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On Dec. 7, Frank and Kay Tremaine provided the world the first news reports from Hawaii about the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tremaine, the UP bureau manager in Honolulu, and his wife Kay were asleep in their bungalow overlooking Honolulu harbor when they heard anti-aircraft fire and explosions at 7:55 a.m. They saw smoke from the harbor and Tremaine began phoning military contacts to find out what was going on. He got confirmation of the attack and then dictated a flash news cable to be sent to UP offices in San Francisco, New York and Manila. The flash, the highest priority for a wire service news dispatch, said: "Pearl Harbor under aerial attack." He contacted the international operator and placed a call to UP's San Francisco office, leaving his notes for his wife to dictate. He touched base with UP reporter Francis McCarthy, in Honolulu on his way to a new assignment in Manila, and McCarthy headed to Army headquarters at Fort Shafter. Tremaine headed for Pearl Harbor, making it as far as Hickam Field, where he came under fire from a Japanese plane. The international call came through and Mrs. Tremaine dictated to Jim Sullivan in the San Francisco bureau, pausing when a shell from a U.S. antiaircraft gun exploded just outside the bungalow. Tremaine meanwhile found a phone and dictated to Bill Tyree, who had come into the Honolulu bureau, until the Navy cut off civilian communications.


Ralph Heinzen: Paris Bureau Manager - 1933 (UPI file)

On Aug. 26, the United Press Paris Bureau reopened at No. 2 Rue Des Italiens. UP's director for France, Ralph E. Heinzen, had closed the bureau in June 1940 ahead of the onrushing Germans. He entrusted the key to UP employee Emilio Herrero, who succeeded in hiding the bureau's typewriters in his home, but could not save the desks from being hauled off by the Germans. On this day, UP correspondents Henry T. Gorrell and Richard D. McMillan pulled up to the old bureau in a jeep, accompanied by Scripps Newspaper columnist Ernie Pyle. McMillan had worked in the Paris bureau for many years before the war, and Gorrell had been imprisoned with Herrero for a time in Madrid during the Spanish revolution. Immediately the jeep was surrounded by a crowd that assured them they were the first American military vehicle to arrive in that section of Paris. The caretaker's wife rushed out and greeted McMillan, "Ah, you have returned at last! Vive l'Amerique." The crowd took up the cry and pinned the correspondents against the building, smearing their faces with kisses. Herrero arrived and asked, "United Press?" When he spotted his old colleague McMillan, he wept unashamedly.


Walter Cronkite (Courtesy of Bob Lowry)

As UP correspondent Walter Cronkite came back from the front while with the Third Army south of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, Cronkite's helmet bounced off and rolled into a field. As he recounted in his book, "A Reporter's Life," his jeep driver stopped, but they both saw signs posted in three languages saying "Danger. Mines." So they drove on, without the helmet. Cronkite noted that one of Gen. George Patton's inviolable rules was that soldiers must wear helmets at all times. At that moment, Patton's three-jeep entourage passed them, with flashing red light and siren, and then stopped. A colonel got out of Patton's jeep and came back to Cronkite, asking for name, rank, serial number, and where was the helmet. Cronkite took the questions in reverse order, noting the helmet bounced into the minefield, and that he was not a soldier, but a war correspondent. The colonel returned to Patton's side. "We watched him gesticulate, pointing to the field and then raising his arms in the universal sign for 'what can I do?' hopelessness. Whereupon Patton uttered a single word that might have been an expletive well known among the troops. The colonel climbed in and they drove on."


Marcel Conversy, United Press correspondent from the French Alps, was imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp for 15 months before being liberated in 1945. From notes he had-- furtively penciled under the eyes of Nazi guards, he wrote this dispatch in Paris on May 4, 1945: "I have returned to the world of free and decent men from the living hell of Buchenwald. For 15 months, life for me was gnawing hunger, torture, slow death. Thousands died around me, because they refused to bow either the knee or the spirit to Hitler's Reich. Why didn't I die? Because I was determined to live. And because I learned always to say "yes" while saying "no" in my heart. But I never expected to live in the world of free men again."


UP Vice President Miles W. Vaughn and Sekizo Ueda, president of Nippon Dempo Tsushinsha, the Dentsu advertising agency, drowned in a squall while duck hunting in Tokyo Bay. Dentsu is an offshoot of the pre-war Domei news agency, from which Kyodo News and Jiji Press were created after World War II. The two men worked together to restore independent news coverage in Japan after the war. A plaque in Ueno Park in Tokyo commemorates their friendship, and says the two "perished together after having accomplished their historic mission in establishing an independent network for the free flow of world news amid global tides of bias." The Vaughn-Ueda Award, which is presented each year to Japan's journalists who best contribute to international understanding, is named in their honor.