Of the many regularly scheduled radio news programs that were heard during World War II, none did a better job of covering the war for its listeners than World News Today.
A weekly half-hour program, World News Today aired over the CBS radio network every Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EST. Originating from CBS' New York studios, each broadcast would open with a brief, up-to-the-minute summary of important war-related events that had occurred during the week. This would be followed by one or more shortwave reports from CBS correspondents serving in different battle theaters around the world. (Sometimes these reports had to be cancelled or cut short due to poor reception conditions or what was alleged to be enemy jamming!) Many programs featured Bill Slocum, Jr., doing a live remote broadcast from somewhere within the U.S. (One week he might be broadcasting from a B-24 bomber flying over the Gulf of Mexico, while the next week, he could be onboard a Coast Guard patrol boat in New York harbor.) On occasion, CBS's chief military analyst Major George Fielding Eliot would be on hand to comment upon some battle or military action that was taking place. In addition, each program usually featured one or more interviews with someone directly involved in the war effort. The people interviewed ranged from senior officers responsible for directing major aspects of the war, to junior enlisted personnel who had done something newsworthy. (Although these interviews were intended to sound spontaneous, it was often apparent that those being interviewed were reading from a script.) Each broadcast would feature two commercial announcements from the program's sponsor, the Chicago-based Continental Radio and Television Corporation, makers of Admiral radios and appliances. With no new consumer products available to sell, these commercials often described the role that Admiral was playing in helping to supply radio equipment to the war effort. Later, during the final months of the war when American manufacturers had started converting back to peacetime production, these commercials began promoting the many new Admiral products that would be available to the public, "once victory was attained." Each program would close with a public service announcement encouraging listeners to help the war effort by joining a car pool, using V-mail, buying U.S. War Bonds, etc.
Recordings of at least ninety-four World News Today broadcasts -- most of them air checks from Chicago radio station WBBM and dating from late 1942 to the war's conclusion in 1945 -- survive in good sound. Any attempt to summarize them all, even briefly, would result in an article at least five times as long as this one. Instead, here are some highlights taken from various broadcasts and which this writer believes will be of interest. In some cases, bracketed comments have been included to help expand upon or clarify what was being discussed.
11/8/42: CBS New York (John Daly): Allied amphibious landings have occurred along the coast of French North Africa. [Code-named Operation Torch, these landings were made during the night of 7/8 November at the ports of Algiers, Oran and Casablanca.]
11/29/42: A PSA explains that gas rationing, which starts Tuesday, is actually intended to save rubber tires rather than gasoline. "Share your car and go twice as far."
12/27/42: CBS Buenos Aires: based on information provided by the U.S., the German ambassador to Argentina has been revealed as a spy. [This information came from decoded "Magic" intercepts.]
1/03/43: A dramatized commercial about the radios used in tanks mentions that "Admiral is making many of them." A PSA cautions listeners not to pass along rumors.
1/10/43: An Admiral commercial advises listeners to keep their radio sets in good repair (with the help of their Admiral dealer) so that they can stay current on the latest rationing requirements.
1/17/43: A PSA for buying war stamps mentions that "A 2-cent bullet will stop a Nazi and a 10-cent war stamp will buy 5 bullets." The broadcast ends with a WBBM time announcement: 1:30 p.m. [Chicago time.]
1/24/43: Bill Slocum, Jr. does a live remote broadcast from Chicago's Stevens Hotel, which was taken over by the Army Air Force as a radio communications training center on August 1, 1942. The grand ballroom is now the school's dining hall. [When it opened in 1927, the Stevens was the world's largest hotel. It is now known as the Chicago Hilton and Towers.]
2/7/43: CBS Cairo: After recalling a sign posted in Norfolk, Virginia back in 1917 that read "Sailors and Dogs Keep Off the Grass," Chester Morrisson describes how junior military personnel now serving in Cairo are encountering a similar attitude. CBS Honolulu: Webley Edwards interviews LCDR David C. White, a submarine skipper who has just returned from a patrol. White describes torpedoing a Japanese cargo ship loaded with explosives while operating in "the yellow sea."
2/14/43: CBS New York: correspondent William J. Dunn, just back from Australia reports that casualties among war correspondents is four times higher than those for military personnel.
2/28/43: Bill Slocum, Jr. does a live remote broadcast from inside a 30-ton M-4 tank during a test run at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. (Slocum has to shout to be heard over the tank's noisy engine.) CBS New York: Douglas Edwards interviews Joe James Custer, a United Press correspondent who was wounded in action while on board the USS Astoria in the Pacific. An Admiral commercial advises listeners to sign up for their Admiral dealer's "regular service" so that they can be sure of getting replacement tubes for their radios.
3/7/43: CBS Algiers (Charles Collingwood): yesterday, in North Africa, German forces attacked the British 8th Army and suffered "heavy losses in tanks and men." [Decoded Ultra intercepts allowed British General Montgomery to deploy large numbers of anti-tank guns to counter the attack. After losing 52 tanks, German Field Marshal Rommel was forced to call off the assault. With the Axis forces in North Africa in retreat and facing ultimate defeat, Rommel was recalled to Germany on March 9th to keep him from being captured and to avoid the embarrassment of him being the senior officer who would ultimately have to surrender to the Allies.] A commercial describing the Admiral radio of the future hints at television with "Technicolor."
3/14/43: CBS Rio de Janeiro: although coffee is rationed in the U.S., there is no shortage of it in Rio. A "coffee accord" has been reached between Brazil and the U.S. so that 2,300,000 bags will be shipped here. CBS Australia: a pilot who participated in 21 bombing missions describes how he once landed a plane that had been badly damaged by enemy fire. In a remote broadcast from Anacostia Naval Air Station, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews LCDR Tommy Booth, a Navy test pilot who flew a Japanese Zero that had been captured intact. While acknowledging that it is well built and easy to handle, Booth considers the Zero to be inferior to U.S. fighter planes because of its slower speed and lack of armor. A bi-partisan group of U.S. lawmakers is meeting with the President to announce that they are agreeable to the U.S. joining some sort of international organization that will replace the League of Nations. [This new organization would ultimately be called the United Nations.]
3/21/43: CBS New York (Douglas Edwards): in a speech this morning (his first since last November) Hitler admitted that Germany is a war zone because of Allied bombing. [In early March, Berlin had had its heaviest air raids to date, resulting in considerable damage and loss of life.] Col. William C. Henry of the Army Signal Corps describes the task of running telephone lines up to Fairbanks, Alaska, where holes for the telephone poles had to be blasted into the frozen ground using dynamite. In Alaska, telephones can handle more voice communications than radio, which is limited by the number of available frequencies and is subject to atmospheric interference such as that caused by the "northern lights."
3/28/43: CBS Washington (Lee White): Meat rationing in the U.S. begins tomorrow. It has been suggested that men who do heavy labor should get a larger ration of meat per week than white-collar workers. CBS London (John Daly): last night, the Royal Air Force conducted its biggest night attack yet on Berlin. 900 tons of bombs were dropped, which is more than twice the amount that the Germans dropped on London during their biggest raid [which occurred on April 19, 1941.]
4/18/43: An Admiral commercial explains how bricks of spun glass are used to keep dust and dirt out of Admiral-built military radio equipment while still providing adequate ventilation.
5/16/43: CBS Algiers (Charles Collingwood): just six months to the day that Allied forces landed in North Africa, Tunisia fell to the Allies. [On May 7th, Tunis and Bizerta were captured. The formal surrender occurred on May 13th.] An Admiral commercial telling "The Story of RADAR" refers to RADAR's "super-human power to see and hear." RADAR built by Admiral is "the 1943 model of America's 'Smart Set.'"
7/4/43: CBS Honolulu: Webley Edwards interviews a soldier and a sailor who tell how they celebrated the 4th of July in 1942 and how they expect to celebrate it next year. In a live report from the Crossville Internment Camp near Knoxville, Tennessee, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews the camp CO Colonel Frank Addington, who describes how German and Italian POWs are treated. (The "Golden Rule" applies, since many Americans are in German and Italian POW camps.) In Crossville, POW officers see to it that their men maintain good order and discipline. Although the quarters are cramped, the POWs eat well. Slocum remarks that a German Panzer officer told him that the British and the Americans will eventually have to fight the Russians.
7/25/43: CBS Algiers (John Daly): The 7th Army entered Palermo (Sicily) last Thursday [July 22nd.] Via shortwave, an Atlas news photographer describes the surrender of the city and the scene when the 7th Army entered it. (Many residents asked about relatives living in Chicago and Brooklyn!) An Admiral commercial mentions that the radio equipment used in the invasion of Sicily had to be "built to take it." Admiral subjects the radios it builds to "battle conditions" to insure that they will continue to operate while in combat.
