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Friday, September 1,1944

 

London

The British Chiefs of Staff propose an airborne and amphibious assault, code name DRACULA, on Rangoon.

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 595 – 679 B-17s and 294 B-24s are dispatched to hit Ludwigshafen, Haguenan, Gustavsburg, Mainz and Hallach, Germany, and Foret de Haguenan, France. However, high clouds are encountered over France and the mission is recalled. Escort is provided by a force of 508 P-38s and P-51s. Three P-51s are lost, with 32 men listed as killed or missing.

 

The RAF dispatches 97 Halifaxes, 15 Mosquitos, and nine Lancasters to bomb V2 rocket storage sites at Lumbres and La Pourchinte. Meanwhile, one radio countermeasure listening sortie is flown.

 

8th Air Force Mission 597 – 12 Azon-equipped B-24s, escort by 15 P-51s, hit the Ravenstein rail bridge, in the Netherlands..

 

8th Air Force Mission 599 – Three B-17s fly a Micro H mission to attack a fuel dump in the Bois del la Haussiere area, in Belgium. Fighter escort is provided by two P-51s.

 

VIII Fighter Command dispatches 273 P-47s to attack railroads in northern and northeastern France. They destroy five enemy aircraft on the ground. Meanwhile, 33 others attack targets in the Brussels area, in Belgium. Three P-47s are lost, with all three pilots listed as missing in action.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 35 Mosquitos to Bremen, while four fly radio countermeasure sorties, 39 fly patrols, and seven other aircraft fly resistance operations.

 

During the night, 44 B-24s, from the 8th Air Force, fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

 

European Theater, Northern France

9th Air Force B-26s attack fortifications in the Brest area, of France, which artillery fire had been unable to reduce. Escorting fighters fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance in northern and eastern France, and fly cover for six Army divisions in the Amiens, St Quentin, Cambrai, Reims, and Verdun areas and in the Brussels area, in Belgium.

 

Northern Group of Armies

· In the Canadian First Army’s British I Corps area, the 49th Division, upon crossing the Seine River, turns west toward Le Havre, while the 51st Division drives toward St Valery en Caux. In the II Corps area, the 2nd Division takes Dieppe, and the port is opened within a week. The 3rd Division thrusts to Le Trèport. The 4th Armored Division and the Polish 1st Armored Division are driving quickly toward the Somme River, with the 4th Armored Division in the lead.

 

· In British Second Army’s XXII Corps area, the 7th Armoured Division crosses the Somme River, near Airaines. The 53rd Division, echeloned to the left rear, protects the left flank of XXII Corps. XXX Corps drives rapidly northeast with the 11th Armoured Division and the Guards Armoured Division spearheading. The 11th Armoured Division reaches the St Pol–Arras road, while the Guards Armoured Division bypasses Arras. The 50th Division is following up.

 

Central Group of Armies

· In US First Army’s XIX Corps area, the 2nd Armored Division, followed closely by infantry, reaches positions northwest of Cambrai. V Corps speeds toward St Quentin. The 4th Division, motorized and reinforced by Combat Command A, of the 5th Armored Division, takes the lead, thrusting to the vicinity of Chauny. Other elements of V Corps improve their positions at and near Compiègne, where bridge construction is in progress. VII Corps swerves from the northeast to the north. Combat Command B, of the 3rd Armored Division, drives quickly through Vervins to La Capelle. To the right, Combat Command A, in conjunction with the 9th Division, reaches the Etreaupont–Aubenton area. The 1st Division, on VII Corps’ left flank, reaches Voyenne.

 

· US Third Army is practically immobilized by acute the shortage of gasoline. The enforced lull permits the enemy to build up behind the West Wall. In the XX Corps area, Combat Command R, of the 7th Armored Division, advances to Etain, along the Verdun–Metz highway. The 3rd Cavalry Group, using captured gasoline, patrols eastward toward the Moselle River. In the XII Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 4th Armored Division, expands the Commercy bridgehead over the Meuse River, and the 80th Division crosses into it. Combat Command B crosses the Meuse, south of Commercy. The 35th Division protects the southern flank of the Third Army. VIII Corps continues preparations for renewing their all-out assault on Brest when ammunition is more plentiful. They make slight gains in limited attacks in conjunction with aerial bombardment. Aircraft, warships, and artillery pound Ile de Cézembre, off St Malo, in preparation for an amphibious assault by the 83rd Division.

 

The IX Troop Carrier Command comes under the administrative control of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF), and under operational control of the First Allied Airborne Army, to increase efficiency, especially for planning, training, and preparation of airborne operations. Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, SHAEF, can now deal directly with all elements of an airborne force through a single unified command, instead of through various army groups and air forces, such as the 12th and 21st Army Groups, the 9th Air Force, and RAF components.

 

The 12th Army Group, moves to the direct command of SHAEF, from the command of General Montgomery.

 

European Theater, Southern France

Southern Group of Armies

· In the US Seventh Army area, VI Corps is rapidly closing in on Lyon. The 36th Division gets forward elements to the heights commanding the city. The 3rd Division is moving forward behind the 45th Division. The 45th Division, leaving the 179th Infantry to defend Meximieux, moves up the east bank of the Ain River, without opposition. In determined attacks supported by tanks and self propelled guns, the Germans isolate the 179th Infantry, within Meximieux, at great cost. As a result, Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (FFI) troops are sent to help the 179th Infantry.

· In the French Army B area, II Corps continues toward Lyon in the region west of the Rhône River, overrunning Serrières and Firminy.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 480 B-17s and B-24s to attack targets in Italy, Hungary and Yugoslavia. B-24s attack Boara Pisani, in Italy, while in Yugoslavia, B-17s and B-24s attack railroad the bridges at Tesica/Moravac, Mitrovica, and Kraljevo, the marshalling yards at Novi Sad and the airfield at Nish. In Hungary B-24s attack railroad bridges at Szolnok, and Mezotur, and the marshalling yards at Szajol, Debreczen, and Berettyoujfalu. Meanwhile, 51 P-51s successfully strafe the Debreczen Airfield, in Hungary, and 16 B-17s evacuate interned US airmen from Rumania. Fighters support bombing and evacuation missions.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

Weather grounds B-26s during the day, but B-25s score excellent results against road and railroad bridges north and northeast of Venice. Fighter-bomber and fighters bomb and strafe roads, troop concentrations, supply dumps, and a German headquarters in the battle area north of Florence, and fly armed reconnaissance from Ventimiglia along the coast to La Spezia.

 

In US Fifth Army area, IV Corps begins pursuit of the enemy across the Arno River. The 1st Armored Division, spearheading, crosses Combat Command A and Combat Command B, which push toward Monte Pisano and Altopascio, respectively. On the coastal flank, Task Force 45 finishes clearing its zone south of the Arno River and crosses the 100th (Nisei) Battalion over the river to the east of Pisa. The South African 6th Armoured Division, with the task of taking Monte Albano, begins to cross the Arno, west of Empoli, during afternoon. In the II Corps area, the 88th Division, holding a narrow zone along the Arno River, also crosses the Arno in pursuit of the enemy.

 

British XIII Corps turns Florence over to the Italians.

 

In British Eighth Army area, British V Corps and Canadian I Corps penetrate the main defenses of the Gothic Line, on Monte Gridolfo and Tomba di Pesaro, commanding the Foglia valley. Polish 2 Corps, employing elements of the 3rd Carpathian Division, crosses the Foglia River for a drive eastward, toward the coast, but is held up by the enemy on the eastern slopes of Pozzo Alto.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Greece

Allied successes on other fronts, particularly those of Red Army, force German Army Group F to begin withdrawing from Greece and islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas. The Main withdrawal route, a rail line through Skoplje and Belgrade, in Yugoslavia, is so effectively hit by US 15th Air Force during first half of September that an air withdrawal is begun from fields in the Athens area. Eventually, all three fields are left unserviceable by 15th Air Force attacks during the latter half of the month.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, four B-24s, from the 14th Air Force, sink a small freighter in the Formosa Strait. Meanwhile, 12 B-25s bomb the Kai Tek Airfield, near Hong Kong, and a supply depot south of Canton. B-25s hit a road south of Nanyo, a runway at Hengyang, and targets of opportunity near Anjen, and a group of 61 P-40s and P-51s attack bridges, roads, shipping, airfields, troops, and other targets of opportunity at or near Yangtien, Nanyo, Hengyang, Anjen, Changning, and Chiuchiang.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends a few P-47s to attack Bhamo, Burma, and strafe river boats in the area.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

The Far East Air Force (FEAF) dispatches over 50 B-24s to bomb the Sasa, Matina, and Likanan airfields, on Mindanao Island, in the Philippine Islands. Others, failing to reach Mindanao, hit Beo, in the Talaud Islands. Fighterbombers hit Boela and the Amahai Airfield, on Ceram Island, in the Moluccas Islands. In New Guinea, A-20s, P-40s and B-25s bomb runways at Babo and Urarom.

 

Regimental Combat Team 123, of the 33rd Division, untried in combat, arrives at Maffin Bay from eastern New Guinea, to protect the 31st Division, as it stages for the invasion of Morotai Island.

 

Central Pacific Area

In the Mariana Islands, P-47s, based on Saipan Island, carry out a rocket and strafing strike against the Pagan Island. In the Caroline Islands, a lone B-24 on armed reconnaissance bombs Yap Island, and B-24s, from the Marshall Island, bomb Truk Island.

 

North Pacific Area

A B-25, from the 11th Air Force, bombs a shack on the southwest coast of Paramushiru Island and sinks a nearby ship. Five other B-25s on this mission turn back due to overcast.

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Saturday, September 2,1944

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Missin 596 – 36 P-47s strafe gun positions, and road and rail traffic in the Bruges-Ghent- Courtrai-Roulers areas, of Belgium. Two C-47s fly CARPETBAGGER missions to France.

 

The RAF sends 67 Lancasters to bomb ships in Brest harbour, in clear visibility.

 

European Theater, Northern France and Belgium

In France, weather grounds 9th Air Force bombers, however, fighters fly armed reconnaissance and area support to ground forces in Belgium and northwestern, northeastern, and eastern France.

