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Friday, May 5, 2017


I first heard about RED MENACE cards from the above item on page 25 of the April 2, 1951 issue of QUICK News Weekly, and was fascinated. I was born in 1949 and grew up during the Cold War, fully aware of the threat of Communism. Despite the efforts of the House Un-American Actlivities Committee, there are now many communists in our own U.S. government; and people no longer realize the danger. Unfortunately there is no longer a Children's Crusade Against Communism. So I'd like to share this interesting work by the Bowman Bubble-Gum Company in 1951. Pictures of the cards are available for viewing online, and they look like this:

Front                                                                                                    Back
They are also collector's items, but are quite costly. As you see, you have to sort of struggle to read the text of each card, so I've made it easy for you. All 48 cards read as follows:

1.  Reds Invade South Korea
The red star of communism and the white star of democracy are in a life-or-death struggle around the world. Much of this has been a cold war of words. But a shooting war broke out in Korea in June of 1950. North Korean communists crossed the boundary of the 38th parallel and attacked South Korea. They were out to destroy the South Korean government, chosen in free elections. The Reds had many tanks. The South Koreans had almost none. As the invasion rolled on, the United Nations decided to step in to restore order.

2.  MacArthur Heads UN Forces
North Korean Reds attacked South Korea in what is believed to be part of a communist plan gradually to conquer the whole world. The United Nations pitched in to help the South Koreans, like your dad would help the folks next door if some bad men were beating them up. The troops sent to Korea for the UN were put under command of General Douglas MacArthur. "Mac" has a long military record. But you know him best as the general who led the Allied forces to victory in the Pacific during the second world war.

3.  Slave Labor
The Soviet Union claims to be the champion of human freedom. It claims to be the friend of people who do the world's work. Yet in Soviet Russia, and in other countries which the Reds rule, millions of human beings have been herded into concentration camps. They are forced to do slave labor under conditions of great cruelty. (If your parents would like further information about this, they can find it in The Department of State Bulletin for Sept. 25, 1950, which is a United States government publication.)

4.  "Mustangs" Rout Red Planes
Future air power may be all in jet and rocket planes. But some of the UN's piston-type fighters in Korea have given the enemy bad moments. Three of our white-starred Mustangs were circling over Suwon when six red-starred planes came in from the North. Our lead pilot figured the odds were not too much. He gave the signal to attack. When the shooting was over, five Red planes had been knocked out. The sixth was seen streaking for its base. The Mustangs, with their American riders, had lots of kick left.

5.  Hill 303
Civilized nations have a rule that prisoners of war must receive fair treatment. The North Korean Reds have broken this rule more than once. They have even murdered UN prisoners. At Hill 303 they lined up 31 captive GIs beside a ditch and began shooting them. They had killed 26, when they saw more American troops coming up the hill. Then the murderers ran away. UN forces give communist prisoners good care, and respect their rights under international law. The white star of democracy stands for mercy and life.

6.  Landing at Inchon
We couldn't stand by and let North Korean Reds gobble up South Korea. So we sent troops to help the South Koreans keep their freedom. Our soldiers had a rough time because the enemy had lots more men than we did. We had to retreat down the Korean peninsula. Things looked bad in September 1950. Then we pulled a surprise punch. Our troops stormed ashore at Inchon, 150 miles behind the enemy lines. We recaptured Seoul and kept going. We had freed most of Korea when the Chinese Reds struck us from Manchuria. 

7.  Trouble on the Docks
Dockers, led by communists, tried to stop the loading of arms in a French port for soldiers of France fighting the Red Menace in Indo-China. This is one example of how the Reds get people to work against their own countries in the interest of world communism. They try to stir up trouble among dock workers because the strength of the free world depends a lot on the shipment of supplies. If Red action squads ever try to do such damage in American ports, our longshoremen will pin their ears back.

8.  Bridging a Stream Under Fire
A bridge had to be built. The stream was too deep to be crossed any other way. The engineers went ahead and began laying the pontoons. The Reds sighted our men, and began firing. Shells burst closer and closer. One man was hit; then another. Their places were taken. There was no panic--no jitters. The men worked quickly, but made every move count. Our artillery got the enemy's range. Some of their guns were silenced. The engineers hardly noticed. They completed the bridge. And our troops thundered across.

9.  Police State
A man is going about his business. A heavy hand falls on his shoulder. He is under arrest. Why? Perhaps he has criticized the political system that has taken over his country by force. And some stool pigeon has reported him. For this is happening in a police state, where no one is free to debate what is good for the country. One must accept, without protest, the ideas of the men in power. Communist countries are police states. And we must never let the Reds turn our free America into that kind of fearful place.