8/8/43: CBS Honolulu: Webley Edwards interviews a 19-year-old B-24 tail gunner from Colorado who refused an offer of $1,000 to give up his seat for a bombing raid on Japanese-held Wake Island. (It was his first combat experience and he shot down a Zero.) He and the other crewmembers later received Air Medals for this mission. An Admiral commercial, advertising for workers for its Chicago factories states that, "no experience is necessary and new workers will be paid while they learn."
8/29/43: An Admiral commercial describes the hand-cranked emergency radio that is part of every military aircraft's rubber life raft kit. (The antenna is raised using a box kite.) Bill Slocum, Jr. does a live report from the training aircraft carrier Wolverine based in Chicago and which is being used on Lake Michigan to train pilots from Glenview Naval Air Station in making carrier landings. [The Wolverine was originally built in 1913 as a side-wheel excursion steamer named Seeandbee. Acquired by the Navy in 1942, it was converted into a training aircraft carrier and put into service in January 1943. It was the Navy's first side-wheel aircraft carrier. It was decommissioned in November 1945 and sold for scrap in 1947.]
9/5/43: From Pullman Headquarters in Chicago, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews "Admiral" Burt Dewey, the 71-year-old Superintendent of Car Service who has routed railroad cars for the U.S. military during three wars. Dewey describes briefly how Pullman cars are scheduled for priority military transport assignments. (66% of all troop transport is done using Pullman sleepers with some 3,000 cars in service daily.)
9/12/43: A PSA asks women to work in menial jobs so that "skilled workers" will be free to take work in defense plants.
10/3/43: CBS Washington: Robert Lewis interviews Rear Admiral Thomas Gatch, the former CO of "Battleship X" (USS South Dakota). Launched in 1942, its name was kept a secret because of its advanced armament and weapons systems. An Admiral commercial describes the "salt water treatment" that Admiral-built radio equipment is subjected to prior to being accepted for sea duty.
10/31/43: CBS Honolulu: Webley Edwards interviews two Army lieutenant colonels just back from the Southwest Pacific. They describe the jungle fighting on Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands and remark that not all Japanese officers are fanatical, and will desert their troops when the going gets tough. An Admiral commercial mentions that seven radios, all used for different purposes and having a total value of $50,000, are onboard each B-17 "Flying Fortress." When these seven radios are multiplied by the total number of Flying Fortresses, it equals many thousands of radios, which helps to explain why no new consumer radios can be built at this time.
12/19/43: Bill Slocum, Jr. does a live report from the Fleet Post Office in New York City on the volume of Christmas mail (some 400,000 letters and 25,000 parcels) that is being processed there daily. Among the many things the FPO has received for processing have been two quarts of ice cream, a live queen bee, plus many bolognas and cheeses. No alcohol is believed to have been mailed. A FPO postal code has already been assigned to Tokyo in anticipation of U.S. troops receiving mail there.
12/26/43: CBS Algiers (Winston Burdette): General Eisenhower has been named to lead the Allies' "second front" invasion of Europe. [President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill jointly announced Eisenhower's appointment on December 24th.]
1/9/44: An Admiral commercial tells about "Pierre," a member of the French underground who receives his orders via radio. "Admiral Radio is proud to be a part of the coming invasion." Two commissioned Army nurses, who spent 22 months living in tents in the jungles of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, tell of their experiences. (One had a grass hut built for $25.00.) Once back in the U.S., they found that rationing and shortages were not as bad as they had expected them to be.
1/16/44: CBS London: Larry LeSueur interviews Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby, the highest-ranking woman in the Army and director of the Women's Army Corps. American WACs serving in Britain are "fit and trim" and "adapting to war." They will eventually serve on the European continent, once the battle lines are secure.
1/30/44: CBS Detroit: former Michigan State University football star LT Tommy Harmon describes being shot down during an air action over China. Badly burned, he landed in a lake and remained under his parachute so as not to be strafed by Japanese pilots. He was not able to receive medical treatment for 17 days and it took him 32 days to make his way back to safety. For security reasons, he cannot discuss his escape route in China. [Tom Harmon (1919-1990) was also an actor and a sportscaster. He is still considered to be one of Michigan State's all-time great football players.]
3/5/44: From the hospital ship USS Refuge in Baltimore, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews Vice Admiral Ross T. McIntire, Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy and President Roosevelt's personal physician. When asked about Roosevelt's health, McIntire states emphatically that, "the President is in perfect health." [Roosevelt was in fact seriously ill with cardiovascular disease and had a little over a year to live.]
3/26/44: CBS London: Charles Collingwood interviews two American soldiers who had taken prisoner a German aviator who had bailed out over England. The German told them that he was a 22-year-old corporal and that he had been wandering around for 5 hours trying to find someone to surrender to.
4/2/44: CBS London: Larry LeSueur interviews a B-17 "Flying Fortress" crew chief who describes how planes are serviced and maintained after each bombing mission. All work must be done at night using mostly flashlights. The maintenance crews sleep while the bombers are out on a mission. The crew chief mentions that his assigned plane, Screaming Red was lost over Berlin while on its 46th mission. [The aircraft's actual name was Screaming Red Ass and it was shot down on 3/8/44. The pilot, co-pilot and one crewman survived and were taken prisoner.]
4/9/44: CBS Washington: after mentioning that the movie The Story of Doctor Wassell opened last night in Washington, Don Pryor interviews the real Dr. Corydon M. Wassell, who describes how he evacuated over 40 wounded U.S. servicemen from Java to Australia with the help of a Dutch seaman.
6/18/44: CBS Rome: Sergeant York was the first American film shown in Rome after it was liberated by the Allies. [Rome fell on June 5, 1944.]
7/2/44: CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a USNR lieutenant from the Navy's Office of Public Information, who describes the equipment used to make combat recordings during the D-Day invasion. Audio was recorded onto movie film that was then rushed to London to be processed. After being reviewed by the censor, the recordings were made available for broadcast. In addition to teaching CBS engineers and reporters how to use this equipment, the lieutenant served as Edward R. Murrow's engineer during a flight over the invasion beaches. Sixteen of these "film recorder" units were in use on D-Day.
8/13/44: CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews CDR Rankin, CO of "Rankin's Raiders," a "Black Cat" squadron based in the Pacific that flies night missions using amphibious Navy Catalina (PBY-5A) planes that have been painted black.
9/3/44: CBS London (Ned Calmer): today is a national day of prayer in Britain to mark the 5th anniversary of the start of the war in Europe.
9/10/44: CBS Paris (Charles Collingwood): the Allies are advancing towards Germany through France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Some units are within 20 miles of the German border.
10/15/44: Germany has announced that Field Marshal Rommel has died from "head injuries" sustained in Normandy. [On Hitler's orders, Rommel committed suicide on 10/14/44 for his alleged involvement in a plot against Hitler's life.] CBS Washington: John McCaffrey interviews the Surgeon General of the Army who describes the battlefield care being given to wounded soldiers. (They receive first aid within minutes of being hit.)
10/29/44: Pacific Fleet Headquarters, Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews LCDR Joy Hancock from the Navy Women's Reserve who is doing advance work prior to the first WAVES arriving in the Pacific in December. CBS San Francisco: Japanese Radio has claimed victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf [which took place October 23-26. During this, the last major World War II sea battle in the Pacific, Japanese naval power was virtually wiped out.]
11/5/44: CBS Rome: Winston Burdett reports on the social and political conditions in Rome, where the black market is flourishing and there is much hunger and discontent. It is anticipated that once Northern Italy is liberated, "anti-Fascist partisans" [i.e. the Communists] will be causing trouble that could result in civil war once the Allied forces depart. Italy's rich are already planning to leave the country and take their wealth with them.
12/31/44: CBS London: Eric Severide gives his impressions of the mood of the British people at the end of 1944. The "Churchill spell" is broken and Anglo-British relations are souring. Although many believe that there will be peace in the coming year, they are worried about England being overshadowed by the U.S. in the post-war world. In Budapest, the Russians are killing German SS soldiers without mercy in retaliation for the killing of Russian emissaries [on December 29th] who had approached German lines under a white flag of truce.
1/7/45: Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews a Coast Guard lieutenant from Shaker Heights, Ohio who is a "beach party" veteran: a member of one of the teams that goes ashore in advance of an amphibious landing force to insure that vehicles and supplies can be landed safely. While on one Pacific island, the lieutenant and two other volunteers had to crawl up to a cave full of Japanese soldiers and toss in hand grenades, which they first had to borrow. (Prior to this, they had had no experience or training in using hand grenades.) For that action, they all received Silver Stars.
3/11/45: Earlier in the week [on March 7] American troops captured intact the Ludendorff bridge over the Rhine River 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. [U.S. 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.]
3/18/45: Food rationing will continue after Germany surrenders. President Roosevelt has already told the American people that they will have to "tighten their belts" in order to feed starving Europeans. A bill has been introduced by Republican lawmakers to limit food exports to Europe in order to maintain a sufficient amount for "home front rations."
