Ranks and Columns: Armed Forces Newspapers in American Wars

By Alfred Emile Cornebise | Go to book overview
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8 World War II: The Later Years and Beyond

Whatever the faults of Stars and Stripes, its story is a saga of modem journalism. --General Board Report, United States Forces, European Theater of Operations.

With the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, several correspondents from London were on the scene: G. K. Hodenfield was pinned down on the cliffs at Omaha Beach. Bud Hutton covered the action from a B-26 bomber of the 9th Air Force. And inevitably their colleagues immediately began setting up editions of the paper on the shores of "Fortress Europe." The first issue was a mimeographed affair, 5,000 copies of which were published in the little Normandy village of Ste. Marie du Mont. Four days later the paper moved into newly captured Carentan, but German artillery destroyed its plant, and the staff promptly pushed on to Ste. Mère Eglise, almost immediately proceeding to Cherbourg. There, on July 4, a two-page paper with a press run of 100,000 appeared, printed on the presses of L'Eclair. As soon as the First Army broke out at St. Lô, and the Third Army was cut loose for its dash across France, the Cherbourg paper was moved to Rennes. There, taking over the presses of L'Quest Journal, on August 21, the paper turned out over 200,000 copies, soon reaching 332,000.

Among the first troops to enter liberated Paris on August 26, 1944, was a small Stars and Stripes staff. Shortly thereafter, the Paris daily edition, listed as Vol. 1, No. 54, appeared on September 5 from No. 21, Rue de Berri, the Paris Herald offices. The first run was of 20,000 copies. For a few weeks, the Rennes imprint continued, to better serve troops in the Brittany and Normandy peninsulas, though it was essentially a recast of the Paris paper. Although new

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