Beginning on June 17, 1942, Yank, the weekly magazine published by the U.S. Army, began its unprecedented worldwide publishing effort. Most of its 127-member staff of editors, reporters, photographers, artists, and cartoonists rotated from desk jobs in Yank's main New York office to cover the war overseas and produce twenty-one separate weekly editions. The New York office published the American edition distributed to army camps in the United States and prepared basic material for Yank's overseas operations in London, Sydney, Honolulu, Rome, Paris, Cairo, Tehran, Calcutta, Puerto Rico, and Panama. Sold for five cents, Yank reached a combined circulation of two million soldiers. The August 6, 1943, American edition of Yank, excerpted here, appeared twenty months after the United States entered the conflict, when the outcome of the war was still in doubt. It presented Yank's typical miscellany of news, stories, poetry, cartoons, illustrations, photographs, notices, advice, and gripes about enlisted life in the wartime army.
Tunisia—It was sunny over the Mediterranean and Pantelleria looked like a small dark stone stuck in the shining blue sea 8,000 feet below the six P-40s droning along on an afternoon patrol. The fighters had been ordered to take off from their African field to sweat out an hour and some minutes of cover over the conquered Italian island, while the Allies pushed ahead with preparations for the invasion of Sicily.
Lt. G. W. Dryden of New York City was leading the flight. His squadron, in action for only three weeks, had bombed Pantelleria in the furious air push toward Italy and at other times had escorted bombers. However, aside from a little wild flak loosed by the forlorn gun crews on the island, the outfit had never known trouble.
The lieutenant scanned the wide empty sky and looked around to make sure the flight was tucked in neatly behind him. He looked at his watch and noticed that the patrol was nearly over.
Behind him the big engines filled the bright salt air with their deep steady noise. Then, through the earphones clamped on his head, over the wild and howling crackle of aircraft radios, came the voice of the air observer on Pantelleria: “Unidentified aircraft approaching the island.”
Lt. Dryden wheeled and the flight wheeled behind him. They went out looking for trouble.
Behind Dryden were Lt. Leo Rayford of Washington, D.C.; Lt. Willie Ashley of Sumter, S.C.; Lt. Spann Watson of Hackensack, N.J.; Lt. S. P. Brooks of Cleveland, Ohio, and Lt. Leon Roberts of Pritchard, Ala. They settled tighter in their seats and tensed a little against the pull of the big engines, because there was a fight coming up and all their long hours of training, all the studying and all the sweat and misery of earning their wings and learning how to fight were either finally going to pay off or not pay off on this calm blue afternoon.
They went up to 12,000 feet as the still unseen planes dodged in over the sea, trying to avoid detection. Suddenly from out of the sun the Messerschmitts and the Focke-Wulfs dove. There were 12 of them, screaming down the peaceful air, and behind and above them were 12 bombers, come to lay waste the precious airfield below.
Roberts saw the planes pouncing, looking with their pale paint against the bright sky like white puffs of ack-ack. He wheeled and the rest of the flight wheeled with him, but they had been taken off balance, and it was impossible to maintain company front against the Germans, who were coming down in loose formations of two at 450 miles an hour.
The P-40 is a comparatively slow plane and its fighting has to be defensive, because the Messerschmitt, with its superior speed, can pick the angle and time of attack. But the P-40 has one great advantage: it can make tighter turns. The flight yanked hard on their controls and turned into the German onslaught.
Dryden, after his turn, found himself far out beyond the edge of the melee, with the bombers passing sedately 5,000 feet above his head. So he roared up above them and then dove down across the tail of the formation, spraying them as he went, and continued right down into the dog-fight below.
Three of the P-40s were making a lufberry, a slow, spiraling circle in which each plane protects the other’s tail. From that defensive circle, like covered wagons gathered around a square against Indians on the plains, the defenders can shoot out as the enemy speeds around on the outside. Dryden shook a Focke-Wulf on his tail and snugged into the lufberry, circling, firing his guns as the Germans flicked across his sights.
Leo Rayford was having troubles of his own. Two FWs kept at him, and when he turned into one, the other would get a burst in at him. One burst hit and his right wing shuddered as a 20-mm. Cannon shell exploded there. Rayford was fighting grimly, taking the long gamble against the two Germans, when Spann Watson appeared on his wing from nowhere. Watson opened up at long range. He hit the outside German, and the two planes broke away out of the fight.