 

Northern Group of Armies

· In the Canadian First Army’s British I Corps area, the 49th Division continues along the Le Havre Peninsula toward the port, and reaching enemy outposts. The 51st Division takes St Valery en Caux. In the II Corps area, the Canadian 4th Armoured Division reaches the Somme River, east of Abbeville, and the Polish 1st Armored Division is rapidly approaching the river west of Abbeville.

· In the British Second Army’s XXII Corps area, the 7th Armoured Division drives northeast from the Somme River, to positions beyond St Pol. XXX Corps continues northward so rapidly that a planned drop of airborne forces in the Tournai area is not necessary. The Guards Armoured Division reaches Tournai. The 11th Armoured Division drives to the Lille area.

 

Central Group of Armies

· In the US First Army area, XIX Corps gets advance elements into Belgium and drives toward Tournai. V Corps releases the French 2nd Armored Division, in the Paris area, to the First Army reserve. V Corps continues steadily northeast, overrunning Noyon and St Quentin, until they are ordered to halt on a general line from Landrecies, to Le Cateau, to Cambrai. VII Corps pursues the enemy into Belgium, crossing the border near Maubeuge and Hirson. The 3rd Armored Division drives to the vicinity of Mons. The 9th Division, to the right, swings northeast to positions near Charleroi. The 1st Division moves forward to the left rear of the 3rd Armored Division.

· The US Third Army is immobilized for lack of fuel. VIII Corps continues to batter outer the defenses of Brest. The 2nd Division takes Hill 105, dominating the eastern approach to the city. The 8th Division is battling for Hill 80 and the 29th Division for Hill 103. Elements of the 83rd Division invade Ile de Cézembre, which surrenders. In the XX Corps area, while the 3rd Cavalry Group reconnoiters to the Moselle, the 7th Armored Division feints to the north from Verdun to confuse enemy, halting short of Sedan when fuel runs out. In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division relieves Combat Command A, of the 4th Armored Division, in the Commercy bridgehead. The 319th Infantry crosses the Meuse River, to the north at St Mihiel. The 2nd Cavalry Group patrols to the Moselle River. Combat Command B, of the 6th Armored Division, relieves the 35th Division of the task of protecting the southern flank between Orléans and Auxerre.

 

At a 12th Army Group commanders’ conference, General Eisenhower outlines plans for the Third Army and V Corps, of the US First Army, to drive to the “West Wall,” formerly the Siegfried Line, after the supply situation improves.

 

European Theater, Southern France

Southern Group of Armies

· In the US Seventh Army area, the 1st Airborne Task Force regains contact with the enemy and clears the strongpoint at La Turbia. The Provisional Flank Protection Force, Task Force Bibo, is relieved by the 2nd Moroccan Division, in the Briançon area. The French are to protect the right flank of the US Seventh Army and maintain contact with the 1st Airborne Task Force to the south. In the VI Corps area, the 36th Division halts just east and southeast of Lyon to permit the French II Corps to take the city, which a patrol reports is largely clear. The 179th Infantry, of the 45th Division, restores its positions at Meximieux.

· In the French Army B area, Lt. General Aim de Goislard de Monsabert takes command of II Corps, consisting of the 1st Armored Division and 1st Infantry Division.

 

Mediterranean Theater

In Yugoslavia, the 15th Air Force dispatches over 380 B-24s to bomb the Kraljevo railroad bridge and marshalling yard, a railroad bridge at Mitrovica, road a bridge at Supovac, and three marshalling yards at Nish. Meanwhile, 27 P-38s dive-bomb the Cuprija road bridge, while 57 P-38s and 112 P-51s strafe roads and railways in the Nish and Belgrade areas, and other P-51s escort Nish and Supovac bombing missions.

 

General Wilson, Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, names Lt. General Monte Scobie, British Army, Commander of Land Forces, in Greece. His headquarters, the reconstituted British III Corps headquarters in the Middle East, is designated Force 140 and contains the 2nd Parachute Brigade from Italy, the 23rd Armoured Brigade from Egypt, and certain Greek forces, such as local police. Eventually Force 140 is augmented by the Greek Sacred Regiment and the Greek Mountain Brigade, which moves from Italy. Naval and air forces are allotted to Force 140, formerly commanded by Rear Admiral Monte Mansfield and latter by Air Commodore G. Harcourt-Smith. General Scobie is to secure the Athens area and maintain law and order in preparation for the return of the Greek Government. Brigadier General Percy Sadler, US Army, will act as deputy commander of the combined headquaretrs of the Allied Military Liaison Headquarters, Greece (AMLG), to handle relief and rehabilitation matters.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-25s bomb three bridges in the Po River Valley, following a similar raid during the previous night, and fighterbombers blast roads, bridges and gun emplacements in Po Valley, docks at Savona, and shipping off shore. In France, fighter-bombers, hampered by poor weather, hit barracks and rail lines in the Lyon area.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, Task Force 45, whose 100th (Nisei) Battalion patrols to the Serchio River, crosses additional elements over the Arno River and clears the northern part of Pisa. Combat Command A, of the 1st Armored Division, clears most of Monte Pisano. Elements of the South African 6th Armored Division gain the slopes of Monte Albano. In the II Corps area, patrols of Regimental Combat Team 442, of the 88th Division, make contact with elements of the British 1st Division, of XIII Corps, at Sesto. Later, the 88th Division relieves the 442nd Infantry, and is reinforced by the attachment of the 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, reinforced. The 442nd Infantry, along with the 349th Infantry are to be moved to France. British XIII Corps meets firm opposition north of Florence, on hills Morello, Senario, Calvana, and Giovi.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, the enemy withdrawal in front of the 46th Division, of V Corps, permits the Canadian I Corps, and Polish 2 Corps rapidly advance. The Canadian I Corps, with the Canadian 1st Division directed along Route 16 and the Canadian 5th Armoured Division on an inland route, speeds toward Rimini, with forward elements reaching the Conca River and establishing a bridgehead. The Polish 2 Corps finds Pesaro undefended and extends its positions in the coastal sector to Castel di Mezzo. The Polis 2 Corps is now pinched out by the rapid advance of the Canadians.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, two B-25s, from the 14th Air Force, bomb the runway at Hengyang Airfield, while 30 P-40s attack gun positions, troop concentrations, and sampans in the Hengyang and Changning areas. 20 P-40s hit similar targets south of Changsha, west of Pengtse, and in the Siangtan area, and 12 P-51s damage a bridge at Yangtien.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force sends eight B-25s to hit targets along the Burma Road, south of Wanling, Burma, including the road itself and bridges at Kawnghka and Namhpakka. Another B-25 hits an alternate target, an area in Indaw, and 24 B-24s haul fuel to Kunming, China.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Mindanao Island, 24 B-24s, from the Far East Air Force (FEAF), bomb supply and personnel areas at Lasang. Meanwhile, 12 B-24s hit shipyards and personnel areas at Bunawan, and 22 B-24s hit the Likanan Airfield. B-25s hit warehouses and shipyards along Lembeh Strait, while other B- 25s hit a position near the Pitoe Airfield, on southern Morotai Island, in the Moluccas Islands. More B-24s bomb Koror Island, in the Palau Islands. In New Guinea, fighter-bombers hit the Sorong area and forces at Cape Pus and Boikin.

 

In the Wakde-Sarmi area, General Krueger declares the operation terminated. Brigadier General Donald Myers relieves General Persons as commander of Task Force TORNADO.

 

On Noemfoor, a second 7,000 foot runway is completed at the Kornasoren airdrome.

 

In the Vogelkop area, the first plane, a C-47, lands at the Marine airdome.

 

Central Pacific Area

Two 7th Air Force B-24s, from Saipan Island, hit Yap and Pagan islands. P-47s hit anti-aircraft positions on Pagan Island with rocket and strafing attacks. B-25s, from Saipan Island, bomb Ponape Island, in the Caroline Islands, and Nauru Island, in the Gilbert Islands.

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Sunday, September 3,1944

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 601 – 404 B-17s, escorted by 16 P-51s, make a visual attack on 16 gun batteries and defensive installations in the Brest area, of France. Two B-17s are lost, with 16 men listed as missing in action.

 

The RAF sends 348 Lancasters, 315 Halifaxes, and 12 Mosquitos to six airfields in southern Holland, while two Mosquito fly Ranger patrols and one flies a radio countermeasure sortie. One Halifax, and crew, is lost.

 

8th Air Force Mission 603 – 345 B-17s, escorted by 254 P-51s, are dispatched to bomb the Ludwigshafen/Opau synthetic oil plant in Germany, with five of the bombers dropping leaflets. The fighter escort is shoots down seven enemy aircraft. One B-17 and one P-51 are lost, with 10 men listed as missing in action.

 

In fighter action, the 8th Air Force sends 127 P-47s to strafe transportation targets in the Tilburg area, of the Netherlands, the Namur area, in Belgium and the Cologne area, in Germany. One P-47 is lost, with the pilot listed as missing in action.

 

During the night, the 8th Air Force dispatches 40 B-24s and four C-47s on CARPETBAGGER missions.

 

European Theater, Northern France and Belgium

9th Air Force B-26s and A-20s supporting ground troops, in France, pound strongpoints and bridges in the Brest area. Fighters fly armed reconnaissance, ground support, and sweeps in northern and eastern France, Belgium, and western Germany.

 

Northern Group of Armies

· In Canadian First Army area, British I Corps closely invests Le Havre, moving the 51st Division from St Valery to positions on the right of the 49th Division. Preparations are begun for an all-out assault on the elaborate fortifications of the city and port. In the II Corps area, the 4th Armoured Division establishes a bridgehead across the Somme River, in the Pont Remy area, east of Abbeville, and halts there temporarily. The Polish 1st Armored Division, coming up on the left, crosses the river west of Abbeville.

· In the British Second Army’s XXII Corps area, the 7th Armored Division, directed on Ghent, continues northeast to Lillers, on the Bethune–Aire road. XXX Corps, pressing quickly northeast, crosses the French-Belgian border. On the left, the 11th Armoured Division, advancing on Antwerp, reaches positions east of Alost despite opposition in the Lille–Tournai area. The Guards Armoured Division drives into Brussels and blocks the exits from the city.

