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gy* ilmituituu JHurtrotfl g>tar ~ | j“---------WILMINGTON, N. C., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21,1944 _ FINAL EDITION ~~ *n k >w in iy >e « 3 Leyte Battle Held Drawing fo Conclusion Japanese Continue Evasive Tactics On Mindoro isle GENERAL M'ARTHUR’S ^quarters, PHILIP PINES. Thursday. Dec. 21.— The battle of Leyte Is knd i? "rapidly drawing to ar"eiKl." i;en. Douglas Mac inhur said today, announc JC the complete destruction Triy ui'.ce-powerful Japan ese Yamashita Line on the northwest shoulder of the island. : e watered enemy defenders' supply route was lost Ker, Yanks surging north up the corrd >r road from Ormoc L bor.gao where a road : j the Nipponese supply tort of Palompon. The enemy's "cohesion is now completely broken,’’ the commu nique said, "and he is no longer etfisle of an integrated defense.” Small remnants of the Japanese Drees have been broken into iso !:;ed groups and are able to re sist only temporarily and at iso lated points. Scattered Japanese forces are :'.Tt .: rvard Palompon on Leyte’s northwest coast, the only port re 'maining in enemy hands. Destruction of the Yamashita hue in the Ormoc corridor was accomplished when the 77th divi sion. New York's own, advanced tor miles north from Valencia, Japanese headquarters whose seizure was announced Wednes tsy, and took a road junction at 'Continued on Page Sev^i; Col. 3) YANK BOMBERS STRIKE MARCUS AND IWO JIMA L S. PACIFIC FLEET HEAD QUARTERS. PEARL HARBOR, -fc. 20.—<P—American bombers u’uck Monday at Iwo Jima and Islands, chief bases for '=panese attacks on the Super • tress airfield on Saipan, Adra. Chester W. Nimitz announced to day. .Jne 100-ton bomb attack on Iwo o.T.i by the Marianas-based Lib t.ttors, escorted by Lightning LM'er:. was the 12th consecutive ,-tnke against the small is ■ r.d on the B-29 road to Tokyo, “pi t.:e 15th blow of the month. *5E Lightnings shot down one en erD' plane and strafed ground tar jets. Liberators of the Strategic Air ' :-ce hrd nit Iwo Jirna, only 750 L‘:es south of Tokyo, on the pre 'lOUS day. starting fires among lr“tallations and on the airstrip. attack on Marcus Island, miles northeast of Saipan, was ":E L.st since December 12. Prin c,t°L target was the airstrip. Lie Liberators weathered mod ,lv-e antiaircraft fire, and all re t-iiied safely, the communique •aid. Logiiters and bombers of the LJjnh Marine Aircraft Wing and ;lee' Air Wing Two attacked }ja!oelap atoll Monday, in one c‘ the heaviest in many months of Ruralizing raids against by Passed enemy positions in the Marshalls. Marine Corsairs bombed and '!rafed storage areas on Babel haa J island in the Palaus also on Monda ■.-. --■------J Invasion Hits Jap Supply Line t • ?°iW invasion of Mindoro has put the American forces within quick jumping distance of the China and Indo-China coasts and placed the Jap supply line in constant danger is indicated by the above ir i Once the Mindoro air strip is functioning, bombers can virtually put j out of business enemy routes in the South China Sea. (International). N. Y. OPERATORS VOTE TO STRIKE Union Awaits Action Of WLB On $5 Weekly Raise NEW YORK, Dec. 20—(JPi—Offici als of Local 101, Federation of Long Lines Telephone Workers (indepen dent) announced tonight a majority of the 6,000 long distance operators in New Y'ork had voted to strike if the War Labor Bard fails to ap prove a $5 weekly wage increse. In compliance with the Smith Connally Act, officials said, the strike would not go into effect be fore 30 days. Operators favoring the strike handle only interstate calls. They do not include local or intrastate operators, who would not be affect ed. Mrs. Norma Naughton, chairman of Local 101, said that of 3,172 union members who voted. 98.3 per cent favored the strike. The union claims a membership of 3,700. There are approximately 6.000 long distance operators in the New York City area, all employes of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. The operators, according to the union, now receive from $20 to $34 a week. A WLB panel has recom mended that the $5 a week wage increase be granted. The union also has asked that the 12-year employment period for maximum wages be reduced to nine years. A spokesman for the telephone company said yesterday it had agreed to the reduction. “The demands were referred to the WLB soon after they were made (last January),” Miss Naughton said, “and we have (Continued on Page Five; Col. 4) U. S. SPENDING § SETS NEW MARK Experts Estimate 97 Bil lions Used By Consum ers In ’44 WASHINGTON, Dec. 20.