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Volume 1757
WWII Articles

by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Collated by Bill Hillman


April 24, 1943
December 22, 1944
April 15, 1945
July 12, 1945
August 27, 1949
September 1949
Honolulu Advertiser ~ April 24, 1943
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

The sneaking, cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor aroused the just anger of America and sealed the doom of Japan. Now, in the murder of some of Doolittle's fliers, they have committed a crime even more inexcusable an despicable, there can be any differentiation between the two acts.

That the Japanese are a race of sub-human barbarians does not minimize their guilt nor lessen our determination to avenge those men, but I question the wisdom of retaliatory action. The killing of Japanese prisoners in our hands would not bring back our murdered fliers, nor would it deter Japan from murdering other Americans now in their hands. But it would degrade us to the level of the Japanese.

Rep. Hamilton Fish of New York is reported to have said: "I call for a prompt reprisal against Japanese prisoners." This is one of the strongest arguments against such reprisal, as Rep. Hamilton Fish of New York is always 100 per cent wrong.

The closing sentence in our Government's note to Japan on the subject accurately reflects the sentiments of the American people as a whole: ". . . the American Government will visit upon officers of the Japanese government responsible for such uncivilized and inhuman acts the punishment they deserve."

That lies in the future. Immediate vengeance is in the hands of General Henry H. Arnold and the U.S. Army Air Force which he commands. General Arnold says to his men: "Let your answer to the Japanese treatment of your comrades be the destruction of the Japanese air force, their lines of communication  and their production centers which offer them opportunity to continue such atrocities." This makes sense. It is the only sort of answer the Japanese could understand. It is far wiser that the counsel to murder Japanese prisoners whom the Japanese government has already written off as dead.

Rep. John E. Rankin of Mississippi voices a thought that must be in the minds of many of us here in Hawaii and on the West Coast: "This should be a warning to the nation not to trust any Jap anywhere on earth."

The purpose of these murders and the public announcement of them was obviously intended to intimidate us and deter us from further bombings of industrial Japan. Another example of Japanese stupidity. They have only advanced the day of the next bombing, insured many more days and nights of bombing for jittery Japan, and multiplied the number of bombers that will rain death and destruction upon them.

In the first raid on Tokyo we purposely refrained from bombing the palace of the syphilitic, near imbecile god whom they worship. The Japanese mind could attribute this humanitarian decency only to fear. The next raid should disabuse their minds of this false concept.


Brinerd Daily Dispatch ~ December 22, 1944
The Vidette-Messenger ~ March 6, 1945
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

AN ISLAND BASE IN THE PACIFIC, Feb. 3 -- U.P. -- This isn't a story of "bombs bursting in air," or of high heroism. It is a report to the fathers and mothers, the brothers and sisters, the sweetheart and wives whose men are casualties in Army and Navy hospitals. If a casualty lives long enough to get into the hands of the Medical Corps his chances of survival are pretty close to 100%.

I write that after spending a day in a Navy hospital here. Perhaps you would like to have your man back where the family doctor in whom you have so much confidence, and who may have brought him into the world, could look after him with that fine humanity and sympathy which has made the family doctor beloved. Don't worry. He is getting these things and more.

Walking through ward after ward all day until my feet were worn off ot the ankles, I saw that same fine humanity and sympathy evidenced by the nurses and the corpsmen. They are wonderful. The nurses, trained and efficient, also bring that spiritual lift that only a fine American girl can bring to American boys whose recent feminine contacts have been with bare feet or shuffling sandals or tabi.

Your men are getting not only expert and sympathetic nursing, but the best surgical and medical service that any nation can provide. I was shown one boy who had been suffering the agony of sciatica. The nurse proudly exhibited him as the first patient to have a certain operation performed on him He was her prize exhibit. I am sorry that I cannot give you a very intelligent description of the operation, but here is the gist of it: Between the two vertebrae that were pinching the sciatic nerve, the surgeon inserted a gadget consisting of a couple of silver plates and ball bearings. The pain was instantly relieved, never to return. Unless his parents are wealthy, the chances are that in civilian life he would never have had this operation.

