War correspondent Tom Treanor (1914 — 1944) of The Los Angeles Times was billed by writer Damon Runyon as "one of the four best reporters developed in this war.":
"Landing in Cairo just about the time Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was approaching Alexandria, Treanor went to the British to obtain an accreditation certificate as a war correspondent. But since the British didn't know him they wouldn't accredit him. Undaunted he went out and bought a set of correspondent's insignia for 70 cents, borrowed an army truck, and made a trip to the front and back before the British realized he was gone. They stripped him of his illegal insignia, but in the meantime Tom had obtained material for several 'hot' columns." Treanor was killed in France shortly after this column went to press.
"McMillan, who was [in 1914] the first accredited correspondent with the BEF in France, was sent by the United Press from London to Gibraltar in November, 1940, on what he thought would be a routine assignment. He expected to be back in England in two days. Instead, he stayed in the Mediterranean two years."
"Leo Disher was among the war correspondents who sailed for Africa with the American invasion fleet late in October of 1942... Army authorities were so impressed with his conduct under fire that they presented him with a Purple Heart [he was the first W.W. II reporter to earn this distinction]. More important was the fact that the story he dictated from his hospital cot after the shooting was over was displayed on the front pages of most of the UP papers."
Wishing not to give away the ending to this ironic story, we will not post the stereotypical summation that is so unique to this site; we can only say that this single page anecdote, the result of European military pageantry and tradition, could only have been generated in the age of mass-media.
Like most capital cities, Washington, D.C. had numerous social clubs set aside for members of the press throughout the decades. A great number of the ones in Washington flopped because they would extend credit to their members when they drank at the bar. The one exception was the National Press Club - they insisted that their reporters and columnists pay-as-they-go. It was this well-observed rule that saved the club from bankruptcy and allowed it to flourish well into the Twenty-first Century. This article recalls what a busy place the NPC was during the war years.
Drunk Before Noon: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of the Washington Press Corps
No other cartoonist during the Second World War ever portrayed the American GI so knowingly and with more sympathy than the STARS and STRIPES cartoonist Sgt. Bill Mauldin (1921 – 2003), who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons in 1945.
Mauldin wrote the attached essay at the end of the war and gave the Yank Magazine readers an earful regarding his understanding of the front, the rear and all the the blessed officers in between
Click here to read a wartime interview with another popular 1940s American cartoonist: Milton Caniff.