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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 17, 1937, Image 4

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Seized in Pittsburgh After
Nude Body Is Found in
Their Hotel Room.
Br the Associated Press.
PITTSBURGH. Dec. 17.—Four del
egates to this week’s convention of the
Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee
were held on technical charges of
murder today while police investigated
the death of 30-year-old Rose Ault,
whose nude body was found in their
hotel room.
Inspector of Detectives Walter
Monaghan said Jacob Zelkind and
Morris Engaold, both of Brooklyn,
were being detained here and that
New York police had taken Louis H.
Green of Brooklyn and Fred A.
Odenwald of Ozone Park, Long Island,
Into custody on murder charges pend
ing an inquest.
Monaghan said the four men came
to Pittsburgh to attend the steel
workers’ convention.
Coroner W. J. McGregor said he
had not decided on a time for the in
Dr. J. W. McMeans. coroner's physi
cian, declared a post-mortem exami
nation gave no clue and said the cause
of death was "undetermined.” Cor
oner W. J. McGregor said he was con
sidering a chemical analysis of body
A crucifix, on which the name of
“Ault" was engraved, led to identifi
cation by Joseph Ault of Pittsburgh,
an uncle. Investigators declined to
name the woman’s former husband.
Sarah Marty, a maid, discovered the
body yesterday and said a note pinned
to a dresser read:
“Jake—We are pulling out on the 4
o’clock train. Better get rid of it if
you can. We will see you In New York
some time next week. Fred.”
(Continued From First Page.)
American because the day before we
told the Japanese Army in the area
Who we were.”
Survivors of the bombing had the
highest praise for the gunboat’s
machine gunners: Edgw William
George Hulsebus of Canton, Mo.;
Aiex Kozak of Ansonia, Conn.; James
Timothy Murphy of Lexington, Ky.;
Reginald Peterson of Berkeley, Calif.;
Marcus Vale Williamson of Houston,
Tex.; Walter Cheatham, San Bernar
dino, Calif.; William Stanley Mc
Eowan, Greenville, Ohio,; John Henry
Lang, Long Beach, Calif., and Maurice
David Rider, Southampton, Mass.
These gunners kept their guns firing
until the Panay sank.
Chief Boatswain's Mate Ernest
Mahlmann of Astoria, Long Island,
was taking a bath when the ship was
attacked. He dashed to the boat deck
naked and, after directing the Panay’s
gunfire, manned a gun himself. Later
he made every trip with the motor
launch taking wounded survivors
Gunner* Answer Fire.
Colin Malcolm McDonald, corre
spondent for the London Times, told
of seeing sailors stripped to the waist,
some of them bleeding from wounds,
grimly firing machine guns at the at
tacking planes.
"When the planes came roaring
back, I dived into the chief petty of
ficers’ mess on the boat deck,” Mc
Donald said. “Many civilians took
shelter there, including Sandri, wrho
Was crouched near the door.
“Sandri suddenly clapped his hands
to his stomach and cried out 'I die.’
"I saw immediately he was gravely
wounded and found he had been hit
In the stomach with two machine-gun
bullets. The ship's surgeon was tend
ing other wounded in the engine room
but came quickly. Sandri died after
nearly 24 hours of agony next day at
the primitive hospital in Hohsien.
“While hiding in the reeds after
taking the wounded ashore, we heard
motorboats approaching and saw two
army landing boats going toward the
Panay. The gunboat was still afloat,
but sinking. Her flag was flying.
“One boat fired a’ burst of machine
guns at the Panay and, getting no re
sponse. went alongside. Some soldiers
then boarded the Panay and shortly
afterward pushed off.
“Nobody was aboard at the time,
but bullets whistled over the heads of
those in the Panay s small boats Just
leaving the ship.
“They bombed and machine gunned
from the air for at least 20 minutes.
The wounded told me planes, diving
low, machine gunned the small boat
While taking wounded ashore. Ens
minger, who was slightly wounded
aboard, received his fatal injury in
this manner.”
i ause Additional Wounds.
Lt Giest confirmed the fact planes
machine gunned small boats taking
the wounded ashord, causing additional
He said the naval personnel did the
best it could against the attackers, but
ordnance was inadequate.
"We soon thereafter abandoned
ship,” he said. "Planes again came,
bombing and machine gunning the
Panay. Two Japanese motor boats
appeared and machine gunned the
sinking ship. Then part of the Jap
anese boarded. They left soon after
ward. Japanese planes later bombed
Socony vessels nearby.”