— (tfl — American consumers are ringing up a new spending record this year. The Commerce Department es timated today that 97 billion dol lars will have been spent for goods and services in 1944. That’s six per cent bigger than last year. It’s more than half again as big as 1939 spending, which totalled $61,700,000,000. There's a war on. But the De partment said enough civilian goods were produced in 1944 to satisfy most of consumers’ wants. There was "some inconven ences but no hardships.” Rising prices account for some of the increased spending, but not all. The actual quantity of goods and services bought this year has been somewhat larger than in 1943. Civilians spent two billion dollars more for food than they did last year, even though prices averag ed slightly less than in 1943, ac cording to the Commerce Depart ment report. The consumers laid down nine per cent more money for clothes than in 1943. but since there was a seven per cent rise in prices, the quantity was little changed. As for durable goods, like furni ture and autos, the quantity sold was ten per cent less than last year. But cdnsumers spent about the same for the goods, because of price rises. Furniture, especial ly, got more expensive, said the Department, but even with higher prices less money was spent for furniture. Former Minister Held As Saboteur For Nazis NEWARK, N. J„, Dec. 20 A former New Jersey minister, w’hose name and address in secret ink al legedly were found on a German saboteur who landed from a sub marine on the Atlantic Coast two years ago, was held in $30,000 bail here today at arraignment on char ges ol violating the sabotage, cen sorship and foreign agents statutes. The arrest of Emil Ludwig Krep per, 60, Newark, was announced earlier today simultaneously at Washington by the Department of Juslice and at Newark by acting U. S. Attorney Thorn Lord. The Justice Department said Krepper had been instructed to es tablish himself in this country as a contact for German spies, and his arrest was the climax of more than two years of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from a clue—a w'hite pocket hand kerchief-found on one of the eight German saboteurs who landed from a submarine in June, 1942. The handkerchief, the Justice Department said, contained the words, "Pas. (Pasto?) Krepper, Route 2, Rahway, New Jersey.” and an unsuccessful attempt to lo I cate Kreoper through the message was made by one of the saboteurs caught in New York. I One ind.ctment alleges Krepper conspired wiui waiter tvappe, luen tified by the FBI as a director of the Nazi sabotage school in Berlin, and his wife. Bertha Krepper, “to injure, interfere witn anu obstruct the national defense of the United States,” and ‘‘to use a code and other devices” to conceal messages from censorship. A second indictment charges that about December 19, 1941, Krepper sent a code message, ‘‘which was intended to be delivered to the en emies of the United States in Ger many.” The third bill charges the ex minister acted as a German agent without notifying the Secretary of State. Federal authorities said the con spiracy was to be carried out by Krepper who was to establish him self as a United States citizen and then provide lodging and other fa cilities for Nazi secret agents, keeping in touch meanwhile with his wife and Kappe in Germany. Krepper received a regular sal ary from the German government which made payments to his wife in Berlin, Federal authorities said. In recent months, he has been employed as a steward in a New ark club. Federal officials said the indictments provided possible mas urium penalties of 32 years impris onment and $30,000 in fine. /> i •---*• Eden Pleads For Regular Allied Talks Secretary States Churchill’s Case In Greek Debate LONDON, Dec. 20.—(#)— Assuring the House of Com mons that Britain’s bayonets would not impose a king on the Greeks, Foreign Secre tary Anthony Eden tonight eased political controversy over Britain's armed inter vention after reports of dif ferences among the three big Allied powers had received partial confirmation from Prime Minister Churchill himself. Eden, apparently giving up hope for an immediate meeting of the Big Three but bent on finding a method of eliminating future mis understandings, pleaded for re establishment of quarterly meet ings “between the foreign secre taries of the great powers as we used to have to deal with some of these matters.” ms ptea was entered only a few hours after Churchill, in grim ref erence to “this dangerous and. mo mentous phase of the war,” main tained that Britain, Russia and the United States were in “entire agreement about the general aims which bind our alliance,” but ad mitted that “whether there is com plete agreement on every aspect cf these matters is another ques tion altogether.” Churchill quickly side-stepped ar gument over whether the accord among the Allies could be applied to “spheres of influence.” One member pointedly asked him whether “he did not agree that there is a danger in implementa tion of proposals of the Dumbarton Oaks