(Footnotes are at the bottom
of the page)
At the outset of World War II, the 68-year old Newark Evening News
was New Jersey’s newspaper of record, and ranked with the
county’s best newspapers.
It was not surprising, therefore, that during World War II, Newark
Evening News reporters were widely placed, whether in the battle
zones, at Allied Headquarters, or at the base of it’s Commander-In-Chief
in Washington, DC.
MEN OF THE NEWARK EVENING NEWS
A number of reporters from the Newark News distinguished themselves
reporting the war from different war zones. The most notable among
them was Warren H. (Harry) Kennet.
Kennet had been the Military Affairs writer from the Newark Evening
News and pre-war had made the Essex Troop Armory in Newark a base
Therefore, it seemed logical that when the 102nd Cavalry of the
Essex Troop was dispatched to England in September of 1943, that
Kennet traveled with them and was embedded with the Essex Troopers
from their arrival in England and through the invasion of Southern
France on June 5, 1944.
Kennet landed with the men and dispatched regular reports to the
News as the men broke through the hedgerows of Normandy Beach with
their tanks and stormed inward.
Driving a captured German scout car, emblazoned on its front bumper
with the Newark Evening News logo, Kennet followed and reported
on the 102nd Cavalry tank men as they made their way through France,
Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, and ultimately, into Czechoslovakia.
Kennet’s eyewitness dispatches were followed avidly by Newark
Evening News readers.
OTHER EVENING NEWS WAR REPORTERS
Wes Gallagher: His Newark News reports carried
the most credibility. He was embedded in Supreme Headquarters, Allied
Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF). At its inception in 1943, SHAEF operated
out of London under General Dwight Eisenhower. After the D-Day Invasion
of Southern France, when there were sufficient forces ashore, the
SHAEF moved its base of operations to France.
Henry T. Gorrell: One of his Newark News reports
was on one of the hardest fought battles of World War II –
the assault and capture of German defenses at the German rail center
near the Dauve River in Carentan, France, by the U. S. Army’s
101st Airborne Division.
The Division had been pinned down by intense fire from well-prepared
and heavily fortified German positions within 150 yards. Ignoring
withering fire, the unit’s commander, Col. Robert Cole, led
the remnants of his unit in a charge, capturing the German positions
at the cost of his life, at dawn on June 12, 1944.
Roland Lindbloom: The Newark News sent him to
the Pacific to search out and file reports on “anyone around
here from New Jersey?” His name was given to me by a fellow
Newark News reporter who had worked with him at that time.
Eddy Gilmore: One of his dispatches was sent from
an American air base tagged “Somewhere in the Soviet Union.”
It greatly surprised me to learn, for the first time, that the U.
S. had a secret air base in the Soviet Union during the war.
David Lawrence: He was based in Washington, D.
C., an important center for official releases from the various military
commands based there.
John T. Cunningham: At the outbreak of World War
II, Cunningham headed the Dover office of the Newark News. It was
a sensitive spot because of its proximity to the Kenvil Powder Company
and the Picatinny Arsenal. But Cunningham's war-related writing
was limited to writing reports of area war casualties. He entered
the Army Air Force in 1943 and wound up serving on Okinawa. While
in service there, he dispatched two articles to the Newark News,
both of which were published.
EX-NEWARK SUNDAY CALL REPORTER
Robert Parker: A one-time reporter for the Newark
Sunday Call, during World War II, he served as Chief, Office of
War Information for Eastern Europe.
The Office of War Information (OWI) was a U. S. Government agency,
established in 1942 to coordinate the release of war news for domestic
During the later part of the war, its focus was largely directed
toward actions for undermining enemy morale.
Parker had worked for the Newark Sunday Call prior to becoming
Director of the Associated Press in Eastern Europe prior to World
WAR CORRESPONDENT WHO STARTED AT LEDGER
A number of journalists who reported on World War II had prior
newspaper experience at Newark newspapers.
One such was Tania Long whose ties were to the Newark Ledger. Her
career was a distinguished one.
She launched her journalistic career in 1936 by breaking in as
a reporter with the Newark Ledger. By the fall of 1938, as war neared
in Europe, she took a leave of absence from the Ledger to spend
time with her parents who were residing in Berlin.
