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Nazi Plans for Air Raids on U. S.
A possible German design for bombing attacks on America's highly industri alized Atlantic seaboard begins to emerge from the information available on Nazi warship construction. Raids might be attempted by swift aircraft carriers. Less plausible, but still possible, would be raids by huge Zeppelin airships flying at great alti tude. Needless to say, any attempts at such forays would be met with the steel of America's protective cordon of surface ships and warplanes. In 1936 Germany laid down the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, a speedy surface vessel having nothing in common with the veteran peacetime, world-girdling airship but the name. It was followed later by the aircraft carrier Deutschland, presumably of identical specifications. With its complement of at least 40 warplanes and a speed of 32 to 35 knots, the Graf Zeppelin must be regarded as less a participant in fleet action than as a fierce, hard-hitting raider. What, if any, additional carriers the Germans have to launch air attacks against the United States is not generally known. Italy's carriers are of limited capacity. Prance had commenced con struction of the large carriers Joffre and By Logan Reavis, Wid* world Novi. Plalnleve, but a recent Issue of the United States Naval Institute proceedings ad vances the belief that they were wrecked before the German advance on Bt./ Nazaire. For the present, at least, we can dis count the chance of the Nazis sending over suicide air raiders, capable of reach ing America and discharging their bombs, but of insufficient range to return home. That would be costly In planes and per sonnel and rather uncertain of results. In that connection 1t seems significant and thus far Halifax, highly important Canadian port of departure for eastbound convoys, has not been bombed. Notwithstanding the intensive study devoted to aircraft carrier design by England, Japan and the United States, Germany has adhered In this field of construction to a pattern related to her capital ship and cruiser silhouettes. The United States has abandoned placing heavy guns on the crowded flight decks of its carriers. Neither England nor Japan feels that turrets on that deck should usurp the limited space allotted to control stations, smoke stacks and planes. But the Germans have assembled there half of the ship’s main armament of 5.fl inch guns. The Graf Zeppelin Is armed with 16 of such guns plus 10 4.1-lnch anti-aircraft guns and from 22 to 37 anti aircraft guns of minor caliber. It Is plausible that until such time as the German naval command believes the number of enemy ships in the Atlantic had been lessened by transfers to the Pacific, no trans-ocean raid would be attempted. Submarines from Naz. ports have es tablished a periscope watch off the American coast. Further east intensive reconnaissance activity by Nazi planes is evident. How might a carrier-borne bombing attack on the United States be launched? Here is one way: Heavy German- ships, possibly headed by the Tirpitz, could attempt a diversion In the Atlantic or even serve as a shield for the dash of the carriers across the ocean. Using fog and the night hours for oper ation in maximum secrecy, the carriers would try to reach the vicinity of our coasts in less than four days. Planes might be launched at some point 250 miles away. Working to the Germans’ disadvantage is the intelligence network in the Atlantic. Only under extraordinary conditions could a hostile fleet westbound to the attack escape detection. Robbed of the element of surprise, the Germans would be up against a tough job. Speculation of the nature of a German attack must not totally disregard the airship. While the British attacked the airship works at Frledrichshafen early in the war, it is not generally known whether the old Graf Zeppelin was dam aged. Moreover, it is not generally known whether other airships are In production. The airship can fly long distances un observed. If its commander could attain altitude and use clouds to screen his movements, he might be able to launch a spectacular attack. An airship attack, however, would be most venturesome for the Germans. They have no supply of non-inflammable helium, and an incendiary shell would make a pyre of a hydrogen-filled airship. Ignited hydrogen destroyed the German Zeppelin Hindenburg at Lakehurst, N. J., at the termination of a commercial flight in 1937. Based on the most available information, the above drawing b y Logan Reavis depicts the German idea of aircraft carrier design. While most other nations have long regarded the placing of main battery guns on the flight deck as outmoded, it will be seen that the Reich has mounted half the entire number of 5.9-inch guns on the “island” superstructure. (1) The catapults; (2) forward “case matedguns on hangar deck; (3) rear mount of guns of same caliber. Army Specifies New Lights for Blackouts By Stephen J. McDonough, Will* World New*. PORT BELVOIR, Va„ Feb. 7.