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Thursday, June 22, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 431 – In a morning mission, 108 B-17s and 194 B-24s attack 12 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) installations in the Pas de Calais area. Escort is provided by 165 P-47s and 97 P-51s, with some of the supportikng fighters strafing coastal defenses. One B-17s and one P-51 are lost, with 12 men listed as killed or missing.

 

The RAF sends 119 Lancasters, 102 Halifaxes, and 13 Mosquitos to attack special V-weapon sites and stores. The sites at Mimoyecques and Siracourt are accurately bombed with Pathfinder marking but the force attacking Wizernes failed to find the target because of clouds and returned with their bombs. Meanwhile, two Mosquitos fly uneventful Ranger patrols. One Halifax from the Siracourt raid is lost.

 

8th Air Force Mission 432 – During the afternoon 797 bombers are dispatched to attack 22 targets in France and Belgium:

· 319 B-17s hit the Lille/Fimes marshalling yard, the Ghent/Maritime marshalling yard, the Rouen oil depot, La Vaubaliers, the Furnes Airfield, Tingry, Abbeville, a tank area north of Rouen, the Douai railroad, Mazingarbe, Pont a Vendin, and the Douai railroad. Fighter escort is provided by 108 P-47s, which shoot down one Luftwaffe aircraft.

· 149 B-24s bomb the Guyancourt/Caudron Airfield, the St Cyr Airfield, the Buc Airfield, the Tours/La Riche bridge and targets of opportunity. They shoot down Luftwaffe aircraft. Escort is provided by 200 P-38s and 46 P-47s, which shoot down one other Luftwaffe aircraft.

· 216 B-17s hit a Nucourt V-weapon site, Brie-Comte-Robert Sug, the Etampes Airfield, the Lieusant railroad, the Melun bridge and the Melun marshalling yard. The B-17s shoot down one Luftwaffe aircraft. Meanwhile, 113 B-24s, hit an oil dump at Paris and the Dreux Airfield. Fighter escort for the two raids is provided by 86 P-51s.

· 10 B-24s use Azon glide bombs against the Samur Bridge, with escort provided by 43 P-51s.

Seven B-17s, two B-24s, five P-38s, and three P-51s are lost, with 95 men listed as killed or missing.

 

8th Air Force Mission 433 – One B-17 flies a daylight leaflet mission to La Glacrie, France.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 111 Lancasters, 100 Halifaxes, and 10 Mosquitos to attack the railway yards at Laon and Rheims, France. The bombing at both targets is successful. Elsewhere, 29 Mosquitos attack Hamburg, eight hit Rouen, 15 fly radio counter measure sorties, 35 fly patrols over France, and six Halifaxes and four Stirlings lay mines off French ports. Four Halifaxes are lost from the Laon raid and four Lancasters are lost from the Rheims raid.

 

8th Air Force Mission 434 – during the night, nine B-17s drop leaflets in France, and the Low Countries, while 10 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France.

 

Because of the attack on 8th Air Force B-17s at Poltava, USSR, after yesterday's shuttle mission, the B-17s at Mirgorod and P-51s at Piryatin are moved farther east. They are to return to Mirgorod and Piryatin to be dispatched to bases in Italy, as soon as the weather permits. The move is fortunate, as German bombers strike both Piryatin and Mirgorod during the night.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of around 600 B-26s and A-20s and over 1,200 fighters to fly missions during the day. The main effort consists of an attack on the tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula, in support of the US VII Corps’ assault on the port of Cherbourg. Beginning one hour before the ground attack and continuing until the ground attack begins, fighters and fighter-bombers pound the entire area south of the city, from low level. As the ground assault begins, B-26s and A-20s strike a series of strongpoints selected by the US First Army, forming a 55 minute aerial barrage moving north in advance of ground forces. Later in the day B-26s attack the marshalling yards, fuel dumps and a German headquarters. Fighter-bombers fly armed reconnaissance over various railroads and bomb rail facilities, trains, road traffic and gun emplacements. 25 fighter-bombers are lost during the day's operations.

 

In US First Army area, VII Corps, receiving no reply to the ultimatum, begins the final assault on the Cherbourg fortress. Intense air preparation, beginning at 1240 hours, does more to demoralize enemy than to damage his positions. VII Corps’ attack opens at 1400 hours.

 

On the left flank, the 9th Division presses northeast toward Cherbourg, with the 60th Infantry on the left, and the 47th Infantry on the right. The 60th quickly takes Acqueville, but is halted at edge of the Flottemanville fortifications. The 47th gets forward elements to the slopes of Hill 171, just west of Bois du Mont du Roc. In the center, the 79th Division attacks with three regiments:

· The 315th Infantry is clearing the Hardinvast region.

· The 314th Infantry draws east of Tollevast.

· The 313th Infantry makes the main effort on the 70th Division’s right, astride the Valognes-Cherbourg highway, and thrusts to positions just south of La Mare a Canards, an enemy strongpoint.

 

On the right flank of VII Corps, the 4th Division also attacks with three regiments:

· On the left, the 8th Infantry makes limited progress toward La Glacerie.

· The 12th Infantry, in the center, makes the main effort toward Tourlaville but is held to small gains, to the right.

· The 22nd Infantry, with the mission of clearing Digosville, becomes surrounded by the enemy and is unable to advance.

 

Russian Front
German Air Force makes night attack on base at Mirgorod, but US planes escape before the raid. Dumps and supplies are considerably damaged.

 

Mediterranean Theater

Following five consecutive days of bad weather the 15th Air Force sends a force of over 600 B-17s and B-24s to bomb targets in northern Italy. The B-17s hit the marshalling yards at Fornova di Taro, Modena and Parma, and the B-24s hit six marshalling yards and two bridges in Italy, an automobile factory at Turin and an automobile depot at Chivasso. Fighters fly over 250 sorties in support of the missions.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers attack railway bridges and viaducts, at Marzabotto, Boccheto, and Gricigliana, while A-20s again hit ammunition supplies,a nd fighter-bombers pound road and rail bridges, mainly in the Pisa area, and cut rail lines between Bologna and Pistoia.

 

The Polish 2 Corps is forced to abandon its small bridgehead across the Chienti River in the Adriatic coastal sector. Activity along the river subsides to patrolling as they move troops and supplies forward in preparation for stronger assault.

 

The US Fifth Army continues to advance slowly, particularly in the sector of French Expeditionary Force (FEC), where it is decided to outflank the enemy holding the Orcia River line. On the right flank in IV Corps area, the 1st Armored Division commits Task Force Howze between Combat Command A on the right and Combet Command B on the left.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 18 P-40s to China. They destroy over 20 trucks between Hsuchang and Lohochai. Meanwhile, four P-40s damage a troop steamer in Tungting Lake, and 13 B-24s bomb Bakli harbor, on Hainan Island, damaging the dock facilities and sinking one freighter.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches six B-24s to fly fuel to Kamaing, Burma, while 40 B-25s supply Imphal, India, with ammunition. Elsewhere, a group of 40 A-36s, P-51s and P-40s hit Mogaung and Myitkyina, while 10 others hit targets at Hopin, Namma and Sahmaw.

 

In Burma, Chindits from the 77th Brigade, of the Indian 3rd Division, begin an assault on Mogaung and are joined by the 114th Regiment, of the Chinese 38th Division.

 

On the Salween front, the Japanese fall back hastily from Chiangtso toward Teng-chung, as they are harassed by Allied planes. Chinese XX Group Army has firm control of Shweli Valley, and is ready for drive on Teng-chung.

 

In the British Fourteenth Army area, IV Corps and XXXIII Corps troops meet, reopening the Dimapur- Kohima-Imphal road. The enemy offensive has failed, and the Japanese are obliged to withdraw as best they can, under difficult monsoon weather conditions.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-25s, A-20s, and P-47s hit shipping at Efman Island and airfields and targets of opportunity on Noemfoor Island, attack Manokwari and hit villages in the Sarmi area, all in New Guinea. Attacks by A-20s and fighters, along with RAAF aircraft, on the wide coastal area around Wewak continue, and B-24s bomb the Yap Islands, Sorol Atoll, in the Caroline Islands, and Woleai Atoll. On New Britain Island, B-25s join the Allied aircraft in pounding Nordup and Ralum.

 

The 1st Battalion, of the 162nd Infantry, continues to work on West Caves, using TNT charges and flame throwers, and at 1555 hours reports them to be clear. However, small groups of Japanese emerge from caves during night and have to be eliminated by the 1st Battalion and the 186th Infantry to the north. The 186th Infantry continues to probe the Teardrop, and unsuccessfully attempts to seize three enemy guns that are firing from new positions northwest of the perimeter.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, Regimental Combat Team 158 is relieved in preparation for the Noemfoor Island operation. Regimental Combat Team 158 has lost 70 men, with 257 wounded, and four missing during Wakde-Sarmi action. They have killed an estimated 920 Japanese and captured 11.

 

After air attack by P-47s from Wakde and intense artillery preparation, the 3rd Battalion, of the 20th Infantry, drives to the crest of Lone Tree Hill and establishes a defense perimeter. The 2nd Battalion also reaches the crest but a gap exists between the two battalions. During the evening, the Japanese counterattack the 3rd Battalion, isolating both it and the 2nd Battalion. Company L, of the 1st Infantry, starts forward with supplies for the 3rd Battalion.

 

On the Aitape front, the 3rd Battalion, of the 127th Infantry, replaces the 1st Battalion at Afua.

 

During the night, US Navy PT boats land an Allied reconnaissance party on Noemfoor.

 

The first big cargo ships arrive at Biak.

 

5th Air Force P-40s begin operations from the Mokmer airdrome.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll from Kwajalein Atoll, hit Truk Atoll, with one bombing Ponape Island.

 

On Saipan, the 2nd Marine Division and the 4th Marine Division begin a northward attack toward the “0–5” line, extending from the west coast below Garapan, across Mt. Tapotchau, to Laulau village on the Kagman Peninsula, then east. On the west, the left flank of the 2nd Marine Division, odf the 2nd Marines, remains in place, since it is already on “0–5.” In the center, the 6th Marines gets elements to the top of Mt. Tipo Pale, about 1,200 yards southwest of top of Mt. Tapotchau, achieving the greatest gain for day. On the right, the 8th Marines make slow progress toward Mt. Tapotchau, which commands the entire island, over extremely difficult terrain.

 

The 4th Marine Division attacks with the 25th Marines on the left, the 24th Marines on the right, and the 23rd Marines in the center. The 25th and 23rd Regiments drive almost to the objective, while the 24th advances rapidly along the east coast.

 

The 27th Division, less the 105th Infantry, is ordered to attack between the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions. The 4th Marines are relieved on the left flank so they can shift east to cover the Kagman Peninsula. The 27th Division regroups its units about the Nafutan position. The 3rd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, shifts north, relieving the 1st Battalion on the right flank, while the 2nd Battalion replaces the 3rd Battalion, of the 165th, on the left. No advance is made against the strongpoint and a little ground is lost on left, where relief is accomplished with difficulty.

 

Late in day, the 2nd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, is ordered to continue the mop up of Nafutan Point, a task still believed to be an easy one.

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Friday, June 23, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 435 – At midday 134 B-17s and 106 B-24s attack 12 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) installations, damaging at least six of them. Fighter support is furnished by 161 P-51s. After completing their escorting duties, all fighters strafe transportation targets in the Paris area, destroying three locomotives, 100 pieces of rolling stock, and 14 motor vehicles. An exploding ammunition train causes a low-flying P-51to crash, the only aircraft lost on the mission. The pilot is listed as missing.

 

The RAF sends two Mosquitos on uneventful Ranger patrols.

 

8th Air Force Mission 436 – During the late afternoon, 109 B-17s are dispatched to Nanteuil, but 94 of them abort due to heavy cloud cover. Meanwhile, 219 B-24s are dispatched to airfields in France, hitting Juvincourt, Laon/Athies, Coulommiers and Soissons. Fighter escort is provided by 155 P-47s and 83 P-51s. Afterwards, some of the P-47s bomb and strafe a marshalling yard, while the remainder bombs and strafes a train carrying trucks and armored cars, destroying the locomotive, three trucks, and an armored car, and damaging 20 freight cars. One B-17 and six B-24s are lost, with 69 men listed as killed or missing.

 

8th Air Force Mission 437 – 195 P-38s fly fighter-bomber mission s in the Paris area, losing two aircraft, with the pilots listed as missing.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 226 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes, and 22 Mosquitos to attack four flying-bomb sites. Meanwhile, 203 Lancasters and four Mosquitos attack the railway yards at Limoges and Saintes. Both targets are bombed with great accuracy. Elsewhere, 32 Mosquitos hit Bremen and 10 attack a railway junction at Doves near Amiens, 14 fly radio counter measure sorties, 27 fly patrols, and 12 other aircraft lay mines off French ports. Seven Lancasters and one Stirling are lost, with their crews.

 

During the night, 21 8th Air Force B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Bad weather prevents A-20 and B-26 missions during the morning, but in the afternoon the 9th Air Force sends a fore of 175 B-26s and A-20s to bomb seven V-weapon sites in France. Around 630 fighters provide escort and also bomb and strafe rail and road traffic and communications centers. Meanwhile, a group of 200 C-47s and C-53s fly supplies to the Continent.

 

In US First Army area, VII Corps penetrates the outer defenses of Cherbourg. On the left, the 9th Division’s 60th Infantry overruns the Flottemanville area, and the 47th completes the capture of Hill 171, while the 39th overcomes bypassed resistance near Beaudienville. Meanwhile, the 79th Division makes limited progress in the vicinity of La Mare à Canards, but is unable to reduce this strongpoint. In the 4th Division zone, the 12th Infantry, assisted by tanks, advances steadily toward Tourlaville, but units flanking it make little progress.

 

In British Second Army’s I Corps area, the 51st Division, in a limited offensive, takes Ste Honorine, northeast of Caen and east of the Orne. I Corps subsequently exerts limited pressure against the enemy, north of Caen, without making decisive gains.

 

On the ground, unloading of men and supplies resumes as the storm abates.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 404th Fighter Squadron, with P-47s, England, to France.

 

Russian Front
The Red Army opens its summer offensive on the central front, where the main attack, on a 350 mile front, is made by the First Baltic and three White Russian Fronts against the enemy’s Minsk salient, in White Russia. Particularly strong pressure is applied near Vitebsk and Bobruisk. Soviet aircraft and artillery lend powerful support to troops. Both German and Soviet forces have by this time completed extensive reorganizations, but the enemy is spread thin and lacks adequate reserves.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 400 B-17s and B-24s to attack oil targets in Rumania. The B-17s hit oil refineries at Ploesti, and the B-24s also hit oil refineries at Ploesti and oil storage at Guirgiu. The bombers and escorting fighters destroy over 30 enemy aircraft. Over 100 US aircraft are shot down.

 

Italian Campaign

Weather cancels 12th Air Force medium bomber operations, but A-20s continue to attack ammunition supplies. Fighter-bomber operations are restricted, but P-47s hit rail communications at four different points in the battle area, as a fierce struggle for Chiusi takes place.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, elements of XIII Corps break into Chiusi after a hard battle, but a German counterattack isolates the troops. The 4th Division takes command of the sector in the center of XIII Corps, between Vaiano and Lake Chiusi, relieving elements of the 78th Division.

 

In the X Corps area, the King’s Dragoon Guards gain a foothold on Monte San Croce.

 

General Alexander, meeting with his commanders, proposes that the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) advance through the Ljubljana gap into southern Germany.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 20 B-24s to bomb docks at Hankow, China. In the Tungting Lake area, a group of over 70 B-25s and fighter-bombers attack a wide variety of river shipping at several locations, bomb a runway at Hengyang, strafe cavalry troops in the area, and hit the towns and villages of Chuchou, Ikiawan, Chuting, Chwanchishih, and Siangtan. Elsewhere, 30 B-25s and fighter-bombers hit various targets of opportunity along the Yellow River.