conference if certain powers assign themselves spheres of influ ence and other powers are not brought into cooperation during the war.” “I think that is a topic that ob viously I should not attempt to deal with now,” replied Churchill. It was against this background of underlying concern for smoothly harmonious inter-Allied relations that Eden went to bat for his chief and, with a detailed, stand-pat de fense of the Churchill government’s steps in Greece, at least tempo rarily stilled the demand of some Left-Wing Labor members for a vote of censure. The House rose long after dusk (Continued on Page Three; Col. 1) stettinwsYlans TO INCREASE SPEED IN STATE OFFICES WASHING! ON, Dec. 20. — (fPl — Secretary of State Stettinius made public today his plan for tightening administration aid speeding up his department’s work. A + the came tit-yio eli «*/•»!r.mrl that he is going to make more changes and ask Congress for in creased appropriations so he can enlarge the department. The organization was made pub lic just after Under-Secretary Jo seph C. Grew and four new as sistant secretaries took the oath of office in an unusual and informal mass ceremony. The word Stettinius and his new aides kept -epeating when they spoke of the changes was team work-reflected in the reorganiza tion chart which eliminated divid ed responsibility and places all the work under what Stettinius called his eight generals in the field. Two new aides were appointed Viday, Charles E. Bohlen. now' the Department’s top Russian expert who accompanied President Roose velt to Teheran and Cordell Hull to Moscow, will have the new job of liaison officer with the White House. Stettinius also brought Wilder Foote over from the Foreign Eco nomics Administration as an as sistant. While he has no direct charted connection with press re lations. Foote is expected to play an important part in Stettinius’ public relations. OWI Official1 Censures Ban On War News Army Charged With Big * Mistake In Suppress ing Stories SUPREME HEADQUAR TERS ' ALLIED EXPEDI TIONARY FORCE, PARIS, Dec. 20.—(JP)—As protests poured in from almost all the Allied world over the sup pression of news of German gains on the Western Front, Supreme Headquarters to night pulled the curtain aside partly and promised a bigger view of the situation tomor row. The positions of the German and Allied armies will in the future ' e made public once daily, it was an nounced—after a sufficient time lag to make sure the enemy will reap no benefit from the inlormation. This time leg is expected to be between 24 and 48 hours Tomor row’s promised disclosures, there fore. will be of positions as they stood yesterday or today. The Supreme Headquarters an swer to critics of the news black oux. nas been that it was imposed on the basis of opinions of gen erals directing the fight and that the situation was so fluid that in formation of the whereabouts of German troops, even if it were days late, might help the enemy. George H Lyon, OWI represen tative at Supreme Headquarters, said tonight that he had been try ing for 48 hours to get the Army to let the people know what was happening on the battlefield, but without much success. “In my opinion, the Army is making a bigger mistake than it did in the Patton case ithe incident of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton’s slapping a soldier in Sicily),” Lyon said. “It is following a head-in-the sand policy. It could tell a great (Continued on Page Three; Col. 1) -V Weather Prevents Air Force Aid To American Forces LONDON, Dec. 20.—(JP)— Flying Fortress and Liberator bombers ot the 15th Air 1. orce, based in Italy, smashed at strategic targets in Czechoslovakia, Austria and Ger many for the sixth straight day to day, but bad weather strangled the Allied British-based fighters and bombers sorely needed to combat German armor in Belgium. In the bomber raids on German held territory farther north Lib erators struck near Pilsen. Czecho slovakia, using instruments to drop their loads through heavy clouds, without meeting enemy opposition. The Fortresses and Liberators also used instruments to bon^s the Regensburg area in Germany and Linz, Salzburg and Villach in Aus tria. Enemy Claims Capture Of 10, OOP Americans1 LONDON, Dec. 20.