At the initial turn Willie Ashley’s plane had gone into a spin and he’d lost considerable altitude. When he pulled out, he started spiraling up to rejoin the others. Suddenly ahead of him he saw another plane on the loose. He edged in to investigate. It was a Focke-Wulf.
Ashley got in good and close before letting go with his entire works. He saw that his tracers were going too far in front, so he cut down on the lead until he saw the tracers hitting home. He sprayed the German from end to end, and it began a long smoking glide toward the sea.
The pilot followed the falling German plane as far as he dared, but the air behind him was still full of machine-gun fire and splitting planes. He wheeled and climbed to make sure there was no one on his tail, and when he looked down once more there was no sign of the German. Ashley climbed to rejoin his flight.
The six American planes spiraled in formidable porcupine formation, and the German fighters left off and sailed toward Italy. Meanwhile the jittery enemy bombers had jettisoned their loads into the sea, without attempting a run over the island, and were making for home.
Once again the P-40s joined company front, flying wing to wing in extended horizontal order, and resumed their patrol over Pantelleria. A few minutes later they were relieved and headed for home, flying below the formation of Spitfires coming out to carry on the daylight vigil over the island.
There is nothing very new in this story. Six untried pilots from a squadron new to action meet the enemy and do rather well against him, beating off superior forces without loss to themselves and with probable loss to the enemy. They finish their patrol, alive with new confidence, and fly home to dinner. It must have happened time and again in this war to thousands of fighters. There is nothing new—except that all the pilots are Negroes and the entire squadron, flyers and ground crew, commanding officer and buck privates, are Negroes.
Over the Mediterranean, six Americans of this race for the first time in history fought for their country in an aerial battle against the enemy.
Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., commanding officer of the squadron, who flies with his men, was graduated from West Point in 1936. He is 30 years old, tall and wiry, and has that peculiar tenseness you find among flyers. Son of Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, now on duty in the ETO [European Theater of Operations] the colonel formed the squadron himself and bears the large weight of responsibility.
He has told his men that he’s not interested in commanding just another squadron. He wants a crack outfit or nothing.
Back from a mission, the men report to the intelligence officer, who asks what’s been done and what’s been seen.
Around the airfield is evidence that a little thing like a war cannot divert the native’s attention to his farm.
Lt. Col. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. is CO [Commanding Officer].
And this happy soldier is M/Sgt. Danvers.
Pvt. Irwin Shaw, “Negro Fighters' First Battle,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 8–9.
The formation of the Seventh Army, now in action in Sicily under Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., gives us three complete armies in service overseas. The Fifth Army, commanded by Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark, was organized after the North Africa invasion and was stationed near the Spanish Moroccan border. The Sixth Army, under Lt. Gen. Walter Kreuger, is now fighting Japs in the Southwest Pacific. The First, Second, Third and Fourth Armies are stationed in the U.S. The minimum strength of an army is about 75,000 men. Each army is made up of two or more corps, which in turn consist of two or more divisions each, plus supplemental troops.
Photos by V-Mail
Yank was in error a few weeks ago when announcement was made in this column concerning the transmission by V-Mail of photographs of children less than 1 year old to soldier-fathers overseas, or of children born after the father had left for overseas. The correct facts are: Photographs must be printed and not pasted on the V-mail form. They must appear in the upper left-hand corner and occupy no more than one-third of the correspondence space.
The important thing is not to alter the V-mail form in any way. A pasted-on picture would keep the form from going through the machine. For the same reason the form should not be treated or sensitized. Yank appreciates the printing difficulties presented by the WD [War Department] regulations but can offer no suggestion. Safest thing would be to have your wife check with the post office.
Correct APO Address
Soldiers stationed overseas are asked by the Army Postal Service to make sure they give folks back home their full APO addresses. Many letters and packages have been delayed because they did not contain the soldier’s unit designation along with his serial number, APO number. The APS suggests that you write a letter to your family impressing them with your full and correct address. Sample correct address:
Pvt. Joe Blow, Asn 00000000
Co. A, 45th F.A.,
APO 200 C/O Postmaster
New York, N. Y.
Pipe Lines in North Africa
To help fuel Allied planes plastering the Axis in the Mediterranean, Army Engineers have laid portable pipe lines from North African harbors to interior airfields. With gas and oil supplies taking up half the tonnage of war materials these pipe lines help solve a tremendous supply problem. The pipes are made of light-weight steel in sections short enough for one man to set up, and 1,000 feet can be carried by a single truck. Some lines now in operation are over 50 miles long. Pumping stations can handle as much as 700 tons of 100-octane gas a day.