4/8/45: With the war almost over in Europe, plans have been speeded up for re-converting American industries back to peacetime production. Secretary 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.)
5/15/45: Victory in Europe is less than a week old. [Hostilities in Europe came to an end at one minute past midnight on May 9th.] 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 discusses the current state of Japan's defenses, now that its air force has been virtually destroyed. President Truman has warned about the terrible consequences for Japan if it doesn't surrender unconditionally. [Truman was undoubtedly referring to the use of the still secret atomic bomb.]
7/22/45: The first American troops have been sent from Europe to the Pacific. 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.] Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate starts debate on whether or not the U.S. will become a member of the United Nations. It has been revealed that Navy Captain Zacharias (a leading expert on Japan) has been making official radio broadcasts warning the Japanese to surrender or face total destruction. [Captain (later Admiral) Ellis M. Zacharias was the wartime deputy chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence.] A PSA advises listeners to spend their summer vacations close to home so that the nation's transportation system can handle troop movements.
7/29/45: In Washington, there is optimism over important new developments in the war with Japan. [The first atomic bomb had been successfully tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16th.] The U.S. Senate has approved the U.S. joining the United Nations.
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 the details of Japan's surrender. CBS Manila: occupation troops have not yet entered Japan. [The first American units – Army Air Force technicians -- arrived on August 28th.] A PSA asks 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 in Japan on September 2nd and while it was still September 1st in the U.S.] Allied occupation troops are now going ashore in Japan. In a recorded report from Northern Luzon in the Philippines (sent via Signal Corps facilities) a CBS correspondent describes his interview with Japanese General Yamashita "The Tiger of Malaya." Although a prisoner, the general is in good spirits and laughed at the suggestion that he had considered 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 and was hanged in Manila on 2/23/46.] SW from London: tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of the beginning of the war. Now that Lend-Lease has ended, many in Britain want to stop buying from the U.S. and barter only with countries within the British Empire. Traveling under a pseudonym, former Prime Minister Churchill is in Northern Italy on holiday. A PSA encourages listeners to buy and hold war bonds to prevent inflation and post-war economic depression.
* * *
Recordings of the CBS World News Today World War II broadcasts are available inexpensively in the MP3 digital audio format. (The collection offered by OTRCAT.com is the most extensive and user-friendly.) Listening to them at a rate of one per week, it will take almost two years to hear them all! (Following the progress of the war on a week-by-week basis is quite a different experience from reading about it in a book!)
Speaking of books, here are three very useful ones to have handy while listening to the World News Today programs:
WORLD WAR II BROADCASTS Sponsored by the Continental Radio & TV Corporation, makers of Admiral Radio.
Air checks from WBBM ("780 on your dial") located in the Wrigley Building, Chicago, Ill.
Summarized by Eric Beheim By Eric Beheim
- 3/26/44: The Russians have reached the northern border of Romania. [They entered Romania on 4/2/44.] CBS Naples: Eric Sevareid interviews LT Ed Lucas, a pilot from the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing who helped drop food and supplies to Allied troops on the ground at Cassino. (Indian troops got packages of their native food: fish and rice.) Teaser ad for the post-war Admiral home freezer. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): it is four days before Congress takes its Easter recess. [Easter in 1944 came on April 9th.] They will return April 12th. A GI Bill of Rights is under consideration. New York State’s Presidential Primary election will be held this coming Tuesday. CBS London: Larry LeSueur interviews SGT. James, a Flying Fortress crew chief who describes how planes are serviced and maintained after each bombing mission. (All work must be done at night using mostly flashlights.) The crews get to sleep when the bombers are out on a mission. SGT. James’ plane Screaming Red was lost over Berlin while on its 46th mission. [The aircraft’s actual name was Screaming Red Ass and it was shot down on 3/8/44. The pilot, co-pilot and one crewman survived and were taken prisoner.] Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews the OIC of the Army Information Branch’s Army News Service, who describes how ANS gets news out to the troops. A 65,000-word news digest is sent out every day. ANS staff members were all newspaper men before the war and condense down wire service news stories. ANS provided full news coverage of the "Patton Incident," and will be providing fair and unbiased political news coverage during the upcoming Presidential campaign.) CBS Pearl Harbor (Webley Edwards interviews a member of the first WAC contingent to serve in a Pacific combat zone. (They are part of the Air Transport Command). This particular WAC drives trucks and jeeps. WACs are being used to free up men for combat duty. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews with a carrier-based Navy lieutenant junior grade from Miami who flew bombing missions at Truk and at Saipan. CBS will carry British Prime Minister Churchill’s radio address later today. Teaser spot for the post-war Admiral "Bantam" portable radio, which will be back "after war clouds lift." PSA advising listeners to pay no more than ceiling prices.
- 4/2/44: The Black Sea naval base of Odessa is close to falling. [It was recaptured by the Russians on April 10th.] The Allies bombed a Nazi ball bearing factory 90 miles west of Vienna. CBS Naples: Eric Severide interviews LT. John Lamb who talks about his combat experiences while on a patrol in no man’s land in Italy. (During this interview, another radio operator can be heard clearly in the background, speaking in English.) Teaser ad for the post-war Admiral freezer-locker. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): an investigation is being called for to look into charges that vital war news is being withheld from the public and even from Elmer Davis, the head of the U.S. Office of War Information. Congress returns on April 12th. CBS London: Larry LeSueur interviews a lieutenant colonel who flew 25 missions over Germany. He tells how the pilots "steel their minds" and avoid panic by planning for every possible emergency. Crew-members must accept the chance of death. Religion is a great help. Major Eliot discusses the situation along the eastern front with the Russians attacking German troops in the Crimea. CBS Madrid: (no SW signal.) In Burma, Japanese forces have cut the Imphal road between India and China. [By April 9th, the British IV Corps in the Imphal area was completely encircled and could only be supplied by air.] CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews a B-24 Liberator’s bombardier who fire bombed strategic, Japanese-held Ponapay City "on the road to Truk." CBS Washington: after mentioning that the movie The Story of Doctor Wassell opened last night in Washington, Don Pryor interviews the real Dr. Wassell, who describes how he evacuated over 40 wounded U.S. servicemen from Java to Australia with the help of a Dutch seaman. Teaser spot for postwar Admiral radios that will have cabinets in all styles. PSA urging listeners to conserve their rubber tires.
- 5/21/44: CBS Naples (Farnsworth Fall): The 5th Army has occurred Fondi. The 5th and 8th Armies now have upper hand in central Italy. Retreating Germans must travel by day, making them easier targets for Allied pilots. More B-24 bombers serving on the Italian front are wearing silver paint, as there is no longer a need to camouflage them while they are on the ground. (Silver paint adds several miles an hour to their air speed.) An Admiral teaser spot announces that industrial designer George W. Walker will be designing Admiral’s post-war line of radios and appliances. SW Lisbon (no contact.) CBS Pearl Harbor (Webley Edwards): Admiral Nimitz now has a joint staff with Army, Navy and Marine Corps officers. As an example of how this joint staff works, all American air forces in the Central Pacific (Army-Navy-Marine) are now commanded by an Army Officer. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews former CBS employee (now Army Major) Luther Reed who has just returned from Iran and the Italian front. Major Reed describes how troops are kept supplied in the field. (In some mountainous areas, water and supplies must be carried in on men’s backs.) He also describes how the wounded are evacuated using relays of stretcher-bearers. Food at the front is good, since the choicest items go to the men fighting at the front. In Iran, the Americans have rebuilt the Shah’s old railroad and are using it to send supplies to the Russians. CBS London: Charles Collingwood interviews LT Ernst, an American from California serving in the RAF. (He enlisted in Canada in 1941 before the U.S. entered the war.) Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews SGT Whitner, a WAC stationed on Long Island who talks about the many benefits she is enjoying as a WAC: travel, good money, exciting work, etc. [This interview was undoubtedly intended as a recruiting piece.] Major Eliot discusses the situation on the Burma front, where Japanese forces have now been broken up into small, isolated groups that are easy to destroy. A spot for the postwar Admiral home freezer mentions that it will allow owners to buy several month’s worth of food at a time. PSA asking for part time farm workers to help out at harvest time. (Some 4 million temporary workers will be needed.)
