Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for April 12-18, 1945.
Mr Churchill, Great Britain's prime minister, revealed in the House of Commons that Australian casualties to February 28, 1945 were 87,256 of a total Empire casualty list of 1,126, 802. Details given were: Australia: Killed: 19,430; missing 6955; wounded 35,595; prisoners of war 25,276. Total 87,256. New Zealand: Killed 9334; missing 934; wounded 17978. prisoners of war 8501. Total 36,747. UK: Killed 216,287; missing 30,967; wounded 255,142; prisoners of war 183,242. Total 685,638. South Africa: Killed 6030; missing 512; wounded 12,632; prisoners of war 14,629. Total 33,803. Canada: Killed 31,439; missing 4163; wounded 45,251; prisoners of war 8367. Total 89,220. With India and the Colonies, the grand Empire total was 1,126,802.
HITLER STRONG AS EVER
Stories about the breaking up of the Nazi Party and the replacement of Hitler by Himmler should be treated with the greatest reserve. Reports, which do not come from neutral sources, are that Hitler's power is as strong as ever, and that, if his overthrow comes, it is more likely to be by the German generals than by the Nazi Party.
FEW AUSSIES FREED IN WEST
The number of Australians liberated or escaping on the Western Front continues to be disappointingly low. So far only eight Australian fliers have been liberated in the West. Twelve more members of the AIF have reached England or are on their way; and another 23 are sailing from Odessa, Russia. There is no news about the Bremen prison camps where 16 Australian naval men and many members of the merchant navy, some captives for six years, have been confined. These men were prisoners in a village 17 miles north-east of Bremen. Freed prisoners tell stories of forced marches, due to transport shortages. One column of 100 Allied prisoners marched 500 miles in 44 days, with bursts of 30 miles a day. The march ended with six men sharing one loaf of bread and a little jam. Red Cross lorries and Allied trucks are journeying hundreds of miles from their bases, searching for columns of marching prisoners, and handing out food.
RAAF HELPS OUST NAZIS
Australian squadrons in Italy are striking heavily against the enemy communications in support of the Eighth Army in its drive up the coast. Members of the Desert Harassers squadron recently completed the destruction of a damaged bridge, one of the vital links in the rail system between the upper part of the Po Valley and the Brenner Pass. Australian Baltimore light attack bombers caught a road convoy which was almost completely destroyed. Rocket-firing Beaufighters manned by Australians are striking at railway sidings, motor transport and enemy-held villages.
THANKFULNESS ON V-DAY
A statement by the London Evening Standard's political correspondent that the keynote of V-Day observance plans would be thankfulness rather than boisterousness, was quoted by the Prime Minister (Mr Curtin). He said authorities would not discourage private rejoicings, but official celebrations would not be on the large scale that some people expected. The war would be only partly over when Germany was defeated, and it would be unfair to relatives of many thousands of British troops abroad if elaborate celebrations were held. Full scale rejoicings would be postponed until the war was really over.
IN MARCH ACROSS GERMANY
Mrs F. Anderson, of Maitland Road, Mayfield, has received a cable from her husband, Corporal Fred Anderson, advising that he has been repatriated to England from a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Mrs Anderson believes that he participated in the 500-mile march by war prisoners from Lamsdorf to Ziegenhain, before being liberated by General Patton's tanks. A letter received from him in December indicated that he was in the Lamsdorf camp. He was captured in Libya in April, 1941. Prior to enlistment in the AIF, Corporal Anderson was a master builder. He was educated at Wallsend Public School and Newcastle Technical College, and was a member of the Apex Club and Islington Bowling Club.
Mr and Mrs G.Pearce, of Terrace Street, Newcastle, have been advised that their younger son, Flight Sergeant David Pearce, is missing in air operations over Europe. Aged 20, Flight Sergeant Pearce was a wireless operator attached to a Lancaster squadron in England. He was educated at The King's School, Parramatta, where he distinguished himself at football and rowing. He enlisted in January 1943, immediately after completing his education, and went to Englanid early last year. There is one brother, Cpl. Douglas Pearce. AIF, and one sister, Aircraftwoman Jeanette Pearce on active service.
WINGS AND COMMISSION
Mr and Mrs E.H. Mascord, of Middle Camp, Catherine Hill Bay, have been advised that their son, Douglas Mascord, has received his "wings" and a commission in Canada. Before enlisting in the RAAF, Pilot Officer Mascord was a gunner in the AIF, serving in the Middle East and New Guinea. He was educated at Newcastle Boys' High School. His brother, Sgt. Thomas Mascord, RAAF, is serving in the Pacific.
FLYING BOATS' BRAVE ATTACK
RAAF Catalinas landed in the open sea off Japanese-occupied Flores Island and picked up Australian survivors while subject to enemy fighter attack. The sea about the first Catalina to alight became a holocaust when the fighters set the flying-boat ablaze and exploded it. Survivors were burnt as they swam away through the flames. A second Catalina took off under fighter attack with a full load of survivors including three from the flying-boat destroyed on the water. A report received from north-western Australia by the Minister for Air (Mr Drakeford) said an RAAF Liberator, covered the rescue - probably the most daring of a long series of gallant saves by the famous "Black Cat" Squadron of the RAAF.