10.  Lieutenant Russell Brown
Four F-80 Shooting Stars were flying in North Korea near the Manchurian border. Two MIG-15s dove out of the sun at an F-80 piloted by Lieutenant Russell Brown. Lieutenant Brown tacked his plane onto the tail of one of the MIGs. The MIG climbed back into the sun, and turned left. As it turned, the American pilot fired four times. Seconds later, he got a chance to fire four more times--then once again. The MIG exploded. The spunky American pilot had won the first battle between American and Red jet planes.

11.  Fleeing the Reds
This picture shows Koreans fleeing from Chinese Reds. They clung to jolting trains. They trudged along roads, and across fields. The flight from the Red Menace has been going on for years. People have fled from the communist lands of eastern Europe to the free West. They have even braved the ocean in small ships to get to America. For in America a man may choose his work and his friends. He enjoys freedom of speech and worship. He may come and go as he likes. Americans will never exchange their freedom for red slavery.

12.  Heroes of Turkey
A hard hitting Turkish brigade helped the United Nations to fight communist aggression in Korea. More than once the Turks' fierce bayonet charges slowed down the attacking Chinese Reds. Once the Turks were holding a position above Pyongyang. They fought steadily for 48 hours. The Red hordes kept coming. The Turks were outnumbered and surrounded. Their ammunition ran low, and they used knives and rocks. White-starred United States tanks came to help them escape. Even then they wanted to stay and hold the line!

13.  Putting Out Atomic Fire
If an atom bomb should burst in the air, the shock wave would destroy completely all buildings within 3/4 of a mile in all directions. It might do serious damage at even greater distances. A thermal wave, or heat flash, is also set off. This lasts only three seconds, but it will start fires a mile or more away. Fire, in fact, is one of the great dangers of an atomic attack. America hopes it may never have to use the atom bomb against the Reds, and that they will never drop one here. But America will prepare, either way.

14.  Sabres Win Air Battle
American jet planes were put in the fight for Korean liberty. These included the F-80 Shooting Stars and the F-86 Sabres. The Reds have used Soviet-made MIG-15s. In the first battle of U.S. and Red jets, a Shooting Star downed a MIG. In one of the later air fights, eight Sabres battled from 15 to 25 MIGs. Some of the fighting went on at tree-top heights, some at 31,000 or more feet from the ground. Our white-starred planes destroyed six of the enemy's, and damaged one. The Sabres weren't even scratched!

15.  Red Battle Wagon
Russia is said to be building, or to have completed, the big battle wagon show on this card. Its firing power is thought to include rockets and aerial torpedoes. At the end of World War II, our country cut down its armed forces. We hoped that in the United Nations the world had found its way to peace. But reports have kept coming in of the Soviet Union adding to its military and naval might. Now that we must build up our defenses, the Red leaders claim that we want to start a war! But the free world knows better. 

16.  Negro GIs Hold Line
Negro GIs repeatedly drove off North Korean Reds who were attacking an important ridge near the Hungnam beachhead. Finally the Reds bayoneted their way into an American trench. They captured a machine gun and turned it against our defenders. But the GIs made a do-or-die stand and held the ridge. This may teach the communists a lesson. They try to divide us in America by reminding us of how we may happen to differ. They will learn that under the white star we are all one in our love and defense of God's freedom. 

17.  War in Malaya
You know how the North Korean Reds attacked South Korea. And how the Chinese Reds attacked the United Nations forces that were trying to bring about Korean freedom. These things did not happen by themselves. They are part of what is going on all over the world. Communists make trouble wherever they can. They are killing and destroying in Malaya. But Malaya is striking back. Troops are hitting the Reds in the jungles. People in Malaya are uniting against the Red Menace, which tries to divide and conquer.

18.  General Walton H. Walker
Our generals in Korea have proved as brave as the soldiers they lead. None was braver than Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, commander of the 8th Army. He was often in the front lines where the shooting was going on. Many times he went on scouting flights over enemy territory. On Dec. 23, 1950, his jeep was struck by a South Korean army truck. He was badly injured, and died soon afterward in a field hospital. His fine work had placed him in line for promotion. So he was buried as a full four-star general.