Then there was the man with a gangrenous leg. He had asked to meet me, and I found him in a private cubicle with a corpsman in attendance. Ordinarily, he would have certainly lost his leg and probably his toes as well. The corpsman was so proud of what they had accomplished that he almost burst. He wanted me to wait half an hour until they removed the ice pack so that I could see the leg.

If you have men in the Army or Navy hospitals, thank God that they are not at home, for they could not get better surgical and medical service there or anywhere else in the world. And don't worry about them. The nurses, the corpsmen, the Red Cross girls, the Gray Ladies look after their every comfort -- and the physicians and surgeons are such that you could not possibly afford unless you are very rich.

Mrs. John Thomas Jenkins, a Gray Lady who looks very cute in her uniform, made it possible for me to visit the hospital. I was supposed to lift the boys' morale and give them some laughs, but the idea boomeranged. The boys did all that to me. They were a cheerful wonderful bunch.

Miss Christine Herman of Washington, D.C., a Red Cross girl, took me by the and and led me around. She being exceedingly pulchritudinous, I was not hard to lead. And then there was another beauteous Red Cross girl -- Josephine Jack of Beatrice, Neb., whose father is a close friend of the last of my school day friends, Bert Weston, who, like me is older than God. It's a small world.

Shall we reward the alien parents of American boys
who died defending us, with a deportation order?
Hawaii Magazine ~ April 15, 1945, p.14
By Edgar Rice Burroghs
Noted American Author

THERE APPEARED in a recent edition of The Honolulu Advertiser a short article by Jazz Belknap, copies of which should be sent to every post of the American Legion. The article resulted from Mr. Belknap's just indignation at the action of the Nevada department in presenting to the National Convention of the American Legion in Chicago a resolution that the organization demand national legislation to deport all alien Japanese from the United States at the close of the war.

Mr. Belknap and I see eye to eye in this matter, and we both see red that any American should suggest that the parents of men who volunteered to fight in our armed forces would be deported, that the parents of men who have fought and are now fighting should be deported, that the parents of men who have been wounded should be deported and that even the parents of men who have been killed in action should be deported. The idea is monstrous.

Nr are we non-combatants alone in deploring such un-American sentiments. In August I wrote to a friend of mine who was fighting on Saipan, telling him of an interesting meeting I had had with a number of Japanese-Amercians in the home of one of them and of how very fine and American I had found them. Apropos of this, he wrote in replying to my letter: 'The people in California are making first rate damn fools of themselves, and are putting on a witch hunt that makes those of us who are out here fighting with the sons of Nippon more than a little ashamed of the crowd on the home front.'

This man is a Californian and a Marine captain who has fought the Japs both on Tarawa and Saipan. He is back here now, a casualty. I showed him Mr. Belknap's article, and he was just as outraged by the Nevadans' suggestion as Mr. Belknap and I.

If we are going to start deporting people who are un-American, it is my suggestion that we begin with the Nevada department of the American Legion.

I really have a much finer suggestion to offer -- that we demand national legislation that will automatically confer citizenship on the alien parents of any man who served honorably in the armed forces of the United States, provided they qualify in other respects.

That would be very little to do for any of them, especially those who have given their sons that our country might continue to exist as a free nation.

MR. BELKNAP'S article, below, is reprinted by permission from the Honolulu Advertiser. -- ED.

THE NEVADA department is presenting to the National Convention of the American Legion in Chicago a resolution  that the organization demand national legislation to deport all alien Japanese from the United States at the close of the war. It would be interesting to hear the patriotic gentlemen from Nevada attempting to explain to the Big Island alien Japanese mother of two American born sons who lie dead in Italy just why she was being deported from the land that her sons died defending.

Again it would be quite a sight to see the expression on the faces of these stalwarts of the sovereign state of Nevada, if they personally were seeing to the deportation of aliens, and they came face-to-face with a Japanese alien mother with the D.S.C. pinned over her heart, awarded to her son posthumously by that great citadel of tolerance, the United States of America.