 

Central Group of Armies

· In US First Army area, XIX Corps remains generally south of Tournai, containing a pocket southwest of Mons on the west. V Corps is ordered to a new zone on the right flank of the First Army, where it is to face east and advance as quickly as possible to the Meuse River. In the VII Corps area, Mons, Belgium, falls to the 3rd Armored Division. The 1st Division exerts pressure against the large body of disorganized enemy, pocketed in the Mons–Bavai–Forêt de Mormal area.

· In the US Third Army’s XX Corps area, 7th Armored Division columns, feinting toward Sedan, are recalled, returning on September 4, after getting enough gasoline to do so. The airfield near Reims is sufficiently repaired by this time to receive cargo planes.

 

General Montgomery orders the British Second Army to drive speedily to the Rhine River and secure a crossing. The Canadian First Army is ordered to continue to clear the coastal region.

 

European Theater, Southern France

Southern Group of Armies

· The US Seventh Army, with the capture of Lyon by French forces, completes its original mission. Permission is granted for VI Corps to continue pursuit to the Belfort Gap via the Lons–Le Saunier–Besançon route. II Corps, of French Army B, is to advance up the northwest bank of the Saône River, on a line from Dijon, to Epinal. In the VI Corps area, the 36th Division continues northward toward Macon. The 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, spearheading the advance to the right, reaches Bourg en Bresse and Montrevel, but is strongly attacked by Germans fleeing from Meximieux, with heavy losses on both sides. The 3rd Division is moving forward in the center of VI Corps.

· In the French Army B area, II Corps, driving northwest on the left flank to make contact with OVERLORD forces, seizes Villefranche, north of Lyon.

 

Mediterranean Theater

A force of over 300 B-17s and B-24s, from the 15th Air Force, hits key escape routes of retreating German forces, in the Balkans, and bombs rail communications and supply lines south of Budapest, Hungary, three bridges in the Belgrade area, of Yugoslavia, bridges at Szajol and Szeged, in Hungary, and badly damage ferry docks at Smederovo, Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, three B-17s evacuate interned airmen from Bucharest, Rumania. In other action, 40 P-38s divebomb the Smederovo ferry and strafe the Kovin and Baviniste airfields, in Yugoslavia, and a landing ground, destroying many parked aircraft, motor transport, vehicles, and fuel tanks. 75 P-51s strafe roads, railroads, vehicles, bivouac areas, railroad repair shops, and miscellaneous targets in the Skoplje-Nish-Krusevac- Belgrade areas, in Yugoslavia.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers pound railroad and road bridges in the western Po River Valley, while fighter-bombers blast motor transport and rolling stock in the Turin area. In France, fighter-bombers blast German vehicles retreating up the Rhone River Valley.

 

In the British Eighth Army’s V Corps area, the 46th Division secures a small bridgehead across the Conca River, in the Morciano region. Canadian I Corps continues to pursue the enemy northward, while the 5th Armored Division clears Misano.

 

During the night, 12th Air Force A-20s, on armed reconnaissance of the Po Valley, bomb vehicles in the Turin-Milan area.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force dispatches 12 B-24s to bomb the marshalling yards at Nanking, China. Meanwhile, seven B-25s destroy at least 45 trucks and damage about 100 others during armed reconnaissance from Hengyang to Tungting Lake and Yoyang. Two others bomb the Hengyang Airfield, and a force of over 100 P-40s, P-51s, and P-38s attack troops, railroad targets, bridges, and other targets of opportunity in areas around Changning, Hengyang, Sungpai, Chuki, Yangtien, Hengshan, and in French Indochina, near Haiphong, and in the Red River Valley.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, four B-25s, from the 10th Air Force, attack and slightly damage the Tabpalai Bridge northeast of Hsipaw. One B-25 knocks out the center span of a railroad bridge in the area and another causes considerable damage at Indaw.

 

The 10th Air Force moves the 33rd Fighter Group moves from Pungchacheng, China to Nagaghuli, India, and the 4th Combat Cargo Squadron, flying with C-47s with the 1st Combat Cargo Group, arrives at Sylhet, India (now Bangladesh), from the US.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Celebes Island, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound the Langoan Airfield and Lembeh Strait warehouses and shipping, and B- 25s hit the village of Tobelo, on Halmahera Island. Fighter-bombers hit oil tanks and a radio station at Boela, on Ceram Island. In New Guinea, fighterbombers hit the Babo, Warren and Nabire airfields, Manokwari storage and personnel areas, strafe areas along the MacCluer Gulf, and fly coastal sweeps in the Wewak area, strafing troops, supplies, and occupied areas.

 

In the Vogelkop area, the Marine airdrome for bombers is completed on schedule.

 

Plans for invasion of Morotai Island are now ready.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force B-24s, from Saipan Island, bomb Iwo Jima Island, in the Volcano Islands. In the Mariana Islands, P-47s hit Pagan and Maug islands with rockets. A lone B-24, on armed reconnaissance, bombs Yap Island.

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Monday, September 4,1944

 

European Theater

The RAF sends five Mosquitos on Ranger patrols. They attack two trains, but two aircraft and crews are lost.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 43 Mosquitos to Karlsruhe, 14 to the Steenwijk Airfield, and six on Serrate patrols.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In France, weather prevents 9th Air Force bomber activity, but fighters fly armed reconnaissance over Belgium, eastern France, Luxembourg, and eastern and central Germany, and defensive night patrols over western and northwestern France.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, while the 4th Armoured Division maintains positions astride the Somme River, in the Pont Remy sector, the Polish 1st Armored Division continues northeast toward St Omer. The 3rd Division, moving up from the vicinity of Rouen, joins in the advance along the Pas de Calais coast.

 

In the British Second Army’s XXII Corps area, the 7th Armoured Division, swinging east to bypass the enemy in the Bethune–Lille region, continues toward Ghent, leaving the 53rd Division and the 4th Armoured Brigade to mop up. In the XXX Corps area, the 11th Armoured Division drives into Antwerp and clears the city, except for the northern suburbs and the dock area.

 

In the US First Army area, XIX Corps continues the elimination of the Mons pocket, in conjunction with the 1st Division, of VII Corps, and releases the 79th Division to the Third Army. In the VII Corps area, the 3rd Armored Divison and the 9th Infantry Division continue east to the Meuse River, in the Namur–Dinant area. V Corps begins assembly in a new zone on the right flank of the US First Army, moving through the rear area of VII Corps. The 4th Division continues mopping up in the old zone.

 

In US Third Army area, XII Corps opens an attack to outflank Nancy. On the northern flank, the 317th Infantry, of the 80th Division, begins reconnaissance in force of the Moselle River, north of Nancy, reaching the river at Pont a Mousson and locating crossing sites. The 318th Infantry, less a battalion attached to Combat Command A, of the 4th Armored Division, moves toward Marbache. The 319th Infantry, on the 80th Division’s southern flank, fords the Moselle River, at Toul and establishes a bridgehead on east bank.

 

General Eisenhower directs 21 Army Group and the US First Army toward the Ruhr River and the US Third Army toward the Saar River.

 

Hitler reinstates Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt as Commander in Chief West (OB West). Von Runstedt was relieved of duty on July 3, 1944.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In the US Seventh Army area, French Army B forces, protecting the right flank of the Seventh Army, reconnoiters to the outskirts of Briançon. In the VI Corps area, the 45th Division takes Bourg en Bresse, having overcome resistance below the town. VI Corps then loses contact with the enemy as they continue northward toward Besançon, the strongly fortified city on the Doubs River.

 

Eastern Europe
Hostilities between Finland and the USSR cease under a truce agreement.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of almost 400 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, to attack submarines in Genoa harbor and hit communications in northern Italy, including the Avisio viaduct, marshalling yards at Trento, Bronzola, and Ora, and railroad bridges at Ora, Casarsa della Delizia, and Latisana.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-25s and B-26s hit several road and railroad bridges and tunnel in the Po River Valley, while fighterbombers strike pontoon bridges, roads, bridges, and motor transport in preparation for an Allied ground assault on the Gothic Line, in Italy. Meanhwile, fighters fly armed reconnaissance and offensive patrols in the Po Valley, in Italy, and the Rhone Valley, in France.

 

The US Fifth Army issues final orders for the attack on the Gothic Line. II Corps, after clearing hills at Morello, Senario, Calvana, and Giovi, is to breach the Gothic Line at the Giogo Pass, rather than at Futa Pass as previously planned, and continue to Firenzuola. The British XIII Corps is to attack along two routes: Dicomano–Forlì and Borgo San Lorenzo–Faenza. In the IV Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 1st Armored Division, thrusts to the edge of Lucca. Combat Command B overcomes delaying opposition at the Altopascio road center. II Corps, which is to make main effort through the zone now held by British XIII Corps, takes over the southern part of its new sector and, under cover of darkness, begins moving into attack positions.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, X Corps, advancing along the Arezzo–Cesena road, also known as Highway 71, is in contact with the outer defenses of the Gothic Line. In the V Corps area, the 46th Division expands its Conca bridgehead, against strong resistance in the San Clemente area. The 1st Armoured Division moves forward to exploit a possible breakthrough by the 46th Division and begins a bitter struggle for the southern end of the San Savino–Coriano ridge. Canadian I Corps drives forward along the coast, meeting heavy fire from Coriano ridge on left. Polish 2 Corps begins moving into army reserve.

 

During the night, 12th Air Force A-20s hit the Milan and Genoa areas.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 12 B-25s to attack sampan, barge, and motor launch concentrations in the Kweiyang area, of China. Meanwhile, six B- 25s, with P-51support, pound the Paishul and Lingling areas, considerably damaging the town of Lingling and killing an estimated 60 soldiers and 10 horses. A group of over 100 P-40s and P-51s, on armed reconnaissance, kill a large numbers of troops and horses, pound river and road traffic, and a variety of other targets of opportunity in the eastern Burma, and southwestern China regions around Changning and Lungling. They also hit areas to the south of the Tungting Lake-Yangtze River section of inland southeastern China, mainly around Hengyang, Lingling, Leiyang, Yangtien, and Kiyang.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 24 B-24s to haul 32,000 gallons (US) of fuel to Kunming, China. Although heavy rains curtail combat operations, nine P-47s attack Bhamo and Myothit, Burma.