Ratings in the ASTP
Army privates who are taking the Army Specialized Training Program will be promoted to Pfc. When they move up from the basic to the advanced phase of the program, says the WD. Privates who are assigned directly to the advanced phase without taking the basic will also be advanced to Pfc. Men in higher grades will retain their rank and pay when assigned to the advanced phase.
Alaska Command Shoulder Patch
The WD has approved a new shoulder patch for men of the Alaska Defense Command. The design is a bear’s head surmounted by a star, both inside a circle. The bear’s head is white, with his features outlines in black and his lips and tongue in red. The star is golden yellow and the whole background is blue.
Shipment of Recordings Banned
The WE has banned shipment to soldiers overseas of phonograph discs which record personal messages. Several commercial companies have been promoting sales of such recordings, and as a result large numbers addressed to soldiers have been received in the mails. Transmittal of such messages to or from soldiers stationed overseas, says the WD, is prohibited by Army regulations.
This is the new shoulder patch of the Marine Amphibious Corps of the Pacific Fleet. Its background is scarlet, the alligator head is gold and the stars are white. The stars represent the corps, and the 'gator head symbolizes the amphibious function of the ACPF. Regulations specify that the shield is to be worn on the left shoulder, 1 inch below the seam.
GI Shop Talk
AAF bomber crews are now taking along specially made-up combat lunches on flight missions that last from 8 to 12 hours. Packed in units for three men, the lunches contain food which can be eaten with little or no preparation. . . . Wacs are now being enrolled in the Army Finance School at Duke University, N.C. . . . The GI musical, “This Is the Army,” will be split up into two units and sent overseas to perform for troops in combat theaters. . . . Ordnance has developed a new AA gun—a 4.7 job with a range of 60,000 feet, 20,000 feet more than any other AA gun has. . . . The QMC [Quartermaster Corps] has a new plastic insole for jungle boots. It can be washed with soap and water, is absorbent and quick drying. It’s expected to cut down foot diseases among guys in the tropics. . . . Newsmap, Special Service’s weekly publication, will go overseas in a smaller edition.
Sgt. Joe Louis, in Washington on furlough, had his interview with the press interrupted by a colonel who wanted his autograph. . . . Lt. Gen. Brehon Somervell, chief of the ASF [Army Service Forces], received a letter from an ex-GI containing $60 for a couple of blankets he had “borrowed” when he was discharged. The money will go to the Treasury “conscience fund.”
Word to the wise, officers and GIS: Don’t mail back Government property from overseas to friends in the U.S., even if you can circumvent mailing restrictions on the other side. Bureau of Customs and the WD no like. . . . Pictures of the Seventh Army landing on Sicily were delivered to U.S. newspapers within 76 hours after the invasion through Signal Corps Telephoto.
With parachutists having their day, the Army continued to winnow reception, replacement and basic-training centers to obtain volunteers for airborne divisions and separate parachute units. . . . COs [Commanding Officers] in this country are being told that too many EMs [Enlisted Men] are unable to obtain dependable info about aviation-cadet training. Regulations intend that every man who has a desire to fly and can meet the requirements be given the opportunity to qualify.
A Navy officer wearing one of those new slate-gray uniforms strode into the Pentagon Building barbershop. “Sorry,” said the khaki-conscious attendant, “but we can serve only servicemen.” Not until another Navy officer vouched that this was indeed the new Naval uniform did the clipping begin. . . . It’s true, s’help us: We saw a major general with a seat-cane waiting in line in front of one of Washington’s downtown movie houses one recent hot afternoon.
- Yank's Washington Bureau
This Week’s Cover
1st Sgt. H. M. Longworth, engineer, is being trained at Alliance, Nebr., as a member of the Army’s new airborne combat team. His outfit’s job is to land by glider on any enemy airfield captured by our troops and get it in shape for our own planes. See page 3 for a story on the new type of airborne units used in the invasion of Sicily.
[Cartoon caption:] “Hey, Luigi! Lasta time I see you, you was only deesa high!”
“Strictly G.I.,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 11.
Little Red Riding Hood—a G.I. Bedtime Story
Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived alone with her mother in a dismal 30-room mansion in the outskirts of Los Angeles. This young girl had a red raincoat with a hood to cover her head and, since the sunshine in California comes down by the bucketsful, she often wore her raincoat and they called her Little Red Riding Hood.
One morning while she and her mother were having a glass of tomato juice before going to bed (they had just come in from an all-night session at a neighboring honky-tonk), her mother said, “Red Riding Hood, today I want you to take this quart of bourbon and package of marijuana cigarettes to your grandmother.”