And where in the name of Heaven would these Nevada defenders of the faith deport these alien Japanese? Where would they send the aged Japanese alien father from Wahiawa who also lost a son in Italy, and who in stirring public denunciation of Japan, warned that there would be no safety in the world until Japan was crushed? Would they deport him to Japan to suffer the revenge of a hate-ravaged and defeat-soured populace? Where would they send the alien fathers and mothers of Americans who have fought from Burma to Africa, with representatives in the graves of every theater of war?

Veterans returning from war are wont to ask themselves 'What Price Glory?' But it is quite likely that American veterans of this war on their return from the battlefields of the world and faced with the threat of deportation of their parents may well ask those super-patriots of Nevada, veterans of the last war, 'What Price Intolerance?' ~ Jazz Belknap


Honolulu Advertiser ~ July 12, 1945
(Editors: This is one of a series dealing with an oil tanker
which supplies fleet units at sea with all-essential fuel.)
By Edgar Rice Burroughs

AT SEA June 16 (Delayed) - (UP) - A great deal has been written of our fighting ships, but very little of their less glamorous sisters.

My ship, the USS Cahaba, is a fleet oiler. She is a very important adjunct of the Navy. Without the oilers, the fighting ships would not fight, the combat planes could not fly. We carry their fuel to them into forward areas, and we are expendable. Probably the only reason we do not go into battle with them is because of our slower speed.

We are adequately armed. We would have been some ship in 1778. Alone, we could have disposed of the entire combined fleets of France and Spain, the only drawback o that being that it was not they but England that we were fighting.

We are a city, complete with all public utilities, with the possible exception of trolley buses and a subway. We have a laundry, a bakery, a butcher shop, a pharmacy, four restaurants, a movie theater, a grocery, a post office, two stores, a soda fountain. We have electricians, carpenters, painters, mechanics, structural steel workers.

And we shall not starve. We carry provisions for four months, and we can get more. Our crew eats well. Our captain says that they eat better than he. Here is a menu for one day: breakfast; chilled half grapefruit, cereal and milk, fried eggs, fried pork, link sausage, hash browned potatoes, bread, butter, coffee.

Dinner: green pea soup, soda crackers, roast tom turkey, sage dressing, mashed potatoes, buttered peas, giblet gravy, chocolate, tard, sliced sweet pickles, ripe and green olives, fresh apples, bread, jam, lemonade. They get all they can eat and deserve all they get. I have seen them work.

While I as writing this, general quarters sounded and I went up to the bridge, leaving my tin hat in my quarters -- as usual. It was only drill and gunnery practice. We fired at star shells. A star shell is only a pinpoint in the sky, but we shot them all down.

I have compared the ship to a city. Like a city, it has various houses. The rooms in the houses have no floors, no walls, no ceilings, ant though there are many levels in the ship there are neither stairs  nor passenger elevators. Instead, we have decks, bulkheads, overheads, and ladders.

Being with the Army part of the time and with the Navy part of the time and a civilian all the time is often quite confusing terminologically. One hesitates while determining whether to ask the location of the latrine, the head, or the john. And by that time it may be too late.

Crew of the USS Cahaba

The Evening Observer ~ August 27, 1949
by Patricia Clary

Hollywood (UP) --  Edgar Rice Burroughs said today that nothing ever can kill Tarzan.

Burroughs is 76 and a shut-in crippled by heart attacks. But he said the jungle lord he created 35 years ago to feed his family will live forever.

Like millions of small boys, the invalid father of Tarzan gets his greatest pleasure in the life from seeing the ape-man still swinging through the jungle.

"I enjoy the movies," he said. "They've done very well by Tarzan. But I wish they'd make some about my books, though."

Producers tossed Burroughs' own stories of Tarzan in the discard after the first few movies. Now he just contributes the name ot someone else's stories and collects in return $175,000 per picture plus a percentage of the profits. He also collects on the Tarzan books, comic strip, T-shirts and toys.

"I'm mostly interested in the box office," he said.