— (» —The German radio claimed tonight that “several” Allied divisions had been rushed from the Aachen and Saar fronts to check Marhsal von Rund stedt’s counter-offensive and boast ed that “according to incomplete data, three to four American di visions either have been destroyed or badly mauled.” The German daily war commun ique claimed that 10,000 prisoners bad been taken in the Nazi counter offensive. American tactical reserves thrown in on the night swing of Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges’ U. S. First Army have been engaged and beat en ‘in very heavy battles” during the past two days, Berlin claimed. While giving the names of no towns, the Germans said their Ar dennes drive was “ahead of sche dule and going strong in its fourth | day. They claimed that German losses were “less .than antcipat ed.” The broadcasts said that the drain of reinforcements from the Aachen and Saar sectors had forc ed the Americans to halt attacks on those fronts. The Berlin broadcasts admitted, however, that American resistance was stiffening. The German communique said that in addition tc 10.000 prisoners taken, a total of 200 tanks had been knocked out and 124 Allied 1 warplanes destroyed in combat by the German air force. The communique withheld the names of any places overrun by the Nazis but DNB, the official Ger man news agency, reported dis lodging of American troops from the town of Kesternich on the Mon schau-Vosenack road. Reds Outflank Nazi Line In Drive Toward Losnoc LONDON, Thursday, Dec. 21.—(JP)—The Red army in advances up to five miles in southern Czechoslovakia yes terday captured 13 towns and cracked and outflanked the Germans’ strong Slana river line in a drive aimed toward lilt: criauer ui .uusuin:. The Moscow communique last night and a supplemental elabora tion this morning said nothing of the encircling thrust against Kas sel where latest unofficial reports from Moscow had Soviet forces preparing for a climactic attack on the Torysa (Tarca) river for tifications two miles outside that communications center. Moscow announced, however, that about a battalian (500) Ger mans were killed in the day’s fighting on the front 45 to 60 miles southwest of Kassa and that the Russians were closely threatening the railway junction town of Rim aszombat from the south and east. Chief of the day’s captures was the town of Tornala, 13 miles east of Rimaszombat and a strongpoint of enemy defenses on the east bank of the Slana river. While the (Continued on Page Seven; Col. 7) Yanks And Germans Battle For Sector Around Tossignan ROME, Dec. 20.—(JP)— American forces south id Bologna are engag ed in bitter fighting with German troops in the Tossignan area, while Polish and Indian troops have vir tually wiped out all enemy resis tance south of Senio river on the eastern end of the Italian battle front, the Allied command report ed today. American patrols which slipped into Tossignan teported that heavy barricades nad been erected in all of the streets of the town, and that strong Nazi patrols guarded all roads in the vicinity. Operations of the Polish and Ind ian troops of the Eighth Artny ended two weeits of stubborn fight ing by the Nazis to hold their positions in the Senio area. U. S. FLIERS POUND HONGKONG HARBOR, BLOCK BURMA ROAD CHUNGKING. Dec. 20, — UP) - The stepped-up air offensive over China’s scattered battlefronts ov ershadowed ground activities to night as Maj. Gen. Albert C. We demeyer’s headquarters announc ed successful raids on Japanese shipping at Honkong and blocking of the Burma Road by landslides started by U. S. bombs. Speedy P-31 fighter planes of Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault's 14th Air Force have swept over Hongkong’s waterfront and sunk one large enemy tanker and prob ably a Japanese destroyer and two large freighters. They also destroyed two enemy fighters in the air and three on the ground at nearby Kaitak airdrome. In western China. P-38 fighter oc^nbers attacked sections of the Burma Road near the town of Wanting on the China-Burma bor der yesterday causing landslides which made the road impassable. A P-51 pilot sv/ept over the im portant Japanese base at Hankow on a reconnaissance mission yes terday and found the city still burning from the fierce Monday daylight attack by 20th Bomber Command Superfortresses and planes of the 14th Air Force and the Chinese-American Composite Wing, In the ground fighting in south lentral China, Chinese forces driv ing southeastward along the Kwangsi-Kwei.fhow railrooad r,on rinued to attack Japanese positions tutside Hochih and made slight ;ains against determined enemy -esistance, the Chinese High Com nand said. I British Planning All-Out Assault On ELAS Unless Firing Ends Today ATHENS, D;c 20.