So that afternoon Red Riding Hood set out to go to her grandmother’s house. She had to walk, as the local ration board only gave them an A card for the limousine, and that was just enough to back the car out of the garage, wash it and put it back again. The route she had to take brought her past the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine. On the corner stood a brainless individual of the male species with a 1-A suit on a 4-F figure. He twirled his lengthy key chain as his fangs drooled and his eyes became saucerlike at the approach of our heroine.
As she walked by bubbling from head to hips with sex appeal, his lips puckered into a low whistle and he gave out with the all too famous “Call of the Wolf.” Being a very innocent young lady, Red Riding Hood raised her nose and walked briskly by, paying little if no attention to him, but being certain to drop on the pavement a map of the city of Los Angeles with the course she would take marked in red pencil and grandmother’s house labeled with a huge cross. (After all, men are scarce and one has to make the best of an opportunity, for it may only knock once.)
The wolf hailed the nearest taxicab and hurried to Granny’s joint so as to be there when Red Riding Hood arrived. Arriving there, he found grandma in her silk pajamas trying to get some sleep after working the swing shift as a riveter at Lockheed Aircraft. He promptly gave her a quart of Scotch, locked her in the closet and took her place in bed. Soon Red Riding Hood tapped lightly on the door and entered. She took one look at the occupant of the bed and said, “My God, Granny, you look like hell. You’ll have to stop drinking so much.” Then, as she approached closer to the bed, she said: “My, what big eyes, nose and mouth you have, grandma. Don’t tell me you have gone in for plastic surgery.” Just then the wolf jumped out of bed and chased Red Riding Hood through the house. He couldn’t catch her, however, as her dress had fast colors in it.
Luckily for our little heroine, just then the air-raid siren sounded and, since the wolf was an air-raid warden in his local area, he had to leave. Red Riding Hood was a nervous wreck and after he had gone she released Granny from the closet and they each had a straight shot to calm their nerves.
When Red Riding Hood returned home and told her mother how the wolf had followed her and chased her through the house, the mater sat open-mouthed with amazement. She promised never to send Red Riding Hood on a journey like that again.
“Hell,” she said, "if that’s the kind of stuff you run into, I’ll go myself.
[Illustration caption:] As she walked by bubbling with sex appeal, his lips puckered into a low whistle.
S/Sgt. Don Davis, “Little Red Riding Hood—a G.I. bedtime story,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 14.
British GIS Visit Davis
Camp Davis, N.C.—The AAA [Antiaircraft Artillery] school here is host to the 17 officers and 329 enlisted men of the Special British Battery of Royal Artillery, who are making a coast-to-coast tour of U.S. Army posts on invitation of the War Department. The Tommies arrived at Davis July 11 for a two-month stay, during which they were to demonstrate British methods of training, drill and tactics. They are organized into three sections with standard British ack-ack equipment.
The battery is composed of veterans picked from all parts of the British Isles. Most of them have fought the Luftwaffe from the early days of the blitzes over England and some have seen service in the Middle East, Malta and India. This is the first and longest stop on the battery’s itinerary. From here it will visit other AAA camps in this country, escorted by a special detachment of American troops.
“Speak for Yourself, John”
Camp White, Oreg.—Every soldier remembers, of course, what happened on a certain winter day in 1622 when Capt. Miles Standish sent Pvt. John Alden with a message to a dame called Priscilla. Well, the other day at the public relations office here, Pvt. Alan Blanchard, 9th generation, descendant of John and Priscilla Alden, met S/Sgt. Miles Standish, 10th generation descendant of the late captain.
“I told him,” Sgt. Standish is alleged to have said later, “that we’ll get along fine as long as he doesn’t ask me if he can deliver any messages to my girl. One sucker in the family is enough.”
Fare Enough for the Private
Fort Ord, Calif.—Pvt. Numzie A. Kakone, low on cash and winding up a furlough in Los Angeles, was stopped by the conductor when he tried to board a train back to camp. The train, explained the conductor, was a super-deluxe special, and regular furlough tickets were no good on it. Then Kakone pointed out that he’d be AWOL if he didn’t hop this train. But the conductor said it was no go without a special ticket. So Kakone stepped back and screamed, “This man is sabotaging me!” In a few minutes a crowd gathered around, listened to his story, pressed bills into his hand and shoved him on the train. He would up 35 bucks ahead.