 

At meeting between Mr. Wallace and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, a proposal is presented that a US observer group be sent to Chinese communists to secure information and assist pilots shot down over northern China. When approval is gained, the project, coded DIXIE Mission, is undertaken by 16 officers and enlisted men and two civilians.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 12 B-24s to fly gasoline to Kamaing, Burma, while 29 B-25s make an ammunition run to Imphal, India. Meanwhile, a group of about 80 A-36s, P-51s and P-40s attack Mogaung, Myitkyina, Taungni and a bridge at Namkwi.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, the Wewak area is again pounded throughout the day by A-20s, P-39s, P-47s and RAAF aircraft, of the Far East Air Force (FEAF). A few A-20s and A-26s on a barge search bomb offshore islands near Manokwari, marking the Theater’s debut of the A-26. Elsewhere, P-47s on sweeps strafe areas east of Maffin, and B-24s hit the airfield at Yap Islands and Woleai Atoll. Other B-24s on armed reconnaissance bomb Dublon Island, Truk Atoll and Koror and Peleliu islands, in the Palau Islands. On New Britain Island, B-24s bomb the Tobera Airfield and B-25s, along with other Allied aircraft, hit anti-aircraft positions south and southwest of Rapopo.

 

On Biak, the 1st Battalion, of the 162nd Infantry continues to probe the West Caves area. The 3rd Battalion, of the 163rd Infantry, makes patrol contact with 186th Infantry at the Teardrop. Photographs of the Teardrop indicate that the Japanese are concentrated on the west of the position and preparations are made for an attack. The 186th Infantry is still unable to seize weapons firing on it from the northwest.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, the 2nd Battalion, of the 20th Infantry, repels a dawn attack against its perimeter on Lone Tree Hill, in costly fighting. After an unsuccessful attempt to push north to make contact with the 3rd Battalion, they move back down hill and up again, along the route used by the 3rd Battalion, to positions just northwest of 3rd Battalion’s perimeter. Some supplies are obtained from volunteer groups and from Company L, of the 1st Infantry, which arrives after the hard fight. The Japanese make a determined attempt to destroy forces on Lone Tree Hill, attacking in small groups through the night. General Sibert decides to try to outflank enemy on the hill.

 

Task Force CYCLONE issues Field Order 1 for the Noemfoor operation.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 8th Fighter Squadron, flying P-38s, from Hollandia, to Biak Island.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force B-24s, based at Eniwetok Atoll, strike Truk Atoll, and B-25s, from Engebi Island, pound Ponape Island.

 

During the evening, 7th Air Force B-24s, from Kwajalein Atoll, also attack Ponape Island.

 

The V Amphibious Corps attacks northward on a three division front, as the 27th Division enters the center of the line. The 2nd Marine Division’s left and center regiments remain in place until more progress can be made to the right. The 8th Marines, on the 27th Division’s right, gains the cliff commanding the most practical route to the crest of Mt. Tapotchau. The 27th Division is slow in accomplishing relief of left flank elements of the 4th Marine Division and consequently slow in opening the attack up the valley, called “Death Valley,” which is flanked on the left by the hill mass of Mt. Tapotchau, and on right by a ridge, called “Purple Heart Ridge.” Upon attacking, with the 106th Infantry on left and 165th Infantry on the right, the Division meets intense opposition from the cave-studded heights. Progress is slow and costly, particularly on the left. On the right flank, the 4th Marine Division attacks with the 23rd Marines on the left and the 24th Marines on the right. The 23rd Marines is slowed by the inability of the 165th Infantry to advance, but gets to the top of Hill 600. The 24th Marines continues to make rapid progress along Magicienne Bay and reaches the “0–5” line just east of Laulau.

 

On southern Saipan, the 2nd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, after reorganizing throughout the morning, continues their attack on the Nafutan position, getting a platoon to the top of Mt. Nafutan. The rest of the battalion, after small initial gains, pulls back to the starting line.

 

During the night, enemy tank-supported counterattacks down Death Valley and against Hill 600 are repelled.

 

P-47s of the 73rd Fighter Squadron are launched off the USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) and land on Saipan Island.

 

North Pacific Area

Two B-25s, from the 11th Air Force, fly a negative shipping sweep.

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Saturday, June 24, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 438 – During the morning 967 bombers are dispatched to hit targets in Germany and France:

· 340 B-17s hit oil industry targets in Bremen, an aircraft factory at Westermunde and other targets in Bremen. Escort is provided by 185 P-38s and 85 P-47s, some of which strafe an airfield and rail transport in the Munster and Hamm areas, destroying two Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.

· 407 B-24s are dispatched to France, bombing the Conches Airfield, the Chateaudun Airfield, the Orleans/Bricy Airfield, Toussus/Le Noble, a fighter strip, Pont Audmer, the Toussus/Paris Airfield, and the Dreux Airfield. Fighter escort is provided by 45 P-38s and 36 P-47s, all of which later fly strafing missions.

· 86 B-17s and 60 B-24s are dispatched to hit 12 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites in the Pas de Calais area but are prevented by complete overcast covering the targets. However, 11 B-17s fly south and release their bombs near the industrial area of Rouen. Fighter escort is provided by 36 P-47s.

· 74 B-17s bomb the Saumur bridge, and the Tours/La Riche Airfield. Escort is provided by 135 P-51s, which destroy four Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.

Two B-17, two B-24s, and one P-38 are lost, with 39 men listed as missing.

 

The RAF sends 200 Halifaxes, 106 Lancasters, and 15 Mosquitos to attack three flying bomb sites in clear weather conditions, allowing for all targets to be accurately bombed. Meanwhile, 16 Lancasters and two Mosquitos bomb the Wizernes site and score several hits with their Tallboy bombs. One Lancaster and crew are lost.

 

8th Air Force Mission 439 – During the afternoon 62 B-17s and 167 B-24s are dispatched to targets in France. 62 B-17s, hit V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area, Holque electrical stations and the Saint-Pol-sur-Mer marshalling yards. Meanwhile, 167 B-24s, also bomb V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area, and hit the Abbeville power station, Pont-a-Vendin and the Tingry electrical station. Fighter escort mission is provided by 71 P-47s and 50 P-51s. Another 25 other P-51s fly a sweep of the Angers/Le Mans area and destroy 25 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground. Two B-24s are lost, with 20 men listed as missing.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 535 Lancasters, 165 Halifaxes, and to attack seven flying bomb sites, causing fresh damage at most of the targets. In other action, 27 Mosquitos attack Berlin, seven fly radio counter measure sorties, 34 fly patrols, and 13 other aircraft lay mines off French ports and in the Kattegat. One Mosquito and 22 Lancasters are lost.

 

8th Air Force Mission 440 – During the night, five B-17s drop leaflets in France.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 430 B-26s and A-20s to attack targets in France, including four gun positions, three V-weapon sites, three fuel dumps, two marshalling yards, and a railroad bridge. Meanwhile, over 200 transports fly supplies to the Continent. 11 Fighter Groups provide escort, attack fuel dumps, rail targets and bridges west of Paris and south of the Loire, and fly armed reconnaissance south of the Cherbourg Peninsula and southwest of Paris.

 

In US First Army area, VII Corps closes in on Cherbourg. While the 9th Division’s 60th Infantry clears the northern flank, the 47th Regiment and the 39th Regiment move in on the city, with the 47th toward Equeurdreville Fort and Redoute des Fourches, and the 39th toward Octeville.

 

In the 79th Division zone, the 314th Infantry overruns La Mare à Canards and pushes toward Fort du Roule, while the 313th Infantry, to the right, keeps abreast and takes Hameau Gringer. The 315th Infantry, on the 79th Division’s left, is still clearing Hardinvast region, far to rear. Meanwhile, the 12th Infantry continues to make the main effort of the 4th Division. Reinforced by a battalion of the 22nd Infantry, the regiment overcomes strong resistance in the Digosville area and enters Tourlaville unopposed during the night. The 8th Infantry reduces strong enemy positions east of La Glacerie, on the 79th Division’s left, and the 22nd Infantry, on the right, contains the enemy in Maupertus area.

 

The 3rd Armored Division, of XIX Corps, arrives on the Continent.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 313th Fighter Squadron, flying P-47s, from England, to France.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches 335 bombers to attack targets in Rumania. The B-17s attack the railroad bridge at Piatra, while the B-24s bomb the railroad repair depot at Craiova and the oil refinery at Ploesti. 33 P-51s sweep the Ploesti-Bucharest area, while other P-51s, P-38s, and P-47s fly over 220 sorties in support of the bombers. Combined, the bombers and fighters shoot down over 20 enemy aircraft shot down, but 10 US aircraft are downed and several others are listed as missing.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather forces the cancellation of 12th Air Force medium bomber operations, and fighter-bomber activity is restricted. However, P-47s attack several bridges, railway lines, guns, and other targets in the Lucca area and other points along and north of the battle line.

 

In the Fifth Army area, IV Corps continues northward against strong rear-guard opposition, with the 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, on the coast, overrunning Follonica.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the Guillaume Group, reinforced with light armor, crosses the Ombrone River in order to continue their advance and remain in contact with the 1st Armored Division, of IV Corps.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps opens a concerted drive northward with three divisions. The 78th Division, on XIII Corps right flank, establishes a bridgehead across the Pescia River with infantry, but armor is unable to follow. In the center, the 4th Division battles in vain for Vaiano throughout day. The South African 6th Armoured Division continues to meet stubborn opposition on left flank of XIII Corps at Chiusi.

 

In the X Corps area, the enemy has shortened his line, which now runs through Magione, in order to shift armor west to oppose XIII Corps. British progress up the Tiber Valley is very slow because of mountainous terrain.

 

During the night, the Germans abandon the hamlet of Vaiano, where the British 4th Division battled during the day.

 

The 1st Motorized Division is the first of the French units to leave Italy for Operation ANVIL.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends a force of over 60 P-40s and P-38s to bomb the towns of Siangsiang and Yuankiang, attack cavalry forces in the Hengyang area, and hit a pontoon bridge between Tungcheng and Pingkiang, all in China. Elsewhere, four B-25s and a few P-40s knock out a bridge north of Chenghsien.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, 11 B-24s, from the 10th Air Force, fly gasoline to Kamaing, while 35 B-25s supply Imphal, India, with ammunition. A group of over 60 A-36s, P-51s, P-40s, and P-38s attack the Myitkyina, Mogaung, Mawlaik-Kin area, Pinbaw, and Hopin.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, 5th Air Force and RAAF aircraft continue to blast stores, personnel areas, roads, and bridges in the general area of Wewak. Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-25s, A-26s, and A-20s hit enemy positions in caves east of the Mokmer Airfield, attack shipping in the Babo area, along the MacCluer Gulf, and bomb the Kamiri and Kornasoren airfields. On New Britain Island, B-24s, B-25s and fighters, along with other Allied aircraft, hit the Tobera Airfield, anti-aircraft guns at Wunapope, and buildings at Nordup.

 

On Biak, Task Force HURRICANE cuts exits from the Teardrop. The 2nd Battalion, of the 186th Infantry, moves north and east to reach the northwest corner. Company K, of the 163rd Infantry, blocks the north exits and Company C, also of the 163rd Infantry, guards the east side.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, Task Force TORNADO begins outflanking attacks on Lone Tree Hill. Companies K and L, of the 1st Infantry, move by sea to the coast, just west of the hill, and establish a small beachhead. They then try in vain to push inland to clear the west side of the hill. The 2nd Battalion and the 3rd Battalion, of the 20th Infantry, assisted by Company L, of the 1st Infantry, make slow progress against numerous enemy defenses on top of the hill and open a supply route. Company M, of the 1st Infantry, moves along the coast to assist.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s, based on Saipan, strafe the remnants of the enemy forces on the island and also hit forces left on Tinian Island.

 

In Saipan, on the west flank of the V Amphibious Corps, of the 2nd Marines, of the 2nd Marine Division, reaches the “0–6” line, at the southern outskirts of Garapan, where the regiment must remain for a few days while they wait for the units to the right. The 6th Marines is battling an enemy strongpoint north of Mt. Tipo Pale. On the Division’s right, the 8th Marines, reinforced by a battalion of the 29th Marines, reaches the ridge within machine gun range of top of Mt. Tapotchau.

 

The 27th Division’s zone is broadened eastward, as the 165th Infantry is given responsibility for clearing valley east of Purple Heart Ridge. This leaves the 106th Infantry responsible for clearing Death Valley. Further efforts of 27th Division to move forward are futile. The 4th Marine Division veers east to clear Kagman Peninsula, with the 23rd Marines pivoting around the 24th Marines. A gap develops between the marines and the 27th Division because of the turning movement. Against moderate resistance, the 27th Division overruns the villages of Laulau and Chacha.

 

The failure of the 27th Division to advance, despite the urging of General Holland Smith, results in the replacement of its commander, General Ralph Smith. Major General Sanderford Jarman, Island Commander, assumes temporary command, pending the arrival of a permanent commander. General Jarman’s chief of staff takes control of 27th Division elements on southern Saipan, where no progress is made during day, and the force on Mt. Nafutan is recalled.

 

North Pacific Area

At dawn, the 11th Air Force sends three B-24s to bomb the area north of the airfield at Kurabu Cape, on Paramushiru Island. Later, two B- 25s fly a shipping search, but find nothing to report.

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Sunday, June 25, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

At day break in the USSR, B-17s and P-51s are flown from dispersal bases to Poltava and Mirgorod and loaded and fueled with the intention of bombing the oil refinery at Drohobycz, Poland, before proceeding to bases in Italy. Bad weather cancels the mission and the aircraft return to dispersal bases for the night, as precaution against air attacks.

 

8th Air Force Mission 441 – During the morning 658 bombers are dispatched to hit targets in France:

· 263 B-17s hit the Toulouse/Francazal Airfield, the Toulouse/Blangnac Airfield and the Montbartier oil depot. Fighter escort is provided by 46 P-38s, 36 P-47s and 146 P-51s, which shoot down 10 Luftwaffe aircraft.

· 258 B-24s bomb Beuvry, Mazingarbe, Aube-sur-Risle, Doullens, La Vaupalier, the Peronne Airfield, Amiens/St Maurice, Calais, Tingry, Abbeville, St Omer/Longuenesse, Boulogne, Holque, Nunque, Pont-a-Vendin, and Chocques. Escort is provided by 68 P-47s and 34 P-51s.

· 137 B-24s hit the St Avord Airfield and the Bourge Airfield. Escort is provided by 102 P-38s and 44 P-47s, which shoot down eight Luftwaffe aircraft.

Five B-17s, two B-24s and one P-51, with 67 men listed as killed or missing.

 

The RAF sends 202 Halifaxes, 106 Lancasters, and 15 Mosquitos to attack three flying bomb sites. The weather is clear and it is believed that all three raids were accurate. In other action, 17 Lancasters, two Mosquitos and one P-51 Mustang bomb the Siracourt flying-bomb storage facility. The Mustang is flown by Wing Commander Cheshire and used as a low-level marker aircraft. The Mustang had only arrived at Woodhall Spa that afternoon, by courtesy of the 8th Air Force, and this is Cheshire's first flight in it. The Lancasters score three direct hits on the concrete facility with Tallboy bombs. Cheshire had to make his first landing in the unfamiliar Mustang when he returned to his home airfield after dark. Two Halifaxes and crews are lost.

 

8th Air Force Mission 442 – During the midday, 274 B-24s hit the Villacoublay air depot, the Bretigny Airfield and the Buc Airfield, and 189 B-17s bomb the Soigny Bridge, the Sens Bridge, Clamecy, the Auxerre Bridge, Nanteuil, Nogent, the Orly Airfield, Romilly-sur-Seine, Folous, the Etampes/Mondesir Airfield and the Orly marshalling yard. 43 P-47s fly a flight-bomber mission against Evreux/Fauville landing ground. Fighter escort is provided by 127 P-38s, 35 P-47s and 181 P-51s. The fighters shoot down four Luftwaffe aircraft. Five B-24s, one B-17 and one P-51 are lost, with 90 men listed as killed or missing.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 42 Mosquitos to bomb the Rheinpreussen synthetic oil plant at Homberg/Meerbeck. Photographs show that no new damage was caused. Meanwhile, eight Mosquitos fly radio counter measure sorties and 16 fly Serrate patrols.

 

During the night, 24 B-24s, from the 8th Air Force fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 400 B-26s and A-20s to bomb fuel dumps at Foret d'Andaine, Foret d'Ecouves, and Senonches, and rail bridges at Cherisy, Chartres, Oiseme and Epernon. All in France. 14 Fighter Groups send aircraft on escort, and on armed reconnaissance. They dive bomb the Chartres, Dreux, Argentan, Tours, and Orleans areas. Elsewhere, transports fly supply and evacuation missions.