After reaching shore at various
points, the survivors hid in a reeded
swamp, knee deep in mud, fearful the
Japanese would find and attack them
again. Giest told of scuttling and
setting adrift the small boats so the
Japanese could not trace them.
The wounded were carried into the
■wamp on rude stretchers improvised
from blankets. Reeds there grew twice
as high as their heads, but they
still feared being spotted and ma
chine-gunned by the circling planes.
Pig Pens Provide Stretchers.
Capt. Prank Roberts, assistant mili
tary attache of the United States
Embassy at Nanking, gathered the
survivors together and found a derelict
boat in which the wounded were
loaded and towed along shore until
they came to a Chinese hamlet. There
they took doors from pig pens to
make stretchers for the wounded.
The party struggled 5 miles farther
to Hohsien. Although the bombing
occurred Sunday about 1 p.m., the
first survivors did not reach Hohsien
until after midnight. The stragglers
reached there just before dawn Mon
day. Giest said they traveled In small
groups so as not to attract attention.
Chinese coolies helped carry the
wounded and did all possible for the
Highest praise was given all officers
and men from the Panay. Lt. Clark
G. Grazier of Ingomar, Pa., the medi
cal officer, tended the wounded
aboard and ashore, calmly and effi
ciently, without rest or sleep until
help arrived.
Scene of Near-Holocaust

Dr. Edgar A. Bocock (left), superintendent of Gallinger Hos
pital, and Dr. Kenneth F. Laughlin survey a flame-charred win
dow and a burned bed in the children’s ward, where one baby
died and 62 others narrowly escaped similar fate.
—Star Staff Photo,
Gallinger Doctor, Who Saved
62, Doesn’t Look Like a Hero
Dr. Kenneth F. Laughlin, staff phy
sician at Gallinger Hospital, does not
look like the hero he is.
Slim of build, with curly red hair
and rugged features, he looks more
like a not-too-serious medical school
But it was with sobet mien and,
extreme modesty that he emerged as
the rescuer of 62 babies from the
flame-threatened children's ward at
Gallinger Hospital.
His actions, like those of all heroes,
were spontaneous, and it was only
after it was all over that he realized
he himself was burned.
Grease-smeared to ease the pain of
the burns on his face and hands, the
24-year-old physician refused to be
photographed until Dr. Edgar Bocoek,
Gallinger's superintendent, intervened.
In a few short sentences, he dis
missed his part in the lire. “I heard
the nurse scream and rushed upstairs.
I found flames shooting from the
room and the smoke was choking. I
snatched the baby from the bed. I
knew Immediately that the child was
dead. Then I hurled the mattress out
of the window. I didn't know I was
burned until it was all over. It was
an unfortunate tragedy.”
Dr. Bocock had only praise for the
manner in which Dr. Laughlin con
ducted himself.
“By his presense of mind,” the su
perintendent said, “he instantly re
moved the burning bed clothing,
thereby preventing not only an ex
tensive fire, but very likely removing
the danger to the 62 other occupants
of the building. I consider Dr. Laugh
lin to have performed a wonderful
service in a very heroic manner.”
(Continued From First Page.)
*7,000 per year,” the acting controller
general added.
Sections of Law Cited.
The opinion went into a discussion
of the sections of law cited by legal
“advisers of H. O. L. C. in support
of the health allotment, sections which
authorized the employment of neces
sary personnel and the general author
ization to determine “necessary ex
penditures under this act and the
manner in which they shall be in
The opinion points out that Con
gress has passed specific laws for
the welfare of Federal employes, such
as retirement, and compensation for
those injured in line of duty, and
argued that the enactment of such
laws, renders negative the implica
tion that such powers are included
in general statutory provisions con
trolling other activitiese. He also re
ferred to an act of 1874, providing
that no civil officer of the Govern
ment shall receive any compensation
or perquisites I'eyond salary or com
pensation allowed by law, and added
this comment:
At Great Expense.