Around the Camps
Fort McClellan, Ala.—Cpl. Stephen Ciber of the 14th Battalion here is rated the meanest guy in the outfit. When a bunch of rookies went out on maneuvers bivouac recently, Ciber warned them about the deadly rattlesnakes that infested the neighborhood. Then he stayed up most of the first night slipping snaky rubber hoses under their blankets and laughing like hell when the yardbirds woke up screaming.
Camp Livingston, La.—The family of Pvt. Vincent Caricchio knows Vincent. When he ran short recently and wrote home for reinforcements, the money came accompanied by this advice: “Change your bones.”
Turner Field, Ga.—About a year ago Sgt. Raymond Griffith, a crew chief here, received a letter from his aunt in Los Angeles, suggesting that he write to a certain girl there. He did, and she answered him. The correspondence grew in warmth until 11 months later it was “Dear Sweetheart” and “Your Darling.” But they still hadn’t seen each other, so when Griffith got a furlough last month he went to Los Angeles to see what his pen-sweetheart looked like. When he got off the train she was waiting for him and all the sergeant needed was one good look. Three hours later they were married.
Camp Pickett, Va.—Cpt. Robert Engle lives with his wife outside the camp, and it’s dark when he leaves in the morning. When he arrived at the barracks one day he found his company stripped for physical inspection, so he stripped, too. It was only then that he discovered he was wearing a pair of his wife’s unmentionables. They were pink, a shade lighter than Engle’s face.
Rapid City Air Base, S. Dak.—PX [Post Exchange] waitress to long-waiting Sgt. Allen McClelland: “What would you like to have?”
Sgt. McClelland to long-awaited PX waitress: “Yesterday’s breakfast.”
Fort Bragg, N.C.—A Rookie from the Tennessee hills came up to Pvt. Jack Griffin one night in the company day room and asked him how to spell “Colorado.” Griffin told him. A few minutes later the rookie came back and asked him: “Are we in North or South Colorado?”
Here are the Wacs Dept.
Shortly after the first group of Wacs arrived at Blackland (Tex.) Army Air Field recently, a post dance was given in their honor. The next day this announcement appeared on the post bulletin boards: “Starting immediately, dancing classes will be held for male soldiers.” . . . Wacs at Fort Sheridan, Ill., are taught by T-5 Pauline Bode to crochet little booties for their dog tags. . . . Sgt. Ronnie Lanbert, Hammond (Calif.) General Hospital, was issued a shirt with a built-in brassiere. The QM thought he was a Wac. He isn’t. . . . A bunch of Wacs from Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., were visiting Lovers Leap on Lookout Mountain when a B-25 from Lovell Field, Ga., circled over the girls. A note dropped from the plane. “Hello girls and fellow soldiers,” it read. “Come to the airport tonight. Good time guaranteed for all.” Five minutes later another B-25 appeared, and another note. “Fellow soldiers,” it said, “pay no attention to the other B-25. We were here first.” Our report didn’t say which crew won or whether the Wacs showed up. . . . Khaki, the mongrel pup mascot of Wacs at Fort Bliss, Okla, has been taught to bite anyone wearing pants. The other day Aux. Edna White stepped out in a pair of slacks. Before she knew what hit her, Khaki had bitten off a chunk of the pants and a piece of Edna, too. From now on Aux. White wears skirts.
The Senator Came Through
Camp Peary, Va.—Max Greenwald Y2/c and two Seabee pals were on liberty in Washington. Came bedtime, and not a flop to be had. Then Greenwald called up Senator Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado. The problem was explained.
“Get in a cab and come on up,” said Johnson.
At the senator’s home, beds were shuffled until all the Seabees were comfortable. Senator Johnson slept in the kitchen.
What’s Your Hurry?
Municipal Airport, Oakland, Calif.—The following notice appeared on the bulletin board in the 329th Fighter Squadron orderly room: “Two pairs of GI shoes have been turned over to the guards of the gate by two strange females. They claim the shoes belong to two members of this squadron. The shoes can be had by coming to the orderly room and claiming them.”
Yank wants interesting news items, features and photographs from military personnel, Camp PROs and Special Service Offices. Send all material to Yank, Camp Features, 205 E. 42d St., New York 17, N. Y.
Here is what the 701st (TE) Flying Training Squadron at Blytheville, Ark., calls the best looking first sergeant in the armed forces. He’s 1st Sgt. William L. Huffhines. Any more nominations to come in?
Retreat, Flagler Hall, Fort Belvoir, Va.—Sgt. Paul Galdone
High Ranker. This executive-looking lady is Aux. Wanda Taylor, training as assistant sergeant major at Camp Campbell, Ky.