 

In US First Army’s VII Corps area, naval gunfire supplements aerial and ground bombardment as the battle for Cherbourg nears its end. The 9th Division’s 47th Infantry drives into the western suburbs of Cherbourg, overrunning the fort at Equeurdreville, Hameau de Tot, and Redoute des Fourches. Elements reach the coast but are withdrawn. The 39th Infantry attacks Octeville, where the enemy continues to hold out. The 79th Division’s 314th Infantry gains the upper defenses of Fort du Roule against stubborn resistance, while the 313th Infantry gets advance elements into the outskirts of Cherbourg.

 

In the 4th Division zone, the 12th Infantry gains its objective with a drive to coast, east of Cherbourg. When orders are changed to permit the division to participate in the capture of Cherbourg, the 12th Infantry enters the city and clears its assigned portion in the eastern part. The 22nd Infantry is ordered to take the Maupertus Airfield.

 

British Second Army opens its offensive in the XXX Corps zone for the commanding ground in Rauray area. The 49th Division, reinforced by the 8th Armoured Brigade, attacks south in the region east of Tilly-sur-Seulles, and makes limited progress against strong resistance. Some elements reach Fontenay, while others thrust to the Tessel–Bretteville area.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 50th Fighter Group, with P-47s, from England, to France.

 

Russian Front

Soviet forces envelop Vitebsk, trapping five enemy divisions, and cut the Smolensk-Minsk highway.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches over 650 bombers attack targets in France. B-17s attack the marshalling yard and oil installations at Sete, and B-24s bomb the industrial area at Sete, the marshalling yard at Avignon and harbor facilities at Toulon. Fighters fly almost 200 sorties in support, with one Fighter Group straffing targets along the Fiume, Italy-Senje, Yugoslavia road and at other points on the Istrian peninsula.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather again prevents operations by 12th Air Force medium bombers, but light bombers hit enemy ammunition supply, and fighter-bombers bomb the towns of San Quirico di Moriano and Castelflorentino and several rail lines and bridges in the battle area near the Gothic Line.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the port of Piombino falls, without opposition, to the 39th Engineers. This is last day of action in Italy for the 36th Division.

 

The French Expeditionary Force (FEC) begins crossing the Orcia River in strength as enemy opposition diminishes.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the 78th Division slowly expands its Pescia bridgehead. The 4th Division forces the enemy rear guards from Vaiano. The enemy retains Chiusi throughout day but withdraws after nightfall, blocking the exits.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, the 14th Air Force sends 31 B-25s, P-40s, and P-51s to attack the towns of Siangtan and Ichang. They also attack sampans at Wukou, destroy about 50 trucks and strafe concentrations of troops and horses in the Tangyang-Pingkiang and Siangtan-Yungfengshih areas, and pound a river dock and sampans at Siangsiang.

 

B-25s from the 7th Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW) bomb the Shayang storage area, while 23 B-25s and P-40s bomb a storage area and damage a bridge at Chenghsien.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force uses over 50 B-25s to make an ammunition run to Imphal, India. In Burma, a group of over 60 A-36s, P-51s, and P-40s pound Myitkyina and Mogaung, while two B-25s bomb the Mohnyin-Mawhun railroad.

 

On the Salween front, the Chinese reluctantly admit to US liaison personnel, with the 71st Army, that the Japanese have routed the 261st Regiment, of the 87th Division, and that the 87th Division commander has attempted suicide.

 

Although the 8th Army is moving forward from the Indochina border to reinforce troops in Lung-ling area, the battle has already been lost to small enemy force of 1,500.

 

Failure at Lung-ling brings orders from Chiang Kai-shek to take Teng-chung and Sung Shan at all costs in preparation for renewing attack on Lung-ling.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, the Wewak area continues to be under attack of 5th Air Force and RAAF aircraft, hitting personnel areas at But, Dagua, and Suain and barges at Mushu and Kairiru Islands. Meanwhile, P-40s and B-24s strike the Kamiri Airfield while A-20s, P-47s, and B-25s hit the villages along the Tor River and P-47s hit tanks along the Wiske River. Elsewhere, B-24s pound the Yap Islands and Sorol Atoll. On New Britain Island, B-25s and fighters, along with other Allied aircraft, hit anti-aircraft positions near Wunapope and blast plantations along Wide Bay.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 26th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, with F-5s, from Nadzab, to Hollandia.

 

On Biak, the 1st Battalion, of the 162nd Infantry, makes limited penetration into the underground positions of the West Caves. Company L, of the 186th Infantry, seizes the enemy guns that have been firing from positions northwest of their perimeter. Elements of the 2nd Battalion and the 1st Battalion, of the 186th Infantry, overrun the Teardrop, which has been largely evacuated by the enemy, killing 38 Japanese.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, under combined attacks of the 2nd Battalion and the 3rd Battalion, of the 20th Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Infantry, the Japanese begin withdrawing from Lone Tree Hill, having received and inflicted heavy casualties there. The 3rd Battalions of the 63rd Regiment and the 1st Regiment are to mop up on the north, while the 1st Battalions of the 20th Regiment and the 1st Regiment conduct holding and mopping up operations to the south.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s, based on Saipan Island, carry out reconnaissance and strafing missions over Saipan and Tinian Islands. Elsewhere, B-24s, based on Kwajelein Atoll, hit Truk and Wotje atolls.

 

On Saipan, the 6th Marines, of the 2nd Marine Mar Division, is still held up by an enemy strongpoint north of Mt. Tipo Pale. To the right, the 8th Marines, and attached elements of the 29th Marines, gain the crest of Mt. Tapotchau, where the 1,554 foot height provides a commanding view of the island. Some elements of the 27th Division’s 106th Infantry begin a wide outflanking movement eastward, while others continue the northward pressure on the enemy in Death Valley, but progress is slow. The 165th Infantry makes futile efforts to scale Purple Heart Ridge. On the right flank, the 4th Marine Division easily secures all of the Kagman Peninsula, sharply reducing the front. Elements are now on the “0–6” line.

 

The turning point in the Nafutan battle on southern Saipan comes as the 2nd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, succeeds in crushing the Japanese main line of resistance on Ridge 300, which controls Nafutan Pt. The enemy’s position on Saipan is by now hopeless, but fanatic resistance continues.

 

North Pacific Area

Two B-24s, 11th Air Force, bomb the airfield at Kurabu Cape, Paramushiru Island.

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Monday, June 26, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

In Operation FRANTIC, 72 B-17s leave Poltava and Mirgorod, USSR. After they rendezvous with 55 P-51s from Piryatin, they bomb the oil refinery and marshalling yard at Drohobycz, Poland. One bomber is forced to return to the USSR, because of mechanical trouble. The remainder of the bombers proceed to Italy, where they are met by 15th Air Force P-51s, one hour after the attack and escorted to Foggia. It is planned to return the B-17s to their bases in the UK, on June 27 but bad weather delays this move until July 5.

 

The RAF dispatches two Mosquitos on Ranger patrols. They are uneventful.

 

During the night, the 35 RAF Mosquitos attack Göttingen, with the intention of hitting the railway workshops. The raid is carried out from a medium altitude between 4,000 and 10,000 feet, but the marker aircraft experienced difficulties in locating the target and bombing is scattered. Meanwhile, eight Halifaxes lay mines off French ports.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

In France, weather cancels all 9th Air Force operations, except for a few fighter sorties which destroy a few military vehicles and three aircraft. Three US fighters are lost.

 

In US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 47th Infantry, of 9th Division, attempts to clear the northwest section of Cherbourg, but cannot gain the arsenal. The 39th Division drives through Octeville and Cherbourg to the coast, taking General Schlieben, the German fortress commander, and Rear Admiral Walther Hennecke, the enemy’s naval commander, prisoner at St Sauveur-le- Vicomte. However, Schlieben refuses to surrender the entire fortress. The 79th Division completes the capture of Fort du Roule and its assigned portion of Cherbourg. The 22nd Infantry, of the 4th Division, begins an attack on the Maupertus Aairfield.

 

The British Second Army continues a limited offensive within the XXX Corps zone, while beginning a main attack with VIII Corps. In the XXX Corps zone, the 8th Armoured Brigade, spearheading the attack of the 49th Division, drives to the outskirts of Rauray. VIII Corps attacks to the east of XXX Corps, with the 15th Division the 43rd Infantry and the 11th Armoured Division. The 15th Division gets elements to Colleville and patrols to Grainvillesur- Odon. The 11th Armoured Division thrusts to Mouen.

 

Russian Front
Vitebsk and Zhlobin fall to the Red Army as the offensive continues on the central front. Vitebsk is one of three key positions generally east of Minsk, the others being Orsha and Mogilev, which Hitler has ordered to be held at all cost.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of 677 B-17s and B-24s to attack targets in the Vienna area, of Austria. They hit an aircraft factory at Schwechat, the marshalling yard at Vienna/Floridsdorf, the oil refineries at Korneuburg, Vienna/Floridsdorf, Moosbierbaum, Schwechat, Winterhafen, and Lobau. Fighters fly over 260 sorties in support of the bomber mission. Over 60 enemy fighters are shot down, after an estimated 150 to 175 enemy fighters attack the formations. Nearly 30 US aircraft, mostly bombers, are lost.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather grounds 12th Air Force medium bombers, but fighter-bombers, operating on a reduced schedule, hit railroad targets and other targets in the battle area south of the Gothic Line.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division takes control of the coastal sector, releasing 36th Division for Operation ANVIL. Parachute Regimental Combat Team 517 is also withdrawn from the line. The 34th Division has under its command Regimental Combat Team 442 (Nisei), the 100th Battalion, the 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and other units.

 

The French Expeditionary Force (FEC) completes the crossing the Orcia River and pushes on toward Siena. The battle along the Orcia has been costly to the French.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the South African 6th Armoured Division enters Chiusi. The 4th Division moves forward to positions almost abreast the 78th Division, on XIII Corps’ right flank, then halts to await the 4th Division. X Corps is reinforced by the Indian 10th Division, which arrives to replace the 6th Armoured Division, which is no free to to shift to XIII Corps’ front a little later. The Indian 8th Division takes Monte Pilonica.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 14 B-24s, from the 14th Air Force, blast Hankow, causing heavy damage and fires. A force of over 180 B-25s and fighter-bombers attack river shipping and several villages in the Tungting Lake area. The towns of Yuankiang, Sinshih, Siangtan, Liling, and Hengshan are bombed, as is the warehouse area at Yuhsien. Numerous troop and truck concentrations and other targets of opportunity throughout the entire region are attacked. In the Salween area, 14 B-25s and 36 P-40s knock out a bridge at Tingka, damage another near Mangshih, bomb military installations at Tengchung, strafe Japanese positions at Lungling, and hit targets of opportunity between Lungling and Tengchung.

 

The Japanese bomb Lingling Airfield, damaging the runway and destroying a P-51.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches pver 30 B-25s to fly ammunition to Imphal, India, while a group of over 80 A-36s, P-51s, and P-40s pound Myitkyina, and seven other fighter-bombers hit Waingmaw, Loilaw, and Pyindaw.

 

In Burma, Mogaung falls to the 114th Regiment, of the Chinese 38th Division, and the 77th Brigade, of the Indian 3rd Division. The 77th Brigade is withdrawn from action by its commander soon afterward, on grounds of exhaustion, despite orders from General Stilwell. Stilwell has operational control of the unit, and wants it to remain in place to prevent the Japanese from reinforcing Myitkyina. The fall of Mogaung permits the Chinese to link up with the Myitkyina Task Force, which thus far has been isolated from other friendly forces in Burma.

 

On the Salween front, the offensive against Tengchung is begun with air attacks by B–25’s from Yun-nan-i.

 

In China, the Japanese seize the Heng-yang Airfield.

 

Brigadier General Theodore Wessels, US Army, takes command of the Myitkyina Task Force, replacing General Boatner, who has malaria.

 

Southwest Pacific Area 5th Air Force

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb targets in the Yap Islands and the Sorol Atoll. Others, on armed reconnaissance, bomb airstrips at Woleai Atoll and Peleliu Island. On New Britain Island, Army Air Force and other Allied aircraft hit airfields, anti-aircraft positions, and other targets in the Rabaul and Cape Orford areas. In New Guinea, the Wewak area is hit throughout the day by 5th Air Force B-24s and P-39s, along with US Navy and RAAF aircraft. P-38s, P-47s, A-20s, A-26s, B-24s, and B-25s attack airfields, shipping, villages, town areas, roads, and numerous other targets at Efman, Noemfoor Island, Japen, and Biak Islands, at Manokwari and Ransiki, and near Sarmi.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 9th Fighter Squadron, with P-38s, from Hollandia, to Biak Island.

 

The 13th Air Force establishes a detachment of the 419th Night Pursuit Squadron, flying P-61s and based on Guadalcanal Island, to operate from Nadzab.

 

On Biak, mopping up west of Mokmer begins. The 1st Battalion, of the 34th Infantry, less Company C, which is ambushed en route, seizes abandoned positions on the ridge extending north from the northwest corner of the Teardrop.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, the 3rd Battalion, of the 63rd Infantry, replaces the battle-worn 2nd and 3rd Battalions, of the 20th Infantry, on Lone Tree Hill.

 

Central Pacific Area

Saipan Island-based P-47s, from the 7th Air Force, continue to hit enemy forces remaining on Saipan and Tinian Islands, while P-61s carry out night patrols over Saipan. B-25s from Makin Island pound Ponape Island and Nauru Island.

 

In early morning, two LCI(G)s (Landing Craft Infantry Gunboats) attack enemy barges moving from Tanapag Harbor, sinking one and damaging another. This concludes enemy attempts to counterland.

 

In the 2nd Marine Division zone, the 6th Marines bypasses and later reduces the stubborn pocket that has been barring their advance north of Mt. Tipo Pale. The 8th Marines consolidates its positions on Mt. Tapotchau. The 27th Division continues to attack in the center with the 106th Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, of the 165th Infantry. On the 27th Division’s left, the 1st Battalion, of the 106th Infantry, is held up by a strongpoint, called “Hell’s Pocket,” at the southwest end of Death Valley. On the right, the 3rd Battalion, of the 106th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion, of 165th Infantry, batter the enemy at Purple Heart Ridge from the west and east slopes, respectively. During the night, the 4th Marine Division, to which the 165th Infantry and the 1st Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, are attached, mops up on the right flank.

 

On southern Saipan, the 2nd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, closes in on the enemy in the Nafutan Point area. After nightfall, Japanese make futile breakout attempt.

 

The commanding officer of the 106th Infantry is replaced.

 

North Pacific Area

The 11th Air Force sends 12 B-25s, in three four-plane air cover missions, to cover the withdrawal of a Naval task following their shelling of enemy installations at Kurabu Cape, on Paramushiru Island.

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Tuesday, June 27, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 443 – 195 B-17s hit CROSSBOW (V-weapon) supply sites around the Pas de Calais area, and Chantilly, while 56 B-24s hit the Criel Airfield and targets of opportunity. Fighter escort is provided by 191 P-51s, which shoot down six Luftwaffe aircraft. After completing the escort, the P-51s bomb and strafe targets of opportunity, including marshalling yards, bridges, railroads, transportation and airfield installations, and dispersal areas. Five B-24s are downed by anti-aircraft fire, and two P-51s are lost in combat, with 55 men listed as killed or missing.

 

104 RAF Halifaxes, with five Mosquitos and two Lancasters as Pathfinders, attack the V-weapon site at Mimoyecques. Bombing conditions were good and two large explosions were seen on the ground.

 

The VIII Fighter Command sends 193 P-38s, 156 P-47s, and 295 P-51s to attack the Connantre Airfield, the Villeneuve/Zertes Airfield, the Coulommiers Airfield, and transportation targets in the Paris area. They shoot down 10 Luftwaffe aircraft and destroy another on the ground. Three P-38s are lost, with the pilots listed as missing.

 

8th Air Force Mission 444 – During the night, four B-17s drop leaflets in France.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 477 Lancasters, 207 Halifaxes, and 37 Mosquitos to attack six flying bomb sites. Meanwhile, 214 Lancasters and nine Mosquitos attack the railway yards at Vaires and Vitry. In other action, 22 aircraft fly radio counter measure sorties, 61 Mosquito go on patrols, eight Halifaxes lay mines off Biscay ports, and 14 Halifaxes fly resistance operations. The Mosquitos destroy 6 German night fighters. Seven Lancasters and two Mosquitos are were lost with their crews.