Once there, she decided to remain in Berlin and become a writer
there for the Berlin bureau of the New York Herald-Tribune. As war
drew closer, she transferred to the Tribune’s Paris bureau,
and in 1939 was promoted to the London bureau.
By September of 1940 she was covering the bombing of London and
other war happenings. Her own hotel was bombed out.
In 1941 the New York Newspaper Women’s Club named her for
their annual award for her outstanding work in London as a war correspondent.
In 1942 she became a war correspondent for the New York Times and
followed the Allied forces into Berlin in 1945.
WORLD WAR II UNIFORMED NEWS ORGANIZATIONS
Newspapermen from Newark were active in all three of the three
uniformed news organizations: Stars and Stripes … YANK—The
Army Weekly … and the Army News Service.
Following is a round-up of what these news organizations were and
the Newark journalists who worked in them.
Stars and Stripes
The World War II Edition of Stars and Stripes was born on April
18, 1942, during the blitz in London, as a four-page weekly, by
a group of U. S. Army servicemen. One of the early editors of the
Stars and Stripes edition published in London was Lt. Bob Moora,
a former Assistant City Editor of The Newark Sunday Call.
Operations expanded to the battlefront to bring the news to the
men there. At one time there were as many as 25 publishing locations
in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Hawaii. Circulations
reached as much as one million.
Stars and Stripes was always produced by wartime Army military
staff, and was free of propaganda, even though under military supervision.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was its sponsor.
NEWARK NEWS STAFFERS ON EUOPE S&S
The European edition of Stars and stripes had two staff writers
from the Newark Evening News: Whitney Ball and Paul Horowitz.
I had worked alongside Paul in pre World War II years on sports
assignments for the Ledger.
NEWARK NEWS STAFFER ON PACIFIC S&S
In addition to the representation on the European Edition of this
Army newspaper, there was a late war connection with the Stars and
Stripes China Edition – John O. Davies.
Davies had been a reporter with the Newark News for five years
when the war started. His entry into the war, as later reported
in the Harvard crimson, was reported thus: “When the war started,
I decided I wanted to get into the action as quickly as possible.
So, instead of waiting for the News to News to send me, I joined
the Marines and was sent to china as a combat correspondent.”
Although Davies remained in the United States Marine Corps, he
wound up becoming editor of the China Edition of Stars and Stripes
in Shanghai, which was published in 1945 and 1946 to provide news
and information to servicemen in the Pacific. 2
YANK – The Army Weekly 3
YANK – The Army Weekly was a weekly magazine
published by the U. S. Army during World War II.
It was written by enlisted-rank soldiers only and
made available to soldiers, sailors, and airmen serving overseas.
It was published in 21 editions 17 countries. It was the most-widely
read magazine in the history of the military with a worldwide circulation
of 2.6 million.
Each issue was edited in New York City and then shipped
for printing around the world where staff editors added local stories.
It was edited by Major Hartzell Spence. It was he
who appointed me a South Atlantic Field Correspondent early in 1943.
I was the only Newark newspaperman associated with YANK. I served
in that capacity to the end of my war service in 1945. YANK ceased
publications in that year.
I recall with pride that my name appeared on the editorial
masthead of each issue of YANK along with the names of such notable
staffers as Andy Rooney, William Saroyan, Marion Hargrove and Irwin
Shaw. Also with John Bushemi, the only YANK correspondent killed
in action in the war.
Army News Service
During World War II there were untold hundreds of
unit, squadron, and ship newspapers which provided general and wartime
news to the units they served. Army News Service was operated by
military staff and regularly provided packets of ready-to-use information,
jokes, comics, and the like, to unit publications that could regularly
be adapted to their local needs.
I myself used such material in the several base newspapers
I published or edited during my overseas service.
The BODIAN BUGLE & NEWS, which I published in
my spare time from various overseas bases and mailed to Newark friends
in service around the world, also included Army News Service fillers.
Newark Evening News reporter Frank Romain was on the
Army News Service staff during the war.
CENSORSHIP: CIVILIAN AND MILITARY
The wartime dispatches of Newark’s accredited
war correspondents were not subject to military censorship. However,
all had been requested to follow a voluntary censorship code and
to refrain from disclosing sensitive information.
No print journalist in World War II ever deliberately
violated that voluntary censorship code.