 

In the XXXIII Corps area, the East African 11th Division, which has taken over pursuit of the enemy from the Indian 23rd Division at Tamu, takes Sittaung, without opposition. Elements are moving south down the Kabaw Valley toward Kalemyo.

 

General Slim, commander of the British Fourteenth Army, tells the XV Corps commander that his corps will contain the enemy on the Arakan front, while IV Corps and XXXIII Corps conduct a strong offensive across the Chindwin, beginning in December.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Bad weather cancels most large-scale operations, but in New Guinea, Far East Air Force (FEAF) A-20s and B-25s hit the Urarom Airfield and fighter-bombers attack Moemi and hit Napido.

 

At Aitape, elements of Task Force TRADEWIND conduct rehearsals for the Morotai operation, Operation INTERLUDE. Aitape and Maffin Bay are the two principal staging areas for Task Force TRADEWIND.

 

During the night, Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s bomb the Kendari Airfield, on Celebes Island.

 

Central Pacific Area

Five B-24s, from the 7th Air Force, on armed reconnaissance, snooper mission, and a training flight, bomb Iwo Jima Island, Marcus Island in the northern Pacific, Yap Island, and Pagan Island. Meanwhile, P-47s hit Pagan Island with rockets and strafing attacks. In the Marshall Islands, B-24s, from Kwajalein Atoll, strike Wotje Atoll.

 

North Pacific Area

Six B-25s, from the 11th Air Force, fly an antishipping sweep close to Paramushiru Island and draw shore-based anti-aircraft fire. They are intercepted by eight enemy fighters, but there are no losses on either side.

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Tuesday, September 5,1944

** Selected Activity **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 605 – 218 B-17s, escorted by 160 P-51s, attack a Stuttgart aero engine plant.

 

The RAF sends 313 Lancasters, 30 Mosquitos, and five Stirlings on the first of a series of heavy raids on the German positions around Le Havre, which is still holding out after being bypassed by the Allied advance.

 

The VIII Fighter Command dispatches 48 P-38s and 167 P-47s to attack transportation targets in western Germany.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force sends a force of over 300 B-26s and A-20s to bomb strongpoints in the Brest area.

 

In the British Second Army’s XXII Corps area, the 7th Armoured Division captures Ghent, but the enemy continues to hold out in the northern outskirts for some days.

 

In the US Third Army area, General Patton orders XII Corps to cross the Moselle River, secure Nancy, and be prepared to continue to Mannheim and the Rhine River.

 

Eastern Europe
The USSR declares war on Bulgaria.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 430 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, to attack communications targets in Hungary, and northern Italy.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force medium bombers again strike, with excellent results, hitting road and rail bridges in the Po River Valley. In France, fighters fly sweeps through the Rhone Valley.

 

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 1st Armored Division, takes Lucca. The Germans pull back from positions north of Florence.

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Wednesday, September 6,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 607 – 49 P-38s and 165 P-47s strafe rail and highway traffic in the Rotterdam area, of the Netherlands, and the Aachen and Koblenz areas, in Germany.

 

The RAF sends 311 Lancasters, 30 Mosquitos, and three Stirlings to bomb German fortifications

and transportation targets at Le Havre. Meanwhile, 105 Halifaxes and 76 Lancasters fly the first large scale raid to Emden since June, 1942. This is the last Bomber Command raid of the war on this target. Fighter escorted was provided by RAF Spitfires and American Mustangs.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

9th Air Force B-26s and A-20s hit Brest area strongpoints.

 

In Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, the 4th Armoured Division is advancing toward the Ghent–Bruges canal. The Polish 1st Armored Division crosses the canal at St Omer.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In the US Seventh Army area, French II Corps takes Châlon sur Saône.

 

Eastern Europe
Soviet forces reach the Rumanian-Yugoslav frontier, at Turnu-Severin, on the Danube River, at the Iron Gate. Other Red Army troops take Ostroleka, Poland.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends 542 B-24s to attack communications targets in Rumania, Yugoslavia and Hungary.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

General Hurley and Donald Nelson arrive at Chungking.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

On the Salween front, the Japanese commander of the forces in the Sung Shan, Burma, region dies.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Elements of Task Force TRADEWIND conduct rehearsals for Morotai operation, at Maffin Bay, on the New Guinea mainland east of Wakde Island.

 

Central Pacific Area

In the Caroline Islands, planes from fast carriers of the US Third Fleet, begin a three-day strike against the Palaus in preparation for the invasion. They find targets scarce, as result of earlier aerial attacks by land-based planes of the Far East Air Force (FEAF).

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Thursday, September 7,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Bulgaria

Bulgaria declares war on Germany.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

Bad weather in France grounds 9th Air Force bombers.

 

In US First Army’s XIX Corps area, the 113th Cavalry Group, leading the eastward movement toward Holland, reaches the Albert Canal, near Hasselt. In the VII Corps area, the 3rd Armored Division drives forward to Liége. In the V Corps area, the 5th Armored Division is immobilized by lack of gasoline.

 

In US Third Army’s XII Corps area, the 2nd Cavalry Group reaches the Madon River, where the bridge is held intact.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In US Seventh Army’s VI Corps area, Besançon falls to the 3rd Division.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

Bad weather in France and Italy cancels all flying for the 12th Air Force.

 

In US Fifth Army area, II Corps completes preparations for an attack. However, during the night, the enemy withdraws to the Gothic Line, making the first phase of the assault unnecessary.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

In Chungking, General Hurley, Donald Nelson and General Stilwell talk with Chiang Kai-shek, who reiterates his willingness to let Stilwell control all Chinese troops in the field, but asks for new Chinese Service of Supply operation staffed by Americans.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, 24 B-25s, from the 14th Air Force, attack town areas, river shipping and trucks. Meanwhile, 11 B-25s bomb the Tien Ho and White Cloud Airfields, and two more bomb the Siangtan ferry. Elsewhere, five B-24s hit four freighters southwest of Hong Kong, and a group of nearly 100 P-40s and P-51s, over southeastern China, attack numerous targets of opportunity.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

The 10th Air Force dispatches 22 B-24s to fly fuel to Kunming, China, and many other troop carrier and cargo sorties are flown to numerous CBI terminals.

 

On Salween front, mop-up of the Sung Shan position is completed. The battle for this Burma Road strongpoint has cost the Chinese 7,675 dead, most of them from Chinese 8th Army, and virtually destroyed all of the estimated 2,000 Japanese on and around the position.

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Friday, September 8,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Washington, D.C.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff issue a directive to General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area (CINCSWPA), and to Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Ocean Area (CINCPOA), for the invasion of the Philippines.

 

Paris

The first German V-2 rocket fired in combat explodes in a Paris suburb.

 

London

The second German V-2 rocket fired in combat strikes a London suburb, a few hours after the first one.

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 611 – 1,070 bombers and 349 fighters are dispatched to hit industrial targets in the Mainz and Ludwigshafen areas, in Germany.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, the 2nd Division invests Dunkerque. The 4th Armoured Division reaches the outskirts of Bruges. Polish armor reaches Thielt, and elements enter Dixmude.

 

In the British Second Army’s XXX Corps area, the Guards Armoured Division crosses the Albert Canal, at Beeringen.

 

In the US Ninth Army area, VIII Corps begins an all-out assault on Brest, at 1000 hours.

 

In the US Third Army’s XX Corps area, early in morning, the German 106th Panzer Brigade, having moved forward between the 359th and 358th Regiments, of the 80th Division, from Aumetz, counterattacks the 80th Division command post, between Landres and Mairy, but they become disorganized and are virtually destroyed. In this action the Germans lose 30 tanks, 60 half-tracks, and almost 100 other vehicles.

 

In the XII Corps area, the Germans begin a series of counterattacks against the 80th Division, recovering Marbache.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In the US Seventh Army area, on the Mediterranean coast, elements of the 1st Airborne Task Force take Menton and drive to the Italian border.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the British Eighth Army area, General Alexander visits the front, where he decides that operations toward Rimini cannot be continued until the San Savino–Coriano ridge is cleared. He orders an attack against the center of Gothic Line, by the US Fifth Army.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (India)

The 20th Air Force dispatches 90 B-29s, based at Chengtu, China, to bomb the Showa Steel Works and other targets at Anshan, the Sinsiang railroad yards, and various targets of opportunity. Major General Curtis LeMay, Commanding General XX Bomber Command, accompanies the mission .

 

During the night, Japanese bombers attack the headquarters, storage areas, and parked aircraft at Hsinching, China, (near Chengtu), damaging a B-29, a C-46, and wounding two soldiers.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

In China, Japanese forces pushing south from Hengyang overrun Ling-ling, from which the US 14th Air Force has withdrawn. 14th Air Force bases at Kweilin and Liuchow are threatened from the south as well, since elements of Japanese 23rd Army are driving north from Canton.

 

On the Salween front, the Japanese, having assembled strong reinforcements, begin an attack on Chinese positions north of Lung-ling.

 

General Hurley assumes his new duties as Presidential representative to Chiang Kai-shek. General Stilwell, although not anxious to command the Chinese Army, agrees to the War Department proposal that CBI Theater be split and that he be relieved of responsibility for lend-lease matters, in order to concentrate on support of the Pacific operations from China. Chiang Kai-shek proposes to General Stilwell that Chinese troops from Myitkyina be employed in the battle for Lung-ling.

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Saturday, September 9,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 613 – 72 B-17s, escorted by 32 P-51s, fly Operation GRASSY to drop 180 containers of supplies to French Resistance fighters 25 miles south of Besancon

 

8th Air Force Mission 614 – 1,140 bombers and 435 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in western Germany.

