwo Jima. The Marines are meeting strong resistance and they are in a place where it is difficult for the planes to bomb enemy positions. Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews Corporal John Shaw who fought at the Battle of the Bulge in late December 1944 and was there when General McAuliffe gave his famous one-word response to the Germans demand that he surrender. [His response read "To the German Commander: Nuts! The American Commander."] In Washington, D.C. Chris Coffin interviews Major Juanita Redmond, author of the book I Served on Bataan, who had helped evacuate 68 nurses who had been Japanese prisoners for most of the war. The city of Cologne is under shellfire. The suburbs of Dusseldorf have been entered. Teaser ad: the Admiral radio-phonograph is a dream that will come true after victory. PSA: the Army needs more nurses. Registered nurses who meet the requirements should consider applying.
- 3/11/45: [A good program consisting of news coverage only.] Earlier in the week [on March 7] American troops captured intact the Ludendorff bridge over the Rhine at Remagen. A bridgehead has now been established, and men, tanks, and equipment are pouring across to the east bank. The Russians are moving in on Danzig. Fighting continues on Iwo Jima for a third week. [Marines landed on Iwo Jima on February 19th.] Ten square miles of Tokyo were destroyed by a massive incendiary bomb attack [conducted on March 9th by 334 B-29 bombers.] German officers are now being watched closely by Nazi “commissars” to insure that they don’t surrender their commands. Washington officials expect a major political upheaval to take place in Japan shortly. In Burma, British troops have captured half of Mandalay. Only one Admiral teaser ad was heard during this broadcast (for the post war dual-temp refrigerator.) PSA encouraging listeners to plant Victory Gardens.
- 3/18/45: Bob Trout replaces Douglas Edwards as commentator. (Edwards has been reassigned to London.) The center span of the Ludendorff bridge at Remagen collapsed of its own accord [on March 17th.] Several German officers were executed for allowing the bridge to fall into Allied hands intact. Shortwave from London: Churchill has announced that the war will be over by this summer. England’s post-war problems are being discussed by the House of Commons. (“Housing” is a big issue.) Recorded interviews with the only two WACs serving on Guam. In Washington, a debate is raging over the export of food to “starving Europe.” Food rationing will continue after VE day; after returning from Yalta, FDR told the American people that they will have to “tighten their belts” in order to feed starving Europeans. A bill has been introduced by the Republicans to limit food exports to Europe in order to maintain a sufficient amount for “home front” rations. Food priorities: the Army & Navy have top priority. (By an odd coincidence, this also includes enemy POWs who often eat better than citizens in the U.S. who are subject to food rationing!) The home front has second priority on food. In assessing how exported food will be distributed in Europe once the war is over, the feeling is that “the Germans will have to scrounge for themselves.” Four Japanese cities have been fire bombed by B-29s. PSA for the 1945 War Fund.
- 3/25/45: Today is Greek Independence Day [March 25th.] On Friday [3/23] British and American forces linked up on the east bank of the Rhine, forming a bridgehead 30 miles wide. On the east bank, German resistance is “light to moderate” with none on the west bank. Admiral spot congratulating itself for having been awarded an Army-Navy “E” flag. The 1st Army is moving east from Remagen. A report that Patton has crossed the Rhine is still unconfirmed. In Washington, the mood is one of “optimism and hope.” From San Francisco: a very good recorded interview with an Army staff sergeant who flew 8 photo-reconnaissance missions over Japan in the B-29 Yokohama YoYo. [This plane would later fly the first post-atomic bomb strike photo recon mission over Hiroshima in August, 1945.] The staff sergeant tells of seeing a plane with German markings over Japan. He also tells of a Super Fortress that successfully fought off 70 enemy planes. PSA asking for qualified to men to join the Merchant Marine.
- 4/8/45: This evening marks the eve of the 5th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Norway [which took place on 4/9/40.] British troops are within 8 miles of the German port of Breman. The American 1st Army is now 180 miles from the Russian front. Yesterday, a captured salt mine was found to contain Nazi gold and stolen art treasures. Major Eliot: the Russians have almost completely encircled Vienna and there is savage house-to-house fighting in the southern districts. There is speculation as whether or not continued German resistance will result in heavy damage to that city. Washington: with the war almost over in Europe, plans have been speeded up for re-converting American industries to peace-time production. Sec. of War Stimpson has recommended that the Army and Navy be merged into a single organization. (The Navy is cool to this idea out of concern that the Army would domination such an organization.) Russia has renounced its non-aggression treaty with Japan but will not declare war until the Americans are ready to invade the Japanese homeland.