- 6/18/44: Doug Edwards: German troops stationed in Cherbourg are now surrounded by Allied troops and cut off. The Russians are at the old Mannerheim line. As D-Day plus 13 approaches, CBS correspondent Larry LeSueur describes his experiences coming ashore with the invasion troops on D-Day. He describes seeing a captured German officer shot down by German fire and later seeing a French woman doctor treating wounded Allied troops. He also describes examining a young American soldier carrying a frame thrower and discovering that he had a shrapnel wound in his leg. CBS London: Charles Collingwood remarks that the German situation in Cherbourg as similar to that in Tunisia, where their backs were to the ocean. He then turns the microphone over to Charles Shaw who interviews an American corporal from the 9th Air Defense Command who describes seeing a German unmanned V-1 rocket in flight. (He describes it as being about 20 feet long and with a wing-span of about 15 feet.) For security reasons, the Corporal will not say if any V-1 rockets have been brought down by his command. CBS Rome: Sergeant York was the first American film shown in Rome after it was liberated by the Allies. [Rome fell on June 5, 1944.] A teaser spot for the post-war Admiral electric range mentions the "6-course complete meal cooker" that uses an automatic timer. CBS Pearl Harbor (Webley Edwards): the battle for Saipan is continuing. Troops moving inland are driving on the main airport. [An amphibious landing on the west coast of Saipan was conducted by U.S. Marines on June 15th. The Japanese considered Saipan to be critical to their outer defense network.] CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews Major St. Clair McKelway, a former managing editor of the New Yorker magazine (and now a military spokesman) on the first bombing raid of Japan by B-29 superfortresses that took place the previous Thursday. (McKelway’s job was to see that no news of the impending raid leaded out.) [McKelway (1905-1980) served as a managing editor for journalistic contributions at The New Yorker from 1936 to 1939, after which he was a staff writer. During World War II, he held public relations posts for the Army Air Force, leaving the service with the rank of Lt. Colonel.] The B-29s took off from an airfield in China that had been built by the Chinese "literally by hand." [This first B-29 raid on Japan occurred on June 15th. 200 tons of bombs were dropped on steelworks located on Kyushu Island.] Admiral teaser spot for the post-war "Bantam" radio. PSA urging homeowners to start preparing their homes for cold weather.
- 6/25/44: German radio has announced that Cherbourg has probably fallen, although this report has not been confirmed by the Allies. [Cherbourg fell to American troops on June 27th.] From "the invasion beachhead" in Normandy, Bill Downs reports that the British are currently advancing 8 miles west of Caen. [They were directing an offensive against Rauray.] Today is the first real summer day since D-Day occurred on June 6th, and many soldiers used the opportunity to take their first real baths since the invasion. French church bells rang, and many French citizens went out walking. CBS London: after repeating the German announcement that Cherbourg has probably fallen, Charles Shaw describes a hospital in England where many wounded American servicemen are being treated. It has a "country club" atmosphere and good food. Many of the wounded soldiers Shaw talked with are in good spirits and want to go back into action. A teaser spot for Admiral’s post-war "Two-Temperature" refrigerator mentions that it won’t dry out uncovered items. CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): the black market is flourishing in Rome in the wake of the city being flooded by an estimated 1 million refugees. The Republican National convention opens tomorrow [June 26th] in Chicago. Thomas Dewey is the most-likely Presidential candidate. From Chicago Stadium, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews Andy Frame, who is in charge of ushers and gatemen at the convention. He has a staff of 250 people (150 men and 100 women). "One-Eye" Connelly (the world’s greatest gate crasher) is in town and has threatened to "crash" the convention. According to Frame, "One Eye" hasn’t a chance with him in charge. [James Leo "One-Eye" Connelly devoted a lifetime to gate-crashing and became a sports-page legend during the '20s. One eye blinded in a boyhood boxing accident, Connelly masqueraded as a sandwich vendor, iceman, or plumber's helper to outwit gatemen and gain free admission. He boasted that during his career he had seen every Kentucky Derby, all but three heavyweight-championship bouts, plus countless football and baseball games, and had never paid for or accepted a ticket. He died in 1954 at the age of 84.] The Navy has announced a reduction in its pilot training program since combat losses are now less than expected. Teaser ad for Admiral’s post war "Slide-away" phonograph. PSA discouraging the wasting of food.
- 7/2/44: Normandy (Bill Downs): trained dogs are being used to locate German mines. (During one training session, the dogs took off and chased after a passing truck. It was later found that the truck was loaded with mines!) CBS London (Richard C. Hottelet): a major tank battle has been going on outside of Caen. [On July 1st, the British repulsed powerful counter-attacks by the I Panzer SS Group, destroying many German tanks.] The battleship Rodney is shelling Caen. Before surrendering Cherbourg, the Germans completely destroyed the harbor. Allied engineers are now working to repair the damage using maps and scale models, which they had been studying for several years. A teaser spot mentions that the demand for the post war Admiral home freezer is expected to exceed the output for the first two years following the war. It will pay for itself in food savings. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews Navy Lieutenant Jim Brit who was an eyewitness to the air battles that occurred over the Philippines Sea on June 19th. The Japanese lost at least 400 aircraft and the Americans lost only 126. No American ships were seriously damaged. CBS Moscow (James Fleming): The Red Army is converging on Minsk. Since June 1941, Russian partisans in Minsk had been waging a ruthless guerilla war against the German occupiers. The chimes of the Kremlin clocks are heard before the report ends abruptly. CBS Rome (Eric Severide): German troops in Italy are continuing to fall back; Americans will soon take the port of Leghorn. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a USNR lieutenant from the Navy’s Office of Public Information, who describes the equipment used to make combat recordings during the D-Day invasion. Audio was recorded onto movie film that was then rush to London to be processed. After being reviewed by the censor, the recordings were made available for broadcast. In addition to teaching CBS engineers and reporters how to use this equipment, the Lieutenant served as Edward R. Murrow’s engineer during a flight over the invasion beaches. 16 of these "film recorder" units were in use on D-Day. Teaser ad for Admiral’s post war radios with "Air-o-Scope" (built-in antennas.) PSA for the 5th War Loan. "Invest in Invasion."
- 7/23/44: A revolt has taken place among German Army leaders: 50 German generals were allegedly involved in a plot against Hitler. [An assassination attempt occurred on July 20th.] CBS London (Charles Collingwood): small German counter attacks are taking place in Normandy. The 9th Air Force bombed "choke points" along the German-controlled railroad system in France. Churchill is expected to make a speech, which will put the plot against Hitler by his generals into perspective. The Allies’ "caution" in France has been criticized. A spot for the Admiral post-war home freezer refers to the future year "nineteen forty X" when an avid fisherman is able to freeze his catch and enjoy it throughout the year. An amphibious landing took place in Guam this week. [Following a preliminary air and naval bombardment, the landing was made on July 21st on Guam’s west coast. A beachhead more than 2 miles wide and one mile deep was established.] SW from Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews writer/war correspondent Morris Markey who witnessed the big air battle over the Philippines Sea, where Air Group 15 shot down 67 Japanese planes. Former actor Wayne Morris got his first zero that day. CBS Rome (Eric Severide): the Allies are in the southern part of the city of Pisa. (The famous leaning tower is still OK.) Of the troops from the various Allied nations that are occupying Rome, the Americans are the best liked, especially the Negro troops. Many GI’s in Rome are bored, and the good hotels have all been reserved for the officers. Major Eliot comments on the situation along the eastern front, where the southern half of the German line is crumbling. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): the International Banking Agreement is to be signed today. It will make available 8 billion dollars to help stabilize international currencies. Pryor then interviews LCDR Edward L. Keen, the executive officer of "Victor Dog 3," the unit that did aerial-photo reconnaissance over Guam prior to the invasion. Teaser ad for postwar Admiral automatic record changers "with fewer moving parts." PSA encouraging the home canning of food.
- 7/30/44: The Allies are now 7 miles from Florence, Italy. The Russians are closing in on Warsaw. Two-thirds of Tinian is now in American hands. Normandy: Bill Downs describes visiting a British observation post inside a 2-storey house overlooking a battlefield. Allied troops are starting to advance southward from the Normandy Peninsula. CBS London (Charles Collingwood): Chimpanzees in the London Zoo are the first to hear and react to approaching German V-1 flying bombs. Teaser spot for Admiral’s post-war, no-defrost, "two-temperature" refrigerator with "Steri-lamp." New Orleans: on the second birthday of the U.S. Navy WAVE program [which officially began on July 30, 1942], Bill Slocum, Jr. is on hand for the christening of two PT boats, which are being dedicated to the WAVES. (These two boats, costing half-a-million dollars apiece, were paid for by war bonds purchased by Navy WAVES.) Following remarks by Andrew Jackson Higgins, the boats (designated 484 and 485) are christened by Yeoman Elliott and Yeoman Gibson and are then lowered into the water. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews the Chief of Staff of the 7th Air Force about the support that the Air Force is giving to America ground troops on Guam and Tinian. Fighting an air war in the Pacific using shore-based planes involves flying long distances over water. 10-15 hour missions are not uncommon. Major Eliot reports that the Russians are close to the Gulf of Riga in Latvia and that German Army Group North is now cut off by land. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews LTJG Ben Tate from Air Group 24, a torpedo squadron which sank a Japanese carrier during the recent battle of the Philippines Sea. Tate describes the action, including making the attack run on the carrier. During that action, his plane was shot up and he had to land it in the water rather than onboard his aircraft carrier. Admiral spot for its post-war "Phantom Weight" 3-way portable radio.