Tooth Artist. At the central dental laboratory, Fort McPherson, Ga., Sgt. Glenn Ferguson works overtime setting GI teeth.
“Camp News,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 18.
Hollywood. When 20th Century-Fox sought permission to make a picture dramatizing his life, Eddie Rickenbacker requested that the official song of the 94th Squadron in the first World War be featured. That’s why “If I Had My Way I’d Live Among the Gypsies” will be sung in the film. . . . Ten years ago 12 beautiful girls arrived in Hollywood to play in Eddie Cantor’s “Roman Scandals,” but Lucille Ball is the only one of them who remains on the scene today. . . . Melvyn Douglas, the former screen star, whose real name is Joseph Kesselburg, may hold the Army record for rapid advancement. Inducted last December, he was a Pfc. until a special order from the War Department commissioned him as a captain. . . . Canada Lee, the former club fighter who made such a hit on the staff as Bigger Thomas in “Native Son,” has been given the role of the Negro who jumps overboard to save the Nazi submarine captain in “Lifeboat,” the Alfred Hitchcock picture in which all the action takes place in a 26-foot boar. . . . John Murray Anderson, who staged Billy Rose’s Aquacade at the N. Y. World’s Fair, will produce the water ballet numbers in “Mr. Co-Ed,” the Technicolor film starring Red Skelton and Esther Williams. . . . MGM portrays the story of the Harvey chain of restaurants, famous railroad-station mess halls, in “The Harvey Girls,” the adventures of five girl waitresses.
Coast to Coast. With Boris Karloff starring, “Arsenic and Old Lace” begins its third season on the road at the National Theater in Washington Aug. 23. . . . Constance Bennett is touring the Atlantic Coast summer circuit in the Phillip Barry play, “Without Love.” . . . Max Koenigsberg, former manager of the St. Louis Municipal Opera, made an auspicious debut as manager of the new Starlight Operetta Company in Dallas, Tex. His first production, Victor Herbert’s “Naughty Marietta,” set a new attendance record for that kind of entertainment in the Texas city when 27,967 turned out for a one-week run. . . . Billy Rose is toying with the idea of sending out a “Diamond-Horseshoe Revue” on a tour of the camps under the auspices of the USO.
Band Beat. A new ballroom has opened in Baltimore, Md., called the Stage Door Casino. Dick Rogers' orchestra, featuring Bea Wain as the singer, opened the spot, and Will Osborne is slated for a later date. . . . Clyde Lucas is set for a month’s stay at the Magnolia Roof Gardens at the Claridge in Memphis and will be followed by Bill Bardo. . . . Eddie Oliver has increased his band to 19 pieces to replace Russ Morgan at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago.
Ava Gardner. Some people prefer the mountains to the seashore, but after seeing this peach on a beach we will trade four brand new mountains for any shore line you have on hand. Ava, who used to be Mrs. Mickey Rooney, isn’t any more, so you may make your inspection without qualms. Her next is MGM’s “Hitler’s Madmen.”
“Evening Morning Report,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 21.
On the Road to [Censored]
With apologies to Kiplin’s “Road to Mandalay.”
By the lazy South Atlantic
Lapping languid at the beach,
There’s a nut-brown gal a-settin,
And she’s not a Georgia peach.
The wind is in her tresses,
And the love within her eye
She would not trade for all the world—
No other lad than I.
At the famous Bar of Wonder
Just above the river scene,
That’s where she made her living
As a naughty strip-tease queen.
She is not exactly luscious
As a Georgia peach would be,
She is short and there are bulges,
But she certainly isn’t “green.”
I met her there one afternoon
Around the hour of 3;
She came around to say hello
And sit upon my knee.
From there—well, things got out of hand;
'Twas love, indeed, at sight,
Dear Lord, please give me back my strength
To just forget that night.
On the hilltop, in the palm trees,
In a South Atlantic breeze,
I ask her to forgive me
And let me please be free;
For yonder waters call me
to my home beyond the sea—
I can’t be stayed by naughty dames
Who sit upon men’s knees.
- Pfc. Richard Brookshire, Brazil
Are not WAC material.
Ladies who the asphalt treat
Would much prefer to lie abed.
Ladies who are bookish
Are not always good-lookish.
Ladies whose eyes say “Come hither”
Get many GIS in a dither.
Ladies over 40
Are not generally sporty.
Ladies with bars on their shoulders
Are sometimes built like boulders.
Ladies who drink whisky
Are apt to be frisky.