 

During the night, 16 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions in France, and a B-24 on a training flight in England is shot down by an intruder.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

In France, bad weather precludes 9th Air Force bomber operations, however, over 700 fighters take part in various operations. Most of them fly high cover over the assault areas and bomb and strafe rail and road traffic and communications centers.

 

In US First Army’s VII Corps area, organized resistance at Cherbourg ceases during morning when Brigadier General Robert Sattler, deputy commander of the Cherbourg fortress, surrenders the arsenal to the 47th Infantry, of the 9th Division, after the Allies broadcast an ultimatum. The 4th Division takes over garrisoning of Cherbourg. Meanwhile, its 22nd Infantry overruns the Maupertus airfield and quickly clears Cap Lévy. The 9th Division prepares to attack to clear Cap de la Hague. Advance engineer units arrive at Cherbourg to restore facilities.

 

In the VIII Corps area, the newly arrived 83rd Division takes over defensive positions on VIII Corps left flank held by the 101st Airborne Division. Meanwhile, VIII Corps secures a small bridgehead across the Odon river near Baron, bypassing resistance in the Grainvillesur- Odon region.

 

In the British Second Army’s XXX Corps area, the 49th Division gains Rauray and holds it against strong counterattacks.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 386th and 387th Fighter Squadrons, with P-47s, from England, France.

 

Russian Front
The Red Army overruns Orsha, northeast of Minsk, and envelops Bobruisk.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends around 300 bombers to attack targets in Hungary, Poland and Yugoslavia. B-17s bomb the marshalling yards at Budapest, Hungary, while B-24s hit the marshalling yards at Brod, Yugoslavia, and oil industry targets at Drohobycz, Poland. 75 to 90 enemy fighters attack the formations, shooting down three bombers. The bombers and escorting fighters shoot down over 30 enemy planes. Elsewhere, 90 P-51s sweep the Budapest area, destroying another seven Luftwaffe fighters.

 

Italian Campaign

In Italy, continued bad weather forces the 12th Air Force to cancel medium bomber operations. Light bombers again hit ammunition supplies, while fighter-bombers hit roads, bridges, rail lines, and other targets in and near the battle line.

 

In the US Fifth Army area, IV Corps continues toward Highway 68.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the enemy, after resisting strongly during day, begins retiring after nightfall.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the 4th Division drives enemy rear guards from Gioiella.

 

In the British X Corps area, the Germans begin a general withdrawal in the region between Lake Trasimeno and the Tiber River, and are being pursued by corps. Elements of the 6th Armoured Division find Monte Pacciano and Monte Bagnolo free of enemy.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In the Tungting Lake area of China, the 14th Air Force dispatches a force of 160 B-25s and fighter-bombers to hit troop concentrations, supplies, and river and road traffic between Changsha and Hengyang, bomb artillery concentrations at Sinsiang, attack waterfront and docks at Hengshan, pound villages near Chuchou, and attack numerous targets of opportunity throughout the lake region. Four B-25s over the Formosa Strait sink two cargo vessels and damage others.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends eight B-24s to fly gasoline to Kamaing, Burma, while 52 B-25s continue an ammunition run to Imphal, India.

 

On the Salween front, a regiment of the Chinese Hon 1st Division, of the 8th Army, relieves the New 28th Division, but in the process the Japanese are able to recover the ground lost during June.

 

The enemy is reinforcing Sung Shan by infiltration through Chinese lines.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, 5th Air Force and RAAF light bombers and fighter-bombers continue to attack the Wewak area, hitting troop concentrations, villages, ammunition dumps, and warehouses. Elsewhere, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, A-26s, P-40s and P-47s hit airfields, gun positions, and various other targets in or near Babo, Manokwari, Biak and Noemfoor Islands, Ransiki, Waren, and Moemi. More B-24s bomb the Yap Islands and Sorol Atoll, while others, on a photo reconnaissance flight, bomb Woleai and Ifalik atolls, in the Caroline Islands. On New Britain Island, 13th Air Force fighters and bombers join other Allied aircraft from the Solomon Islands in bombing anti-aircraft positions at Ralum and other targets in the Rabaul area.

 

On Biak, Company C rejoins the 1st Battalion, of the 34th Infantry. Preparations are made by the 34th Infantry to clear the Japanese from the cliffs northwest of the 1st Battalion area. General Eichelberger decides that the situation on Biak is now stable enough for him to leave. The 1st Battalion, of the 162nd Infantry, accompanied by members of the 41st Counter Intelligence Detachment, patrols into the innermost depths of the West Caves. A hasty count reveals that at least 125 Japanese have been killed there. This is the last enemy position that can threaten the Mokmer airdrome.

 

On the Aitape front, Major General Charles Hall, Commanding General XI Corps, takes command of Task Force PERSECUTION at midnight, and quickly reorganization and regrouping the forces. Cavalry Regimental Combat Team 112 arrives to reinforce Task Force PERSECUTION, which is threatened with an enemy attack.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, the 3rd Battalion, of the 63rd Infantry, encounters fire from the few remaining machinegun positions, as it mops up on Lone Tree Hill.

 

The 13th Air Force sends a detachment of the 419th Night Fighter Squadron, flying P-61s, from their home base on Guadalcanal Island, to Los Negros Island.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bombardment), with B-25s,from Finschhafen, to Biak Island, and the 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, with P-39s, from Saidor, back to their home base at Owi, in the Schouten Islands.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s continue strafing and rocket attacks on Tinian, Saipan, and Rota Islands, in the Mariana Islands, while P-61s carry out defensive night patrols. Elsewhere, B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, pound Truk Atoll.

 

On Saipan, the 6th Marines, of the 2nd Marine Division, continues to clear division’s center against heavy resistance. The 8th Marines, elements of which are relieved by the 2nd Battalion, of the 25th Marines, starts clearing the northern slope of Mt. Tapotchau. The 27th Division’s 106th Infantry again attacks Hell’s Pocket on division’s left, with the 1st Battalion and, for first time, makes some progress in reducing it. On division’s right, other elements of the 106th Infantry, and the 2nd Battalion, of the 165th Infantry, clear further ground on Purple Heart Ridge. The 3rd Battalion, of the 106th Infantry, followed by the 2nd Battalion, then drives west across Death Valley under enemy fire. On the right flank, the 4th Marine Division gets additional elements to the line “0–6.” Attached elements of the 165th Infantry make substantial progress on division’s left, but a gap develops and a battalion of the 24th Marines is brought forward to fill it.

 

The Japanese decide to make their final stand on northern Saipan, on line across the island from Tanapag, through Hill 221, to Tarahoha, delaying in their current positions as long as possible, while the new line is being organized.

 

On southern Saipan, the 2nd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry, concludes operations against Nafutan Point, which is declared secure at 1840 hours. 550 Japanese dead are counted, with the total number estimated to have held the position exceeding 1,000, rather than the 300 to 500 originally thought to have been there.

 

During the night, a single B-24, from the 7th Air Force, bombs Ponape Island.

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Wednesday, June 28, 1944

 

Washington, D.C.

Vice President Wallace recommends to President Roosevelt that General Stilwell be replaced or that he be given a presidential representative with considerable powers as his deputy. He further suggests that steps be taken to meet the Japanese threat in east China.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 445 – 485 B-17s attack targets in France, hitting the airfields at Laon/Couvron, Juvincourt, Laon/Athies, Denain/Prouvy, Le Bourget, the Anizy le Chateau bridge, the Fismes bridge, and the Dugny oil depot. Meanwhile, 378 B-24s bomb the Saarbrucken marshalling yards, the Florennes/Juzaine Airfield, and the Givet Bridge. Fighter escort is provided by 188 P-38s, 169 P-47s and 231 P- 51s. They shoot down one Luftwaffe aircraft. Afterward, about one-third of the escorting fighters bomb and strafe transport targets, destroying three locomotives and an armored vehicle. One B-17s, one B-24, one P-47 and one P-51 are lost, with 21 men listed as missing.

 

103 RAF Halifaxes, with five Mosquitos and two Lancasters as Pathfinders, attack the V-weapon site at Wizernes, while two Mosquitos fly uneventful Ranger patrols.

 

In 8th Air Force fighter activity, 50 P-47s fly a fighter-bomber mission against the La Perthe Airfield.

 

During the night, 202 RAF Halifaxes, accompanied by 28 Pathfinder Lancasters, attack the railway yards at Blainville and Metz, losing 18 Halifaxes and two Lancasters, with their crews. Meanwhile, 33 Mosquitos hit Saarbrücken, 10 bomb the Scholven/Buer oil plant, and 21 fly radio counter measure sorties. Elsewhere, 35 Mosquitos fly patrols, and eight Halifaxes and four Stirlings lay mines off Lorient and St Malo.

 

During the night, 18 B-24s, from the 8th Air Force, fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends over 220 fighters, based in France, to attack railroad facilities, bridges, fuel and ammunition dumps, artillery, troop concentrations, vehicles, and other targets. Bad weather cancels bomber and fighter operations from the UK.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 79th Division, after being relieved in Cherbourg, moves south to the US VIII Corps zone. The 9th Division continues preparations for an attack to clear Cap de la Hague.

 

In the British Second Army area, XXX Corps secures Brettevillette, but later loses it to an enemy counterattack. VIII Corps expands its Odon bridgehead, near Baron, and secures another, near Gavrus, then fights to clear the enemy from its flanks.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 365th Fighter Group and the 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, with F-6s, from England, to France

 

Russian Front
the Soviet threat to Minsk increases, as Second White Russian forces take Mogilev.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches 229 B-24s to bomb marshalling yards and two oil refineries at Bucharest, Rumania. 138 others hit the Karlovo Airfield, in Bulgaria, and 40 fighters carry out a sweep over the Bucharest area, while other fighters fly over 230 sorties in escort of the B-24s. Over 20 enemy fighters are shot down, mostly by the fighters during the sweep over Bucharest.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather cancels all 12th Air Force light and medium bomber operations, but fighter-bombers carry out rail-cutting missions north of the battle line in north central Italy.

 

IV Corps is pushing steadily northward, with the 34th Division on the left and the 1st Armored Division on the right, toward Highway 68, which the Cecina River parallels.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the South African 6th Armoured Division reaches Chianciano, without making contact with the enemy. In the center, the 4th Division breaks through enemy positions on the Casamaggiore-Frattevecchia ridge. Elements of the 78th Division move forward on XIII Corps right flank to conform.

 

In the X Corps area, the Indian 10th Division is relieving the Indian 8th Division.

 

In the IV Corps area, the 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron is withdrawn from the line to participate in Operation ANVIL.

 

In US Fifth Army area, salvage parties reach Piombino, and in less than a month, the port is made ready for use by Liberty ships.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In the Yangtze River-Tungting Lake area of China, B-25s and fighter-bombers, of the 14th Air Force , fly over 160 sorties, attacking river shipping at several locations, bombing the towns of Hengshan, Liling, and Pingkiang, and bombing Japanese headquarters and gun sites in the Siangsiang area. Also in the Hengyang area, the B-25s and fighter-bombers hit rear supply bases and cavalry and infantry concentrations.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends eight B-24s to fly fuel to Kamaing, as ammunition delivery to Imphal, India, continues with 47 B-25s. Meanwhile, 14 other B-25s pound the Naba-Mawlin railroad.

 

In Burma, the 1st Battalion, of the 42nd Regiment, of the Chinese 14th Division, attacks toward Sitapur in order to cut off the Japanese north of Myitkyina.

 

On the Salween front, the Japanese planes make their first appearance, dropping supplies to the Sung Shan garrison.

 

In east China, the Japanese begin an assault on Heng-yang, and for the first time in east China, are being firmly opposed by the Chinese.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) continues the attacks on the Wewak area, hitting the Japanese headquarters and communications in the Suain-Karowop Plantation area and the coastal road from Babiang to Nyaparake. Elsewhere, the airfield and fuel dumps on Noemfoor Island, Japanese positions and occupied areas and buildings on Biak and Efman Islands, a village near Babo, and the Tor River and Maffin Bay areas are attacked. Meanwhile, B-24s bomb the airfield and town on Yap Island, and communications on Sorol and Woleai atolls. On New Britain Island, anti-aircraft guns east of the Tobera area are attacked.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 421st Night Fighter Squadron, with P-61s, from Nadzab to Owi Island, in the Schouten Islands.

 

On Biak, it is learned that the 34th Infantry must serve as ALAMO Force reserve for the pending operation, necessitating regrouping of forces on Biak, but the 34th Infantry continues mopping up. Largescale infantry action against the Ibdi Pocket ends, but the position is kept under fire from ground and air.

 

The Japanese begin a second withdrawal (the first was on June 22), with orders to prepare for guerrilla warfare. About this time they also begin withdrawing from the East Caves.

 

US Navy amphibian vehicles conduct a rehearsal for the Noemfoor operation.

 

General Eichelberger turns over command of Task Force HURRICANE to General Doe and leaves the island.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s and P-61s carry out daylight raids and defensive night patrols over Saipan, Tinian, and Rota islands.

 

On Saipan, the 2nd Marine Division continues clearing the difficult terrain north of Tipo Pale and on crest of Mt. Tapotchau. Major General George Griner takes command of the 27th Division, which completes the reduction of organized resistance at Hell’s Pocket on the left, but makes little headway and suffers heavy casualties in Death Valley and on Purple Heart Ridge. The 4th Marine Division maintains and improves its positions on the right flank, with additional elements reaching the “0–6” line, and provides fire support for the 27th Division.

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Thursday, June 29, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 447 – 1,150 bombers and 779 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany and the Netherlands:

· 179 B-17s bomb the synthetic oil plant at Bohlen and an aircraft components factory at Wittenberg.

· 380 more B-17s hit Leipzig/Heiterblick, the Leipzig/Taucha Airfield, Leipzig, Wittenberg, Limbach, and Quackenbruck.

· 591 B-24s bomb Magdeburg, Oschersleben, Bernburg, Aschersleben, the Burg Airfield, an aviation plant at Fallersleben, the Stendal Airfield, the Gardelegen Airfield, Oebisfelde/Kaltendorf, the Zerbst Airfield, and the Leopoldshall marshalling yard.

· 8 P-38s fly a fighter-bomber mission against shipping at Ijmuiden, the Netherlands.

Cloud cover causes over 400 aircraft to abort the mission. Fighter escort is provided by 203 P-38s, 216 P-47 and 352 P-51s of the 8th Air Force and 9th Air Force. They shoot down 34 Luftwaffe aircraft and destroy 16 more on the ground. 6 B-17s, 9 B-24s and three P-51s are lost, with 150 men listed as killed or missing.

 

The RAF sends 286 Lancasters and 19 Mosquitos to attack two flying-bomb launching sites and a storage facility. There was partial cloud cover over all the targets, making some bombing accurate but some is scattered. Meanwhile, two Mosquitos fly Ranger patrols and one shot up an E-boat while flying back to England. Three Lancasters and two Mosquitos are lost, with their crews.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches two Fortresses on radio counter measure sorties, 14 Mosquitos on flying-bomb patrols, eight Stirlings to lay mines off Biscay coasts, and 16 other aircraft to fly resistance operations. One Mosquito shoots down a flying bomb.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of almost 200 B-26s and A-20s to bomb gun batteries on Cap de la Hague, bridges and rail lines in the Rennes-Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcourt-Vitre areas, and rail bridge at Oissel. Meanwhile, fighters fly armed reconnaissance and attack enemy aircraft, road and rail traffic, gun positions, bridges and other targets in wide areas throughout northwestern France.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 9th Division, utilizing the 47th Infantry on the right, the 60th Infantry in the center, and the 4th Cavalry Group on the left, attacks to clear Cap de la Hague. They come to a halt before the enemy line through Gruchy, Gréville, and the crossroads southeast of Beaumont-Hague. Forts in the Cherbourg harbor surrender.

 

In the VIII Corps area, the 101st Airborne Division is detached from VIII Corps and starts from St Sauveur-le-Vicomte to Cherbourg.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the first elements of the 3rd Armored Division enter combat. Combat Command A begins limited action to reduce the Villiers- Fossard salient in the 29th Division’s line, northeast of St Lô, in preparation for renewing its drive on St Lô.

 

In the British Second Army area, VIII Corps, as it continues action to expand the Odon bridgehead and corridor leading to it, undergoes determined counterattacks by enemy armor against its west flank. The enemy temporarily gains some ground, but are left exhausted. In view of the strong concentration of enemy armor in front of VIII Corps, it is decided to break off the offensive and consolidate the present positions.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 509th and 511th Fighter Squadrons, flying P-47s, from England, to France.