- 8/6/44: An American offensive continues in Brittany. Allied columns are turning towards Paris. In the east, Russian advances are threatening Germany itself. Normandy (Bill Downs): the Germans have lost 15 divisions in France since D-Day. Allied advances are threatening to cut off the German U-boat bases in Brittany. (The report ends abruptly due to static.) CBS London (Richard C. Hottelet): the French city of Laval was reached yesterday. The Allies’ current thrust is aimed at Paris. The port of Brest has not yet been taken. The German cities of Berlin, Hamburg, and Kiel were hit today by 1,000 bombers. A spot for the post-war "2-Temperature" Admiral refrigerator with "Steri-lamp" mentions that it has "moist cold" that won’t dry out uncovered dishes placed inside. Major Eliot describes the situation on the Eastern Front, where the Germans are fighting with "fanatical" resistance as the Russians advance on East Prussia. Hitler has asked for loyalty to himself and claims that disloyal army generals had been working against him since the war began. CBS Rome (the signal is lost almost immediately.) CBS New York: the Germans are shelling British positions in the historic city of Florence, Italy, which is now mostly in Allied hands. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews John Bishop, a war correspondent for The Saturday Evening Post, who tells about the fighting on Tinian, which was taken in only 9 days. According to Bishop, Tinian was "wonderful tank country." Radio Tokyo has announced that all Japanese civilians will be armed to defend Japan against the coming invasion. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): the Senate will begin debates on whether to provide unemployment benefits to displaced war workers. Pryor interviews a P-51 Mustang pilot who served in Italy and who talks about the long-range missions he flew. (P-51’s were fitted with belly tanks to increase their range.) Almost 60 of his 90 missions were flown over Anzio. In Montana, the head of the Selective Service announced that all high school boys will eventually serve in the military, even if the German war ends. There is little prospect of a rapid demobilization. An Admiral spot hints at the many Admiral-built consumer products that will be available "when America’s enemies have surrendered." PSA encouraging listeners to "buy all the war bonds you possibly can."
- 8/13/44 CBS London (Richard C. Hottelet): Retreating Germans in western France are being heavily bombed. In Paris, the Germans recently held a big show-of-force military parade to show that they are still in charge there. Teaser ad for postwar Admiral radios mentions FM and television. Major Eliot describes the situation on the eastern front, where Russian troops are now at the frontier of East Prussia. In Warsaw, the Polish underground is putting up a stiff resistance. The Slovacs and the Hungarians are considering making separate peace offers with the Russians. German troops in Italy have been encouraged by an announcement from Hitler that there will be a German offensive in 6 weeks. CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): Allied air attacks are taking place on the southern coast of France. Churchill recently visited Italy. There are strained relations between the Allies and the anti-Fascist [Communist] Italians. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews Marine Corporal Fred Hoffman from Hoboken, New Jersey who escaped capture on Guam by playing dead. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): delegates are arriving for the Four Power World Security Talks. Pryor then interviews CDR Rankin, CO of "Rankins’ Raiders," a "Black Cat" squadron that uses amphibious Navy Catalina (PBY-5A) planes painted black for night missions. George Ray Tweed, who escaped from the Japanese on Guam, was later shot at by Japanese snipers. [George Ray Tweed, (1902-1989) was the chief radioman on Guam when the Japanese invaded the island on December 10 1941. He and five other men slipped into the Guam jungle rather than become prisoners of war. George managed to elude the Japanese for two years and seven months. On July 10, 1944 he was able to signal two destroyers involved in preparations for the impending US invasion, and was later rescued by US troops. For his heroism, George was awarded the Legion of Merit and promoted.] Teaser ad explaining why the postwar Admiral refrigerator is being called "2-Temperature." PSA asking for cadet nurses.
- 8/20/44: Russian Chairman Gromeko has arrived for the Four Power World Security Talks, which open tomorrow. The Allies are advancing in France while the Germans are taking heavy losses and retreating back to Germany, leaving behind most of their equipment. CBS London (Richard C. Hottelet): German radio has reported that American tanks have crossed the Seine River. (This has still not been confirmed by the Allies.) The British took 1,000 prisoners today and the fleeing Germans are being harassed by Allied aircraft. CBS Rome: Winston Burdette interviews a B-25 pilot and his bombardier who helped bomb former French warships in the port of Toulon in southern France. Despite heavy flak, no planes were lost. An Admiral spot for the post-war 2-Temperature refrigerator mentions that its freezer will hold 400 ice cubes or 2 bushels of frozen food. General deGaulle is in Cherbourg to be on hand for the liberation of Paris, which is expected shortly. [Paris was liberated on August 23rd.] Major Eliot comments that the Germans are stiffening their resistance as Russian troops approach the "holy German soil" of East Prussia. Battles of a grand scale can be expected in late August and in September. Spain: Glenn Stadler, who was in Paris when it fell, describes the German takeover of that city in 1940. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a Navy lieutenant commander involved in amphibious warfare, and who describes the make-up of a "Beach Party:" the various personnel (doctors, corpsmen, hydrographers, boat repairmen, communications units, etc.) who are already there to support the troops as they come ashore. Teaser spot for post-war Admiral radio cabinets. PSA asking for part-time farm laborers of all ages to sign up for "the U.S. Crop Corps."
- 8/27/44: The Germans are retreating back to Germany. The French port of Toulon has been captured by the Allies. Japanese positions in Sumatra have been bombed. The Japanese are evacuating Manila. Allies are pouring across the Seine, and the left bank has been cleared of Germans. Yesterday, snipers shot at General deGaulle during a service inside the Notre Dame cathedral. General Eisenhower visited Paris today. 3,000 tons of American food is being sent to Paris daily to help feed the city. As a sign that things are returning to normal in Paris, the first bicycle race is scheduled for tomorrow. The RAF is now bombing Germany during the daylight hours. Southwest France has been cleared of Germans. Major Eliot comments on how Hitler’s policy of trying to defend too much territory with too few troops has resulted in the smashing of one German army after another. From Madrid, Glenn Stadler reports on the internment by Spain of German officers who fled there from France to surrender. CBS Washington: Joe McCaffrey interviews a colonel who had been with the U.S. Assault Training Center in England where the invasion troops were trained. Before the war, he had served in Germany and had observed German methods for assaulting fixed positions. These techniques were later modified for training American troops. The U.S. Assault Training Center was located on the western coast of England, where German beach fortifications and barriers were reproduced. 30-man assault sections were used based on the capacity of the landing craft. Troops received 3 weeks of training at the center and then continued to practice on their own afterwards. The colonel had, in fact, taken part in the D-Day landings and was wounded. He is now in Washington, serving on the Army’s General Staff. Iwo Jima has been bombed by B-24s. Teaser spot explaining the "Steri-lamp" feature that will be available in post-war Admiral refrigerators. PSA encouraging listeners to buy War Bonds. "Buy more War Bonds than before. Winning the war must come first with each and every one of us."
- 9/3/44: CBS London (Ned Kalmer): today is a national day of prayer to mark the 5th anniversary of the start of the war in Europe. To date, England has suffered 926,000 casualties, many of them killed. Finland and Bulgaria are now almost out of the war. Germany is mostly cut off from its sources of raw materials. Brussels is believed to have been liberated. (This has not yet been official confirmed because of the time lag in SHAEF reporting advances and captures.) [Brussels was liberated by the British 2nd Army on 9/3/44.] A spot for the post-war Admiral automatic record changer mentions that its new tone arm will exert less pressure on records. A German suicide force of about 15,000 men is holding out in the French port of Brest. CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): One of the best French agents in Lyons was a 19-year-old girl. France claims that German war criminals are among the POWs now in Allied hands. Major Eliot: the Russians are pushing rapidly ahead in Romania. The Germans are still successfully defending the border of East Prussia. In a remote broadcast from a B-24 Liberator bomber flying 4,000 feet over Long Island, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews three Civil Air Patrol Cadets who are onboard for week of pre-flight training. All are under the age of 18. The Civil Air Cadet program is for "air-minded youth" who want to become pilots. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a Coast Guard Chief Boatswains Mate who was wounded while doing rescue work in the English Channel on D-Day. An Admiral spot for the peacetime "2-Temperature" refrigerator with "purified moist cold." A PSA discouraging non-essential travel closes with: "Pleasure travel must wait for victory." WBBM PSA requesting the donation of books for servicemen.