 

In VIII Fighter Command activity, 44 P-47s sweep the Lingen-Munster-Haltern area to spot flak positions and troop concentrations and strafe an airfield. Meanwhile, a force of 196 P-47s and P-51s bomb and strafe shipping between the German mainland and Schouwen, Overflakee and Walcheren Islands, in the the Netherlands, installations on the islands, and rail and road traffic northwest and northeast of Frankfurt/Main.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the US First Army’s XIX Corps area, the 113th Cavalry Group enters the Dutch panhandle, near Maastricht. The rest of XIX Corps is getting into position for an offensive, with the 30th Division assembling near Tongres.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In the French I Corps area, Séez falls to Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (FFI) forces. This is an important communications center just southwest of Little St Bernard Pass.

 

Eastern Europe

The USSR accepts Bulgaria’s request for an armistice and breaks off hostilities.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In US Fifth Army area, General Clark orders II Corps and the British XIII Corps to attack on September 10, to breach the Gothic Line.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, nine B-25s, from the 10th Air Force, bomb a Japanese headquarters and other buildings at Manwing.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

At Noemfoor, work on the Kamiri Airfield is completed.

 

The 5th Air Force moves the 417th Bomb Group (Light) from Saidor to Noemfoor Island.

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Sunday, September 10,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 619 –1,144 bombers and 570 fighters are dispatched to targets in the Stuttgart, Germany area.

 

The RAF dispatches 521 Lancasters, 426 Halifaxes, and 45 Mosquitos to attack eight different German strong points around Le Havre.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

9th Air Force Headquarters assigns rail lines approaching the Rhine River from the west, north of Karlsruhe, to be attacked by IX and XIX Tactical Air Command fighters, in the first of a series of orders setting up rail interdiction programs to cut lines west and east of the Rhine River in September and early October.

 

In the Canadian First Army area, British I Corps launches an all-out assault on Le Havre, at 1745 hours.

 

In the US First Army’s V Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 5th Armored Division, takes the city of Luxembourg, while Combat Command R drives to within about eight miles of the German border.

 

The US Third Army’s XV Corps makes patrol contact with an Operation DRAGOON patrol at Sombernon.

 

Conferring with his commanders in Brussels, General Eisenhower decides to defer operations to open the port of Antwerp until after Operation MARKET GARDEN, in order to secure a Rhine River bridgehead.

 

General Bradley orders the US First Army to break through the West Wall and secure crossings over the Rhine River, in vicinity of Koblenz, Bonn, and Cologne.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In US Seventh Army area, French II Corps reaches Dijon and makes patrol contact with Operation OVERLORD forces.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of 344 B-17s and B-24s to bomb five ordnance depots and southeast industrial area in Vienna, Austria, and two oil refineries in the area.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

The US Fifth Army’s II Corps opens a drive toward the Gothic Line at 0530 hours, with two divisions abreast.

 

British XIII Corps attacks toward the Gothic Line with three divisions, making the main effort on the left in support of US II Corps

 

China – Burma – India Theater (Burma)

In Burma, troop carrier and cargo hauls continue on a large scale to numerous points in the CBI, with 24 B-24s hauling fuel to Kunming, China.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

The US Third Fleet’s Task Group 38.4, containing fast carriers, arrives off the Palaus and begins a two-day strike against anti-aircraft positions and beach defenses at Peleliu and Angaur in preparation for the invasion.

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Monday, September 11,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 623 – 1,131bombers are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants and refineries in Germany.

 

The RAF dispatches 105 Halifaxes, 103 Lancasters, and 10 Mosquitos to attack German positions outside Le Havre.

 

The RAF dispatches 38 Lancasters and a Mosquito for a weather reconnaissance flight to Northern Russia, in preparation for a raid on the 45,000 ton German battleship Tirpitz, which is at anchor in the Kaa Fjord, in Northern Norway.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the US First Army area, XIX Corps gets the northern prong of pincers clamped about the enemy’s Albert Canal line, when reconnaissance elements of the 2nd Armored Division cross the British-held bridge at Beeringen and turn southeast into XIX Corps zone, north of Hasselt. By the time the southern prong, the 113th Cavalry, has reached positions south of Vise, the 30th Division has already started crossing, having discovered a weak spot.

 

In the V Corps area, a dismounted patrol of the 85th Reconnaissance Squadron, of the 5th Armored Division, is the first Allied unit to cross into Germany, moving over the frontier at 1805 hours and reconnoitering uneventfully to the vicinity of Stalzenburg

 

The 9th Air Force moves its headquarters to France, then moves nine fighter and bomber groups closer to the front , in order to keep up with the Allied advance.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

The US Fifth Army continues its drive toward the Gothic Line, assisted by air attacks on passes through the mountains.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Elements of Task Force TRADEWIND, from Aitape, rendezvous with the Maffin Bay group, at Maffin Bay.

 

Central Pacific Area

7th Air Force B-24s, from Saipan Island, bomb Iwo Jima Island and hit shipping off Chici Jima Island.

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Tuesday, September 12,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Rumania

Rumania signs an armistice, drawn up in Moscow, with the Allies, agreeing to cooperate in the war against Germany and Hungary and to pay reparations. The boundary between the USSR and Rumania is to be that established by the Soviet-Rumanian agreement of June 28, 1940. The USSR promises to return Transylvania to Rumania.

 

Quebec City

The second Quebec conference, code named OCTAGON, opens. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill discuss Pacific war plans and the completion of the European war.

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 626 – 888 bombers are dispatched on a major assault on the German oil industry. Between 400 and 450 Luftwaffe fighters intercept the mission.

 

The RAF sends 315 Halifaxes, 75 Lancasters, and 22 Mosquitos to attack synthetic oil plants.

 

During the night, the RAF dispatches 378 Lancasters and nine Mosquitos on the last major RAF raid of the war against Frankfurt.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The 9th Air Force continues to move aircraft as the Allies advance.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s British I Corps area, the German garrison of Le Havre surrenders. About 12,000 prisoners are taken.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, VII Corps conducts reconnaissance in force to the West Wall. V Corps begins limited attacks toward the West Wall.

 

In the US Third Army’s XX Corps area, the 90th Division eliminates all resistance west of the Moselle River, in the Thionville area, and clears Thionville, west of the river, except for the approach to the main bridge. The Germans destroy the bridge. In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division’s 317th Infantry attacks across the Moselle River, in the Dieulouard area, early in morning and finds the east bank lightly held. In the XV Corps area, elements of the 106th Cavalry Group cross the Moselle River, north of Charmes, without opposition.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s II Corps area, the rapid advance comes to an end as the outer defenses of Gothic Line are reached.

 

In the British XIII Corps area, the 1st Division comes up against the outer positions of the Gothic Line.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

General Stilwell suggests to Chiang Kai-shek that replacements be sent for Chinese forces on the Salween front, who thus far have received none, instead of using Chinese from Myitkyina.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s pound three airfields in the Menado area, on Celebes Island. B-24s and B-25s bomb the Kaoe and Galela airfields, on Halmahera Island, and radar facilities on Morotai Island.

 

The Task Force TRADEWIND convoy begins an uneventful voyage toward Morotai.

 

US Navy Carrier Task Force 38 begins a three-day strike against targets in the central Philippines, meeting surprisingly weak opposition from Leyte.

 

The Western Fire Support Group, of Admiral Fort’s Western Attack Force, also called Task Force 32, arrives off the Palaus Islands. They begin a naval bombardment in preparation for landings, which are covered by Task Group 38.4 and an escort carrier force, which make aerial attacks. Mine sweeping and clearance of underwater obstacles offshore also begins.

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Wednesday, September 13,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 628 – 1,015 bombers attack oil and industrial targets in southern Germany.

 

In Operation FRANTIC, 74 B-17s, escorted by 63 P-51s, continuing the UK – USSR – Italy – UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor, Hungary, and proceed to 15th Air Force bases in Italy. FRANTIC bases in the USSR are now well behind front lines and shuttle bombing is discontinued.

 

The RAF dispatches 102 Halifaxes, 28 Lancasters, and 10 Mosquitos to attack the Nordstern oil plant at Gelsenkirchen.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

General Eisenhower directs the capture of two objectives: The Ruhr and a deepwater port, either Antwerp or Rotterdam.

 

In the US Ninth Army’s VIII Corps area, the German garrison of Brest refuses a request to surrender, although the garrison is being steadily compressed on all sides. West of Recouvrance, Fort Keranroux falls to the 175th Infantry, of the 29th Division.

 

In US First Army’s VII Corps area, VII Corps penetrates the outer defenses of the West Wall at two points.

 

In the US Third Army’s XII Corps area, the enemy has decided to abandon Nancy in order to mass forces with which to overwhelm the Dieulouard bridgehead. They begin counterattacks against the bridgehead at 0100 hours, with forces already on hand, overrunning Ste Geneviève, Loisy, and Bezaumont, before being stopped just short of the American-held bridges. A counterattack of the 80th Division restores the original bridgehead perimeter, as the enemy has no immediate reserves to commit in the exploitation.

 

European Theater, Southern France

In US Seventh Army’s French II Corps area, Langres falls to the 1st Armored Division.

 

In the VI Corps area, the Germans surrender Vesoul, on the last enemy escape route to Belfort in the US zone. The 45th Division overruns Villersexel. VI Corps takes more than 1,300 prisoners during day.

 

Eastern Europe
Soviet planes begin dropping supplies to beleaguered Warsaw.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

General Hurley drafts US proposals for the appointment of General Stilwell to the post of Field Commander of the Ground and Air Forces of the Republic of China, and a directive for Chiang Kai-shek to General Stilwell. The Generalissimo receives them on or before September 16. General Stilwell, after receiving emissaries from the Chinese Communists, leaves for Kweilin to inspect east China positions.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s and B-25s hit four airfields and bomb villages on Morotai Island.

 

The Task Force TRADEWIND convoy, taking a circuitous route in order to maintain secrecy, is joined by Covering Force and escort carriers as it continues toward Morotai by.

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Thursday, September 14,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Quebec City

The Combined Chiefs’ of Staff, meeting at Quebec in the OCTAGON Conference, draw up a new directive for Admiral Mountbatten, making his primary mission the recapture of Burma, as quickly as possible. Operation DRACULA, the assault on Rangoon, and that part of Operation CAPITAL, the attack across the Chindwin River to Mandalay, requiring the air and land routes to China be opened, are approved with target date of March 15, 1945.