- 4/15/45: [This program is mostly dedicated to President Franklin Roosevelt, who died on the afternoon of Thursday, April 12th. There are no Admiral commercials and there is no PSA at the end. During the broadcast, it is mentioned that President Lincoln died 80 years ago on this date.] In a report from Hyde Park, FDR’s burial service, which took place today) is described. SW from Paris: 550,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner this month. Fire [napalm] bombs were used for the first time against German positions. 60-year old President Harry Truman is referred to as a “practical American” with many Republican friends in Congress who will work with him. He has invited the Russians to attend the San Francisco Security Conference and will be addressing Congress tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EWT. Many Roosevelt cabinet members will probably resign and be replaced. Bob Trout closes the broadcast with an extended tribute to FDR’s memory.
- 5/13/45: Victory in Europe is less than a week old. [VE Day occurred on May9th.] Today is a day of prayer in Britain. Churchill will speak later today and review events from his past 5 years as Prime Minister. From London, Edward R. Murrow describes a 1500 plane victory fly-over of London. Himmler, Goering, Hess and other top Nazi leaders are now in custody. Carrier-based aircraft are attacking Japan. Larry LeSueur describes his first-hand impressions of the Russian occupation of Austria. Major Eliot: the Japanese air force has been virtually destroyed. Two military men are asked for their viewpoints on the San Francisco Security Conference. (Their responses sounded very carefully scripted.) President Truman has warned about the terrible consequences for Japan if it doesn’t surrender unconditionally. [He obviously had in mind the use of the still secret atomic bomb.] A comparison is made between the reactions of the German people at the end of World Wars I and II. Admiral spot for its post-war refrigerator with “Steri-lamp” which is “as safe as sunshine.” PSA encouraging the use of V-mail.
- 7/1/45: The Allies have declared that Berlin will never again be the seat of the German Government. SW from Paris: America troops will be remaining in Europe for the time being. There is much discontent in France, particularly among former French POWs. SW from London: the British have just celebrated their first peace-time holiday. German land mines and sea mines are still a menace. Churchill wants to remain Britain’s Prime Minister until Japan is defeated. [He was replaced by Clement Attlee on July 27th.] Interview with a YN1 who was onboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin when it was hit by a Japanese high level bomber near Manila and badly damaged. [This attack occurred on October 15, 1944.] The YN1 describes being trapped for 2 hours on the deck immediately below the burning hanger deck. Washington: experts estimate that it will be at least 2 years before Europe’s agriculture production will return to normal. Food rationing within the U.S. will continue. German forces are continuing to surrender. The Big 4 (Russia-France-England-U.S.) have not yet agreed on how Germany will be occupied. (There is still concern that Germany might once again become a threat to world peace.) Spot for the post-war Admiral electric range with “Flex-o-Heat.” PSA for the 7th War Loan.
- 7/8/45: Pacific Fleet Headquarters has just announced that three British aircraft carriers were hit by kamikazes. The Russians are still in complete control of Berlin. Spot advertising It’s a Promise from Admiral, a free, full-color booklet showing Admiral’s post-war line of radios, phonographs and appliances. This is the first week that American occupation troops are serving in Berlin. The city has been divided into 4 zones with British, Russian, U.S. and French troops each governing a zone. The Big 3 (Churchill-Truman-Stalin) will meet at Potsdam. [The Potsdam meeting took place between July 17th and August 2nd.] SW from London: there is a rumor that President Truman might visit London after the Postdam Conference. Recorded interview with CBS newsman Webley Edwards who flew on a combat mission over Korea. The Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) will be broken up next weekend. [This occurred on Sunday, July 15th.] Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin discussing the United Nations Charter and whether or not the U.S. should become a member. A vote is expected in early August. Due to some “confusion” in Berlin, food and fuel for the American and British zones are not being provided by the Russians. Spot for the Admiral post-war record changer “with only 3 moving parts.” PSA advising listeners not to pay black market prices for meat during the current shortage.