19.  Atomic Doom
Look at the picture again. See what an atomic raid could do to an American city. This has not happened yet. It could happen if the Soviet Union attacked the United States and got its bombers past American defenses. What can we do so that it won't happen? We can work to add more power to America and the United Nations. We can go all out in making the free world stronger than the communist world. And we can continue to work for peace. But the Reds must not mistake our goodwill for weakness.

20.  "Big Mo" in Action
The outnumbered United Nations forces in Northeast Korea withdrew to the Hungnam beachhead. The enemy did all they could to keep our troops from escaping by sea. But the Reds were held in check. A large part of the credit was due to the Seventh Fleet which stood offshore and let the foe have it. The battleship Missouri hurled one-ton shells from its nine 16-in. guns. Cruisers, destroyers, rocket ships, carriers and planes did their share. United Nations troops and thousands of civilian refugees were saved.

21.  Mined Harbor
We know that the Reds have the atom bomb. In a war with the Soviet Union we would have to watch the skies for atomic raiders. But that is not all. We would have to be equally alert at the waterfront. A leading scientist has warned us that tramp steamers could plant A-bombs in our harbors. Just one atomic explosion could spread ruin through an entire port. We don't mean that such things are sure to happen. We still hope for world peace. One way to win peace is to make and keep our nation strong and alert.

22.  Alaska Lookout
We do not want war. Yet we must guard our country from attack--from any direction. Suppose the Reds should strike at us from over the Arctic. Then Alaska would be our first line of defense. Our Alaska lookout includes radar towers, jet planes and ground forces. There are few roads and a lot depends on ski patrols trained to operate in rough, cold country. Sometimes the temperature stays at 50° below zero day after day! But the men of the ski patrols wear eskimo-like clothing, and are toughened to sub-zero weather.

23.  Ghost City
The picture is an artist's idea of what an atom bomb could do to a great American city. The Reds like us to think of this. They think it will make us afraid. But actually, we are growing stronger by realizing that this could happen to us. We are working to make America stronger day by day, week by week. We must continue to work for peace through the United Nations and in every possible way. But an America fully prepared to defend itself is not likely to be attacked. The Reds understand this language. 

24.  General "Ike" in Command
You've heard lots of times about General Dwight D. Eisenhower--or "Ike," as the GIs used to call him. You know how he led the troops of the western Allies in their crusade to free Europe from the nazis. Now he has another job just as big. The communists have grabbed eastern and most of central Europe. The people of western Europe don't know when the Red Menace will strike at them. They have chosen General "Ike" to build up and lead an army large enough to defend their countries against communist invasion.

25.  Red Rule in Manchuria
Russia did not get into the battle against Japan until the last week of World War II. The Red leaders charged a big price for their small share in bringing about Allied Pacific victory. The Soviet "liberators" brought hardship to Manchuria--a part of China that the Japanese had taken over--by carting away great industrial plants. Chinese Reds wrecked others, and damaged railroads to hold back food from the starving. They forced peasants to rip up tracks, and--it was reported--even cut off engineers' hands.

26.  Finns Defend Country
Soviet Russia tried to make a land deal with Finland in 1939. The Finns would not agree to some of the Russian terms. So Stalin used force. A Red army crossed the border. The Finns fought bravely. Finnish soldiers slipped through the forests silently as Indian scouts. At Suomussalmi they came up to the Red tents at night and hurled grenades into them. But the Reds--with their great numbers--won the war. The League of Nations expelled the Soviet state from membership for its aggression against Finland.

27.  Red Guerrillas in Greece
The men ambushing the train are Greek communist guerrillas. They put up a stiff fight for three years to overthrow the Greek government. The Reds, whenever things went badly for them, scurried across the border into one of the neighboring communist countries. There they would wait their chance to raid Greek territory. Albania and other Red nations helped them with war materials. They left a terror trail of executions and kidnappings. Finally they were subdued with the aid of United States equipment and advice.

28.  Berlin Airlift
In June, 1948, the Soviet authorities shut off Berlin from western-zone traffic by land and water. But we made up our minds that the west Berliners weren't going to starve or freeze. We answered the Red threat through the Berlin Airlift ("Operation Vittles"). Every three minutes, day and night, a United States or Royal Air Force plane roared in with food, fuel and medicines. In less than 11 months the Airlift brought 1 1/2 million tons of supplies. Then the Reds lifted the blockade. Trains and barges moved again.

29.  Red Riot in Bogotá
It was April, 1948. Countries of the Western Hemisphere were holding a conference in Bogotá, Colombia. Communists stirred up a riot. It was the worst that ever took place on either of the American continents. Busses, street cars and autos were turned over and set on fire. Churches and public buildings were robbed and burned. Records of criminals were destroyed. All over the world, agents of the Red Menace seek chances to make trouble. They even fool well meaning people into helping them do their dirty work.