 

European Theater

8th Air Force C-47s continue large-scale supply and evacuation missions in France.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

General Montgomery issues orders for the next phase of the offensive, Operation MARKET-GARDEN, to begin on September 17, calling for the British Second Army to secure the crossings of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, in preparation for a major drive on the Ruhr, and for the Canadians to open the port of Antwerp, and seize Boulogne and Calais. Offensive operations are virtually at a standstill while supplies are being brought forward and units regrouped.

 

In US First Army’s XIX Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 2nd Armored Division, reaches the Maas River and crosses a canal to Maastricht Island late in day, as the Germans are withdrawing.

 

In the VII Corps area, Task Force Lovelady, commanded by Lt. Colonel William Lovelady, of Combat Command B, with the 3rd Armored Division, thrusts to the Vicht River, southwest of Stolberg and crosses, as the engineers begin bridging the river.

 

In the V Corps area, the 4th Division penetrates the West Wall, in the Schnee Eifel.

 

In the US Third Army area, a planned attack to expand the Arnaville bridgehead is postponed because of deep mud that makes movement of armor almost impossible.

 

XII Corps completes the envelopment of Nancy and is seriously threatening Lunéville.

 

The 9th Air Force activates the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional), under the command of Brigadier General Richard Nugent. The new command is to provide direct assistance to US Ninth Army.

 

Eastern Europe

First White Russian Front troops, assisted by Polish forces, take Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, but the Germans are prepared for a stand along the line of the Narew and Vistula rivers.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army area, II Corps continues to hammer Gothic Line defenses of the Il Giogo Pass, but is unable to break through.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

On the Salween front, the Chinese complete the capture of Teng-chung, which was entered on August 4. Since Teng-chung is lost and the Chinese are vigorously resisting in Lung-ling, the Japanese decide to halt their counteroffensive on the Salween front.

 

In Kweilin, General Stilwell learns of Chiang Kai-shek’s order for three Chinese divisions to be kept inside Kweilin to defend the city, and prepares to ask for a more aggressive defense.

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September 15, 1944

After a three day bombardment, US Marines land on Peleiu. The fighting soon becomes fierce.

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"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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Friday, September 15,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Washington, D.C.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff decide to invade the central Philippines, rather than southern the Philippines, and advance the target date for the invasion of Leyte from December 20, to October 20. The projected operations against Yap, Talaud, and Mindanao are canceled.

 

European Theater

The 27 RAF aircraft that landed in Russia after the September 11 weather reconnaissance mission, fly a raid on the German battleship Tripitz. 20 aircraft are loaded with 12,000 pound Tallboy bombs and seven are loaded with Johnny Walker mines, developed for attacking capital ships moored in shallow water. The attack catches the Tirpitz by surprise. One Tallboy hits the Tirpitz near the bow and causes considerable damage. The shock caused by the explosion of this bomb, or possibly from other bombs which were near misses, also damaged the battleship's engines. The Germans decided that repairs to make Tirpitz fully seaworthy were not practical and she is later moved to an anchorage further south in Norway, but only for use as a semi-static heavy artillery battery. None of the Lancasters are shot down on the raid and all returned safely to the airfield in Russia.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In an effort to keep up with Allied advances, the 9th Air Force moves its headquarters from Sunninghill Park, England, to Chantilly, France.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, the 1st Division, less the 16th Infantry, has almost encircled Aachen.

 

The 6th Army Group becomes operational at 0001 and assumes control of the Allied forces that are in France. At same time, operational control of the 6th Army Group and its elements passes from Allied Force Headquarters to SHAEF, a move previously agreed upon between General Eisenhower and General Wilson. French Army B acquires autonomy and is on a par with the US Seventh Army. French Army B regroups during next few days for a drive eastward.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

General Stilwell, arriving in Chungking from Kweilin, confers with Chiang Kai-shek, who proposes to withdraw the Salween forces unless Chinese troops at Myitkyina attack toward Bhamo within a week. News of this is sent by General Stilwell to General Marshall, who is attending the OCTAGON Conference, and results in an alteration of strategy.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

After a preparatory bombardment the III Marine Amphibious Corps, commanded by General Geiger, begins landing the 1st Marine Division on the southwest shore of Peleliu Island, in the Palaus Islands, at about 0830 hours. Japanese fire, at first light, increases as the Marines move inland and is particularly heavy on the flanks. The 5th Marines partially surrounds the airfield and drives a salient to the center of it, well ahead of flanking forces. By the end of the day the beachhead perimeter measures about 2,800 yards from north to south, but is only 400 to 700 yards deep, except for a salient in center.

 

In preparation for landings on Morotai, 5th Air Force planes from land bases and naval aircraft from fast and escort carriers of the Third and Seventh Fleets complete a program of neutralizing enemy bases. The program began with land-based planes at the beginning of September, with strikes on Halmahera, Batjan Island, south of Halmahera, and the Celebes. Halmahera is also subjected to a naval gunfire bombardment. Admiral Barbey, of the VII Amphibious Force heads the naval forces, as commander of the attack force, Task Force 77. After two hours of preliminary naval shelling of Morotai, Task Force TRADEWIND, commanded by General Hall, Commanding General of XI Corps, begins landing on two beaches, on the southwestern coast at 0830 hours, without opposition. Forces from both beaches push inland about 2,000 yards to the D-Day objectives. General Persons, commander of the 31st Division and the TRADEWIND Assault Force, establishes a command post ashore. Enemy opposition ashore is negligible, but extremely unfavorable conditions offshore hamper the initial phase of landings.

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Saturday, September 16,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Quebec City

The Second Quebec Conference, OCTAGON, ends. British and American conferees, approved, for planning purposes, the timing and direction of the war to defeat Japan and considered the matter of occupying Germany upon its defeat. The Pacific war is to culminate in 1945, with the invasion of Japan—Kyushu, in October, and Tokyo Plain (Honshu), in December.

 

Washington, D.C.

President Roosevelt, in message to Chiang Kai-shek, protests the proposed withdrawal of Y–Force across the Salween.

 

European Theater

During the night, the RAF dispatches 200 Lancasters and 23 Mosquitos to bomb the airfields at Hopsten, Leeuwarden, Steenwijk and Rheine. Meanwhile, 54 Lancasters and five Mosquitos attack an anti-aircraft position at Moerdijk. This effort by Bomber Command is in support of Operation Market-Garden.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the US Ninth Army area, the 83rd Division, screening the former Third Army sector along the Loire River, accepts the surrender of German Group Elster, about 20,000 strong, which has been cut off by the junction of the Third Army and the Seventh Army.

 

In the VIII Corps area, Fort Montbarey falls to the 29th Division, opening the way to Brest proper from the west. The 175th Infantry drives into Brest, via a tunnel beneath the stone wall, and the 115th Infantry advances toward the submarine pens. The 2nd Division continues to press in from the north.

 

In the US First Army’s XIX Corps area, Task Force Stokes starts north across the nine mile gap that has developed between British and American forces because of diverging drives.

 

In the VII Corps area, stubborn defense of the Stolberg corridor nullifies VII Corps attacks.

 

In the V Corps area, the 12th Infantry, of the 4th Division, makes fruitless and costly efforts to push northeast.

 

In the US Third Army’s XX Corps area, limited attacks of the 90th Division, west of Metz, are costly and almost fruitless

 

In a meeting with his commanders, Hitler, revoking a previous order, calls for reinforcement of the Metz salient in order to prevent the encirclement of Metz. He also presents a plan for the Ardennes counteroffensive.

 

Eastern Europe
Soviet forces of the Third Ukrainian Front, pushing west to block the enemy withdrawal from Yugoslavia, enter Sofia, capital of Bulgaria.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Greece

The British 9th Commandos land without opposition on Kithira Island, off the southern coast of Peloponnesus, to reconnoiter in preparation for the landing of Force 140. An Advance Coastal Forces Base is established on Kithira.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

At conference between Generals Hurley, Sultan, and Stilwell and T. V. Soong, the role of a field commander is discussed. General Stilwell finds that his conception is greatly different from that which Soong believes Chiang Kai-shek holds.

 

General Stilwell reports to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others that Japanese successes against the US 14th Air Force bases in China might prevent air support from China, of operations against Formosa and the Philippines. This influences planners in favor of the occupation of Luzon rather than Formosa.

 

Southwest Pacific

On Morotai, the 31st Division expands the perimeter of its beachhead around Pitoe Drome to a distance of over 7,000 yards, east to west, and about 5,000 yards north to south. General Hall establishes a command post ashore.

 

In the Palaus, the 5th Marines, assisted by the 1st Marines to the left, takes most of the Peleliu Airfield, against heavy fire from the heights to north, while the 7th Marines clears the southern tip of the island, except for two small promontories. The perimeter is extended to over 3,000 yards in length, north to south, and to a maximum depth of about 2,000 yards. General Rupertus, 1st Marine Division Commanding General, takes command ashore. Orders are issued to land on Angaur on September 17.

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September 17, 1944

US airborne troops drop into Holland in Operation Market Garden.

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"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, September 17,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

The RAF sends 370 Lancasters, 351 Halifaxes, and 41 Mosquitos to attack German positions around Boulogne, in preparation for an attack by Allied troops. They drop more than 3,000 tons of bombs . The German garrison surrenders soon afterwards.

 

The 8th Air Force dispatches a force of 503 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s to escort aircraft of the First Allied Airborne Army. The First Allied Airborne Army is making a parachute and glider drop of 20,000 troops into the Netherlands, as part of Operation MARKET-GARDEN.

 

In support of Operation Market-Garden, the RAF dispatches 112 Lancasters and 20 Mosquitos to attacked German flak positions in the Flushing area.

 

The last UK-USSR-Italy-UK Operation FRANTIC shuttle mission is completed as 72 B-17s and 59 P-51s fly without bombs from Italy to the UK. Two B-17s and a P-51abort and a P-51 crashlands southwest of Paris. 70 B-17s and 57 P-51s land safely in the UK.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, the Canadian 3rd Division, with strong air and artillery support, begins a six day battle for Boulogne, making slow progress against strong fortifications.