- 9/10/44: CBS Paris (Charles Collingwood): the Allies are advancing towards Germany through France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Some units are within 20 miles of the German border. (The shortwave signal is noisy with code in the background.) CBS London (Ned Kalmer): the Allies are now encountering major German resistance and an autumn campaign is likely. The London blackout is to be partially lifted and the theater season is being resumed. A spot for the Admiral post-war automatic record changer mentions its simplicity. There is nothing to go wrong, and even with a faster changing time, there is "far less chance for breakage or chipping." CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): the Germans are continuing to resist the Allied advance. Major Eliot: Romania and Bulgaria are now Russian allies. Germany’s hold on the Balkans is cracking. In Washington, Bill Slocum Jr. interviews Admiral Claude A. Jones in conjunction with an award the Navy recently presented to the RADAR and Radio Industry workers of Chicago. (Jones describes how many women were recruited off the street to work on this "secret and delicate equipment.") CBS San Sebastian, Spain: Glenn Stadler describes the German propaganda given to 16-year-olds who have been conscripted to serve in the German Army. In the Pacific, the Palau Islands were attack from the air and shelled from the sea last Wednesday. [These attacks against Japanese airfields and other installations occurred on September 6th and caused tremendous damage.] CBS Washington: Congress is discussing post-war re-conversion of American industry and a repeal of the excess profits tax. The return to the 40-work week is likely. (The Unions want workers to receive the same pay that they got for a 48-hour week.) Congress has agreed to ensure that farm prices are maintained for 2 years following the war. Reports from Copenhagen indicate that the Germans are expecting an Allied invasion of its Baltic coast. Spot for the post-war Admiral Home Freezer. A PSA reminds listeners that even though the war is going well, war production must be maintained until final victory is won.
- 9/24/44: CBS London (Larry LeSueur) British airborne troops are pinned down on the north bank of the Dutch Rhine. [This situation came about as a result of General Montgomery’s ill-fated "Operation Market Garden": an airborne invasion of Holland that began on 9/17/44.] Bad weather has hampered Allied attempts to provide air support. A teaser spot hints that, post-war Admiral "firsts" will include home television and televisions in radio-phonograph combinations. General deGaulle has arrived at the French front. CBS Rome (Winston Berdette): the Germans are being pushed back from their Gothic Line. The 5th Army is now 15 miles from Bologna. Rumanian and Russian troops have reached the Rumanian-Hungarian frontier. CBS Moscow (Lee White, from The Chicago Daily News foreign service): Moscow is preparing for a long, cold winter. With the threat of German air attacks lifted, damaged buildings are being repaired. Bill Slocum, Jr. does a live report from a target boat off of Cherry Point, N.C. Marine pilots can be heard conducting practice dive bombings of this target boat. CBS Pearl Harbor: Tim Limerick interviews Navy Commander Bonny M. Powell (a former employee of Fox Movietone News) who was an eyewitness to the fighting in the Palau Islands. (Powell was coordinating photo-coverage.) CBS Washington: Joe McCaffrey interviews two paratroopers Captain Barnett and 1st Sergeant Odon who talk about their experiences in various airborne operations including D-Day. (Barnett fought at Ste Mere Eglise.) The two discuss the requirements that would be necessary to conduct an airborne invasion of Berlin. Spot for the post-war Admiral 2-temperature refrigerator. PSA encouraging women to enroll in the American Red Cross’ Home Nursing Course.
- 10/1/44: CBS London (Larry LeSueur): German troops occupying the French port of Calais surrendered to Canadian troops yesterday. [The surrender of Calais occurred on 9/30/44.] The surrender followed a 24-hour cease-fire to allow civilians to be evacuated. (Many of the German truck drivers who helped during the evacuation did not choose to return to Calais.) 15,000 German troops are trapped at Dunkirk, the last German strong point along the northern coast of France. American tanks are being transported from French ports to the German front on trucks to keep their treads from being worn down. A spot for "after victory" Admiral products mentions FM and television. French Communists will continue the war against Germany. CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): the Allies are faced with having to provide relief for thousands of Italians refugees as winter approaches. Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews Coast Guard Lieutenant John Mitchell who landed men and supplies ashore under fire at Saipan. CBS Madrid (Glenn Stadler): a black market economy is flourishing in southern France as the Germans retreat. CBS Pearl Harbor: just back from the Palau Islands, Webley Edwards gives an eyewitness account of the fighting that is going on there. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews LTJG Jack Fuller, the 23-year-old skipper of a Navy LCT landing craft that was sunk after it hit a mine on D-Day. Fuller is currently training Navy personnel for amphibious landings in the Pacific. Major Eliot reviews the situation on the Eastern Front where the Russians are now threatening Yugoslavia. PSA advising home-owners to prepare their homes for winter.
- 10/8/44: Wendell Wilkie died this morning in New York [Wilkie died on 10/8/44]. Belgium: Richard C. Hottelet describes the 1st Army’s attack on Aachen, located on the Siegfried Line. (The Germans are expected to pull out tonight.) CBS London (Larry LeSueur): the Siegfried Line has been penetrated, and Canadian troops are advancing in Holland. CBS Rome (Winston Burdette): Americans are 13 miles from Bologna. FDR has promised increased aid (including grain shipments) to Italy. Germans are taking everything of value from Northern Italy as they retreat. SW from Moscow (Lee White): with most of the tractors and oxen gone, milk cows are being used for plowing in Russia. Wheat is being harvested by hand. Women must do most of the farm work while the men are away fighting the Germans. CBS Madrid (Glenn Stadler): as Spain experiences freezing weather, pure German aspirin is in short supply. (Germany is Europe’s biggest aspirin supplier.) Admiral Nimitz reports that 12,000 Japanese soldiers have been killed on Palau Island. Major Eliot: with Russian troops only 83 miles from Budapest, Hungarian resistance is growing weaker. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a Marine combat journalist (and a former radio announcer) just back from Palau Island. He describes recording descriptions of the landings and the fighting there. Despite a heavy naval bombardment prior to the Marines landing there, the Japanese defenders put up a stiff resistance. Getting fresh water and food was a problem during the first few days after the landing. Tributes to Wendell Wilkie from FDR and Thomas Dewey are read. A spot for Admiral’s post war radio-phonographs mentions the "revolutionary automatic record changer." A PSA encouraging listeners to conserve and salvage paper for the war effort.
- 10/15/44: Germany has announced that Field Marshal Rommel has died from "head injuries" sustained in Normandy. [On Hitler’s orders, Rommel committed suicide on 10/14/44 for his alleged involvement in the plot against Hitler’s life.] The German city of Cologne has been heavily bombed for the second day in a row. Aachen is still holding out. CBS London (Eric Severide): the Rhine will soon be crossed. American advances have been hampered by a need for getting more supplies to the front. A spot for the post-war Admiral record changers mentions that "Slide-a-way" is an exclusive feature found only in Admiral radio-phonographs. Major Eliot: it has been announced that Hungary has asked the Russians for an armistice. (Hungary was Germany’s only remaining ally.) From "Camp Little Norway" in Toronto, Canada, Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews a 24-year-old member of the Norwegian resistance who went into Germany on three different occasions disguised as a German captain. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews Navy Combat Photographer PH1 Lorin F. Smith from Los Angeles (who likes taking photos from dive bombers.) CBS Washington: John McCaffrey interviews the Surgeon General of the Army who describes the battlefield care being given to wounded soldiers. (They receive first aid within minutes of being hit.) His remarks include a plea for more Army nurses. (10,000 are needed.) Nurses help inspire wounded men to recover; 97% of the wounded in Army hospitals usually recover. A spot for the post-war Admiral refrigerator mentions that uncovered dishes will not dry out and will stay "as crisp and fresh as early morning dew." PSA for the National War Fund
- 10/22/44: Douglas Edwards: American troops now hold the capitol city of Leyte Island in the Philippines. Fleet Headquarters Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards talks about the battleships Pennsylvaniaand California, which were both damaged during the Pearl Harbor attack, and which participated in the bombardment of Leyte Island [on October 20th] prior to the American landing in the Philippines. Supreme Allied Headquarters, France (Larry LeSeure): the American line is firmly established at Aachen [which surrendered on October 21st.] The ground in Holland is soaked and muddy and not suitable for large-scale operations. The Rhine-Ruhr area is being pounded from the air. A spot for the post-war, "newly-styled" Admiral 2-Temperature refrigerator mentions that it will allow fruits and vegetables to be purchased in bulk while in season and then frozen. Belgium: Richard C. Hottelet with the 1st Army talks about the surrender of Aachen. German officers have been warned that if they surrender, reprisals will be carried out against their families in Germany. CBS London (Charles Shaw): Churchill is back from a 10-day conference with Stalin. The two leaders agreed that the war should be over "by the end of winter" which means in March. CBS Moscow: George Morat discusses the Churchill-Stalin conference and the benefits of a 2-way friendship between these two leaders. CBS Madrid: Ann Stadler discusses recent clashes between Spanish Communists and Franco’s troops. CBS Washington: Joe McCaffree interviews Rear Admiral E. L. Corcoran on the coordination that was required during the amphibious landing at Peleliu Island. Corcoran defines an APA as an Attack Troop Ship, and an AKA as an Attack Cargo Ship. 5 to 10 tons of supplies are needed for every Marine that is landed. Major Eliot reports that Canadian troops have just captured the Dutch port of Breskens. Today was the first day of registration for Germany’s "Peoples Army." A spot for the post-war Admiral record changer mentions the new styling and a "fool proof" record changer that is sturdy in construction and practically child-proof. PSA encouraging listeners to buy only what they need and pay only ceiling prices to help hold down inflation.
