Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

20 Aug 1945




Miles Returns From War Jaunt; Says Composite GI Greatest Personality He Met

By Paul R. Baumbarger
(Iowa Daily Press Writer)

Des Moines, Ia. (IDPA) -- Back in Iowa after a year of war reporting, Correspondent Frank Miles said today that "the composite GI was the greatest personalty I encountered." This observation was drawn from a tour of the fronts, which carried him into 26 countries and in which he flew 60,000 miles, virtually around the world.

"I wouldn't say that the American soldier is the greatest soldier in the world," Miles asserted, "but I do say that he has no peer as a fighter. I'll never have enough adjectives to describe his fortitude, ingenuity and bravery."

As an example of GI adaptability, the tanned Miles, Iowa Daily Press Association writer, whose overseas dispatches have been appearing in the The Daily Times Herald, recalled an American Patrol's experience with snipers while digging Japaneses from caves in the Pacific.

"A Japanese acts wholly under orders," he said. "If he is ordered to shoot from a tree, up he goes. A GI patrol entered a jungle and were fired upon by enemy snipers, hidden by foliage in trees. The enemy couldn't be seen from the ground. One of the patrol suggested the hunting might be better overhead. Up they went and soon bodies of monkeys, birds and Japanese came tumbling down from the trees." Miles added that the American soldiers "out-jungled" the Japanese.

He thinks that one of the major post-war jobs will be educating German youth "along different lines" but that this will not be an impossibility.

"German children will think twice now before going to war again because of the memories of what aerial bombings and artillery fire did to their homeland."

There are plenty of youth left in Germany, despite five million killed, wounded or captured in the war.

"In Nurenberg, a city of 420,000," Miles said "there are 48,000 inhabitants under three years of age. That same average of approximately 10 percent probably prevails through out Germany. It results from the amazingly high birth rate. Hitler was confident that the Germans would win the war and it was his idea to colonize. German women considered it an honor to bear children whether they were legitimate or not.

Miles was in Hawaii when the news broke of the new atomic bomb. He reported this reaction to the new weapon from a GI was typical:

"I hope it is half as good as they say it is. We will get to home sooner."

The correspondent observed that it worked out that way.

His timing as a war writer was almost perfect. He saw much of the fighting in Italy, reached France and Germany at the time of the big offensive and made a hasty tour of India, China and Pacific islands before the Japanese surrendered.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, August 20, 1945

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