Skip to comments.RUSSIANS CUT NAZI ESCAPE ROUTE; ALLIES CAPTURE 8 TOWNS IN ITALY (10/20/43)
Posted on 10/20/2013 5:50:23 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Dnieper Trap is Set 2-3
Bulgaria is Assured by Soviet on Raids (Sulzberger) 3
War News Summarized 3
Volturno Cleared (Bracker) 4-5
Eisenhower Hails Infantry Heroism 5
The Fifth Army Reaches the Nazi Side of the Volturno (photos) 5
Americans Crossing the Volturno Under Fire (page 1 photo) 6
60 Planes, 3 Ships Ripped at Rabaul (Kluckhohn) 7
Japanese Advance in Yunnan is Hinted 7
DSM is Awarded to General Devers 8
Hanley Says Party will Meet Job Call 8
Canada Joins Pact for Aid to Russia 9
A Quandary for Quezon (Krock) 9
War and Air Power (de Seversky) 10
Amphibious Troops Get Training on Beaches of Chesapeake Bay (by Hanson W. Baldwin) 10
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones 11-13
Eden and Hull Met De Gaulle on Way 13
Allied advance in Italy continues
Wednesday, October 20, 1943 www.onwar.com
Allied advance finds roads and bridges destroyed [photo at link]
In Italy... Elements of US 5th Army take Piedimonte d’Alife while other elements are advancing along the Volturno River.
In the Bismark Archipelago... Aircraft from some of the Japanese carriers are transferred to Rabaul, New Britain Island. The ships concerned are Zuikaku, Shokaku, Zuiho, Junyo, Hiyo and Ryuho.
In New Guinea... The Australian 24th Brigade arrives at Finschafen to reinforce Australian forces there and assist in eliminating Japanese resistance in the area.
October 20th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: A meeting of Allied representatives of 17 countries at war with the Axis, agreed today to set up a Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes. It’s chairman will be Viscount Simon, the British lord chancellor and head of the judiciary in England and Wales. Assisted by a team of lawyers, he will sift evidence provided by Allied governments. The Soviet Union, although not represented at today’s meeting, will be asked to co-operate with its enquiries. (Glenn Stenberg)
The first use, by the USAAF, of Oboe PFF (Path Finder Force) in the ETO. Failure of this equipment in the 1st Bombardment Division caused the return without bombing by most formations. Cloud tops were at 29,500 ft. 3BD bombed from 30,000 feet. Three gunners in a 385th BG B-17 died through failure of oxygen equipment. (Skip Guidry)
Frigate HMS Whitaker laid down.
Frigates HMS Cosby and St Helena launched.
NETHERLANDS: Other targets hit by USAAF bombers as part of Mission 116 are: 16 hit a dummy airfield at Gilze-Rijen and two bomb Woensdrecht Airfield. .
During the night of 20/21 October, RAF Bomber Command sends 12 Stirlings to lay mines in the Frisian Islands.
FRANCE: The USAAF VIII Bomber Command flies Mission 117: During the night of 20/21 October, five B-17 Flying Fortresses drop 876,960 leaflets over Roen and Paris at 2211-2217 hours.
GERMANY: The USAAF VIII Bomber Command flies Mission 116. The industrial area at Duren is the primary target. 97 of 170 B-17 Flying Fortresses sent hit the primary target at 1413-1416 bombing from 30,000-feet (9 144 meters) because the cloud tops were at 29,500-feet (8 991 meters); the 1st Bombardment Division uses Oboe (a British blind bombing system) PFF (Path Finder Force) for the first time but the equipment fails and 60 aircraft return to base without bombing. Sixteen aircraft bomb targets of opportunity. (Skip Guidry and Jack McKillop)
During the night of 20/21 October, RAF Bomber Command dispatches 358 Lancasters to bomb Leipzig; 285 aircraft bomb the target with the loss of 16 Lancasters, 4.5 per cent of the force. This is the first serious attack on this distant German city. Weather conditions are very difficult - Bomber Command records describe them as ‘appalling’ - and the bombing is very scattered. Bomber Command also sends 28 Mosquitos to hit various targets: nine bomb Berlin, five each bomb Brauweiler and Emden, and four each bomb Cologne and the Knapsack power station in Cologne. Two aircraft are lost.
U-1109 laid down.
U-295 and U-1224 commissioned.
ITALY: In the U.S. Fifth Army’s VI Corps area, Alife falls to the 34th Infantry Division and Piedimonte d’Alife to the 45th Infantry Division. While the 3d Infantry Division continues northward toward Mignano in the region west of the Volturno River, the 34th Infantry Division is to drive on Capriati al Volturno in the region east of the river. The 133d Infantry Regiment opens a drive on St. Angelo d’Alife.