Burroughs seldom leaves his Tarzana, Cal., home now. He made his first trip to Hollywood in many years on Tarzan's 35th birthday when he visited the Sol Lesser studio and watched them make the latest movie, "Tarzan and the Slave Girl."

He was "very excited" about the visit, his daughter said. He got up at 7:30 a.m. to get ready. "I don't like the movie business," he said. "Too tedious.

"But the screen writers got a lot of ideas I wish I'd thought of," he chuckled, watching the starlets in Chiffon Harem pants. "I think I'll move my wheelchair down to the set."

Long after he's gone, Burroughs figures, his 40 books still will be selling around the world and movie writers will be battling out Tarzan adventures.

"A new group of fans comes of age every year," he said. "The kind of adventures Tarzan has are timeless."

The Tarzan of the movies talks mostly in grunts which is supposed to be good box office. But the jungle-lord Burroughs wrote about was an English aristocrat who addressed the monkeys in Oxford accents.

"He told me I came nearest to his idea of Tarzan," the current ape-man, Lex Barker, said. Barker is an aristocrat from Princeton.

The Open Road ~ September 1949
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
Cowboy, professor, cop, soldier, writer,
Mr. Burroughs was still struggling at 35
Similar to How I Wrote the Tarzan Books - 1929
I have often been asked how I came to write. The best answer is that I needed the money.

I had worked steadily for six years without a vacation and for fully half of my working hours at that time I had suffered tortures from headaches. Economize as we would, the expenses of our little family were far beyond my income. Three cents' worth of ginger snaps constituted my daily lunches for months.

I was thirty-five and I had failed in every enterprise I had ever attempted.

I was born in Chicago and attended the old Brown School on the West Side, partially through the sixth grade, at which time there was a diphtheria epidemic in the city and much to my horror my parents took me out of public school and put me in a girls' school, which happened to be the only private school available on the West Side.

I next went to the old Harvard School, Chicago, but there was an epidemic of what was then known as la grippe and my parents shipped me to a cattle ranch in Idaho. Unquestionably my destiny is closely woven wit pestilences, which may or may not account for my having become a writer. In Idaho, I rode for my brothers, who were only recently out of college and had entered the cattle business as the best way of utilizing their Yale degrees. I did chores, grubbed sage brush and drove a team of bronchos to a sulky plough. As I proved no good as a chore boy they appointed me mail carrier. I carried the mail to the railroad at American Falls, sometimes on horseback, or if there ws freight to bring back, I took a team and wagon. When I went on horseback, I made the round trip of sixty miles in one day. The West was still a little bit wild and I met murderers, thieves and bad men. I suppose they must have constituted another epidemic, because I was transported away from them to Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. I was elected president of my class, but I guess I did not make much of a hit with "Banty" who was then running Andover. He removed me at the beginning of the second semester.

When I got home, my father, Major George Tyler Burroughs, who had served in the Civil War, took me to Orchard Lake, where the old Michigan Military Academy was located, and there I spent the next five years. The commandant was Captain Charles King, author of the best army stories that every were written; a man who has been an inspiration to me all my life because of his outstanding qualities as a soldier, a cavalry man and a friend. But the inspiration he gave me had nothing to do with writing. He made me want to be a good soldier.

Trick Riding

I was a member of the cavalry troop all the time I was there and received instruction from a member of army officers that proved extremely helpful to me, especially after I had enlisted in the regular army. We did a great deal of trick riding in those days: bareback, Cossack, Greaeco-Roman and all the rest of it. It was known as "monkey drill."

During the senior years I received an appointment to West Point where I went for examination with a hundred and eighteen other candidates. Only fourteen of them passed, I being among the hundred and four.

Upon my inglorious return, I got a summer job as a collector for an ice company, but in the fall I returned to Orchard Lake, having been appointed assistant commandant, cavalry and gatling gun instructor, tactical officer and professor geology. The fact that I had never studied geology seemed to make no difference. They needed a professor and I was it.