—Army engineers contradicted an old naval tra dition in recommending red, orange or low intensity white lights in blackouts. For more than 300 years the British navy has held that blue markers and signal lights were less visible than red and therefore safer. Even today air raid wardens in England use blue flashlights. Yet the United States Army has found that blue under most circumstances is much easier to see from a distance than red. The Army engineering board proved it the hard way. beginning with the struc ture of the human eye. Capt. Warren S. Everett and co-workers went to the sci entists six months ago and did a long research job. Two kinds of nerves, at the back of the eye, do the seeing. Both kinds see most of the colors, but one set sees red better and the other sees blue better. When lights are dimmed, this differ ence becomes striking. For the pedes trian or motorist who is looking at things nearby, the nerves that see red are most useful. But an aviator, who is at a distance and not looking at little details, sees the blue light better. He sees it farther; hence, the blue is dangerous. The engineering board built miniature highways at the General Electric Co. s Nela Park Laboratories at Cleveland. There the light seen best by those on the ground, without being detected at all at simulated altitude of 5,000 feet, was red or orange-red. Next, at Lakehurst, N. J., during black out, observers with superior eyesight flew around in a blimp. Men on the ground struck matches, lighted cigarettes, flashed signals, turned on street lights, all care fully controlled. Results: At 5,000 feet the blimp spot ters saw blue flashlights where red ones, almost alongside, were completely invis ible. The red lights, furthermore, could have many times more candlepower than the blue before being detectable. The observers could spot a man light ing a cigarette miles away. But they could not see the reddish-glowing end of hia cigarette after he extinguished the match. (Scientists measuring light radiation have detected the flare of a match 20 miles away in the stygian darkness of the Grand Canyon and even measured the fcfeat of the match flare, but could not de tect the light from the glowing embers ®r a dying campfire even a mile away. Although red light does not give quit* as useful Illumination as white, tt is much superior to blue, with the added advantage of being much less visible from the air. Your air raid warden’s flash light wiU be luminous enough to keep him from stumbling over a barrel 6 feet away and will be visible as a signal sev eral hundred feet away on the ground. But, when properly shielded, it would be invisible from a housetop. However, no flashlight should be turned upward un der any circumstances during a blackout. Here are further blackout suggestions developed in Army research: During blackouts no one should drive or walk on the street or highway unless they are on urgent business. If you must drive, have your car equipped with a blackout slit lamp headlight, independent of your regular headlights, and mounted on the radiator or left fender as near your line of vision as possible. Keep your windshield clean, your car in perfect mechanical condition, know where you are going and how to get there even over devious detours. Adapt your eyes to darkness before starting and drive steadily in your own lane. Don't try to speed or pass the car in front—some one else might be trying the same stunt from the opposite direction. Also be sure your diet contains plenty of vitamin A, the essential one to pre vent night blindness. If you are walking on a highway take the reflectors off junior’s bicycle and tie them around your ankles, or tie white handkerchiefs just above your shoe tops. The new blackout headlights shoot directly toward the road under a hood and show nothing more than 200 feet ahead, Just about the distance necessary for a driver to stop his car. Even at that distance your feet axe the only thing visible in time to give the driver warning and the reflectors may save your life. The engineers, who bought their test reflectors at a 10-cent store, added that light-colored spats or spats fitted with reflectors would be essential garb on a darkened highway. Capt. Everett declared that motorists should not attempt to design their own blackout headlights. He has a roomful of such headlights already, none of which has proved that regular headlights can be adapted to provide illumination of the road and protection from the air at the same time. The lamp must be the special hooded one with a toothlike slit near the top of the lens to throw the light downwu’d. Miss Marion Winsborough of Fort Belvoir, Va., adjusting anklet reflectors designed to make a pedestrian’s feet visible in a blackout, as approved by members of an Army engineer board. Wife World Photo. These girls are receiving instructions on how to clean down a trans-Atlantic Clipper’s wing for installation of fabric tape. Girls Replace Men at Airports By Ira Wolfert, WUJ« World Km Kathryn Rownes, a farm girl who was teaching school In Grant Center, Iowa, when the war broke out in Europe, put down a