“Needless to say, the instant activity
does provide perquisites not allowed by
law, and this at great expense to the
United States in carrying out the ar
rangements stipulated, such as ad
vances, purchases at net cost and de
ductions from pay rolls * * *”
The acting controller general reach
es the following conclusion:
“It has been, the long established
rule in the Federal service that the
functions of the agencies of the United
States are restricted to those activities
authorized by general or special en
actments of the Congress, and where
an activity involves the expenditure
of money of the United States, the ap
propriation laws must make the
moneys available therefore, in no un
certain terms, if such activity is to be
accepted as lawful. Accordingly, it
must be concluded in the instant mat
ter, that the disbursements and other
costs were made and incurred without
authority of law.’’
Speculation on Refund.
The question arose today as to what
will happen if demand is made on
Group Health Association and the
Home Owners’ Loan Corp. to refund
$37,000 already advanced.
In the past many Government
agencies, individuals and corporations
have been forced to refund moneys
which the controller general of the
United States has found to have been
expended without authority of law.
No official would comment on this
phase of the problem today, but it
was believed to be one point under se
rious consideration.
The controller general’s ruling came
to the attention of officials of the Dis
trict Medical Society early today. They
were understood to have taken keen
interest in the decision, but early this
afternoon a spokesman for the Med
ical Society said that so far there was
“no comment.”
New in Seal’s Hands.
Controversy over the legal status of
G. H. A. is now in the hands of Cor
poration Counsel Ellwood H. Seal. He
is investigating two questions: Whether
G. H. A. is a corporation illegally en
gaged in the practice of medicine, or
whether it is operating an insurance
business without being licensed as such.
On these two contentious points,
briefs have been filed by counsel of
the District Medical Society aMaeUwg
The young physician is a graduate
of Georgetown University Medical
School and a native of Buffalo, N. Y.
He served a year as Interne and one
as resident physician at the Buffalo
City Hospital after graduating from
G. H. A. and by officials of the Federal
Home Loan Bank Board, defending the
clinic. Its defenders claim the clinic
is incorporated under laws of the Dis
trict of Columbia, and engaged in
“selling service.”
The Federal Home Loan Bank
Board, in explaining the financial
status of Group Health Association,
announced when the clinic opened
that it had advanced $20,000 this year
toward establishment, with the prom
ise of $20,000 more next year.
This was interpreted as being the
same as a gift, and not a loan. Offi
cials believe they have the right to
advance the money as an "investment”
in the health of their employes and
for the improvement of the public
_(Continued From First Page.)
The baby was alone in a room on the
second floor.
Nurse Evelyn Gay nor was working
at a desk in a nearby room when she
noticed the smoke. She traced it to
Thelma’s room and found it enveloped
in flames.
Screaming, she called for help. Dr.
Laughlin and another physician, Dr.
Julius Epstein, were administering to
a child on the floor below, directly be
neath the flaming room.
They heard Miss Gaynor’s cries and,
while Dr. Epstein continued working
with their patient, Dr. Laughlin rushed
up the stairs.
Confronted with a room choked
with fire and smoke, the young phy
sician saturated a blanket with wa
ter, threw it over his head and en
tered the blazing room.
Unmindful of his own safety, he
grabbed the child from the burning
mattress, but was too late. Hemmed
in the iron bars of her crib, the baby
had died from either suffocation from
the smoke or burns from the flaming
Dr. L&ughlln, realizing the danger
of the Are spreading quickly through
the old structure, snatched the burn
ing mattress from the crib and threw
it out a nearby window. The window
facing had caught and, fearing the
spread of the flames to blankets and
sheets of two unoccupied beds In the
room, Dr. Laughlin also removed
The lire on the window facing was
extinguished with buckets of water
from a bathroom across the hall, after
Dr. Epstein had arrived on the scene.
The Fire Department was called, but
the blaze was under control when the
apparatus arrived.
Cause to Be Investigated.
Exactly what caused the blaze is
expected to be revealed in an investi
gation being conducted by Coroner A.
Magruder MacDonald.
The mechanism of the croup tent,
as explained by physicians of the chil
dren’s ward, consists of an electrically
heated pot containing water and tinc
ttlre of benzoin, which is heated, giving
off a vapor that rises through a tube
beneath a blanket that almost entirely
covers a child’s crib. ^
Dr. R, H. Mitchell, resident physi
cian in charge of pediatrics, discussed
the danger had the fire gained any
“Give, a fire a chance in that struc
ture and—woof! it would go up in
flames,’’ he declared.
Dr. Stebbings, in reporting on the
care Thelma was having before the
tragedy, said that visits were fre
quently made to ter bedside to re
Acquisition of Homeopathic
Hospital Is Opposed by
Ruhland and Wyeth.