- 7/22/45: The first American troops have been sent from Europe to the Pacific. In France, 89-year-old Marshal Petain’s trial for collaborating with the Germans begins tomorrow. SW from Berlin: the Big 3 Conference in Potsdam has finished its first week. CBS Manila: interview with an Army sergeant (a former writer who did radio scripts for Orson Welles) who field-tested new 57mm and 75mm weapons while in combat in the Philippines. SW from London: the results of Britain’s election will be known by this coming Thursday. [Churchill’s Conservative Party was narrowly defeated and he was replaced as Prime Minister by Clement Attlee.] Londoners still believe the rumor that President Truman will visit London after the Potsdam Conference. Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate starts debate on whether or not the U.S. will become a member of the U.N. It has been revealed that Navy Captain Zacharias (a leading expert on Japan) has been making official radio broadcasts to Japan, warning them to surrender or face total destruction. [Captain (later Admiral) Ellis M. Zacharias was wartime deputy chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence.] Spot for a post-war Admiral electric range with two full size ovens and “Flex-o-Heat.” PSA advising people to spend their summer vacations close to home so the nation’s transportation system can handle the troop movements.
- 7/29/45: E.R. Murrow just reported that one of the Big 3 [the Soviet Union] has announced that it will soon be going to war with Japan. Recorded interview from Guam with a crewman from a Super Fortress who was rescued after he partially fell through an open camera hatch when his plane experienced severe turbulence while flying over Japan. CBS Berlin: the Potsdam Conference will probably end this coming Wednesday. [It ended Thursday, August 3rd.] Churchill was replaced at the Conference by Clement Attlee, who became England’s new Prime Minister on July 27th. CBS London: an interview with an Army Air Force general who hints at the future use of controlled “rocket bombs” [i.e. guided missiles.] In France, Marshal Petain is on trial for collaborating with the Germans. [Petain was convicted of treason and was sentenced to be shot. Charles deGaulle, while briefly serving as France’s Prime Minister, commuted Petain’s sentence to life imprisonment. Petain died in 1951 at the age of 95.] In Washington, there is optimism over important developments in the war with Japan that are expected within two weeks. [The first atomic bomb was successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16th.] The U.S. Senate has approved the U.S. joining the United Nations. Ambassador Grew (the former U.S. ambassador to Japan and a expert on that country) has stated that the Japanese islands must be occupied after the war. Japan’s Prime Minister has officially rejected the unconditional surrender ultimatum issued by the Allies at Potsdam. (It is believed that Japan is holding out for better surrender terms that would exclude post-war occupation of the Japanese home islands.)
- 8/5/45: (see #38)
- 8/12/45: Robert Trout: as of today, it has been 192 weeks since Americans first heard the news the Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Now the world is waiting for word that Japan has agreed to surrender. President Truman and British Prime Minister Attlee are in their offices waiting for word of the surrender. In Moscow, Stalin and Eisenhower reviewed Russian troops from the roof of Lenin’s tomb. The Japanese people still have not been informed that total defeat is near. (The same thing had happened in Germany at the end.) Guam: Webley Edwards remembers the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. [Edwards had been in Honolulu on December 7, 1941 and had broadcast the first local announcement that the attack was taking place and that it was “the real McCoy.”] He also summarizes major events of the Pacific campaign and recognizes some of the news correspondents that had been killed while covering these events. Teaser ad for cabinets for Admiral’s line of post-war radios and radio-phonographs. Major Eliot speculates on which senior American officer will accept the Japanese surrender. Most believe it will be General MacArthur, although some feel that it should be Admiral Nimitz, since the Navy and Marines did the lion’s share of the work in retaking the Pacific. 500,000 Japanese troops are trapped in in Manchuria by the Russians. Chungking (Don Pryor): China is already celebrating Japan’s defeat. Disputes between the Communists and the Chinese national government have already begun. London (Richard C. Hottelet): no word has been received here of Japan’s surrender. Japan still has 140,000 British prisoners of war. Once the war is over, badly needed food can be released for civilian use. Washington, D.C.: speaking via a mobile transmitter set up on the White House grounds, Chris Coffin reports that President Truman has been at his desk since 7:45 a.m. waiting for news of Japan’s offer to surrender. Paris (Charles Collinwood): with the war almost over, American troops in Europe are looking forward to going home soon. Once Japan surrenders, France will want Indo-China back. General deGaulle reports that France is returning to normal. Marshal Petain’s trial for collaborating with the Germans is still going on and the verdict is expected next Tuesday. Teaser ad for the post-war Admiral dual-temp refrigerator with Steri-lamp. PSA asking for qualified men to contact the Merchant Marine.