socket wrench big enough to persuade the most stubborn nut and wiped the palms of her hands on her overalls In the traditional gesture of American grease-monkeys before starting to tell about her new job. Kathryn is one of the 40 girls who have Just begun to supply the woman's touch to the Innards of the vast trans-Atlantic Clippers that have been so long without it. The girls were hired recently by Pan American Airways to replace men in the repair and maintenance department In the hangars at La Guardia Field. The men were needed elsewhere. The girls do equipment work—meaning service, repair and overhaul on such de tails as life-saving equipment. They look after the upholstery and paneling on the seaplanes—meaning everything from making and counter sinking carpets to patching plastics. They do dope and fabric work on the wings and control surfaces. And, finally, they look after miscellaneous repairs, helping even on engines In overhaul. They are classed as mechanic’s helpers and get the same pay as the men they have replaced—55 cents an hour. And, since January 16, the New York State Labor Board has relaxed Its ruling which prevented women from working In fac tories after 10 pm. and before 6 am. so that now the girls will be shaped up Into shifts working around the clock. When Miss Rownes put down her socket wrench to tell about her new Job, she was up there among the wings of a Clipper fresh in from Africa and was three stories above the floor. She went along the wing like a gazelle with a hotfoot until she reached the head of the stairs. Then, balancing on one hand, she swung her shapeliness across a small platform and on to the metal bannister—known as the escape rail be cause that is what it is supposed to be used for exclusively—and went streaking down It, her overalls fluttering in the wind of her passing. It did not seem like the right way for a school ma'am to get anywhere. “Well, the fact is,” Miss Rownes said, "I have found out I am not cut out to be a schoolteacher. I grew up in Onawa, Iowa, and went to Momingside College in Sioux City for two years train ing to be a teacher and taught in Grant Center in 1938 and 1939. But the war shook me out of there and now I’ve found what I want to do, which is to work with tools. That's the thing I like, and that's the thing I intend to stick to, war or no war." Miss Rownes’ married sister, Mrs. Grace Wilson, is also adding the woman's touch to the trans-Atlantic Clippers. Both girls resemble the kind who drive around in roadsters with the top down and who, when a flat tire happens, stand around looking helpless until a strong man comes along. "If that ever happened before,” Miss Rownes said, “it isn't going to happen again. As a matter of fact, I go home on the subway, not in a roadster, and I find myself for the first time looking at all the loose nuts and bolts in the subway and wondering why nobody ever tightens them and wanting to tighten them my self." No such thing as a loose nut or bolt is ever allowed in an airplane. According to R. H. Natwick, superin tendent of the department, the glrla have reacted exactly as boys might to their new jobs. Their imaginations have been caught up by working on airplanes and the majority of them—some of them young, but some of them gray-haired and plump—seem Intent on making a career out of the air. More than 30 of the 40 girls are attending company classes during off hours to improve themselves In their Job and learn the Job ahead—which is to be regular licensed grease monkeys. One of the girls attending classes is 21-year-old Dorothy Murray, a pretty blond, who, up to a few weeks ago, earned her living as a "curb hop,” rushing ham burgers and beer to customers in parked automobiles. “A lot of the fellows I know,” Miss Murray said, ‘‘tell me—as a gag, no doubt, I mean I hope—that tha minute they learned I (was in the air plane business they ran out and can celed all the airplane trips they were ever going to take. ‘‘My father, too—he tells mother he's not going to fix anything around the house, the vacuum cleaner or the auto mobile or window shades, but will leave it to me instead. All the same I like this job.” (Miss Murray was doping the fabric of a wing covering and the dope was chewing big holes in her nail polish.) Mr. Natwick, the boss, says the girls are proving most satisfactory. He hasn't had to fire any of them yet and sees no reason to. In the first two weeks, he says, they have proved to be as good or better as untrained male apprentice mechanics. (Ooprrlaht. 