After having had the pick of the whole corps of cadets as my companions for four years, being an assistant commandant was a lonesome job. I have always been impatient of restrictions and now I had less freedom than I had as a cadet. I still yearned for the regular army and I determined to enlist and try for commission from the ranks. I landed in the Seventh Cavalry at Fort Grant, Arizona.

There was always a lot of excitement at Fort Grant. The Apaches were colralled at a post not far distant and there were constant rumors of an uprising similar to those led by old Geronimo. The Apache Kid and his band of renegades were giving trouble in the south and Black Jack, the famous bandit, was raiding towns in our vicinity.

A weak heart developed and I was twice recommended for discharge. As it seemed wholly unlikely that  I should pass a physical examination for a commission, my father obtained my discharge from t he army through Secretary of War Alger.

My brother Harry backed me in seeing up a store at Pocatello, Idaho. It was a stationery store with a large newsstand route and I delivered the papers myself on horseback. My store was not a howling financial success and I certainly was glad when the men from whom I had purchased it returned to Pocatello and wanted it back. Providence never intended me for a retail merchant.

Shortly after this I returned to Chicago and went to work for my father, who was manufacturing storage batteries that were used principally for train lighting and signaling. I started at the bench to learn the business form the ground up.

In January, 1900, I married Emma Centennia Hulbert, the daughter of Colonel Alvin Hulbert, a well-known hotel man of that time. He had been the proprietor of the old Tremont House in the Chicago and was then proprietor of the Sherman and the Great Northern n Chicago and the Lindley Hotel in St. Louis.

When I was married I was getting fifteen dollars a week and immediately thereafter I received a raise to twenty. Owing to the fact that we could eat as often as we pleased at my wife's mother's home or at my mother's, we got along very nicely.

Flat Broke

In 1903, my oldest brother George gave me a position on a gold dredge he was operating in the Stanley Basin county in Idaho, and Mrs. Burroughs and I went West. We pitched a tent on the hill while we were building our house, the construction of which was original and not too successful. Timber was plentiful and I felled what I needed at no great distance from our cabin site.

Our next stop was in Oregon, where my brother Harry was managing a gold dredge on the Snake River. We arrived on a freight wagon, with a collie dog and forty dollars. Forty dollars did not seem much to get anywhere with, so I decided to enter  stud game at a local saloon and run my capital up to several hundred dollars during the night. When I returned at midnight ot the room we had rented, we still ahd the collie dog; otherwise we were broke.

I worked in Oregon until the company failed and then my brother got me a job as a railroad policeman in Salt Lake City. For the next several months, I was kept busy rushing bums out of the railroad yards  and off passenger trains.

We were certainly povery-striken there at Salt Lake, but pride kept us from asking for help. Neither of us knew much about anything that was practical, but we had to do everything ourselves, including the family wash. Not wishing to see Mrs. Burroughs do work of this sort I volunteered to do it my self. during those months, I half-soled my own shoes and did numerous other things that school had not prepared me for.

Then a brilliant idea overtook us. We had our household furniture with us and we held and auction which was a howling success. People paid real money for the junk and we went back to Chicago first class.

The next few months encompassed a series of horrible jobs. I sold electric light bulbs to janitors, candy to drug stores and Stoddards's Lectures from door to door. I had decided I was a total failure when I saw an advertisement which indicated that somebody wanted an expert accountant. Not knowing anything about it, I applied for the job and got it.

I am convinced that what are commonly known as the breaks, good or bad, have fully as much to do with one's success or failure as ability. The break I got in this instance lay in the fact that my employer knew even less about the duties of an expert accountant than I did. I was with him a couple of years and when I left it was of my own accord.

I had determined there was a great future in the mail-order business and I landed a job that brought me to the head of a large department. About this time my daughter Joan was born.

Having a good job and every prospect  for advancement, I decided to go into business for myself, with harrowing results. I had no capital when I started and less when I got through. At this time the mail-order company offered me an excellent position if I wanted to come back. If I had accepted it I would probably have been fixed for life, with a good living salary, yet the chances are that I would never have written a story, which proves that occasionally it is better to do the wrong thing than the right.

