COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM
REPORT TO THE NATION
SATURDAY, DEC. 23, 1944
1:30 – 2:00 PM
1 ANNCR: CBS
WORLD NEWS presents….A REPORT TO THE NATION
2 MUSIC: THEME..IN…AND BEHIND
3 ANNCR: Today
and every day the greatest news story of all
4 time is taking place…To chronicle
5 history, CBS WORLD NEWS, its
reporters, its writers,
6 its editors, make tonight and every
week at this time…
7 A REPORT TO THE NATION….
8 MUSIC: UP
9 ANNCR: Here
is John Daly, reporter for CBS WORLD NEWS……
DOUGLAS SPOT REPORT
TO THE NATION
week, a thousand-odd lucky soldiers rolled in from over seas with the best
Christmas present the Army could put in a G.I. stocking - - a furlough home.
Report to the Nation tracked down one of these boys - - Staff Sergeant Robert
L. Douglas of Jamaica, Long Island, waist gunner in one of the Fifteenth Air
Force's Liberator Bombers. A fresh-faced kid with a bank of campaign ribbons
whose clusters have clusters, Bob's furlough story is this:
BOB: Well, a couple o' weeks ago, I was
standin' on a street corner in Manduria, southern Italy, tryin' to get a hitch
back to the base, Me and my buddy'd been to a show, and we were shootin' the
breeze about Christmas furloughs…
never make it. Not this Christmas.
BOB: You're tellin' me. I wrote home and
told my folks I wouldn't be there. Just the same, I sure would like to pull a
furlough. Trouble is, I lost track of how many missions I got to my credit.
heard they're cuttin' it down to 35 for us…..
BOB: Yean. And I heard I'm
getting' a promotion to General. Forget it.
(SOUND OF TRUCK APPROACHING) Let's give this six-by-six the
STARTS. ROARS UP AND BRIDGE TO
BOB: Well, we made the base by bed-check,
and I figured it was a smart deal to check in at operations to see if I was
flying the next day. There was a list on the board, but it didn't look like a
regular sortie assignment- - so I looked at it - - and brother, there was my
name on it! I'd just that night come up on rotation for a furlough. And I
couldn't believe it. It knocked me clear off my feet. Not so much goin' home as
knowing I wouldn't have to go over those places again - - Regensburg, Vienna,
Ploesti, Bologna, Budapest - - sweating out those missions!
BOB: A rugged deal. Well, I sweated out
the orders, sitting and waiting, sitting and waitin, but they came through
fast. An officer walked 'em through for me.
NARR: He what?
BOB: Walked 'em through. Instead of
sending them through channels - - you know the Army - he went from office to office himself, getting the endorsements.
Santy Claus with a brass hat. And in no time - - I was on my way over.
NARR: What'd you do on the ship?
BOB: Me, I read pocket books and sacked
it a lot. I'll give you the clue to that.
NARR: Hey - - what language are you
BOB: Air Force. Sacking it means
sleeping. And when we say "I'll give you the clue to that", it just means
"You're telling me, or, "that's how it was". Anyhow, we rolled into New York
harbor at night…and we jammed the rail….
AND HARBOR EFFECTS MUFFLED
BOB: It was kind of misty out. Then all
of a sudden, there was the little old lady. I first began to feel I was home
then, One guy said - -
She hasn't got a light.
BOB: I told him I'd make up for that and
light New York up myself. Then, when we docked, something funny happened. We
were lined up on the rail waiting to disembark, There was a gang of
longshoremen down there…shoutin' to us.
MIKE) Merry Christmas, you guys!
– AD LIB EFFECT) Glad to be back,
BOB: Boy, were we ever glad to be back.
One guy lit a cigarette and he said it tasted like it never tasted before - -
and then a longshoreman yelled - -
Look! Cigarettes! (LAUGH REACTION)
BOB: Well - - we'd picked up plenty from
the Red Cross and the ship's store - - and right then there was a snow storm of
packs goin' over the side. We were so glad to be back we were tossin' butts to
the longshoremen like confetti!!
AND BRIDGE TO
BOB: From then on, everything was swell.
The Red Cross was on the dock with doughnuts and milk - - MILK. That's what I
wanted. You don't get enough over seas…Then at Camp shanks, at midnight, I had
steak and French Fries. I wanted that bad, too…(SNEAK IN MUSIC TO BACK) I'll tell you the things I wanted and the
things I got since I hit home. A white Christmas…I kinda hope it snows..See a
good show…got to a dance…nothing fancy… just plain stuff you take for granted
over here … see a good hockey game…read
a couple of good sports pages…Candy rationed over here?
BOB: Good deal. Get a couple of bars of
candy…see a movie I wouldn't have to seat out in line… just see my gal, hear an
American girl say Hello. That's all - - just Hello, instead of bongierno.
Somebody that understands you. See some kids that aren't begging for
something…See a traffic light turn red. Hear a taxi driver say "Were to,
buddy?" And hear those Santy Clauses on the street corner ringing their little
BOB: Yeah - - that's part of Christmas
you dream about. And getting home and seein' my Dad…calling my mother in
Florida…talkin' to the parish priest…and gettin' a good hot shower instead of
something out of a gasoline can hung out of a tree.
NARR: That adds up to a good Christmas for
you, eh Bob?
BOB: There's no better present. Just
bein' home in the good old U.S.A. I'll give you the clue to that! Can I say one
BOB: Well, if I was bock in Italy, I'd be
giving the Italian family that does our laundry a Christmas. We were gonna get
a tree, and take some of the chaff we throw out to baffle enemy radar and make
tinsel ornaments out of it…I wrote home for some clothes, and we all saved up
the candy our of our C-rations. Those people don't have anything - - and they
don't expect anything. We were gonna
give 'em something. I tell you, being home is a swell deal - - but there's one
NARR: What's that, Bob?
BOB: For the guys still sweatin' it out
over on the other side, like my other waist gunner, prayin' his heart out on
every mission, the guys who didn't get home - - I'm pullin' for the time we're
goin' home to stay home. That last furlough. That's the one we're all sweatin'
out - - boy, and how!
1 ANNCR: That then is this week's REPORT TO
2 MUSIC: THEME..IN..AND
3 ANNCR: Every
week at this time CBS WORLD NEWS reviews for
4 you the vital events of the week.
The program is
5 narrated by John Daly, written by
Bill Slocum, Jr.,
6 and Margaret Miller. The music is
7 conducted by Victor Bay. The program
8 by Earl McGill.
9 The production…by Paul White.
10 MUSIC: TO
11 ANNCR: This
is CBS…the COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM
- fade them 20 seconds –