 

Russian Front
Germans yield Bobruisk to First White Russian troops.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force fighter-bombers, medium, and light bombers attack ammunition dumps, viaducts, , bridges, railroad cars, landing grounds, roads, motor transport, and other targets along the battle line, in north central Italy, and at various points to the north.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 442nd Infantry, which has recently cleared the villages of Belvedere and Sassetta, is withdrawn from the center of the 34th Division line and replaced by 135th Infantry. The 133rd Infantry, driving along Highway 1, is stubbornly opposed but gets to within a mile of Cecina.

 

The British Eighth Army takes command of Polish 2 Corps in the Adriatic coastal sector. The South African 6th Armoured Division takes Acquaviva and Montepulciano. The 4th Division advances to the ridge through Petrignano and Valiano, which enemy rear guards are defending. The 78th Division takes Castiglione del Lago, a former enemy strongpoint north of the Pescia, without opposition.

 

The Germans begin a general withdrawal in front of the Eighth Army.

 

The XIII Corps commander orders the 6th Armoured Division to relieve the 78th Division, by the night of July 3-4. The 9th Armoured Brigade is to move to the X Corps sector between June 30 and July 4.

 

The 12th Air Force moves the 51st Troop Carrier Wing from Sicily, to Lido di Roma

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In the Tungting Lake area, of China, the 14th Air Force sends a group of over 60 B-25s and fighter-bombers to hit shipping, gun positions, troop concentrations, and general targets of opportunity at several locations, including Lingvang, Liling, Hengyang, Yuhsien, Hengshan, Siangsiang, Chaling, and Yiyang. In Formosa, three B-24s bomb the Takao docks. In French Indochina, P-40s damage a bridge and attack rail traffic at Phu Lang Thuong.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends 16 B-24s to continue the fuel lift to Kamaing, Burma, while 45 B-25s haul ammunition to Imphal, India. Meanwhile, 23 other B- 25s bomb Tamu, a group of 19 A-36s, P-51s, and P-38s hit Myitkyina and the Myitnge bridge, and a B-25 bombs targets in the Mohnyin-Naba area.

 

In Burma, the 1st Battalion, of the 42nd Regiment, of the Chinese 14th Division, after making considerable progress through enemy territory, is halted by fire. Company F, of Task Force NEW GALAHAD, attempts to support the battalion. but loses its way and is destroyed as a fighting body.

 

Colonel Charles Hunter takes command of all US troops at Myitkyina.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, Japanese concentrations at Aitape and a variety of targets of opportunity including barges, villages and bivouacs in the Wewak area are hit by A-20s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers of the Far East Air Force (FEAF). Elsewhere, B-24s, B-25s, A-20s, and fighter-bombers attack airfields and anti-aircraft guns at Babo, Manokwari, Waren, and Moemi, barges at Noemfoor Island, and villages east of Maffin Bay. On New Britain Island, anti-aircraft positions south of Ralum are bombed.

 

On Biak, the 34th Infantry continues mopping up in the region north of the 186th Infantry, against little opposition. Mortars and tanks fire on the East Caves, from which engineers have recently received fire.

 

On the Aitape front, General Hall reorganizes Task Force PERSECUTION into three commands:

· The Western Defense Area, commanded by Brigadier General Alexander Stark, Jr.

· The Eastern Defense Area, under the command of General Gill.

· The Eastern Defense Command, lead by General Clarence Martin. General Martin’s command, holding the outer defense line along the Driniumor River, includes the 3rd Battalion, of the 127th Infantry, the 128th Infantry (less the 3rd Battalion), and Cavalry Regimental Combat Team 112.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s carry out bombing and strafing missions over Saipan, Tinian, and Rota islands. Meanwhile, B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, pound Truk Atoll, while B-25s, based at Makin Island, hit Ponape Island.

 

On Saipan, the 6th and 8th Marines, of the 2nd Marine Division, continue to clear rugged terrain on the left flank. The 27th Division’s 106th Infantry, after regrouping, drives northward in Death Valley, with the 1st and 2nd Battalions, of the 106th Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion, of the 105th Infantry abreast, gaining about 1,000 yards. To the right, the 2nd Battalion, of the 165th Infantry, tries in vain to take the northernmost hill of Purple Heart Ridge. The 4th Marine Division, with elements of the 165th Infantry still attached, consolidates and improves its positions on the right flank, and meets strong opposition on the left.

 

North Pacific Area

Two B-25s, from the 11th Air Force, fly a negative shipping sweep.

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Friday, June 30, 1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 448 – 75 B-17s hit the airfields at Montdidier, Le Culot and Coxyde/Furnes Airfield, in Belgium, while 78 B-24s, bomb the airfields at Conches and Evreux/Fauville, in France. Escort is provided by 178 P-51s, which strafe marshalling yards, airfields, barges, barracks, a train, a factory, and a warehouse after their escort duties are completed. No enemy aircraft are encountered and no aircraft are lost. Other P-38s, P-47s and P-51s hit bridges, marshalling yards and other targets in France, shooting down three Luftwaffe aircraft and destroying another on the ground. One P-38 is lost, with the pilot listed as missig, and another pilot dies from injuries sustained during the raid.

 

The RAF sends 151 Lancasters, 105 Halifaxes, and 10 Mosquitos to bomb a road junction at Villers Bocage, through which the tanks of two German Panzer divisions, the 2nd and 9th, would have to pass in order to carry out a planned attack on the junction of the British and American armies in Normandy that night. The raid is controlled with great care by the Master Bomber, who orders the bombing force to come down to 4,000 feet in order to be sure of seeing the markers in the smoke and dust of the exploding bombs. 1,100 tons of bombs are dropped with great accuracy and the planned German attack does not take place. Elsewhere, 102 Lancasters and five Mosquitos bomb a flying-bomb launching site at Oisemont, through heavy clouds. In other action, six Mosquitos fly uneventful Ranger patrols. One Halifax and one Lancaster are lost, with their crews.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 118 Lancasters to attack railway yards at the small town of Vierzon, south of Orléans. Elsewhere, 40 Mosquitos attack a Homberg oil plant, six fly radio counter measure sorties, 29 Mosquitos fly fighter patrols, and six Stirlings lay mines in the River Scheldt. One Mosquito and 11 Lancasters are lost, with crews.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 125 B-26s and A-20s, which are use blind-bombing methods in bad weather, to bomb fuel dumps and road junctions at Conde-sur-Vire, Foret de Conches, Conde-sur-Noireau, and Thury- Harcourt. Around 250 others are forced to abort due to the bad weather. Over 600 fighters escort the bombers, fly cover over the beach, and bomb the marshalling yards at Chartres and Verneuil-sur-Avres, bridges east of Paris, and Evreux-Bueil, and Breux-sur-Avre-Trappes rail lines. The fighters fly armed reconnaissance in the Seine-Loire gap and along the Loire River, and Continent-based fighters of the IX Tactical Air Command attack communications targets in advance of the US and British positions.

 

The 9th Air Force moves the 405th Fighter Group and the 510th Fighter Squadron, with P-47s, from England, to France.

 

General Montgomery, Commanding General, orders the US First Army to make a breakout attack, while the British Second Army continues its efforts to take Caen and contains the enemy between there and Villers-Bocage.

 

In US First Army’s VII Corps area, the enemy’s defense line on the Cap de la Hague Peninsula collapses under the 9th Division’s attacks. The 39th Infantry begins exploring the tip of the peninsula after nightfall. The 101st Airborne Division relieves the 4th Division at Cherbourg and latter starts south for a coming offensive.

 

In the XIX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 3rd Armored Division, gains its limited objectives northeast of St Lô, and is relieved there by the 115th Infantry, of the 29th Division.

 

Mediterranean Theater

Bad weather causes over 450 bombers and over 150 fighters, from the 15th Air Force, to abort missions. However, a force of 188 B-17s and B-24s, escorted by 138 fighters, hit the airfield at Zagreb, Yugoslavia, and targets of opportunity in Hungary, and Yugoslavia, including the marshalling yards at Kaposvar, Osztopan and Split, a highway bridge at Brac Island, an airfield at Banjaluka, and the city of Budapest, Hungary.

 

Italian Campaign

In Italy, weather again restricts 12th Air Force medium bomber operations, but B-25s attack the Pietrasanta railway bridge and Marradi viaduct and tunnel. Meanwhile, fighter-bombers hit rail lines, bridges, railroad cars, guns, motor transport, and other targets along the battle line and the area to the north, in the Pistoia area.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division continues the battle for Cecina. A battalion of the 135th Infantry establishes a bridgehead across the Cecina River and, with assistance of tanks, successfully defends it. The 133rd Infantry makes a main effort against the town of Cecina, which is still stoutly defended. To protect the right flank, the 168th Infantry is moved forward to the Cecina River by truck, and 3rd Battalion begins crossing without opposition.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the 4th Division overruns Petrignano in lively fighting.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, B-25s and fighter-bombers, of the 14th Air Force, again pound numerous targets in the Tungting Lake area, concentrating on river shipping, town areas, troop concentrations, and road traffic. Towns bombed include Pingkiang, Hengshan, Liling, Yuhsien, Siangyin, and Chuchou. Also hit is the airfield at Hengyang and bridges at Leiyang and Liling. Elsewhere, 15 P-40s, over northeastern French Indochina, damage bridge approaches at Phu Lang Thuong and blast three trains.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, 47 B-25s, from the 10th Air Force, continue the Imphal, India, ammunition run, while 17 B-25s haul gasoline to Kamaing. Elsewhere, 18 B- 25s bomb Tamu, while six others hit Wainggyo, and 11 P-38s attack the Myitnge bridge.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, barges, troop concentrations, and other targets of opportunity near Nyaparake and Suain are attacked by aircraft from the Far East Air Force (FEAF). The Kamiri and Namber airfields, supply areas, and defensive positions on Noemfoor Island are also bombed. are also hit.

 

On Biak, the 34th Infantry finishes mopping up its sector, ending the main phase of action on Biak, and withdraws to the beach. The 162nd and 186th Regiments move into assigned positions on the main and reserve lines.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, Task Force TORNADO completes the mop up of Lone Tree Hill and the surrounding region.

 

The main body of the Noemfoor attack forces leaves Toem at 1800 hours.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 389th Bomb Squadron (Light), with A-20s, from Nadzab to Hollandia.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s on Saipan Island continue to pound enemy forces remaining on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota Islands.

 

A detachment of the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, based at Kipapa Airfield, Territory of Hawaii, begins operating from Kwajalein Atoll, with F-5s.

 

On Saipan, the 2nd Marine Division continues to advance its center and right flanks, over difficult terrain, above Tipo Pale and Mt. Tapotchau. The 27th Division finishes clearing Death Valley and Purple Heart Ridge, and makes contact with the Marines on both flanks. This successfully concludes the battle for central Saipan. The 4th Marine Division continues to consolidate on the Kagman Peninsula and patrols deeply beyond the “0–6” line.

 

At a commander’s conference on Saipan, it is decided to land on Guam on July 21, and to reinforce the Southern Troops and Landing Force, the III Amphibious Corps, for this purpose, with the 77th Division. Postponement of the Guam invasion allows time for the 77th Division to arrive from Hawaii and permits a stronger and more prolonged preliminary bombardment.

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Saturday, July 1,1944

 

Washington, D.C.

General Marshall asks General Stilwell for his reaction to a possible split of the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) into two theaters, with General Sultan commanding in Burma, and General Stilwell leading the Chinese forces in China proper.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 449 – 78 B-17s, 245 B-24s and 166 P-51s are dispatched to bomb 14 V-weapon sites in northern France, but are recalled because of cloud cover.

 

The RAF sends 307 Halifaxes, with 15 Mosquitos and six Lancasters of the Pathfinders, to attack two flying bomb launching sites and a storage site.

 

In 8th Air Force fighter action, 124 P-51s, relieved of escort duty by the recall of the bombers, shoot down five Luftwaffe aircraft. Meanwhile, 97 P-38s, 169 P-47s and 99 P-51s attack rail and road targets in northern France.

 

During the night, the RAF targets oil plants, dispatching six Mosquitos to Scholven/Buer and four to Homberg.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Foul weather prevents operations by IX Bomber Command, but 47 fighters escort troop carriers and fly sweeps in the Vire area where about 20 fighters bomb tactical targets.

 

In the VII Corps area, organized resistance on the Cherbourg Peninsula ceases.

 

The British Second Army repels determined counterattacks against its salient between Tilly-sur-Seulles and Caen.

 

US First Army’s Field Order No. 1, as amended, prescribes the general offensive to be opened on July 3, by VIII Corps, on the western flank and extended progressively eastward by other corps as ordered.

 

IX Air Defense Command is activated in Hampstead Borouth, England, by the 9th Air Force, to provide air defense behind the advancing Allied ground forces in northern Europe, naming Brigadier General William Richardson as Commanding General.

 

Russian Front
Third White Russian forces take Borisov by storm.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force light and medium bombers hit fuel dumps, rail bridges, viaducts, and docks in north central Italy.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division’s 133rd Infantry gets forward elements to the Cecina River and clears the town of Cecina.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, X Corps, which is virtually out of contact with the enemy, replaces the 6th Armoured Division with the Indian 10th Division.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 14th Air Force B-25s and fighter-bombers again pound targets throughout the Tungting Lake region.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, eight P-40s, from the 10th Air Force, fly ground support missions in the Myitkyina area, while two B-25s bomb rail targets at Mohnyin and Naba.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, B-24s, from the Far East Air Force (FEAF), bomb the airfield at Namlea and hit shipping throughout the Amboina, Ambon Island-Ceram-Boeroe, Moluccas islands. Meanwhile, other B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and fighter-bombers hit airfields, anti-aircraft guns, bivouacs, supplies, and Japanese defenses on Noemfoor Island, in preparation for the Allied landings on July 2.

 

On Biak, Task Force HURRICANE begins aggressive patrolling to prevent enemy remnants from organizing for guerrilla warfare.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, to insure the safety of the Maffin Bay staging sector, Task Force TORNADO begins clearing the inland, between the Woske and Tor rivers. The 1st Infantry pushes along the coast to the Woske River.

 

As Task Force 77, under the command of Admiral Fechteler, consisting of most of the combat elements of VII Amphibious Force, of the US Seventh Fleet, plus Australian units, steams toward Noemfoor, with Task Force CYCLONE, Allied aircraft pound the island with over 200 tons of bombs, continuing a program of aerial bombardment of enemy bases there and on the Vogelkop Peninsula.

 

Central Pacific Area

In the Marianas Islands, 7th Air Force P-47s fly bombing and strafing missions over Saipan, Tinian, and Rota islands.

 

The V Amphibious Corps drives toward the next phase line, “0–7,” which extends across the northern neck of Saipan.

 

North Pacific Area

At dawn, in the Kurile Islands, four 11th Air Force B-24s, using radar aiming equipment, bomb southern Shimushu Island and the Kurabu Cape Airfield, on Paramushiru Island, through overcast skies.

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Sunday, July 2,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 450 – A force of 350 B-17s and B-24s bomb V-weapon sites in France, losing one B-24, with nine men listed as missing.

 

The RAF sends 374 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos to attack three V-weapons sites.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

All IX Bomber Command missions are cancelled due to bad weather.

 

The US First Army commits VII Corps, with the 4th, 9th, and 83rd Divisions under its command, between VIII Corps and XIX Corps.

 

Russian Front
Third and First White Russian forces are enveloping Minsk.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends over 620 bombers to targets in Hungary and Yugoslavia, losing 14 aircraft are lost, with about 14 more listed as missing.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium and light bombers continue to pound enemy communication lines north of the battle area.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 133rd Infantry, of the 34th Division, closes along the Cecina River and takes Cecina Marine at its mouth.

 

The French Expeditionary Force (FEC) takes Simignano, southwest of Siena, and pushes on toward Siena.

 

In British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, patrols reach the junction of Highways 71 and 75 without opposition. The South African 6th Armoured Division advances through Sinalunga, from which the enemy has withdrawn. The 4th Division takes Fojano, without opposition. X Corps is unopposed throughout the day but regains contact with the enemy after nightfall.