Writer's Cramp

When my independent business sank without trace, I approached as near financial nadir as one may reach. My son, Hulbert, had just been born. I had no job and no money. I had to pawn Mrs. Burroughs's jewelry and my watch in order to buy food. I loathed poverty and I would have liked to put my hands on the party who said that poverty is an honorable estate. It is an indication of inefficiency and nothing more. There is nothing honorable or fine about it.

To be poor is quite bad enough. But to be poor and without hope -- well, the only way to understand it is to be it.

I got writer's cramp answering blind ads and wore out my shoes chasing after others. At last I got placed as an agent for a lead pencil sharpener. I borrowed office space , and, while sub-agents were out, trying unsuccessfully to sell the sharpener. I started to write my first story.

I knew nothing about the technique of story writing and now after 35 years of writing I still know nothing about the technique of story writing, although, with the publication of my new novel, "Tarzan and the Lost Empire," there are some forty books on my list. I had never met an editor or an author, outside of Captain King, or a publisher. I had no idea of how to submit a story or what I could expect in payment. Had I known anything about it at all I would never have thought of submitting half a novel.

Thomas N. Metcalf, who was then editor of the All-Story Magazine, published by Munsey, wrote me that he liked the first half of the story and if the second was as good he thought he might use it. Had he not given me this encouragement, I would never have finished the story and my writing career would have been at an end, since I was not writing because of any urge to write nor for any particular love of writing. I was writing because I had a wife and two babies, a combination which does not well without money.

I finished the second half of the story and got $400 for the manuscript, which at that time included all serial rights. The check was the first big event in my life. No amount of money today could possibly give me the thrill that that first $400 check gave me.

My first story was entitled "Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars." Metcalf changed it to "Under the Moons of Mars." It was later published in book form as "The Princess of Mars."

Success at Last

With the success of my first story, I decided to make writing a career, but I was canny enough not to give up my job. But the job did not pay expenses and we had a recurrence of great poverty, sustained only by the thread of hope that I might make a living writing fiction. I cast about for a better job and landed as a department manager for a business magazine. While I was working there, I wrote "Tarzan of the Apes" evenings and holidays. I wrote it in longhand on the backs of old letterheads and odd pieces of paper. I did not think it was a very good story and I doubted if it would sell. But Bob Davis saw its possibilities for magazine publication and I got a check; this time, I think, for $700.

I then wrote "The God of Mars," which I sold immediately to the Munsey Company for All-Story. "The Return of Tarzan," which I wrote in December, 1912, and January, 1913, was rejected by Metcalf and purchased by Street and Smith for $1,000, in February, 1913.

That same month, John Coleman, our third child, was born, and I now decided to give up my job and to devote myself to writing.

Everyone, including myself, though I was an idiot. But my stories were now selling as fast as I could write them and I could write pretty rapidly, so I bought a second-hand automobile and became a plutocrat. The Chicago winters were too cold. We went to California and wintered in Coronado and San Diego.

We were a long way from home. My income depended solely upon the sale of magazine rights. I had not had a book published at that time and therefore no book royalties were coming in. Had I failed to sell a single story during those months, we would have been broke again, but I sold them all.

I had been trying to find a publisher who would put some of my stuff into book form, but I met with no encouragement. Every well-known publisher in the United States turned down "Tarzan of the Apes," including A. C. McClurg and Company, who finally issued it, my first story in book form.

Its popularity and its final appearance as a book were due to the vision of J.H. Tennant, managing editor of the New York Evening World. He saw its possibilities as a newspaper serial and ran it in the Evening World, with the result that other papers followed suit. This made the story widely known and resulted in a demand from readers for the story in book form, which was so insistent that A. C. McClurg and Company finally cae to me after they rejected it and asked to be allowed to publish it.

With my career safely insured -- motion pictures, books, newspaper comic strips and other royalties coming in regularly, and in comfortable figures -- we move to California and "founded" Tarzana, where I now work.

I think there is a moral lesson in this story. It might even be a paradox : we win when we are defeated.

Edgar Rice Burroughs
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