Health Officer George C. Ruhland
and Municipal Architect Nathan C.
Wyeth today advised the Commis
sioners that acquisition of the Home
opathic Hospital as a substitute for
construction of a new health center or
the first of the proposed series of poly
clinics would be undesirable.
Their reports were made at the
request of the Commissioners after
purchase of the hospital had been
suggested as a matter of economy by
Representative Collins, Democrat, of
Mississippi, chairman of the House
Subcommittee on Appropriations for
the District.
Both Dr. Ruhland and Mr. Wyeth
held, generally speaking, that the
hospital was unsuited for the purposes
of a poly-clinic.
At the last session of Congress there
was incorporated in the District Ap
propriation Act an appropriation of
$165,000 for construction of the first
of a series of health centers on the
site of the old Jones Elementary
School, at First and L streets N.W.
Later, representatives of the board of
the Homeopathic Hospital proposed
that this nearby structure be pur
chased and converted into the first of
the polyclinics.
Mr. Wyeth, after his assistants in
the engineer department had made
a technical inspection of the hos
pital building, told the Commissioners
that in general a building designed
and planned for a hospital does not
meet the requirements of a modern
health center unit.
Mr. Wyeth reported that H. H.
Marsh, chief of the structural division
of the municipal architect's office, had
found that any rearrangement of par
titions between rooms in the Homeo
pathic Hospital would involve strength
ening work to be done on the floors.
He reported also that A. H. Green
leaf. chief of the mechanical division
of the architect's office, had found
that the electrical wiring in the
Homeopathic Hospital Building was in
“very poor condition” and that "the
building does not readily lend itself
to centralized air conditioning.”
Wealthy Oil Man
Dies, Successful
In ‘Losing’ Fortune
B% the Associated Press.
DALLAS, Dec. 17.—John G.
Hardin, 83-year-old Texas phil
anthropist. died here yesterday.
At death his oil fortune jias
dwindled, as he carefully planned,
to $100,000.
Baptist institutions, civic enter
prises and hospitals were bene
ficiaries of his $5,000,000 phil
anthropy. ,
As a youth he borrowed $10
for a down payment on his first
tract of land. Later he acquired
additional holdings. Then came
plenish the supply of benzoin and to
see that everything was all right.
“Miss Gaynor was in the room at
8 o'clock and Dr. Laughlin visited
the child at 8:10 o’clock," he said.
“The fire was discovered about 8:30."
Dr. Laughlin, discussing ordinary
practices in the use of croup tents,
said he has seen an entire ward full
of children under them in other hos
pitals, requiring no more than ordinary
It was Dr. Laughlin’s belief, as well
as Dr. Edgar A. Bocock's, superin
tendent of Gallinger. that the croup
tents in the children's ward were not
below par, mechanically.
Thelma entered the hospital last
Saturday, suffering from spasmodic
croup, in a “fairly serious condition,”
but she was said to have been recover
ing. She was placed under the tent
Sunday, where she has remained day
and night since.
Her mother, who came to the hos
pital shortly after the tragedy, was
led away weeping and grief stricken.
Among those who were summoned
to the hospital last night waa Dr.
Daniel Seckinger, assistant District
health officer in charge of hospitals.
Dr. George C. Ruhland, District
health officer, inspected the scene of
the tragedy this morning. Dr. Edgar
A. Bocock, superintendent at Gal
linger, conducted him on a tour of
inspection through the quarters where
the tragedy occurred.
B. A. Snyder, chief engineer of Gal
Finds Brother Drowned
John Clark, in white shirt, tugs at the body of his brother
Raymond, drowned in a bog at Baltimore while collecting waste
cork to keep their home warm. Note pieces of cork in fore
ground. Raymond disappeared Monday.
—Copyright, A. P. Wirephoto.
Slain Italian a “Sacred Bond”
Between Nations, Say Japanese
Chicago Dally News Correspondent.
ROME. Dec. 17.—The Japanese
have their own ways of evaluating the
death of non-combatants of other
lands killed by the Japanese.
These ways vary according to* cir
cumstances. Since Italy is Japan’s
partner in the Tokio-Berlin-Rome tri
angle the death of Sandro Sandri,
Italian newspaper man who perished
from Japanese-inflicted wounds on the
U. S. S. Panay, has received quite re
markable treatment.
