The Press: Good Job

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Hearst's International News Service last week lured away from the Associated Press one of the best U.S. foreign correspondents: good-looking, hard-working Clark Lee, who has traveled 40,000 miles over land & sea in the last ten months for A.P. The switch earned Lee a handsome contract—one of the best a war correspondent ever got—and the rare prerogatives of a roving correspondent.

Lee, 36, had been with A.P. since 1929. He was born to newspapering: his father was a founder and first president of the United Press, his mother wrote for newspapers. When Lee turned up in Honolulu in 1936 as A.P. bureau chief, he married a native princess, Liliuokalani Kawana-nakoa.

Lee worked through China and Japan for over two years, traveling thousands of miles with the Jap armies. Jap Army officers did not care for his hard-hitting news stories, but they liked him well enough to warn him to get out of Shanghai three weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lee ended up on Bataan with General MacArthur, and his eyewitness stories were good reporting. He left before Corregidor's fall "to save my neck." He had heard that Don Bell, an American radio commentator, had been tortured and killed by the Japs in Manila, and assumed he would meet the same fate. He also thought that he and TIME'S Melville Jacoby, who was later killed in Australia, might be able to persuade Washington that the Philippines could be saved with some prompt assistance.

Last week Clark Lee was in Manhattan, awaiting passage overseas for his next chosen assignment ("My ambition is to get to Berlin"). Behind him were Australia, the Solomons, a torpedoed aircraft carrier and a book (They Call It Pacific). Ahead was a projected itinerary that most reporters dream about. Lee hopes some day to roll into Nanking with Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek, into Manila with General Douglas MacArthur, and down the main street of Tokyo with Admiral Halsey and his sailors, Major General Vandegrift and his marines, under a blanket of U.S. planes "so thick that they hide the rising sun."