—(£>)—Lt. Gen. R. M. Scobie. British commander in Greece announced tonight that as of 9 a.m. tomorrow, any ELAS oatteries still firing in Athens and Piraeus will be attacked “with 'll the arms at my disposal.” and warned civilians to put 500 yards between themselves and Leftist gun positions. In leaflets captioned “urgent warning” and dropped from RAF planes, the British commander an nounced that he intends to use ma rine guns, rocket weapons, bombs, land artillery, mortars and naval oombardment on an all-out scale in an effort to silence insurgent guns which have been active for 10 days. Earlier, there had been signs of an impending political develop ment when men using megaphones n some ELAS-held areas announc 'd that regular Leftist forces soon would withdraw from Athens and Attica, and tnat only reserve troops would surrender their arms. There also was an announcement that “there will follow certain poli tical developments which will in sure the liberties and rights of the Greek people." Informed quarters believe this may be taken as a Leftist move to prepare the public for ELAS acceptance ol' British terms. In this connection, it was understood that mediators had been notified by Leftist leaders to stand by and be ready to take their answer to Scobie. The British commander’s leaflet warning followed capture of RAF Headquarters northeast of Athens by ELAS fighters who overran the station after a gun and dynamite assault. A British radio broadcast reported that “a relief column ar rived too late to save the head quarters, but managed to save a|; big proportion of the men.” The people of Greece awaited * announcement of a reply from King * George II in London to learn whe ther he will accept a recommenda- , tion that the nation’s leadership be turned over to the regency of ( Archbishop Damaskinos. A telegram from the cabinet of Premier George Papandreou and a similar message from the elderly 1 Greek statesman, Themistokles ! Sophoulis, have been forwarded to * London, a»d capital circles feel 1 there is the probability of an early acceptance of the suggestion by 1 the King. a Government observers are re- c. ported to believe that if the mon- r arch agrees to the recommenda- s lion, Gen. Nicholas Plastiras prob- c ably will become commander-in- i thief of Greek forces. c I ifanks Admit Offensive Is Real Thing' Enemy Drive Making Prog ress With More Expected SUPREME HEADQUAR. rERS ALLIED EXPEDI riONARY FORCE, Paris, Dec. 20.—(£*)—The gigantic 3erman counteroffensive is ‘the big thing” and is in creasing steadily in fury, Su preme Headquarters said late tonight in lifting the blackout )f news relating to the sav ige fighting on the U. S. First Army front. Fourteen to fifteen German di visions — of which five or six are Fanzer (armored) divisions — are swarming into the breach of the First Army's lines in Belgium and Luxembourg, it was disclosed. Today fresh infantry waves were fighting behind the armored units which first, smas ed through the American positions last Sunday and headquarters said the Ger man advances had made consid erable progress with more to be Plans are being made to stem the onslaught, it was stated, but the feeling at this headquarters was that ihe situation would not be restored this week — or even next week. Apallingly bad weather today kept Allied air forces on the ground, thus eliminating support which the American troops sorely needed. No heavy bombers could leave their British bases and not a single fighter-bomber got in to the air during the day to help the hard-pressed Doughboys. Some of the Panzer units spear heading the German drive are first class fighters, veterans of units which faced the Allies at daen, it was disclosed. They have been reorganized and refitted for this great do-or-die German coun teroffensive and now are fresh and physically fit. The German infantry division* mostly are made up of volks gre nadiers, Hitler's home guard. (Continued on Page Three; Col. 9) ENEMY SURROUNDS SOME U. S. UNITS IN BELGIAN AREA with the u. s. ninth army IN GERMANY, Dec. 20.—(fP)—The major enemy penetration of Allied lines on the Western Front wa* made in the Eiffel forest and the Belgian border also was crossed at Consdorf near Echtarnacht. Some of the American First Army elements were surrounded. Newsmen now are permitted by censorship to report also that ene my armored attacks within thre* miles of St. Vith in Belgium com pleted a pincers movement which succeeded in cutting off their Fank troops, while the enemy also -eached Maaspelt to the south Along the entire First Army 'ront affected by the penetration*, he situation was both confused md serious. While there was only small lo salized ground activity on tn* :enter of the American Ninth Ar ny front, German power con inued building up miles behind he enmey’s penetrations Into Bel ;ium. The largest enemy gain* vere said to be 18 to 20 miles west if the border in the vicinity ot itavelot. The very tact that a spot-new* ime-lag policy has been imposed m field censors by higher authori ses testifies sufficiently to the sa iousness of the situation but sine* ome facts have been permitted to :o through there is indication of mprovement. Presumably stories summarl* lg the First Army front situation re being written at rear head uarters. Unfortunately, the new* ien there are unable to check the ituation themselves and must ad ept what is told them without be lg positive they are getting as .irate information.