30.  Helicopters in Action
Helicopters have moved hundreds of badly wounded men to safety in the Korean war. These whirring "egg-beaters" can land and take off in places that would wreck most any other kind of plane. They have performed many rescue missions by land and sea. Some time ago it was estimated that helicopters had saved 40 pilots forced to crashland. One 'copter brought in a grounded pilot from 90 miles within the Red lines. A new 'copter, designed for the Air Force, can be used as a small troop carrier or a six-litter ambulance.

31.  Case of Cardinal Mindzenty
The picture is a scene from the trial (1949) of Joseph Mindzenty, a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. The Hungarian Reds charged him with treason and other crimes. They got him to make a partial confession. This was done--many think--through drugs or torture. People at Red trials confess to crimes which the free world believes they never committed. Cardinal Mindzenty was sentenced to life imprisonment. The jailing of Protestant leaders in Bulgaria is another case of Red hostility toward the clergy and religion.

32.  UN Counterattack
On Jan. 9, 1951, the Reds in Korea got a taste of what the UN forces have been up against because they are so heavily outnumbered. Withdrawing GIs suddenly turned on the North Koreans. Our troops charged with fixed bayonets through a blinding snowstorm that kept planes and tanks out of the battle. All day the UN infantrymen drove the Reds from one position to another. The enemy's losses were great. Instead of digging in at dusk, the GIs kept up the fight. They won several important hilltop objectives.

33.  Berlin Kidnapping
Soviet Russia was our ally in World War II. We hoped that the Russians would be friends after the war, and would help lead the world to peace through the UN. But their leaders taught the people to hate us. Berlin is one of the places where the Red rulers have shown their hatred for the United States. There they have kidnapped and beaten Americans. They have jailed GIs without cause, and have mistreated them. They have tried to get arrested Americans to spill information about our armed forces.

34.  "Tiny Tim"
The U.S. 11.75-inch rocket, "Tiny Tim," is one of the new weapons in the arsenal of the free world. "Tim," to quote a Navy man, is really "neither tiny nor timid." This rocket was first tried out in battle at Chungju, Korea. It was fired from a Corsair fighter plane. It accomplished its objective--that of knocking out an important bridge. Later it was used successfully against other targets. The "Tiny Tim" was developed from the 2.36 bazooka of World War II. It pierces armor and is highly explosive. 

35.  Visit by Red Police
Why is this Russian family being arrested? Perhaps the radio is a clue. These people may have been listening to the "Voice of America." The "Voice," you know, is a radio program in which our State Department tells the truth about the free world. The Red leaders do not want the Russian people to learn what real freedom is like. They might ask it for themselves. But who reported that this family tuned in on the "Voice"? Perhaps someone they thought was a friend. Who can tell who may be a spy for the secret police?

36.  Commander in Korea
Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway took command of the United Nations ground forces in Korea, Dec. 26, 1950. He replaced General Walton H. Walker, killed in a jeep accident. General Ridgway came to Korea from Washington where he was Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration. In that job he had hurried up the preparation of the 3.5-inch bazooka. This was the weapon that stopped the T-34 tanks in the first Red invasion of South Korea. Ridgway was a paratrooper general in the second world war.

37.  Concentration Camp
Reports have leaked through the Iron Curtain of millions of slave laborers in the Soviet Union. They are kept in concentration camps where they have to work hard with little food. Camps are surrounded with barbed wire, and guarded by men with rifles. Sleeping quarters are said to include wooden shelves without bedding. People are sent to concentration camps for different reasons. A kulak (farmer) for wanting to own his own farm. A factory worker for wanting better pay. Ambition is dangerous under Red rule.

38.  "Lightning Joe" Collins
One of the top men in America's line of defense against the Red Menace in General Joseph Lawton Collins. He is U.S. Army Chief of Staff--a position held in turn by Generals Marshall, Eisenhower and Bradley. General Collins has stepped into some big shoes, but they fit. He graduated from West Point in 1917. In the second world war he got the nickname of "Lightning Joe." He led the 25th Division in the Pacific and later the Seventh Corps in Europe. He is spoken of as a soldier's soldier--a man who knows his stuff.