- 10/29/44: Pacific Fleet Headquarters, Pearl Harbor (Webley Edwards): there are still no details on the Battle of Leyte Gulf [which took place October 23-26 and was the first time that kamikaze pilots were used as an official, recognized unit.] Edwards interviews LCDR Joy Hancock from the Navy Women’s Reserve who is doing advance work prior to the first WAVES arriving in the Pacific in December. CBS San Francisco: Japanese Radio has claimed victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf [where Japanese naval power was virtually wiped out.] It is speculated that the heavy losses suffered by the Japanese Navy might force General Koiso to resign as Prime Minster, just as Tojo was forced out [on July 18th] after heavy Japanese loses at Saipan. A "rejuvenation of government" is taking place in Japan. A spot for the Admiral "after victory" radio mentions that it will have FM, television and home recording. CBS Paris (Larry LeSeure): a break in the bad weather has allowed Allied forces to attack German troops from the air. Railroads in the Rhine-Ruhr area have been hit, and the city of Cologne is still burning after an earlier attack. Belgium: Ned Kalmer with the 1st Army reports that the Americans have not been able to find anyone in Aachen willing to become its mayor. Aachen was the first sizable Germany city to be occupied. CBS London: Eric Severide reports on British reaction to General Stilwell being recalled from China [by FDR on October 18th]. The British were never too enthusiastic about the Chinese as an effective fighting force against the Japanese because of the fragmented nature of China’s internal politics. CBS Washington: Joe McCaffree interviews Brigadier General Hatcher from Army Ordnance, who talks about the job of keeping American troops supplied with ammunition and ordnance. (He reveals that captured Japanese 81mm mortar shells fit American mortars and are being used against Japanese troops.) Although an Army General, Hatcher is a graduate of Annapolis. A spot for the post-war Admiral electric Range mentions that it has a 5-way timer for automatic cooking. A PSA advises listeners to buy and hold U.S. War Bonds
- 11/5/44: CBS London (Richard C. Hottelet): huge formations of British and American planes have been bombing targets in Germany around the clock. [The Americans bombed Hamburg, Hanover and Saarbrucken. The British bombed targets in the Ruhr.] Ned Kalmar (with the American First Army at the German frontier) describes how Sunday is celebrated at the front. A spot for the post-war Admiral Home Freezer makes reference to the "post-war era of better living" and makes the claim that the Admiral Home Freezer will only cost 3 cents a day to operate. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews Ensign Stephenson from Wilmington, Delaware who saw the aircraft carrier Princetonblow up [on 10/24/44] during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Ensign Stephenson gives a brief overview of the battle and mentions that Japan lost 4 aircraft carriers. [During that battle, it also lost 3 battleships, 10 cruisers, and nine destroyers, virtually destroying Japanese naval power.] CBS Rome: Winston Burdett reports on the social and political conditions in Rome, where the black market is flourishing and there is much hunger and discontent. It is anticipated that once Northern Italy is liberated, the "anti-Fascist partisans" (i.e. Communists) will be causing trouble that could result in civil war once the Allies leave. Italy’s rich are already planning to leave Italy and take their wealth with them. Major Eliot: Russian troops are reported to be on the outskirts of Budapest, the capitol of Hungary. Since it a major transportation center, Budapest will mostly likely become the Russian base of operations. CBS Washington: Joe McCaffrey interviews Navy Torpedo Bomber pilot Ensign Stahlbor, who fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The Ensign, who has trouble reading his script, refers to Japanese pilots as "too mechanical" when it comes to improvising to meet rapidly changing combat conditions. A spot for the new post-war Admiral automatic record changer mentions its new electric tone arm, which will do away with all surface noise. A PSA encourages listeners to join a car pool to help save gas and tires
- 11/12/44: CBS Paris (Larry LeSeure): the Germans are counter-attacking in the vicinity of Metz about 5 miles south of the German frontier. Speaking in French, Churchill made a speech in Paris, encouraging the French people to support General deGaulle’s leadership. CBS London (Eric Severide): In London, the big question is what to do with Germany after victory. There will be no wholesale dumping of German goods on the market such as happened after World War I. All Germans will be put to work, including having to repair the war damage that Germany did in other countries. German industries and exports will be controlled by the Allies. A "Post-War Promise from Admiral" spot talks about the expected re-conversion to civilian production and the post-war line of Admiral radios, which will have many improved features. CBS Pearl Harbor (Webley Edwards): one year ago today, American bombers hit Tarawa, starting the air offensive against the Japanese-held Bismarck Archipelago and the big Japanese base at Rabaul. Edwards interviews 7th Air Force Commanding General Robert W. Douglas, Jr. who talks about the air war in the Pacific. CBS Rome (Farnsworth Fall): in Rome, Italian Communists and Socialists joined together to celebrate the anniversary of the Russian revolution. Major Eliot: Germany has declared the Gulf of Bosnia a war zone so that German U-boats can attack Russian shipping there without provoking Sweden. CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews a Marine Corps General, who admits that all of the amphibious landings in the Pacific were hard and bitterly contested by "saki crazed" Japanese soldiers. The General warns that Japanese troops will fight even harder as we get closer to Japan. Now that FDR has been elected to a 4th term, there is much rumor and speculation in Washington about possible cabinet changes. Churchill assured the French people that Britain wants a well-equipped and powerful French Army. A spot for the post-war Admiral Dual-Temp refrigerator describes its many features: no-defrosting, purified moist cold, Steri-lamp, larger size, and a built-in home freezer. A PSA asks for qualified seamen to join the U.S. Merchant Marine.
- 11/19/44: SW from Belgium: Richard C. Hottelet, with the American First Army, describes how the Germans are abandoning their forward positions. Allied planes are hitting German roads and concentration points. CBS London (Eric Severide): now that the ground is frozen hard, what will most likely be the last winter offensive of the war is now under way, with 1.5 million Allies fighting against .5 million Germans. German armies trapped on the west bank of the Rhine will most likely be cut off and destroyed before they can cross back over to Germany. A spot for the post-war Admiral automatic record changer refers to the "Slide-a-way" feature as "the open door to good music." CBS Rome: Winston Burdette compares the government of liberated Italy to that of liberated France. (In Italy, the Allies are keeping a much tighter control over the government so that "anti-Fascist (i.e. Communist) groups don’t gain control. An Allied military government is likely for the time being. Major Eliot talks about the battle for Leyte. Now that the American carriers are back, the Japanese will not be able to reinforce or re-supply their troops there. It will be a "struggle of attrition." Controlling Leyte is key to being able to launch air strikes on Japanese-controlled Manila. CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews Navy pilot LT Robert C. Ashcroft from Louisville, Ky. LT Ashcroft was shot down during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf and spent a day in the water before being picked up. He identifies a "Bogie" as an unidentified aircraft and a "Bandit" as an enemy aircraft. To "scramble" means to get all planes into the air. Bill Slocum, Jr. does a remote broadcast from the War Bond exposition currently taking place at Navy Pier in Chicago. Among the latest military hardware on display there are helicopters. Slocum interviews Coast Guard LT Walter C. Bolton, one of two helicopter pilots flew from Floyd Bennett Field in New York to Chicago – a distance of some 917 miles. Bolton describes following roads and power lines, landing in farm yards to ask directions, landing close to airport diners to eat, etc. After the war, the Coast Guard will use helicopters for search and rescue work. CBS Washington (Don Pryor): Although Ike had predicted that the war could be won by this winter, the War Production Board still has not authorized U.S. industries to start reconverting back to peace-time production. An international conference is being held in Chicago to form an international aviation commission. There is currently no international agreement on petroleum production. President Roosevelt will open the 6th War Loan drive tonight. A PSA requests that personal rail travel be kept to an absolute minimum to help out military personal going home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- 12/3/44: CBS New York (Douglas Edwards): B-29 "Super Fortresses" based in the Marianas have bombed Tokyo for the fourth time in 10 days. [The B-29 Tokyo raids began on November 24th.] The Saar River has been crossed by units of Patton’s 3rd Army. [This occurred on the night of 12/3.] CBS London (Bill Downs): today, British Home Guard units paraded before the King as part of a standing down ceremony. [The British Home Guard was formed on 17 May 1940 and was comprised of local volunteers who were otherwise ineligible for military service, primarily due to age. It was officially disbanded on 31 December 1945.] The Germans are just now having to form their own home guard. CBS Paris (Charles Collingwood): German troops are counterattacking in the area of the Saar River. Bad weather has hindered air support for American ground troops. A spot for the post-war Admiral Dual-Temp refrigerator mentions that it doesn’t rob foods of their moisture. Germany recently announced that it has a V-3 rocket capable of reaching New York City. From Wright Field in Ohio, Bill Slocum, Jr. does a report on a "Buzz Bomb" that was rebuilt for testing from parts of German rockets that landed on London. (He describes it as looking like a 10-foot stovepipe.) Colonel George Holland describes the rocket engine as small, powerful and simple. The U.S. will not build and use its own "rocket bombs" since there is currently no way to control where they will land. Research and development is continuing. CBS Rome: Farnsworth Fall reports that German troops are retreating through the Alps back to their eastern frontier. Yugoslavia’s Marshal Tito is a Communist and there is speculation as to whether or not Yugoslavia will become a Communist state after the war. (Yugoslavia also supports free enterprise.) There is speculation on the likelihood of a Yugoslav-Bulgarian alliance. CBS Pearl Harbor: John Adams interviews Liberator bomber pilot Lt. G. L. "Red" Altman from Toledo, Ohio, who describes some of the incidents that occurred during his 18 missions against the Japanese held "volcano islands." (During one mission, his plane’s hydraulic system was disabled by enemy fire.) CBS Washington: Don Pryor interviews CDR. William Collins, the skipper of Fighter 8 who describes bombing Clark Field in the Philippines. (It was an easy raid and they got 25 Japanese fighters that were parked on the ground.) The squadron also hit 4 submarines that they found in a cove on an island located half way between the Philippines and Japan. Communist guerrillas in Athens, Greece were shot at by police after they staged an uprising. A spot for the post-war Admiral record changer states that it will change records in 4 ½ seconds. A PSA advises motorists to be aware of the hazards of winter driving and to always remember the ABCs: Always Be Careful.