 

In the British Second Army’s British 1st Airborne Corps area, the First Allied Airborne Army drops the 1st Airborne Corps, consisting of the British 1st Airborne Division, with the Polish Parachute Brigade, and the US 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions, in Holland, to secure the axis of the advance toward the Zuider Zee, for the British Second Army.

 

The airborne operation, Operation MARKET, undertaken in daylight, with H-Hour being 1300 hours, with strong air support and cover, achieves tactical surprise and at first evokes little opposition. This is the largest Allied airborne operation to be mounted thus far. Approximately 20,000 troops land from aircraft and gliders. Losses in transport planes and gliders are only 2.8%.

 

XXX Corps, spearheading the assault northward by ground forces, Operation GARDEN, attacks from the Meuse–Escaut Canal bridgehead toward Eindhoven, with a Canadian Armoured Division in the lead during afternoon.

 

In the US Third Army’s XX Corps area, General Walker issues a tentative plan for an air-ground offensive in the Metz area, Operation THUNDERBOLT.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of over 440 B-17s and B-24s, with fighter escort, to attack two oil refineries and four marshalling yards in the Budapest area, of Hungary

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

II Corps succeeds in breaking through the Gothic Line at the Il Giogo Pass.

 

In the British XIII Corps area, the 1st Division finds Monte Giuvigiana free of enemy.

 

In British Eighth Army’s V Corps area, the 46th Division begins an attack across the Marano River, west of Vallecchia, with the enemy having withdrawn from positions near Montescudo

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Morotai, action of Task Force TRADEWIND subsides to patrolling, in order to locate small Japanese parties. The islands off the southwestern and western coast are being outposted by the 126th Infantry.

 

In the Palaus, against strong resistance, the 1st Marines, on Peleliu, begins clearing the south end of the central ridge system, on the western arm of the island.

 

At Angaur, naval and air bombardment precede III Marine Amphibious Corps’ landing, which takes place about 0830 hours, on two beaches on the east coast.

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Monday, September 18,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 639 – 252 B-24s drop supplies to the First Allied Airborne Army in the Netherlands, while C-47s of the First Allied Airborne Army drop the second troop echelon in the Netherlands, to participate in heavy fighting around the Arnhem area.

 

8th Air Force Mission 640 – In the last Operation FRANTIC mission, 110 B-17s drop 1,248 containers of supplies to Polish forces in Warsaw, having gained Soviet approval. Only a small portion of the supplies reaches Polish hands. This is the only US mission of its kind, since Stalin refuses later requests for another.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In British Second Army’s I Airborne Corps area, in Holland, the First Allied Airborne Army drops the second echelon of troops and supplies. Heavy fighting occurs in the Arnhem area, where Allied reinforcements are late in arriving and the Germans are counterattacking vigorously. Efforts to relieve the small force at the north end of the Arnhem bridge fail.

 

The US 82nd Airborne Division takes the bridge over the Maas–Waal Canal, near Honinghutie, on the main Grave–Nijmegen highway, but is unable to reach the Nijmegen highway bridge and withdraws from the town, except for a small besieged force. No attempt has been made to take the Nijmegen railroad bridge, although it is still lightly held. A German counterattack is thrown back as the landing zones between Groesbeek and the Reichswald are being cleared.

 

The US 101st Airborne Division, working south, clears Eindhoven and makes contact with the Guards Armoured Division moving north. Attempts by elements of the 101st Airborne to take the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal, southeast of Best, fail and the Germans blow the bridge.

 

In US Ninth Army’s VIII Corps area, organized resistance in Brest comes to an end, but the German fortress commander escapes to the Crozon Peninsula.

 

In the US Third Army’s XV Corps is ordered to cross the Moselle River at once and drive northeast to the Mortagne River.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of over 463 B-17s and B-24s, some with fighter escort, to attack Szob, Budapest, and the marshalling yards at Subotica and Szeged, in Hungary, and railroad bridges at Novi Sad and Belgrade, in Yugoslavia.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

12th Air Force B-25s continue to hit troop concentrations and gun positions, in support of the British Eighth Army forces.

 

The US Fifth Army’s II Corps, having decisively defeated the enemy at Il Giogo Pass, widens the breach in the Gothic Line to seven miles on either side of the pass and pushes on toward the Santerno River valley

 

The British Eighth Army opens an assault on the main positions of the Rimini Line.

 

In the V Corps area, the Indian 4th Division pushes slowly from Faetano toward San Marino

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

General Stilwell presents his plan to Chiang Kaishek, for making the best use of Chinese troops defending east China.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Far East Air Force (FEAF) B-24s blast several targets in the Davao area, on Mindanao Island.

 

On Peleliu, the 7th Marines finishes clearing the southern promontories and joins with the 1st Marines in an assault to clear the ridges of the western arm. The Japanese resist strongly from the cluster of peaks in the central ridge system and little progress is made.

 

On Angaur, Major General Paul Mueller, 81st Division Commanding General, takes command ashore. Some elements of the 322nd Infantry, of the 81st Division, drive a salient west, to the phosphate plant near the west coast, at the center of island, although mistakenly bombed by friendly planes. Others, probing along the north coast between the second and third phase lines, are partially isolated. The 321st Infantry makes slow progress inland along the southern railroad and tries in vain to gain Green Beach on the left, about 600 yards below Rocky Point.

 

On Morotai, a site for the bomber field is chosen at Gotalalamo village, on the southern coast, east of the Gila Peninsula, since the Pitoe Airfield is found to be suitable only for fighters.

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Tuesday, September 19,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

Finland

Finland signs an armistice with the Allies in Moscow. The Soviet-Finnish boundary of 1940 is restored, but Finland yields Petsamo to the USSR and leases the Porkkala headland to the USSR as a military base. The Russians yield all rights to Hangoe. Reparations are to be paid by Finland, and the Allies are to have the use of Finnish ships and airfields.

 

182 P-51s, from the 8th Air Force, supporting the First Allied Airborne Army in the Netherlands, engage over 100 enemy fighters. 23 Luftwaffe aircraft are shot down. Six P-51s are lost, with seven men listed as killed or missing.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the British Second Army area, poor weather conditions sharply curtail airlift and support of ground forces. In the I Airborne Corps area, the situation in the Arnhem sector grows worse, as the enemy constricts the British perimeter west of the town. The small force at north end of the bridge is still isolated, and weather conditions prevent a scheduled drop of the Polish 1st Parachute Brigade, and the resupply of food and ammunition falls into enemy hands.

 

In US Ninth Army area, VIII Corps successfully concludes the Brittany campaign as the 8th Division finishes clearing the Crozon Peninsula and captures Major General Hermann Bernhard Ramcke, fortress commander of Brest.

 

In the US First Army’s VII Corps area, Combat Command A, of the 3rd Armored Division, gains the lower slopes of the Muensterbusch ridge, and Combat Command B and Task Force Hogan continue futile efforts to take Weissenberg Hill.

 

Eastern Europe

In Estonia, Soviet troops of the Third Baltic Front overrun Valga, on the Estonian-Latvian border. Other Soviet forces are approaching Tallinn and Riga.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the British Eighth Army area, V Corps continues to battle the Rimini Line, meeting particularly stubborn opposition in the vicinity of Ceriano. During the night, the 46th Division succeeds in breaching the line, at Torraccia, after crossing the Ausa River, at Serravalle.

 

In the Canadian I Corps area, the British 4th Division seizes the Acqualina feature. During the night, the 1st Division begins an outflanking maneuver against San Fortunato, and by dawn has this strongpoint surrounded.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

Two messages arrive at CBI Theater headquarters. The first is from President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Chiang Kai-shek about the decisions of the OCTAGON Conference. The second is a personal message, in plain terms, from President Roosevelt to the Generalissimo, demanding action. The second letter is delivered personally by General Stilwell and greatly angers Chiang Kai-shek.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Morotai, work is begun on the bomber strip, dubbed Wama Drome, at Gotalalamo. Pitoe Drome becomes known as Pitoe Crash Strip.

 

On Peleliu, the enemy on the peaks of the central ridge continues to hold up the 1st Marines and the 7th Marines, however, elements of the 1st Marines, advancing along the East Road, push through Asias village. The 5th Marines secures the eastern arm of the island, with little difficulty.

 

On Angaur, the 81st Division commits the 321st Infantry and the 3rd Battalion, of the 322nd to the main effort of clearing southern Angaur, and splitting the enemy forces. Little opposition is met as assault forces establish a line across southern Angaur, from Garangaoi Cove eastward, but some resistance is bypassed on the southeastern coast. The 322nd Infantry starts north, up the west coast from the vicinity of the phosphate plant.

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Wednesday, September 20,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, Polish armor overruns Hulst and Axel.

 

In the British Second Army’s I Airborne Corps area, the situation of the British 1st Airborne Division, at Arnhem, is critical. The small force holding the north end of the bridge is forced to surrender 300 wounded to the Germans, reducing its strength to about 140. Two battalions of the 504th Parachute Infantry, of the 82nd Airborne Division, cross the wide, swift Waal River, in British assault boats, downstream, after air and artillery bombardment of the north shore and ineffective efforts to put down a smoke screen. Paratroops seize the north end of the railroad bridge and push toward the highway bridge. Meanwhile, resistance at the south end of the rail bridge collapses and British tanks from the Guards Armoured Division storm across, where they are joined by US paratroopers. With the capture of these vital bridges, the Allied advance is continued toward Arnhem.

 

In US First Army’s XIX Corps area, the assault on West Wall is postponed because of unfavorable flying conditions.

 

In the US Seventh Army’s VI Corps area, General Truscott orders VI Corps to cross the Moselle River and seize the communications centers in the Vosges, to open the way to the Alsatian Plain and the Rhine.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign 12th Air Force

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, Regimental Combat Team 6, of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, gains positions on Monte Prano, but cannot reach the crest.

 

In the II Corps area, the 91st Division and the 85th Division continue to pursue the enemy toward the Santerno River.

