Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for July 19-25, 1945.
OIL TARGET IN BORNEO
The Australians' campaign in Borneo has thrown the spotlight on a new phase of the Pacific war - the battle for oil, which is now being regarded here as a vital contribution to the defeat of Japan. It is true that the oil-producing importance of Borneo to the enemy homeland and inner defence zone of Japan, Manchukuo, Korea and North China was virtually written off with the Americans' capture of the Philippines and Okinawa, and the consequent interruption of the enemy's supply lines to Borneo.
However, the fields there, which, before the war, produced about 19,000,000 barrels annually, were still being tapped, although with difficulty, to supply fuel oil for Japan's beleaguered forces at Singapore, in South-east Asia and the Netherland East Indies area.
The oil wells of Sumatra, which produce some two thirds of the NEI oil, and other oil sources in South-east Asia, including considerable storage facilities, still remain in Japanese hands, and therefore military circles emphasise that at present it would be premature to count on the immobilisation of the small Japanese air and naval forces still based south of Borneo. Nevertheless, it is stressed that the loss of the Borneo fields makes the present position of these forces ever more hopeless because the refining capacity of this enemy held by-passed area is limited, while much Borneo oil is pure enough to be piped directly into ships' tanks.
MAYFIELD WELCOMES PRISONER
Australian prisoners sent to work in German quarries often pretended to escape so they would be taken back to camp, said Pte. Eric Armstrong, liberated prisoner of war, at a welcome-home party in Mayfield. Prison camps were bad enough, but quarries were worse. Pte. Armstrong was captured in Crete. He praised Red Cross comforts and parcels received during his four years as a prisoner in Bavaria.
SPITTING MAY SPREAD DISEASE
A warning against the practices of spitting, sneezing and coughing in public places has been issued by the Metropolitan Health Officer (Dr Grahame Drew) who said that they were spreading diseases which were taking lives. In confined spaces such as in trams, trains, and buses, these habits were doubly dangerous, and infantile paralysis, which had already reached epidemic proportions, scarlet fever, cerebral and spinal meningitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and colds could be spread by them, he added.
MBE FOR LIEUT-COLONEL FENTON
The Governor-General has received advice that the King has approved of a number of appointments and awards for services rendered in the Papua-New Guinea area between April 1 and September 30, 1944.
In the list appear the names of Lieut.-Colonel Austin George Fenton (MBE), of Newcastle, Lieut-Colonel (Temporary Brigadier) Alexander George Torr, of Woy Woy, who is appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE); and Lieut-Colonel George Anthony Bertram, of Dora Creek, to be an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Lieut-Colonel Fenton, who has been posted missing, was a member of the literary staff of the "Newcastle Morning Herald" before he enlisted.
"Lieut.-Colonel Fenton has exhibited commendable patience, perseverance and determination under arduous conditions," the citation says.
"Realising the great morale importance of the Postal Service for troops fighting under conditions of great stress and hardship, he has always striven to maintain the highest efficiency, and has consistently set a fine example to those about him."
Faced with a tremendous amount of engineering tasks, the citation states, Lieut-Colonel Torr, in operations against the Japanese, displayed exceptional ability and technical efficiency in organising and effecting most satisfactory results. Under the very arduous conditions of climate and terrain, he showed untiring energy and cheerfulness, which encouraged and stimulated the many units working under him.
Lieut-Colonel Bertram did consistently good work as GSO, New Guinea Force. By his organising ability, his tact and more especially by his devotion to duty, he contributed in no small way to the successful planning of operations. His judgment, initiative, and ready cooperation made him a valuable Staff Officer.
FIRES IN RECORD RAID ON JAPAN
Mustangs followed up with strafing attacks on central Japan the heaviest attack yet by Superfortresses on targets on Honshu.
The record force of more than 600 Superfortresses took part in the earlier attack and they dropped 4000 tons of bombs on the four cities of Choshi, Fukui, Okazaki, and Hitachi. Large fires were left burning. The Nippon oil refinery at Amagasaki was also hard hit.
Choshi is the most important fishing harbour and the primary source of protein for Tokio and Yokohama.
Fukui has many electrical and machine tool plants, and is one of the most important industrial cities on the west side of Honshu Island.
Okazaki is an old and highly flammable industrial overflow city from nearby Nagoya, and contains many shadow factories for aircraft parts.
Hitachi, 80 miles north of Tokio, was recently shelled by British and American warships.
POINTS NAMED FOR SURRENDER
The unconditional surrender terms for Japan, which, according to the New York correspondent of the Daily Mail, will be submitted by President Truman to Mr Churchill and Generalissimo Stalin at Potsdam, are set out categorically by the correspondent.
These terms are stated to be:
Surrender of all Japanese warships and planes.
Surrender of all arms, and equipment of the Japanese forces in the home islands, Asia, and the Pacific.
Disbandment of forces wherever stationed.
Evacuation of territories seized since 1914, as well as Manchuria, Korea, and Formosa.
Withdrawal of disarmed Japanese forces to the homeland.
Destruction, under Allied supervision, of munition factories.
Supervision of Japanese merchant shipbuilding by an Allied control commission.