AIR WAR ON BOUGAINVILLE
Grounded for two days because of weather, the Anzac air offensive was resumed at full tempo against Japanese troop concentrations and supply targets in southern Bougainville. Led by RAAF Pathfinders, 34 Corsairs gave close support to our forces along the Purito River by pounding enemy positions in the Hatai sector. Hatai, several thousand yards south-east of Slater's Knoll, has importance since it commands the vital lateral line of communication to Hongorai and Buin. Anzac planes also gave Kingorai a hammering with heavy bombs and concentrated strafing, and it was observed that all bombs dropped in the target area. Since the smashing of the Japanese suicidal counter onslaught against our Buin road force early this week there has been little ground activity in the southern sector. Australian commando troops, operating on the left flank of our front are keeping enemy parties on the move and wiping them out in small groups whenever they attempt to settle down. Our patrols are probing forward in the northern area. Native guerillas are having great success among small Japanese groups along the east coast and are inflicting daily casualties which already add to an impressive total.
JAPANESE FIGHT STUBBORNLY
ln Northern Bougainville, the Japanese are holding out stubbornly in the Soraken Peninsular area, where they are strongly dug in, with machine-guns covering the approaches, it was stated by the Army Department. Despite several attacks. the enemy clung to his position, and the situation is temporarily static. Daily shelling of areas held by our forces in Soraken has been proceeding for nearly three weeks. For the first time in weeks our infantry patrols have contacted Japanese east of the Ramu River and south of Hansa Bay, in northern New Guinea. Australian and New Zealand Air Forces are making heavy strikes against Japanese positions at Wewak, Rabaul, Bougainville and New IreIand. Heavy, medium and light bombers are supporting ground troops in pounding Japanese gun positions and personnel areas.
FOOD FRONT SAVED BY WASPS
The Chief of the War Agricultural Committees (Mr C.C. Crane), who returned from a tour of inspection of Women's Agricultural Security Production Services (WASPS) from Gosford to Murwillumbah, eulogised the work the girls are doing on the food front.
"These girls are doing a magnificent job, a far more important and essential one than most people realise. I feel very certain that, but for the work of the WASPS, Australia would have fallen down very badly on the food target." He said there were 64 WASPS branches in NSW and a drive would be made in Queensland and Victoria to establish the organisation there.
LAID OFF AT TUBE WORKS
In the past week more female employees at Stewarts and Lloyds had been laid off because of the industrial gas shortage, the company said. Between 170 and 180 women have been retrenched temporarily. Normally the plant employs about 300 women. The women were employed on production units in various departments. BHP has rationed industrial gas because of low coal stocks at the Steel Works.
The greatest shortage in postwar workers will be in three groups - teachers, dentists, and artisans in the building and associated trades such as building materials and furniture manufacture. This conclusion was ascertained by progressive surveys made through the Services to secure data which would guide postwar reconstruction, probably in view of the prospects of a sound and progressive secondary industry development, particularly in motor-car manufacture. The metal trades' unions, according to Commonwealth officers, have given an assurance they will absorb as many trained ex-service personnel as possible, and, where required, will complete trade training. The biggest intake into the metal trade will come from RAAF ground personnel with this experience. A survey showed that thousands of these men and women have expressed a wish to continue in this trade after the war. It also disclosed that after the war, 50 per cent of RAAF personnel want to return to their old jobs.
CHURCH MEMORIAL WINDOWS
Three stained glass windows, the central one the first memorial in Wallsend to fallen servicemen of this war, were dedicated by the Bishop of Newcastle in St. Luke's Anglican Church on Sunday. The memorial to servicemen, depicting the Crucifix, with two soldiers at its foot, was the gift of parishioners and other contributors who helped an effort organised by the Girls' Friendly Society branch attached to the church. The two other windows were given by Mrs C. Firkin and family in memory of Mr Caleb Firkin, who died two years ago. One represents the church's patron saint (St. Luke) and the other St. John.
Clifford Desmond Clarke, East Maitland; Evelyn Mary Thornton Cox, Mayfield; Desmond Clive Crosdale, Cessnock South; Ronald Neville Lumby, Mayfield; Maxwell Stephen Masterson, Heddon Greta; Douglas John McCann, Cessnock; Edward Ashley Phelan, Hamilton; Francis Gerard Phelan, New Lambton; Harold John Lawrence Phipps, Cessnock South; Francis Arthur Farrugia, Hamilton; Denis Stephen Smith, Waratah; Paul Rapheal Kennedy, Muswellbrook; Bertram Hill, Hamilton; Russell Morris, Dungog; Aldred David Thomas, Islington; Terence Miller Creagh, Gloucester; Ronald John Brewster Cropley, Mayfield; Stewart Sidney Fry, Maitland; Donald Arthur Jurd, Hamilton; Raymond Neill, Mayfield; Neville Clyde Soper, Cessnock; Thomas Maxwell Leigh Hudson, East Gresford; Raymond Charles Jones, Catherine Hill Bay; Charles John Reeves, Newcastle; John Walter Sleep, Muswellbrook; John Brian Wood, East Maitland.
Flight Sergeant Jack Wallace Sharp, Hamilton; Private Gordon Leo Coulton, Maitland, POW; Private William McLeod, East Maitland; Sergeant Malcolm Francis Max Weber, Bunnan; Private Bruce Albert Rawlings, Singleton. POW; Staff Sergeant Cyril James Coughlin, Merewether, POW; Gunner Arnold Allen Hardy, Mayfield, POW.