39.  Soviet Rocket Fighter
What kind of planes would the Soviet Union be able to throw against us if another world war should come? We know about their MIG-15s. The Chinese Reds have used them in Korea. Then there is the Me-163 rocket fighter, shown in the picture. The Russians captured it from the nazis. This warplane, even in its earlier models, could climb 50,000 feet in 3 1/2 minutes. The Reds are reported making improved Me-163s in large numbers. The free world, to remain free, is forced to match Red might, including air power.

40.  Frontier Patrol
The Atlantic Pact is an agreement of certain free nations, including the United States, to help one another if an aggressor attacks. Norway is the only Atlantic Pact country with a border directly facing the Soviet Union. The picture shows Norwegian ski troopers patrolling their side of the 85-mile frontier. The boundary is marked by two rivers without bridges. It is high above the Arctic Circle. Norway is a busy, peaceful nation. It doesn't want war with anybody. But it will fight if attacked.

41.  To the Mines
Force, blackmail and false promises are used in getting laborers for the uranium mines of the Soviet Occupation Zone of Eastern Germany. Factory workers have gone to the mines under the threat of losing their ration cards if they refused. Both men and women work underground. One of the mines was dug beneath a pond. Repeated floods have swept through the shafts. Workers often have been trapped and drowned. About 300,000 people are laboring in the uranium mines. Soviet secret police and German Reds guard them.

42.  Naval Chief
We all know what a grand job the Navy has done in the Korean war--at Inchon, Hungnam and other points. How its big guns have pummeled targets far inland. How its carrier planes have closely supported ground forces. The planning of Admiral Forrest P. Sherman is one big reason why the Navy has been able to do these things and many more. Admiral Sherman is Chief of Naval Operations. He serves on the Joint Chiefs of Staff with Gen. Collins (Army), Gen. Vandenberg (Air Force), Gen. Bradley (chairman).

43.  Huk Raiders
There are few parts of the world that are free from Red trouble makers. The Huks in the Philippines are reported to be communist-led. They are carrying on a guerrilla war against the government. Their hideouts are in grass seven feet high. They dash out on frequent raids and strike with lightning speed. The Philippine troops keep constantly on their trail. Pitched battles take place in the tall grass. Government forces have gained victories over the Huks, but have not been able to score a knockout punch.

44.  One-Man Stand
An American platoon was getting into position to drive back a Red attack at Kasan, Korea. In the meanwhile the Reds were swarming up a high wall. Private First Class Melvin Brown stood alone at the top. He kept shooting until he had used all of his ammunition. Then he hurled grenades. When none of these was left, he swung a trench shovel at the heads of the close-packed foe. What finally happened to him is not known. A Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery has been presented to his father on his behalf.

45.  Ambush in Indo-China
Communist-led Viet Minh forces are fighting the French and the Viet Nam in Indo-China. The Reds have 100,000 regular troops and many guerrilla soldiers--no man can say how many. The guerrillas hide along narrow roads and jungle trails and wait their chance to trap the French. In the cities they throw grenades and start fires. The Viet Minh were having things their own way for a long time. But the French and the Viet Nam, under their new commander--General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny--have been beating the Reds.

46.  Fighting Marine
Major General Oliver P. Smith is the commander of the First Marine Division. In December, 1950, his men were battling their way, against heavy odds, to the Korean escape port of Hungnam. He expressed their fighting spirit when he said, "We're not retreating. We're just advancing in a different direction." Smith worked his way through the University of California at Berkeley. His first military training was in the R.O.T.C. In 1917 he joined the Marines. During World War II, he saw action on Guadalcanal and Okinawa.

47.  War-Maker
Mao Tse-tung is the leader of the Chinese Reds who attacked the United Nations forces in Korea. His army was built up, in the first place, with the help of outlaws. Later the Russian Reds supplied him with arms and advisers. He captured the China mainland in three years of savage warfare against the Nationalist government. Mao delights in war. History, he says, "is written in blood and iron." The free world must find a way to keep war-makers like Mao Tse-tung from shedding the blood of innocent people.

48.  "Doughboy's General"
The Army, Navy and Air Force are three branches of America's defense against the Red Menace. It is the job of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to unite the efforts of these great services. The man handling that job is General Omar Bradley. During World War II, General Bradley led the Second Corps in North Africa and Sicily, and the Twelfth Corps in France. Bradley's concern for his men caused him to be called the "doughboy's general." After the war, he administered veterans' affairs.

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1 comment:

  1. such small cards retelling such big events in history, the cowardliness of some , the bravery of some and the sacrifices of the many. A summarized version of the vast history, a must read for all.