 

The Chief of Staff, of the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI), issues an “appreciation” paper, concerning the course of action after the necessary forces for Operation ANVIL have withdrawn from Italy. It concludes that the offensive in Italy can be continued on a limited scale, but recommends that AAI be reinforced, if possible, in order to secure the Ljubljana Gap and invade southern Germany.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 11 B-25s and 42 fighter-bombers, from the 14th Air Force, again attack river shipping, compounds, and troop concentrations in the Tungting Lake region.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches seven P-40s to continue support of ground forces in the Myitkyina area, of Burma, and two B-25s hit railroad tracks at Pinwe and Katha.

 

In the Myitkyina area, General Wessels withdraws the Chinese forces directed toward Sitapur, in order to strengthen the northern flank.

 

On the Salween front, Chinese troops begin an assault on Teng-chung during a violent monsoon rainfall.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s, and fighter-bombers, along with naval guns, bombard the Kamiri area, of Noemfoor Island.

 

At Noemfoor, after extremely heavy and effective naval gunfire and air bombardment of the assault zone, which started 80 minutes before H-Hour, Task Force CYCLONE, comprised of Regimental Combat Team 158, reinforced, lands at 0800 hours on the northern part of the island in the Kamiri Airfield region, without opposition.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s on Saipan Island bomb and strafe forces on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota Islands.

 

On Saipan, on the extreme left flank, the 2nd Marines, of the 2nd Marine Division, easily seizes Garapan, which has been leveled by bombardment. After nightfall, the Japanese fall back to their final defense line on northern Saipan.

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Monday, July 3,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

55 B-17s, from the 8th Air Force, and in Italy on the USSR shuttle mission, join 15th Air Force bombers in hitting the marshalling yards at Arad, Rumania. 38 P-51s, of the VIII Fighter Command, and also on the shuttle run, fly escort for the mission .

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches six Mosquitos to Scholven/Buer, and four to Homberg.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends nearly 275 fighters to strafe and bomb strongpoints, gun positions, a fuel dump, communication lines, bridges, and patrol the beach in the vicinity of Lessay and Periers, south of the US First Army's advance.

 

The US First Army opens a general offensive, to become known as the Battle of the Hedgerows, on west flank.

 

Field Marshal Guenther von Kluge relieves Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt as German Commander in Chief West.

 

Russian Front
Minsk falls to the Third and First White Russian Fronts.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 600 B-17s and B-24s to attack targets in Rumania, and Yugoslavia,

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-26s and A-20s pound enemy fuel dumps, while B-25s hit bridges, tunnels, and viaducts.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division begins a drive on Leghorn.

 

In French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, Siena falls to the 3rd Algerian Division, during the morning.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the 78th Division finds Cortona undefended and is passed through by the 6th Armoured Division.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

General Stilwell, replying to General Marshall’s inquiry of July 1, expresses no eagerness for a field assignment in China and comments on the situation in China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, four B-24s, from the 14th Air Force, bomb the Yoyang railroad yards, in the Tungting Lake area, while B-25s and P-40s pound river shipping, bridges, gun sites, compounds, and villages at several locations. Meanwhile, B-25s drop ammunition to Chinese ground forces at Hengyang. In French Indochina, P-40s damage a bridge at Phu Lang Thuong and hit nearby targets of opportunity.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends over 20 fighter-bombers to support ground forces in the Myitkyina area, of Burma, which also is covered by 10 planes on combat patrol.

 

In XXXIII Corps sector of British Fourteenth Army area, Ukhrul falls to troops of the Indian 7th Division and the 23rd Long Range Penetration Brigade.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) P-38s and B-25s hit personnel and supply areas south of Kamiri and support invading ground forces. Meanwhile, Efman Island, Manokwari, and Biak Island are attacked by B-24s, A-20s, and fighters. The Wewak coastal area continues under sustained air attacks. Elsewhere, B-24s hit airstrips, anti-aircraft positions, and targets of opportunity in the Yap Island group.

 

On Noemfoor, moving east along the north coast, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, of the 158th Infantry, extend the beachhead perimeter some 1,800 yards toward the Kornasoren Airfield. The 1st Battalion, of the 503rd Parachute Infantry, moving from Hollandia in C–47s, drops on the Kamiri Airfield and takes responsibility for the central sector of the airfield defenses.

 

On Biak, elements of Company E, of the 542nd Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment, and Company E, of the 163rd Infantry, push into the East Caves area, with unexpected ease.

 

The Japanese 18th Army issues a plan for an attack, in force, across the Driniumor River, on the Biak mainland, beginning on the night of July 10/11.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s continue to hit enemy troops remaining on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota Islands. Elsewhere, B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, bomb Truk Atoll.

 

On Saipan, the V Amphibious Corps pushes quickly toward the “0–7” line. On the left flank, the 2nd Marine Division is being pinched out, as the 27th Division, making a main effort, veers northwest toward Tanapag Harbor.

 

In the Volcano-Bonin islands, Task Force 58 makes destructive attacks on ground installations and shipping at Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands, and Haha Jima and Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands, employing naval gunfire as well as US Navy carrier aircraft.

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Tuesday, July 4,1944

 

Washington, D.C.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a memorandum to President Roosevelt, recommend that:

· General Stilwell be promoted from the rank of Lt. General to General.

· Chiang Kai-shek be urged to place General Stilwell in command of all Chinese forces.

· General Sultan be given command of the Chinese Corps in Burma.

· General Wheeler replace General Stilwell as Deputy to Admiral Mountbatten.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 451 – 300 B-17s and 258 B-24s are dispatched to attack airfields north and west of Paris.

 

The RAF dispatches 307 Halifaxes, 15 Mosquitos, and six Lancasters to attack three flying bomb launching sites.

 

In VIII Fighter Command action, 144 P-38s and 176 P-47s hit marshalling yards and other targets in France.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 231 Lancasters and 15 Mosquitos, with some Pathfinder aircraft, to continued the attack on the underground flying-bomb storage facility at St Leu d'Esserent, with 1,000 pound bombs, in an attempt to cut all communications to the site.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Bad weather curtails 9th Air Force bomber operations, but a group of 95 B-26s and A-20s bomb a rail bridge at Oissel and strongly defended positions north of Anneville-sur-Mer.

 

In US First Army area, US VIII Corps continues to make slow progress southward on the west flank of the US First Army.

 

In the British Second Army’s I Corps area, in preparation for an all-out assault on Caen, the Canadian 3rd Division seizes Carpiquet, but is held up short of its airfield for some time by enemy defenders.

 

Russian Front
Troops of First Baltic Front overrun Polotsk.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends over 250 bombers to attack targets in Rumania. B-24s bomb a bridge and railroad repair works at Pitesti and B-17s bomb an oil refinery at Brasov. Over 350 fighters escort the bombers and carry out sweeps in the target area, shooting down 17 enemy fighters. One Fighter Group strafes two landing grounds and a troop train in Yugoslavia, on the return trip to their base.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather cancels 12th Air Force light and medium bomber operations, and fighter-bomber operations are greatly reduced.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, on 34th Division’s western flank, clears about a third of Rosignano. The 442nd Infantry slightly improves its positions in the center. To the right, the 168th Infantry attempts in vain to reach Castellina, a key enemy position, but overruns Hill 675 (Monte Vitalba).

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the 3rd Algerian Division completes its withdrawal to Naples and is replaced by the 4th Mountain Division.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps, with the South African 6th Armoured Division on the left, the British 4th Division in the center, and the British 6th Armoured Division on the right, moves forward to the Monte Lignano hill mass, below Arezzo.

 

The US Seventh Army moves to Naples in preparation for the invasion of southern France.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force dispatches 38 B-25s and 74 fighter-bombers to attack targets throughout the Tungting Lake-Yangtze River region and in the Yellow River and Canton areas, of China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends over 30 P-40s to continue supporting ground forces near Myitkyina, Burma.

 

Pacific Theater

Admiral Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Theater (CINCPOA), in a radio message to Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations (COMINCH), rejects the suggestion of June 13, that target dates for operations in the Pacific be advanced. Nimitz states that air forces should be established on Mindanao, before Formosa is invaded and expresses doubt that General MacArthur can reach Mindanao by October 25 as hoped.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, Far East Air Force (FEAF) A-20s continue to support of Allied ground forces on Noemfoor Island.

 

On Noemfoor, the 3rd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, continuing along the north coast unopposed, takes the Kornasoren Airfield. The 3rd Battalion, of the 503rd Parachute Infantry, drops on Kamiri Airfield, suffering casualties exceeding eight percent, and relieves elements of the 3rd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry. Because of the high casualty rate during airdrops, it is decided to fly the rest of the 503rd Parachute Infantry to the Kamiri Airfield, when the field can safely receive C–47s.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s on Saipan Island continue fighter-bomber operations against forces on Saipan, Tinian, Aguijan and Rota islands.

 

On Saipan, the V Amphibious Corps completes their drive to the northern neck of Saipan and prepares for the final phase of the battle, in which two divisions will advance northeast on Marpi Point and its airfield.

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Wednesday, July 5,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 453 – 79 B-17s are dispatched to the Netherlands, and 221 B-24s bomb airfields and V-weapon sites in France, escorted by 192 P-51s. 71 B-17s hit the Beziers marshalling yard, escorted by a force of 228 P-47s and P-51s. Two P-47s and three P-51 are lost, with the pilots listed as missing.

 

In 8th Air Force fighter-bomber action, 93 P-47s bomb targets in France, losing two P-47s and two P-38s, with the pilots listed as missing.

 

70 B- 17s, from the 8th Air Force, on a UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle mission, join B-24s, from the 15th Air Force, to attack a marshalling yard at Beziers, France, while on the last leg from Italy, to the UK. 42 P-51s return to UK with the B-17s.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 321 Lancasters, 201 Halifaxes, and 20 Mosquitos to attack two flying bomb launching sites and two storage facilities. 154 Lancasters are sent to the main railway area at Dijon, 35 Mosquitos hit Scholven/Buer and 10 more hit Düren.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of about 180 B-26s and A-20s to bomb bridges at Caen, also hitting sidings, tracks, and rolling stock. In the afternoon four NOBALL (V-weapon) headquarters are hit. Over 600 fighters escort the bombers.

 

In US First Army area, the 35th Division begins landing on the Continent. VIII Corps overruns the railroad stations at La Haye-du- Puits. VII Corps continues to make slow progress toward Priers.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches almost 500 bombers to attack targets in France. Close to 200 fighter sorties are flown in support of the mission.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-25s bomb the Villafranca di Verona marshalling yard, the Aulla railroad bridge, and the Ostiglia fuel dumps, while A-20s blast a supply dump and rail lines, and fighter-bombers hit tracks, bridges, roads, and other targets in the battle area.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, of the 34th Division, gains about half of Rosignano, as stubborn fighting continues.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps meets stiffening resistance all along the battle line.

 

In the British X Corps area, the Indian 10th Division reaches Umbertide, while the Germans are again withdrawing in front of the advance.

 

In the Polish 2 Corps area, Badia falls to the 3rd Carpathian Division.

 

As a result of the decision to undertake Operation ANVIL, General Wilson issues a new directive calling for the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) to advance to the Po River line, and from there to a line extending from Venice, to Padua, to Verona, to Brescia. He promises that the US 92nd Division and a Brazilian division may be expected as reinforcements, with the 92nd arriving around September 15 and the Brazilian division by the end of October.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 136 fighter-bombers and 64 B-25s to attack targets throughout the Tungting Lake area, in China. Meanwhile, 22 B-24s bomb a supply and ammunition depot at Canton, six B-25s attack airfields in the area, and five B-24s lay mines in Shanghai harbor.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches a group of over 20 P-40s and A-36s to continue support in the Myitkyina sector, of Burma, while 12 other aircraft fly armed reconnaissance in the same area.

 

On the Salween front, the Chinese 8th Army, which has assembled east and south of Sung Shan, begins an assault on that enemy stronghold after night-long arty preparation.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

The Far East Air Force (FEAF) launches light air strikes in support of troops on Noemfoor Island, and B-24s bomb airstrips and anti-aircraft guns on Yap Island and Woleai Atoll, also hitting Sorol Atoll and Peleliu Island.

 

On Noemfoor, the 1st Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, on Hill 201, repels the only major counterattack offered by the Japanese during the Noemfoor operation, early in morning, and virtually annihilates the enemy force of 350 to 400 men.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, elements of the 63rd Infantry take the crest of Mt. Saksin.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s fly fighter-bomber operations over Saipan, Rota, and Tinian Islands.

 

On Saipan, the V Amphibious Corps begins the final phase of the assault on island.

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Thursday, July 6,1944

 

Washington, D.C.

President Roosevelt, accepting the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of July 4, radios Chiang Kai-shek as suggested.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 455 – In the morning, 641 B-17s and 159 B-24s bomb18 V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area, of France.

 

8th Air Force Mission 456 – In the late afternoon 104 B-17s and 176 B-24s strike six V-weapon sites and supply installations, three railroad bridges, a highway bridge, and an airfield in northern France.

 

The RAF sends 314 Halifaxes, 210 Lancasters, 26 Mosquitos, and a Mustang to attack five V-weapon targets.

 

8th Air Force Mission 457 – During the night, seven B-17s drop leaflets in Belgium and France, and 20 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions. A C-47 makes the first landing at a secret airstrip in the Ain, France area.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 33 Mosquitos to Scholven/Buer and three to the Mezieres railway junction, while six fly Intruder missions and 16 fly flying-bomb patrols.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

During the morning, the 9th Air Force sends a force of about 500 B-26s and A-20s to bomb bridges and rail lines at eight locations. In the afternoon, five more targets are attacked, including bridges, fuel dumps, railroad tracks, and a V-weapon location.

 

In the US First Army area, VIII Corps continues to close in on La Haye-du-Puits, which is nearly enveloped, but the enemy is putting up a staunch defense.

 

The US Third Army establishes their headquarters at Nehou, France.

 

Russian Front
Elements of the First White Russian Front occupy Kovel, from which the Germans have withdrawn.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 530 B-17s and B-24s, escorted by P-51s and P-38s, to attack the Verona marshalling yard, the Bergamo steel works, the Avisio viaduct, the Tagliamento-Casarsa della Delizia railroad bridge, Aviano oil and gasoline storage, Porto Marghera oil storage, and the Trieste oil refinery.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force A-20s continue attacks on fuel supplies. Medium bombers again hit communication, concentrating on bridges north of the battle line.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, of the 34th Division, continues clearing Rosignano.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps is still meeting strong opposition below Arezzo, but the 4th Division takes Poggio all’Olmo.

 

In the Polish 2 Corps area, the 3rd Carpathian Division seizes Osima.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (India)

Brigadier General LaVern Saunders becomes Commanding General of XX Bomber Command, with Headquarters at Kharagpur, India.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

14th Air Force B-25s, P-40s, and P-51s continue to pound river shipping, bridges, troop concentrations, road traffic, and general targets of opportunity throughout a wide area around Tungting Lake and along the Yangtze River, in China.

 

During the night, B-25s bomb Tien Ho Airfield at Canton.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends 12 P-40s to attack a bridge near Myitkyina, Burma, while over 40 others support ground forces in the area.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

East Air Force (FEAF) B-25s, A-20s, and fighter-bombers continue to pound the Wewak area, in New Guinea, concentrating on troops south of Matapau. B-25s and fighter-bombers sweep the north coast of the Vogelkop Peninsula and offshore islands, hitting targets of opportunity. B-24s bomb the town and warehouse area of Yap Island and a few hit the airfield at Woleai Atoll.

 

On Noemfoor, after naval and air preparation, the 2nd Battalion, of the 158th Infantry, makes an amphibious assault on the Namber Airfield, and takes it without opposition by 1240 hours.

 

On Biak, loudspeakers are moved into the East Caves in an effort to induce the Japanese to surrender.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s bomb and strafe forces on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian Islands.

 

On Saipan, after a futile attempt by the 27th Division to draw abreast of the 4th Marine Division, new orders are issued at 0900 hours. The 27th Division zone is limited in the west coastal area to a point just beyond Makunsha village, and extends inland to include the valley running south of it, dubbed Paradise Valley, and Harakiri Gulch. Marines are given the responsibility for the rest of the island to the northeast. Some progress is made toward Makunsha on the left, but efforts to overrun Harakiri Gulch and push to the coast via Paradise Valley are largely futile. The 4th Marine Division attacks with the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Regiments abreast, from left to right, in an expanded zone. They make rapid progress against sporadic resistance except on the left, where the 23rd Marines are strongly opposed, while attempting to push into Paradise Valley from the west and becomes out of contact with the 24th Marines. The 24th Marines gains 1,400 to 1,800 yards. The 25th Marines moves quickly up the east coast, assisted by naval gunfire, to Mt. Petosukara, and accepts the surrender of 700 to 800 civilians.

