National Geographic : 1944 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Army Air Forces, Official The President Tells a Good One to the President! The jokester is either President Roosevelt, from the biggest North American Republic, or President Getulio Vargas, of the biggest South American Republic (in civilian whites behind him). The two heads of State inspect Army, Navy, and air forces of the two Republics upon President Roosevelt's return from the Casablanca Conference. Seated beside President Vargas is Vice Admiral Jonas H. Ingram, Commander South Atlantic Force. Standing at right is Brig. Gen. (now Maj. Gen.) Robert LeG. Walsh, Commanding General of the South Atlantic Wing of the Air Transport Command. Brazil produces adequate sugar and salt. But, like oil for the eastern United States, the supply is a problem of transportation. Sun-bronzed fishermen still sit on the har bor sea wall wetting their lines, but their catch is small. Ships come in clusters now and vanish at night for rendezvous at sea. There's another wartime difference in Rio people can't wander at will with a camera. I know! Later, through the kind cooperation of the Ministry of War, however, I was allowed to make pictures of the city, to see the busy shell factories, and also to visit the coastal batteries that guard the harbor. Training Aviation Cadets Out from Rio, I was taken also through the aviation cadets' school, Brazil's aerial West Point. I watched these future officers in classroom workshops, in Link trainers, flying American-built training planes, and at play. They're good, those youths; otherwise they don't stay. Tough assignment for many graduates has been flying these small trainer planes all the way from the factories in the United States to Brazil (page 58). Out in the bush and open country I spent two blistering days in the sun, hiking and riding a bucking jeep with units of infantry, artillery, and a motor-mechanized outfit on war maneuvers to see how Brazil's armies are being trained and toughened. Armed forces and civilians from the United States are working with the Brazilians. Hemisphere cooperation is really functioning. Our Government is giving much valuable tech nical and material assistance to Brazil's eco nomic expansion. In mines, in health and sanitation projects, in the vital battle for rubber in the Amazon, and in other work I saw numerous American engineers, doctors, and technical men helping fight the war of production. Many have no easy task. Out in the interior of Minas Gerais I met miners slogging over trails on muleback to investigate new crystal and mica mines. I watched others supervis ing bucking bulldozers taken deep into the bush to strip the overburdens from veins of minerals which have top priority ratings.