This voluntary censorship code for civilian newspaper
correspondents did not apply to military journalists, such as myself
– a YANK field correspondent. All of my dispatches to YANK
had to be cleared by the chief base censor.
On my first dispatch from Ascension Island, in the
spring of 1943 to YANK headquarters in New York City, I was informed
by the YANK editor that my report had been received, but that it
was too heavily censored to be understandable.
Ascension Island, at that time, was classified as
a “Secret” base and my dispatches from Ascension had
to be tagged “Somewhere in the South Atlantic.”
OFFBEAT NEWARK REPORTING
While in overseas service with the AAF during World
War II, I utilized some of my free time at three AAF bases by publishing
a “NEWARK NEWSPAPER” which I circulated to friends and
acquaintances in the armed forces as well as to servicemen on my
base from the Newark area.
The mimeograph paper recycled bits of wartime news
from Newark and comments submitted by its uniformed ‘subscribers’
on scattered war fronts around the world.
It was called “THE BODIAN BUGLE & NEWS.”
It was recognized as an Army newspaper and was a recipient of ‘filler’
news items from Army News Service.
During its initial year of publication it caught the
attention of the Commanding General of the South Atlantic Theatre
and was permitted to continue publication with his approval. It
had also been cited in YANK-The Army Weekly as “an outstanding
One of its guest-recipients was Newark wartime Mayor
Vincent J. Murphy. He once sent a ‘letter-to-the-editor’
inviting Bugle readers to visit him in Newark City Hall.
During the year that it was published on Ascension
Island it had a volunteer circulation manager, and a volunteer staff
cartoonist. The cartoonist was Jack Levine, an artist of world renown.
EARLIER STAR-LEDGER EDITOR IN WARTIME WASHINGTON
Chief of U. S. Treasury War Bond Drives
When I started at the Newark Ledger in the late 1930’s
Jake Mogelever was the City Editor. With the approach of World War
II Mogelever took up a post with the U. S. Treasury in Washington
as Chief of the various War Bond Drives. I had a single mail contact
with him during my war service.
How Successful Was Mogelever?
Months before Pearl Harbor the first Savings Bond
to help finance what became World War II was sold to President Franklin
Roosevelt by Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau.
On January 3, 1946 the last proceeds from the Victory
Bond campaign was deposited to the U. S. Treasury.
The loan drives had sold a total of 185.7 billion
of securities, and by the end of World War II, over 85 million Americans
had invested in War Bonds.
My War Bond Participation
I had been responsible for the bond sales during the
Sixth War Loan Drive while stationed on Ascension Island. I sold
more than $20,000 worth of bonds among the 150 men in my Air Force
For that same drive I’d written a V-Mail letter
from Ascension Island urging public support for the drive. The letter
had been enlarged into a poster that was displayed in the lobby
of the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood.
Newark War Reporting Before Pearl Harbor
A year and a half before the U. S. joined the Allies
in World War II, I interviewed then Mayor Meyer C. Ellenstein about
a serious British concern: the evacuation of British children to
America during the height of the German Luftwaffe blitz of London.
International News Service, for whom I served as a
‘stringer’ in Newark on a number of important assignments,
asked me, on behalf of the London Times, to interview the Mayor
of Newark abut his feelings on the evacuation of British children
from the blitzed areas to ‘namesake cities in America.’
1. Early in World War II I had gotten word of
the formation of a Marine Combat Correspondent Corps and had promptly
sent in a request for consideration as a member. I was subsequently
informed that the number of openings had been limited and that
the quota had already been filled.
2. John O. Davies worked at the Newark Evening
News for 25 years.
He was the only reporter from that paper to have covered three
wars: A U. S. Marine Combat Correspondent in World War II …
the Chinese Civil War in 1948-49 … and the Korean War in
1950 for the Newark Evening News.
Davies, in 1950-51, was the first journalist from New Jersey
ever to win a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University. This
prestigious award, given to mid-career journalists by the Nieman
Foundation at Harvard University, allows the winner time to reflect
on his career, and hone his journalistic skills.
3. All the issues of YANK--The Army Weekly,
1942 to 1945, were published in four massive bound volumes in
the early 1970s. I reviewed that "YANK" publication
for Social Science journal published at Rutgers University. In
return, I was able to retain the four bound volumes. They were
donated to the Cranford Public Library, where they are available
to the public.