NAPLES: A delayed action high explosive charge left by the German army, exploded at the main Post Office killing 47 people and injuring a score of others. (Russell Folsom)
The USAAF’s Twelfth Air Force’s XII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortresses, bomb two airfields in Rome, 36 hit Casale Airfield and 18 hit Marsigliano Airfield; two marshalling yards (M/Ys) are also bombed, 32 B-17s hit the M/Y at Orvieto and 26 attack the M/Y at Grossetto. B-26 Marauders, B-25 Mitchells and P-38 Lightnings attack railroad bridges at Montalto di Castro, Grosseto, and 13 miles (21 kilometers) southeast of Orvieto. The XII Air Support Command, Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force, and other aircraft of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force devote most of their efforts to bombing gun positions, trucks, and rail and road communications south of Vasto, at Mignano, north of Cassino, in Cassino and Chieti, at Castropignano, Carpinone, Arce, Tratella, and at various other points along highways and railroads.
During the night of 20/21 October, two RAF bombers of No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group drop leaflets over the country.
U.S.S.R.: A meeting of Allied foreign ministers, began yesterday, in Moscow. The policy regarding unconditional surrender will not be confirmed. This meeting will last through the 30th. (Glenn Stenberg)
YUGOSLAVIA: USAAF Twelfth Air Force aircraft bomb the marshalling yard at Nish obstructing the Belgrade-Sofia line. Fighter-bombers also hit shipping along Dalmatian coast claiming 2 vessels sunk.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The 4,470 ton French freighter SS Sinfra, now in German hands and serving as a troop transport is part of a German convoy that is attacked north of Crete by USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and RAF Beaufighters. The Sinfra, with 2,664 POWs on board, mostly Italians, sinks. Of the prisoners and crew, only 566 are rescued, a death toll of 2,098. This was the greatest loss of POWs in the Mediterranean during World War II.
EGYPT: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Cairo from Moscow, U.S.S.R., and discusses strategy for southeast Asia with Admiral Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander Southeast Asia Command.
BURMA: The bridge at Meza, being repaired after being damaged severely on 10 October, is attacked and damaged by USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells.
JAPAN: The Japanese order the air groups from six aircraft carriers, HIJMS Hiyo, Junyo, Ryuho, Shokaku, Zuiho and Zuikaku to Rabaul on New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, to augment land-based air strength and delay Allied progress while the main perimeter defenses of Japan are being strengthened. This plan is called Operation RO.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The air groups from 6 IJN carriers, Zuikaku, Shokaku, Zuiho, Junyo, Hiyo and Ryuho, are transferred to land bases at Rabaul. This indicates a continued decline in the numbers of qualified pilots available.
Kakasa on Choiseul Island is attacked three times by six USN PV Venturas and seven SBD Dauntlesses. Twenty four P-40s and 24 USN F4U Corsairs, escorted by F6F Hellcats, sweep Kahili Airfield on southern Bougainville Island; one force of F6Fs encounters fighters, claiming four destroyed.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: USAAF Fifth Air Force A-20 Havocs hit Gasmata Airfield on New Britain Island.
GILBERT ISLANDS: USAAF Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators and USN PB4Y-1 Liberators begin extensive photographic reconnaissance of Tarawa Atoll.
NEW GUINEA: The Australian 24th Brigade arrives at Finschhafen to reinforce the Australian units there. They will continue to attack the dugin Japanese units.
They will continue to attack the dug in Japanese units. In the air, B-25 Mitchells bomb and strafe the Bogadjim area south of Madang. An attack on Finschhafen by 30 Japanese fighters causes minor damage.
Australian General Headquarters in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, issues RENO III, the plan for the operations ending with the capture of islands in the Southern Philippines. The plan consists of five phases between 1 February 1944 and 1 February 1945. According to the plan, the Australians will only participate in one phase, i.e., the capture of islands in the Arafura Sea between New Guinea and Australia in June 1944.
In Dutch New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators hit two freighters near Manokwari and bomb the Manokwari area.
PACIFIC OCEAN: 1500 hours: Submarine USS Kingfish (SS-234) sinks a cargo ship at 12-30 N, 109-30 E, in the Pacific. (Skip Guidry)
Diver tender HMC DT 5 ordered from Shelburne Shipbuilding.
46 ft wood harbour craft HMC HC 214, HC 215 and HC 224 ordered.
U.S.A.: Destroyer escort USS Riley laid down.
Submarine USS Hammerhead launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-378 (Type VIIC) is sunk in the North Atlantic, at position 47.40N, 28.27W, by depth charges from Avenger and Wildcat aircraft (VC 13) of the US escort carrier USS Core. 48 dead, 1 survivor in captivity. (Alex Gordon)
U-532 damaged SS British Purpose in Convoy BM-71.
U-420 reported missing in the North Atlantic. No explanation exists for its loss. 49 dead (all hands lost).
U-415 returned to base due to serious engine trouble.
He apparently isn't in the loop. The P-51 B and C models will begin deployment in December and the superb P-51D will follow in the Spring.
Look for an article 30 days from now, Nov. 20, called “Fighter Mastery Over Nazis Shown.” It mentions the P-51 as a possible escort for bombers. A version of the same plane designated A-36 Invader is described as an effective low-level fighter and dive bomber.