Surrender for trial of all war criminals named on lists the Allies have prepared.
To enable the complete coordination of the South-east Asia and South-west Pacific Area Commands, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten visited General MacArthur's Headquarters in the Philippines during the week. He was accompanied by senior officers of his staff, who conferred with their opposite numbers of General MacArthur's staff. All the senior officers in the Manila area took part in the conferences. It was Admiral Mountbatten's first visit to General MacArthur. The conference lasted three days.
STRANDED SUBMARINE SOLD
With 107 tons of diesel oil aboard, a former Dutch submarine converted to a fuel lighter, was auctioned for £985 ($1970) after four minutes' bidding. The vessel, which is ashore at Fiona Beach, near Seal Rocks, was bought by two young engineering partners. They plan to make an attempt at salvage, failing which they will break the submarine up. They estimate their profit may be £7000 ($14000). The submarine, which was auctioned for the Commonwealth Disposals Commission, is 210ft. (64m) long.
SOLDIERS WORK ON HOME
The foundation and framework of two front rooms were constructed on Sunday by a working-bee organised by Wallsend Returned Soldiers' League to finish the Birmingham Gardens home of Mrs A. Hunter, a war widow. The work was supervised by the Secretary (Mr H. Raine), who is a builder. The "bee" comprised 18 workers, including a representative of Waratah-Mayfield sub-branch and several residents of Birmingham Gardens. The job will take two more days to complete. The finished weatherboard cottage will comprise four or five rooms for Mrs Hunter and her three children. The rooms now occupied are in a "half house" built more than five years ago.
Mrs Hunter's husband, Pte. H. D. Hunter, died from malaria in a Japanese prison camp in Borneo.
AIR OFFICER DROWNED
An RAAF flight-lieutenant was drowned in Lake Macquarie on Saturday afternoon when a gust of wind upset a boat in which he and three companions were sailing from Toronto to Rathmines. The body has not yet been recovered. Flight-Lieutenants Keith Yorke, Hugh Robert Stockdale and N. Wylie were rescued after they had clung to the upturned boat for an hour and a half. One of the men told rescuers that the missing man lost his hold and disappeared a few minutes before help arrived. Fishermen yesterday recovered the airman's coat. Police assisted the fishermen until dark. After medical treatment at Belmont, the survivors were taken back to Rathmines base.
OVERSEA MEN MARRIED HERE
During the three years 1942 to 1944, American servicemen married in Australia totalled 5057. Figures published by the Department of Information show that in the same period 224 Dutchmen and 120 Canadians were bridegrooms in Australia. The number of Americans married was 1135 in New South Wales, 1220 in Victoria, 2868 in Queensland, and 664 in Western Australia. Thirty per cent. of the Canadians were married in Queensland, and 41 per cent. of the Dutchmen in West Australia.
COMMANDO DIED OF WOUNDS
Mr and Mrs C. Whalan, of New Lambton, have been advised that their only son, Trooper L.F. Whalan, an AIF commando, died of wounds at Balikpapan on July 13. Trooper Whalan, who was 21, had served for three years in the AIF. Before enlisting he was employed in the horticultural section of the Parks and Building Surveyor's Department of Greater Newcastle Council.
BATAAN JOINS RAN FLEET
The third Australian-built Tribal class destroyer, HMAS Bataan, has joined the fleet. The destroyer originally was to have been named Kurnai, after a famous Australian aboriginal tribe, but the name was changed to Bataan as a compliment to the USA when that nation named a cruiser Canberra after the Australian cruiser was lost in one of the first sea battles in the Solomons. Bataan's sister ships, Arunta and Warramunga, already have won high distinction in the war against Japan. Built entirely by Australian workmen, Bataan was launched in January, 1944, by Mrs. MacArthur at Cockatoo Dockyard. The destroyer was fitted with the latest in armament, scientific radio and fire control equipment. She may be regarded as the last word in ships of her type. Her Australian-built turbines should not be troubled to give the destroyer her rated 36 knots. During her speed and gunnery trials, Bataan displayed all the qualities that have made her sister ships famous.
TRIBUTE TO LAND ARMY
The Duchess of Gloucester, who is Honorary Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Women's Land Army, has sent a message of congratulations to its members on the third anniversary of its foundation.
"I know that the girls have adapted themselves most admirably to rural work under varied climatic conditions and have, by their untiring efforts, helped Australia very materially to meet its commitments to the Allies," said the Duchess.
The Federal Director-General of Manpower (Mr. Funnell) also sent a message of congratulation and expressed his admiration of the army's great contribution to the national effort.
Kathleen Martha Taylor, Birmingham Gardens; Vincent Andrew Field, Moonan Flat; Kenneth Herbert Dean, Islington; Reginald Thomas Graham, Maryville; Gordon Alexander Wilson, Morpeth; Keith Worley, Mayfield East; Madge Fay Davis, Cessnock.
Sergeant Vincent Henry Farrell, Adamstown. POW; Private Oswald Glen Greenaway, Merewether; Warrant Officer Class 1 John Selden Higman, Scone; 4th Engineer Officer Leopold J. Montgomery, Lambton. POW; Sergeant Richard Lucas Stacy, Singleton. POW.