Ladies on the make
Are easy to take.
Not all spies
Have mascaraed eyes.
A homely maid or a fatherly gent
May have a strong pro-Axis bent.
After the war, a general
May find his commission ephemeral.
I would like to see the private journal
Of some Tahiti-stationed colonel.
- Pfc. C. G. Cappon, Truax Field, Wis.
Memo to a Meat Packer
Oh, stop to think while on your way
To rake in GI cash,
That soldiers up Alaska way
Get awful tired of hash.
I’ve eaten lots of funny things
For breakfast, lunch and dinner,
But never thought I’d fill my gut
With last year’s Derby winner.
Do you eat all the steaks yourself,
Or are you really slipping,
That you must send us frozen swill
And second-handed dripping?
You have us where you want us now,
In spite of our digestion.
We have to eat the stuff you sell,
But let me ask one question:
Just what would happen to your dough
If the GI proletarian,
When he gets back, should in revenge
Go all-out vegetarian?
So think of that before you pack
More hash for ocean crossage;
Try sending us some real chow,
And less Vienna sausage.
- Pvt. Raymond E. Lee, Somewhere in Alaska
Motor Transport Service, Iran, 1943
Walled cities sleep along the trading road,
The golden road that time has turned to steel.
Khaki and olive-drab in tractors wheel
Where caravans once eased their precious load.
It was frankincense and gold and fruits of Tartary
And fair-skinned women for the Khan’s amusement
That went these ways when Polo was a boy.
Camels and horses, patient little donkeys,
All plodded by, laden with priceless wealth.
Between the towns they slept beside the road
In spreading tents with carven ivory poles,
Shielded from wind and sun by latticed screens
Adorned with dragons, flowers and painted birds.
Now dusty trucks with strange outlandish names
Like Studebaker, International,
Reel past, trailers a-swing, loaded with cans
And motor parts and ugly metal shapes.
But this is war beyond these merchants' knowledge,
Putting the conquests of their Khans in shadow.
This war needs sinews, guts of steel and carbon
For those men northward who patrol the skies
And ravaged earth in men-remote machines.
Dust and exhaust fumes mingle, part, reveal
The convoy rolling past the frightened sheep,
While by the road great crumbling cities sleep
And dream of gold that time has turned to steel.
- Cpl. Joey Sims, Iran
“The Poets Cornered,” Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 21.
This Post Exchange, like Yank itself, is wide open to you. Send your cartoons, poems and stories to: The Post Exchange, Yank, the Army Weekly, 205 East 42nd Street, New York 17, N.Y.
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“Have you heard the latest? The whole outfit is going to be shipped to the Hootchie Kootchie Islands for guard duty.”
At this remark everyone in the latrine turned to the speaker. That is, everyone except the four guys who fell off their stools.
“You’re bumping your gums, bub,” asserted a T-7 [a non-combat officer at the level of a Sergeant]. “I happen to know that we are all getting transferred to the camouflage unit. The top kick told the CO [Commanding Officer] in my presence that we looked like a bunch of goats, and he was going to put us where we belong.”
“Both of you have been sadly misinformed,” put in a staff sergeant as he started lathering his face briskly with his tooth paste. “I have it from a very reliable source that we are to invade Germany soon, as Rangers. We’re going to be trained in wearing our uniforms backwards so the enemy won’t know whether we’re coming or going. The trouble with you guys is you listen to too many rumors.”
“If you jerks don’t shut your yaps and fall out,” said a sweet voice from the doorway, "there isn’t going to be any doubt what you’ll be doing for the next six months. The whistle that just blew was not the mail man. Now fall out.“
”Now I believe everything I heard about him getting kicked out of the 207th up at Camp Whatsis last July for slugging little rabbits," said the T-7.
“So do I,” replied a line corporal, buffing his shoes with some other guy’s towel. “Only he wasn’t kicked out, he was transferred, and it wasn’t the 207th at Camp Whatsis, it was the 392d at Fort Blooie—last December, not July. He didn’t slug any little rabbits; he short-sheeted the general. And, if I remember correctly, it wasn’t him: it was Cpl. Casey.”
“Hey, fellows,” shouted a newly arrived yardbird. “Guess what. I just got some inside dope. Next week we’re all going to—”
- Pfc. Dick Walden, Camp Adair, Oreg.
There are girls who are pretty,
And those who have sex;
Then there are girls who are smart,
And those called PX.
It was one of the latter
Who caused me my woe,
With treatment that’s usually
Reserved for the foe.