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Friday, July 7,1944

 

Washington, D.C.

General Marshall informs General Stilwell of the action taken by President Roosevelt and urges Stilwell to maintain friendly relations with Chiang Kai-shek.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 458 – 1,129 bombers and 756 fighters are dispatched to attack targets in Germany.

 

In preparation for all-out assault on Caen by the British Second Army, the RAF sends 283 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes, and 20 Mosquitos to bomb military targets.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 208 Lancasters and 13 Mosquitos, with some Pathfinder aircraft, to attack a flying-bomb storage dump, located in a group of tunnels, which had been used for growing mushrooms, at St Leu d'Esserent. Meanwhile, 123 Lancasters and five Mosquitos fly an accurate raid on the railway yards at Vaires, 106 aircraft fly a diversionary sweep almost to the coast of Holland, and seven Mosquitos drop “spoof” markers in support of the St Leu d'Esserent raid.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 100 A-20s and B-26s to bomb a rail bridge near Tours, and targets of opportunity in the Lisieux and Beuzeville areas, of France. Over 500 fighters fly escort and area cover, carry out armed reconnaissance.

 

In US First Army’s VIII Corps area, the 79th and 90th Divisions continue their efforts to break through enemy positions in the La Haye-du-Puits–Mont Castre Forest area and repel several counterattacks.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends over 560 bombers to attack targets in Germany, and Yugoslavia.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force A-20s bomb fuel supplies, while B-26s and B-25s score direct hits on railway bridges at Reggio Emilia, and over the Fratta River and possible hits on the Santa Maria di Mugnano bridge and two other bridges in the area.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, of the 34th Division, completes the clearing of Rosignano, but the enemy is holding out just beyond the town.

 

The French Expeditionary Force (FEC) gets forward elements beyond Highway 68.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the South African 6th Armoured Division retains a foothold on the slopes of Monte Lignano, against strong counterthrusts.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (India)

During the night, the 20th Air Force dispatches 14 B-29s, operating out of Chengtu, China, to bomb Sasebo, Omura, and Tobata, Japan. Most of the planes hit the Sasebo area, and three attack secondary and last resort targets at Laoyao and in the Hankow area, of China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In the Tungting Lake area, of China, 14th Air Force B-25s and fighter-bombers hit Yoyang, Siangtan, Liling, and Yungfengshih areas.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, 20 fighter-bombers, from the 10th Air Force, hit targets of opportunity at Okkyin and Namkwin and strafe trucks near Myitkyina. Meanwhile four B-25s attack bridges and railroad tracks at Hopin and Naba.

 

The British 36 Division, which has moved forward to replace the 77th Long Range Penetration (LRP) Brigade, of the Indian 3rd Division, is transferred to the command of General Stilwell.

 

On Salween front, the Chinese 8th Army continues operations to clear Sung Shan with a night attack, by the 246th Regiment, of 82nd Division. Although the peak is seized, the Japanese counterattack and drive the Chinese off, causing 200 casualties.

 

Pacific Theater

Admiral Nimitz orders his commanders to prepare for the invasion of the southern Palau Islands (Angaur, Peleliu, Ngesebus) on September 15 and of Yap and Ulithi, northeast of the Palaus, on October 5.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s and A-20s bomb the Moemi and Nabire airfields, and supply dumps along the Wiske River.

 

On Biak, a company of the 163rd Infantry attempts to move into the Ibdi Pocket, but finds the enemy repairing old fortifications and building new ones.

 

Central Pacific Area

On Saipan, Japanese remnants, estimated at about 3,000, make a last desperate counterattack, which overwhelms most of the 105th Infantry, on the left flank of 27th Division, as well as guns of the 3rd Battalion, of the 10th Marines, before it is stemmed at the 105th Infantry Command Post. The 106th Infantry is committed to relieve the 105th Infantry and recovers most of the lost ground, but stops a little short of 105th, isolated remnants of which are withdrawn by water.

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Saturday, July 8 ,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 460 – 567 bombers abort because of bad weather, while the others continue to their targets in France.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 10 Mosquitos to Scholven/Buer.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of about 280 A-20s and B-26s to bomb the V-weapon headquarters at Chateau-de-Ribeaucourt, numerous strongpoints in the Caen battle area, rail bridges at Mantes-La-Jolie, Saumur, Nogent-le-Roi, and Caen.

 

In the US First Army area, VIII Corps overruns La Haye-du-Puits during an attack from the west by the 79th Division.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 113th Cavalry Group, of the 30th Division, and the 3rd Armored Division expand the bridgehead despite difficulty in coordinating the movement of infantry and armor within a limited sector.

 

In the British Second Army area, I Corps opens an assault Caen at 0420 hours, with the Canadian 3rd Division on the right, the 59th Division in the center, and the 3rd Division on the left.

 

Russian Front
Units of the First White Russian Front overrun Baranovichi.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 520 B-17s and B-24s to attack targets in the area around Vienna, Austria, bombing the refineries at Vosendorf and Korneuburg, the airfields at Zwolfaxing, Markersdorf, and Munchendorf, and the marshalling yard and oil storage at Vienna/Floridsdorf, and the airfield at Veszprem.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers pound the marshalling yards at Novi Ligure, Piacenza, Mantua, and Ferrara, and tracks near Parma.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division continues its drive on Leghorn and makes some headway.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the 4th Group of Tabors attacks toward San Gimignano, west of Poggibonsi, and takes Hill 380, two miles north of Highway 68.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps undergoes further enemy counterattacks. In the X Corps area, the Indian 4th Division takes command of the sector west of the Tiber River.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek agrees in principle to President Roosevelt’s request that General Stilwell be permitted to command Chinese forces, but asks that an influential personal representative of the President’s be sent to China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 14th Air Force B-25s and fighter-bombers fly nearly 100 sorties against targets in the Tungting Lake area.

 

20 Japanese aircraft bomb the Suichwan Airfield, rendering it temporarily unusable.

 

In French Indochina, 10 P-40s hit shipping all along the coast while five B-25s knock out two bridges at Cam Lo.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, the 10th Air Force dispatches a group of over 30 A-36s and P-40s to attack a bridge at Myitkyina and support ground forces in the area. 12 B-25s also pound Myitkyina.

 

On the Salween front, five Chinese divisions have encircled Tengchung.

 

Southwest Pacific Area 5th Air Force 13th Air Force

In New Guinea, Far East Air Force (FEAF) medium bombers and fighter-bombers hit fuel dumps, barges, villages, and various other targets at Babo, Fak Fak, Sagan, Kokas, at the mouth of the Maroe River, along Cape Kariensore, and west of Namber. Meanwhile,

 

In the Aitape area, General Krueger orders General Hall to reconnoiter in force across the Driniumor River.

 

During a planning conference at General Krueger’s command post, plans are made for operations in the Sansapor-Marine region of the Vogelkop. The plans are only made on a tentative basis, since terrain information is lacking.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s fly fighter-bomber operations against troops on Saipan, Pagan, and Tinian Islands, in the Marianas Islands. B-24s stage through Eniwetok Atoll and bomb Truk Atoll.

 

The 2nd Marine Division, along with the 165th Infantry, attacks through the 27th Division, to clear the remaining enemy from Saipan.

 

Warships of Southern Attack Force begin naval bombardment of Guam coastal defenses.

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July 9, 1944

British and Canadian troops enter Caen.

The final organized Japanese resistance on Saipan is overcome.

"Get to those men in Bastogne" - (then) LTC. Creighton Abrams, battalion commander of the 4th Armored Division spearhead that broke the seige on Dec. 26, 1944.


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Sunday, July 9,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 462 – 150 B-17s are dispatched to bomb bridges and airfields in France, but cloud cover causes the bombers to hit targets of opportunity.

 

The RAF sends 197 Halifaxes, 120 Lancasters, and 30 Mosquitos to bomb six V-weapon launching sites, but most of the targets are cloud covered and some of the bombing is scattered.

 

8th Air Force Mission 463 – 104 B-24s and 77 B-17s are dispatched to hit CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites in France, but they encounter poor weather.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 250 B-26s and A-20s to targets in France, but bad weather forces most of the aircraft to return.

 

In US First Army area, VIII Corps attempts to push beyond La Haye-du-Puits, but makes little headway against dual handicaps of a stubborn enemy and hedgerow terrain.

 

In the VII Corps area, the 4th and 83rd Divisions gain several hundred yards toward Périers, in violent fighting, with the 83rd Infantry overrunning St Eny.

 

In the XIX Corps area, while the 113th Cavalry Group and Combat Command A, of the 3rd Armored Division, hold on the right flank, the 30th Division and attached Combat Command B continue their offensive toward Hauts-Vents, their immediate objective.

 

In the British Second Army’s I Corps area, Caen falls as the 3rd Division, driving south into the city, meets the Canadian 3rd Division, which enters from the west.

 

Russian Front
Lida falls to the Third White Russian Front.

 

Mediterranean Theater

In the 15th Air Force’s first Pathfinder-led mission, a force of 222 B-17s and B-24s bomb the Xenia and Concordia Vega oil refineries at Ploesti, Rumania.

 

Italian Campaign

Weather greatly curtails 12th Air Force operations.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, 34th Division’s 135th and attached 442nd Regiments make slow progress above Rosignano.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the enemy forces the 4th Group of Tabors from Hill 380, after a seesaw battle. The 1st and 6th Moroccan Infantry relieve the goumiers and start toward Hill 380, regaining it before dawn of 10th.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, plans are made for an attack by XIII Corps on Arezzo, on the 15th, by which time the 2nd Division of the Canadian I Corps will have moved forward to strengthen the assault.

 

In the Polish 2 Corps area, Italians take Filottrano after about a week of hard fighting.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 40 P-40s and eight B-25s to hit the town area, trucks, and supply sampans at Shayang and damage tunnel entrances and a highway bridge at Sinyang, in China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches a group of over 60 A-36s, P-51s, P-47s, and P-40s to support ground forces and hit a bridge in the Myitkyina area, in Burma.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, A-20s and fighter-bombers, from the Far East Air Force (FEAF), pound shipping, airfields, troops, and other targets at Babo, Manokwari, Efman, Biak and various points along the coastline of Geelvink Bay.

 

On Biak, the Far East Air Force (FEAF) joins in the bombardment of the Ibdi Pocket.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, the 1st Battalion, of the 1st Regiment, and the 1st Battalion, of the 63rd Regiment, complete a battle for the crest of Hill 265, southwest of Hill 225. This is the last enemy strongpoint in Maffin Bay region.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s hit the remnants of Japanese forces on Saipan and Tinian Islands. Makin Island-based B-25s bomb Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands.

 

On Saipan, the 2nd Marine Division mops up additional enemy on the west flank. Saipan is declared secure by Admiral Turner at 1615 hours. The final mop up of stragglers is assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, the 4th Marine Divisions, and the 165th Infantry which is still attached to the 4th Marine Division. During the Saipan operation, US forces suffer 14,111 casualties, which is about 20% of its total strength of 71,034. Of the 14,000 casualties, 3,674 are Army and 10,437 are Marine Corps. The Japanese garrison of about 30,000, is virtually destroyed. Saipan is within bombing range of Japan and is to become base for B–29’s.

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Monday, July 10,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 465 – During the night, six B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Netherlands, while 12 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

 

The RAF dispatches 213 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos to attack a flying-bomb storage dump at Nucort, but the target is covered by clouds and the bombing is not concentrated. Meanwhile, six Mosquitos fly Ranger patrols, shooting down one Ju88 near Oldenburg.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 35 Mosquitos to Berlin.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

9th Air Force fighters bomb and strafe gun positions, bridges, a rail overpass, infantry concentrations, and highway junctions, and cover the battle area.

 

In the US First Army area, VIII Corps advances some 3,000 yards beyond La Haye-du-Puits, with the 90th Division overrunning the Mont Castre Forest.

 

In the XIX Corps area, Combat Command B, of the 3rd Armored Division, renews its efforts to reach Hauts-Vents, but is stopped a little short.

 

In the British Second Army area, I Corps mops up within Caen. VIII Corps begins a drive toward Thury Harcourt, attacking between the Odon and the Orne rivers.

 

General Montgomery issues orders for an offensive, calling for a strong southward drive (Operation COBRA) by the US First Army, which will be assisted by a British Second Army attack to the east and south of Caen.

 

Russian Front
Troops of Third White Russian Front encircle Vilno.

 

Field Marshal Walter Model, who has replaced Field Marshal Ernst Busch as commander of German Army Group Center, proposes that Army Group North be withdrawn behind the Dvina in order to employ elements on the central front, but Hitler refuses. By this time, the German 9th and 4th Armies have been virtually destroyed on the central front.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers successfully hit marshalling yards, railroad bridges, and viaducts in north central Italy.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th and 442nd Regiments, on 34th Division’s left flank, make slow progress toward Leghorn. On the right, the 133rd Infantry attacks through Casale and the 363rd Infantry moves forward, abreast to it . Progress on the right flank of IV Corps is negligible.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 70 P-40s and six B-25s to attack river shipping between Siangtan and Siangsiang, between Changsha and Chuchou, and north of Hengyang, all in China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, 24 P-40s and P-51s, from the 10th Air Force, support ground forces at Myitkyina, as a group of over 20 A-36s P-51s, P-47s, and P-40s hit Mogaung, buildings and boxcars at Mohnyin, trucks at Sahmaw, a factory at Loiwing, and a Punga pagoda.

 

On the Salween front, the 307th Regiment, of the 103rd Division, of the Chinese 8th Army, is continuing costly efforts to clear the enemy from Sung Shan.

 

In British Fourteenth Army’s XXXIII Corps area, the Japanese have been cleared from the immediate vicinity of Ukhrul.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s attack Laha, Namlea, and targets of opportunity in the Boeroe Island, Sunda Islands-Ceram Island-Ambon Island area.

 

South Pacific Area

On Biak, Companies K and L, of the 163rd Infantry, push into Ibdi Pocket.

 

In the Aitape area, Task Force PERSECUTION begins reconnaissance in force east of the Driniumor River.

 

During night, the enemy attacks west, across the Driniumor, in force, breaking through the line of the PERSECUTION Covering Force on a 1,300 yard front and threatening Paup villages along the coast. Company E, of the 128th Infantry, is overwhelmed and suffers heavy casualties. Company G is also heavily hit but checks the enemy onslaughts. Reconnaissance forces east of the river are ordered to withdraw to the river line.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s hit troops and gun positions on Tinian Island. Elsewhere, B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, pound Truk Atoll.

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Tuesday, July 11,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 466 – 1,176 bombers and 795 fighters attack targets in Germany.

 

The RAF dispatches 26 Lancasters and six Mosquitos, on two separate raids, to a flying-bomb site at Gapennes.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

9th Air Force A-20s and B-26s strike fuel dumps, NOBALL (V-weapon) sites and other targets in France.

 

The US First Army attacks the St Lô area with four corps abreast.

 

In British Second Army’s XXX Corps area, 50th Division improves its positions near Hottot, against lively resistance.

 

Mediterranean Theater

Bad weather curtails 15th Air Force bomber activity.

 

Italian Campaign

Bad weather again hampers 12th Air Force operations.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 442nd Infantry, in the 34th Division sector, gets almost to Pastina.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, the New Zealand 2nd Division begins concentrating within XIII Corps’ zone, to assist in the drive on Arezzo.

 

The Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) orders MALLORY MAJOR, an air offensive against Po River bridges, to go forward.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 28 B-24s, from the 14th Air Force, bomb a storage base at Sinshih, while 24 P-40s hit river traffic at Hengyang and east of Siangsiang, and 22 other P-40s attack the town of Hengyang, hitting Japanese-occupied buildings and a bridge.

 

The Japanese, having completed preparations for a stronger assault on Heng-yang, renew their attack, and are stoutly opposed by the Chinese garrison, which is assisted by aircraft.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches over 70 fighter-bombers to attack the barracks at Myitkyina, bridges at Namkwin and Mohnyin, and the airfield at Lashio.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

In New Guinea, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound the airfield at Babo, while A-20s hit supply dumps at Kokas.

