• October 22, 2014

Italy surrenders, reports 1943 Killeen newspaper

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Posted: Monday, September 27, 2004 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:13 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Andrew Keese

Killeen Daily Herald

Italy surrendering during World War II was the highlight of the Sept. 10, 1943, edition of the Killeen Herald, which was heavy with war news.

In a wire report dated Sept. 8, 1943, from allied headquarters in North Afri-ca, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the unconditional surrender of Italy.

The surrender was signed in Sicily the same day the Allies invaded Italy, which was nearly a week before the wire report. There was a delay in the announcement, military officials said, because they didnt want to tip off the German soldiers still in Italy.

As allied commander in chief, I have granted a military armistice, the terms of which have been approved by the government of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Union of the Soviet Socialistic Republics, Eisen-hower said. Thus, I am acting in the interests of the United Nations.

The conditions of the armistice required the Italian government to abide by any political, economic and financial sanctions, which would be imposed later.

Hostilities between the armed forces of the United Nations and those of Italy terminate at once, Eisenhower said. All Italians who now act to help eject the German aggressors from Italian soil will have the assistance and support of the United Nations.

The Nazi radio response to Italys surrender was a cry of betrayal.

The criminal plot against the defenders of Europe will fail ultimately, just as all similar actions, the German government announced from Berlin.

In a front-page editorial, the Killeen Herald gleefully relished Italys surrender and Mousolinis defeat.

In the editorials headline, the Herald said, Hitler, Tojo! Weve got Mussolini, here we come after you.

In another front page story, Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward, who was commanding Camp Hoods tank destroyer unit, was honored with a Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism for action in Tunisia.

Ward was cited for drawing fire upon himself to enable his infantry troops to advance on an enemy position at Marknassey in Tunisia during an attack by elements of the 1st Armored Division.

Killeen residents also heard from one of their own, Charles French, who had a letter from him published on the front page. French was serving in the military in England was son of Gus French of Killeen.

Dear Dad and all:

I just received your letter of the 15th. I was sure proud to receive it. I hope you are all well. I am. Oh, I am still in England, much to my displeasure. Just think, I have been over here about five months and not so much as seen a German. You know how long it took me to drive to Belton, well, in just about that same amount of time, I could be right in the middle of them. Oh, how I do wish the time would hurry up and come.

I sure do thank you for the clippings. I can guarantee you I would be just as proud to see old Killeen as much as he did. So, Freddie is in the Navy. I often wonder where he was.

Say, Dad, could you subscribe to the Killeen Herald for me and have it sent to me?

You asked if I ever went to church. We train seven days a week over here, but they allow us to go to church every Sunday. Please send me Johns picture if you can. Please write every chance you have.

Lots of love, Charles.

P.S. You can have this printed if you want to.

Contact Andrew Keese at akeese@kdhnews.com

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