She sold me some cigarettes,
And I made a date
To wine her and dine her
That evening at 8.
I bought her a hamburger
And plied her with beer,
Then whispered my sentiments
In her willing ear.
With my arms closed about her
In love’s soft embrace,
I knew this was the right time
And this was the place.
Not till then did she tell me
Her failing glory:
She was a gal who was closed
- Cpt. James J. Kelly, Herbert Smart Airport, Ga.
“Would You Care to Buy a Peace Bond?”
A class of officer candidates is taking its final examination in Map Reading. The instructor, a second lieutenant, is seated at the front of the room. He is reading a few late maps. Whenever he comes to an amusing passage he chuckles to himself.
One of the officer candidates, a man named Sexsmith, has a glass eye. He has cupped one hand over his good eye and has gone fast asleep, maintaining at the same time a steady stare at the instructor. The expression of Sexsmith’s glass eye is one of mingled admiration and respect.
There is a loud knock at the door. Everyone looks at his neighbor in stunned surprise. Sexsmith wakes up. Finally the instructor recovers his presence of mind.
Instructor: Come in. [The door opens and a private first class enters. He is clad only in a service gas mask, and his stripe is tattooed on his arm.]
Private First Class: The war is over! You can all go home now. Please file out at once because we have to clean up around here. [He stoops down, tests for gas and departs. Everyone sits in depressed silence, digesting the momentous news. Candidate Sexsmith’s glass eye takes on a look of quiet desperation.]
Candidate Anderstory: God, if this is true I may not get my commission. And after going through 11 weeks of this stuff.
Candidate Johnslip: Do you fellows realize what this means? Peace. Peace possibly lasting for years. The world as we know it is finished, done for!
Candidate Sexsmith: Maybe America can stay out of it. After all, why should we get mixed up in Europe’s troubles?
Instructor: Don’t let that alarmist propaganda bother you, men. Get back to your map-reading exams. Note the contours of that hill in the northwest grid zone? Cute, aren’t they?
Candidate Northrimp: But sir, don’t you hear the whistles blowing? The old carefree wartime days are over. We’ve all got to buckle down now. It will be hard, of course, uprooting everything. But it’s our duty. Hang it, fellows. I’m going to apply for a discharge at once. I’m going to apply for a discharge at once. I’m not going to wait for them to muster me out. Won’t father be proud, though!"
Candidate Mortonloop [sobbing]: Oh, but I can’t give everything up. I’m young yet, just turned 22, and I had such plans. After I washed out of here, I was going to Cooks and Bakers School.
Instructor: Let’s not be hasty, gentlemen. All this is probably just a rumor. Take it from me, the world isn’t ready for peace. It learned its lesson in 1918. Hitler wouldn’t dare—.
Private First Class [re-entering]: Will you please clear out of here and go home. Why aren’t you out of uniform? Your country needs you. Would you care to buy a Peace Bond? [He methodically sets fire to the building. The candidates file slowly out, muttering. “Those dirty Jap quitters!” The instructor tears his maps into confetti and tosses them into the advancing flames, snarling a savage “Whoopee!”]
- O/C Ray Duncan, Camp Davis, N.C.
If you’re contemplating
Be wise and rehearse
“I do” in reverse.
- Pvt. John L. Large, Jr., Fort Riley, Kans.
[Cartoon caption:] “Trim, please.”
- Sgt. Howard P. Sparber, Army Air Base, Miami Beach, Fla.
Both the same. If our bewildered private would spend less time with the glasses and more time with a pencil and pad of paper, he’d find that out. If you’re not convinced, a little arithmetic ought to prove it to you.
After checking Blockbuster entries for the contest of June 25 (Aerographical) and weeding out proper names, prefixes and words not found in “Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” we came up with these winners, with the following scores: Cpt. Simon Spero, Gowen Field, Idaho (327); Cpt. L. E. Boyle, Camp Gordon Johnston, Fla. (313); Cpt. Melvin Peacock, Moore Field, Tex. (301); Ctl. I. Silver, Camp Rucker, Ala. (295); Pfc. Walter Marksohn, Camp Livingston, La. (288), and A/C Earl J. Vince, San Antonio (Tex.) ACC (282).
Congratulations to Cpl. Spero. This is the second time you’ve won a puzzle contest. If you want another Puzzle Kit, let us know. Or, if you like, we’ll ship it to some friend of yours in the service. Send his address to the Puzzle Editor.
Source: "Post Xchange," Yank, the Army Weekly, 6 August 1943, 22.