- 8/19/45: (Robert Trout): President Truman is leading the nation in a day of thanksgiving. Britain is also observing a day of prayer. Sixteen Japanese representatives are now in Manila to meet with General MacArthur to work out details of the surrender. So far they have only met with MacArthur’s staff. Technically, Japan has not yet surrendered but has only agreed to accept surrender. The representatives appear to be pursuing tactics of delay. CBS Manila (John Adams): the surrender ceremony should take place within a week. It has been 10 days since Emperor Hirohito first sued for peace. CBS Guam (Bill Downs): troops of the occupation army are preparing for a peaceful amphibious landing on Japan. They are uncertain if they will be shot at. Some sort of fraternization policy with Japanese civilians will have to be decided. Admiral adds it own prayer of thanksgiving. CBS Washington: Chris Coffin gives an eyewitness account of the thanksgiving service that was conducted in the East Room of the White House. In addition to President Truman and Army Chief of Staff General Marshall, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson was also present. CBS London (Charles Collingwood): today is a national day of prayer to celebrate the first day of peace in 6 years. Unlike the U.S., Britain will continue rationing. Chungking, China (Don Pryor): it has been reported that General Wainwright has been liberated from a Japanese prison camp in China. [Wainwright had been the senior officer on Bataan who had surrendered that fortification to Japan.] CBS Pearl Harbor: Morton Stone tells how VJ day was celebrated in Pearl Harbor. Russia has announced that the Japanese troops in Manchuria have surrendered. A PSA requests the qualified seamen apply to serve in the Merchant Marine.
- 8/26/45: The Allied fleet is expected to sail into Tokyo Bay within a few hours. It has been a week since Japanese representatives arrived in Manila [on August 19th] to arrange details of the capitulation. CBS Manila: occupation troops have not yet entered Japan. [The first American units – Army Air Force technicians -- arrived on August 28th.] The British will occupy Hong Kong. American aircraft are now flying over Japan, locating POW camps. Washington: Senate committees are meeting to discuss who will oversee the future research and development of atomic energy. (It is currently under the control of the military.) Some feel that atomic secrets should turned over to the U.N. Via SW from Chungking, China: details of the Soviet-China accord are given. SW from London: the abrupt ending of Lend-Lease means that the U.S. will probably have to pay for the passages of U.S. troops that are shipped home on British ships. SW from Paris: General deGaulle is in Washington, visiting President Truman. For U.S. troops in Europe who are impatiently waiting to get home, receiving mail is more important than ever. PSA asking for part-time farm workers to help harvest the 1945 crop. (No experience is necessary.)
- 9/2/45: It has only been a few hours since Japan formally surrendered. [The surrender ceremony took place on September 2nd in Japan and September 1st in the U.S.] Allied occupation troops are now going ashore in Japan. Russia will observe VJ Day tomorrow. Recorded report (from Northern Luzon in the PI via Signal Corps facilities) from a CBS correspondent who interviewed Japanese General Yamashita “The Tiger of Malaya.” Although a prisoner, the general is in good spirits and laughed at the suggestion that he was considering committing hara-kiri. (So far, few high-ranking Japanese leaders have committed suicide.) [Yamashita was later found guilty of war crimes related to atrocities committed in the Philippines by Japanese troops under his command. Although there was some question as to whether or not he had any knowledge of the commission of these atrocities, he was hanged in Manila on 2/23/46.] Major Eliot: the unprecedented surrender of Japan was due to Japan’s losing command of the sea. President Truman will broadcast a message to U.S. military personnel worldwide later today. SW from London: tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the beginning of the war. [England and France entered the war against Germany at 11:00 a.m. on September 3, 1939, when Germany failed to respond to an ultimatum to withdraw its troops from Poland.] Now that Lend-Lease has ended, many in Britain want to stop buying from the U.S. and only barter within the British Empire. SW from Paris: today is VJ Day in France. General deGaulle is in the U.S. meeting with President Truman to discuss financial aid to France. (One half of France’s national wealth is gone.) Traveling under a pseudonym, former Prime Minister Churchill is in Northern Italy on holiday. PSA encouraging the buying and holding of war bonds to prevent inflation and post-war economic depression.