"Perhaps destiny willed that his
generous blood should be spilleS, the
better to cement friendship between
two great countries.” Hayone Matsu
miyo, Counselor of the Japanese Em
bassy here, has told the family of
Sandri, to whom he journeyed from
Rome to Milan. "The memory of
Sandri, whose many virtues are known,
w ill not be sacred alone to the Italian
people, but to the Japanese as well.”
The stricken father was "deeply
moved,” according to the press, and
is quoted only as replying that he
desired that the remains of hi*-son
be brought home to Italy.
To Sandri s wife at Milan Japanese
Ambassador Hotta has sent a telegram:
"I dare to hope that the blood of
Sandri, shed in the same sad worldly
ciroumstances in which so many of
my compatriots have lost their lives
in the defense of human civilization,
will contribute an everlasting tie of
brotherhood between the Italians and
the Japanese. One thing is certain:
Japan will never forget Sandri and
linger Hospital for 10 years, said the
croup kettle was found to be in "per
fect working order” when inspected
this morning by T. V. Ward, assistant
chief electrical inspector for the Dis
Mr. Ward also went over the entire
wiring set-up of the building and re
ported it to be in "good condition,”
Mr. Snyder said.
Mr. Snyder was positive the fire was
not caused by a short circuit, since, he
said, a fuse would have blown imme
diately after the short.
Mr. Snyder also stated that fire in
spectors found the fire alarm system
to be in perfect working order, though
the alarm was turned in last night by
telephone, the box near the burning
room having been overlooked in the
thick smoke.
Florida plans to celebrate in 1938
the centennial of its first constitutional
■ Sixes & Eights
Flood Motor Co.
4221 Conn. Ave. Clev. 8400
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his family. They will always be con
sidered sacred by the Japanese.”
The Japanese naval attache yester
day went to Turin and expressed con
dolences in the offices of La Stampa,
the newspaper for which Sandri was
Certain Italians privately speak
with sophisticated Latin irony of the
sentiment expressed by the Japanese
to the stricken family of Sandri. TTie
press, meanwhile, although now in
cluding daily a few paragraphs on the
exchanges between America, Great
Britain and Japan in consequence of
outrages on the Yangtze River, still
bun- these paragraphs. The con
trollers of Italian opinion continue
their policy of obscurantism as re
gards the Par Eastern crisis.
(Copyright. Itt.'iT. by Chicago Dally News.
Inc »
Coroner Probes
“Torch” Deaths
In Pittsburgh
ll the Associated Press.
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 17.—The coro
ner’s office Investigated today the
“human-torch” deaths of a 50-year
old automobile salesman and his blond
and attractive 39-year-old wife.
Mrs. Cora Woodring Kretchman
died today of bums in a Suburban
McKeesport hospital, where her hus
band, Charles, died yesterday of shock
and bums.
Roy Woodring, a son of Mrs.
Kretcham by a previous marriage,
told Deputy Coroner P. Jackson that
he went to his home in nearby Mif
flin township and found his mother
and stepfather in the bathroom, their
clothing ablaze.
He said he broke down the locked
door and saw his mother in the bath
tub with the water running. “He
(Kretchman) crawled out igtto the
hall, where he lay on his back. • • •
I ran for help,” Woodring said.
The coroner, withholding a ruling
pending an Inquest, said he believed
Mr. Kretchman poured gasoline on
his clothing, Ignited the cloth and
then clutched his wife to him.
Head of Chinese Aid Group Saya
Peace Being Undermined.
Mrs. J. Clark Waldron, executive
secretary of the Washington Com
mittee for Aid in China, declared
in a statement today that “Japan's
actions are rapidly undermining world
She urged Americans to remember
“that every dollar spent for Japanese
goods * • • helps Japan's war ma
chine carry on Its war in the Orient."
The Washington committee Is con
ducting a drive to raise funds for
relief of Chinese refugees and for
medical supplies.
Illinois Judge Refuses to Direct
Acquittal of Defendants.
SPRINGFIELD. 111., Dec 17 UP).—
Federal Judge Charles G. Briggle re
fused today to direct the acquittal of
any of the 36 men charged with con
spiracy to dynamite trains during the
Illinois mine warfare.
Only seven hours of closing argu
ments and the court's instructions re
mained before the mass bombing case
goes to the jury. The trial has lasted
five weeks.
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