- 12/31/44: Doug Edwards: Hitler will speak tonight. CBS Paris (via Army Signal Corps facilities): Charles Collingwood (who is introduced as Ned Kalmer): German counter-attacks are continuing. The French people are disappointed that the war is not over. (The report is cut short due to heavy static.) In a dramatized Admiral spot, a woman tells how, rather than going to hear a symphony performed, she and her husband invited friends over and played the same symphony for them on their Admiral automatic record changer. CBS London: Eric Severide gives his impressions of the mood of the British people at the end of 1944. The Churchill "spell" is broken and Anglo-British relations are souring. Although many believe that there will be peace in the coming year, they are worried about England being overshadowed by the U.S. in the post-war world. CBS Pearl Harbor: Don Pryor reports that Japanese troops on Pacific islands that have been cut off are now being "worn down" by air attacks. Admiral Nimitz made a radio broadcast to the Japanese people. Pryor interviews Marine Corps Major George Dooley, a pilot just back from Guam. The Major relates that, while flying missions over Guam, he would spot the enemy on the ground and then report their positions to PT boats. He predicts that Japanese opposition will get tougher as the Americans get closer to Japan. An unconfirmed announcement from Brussels Radio said that German Field Marshal Kesselring died in Italy on November 27th. [Albert Kesselring coordinated German defenses in Italy. On 10/25/44, he was seriously injured when his car collided with an artillery piece, and did not return to his command until January 1945. Kesselring survived the war and was tried for war crimes committed in Italy by Germans troops. Escaping the death sentence, he was later released in 1952. He died in 1960.] Major Eliot reports that the weather in Europe has cleared, allowing Allied pilots to attack German ground forces. In Budapest, the Russians are killing German SS soldiers without mercy in retaliation for the killing of Russian emissaries [on December 29th] who had approached German lines under a white flag of truce. Doug Edwards: the city of Yokohama is in a "state of alert." Chang Kai Shek has called for a "peoples’ congress" in China. CBS Washington: Chris Coffin interviews LCDR Stanley a former heavy construction engineer and now a Seebee officer. Stanley, who has just returned from Leyte, describes the Seebees as being made up of skilled workers from 60 different construction and building trades. Seebees usually come ashore during the early hours of an invasion and often carry out their construction mission while under fire. The Filipinos he encountered were all saying, "We are very glad to see you." Doug Edwards: A tragic train wreck occurred this morning near Ogden, Utah in the marshlands bordering the Great Salt Lake. [Early on the morning of December 31st, a fast-moving express/mail train crashed into the rear end of a Pacific Limited passenger train at Bagley, 17 miles west of Ogden, killing 48 people and injured 79.] A spot for the post-war Admiral electric range mentions the "complete meal cooker" and "Flex-o-heat" features. The program concludes with a New Year’s greeting from Admiral.
- 1/7/45: Doug Edwards: the American 1st Army gained 3 miles in the Belgium Bulge. Two-fifths of Budapest is in Russian hands. CBS Paris (Charles Collingwood): a new German counter-offensive in the Strasbourg sector is threatening the 6th Army Group. CBS London: (Richard C. Hottelet): the 8th Air Force is bombing German rail yards up and down the Rhine. The weather is bitter cold and the planes flew in temperatures of minus 50 degrees. The BBC has reported that Athens is now free of leftist forces. A spot for the post-war Admiral "dual temp" refrigerator mentions that it will save money on food costs because owners will be able to buy food items at "quantity prices." CBS Pearl Harbor: Webley Edwards interviews LT Joe Ball, a PBY Catalina "flying boat" pilot from Fullerton, California who rescued 56 survivors from a Navy destroyer that was sunk off of the Philippines. (With the survivors and his crew, he took off from the water with 63 souls on board. A second PBY rescued another 44, and three more PBYs later rescued the remaining survivors.) Japanese radio has announced that a big American invasion force is off of Luzon, the principal island of the Philippines. This is still unconfirmed by the Allies. [The initial phases of the invasion of Luzon began on January 6th.] From Luxemburg, Bill Chavel describes a visit he made to the front (a 2-hour trip by jeep.) During that trip, he saw many dead Germans. (The report ends abruptly.) Bill Slocum, Jr. interviews Coast Guard LT Matthew Catalon from Shaker Heights, Ohio who is a "beach party" veteran, going in ahead of the invasion forces. In order to clear the way so that supplies could be landed, Catalon and two other volunteers had to crawl up to a cave full of Japanese soldiers and toss in hand grenades. (Prior to this, they’d had no experience or training using hand grenades, which they had to borrow.) For that action, they all received Silver Stars. CBS Washington: Chris Coffin interviews Air Corps Colonel George L. Wodenbaker who describes how the Air Corps supports the infantry by dive-bombing enemy positions and vehicles. His squadron was given a captured German flag in appreciation for the support they provided to the ground troops. Some pilots even go to the front with the infantry to get a better idea of the conditions. A PSA encourages listeners to use V-mail.
- 1/14/45: The weather has cleared and the Germans are retreating. Interview with a U.S. Congressman who is visiting England and who found the English to be "warm, friendly, and cordial." Teaser spot for the post-war Admiral radio with FM. Interview with the CO of a Navy Air Group who personally shot down 19 Japanese planes and helped sink four carriers during the battle of the Philippines Sea. SW from Pearl Harbor: interview with a Piper Cub pilot from Kansas who helped evacuate the wounded from Leyte Island while under enemy fire and who was himself wounded. The Russians have launched their winter offensive in central Poland and are knocking out the last German resistance in Budapest. Interview with a former professional New York model, who is now a nurse serving onboard a hospital ship in Europe. PSA for saving & collecting paper.
- 1/28/45: U.S. troops are now 40 miles from Manila. The Polish town of Katowice has been recaptured. Next Tuesday (1/30) is the anniversary of Hitler’s assent to power. The Big Three Conference will be held close to Russia. [It took place in Yalta on February 4-11.] SW from Belgium: the 1st Army is advancing towards the Siegfried Line in a snowstorm. Interview with an Army Air Force sergeant who was blown out of a super fortress flying 12,000 feet over Japan. Tethered by a safety strap, he dangled outside for 15 minutes without oxygen before being rescued. Major Eliot: with the Russians are now just under a 100 miles from Berlin, "the Empire of Hitler is going down in blood and fire." A brigadier general explained why the production of certain types of ammunition is critical, while factories producing other types of ammunition are being shut down. Teaser ad for post-war Admiral portable radios.
WORLD WAR II BROADCASTS Sponsored by the Continental Radio & TV Corporation, makers of Admiral Radio.
Air checks from WBBM ("780 on your dial") located in the Wrigley Building, Chicago, Ill.
Summarized by Eric Beheim By Eric Beheim
- 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.
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.
Read more about Eric Behiem...
<< Old Time Radio Articles