- 9/9/45: (Robert Trout): the occupation of Japan is continuing. Japanese troops in China are just now surrendering. In Saigon, natives stirred up by the Japanese killed two Frenchmen. In Korea, Japanese troops fired into a crowd of Koreans waiting to welcome arriving Americans. In Singapore, Japanese troops have been put to work by the British to repair war damage. In Japan, Supreme Commander MacArthur said that, had it been necessary to invade Japan, a military government would now be running the country. Instead, the Japanese are still in charge of their own government. The Allies’ goal is for Japanese leaders to abolish militarism and encourage freedom. There has been little interference from occupation forces. CBS Tokyo: Wm. J. Dunn reports on the occupation of Japan. Allied correspondents have been complaining that the Japanese news agency has been putting out news worthy information even before MacArthur has released it to them. CBS Guam (Webley Edwards) American GI’s in Japan are having a hard time relating the “pitiable” Japanese civilians to the bestiality of Japanese soldiers. Ad for the Admiral “lifetime” sapphire phonograph needle, which is now available and which will play 10,000 records. Bob Trout: A “Big Five” diplomatic conference is taking place in London to discuss the future of Europe. CBS London: Charles Shaw discusses the Big Five conference, which will only last for two weeks. British civilians have been incensed by reports of Japanese atrocities committed during the war. CBS Washington (Chris Coffin): General Wainwright will be honored tomorrow in Washington. There is now a surplus of potatoes because Army and Navy purchases have been cut back. It has been suggested that these surplus potatoes be converted into starch. President Truman’s re-conversion policy is facing opposition in Congress. CBS Paris: Doug Edwards reports on the transporting of Greek laborers in Germany back to Athens. (Most of these laborers had volunteered to work in Germany to keep from starving.) This now much unrest in Greece caused by strikes, rising prices, a drought, etc. Greece has had no elections in 10 years. The Greeks like Americans but dislike the British. Ad for Admiral’s new electric range with “flex-o-heat.” PSA asking qualified women to apply for the cadet nurse program.
- 9/16/45: (Robert Trout): Japanese forces surrendered today at Hong Kong. In Shanghai, China, the Japanese still control parts of the city. In the U.S., wartime restrictions are starting to be thrown off. As industries convert back to peace-time production, labor problems are starting to arise. CBS Tokyo (via San Francisco): in a recorded report, Wm. J. Dunn reports on how American troops in Japan are getting along with Japanese civilians. In a recorded report from the Philippines, John Adams reports on the troops there that are being sent to Japan and Korea. Many have been in the Pacific for two years. Some troops are starting to be sent back home, although the ships are needed to transport home former POWs. Ad for the 1946 Admiral line of radio-phonographs with automatic record changers and high fidelity sound. CBS London (Charles Collingwood): the Big Five Conference to decide the fate of Europe is suffering from “bad staff work” and almost nothing is expected to be accomplished in the way of settling disputes over borders, captured territories, colonies, etc. CBS Washington (Chris Coffin): there is Congressional criticism of the demobilization of the Armed Forces. The required strength of a peace-time Army and Navy still needs to be determined. Secretary of War Stimpson is to be replaced. Eisenhower is expected to replace General Marshall as Commanding General of the Army. CBS Paris (Doug Edwards): There have been French protests over China’s policy regarding Indo-China (which had formerly been under French control.) There is unrest in France over high prices, demands for pay raises, etc. While President deGaulle is a symbol of the French resistance, some in France are wary of a soldier being leader of the country. General MacArthur has protested the shooting down of an American Superfortress over Korea by the Russian. (The Russians claimed that they thought it to be one of the aircraft captured by the Japanese.) CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): Italy is concerned about changes being made to its eastern border. Ad for the Admiral electric “Dual Temp” refrigerator with a freezer-locker big enough to hold two bushels of fresh vegetables. PSA asking for part-time farm workers.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eric Beheim is a life-long radio enthusiast. A former commanding officer of a Naval Reserve Combat Camera unit based in San Diego.
Eric Beheim leads a multi-faceted career as a free-lance writer, professional musician, and owner of his own music and sound project studio.
Born in the first wave of "baby boomers" he grew up with radio and remains a life-long radio enthusiast. His particular interests are collecting news and commentary programs from the late 1930s and early 1940s (including World War II news), and programs that feature performances of operettas and musical theater presentations.
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