 

On Noemfoor, Task Force CYCLONE starts regrouping for systematic mopping up operations.

 

In the Aitape area, PERSECUTION Covering Force begins a general withdrawal from the Driniumor River line. General Krueger later orders positions along the Driniumor restored.

 

On Biak, the 3rd Battalion, of the 163rd Infantry, begins steadily compressing the Japanese in the Ibdi Pocket.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s pound forces on Tinian and Pagan Islands.

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Wednesday, July 12,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 468 – 131 B-24s, escorted by 144 RAF Spitfires, are dispatched to bomb 10 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites in the Rouen area, but abort because of a thick blanket of low clouds over the target area.

 

8th Air Force Mission 469 – 1,124 bombers bomb the city of Munich.

 

The RAF dispatches 168 Halifaxes, 46 Lancasters, and eight Mosquitos to bombed a storage dump at Thiverny, but the target is cloud-covered and no results were seen.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 378 Lancasters and seven Mosquitos to attack railway targets at Culmont, Revigny and Tours. Meanwhile, 196 Halifaxes, 17 Lancasters, and 17 Mosquitos hit four flying bomb launch sites.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 300 A-20s and B-26s to fuel dumps at Foret d'Andaine and Foret d'Ecouves, military concentrations at Foret de Cinglais, rail bridges at Merey, Cinq Mars-la-Pile, Saumur, Nantes, and Nogent-le- Roi, and other rail and road targets.

 

US VIII Corps makes substantial progress southward toward the Ay and Sèves rivers, as enemy opposition diminishes.

 

US VII Corps makes limited gains toward Raids, on the Carentan– Périers road, and toward the Les Champs-de-Losque crossroads, against strong resistance.

 

US XIX Corps continues its attack on St Lô, moving in slowly.

 

In the US V Corps area, the 2nd Division, against light resistance, finishes clearing all assigned objectives in the area of Hill 192 and gains firm control of the highway to St Lô, from Bérigny to La Calvaire.

 

The British Second Army is largely engaged in regrouping.

 

The US First Army relinquishes command of 101st Airborne Division, which is to return to England for rest and training.

 

Russian Front
The Soviet offensive is broadening. Moscow announces the opening of attacks in a region between Nevel and Ostrov, by the Second Baltic Front, which overruns Idritsa, on the rail line to Riga.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches over 420 B-24s to attack targets in southeastern France, scoring numerous hits on the Nimes and Miramas marshalling yards, and cutting rail lines at the Theoule-sur-Mer bridge and Var River bridge, in Provence.

 

Italian Campaign

Under ideal weather conditions 12th Air Force medium bombers begin Operation MALLORY MAJOR against road and rail bridges over the Po River.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, US armored units driving on Leghorn, along Highway 1, in the coastal sector get beyond Castiglioncello.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the 4th Mountain Division drives forward almost to San Gimignano.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends over 60 P-40s to attack targets in China.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, 44 P-40s, from the 10th Air Force, support ground forces in the Myitkyina area, while 13 B-25s bomb bridges at Mongyin and hit targets of opportunity in the Myitkyina area.

 

The Myitkyina Task Force, with air support, makes a major effort against Myitkyina, but the attack fails. As result of poor air-ground liaison some bombs hit friendly forces.

 

On the Salween front, the Japanese continue to repel Chinese efforts to clear Sung Shan, although two Chinese regiments are committed to this task. A two-week lull ensues and the Chinese 8th Army breaks off attacks.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s hit the Manokwari Airfield. Bad weather curtails further operations in the Geelvink Bay area, but A-20s, B-25s, and fighter-bombers again hit troop concentrations and barges in the Wewak area.

 

In the Aitape area, General Gill, commanding general of the 32nd Division and of the Eastern Sector, takes control of PERSECUTION Covering Force, relieving General Martin, who becomes commander of the Eastern Sector. General Gill sets up headquarters at Tiber and prepares for an attack to recover positions along the Driniumor

 

On Biak, about 200 Japanese escape from the Ibdi Pocket.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force B-24s hit Truk Atoll as a follow-up to the raid made the night before, and P-47s on Saipan Island, continue to hit Tinian Island.

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Thursday, July 13,1944

 

Washington, D.C.

President Roosevelt, preparing to depart for Hawaii to discuss Pacific strategy with General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz, replies to Chiang Kaishek’s letter of July 8, agreeing to choose a political representative and urging that the way be quickly cleared for General Stilwell to take command of Chinese forces.

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 471 – 1,043 bombers and 609 fighters in three forces are dispatched to targets in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 13 Lancasters to attack a flying-bomb site and two Mosquitos on Ranger patrols, but thick clouds prevent all aircraft from completing their missions.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Bad weather prevents 9th Air Force bomber operations and restricts fighters activity.

 

IX Tactical Air Command fighters furnish area cover, bomb troop concentrations, vehicles, and gun positions in the Lessay-Coutances area, and attack rail traffic west of Angers, a landing field west of Alencon, marshalling yard at Vendome, and a bridge at Tours.

 

VIII Corps continues steadily southward all along the line.

 

VII Corps makes progress on the left flank, where the 9th Division gets almost to the crossroads at Les Champs-de-Losque. The offensive on rest of VII Corps front is virtually suspended. XIX Corps continues a costly battle for St Lô. On the east, the 29th Division passes the 175th Infantry, through the 116th Infantry, in a vain attempt to drive west along the highway ridge toward the city. In the V Corps area, the 5th Division replaces the 1st Division on the battle line. The 1st Division withdraws to the Colombières area in preparation for movement to the VII Corps zone.

 

In British Second Army area, Canadian II Corps becomes operational with the Canadian 2nd and 3rd Divisions under its command. XII Corps takes command of the VIII Corps sector and of the 43rd, 15th, and 53rd Infantry Divisions, the 11th Armoured Division, the 4th Armored Brigade, and the 31st Tank Brigade.

 

The US First Army commander approves an outline plan for Operation COBRA, the breakout attack in the St. Lô area. Minor amendments altering the boundaries are subsequently made.

 

Russian Front
After several days of street fighting, Vilna falls to troops of the Third White Russian Front.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends 581bombers to attack targets in northeastern Italy.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers again bomb bridges in the Po River Valley, while A-20s hit an ammunition plant; and fighter-bombers attack targets, mainly railroads, in areas north of the Arno River, in advance of the battlefront.

 

In US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 34th Division gains about three miles toward Leghorn and, to the east overruns, Pastina and Hill 529.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the 4th Mountain Division overruns San Gimignano and the commanding ground nearby, as the enemy begins to withdraw in that region.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, the New Zealand 2nd Division pursues the enemy northward toward Arezzo, taking the crest of Monte Castiglione Maggiore, without opposition.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 16 B-25s, from the 14th Air Force, bomb the Pailochi Airfield, causing large fires and considerable damage. Meanwhile, 45 P-40s attack trucks, compounds, river shipping, and troop concentrations.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends a group of 44 P-40s and P-51s to support ground forces in the Myitkyina area, of Burma, while another group of 40 more A-36s, P-51s, and P-47s hit bridges at Nyaunggon, Mohnyin, Myothit, Mawlu, and Henu, and attack the Hopin, Lashio, and Indawgyi Lake areas.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s again bomb Yap Island and Sorol Atoll. In New Guinea, B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s bomb gun positions and the airfield at Babo and in the Manokwari area, and hit a supply depot at Kokas.

 

On Noemfoor, the 1st Battalion, of the 503rd Parachute Infantry, encounters the main enemy force remaining on Noemfoor at Hill 670, some three miles northeast of the Namber airdrome.

 

In the Aitape area, PERSECUTION Covering Force attacks to restore its positions along the Driniumor River. North and South Forces succeed in reaching the river, but a broad gap exists between them.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s continue to hit Tinian Island. Kwajalein-based B-24s bomb Truk Atoll. B-25s, from Makin Island, pound Nauru Island.

 

In Saipan, the 3rd Battalion, of the 6th Marines, of the 2nd Marine Division, occupies Maniagassa Island, in Tanapag Harbor without serious opposition. This concludes Marine activities on Saipan.

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Friday, July 14,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 472 – In a morning mission, 359 B-17s drop 3,700 containers of supplies to French interior forces in southern France.

 

The RAF dispatches 19 Lancasters to attack the flying-bomb site at St Philibert Ferme through thick clouds. Meanwhile, four Mosquitos fly Ranger patrols to northern Germany and Denmark.

 

8th Air Force Mission 473 – During the evening, 131 B-24s are dispatched to airfields in France.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 242 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos to attack the railway yards at Revigny and Villeneuve. Meanwhile, 101 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos, and four Lancasters attack V-weapon sites at Anderbelck and Les Landes.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Weather again curtails 9th Air Force operations. Only a group of 62 B-26s and A-20s, using Oboe, bomb a railway embankment at Bourth and rail bridge at Merey.

 

In US First Army area, VIII Corps closes along the Ay and Sèves rivers, where forward movement is stopped by an army order.

 

In the VII Corps area, the 9th Division continues to clear the Les Champs-de-Losque–Le Désert area against tenacious resistance.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 119th Infantry, of the 30th Division, captures Pont Hébert, concluding a bitter struggle for this objective. Just across the Vire River, the 35th Division breaks through to the Pont Hébert–St Lô highway. The 29th Division maintains its positions northeast and east of St Lô.

 

Russian Front
Broadening their offensive southward, troops of the First Ukrainian Front attack above and below Brody, in the region east of Lwow. Pinsk falls to First White Russian forces.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 430 B-17s and B-24s to attack four oil refineries at Budapest and Petfurdo, Hungary, and the marshalling yard at Mantua, Italy.

 

Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers concentrate on Po River Valley bridges, destroying 600 feet (the two center spans) of the Taglio di Po road bridge and one of the Piacenza rail bridge, and scoring damaging hits on the Corbola road and railroad bridges.

 

Headquarters of the Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) directs the British Eighth Army to take Ancona and Florence, and the US Fifth Army to take Leghorn. The attack is to carry through the Gothic Line between Dicomano and Pistoia to the Po River line, where bridgeheads are to be established.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, of the 34th Division, meets little opposition as it continues toward Leghorn. The 442nd Infantry takes San Pieve di Luce, while the 133rd Infantry is approaching Usigliano. Early in the day, elements of the 91st Division’s 363rd Infantry take Chianni without opposition. Patrols of the 362nd Infantry find that the enemy has abandoned Terricciola. The 88th Division gains about four miles on the right flank of IV Corps, overrunning key positions at Belvedere and Villamagna.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, as enemy resistance collapses, the French take Poggibonsi and continue toward Certaldo.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s XIII Corps area, New Zealand troops gain the summit of Monte Carmucino, but German opposition then stiffens all along the line.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, fighter-bombers and B-25s, from the 14th Air Force, hit a fighter strip north of Changsha, artillery positions at Leiyang, the town of Sungpai, and road and river traffic from Hengyang to Yuhsien and from Sienning to Tungshan.

 

During the night, fighter-bombers blast the Pailochi Airfield, destroying over 20 enemy aircraft, while B-25s bomb roads in the Tengchung area, and more B-25s and P-40s pound the railroad yards at Siangsiang.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

10th Air Force dispatches 49 P-40s to attack enemy forces in the Myitkyina vicinity, in Burma.

 

In the British Fourteenth Army area, XXXIII Corps completes the envelopment and elimination of Japanese force on the Ukhrul–Imphal road, completely clearing the Ukhrul area.

 

The request by Major General Lentaigne for withdrawal of Morris Force, of the Indian 3rd Division, from positions across the Irrawaddy river from Myitkyina is denied. By this time the force has only three platoons left.

 

Pacific Theater

The office of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Ocean Area (CINCPOA) issues a Joint Staff Study for Operation STALEMATE, the invasion of the Palaus Islands.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s continue to blast Yap Island. Oil reservoirs and wells at Boela, on Ceram Island, are bombed and strafed by A-20s and B-24s, and B-25s attack barge facilities and gun positions at Lautem, on Timor Island. On the Vogelkop Peninsula, of New Guinea, P-61s hit airfields, while B-25s bomb a barge terminal at Kokas.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, the 31st Division, less Regimental Combat Team 124, begins unloading at Maffin Bay, to relieve the 6th Division.

 

In the Aitape area, South Force narrows the gap between it and North Force along the Driniumor River by moving the 3rd Battalion, of the 127th Infantry, northward, but the two forces are still out of contact with each other.

 

During the night, the 3rd Battalion, of the 124th Infantry, which is part of North Force, kills about 135 Japanese in the gap.

 

General MacArthur orders Task Force CYCLONE to have the Kornasoren airdrome ready to receive 50 P–38s by July 25,in preparation for the invasion of the Vogelkop Peninsula. A reconnaissance party moves by PT boat from Noemfoor to Cape Opmarai, on the north coast of the Vogelkop Peninsula, where it stays for three days gathering information upon which the final plans for the operation are made.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s again hit Tinian Island.

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Saturday, July 15,1944

 

European Theater, (POINTBLANK)

8th Air Force Mission 474 – A force of 169 P-38s and P-47s make fighter-bomber attacks on enemy transport southeast of Paris.

 

In poor weather conditions, the RAF dispatches 47 Lancasters and six Mosquitos on an “Oboe leader” attack on the flying-bomb supply dump at Nucort.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 162 Halifaxes, 58 Lancasters, and 14 Mosquitos to attack the Bois des Jardins flying bomb launch site and the Nucourt supply dump. Meanwhile, 222 Lancasters and seven Mosquitos attack the railway yards at Chalons sur Marne and Nevers.

 

European Theater, Battle of Normandy

Bad weather cancels most 9th Air Force operations.

 

The US First Army halts its offensive west of the Taute River, while regrouping extensively in preparation for Operation COBRA.

 

VIII Corps, now holding its initial objectives along the Ay River, except for town of Lessay, maintains its current positions while regrouping.

 

VII Corps continues its offensive with the 9th Division, while regrouping on the rest of the front.

 

In the XIX Corps area, the 30th Division attacks with the 117th Infantry, at the outskirts of Le Mesnil-Durand, forcing a salient into enemy positions.

 

In the British Second Army area, XII Corps begins an attack toward the line of Bougy-to-Evrecy-to-Maizet, between the Odon and the Orne rivers. During the night, the 15th Division moves forward with illumination from searchlights.

 

Russian Front
Troops of the Second Baltic Front overrun Opochka.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 600 B-17s and B-24s to bomb four oil refineries in the Ploesti area and the Teleajenul pumping station, in Rumania.

 

Italian Campaign

The 12th Air Force medium bomber campaign against Po River Valley bridges, Operation MALLORY MAJOR, reaches a successful conclusion, as most of the rail and road bridges in the target area are destroyed or severely damaged by previous attacks and raids.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the 135th Infantry, of the 34th Division, continues rapidly toward Leghorn until hit in the evening by counterattack on its left flank, near the heights overlooking the town.

 

In the French Expeditionary Force (FEC) area, the 8th Moroccan Infantry takes Castellina in Chianti, while the 4th Moroccan mops up east of Poggibonsi.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, XIII Corps opens an attack on Arezzo at 0100 hours, after a strong artillery preparation, employing the US 6th Armoured Division on the left and the New Zealand 2nd Division on the right. After nightfall, the Germans begin a general withdrawal.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends a force of over 100 B-25s, P-40s, and P-51s to attack the towns of Sinshih, Chuchou, Siangtan, Siangsiang, Sungpai, and Chaling, in China, concentrating on military and railroad installations and river shipping.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 38 P-40s to continue support of ground forces in the Myitkyina area, of Burma.

 

Thus far in the siege of Myitkyina, the Japanese garrison has suffered 790 dead and 1,180 wounded, and its commander is contemplating withdrawal.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s blast Yap Island, scoring numerous hits in the town area and on a radio station and barracks area. In New Guinea, B-24s, penetrating a heavy weather front, bomb the airfield on Efman Island, while B-25s hit enemy forces along Korrido Anchorage, and A-20s blast gun emplacements on an island off Manokwari.

 

In the Aitape area, PERSECUTION Covering Force is still endangered along the Driniumor River by a gap, now 1,500 yards wide, between the North and South Forces.

 

On Biak, Americans move back into the Ibdi Pocket, where the Japanese are continuing to resist. An artillery bombardment of the enemy position is resumed.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force P-47s bomb and strafe Tinian Island, and B-24s, staging through Eniwetok Atoll, hit Truk Atoll.

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