194C. North American Newipaper Alliance.) Uncle Sam’s Toughest General By Jerry T. Baulch, Wide World Newi. MEMPHIS, Tenn., Peb. 7—It doesn’t matter whether a soldier wears the silver eagle of a colonel or the bare sleeve of a buck private, Lt. Gen. Ben Lear ex pects him to know his Job thoroughly and perform it with unerring efficiency. This Inborn passion for perfection is the driving force in the life of the tall, 62-year-old Second Army commander whose stem demeanor and disciplinary edicts have earned him a public repu tation as one of the Army's toughest leaders. Military men consider Gen. Lear sec ond only to Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a stickler for exacting discipline, and In 45 years of soldiering he has risen from obscurity as a private in the Colo rado National Guard to the three starred glory of a lieutenant general (four atars Is the most a soldier can get). In whatever he does, the big-shoul dered fellow tries to excel. When he went out for marksmanship he was one of the Army’s best rifle shots. When he took up horsemanship he became good enough to represent the United States in the 1912 Olympic games at Stockholm where the American team placed third. His guide-rule is: ••No mistake should ever go uncor rected.” Gen. Lear will reprimand a two-star general as quickly and severely as he will a rear-rank private, but he’s Just as quick to apologize if he finds his Judg ment wrong. During the summer war games it was not unusual to see Gen. Lear stop his limousine, step out and dress down a soldier doing something the wrong way. ‘‘There are too many officers in the Army who are afraid they’ll hurt some body’s feelings,” Gen. Lear contends. Oftentimes, however, soldiers who don’t know him take Gen. Lear’s ordi nary conversation for a reprimand. The general appears austere even when he is In the best of humor, but he Is fond of company, especially young people. Bridge and gin-rummy with his wife or fellow officers are his main s&irces of entertainment, although he gets in a round of golf occasionally and man ages to keep his 6core in the low 80s. For a time last summer Gen. Lear was uncomfortably in the national limelight because of the highly publicized “yoo hoo” incident, in which he disciplined troops who yelled at a group of shorts clad girls on a golf course. It was easily explainable by the gen eral’s code of considering a soldier on duty whether he is in uniform or not and the fact he thought the soldiers disrespectful. But Gen. Lear did not defend himself. Although not a brilliant public speak er—he ie a bit aelf-oooaetoua in crowds Gen'. Lear's public addresses have gained national attention for striking directly at the heart of Army problems under public discussion. When several writers assailed soldier morale as bad last fall, shortly after the draft extension bill was passed by Congress, Gen. Lear retorted: "If morale is poor it is only because the morale of the people is poor.’’ Gen. Lear stirred up another furore with the announcement late in the fall that he planned to clear his Army of unqualified officers, urging promotions on merit rather than seniority. Heads began to fall, amid protesting cries of “political discrimination.” But that didn’t deter the general. Next he instituted a 13-week educational program so that all his troops could learn what they are fighting for. It was the Army's first application of the Von Steuben principle of discipline —"First explain; then give the order.” In this course, the soldiers are study ing history, geography, sociology and propaganda psychology to get a clear understanding of what lies behind the current headlines. After the presidential announcement of a vast armament program for 1942-3, Gen. Lear cautioned his soldiers against becoming too dependent on the tools of battle, warning they must expect to fight frequently against an enemy superior in numbers and equipment. “That,” he said, “is where spirit, char acter, training and the will to win come into play.” He wants his men to have an “irresistible will to victory." Canadian-born, Lear came to the United States at the age of four. His father was shop foreman of the Pueblo, (Colo.) Evening Press, and after gradua tion from high school, Ben Lear, jr., be came a printer's devil. At 16 he was secretary-treasurer of the paper which came under employe ownership. Father and son worked side by side. Young Ben, induced to Join the Colo rado National Guard, became first ser geant of Company B when the outfit, the 1st Colorado Infantry Volunteers, waa called to duty in the Spanish American War. He was 19 when he sailed for the Philippines in June, 1898. He was aboard the transport which stopped so officers could plant the American Flag over Guam and Wake Islands. He fought in the siege of Manila. The first batch of recruits sent to First Sergt. Lear included Pvt. Ben Lear, sr. Things went smoothly except once when Ben. senior, rebelled at having to handle all the potatoes while on K. P. but mili tary duty won over paternal rebellion. After four and a half year* on the islands, Lear returned to the United States and in 1906 received a Cuban as signment. The day before he sailed, ha married Miss Grace Russel of Bracken ridge, Mo., and together they braved a yellow fever epidemic. Their only child, a daughter, was born In a tent. She died a few yean ago. Lear saw service along the Mexican border against Pancho Villa’s raiders and during the first World War rose from captain to major and finally to the tem porary rank of lieutenant general. The rank was made permanent In 1930. Lt. Gen. Ben Lear in hit Second Army fieadquartere. Wife World Photo.