May 30, 1942 - Memorial Day in 1942. Desert Fighting in Libya. U.S. troops in Northern Ireland. Suspected IRA security leaks to Germany. Fighting around Port Moresby in Pacific. U.S. arms arrive in Russia. No holiday for Defense workers. Capitol Hill to consider drafting of married men.
May 30, 2012

A tank's point of view of the Libyan desert in 1942.

Ironically, today, May 30th was Memorial Day in 1942. Anything but a holiday where war was concerned.

Word from London was the arrival and settling in of U.S. troops in Northern Ireland; the first leg of the journey that would eventually lead to Invasion of Europe. Reports as of this day claimed the troops were well behaved and everyone in Belfast seemed to like them. Not so much with the IRA though. As it was also reported those elements of the organization, sympathetic to Germany, were routinely reporting troop arrivals to the German Embassy in Dublin, causing a security concern.

Meanwhile, RAF bombers were busy striking at munitions factories outside Paris, as well as raids on Cherbourg and Dieppe, in addition to air strikes at industrial centers in Germany. Fighting in the Libyan desert was escalating with news of British advances in the region.

Reports from Moscow told of the first shipments of U.S. tanks being put to work almost immediately on the Eastern Front.

From the Pacific. Reports out of Australia concerned recent air attacks on Japanese ships outside Port Moresby and talk about a drastic change in priorities of supply shipping.

And it was disclosed that recent British cargo shipments, dodging enemy submarine and air attacks, were carrying such "essentials" as costume jewelry, golf balls and party favors. The Americans didn't fare much better as it was revealed one shipment arrived in Australia carrying some 70 tons of nothing but bottled soft-drinks. The heavily censored report went on to say that one General, dismayed over the soft-drink fiasco, said it would have been much better had the 70 tons been of ammunition instead. Priorities were still skewed at this still-early stage of the War.

In Washington - since it was a holiday, there was little Capitol Hill news to report, aside from reports that it was no holiday for Defense Plant workers and that production was going at full-speed. It was also noted that Congress was anticipated to be getting closer to abandoning draft deferments for Married men and that they would be in the mix along with everyone else of draftable age shortly.

And that was the story on this Memorial Day (May 30) in 1942, as reported on the Blue Networks World News Roundup.

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