 

In the British XIII Corps area, the enemy withdrawal from the Casaglia Pass permits the 1st Division to push rapidly eastward, toward the Indian 8th Division.

 

In the British Eighth Army area, the battle for the Rimini Line ends as the Germans withdraw during the night, behind the Marecchia River, under cover of a drenching rain.

 

In the V Corps area, San Marino, in the small independent Republic of San Marino, falls to the Indian 4th Division.

 

In the Canadian I Corps area, the Canadian 1st Division battles an encircled enemy at San Fortunato, frustrating German efforts to break out.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

General Stilwell learns that his plan for the defense of Kweilin has been accepted by Chiang Kai-shek and issues orders accordingly.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Morotai, the beachhead perimeter has been expanded to provide space for additional airfield construction, extending about 1,000 yards north of the original site and some 10,000 yards east, along the shore to the Sabatai River.

 

On Peleliu, firm enemy defense of the central ridge system on the western arm virtually halts forward movement of the 1st and 7th Marines. The 1st Marines are so depleted in strength that the 7th Marines relieves all of its troops, except those along the West Road. The 5th Marines is mopping up the eastern arm.

 

On Angaur, General Mueller declares organized resistance at an end, as the 321st Infantry drives to the south end of island and begins mopping up scattered Japanese. The Japanese remaining on Angaur are concentrated in the northwest part of the island and are prepared for a prolonged defense of a broad, deep, bowl-shaped depression in the Lake Salome area. The 322nd Infantry tries to reach the bowl from different directions, but makes little headway. Airdrome construction is begun in southern part of island.

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Thursday, September 21,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

In 8th Air Force operations, a group of 90 P-47s and P-51s support the First Allied Airborne Army C-47s dropping supplies and paratroops of the Polish 1st Brigade near Driel, in the Netherlands. They encounter about 50 Luftwaffe fighters, shooting down 20. Three P-47s are lost, with the pilots listed as missing in action.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

The IX Tactical Air Command is exceptionally effective in aiding the V Corps withdrawal from the Wallendorf bridgehead

 

In the British Second Army’s I Airborne Corps area, slightly improving weather conditions permit the Polish 1st Brigade to drop 750 men near Driel, the southern terminus of the Heaveadorp Ferry in the Arnhem area. However, by this time the Germans have recovered the north end of the ferry, confined the British to a small perimeter at Hartestein, near Oosterbeek, and destroyed the small force at north end of the Arnhem bridge, as it attempted to escape in small groups.

 

In the XXX Corps area, the Guards Armoured Division, pushing toward Arnhem from Nijmegen, is brought to a halt less than three miles from the starting point.

 

The US 101st Airborne Division finds the highway between St Oedenrode and Veghel free of enemy forces, clears infiltrators from the glider landing zone, and, during the night, reconnoiters along a secondary highway to Schijndel, which it occupies.

 

In the US First Army’s XIX Corps area, the West Wall offensive is again postponed because of weather conditions.

 

V Corps authorizes the withdrawal of the Wallendorf bridgehead. This is accomplished before dawn of September 22, using a ford, since the Germans have destroyed the Wallendorf bridges. The IX Tactical Air Command gives unusually effective air support.

 

In US Third Army’s XII Corps area, the 80th Division continues to battle for Bois de la Rumont, where two battalions are isolated and must be supplied by tanks.

 

In US Seventh Army area, VI Corps begins crossing the Moselle River.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force sends a force of 345 B-17s and B-24s to attack marshalling yards at Debreczen and Bekescsaba, in Hungary, the railroad at Brod, Yugoslavia, and in Hungary, highway bridges at Baja, in the Kiskore area, and at Tiszafured, plus the Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, railroad bridge

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the Canadian I Corps area, the British 4th Division gets patrols across the Marecchia River, during the night

 

Southwest Pacific Area

Radar is established on Raoe Island, off the west coast of Morotai.

 

On Peleliu, progress of the 1st Marine Division against the central ridges is still negligible.

 

On Angaur, elements of the 322nd Infantry break into the Lake Salome bowl, on northwest Angaur, but pull back for the night, since their positions are untenable. The attack is preceded by heavy volume of artillery fire and bombardment of the position by naval planes. The 321st Infantry is alerted for movement to Peleliu so that the 1st Marines can be withdrawn from there. The 322nd Infantry thus becomes responsible for southern Angaur, as well as the stubborn pocket on northeast end. Regimental Combat Team 323, of the III Amphibious Corps reserve, leaves the Palaus for Ulithi.

 

General MacArthur radios the US Chiefs of Staff that he can mount a major assault on Luzon, on or about December 20, as result of the acceleration of the Leyte invasion. He suggests that the Formosa operation may be unnecessary if Luzon is occupied.

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Friday, September 22,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

8th Air Force Mission 645 – 453 B-17s and 208 B-24s, escorted by 286 P-51s, are dispatched to hit armored vehicle and motor vehicle factories at Kassel/ Henschel, Germany.

 

The last Operations FRANTIC missions ends as 84 B-17s and 51 P-51s, from the 8th Air Force, return to the UK from Italy. The remaining aircraft return on October 8.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

General Eisenhower, conferring with his top commanders at Versailles, gives top priority to the opening of the Schelde River approaches to Antwerp, since a deep-water port is needed in order to sustain the main Allied offensive of enveloping the Ruhr from the north.

 

In the Canadian First Army’s II Corps area, the 3rd Division receives the surrender of the Boulogne garrison.

 

In the British Second Army’s I Airborne Corps area, the British 1st Airborne Division is still isolated and under heavy pressure north of the Neder Rijn, near Arnhem. Air resupply is impossible because of weather conditions. Elements of XXX Corps make contact with the Polish detachment at Driel and bring DUKW’s loaded with ammunition and supplies for the 1st Airborne Division. Mud is too deep for the DUKW’s, but a group of Poles succeeds in crossing the supplies on rafts, during the night.

 

The US 101st Airborne Division, to whom reinforcements are rushed, forces the enemy back from Veghel, but the Germans cut the highway between there and Uden.

 

The US First Army goes on the defensive along most of its line. XIX Corps postpones an offensive against the West Wall indefinitely.

 

In US Third Army’s XX Corps area, the enemy evacuates Cheminot, since it has become an untenable pocket between XX Corps and XII Corps

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches a force of 366 B-24s and B-17s, escorted by 270 fighters, to bomb the northeast industrial area of Munich and the Munich/Riem Airfield, in Germany. Another 76 B-24s bomb the marshalling yard at Larissa, Greece, while 68 more B-24s fly a supply mission to southern France.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s IV Corps area, the South African 6th Armoured Division is ordered forward in pursuit, since the enemy appears to be withdrawing from positions above Pistoia.

 

II Corps virtually completes operations against the Gothic Line and is ready for a drive north to the Radicosa Pass and northeast to Imola

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Peleliu, the Japanese continue an effective defense of the central ridges and are bringing up reinforcements. 1st Marine Division observation planes are operating from the airfield.

 

On Angaur, elements of the 322nd Infantry again push into the bowl in the Lake Salome area, from the south but retire at night.

 

Central Pacific Area

Regimental Combat Team 323, of the 81st Division, lands on Ulithi, without opposition, and begins securing the atoll.

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Saturday, September 23,1944

** Selected Highlights **

 

European Theater

The 8th Air Force sends a force of 586 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s to bomb and strafe flak positions and other ground targets in two landing zones in the Nijmegen area, of the Netherlands, immediately preceding the arrival of the remainder of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and the Polish 1st Brigade.

 

During the night, the RAF sends 378 Lancasters, 154 Halifaxes, and 17 Mosquitos to Neuss.

 

European Theater, Western Europe

In the British Second Army area, clearing weather conditions permit the last of the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and rest of the Polish 1st Brigade to be brought into Holland. General Dempsey orders that the fly-in of the British 52nd Division be held up.

 

In the I Airborne Corps area, aircraft and artillery of XXX Corps help the 1st Airborne Division maintain the bridgehead at Hartestein, near Arnhem. During the night, about 250 Polish paratroopers cross with supplies for the 1st Airborne Division.

 

In US Third Army’s XX Corps area, the 7th Armored Division drops its plans for crossing the Seille River, upon receiving orders to join XIX Corps of First Army.

 

In the XII Corps area, the 80th Division extends eastward in the center and on the right as the Germans withdraw, but the enemy retains the hill mass east of Serrières.

 

In the French 1st Army area, General de Lattre revises his plan of attack as a result of General Truscott’s decision to make the main effort with the US Seventh Army, while French forces provide flank protection.

 

Eastern Europe
Red Army troops reach Gulf of Riga at Paernu, Estonia.

 

Mediterranean Theater

The 15th Air Force dispatches 147 B-17s, escorted by a group of 290 P-38s and P-51s, to bomb the Brux, Czechoslovakia, synthetic oil refinery and the marshalling yard at Wels, Austria.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign

In the US Fifth Army’s II Corps area, the 34th Division, with the capture of Montepiano by the 133rd Infantry, is through the Gothic Line.

 

In British Eighth Army area, Canadian I Corps continues to pursue the enemy toward Uso River.

 

Mediterranean Theater, Greece

British Special Boat Squadron, Mediterranean, is dropped on Araxos, on the northwest coast of the Peloponnesus, to seize the airfield from which the retreating enemy can be harassed and to occupy Patras.

 

China – Burma – India Theater

General Hurley sends a report to President Roosevelt on the situation and tells him of the Generalissimo’s reaction to Roosevelt’s message.

 

China – Burma – India Theater (China)

The 14th Air Force sends 15 B-24s to bomb the Burma Road, in the Chefang area, of China.

 

On the Salween front, the Japanese send a rescue column to extricate the garrison of Pingka.

 

Southwest Pacific Area

On Morotai, work is begun on another airfield, called Pitoe Drome, about 1,200 yards north of Wama Drome.

 

On Peleliu, Regimental Combat Team 321, of the 81st Division, arrives from Angaur and is attached to the 1st Marine Division.

 

On Angaur, the 322nd Infantry again drives into the Lake Salome bowl from the south, but pulls back again when forward positions become untenable.

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