Skip to comments.SOVIET OFFERS DEAL TO POLAND, SETTING CURZON LINE AS BORDER (1/11/44)
Posted on 01/11/2014 4:52:25 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
11 January. 1st Battalion patrols reported no contact. The 2d Battalion on the Sel-Seure track advanced farther with artillery support and occupied the narrow coastal track east of Sel without resistance at 1400.
Natives brought us much good information.
There were several reports during the early morning hours of enemy barge activity near Cape Iris. One from the 3d Battalion said that one large barge and seven small barges were steaming around the cape and were being strafed by our planes. But later investigations showed that the barges were two dummies our troops had erected on the beach between the Mot River and Cape Iris. Still later on, these dummies caused another alert or two. Our Air Corps strafed them, our boats shelled them, and our troop let them have it with tommy guns. The Japanese themselves showed no apparent interest in the barges.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Nine ships from this squadron took part in an attack on Oschersleben, however six of the nine failed to return, while the remaining three landed on other bases in England.
MIA crews: 2nd Lts Gordon W. Crozier, Sidney B. Van Ness, George A. Hannon, Albert F. Monaco; T/Sgt Clyde E. Dideum, George Balmore; S/Sgt Robert J. Osborne, Clifford W. Easley, Gordon W. Giddens and Walter R. Purnell.
2nd Lts Wilfred R. Perot, Dudley B. Jones, Robert N. Weaver, Adelbert Faulconer; S/Sgt O. K. Daniels, John S. Jerinowski, Sgts Philip M. Ball, Walter H. Turk, Edwin B. Bosley and Thomas H. Graham.
2nd Lts Ernest M. Klein, Paul C. Chelf, S/Sgt James Counce, 2nd Lt Louis H. Gill; T/Sgt Howard A. Pope, Melvin Soderstrom, S/Sgts Stanley A.Wright, John E. Miskin, Edward Schuitima, John S. Bunworth.
2nd Lts Billy F. Chason, Henry Mikelson, Lawrence D. Walker, Americus Gentile; S/Sgt Robert F. Vollbrecht, Carl S. Hydra, Sgts Raymond W. Martin, Thomas R. Cobb, Howard J. Greenwood and Steve A. Kudla.
2nd Lts Matthew J. McEvoy, Nicholas N. Nitikin, Henry I. Lipsky, F/O William H. Ingram; S/Sgt Fred W. Johnson, Arthur T. Loehrer, Sgts Weldon E. Wittwer, Eugene J. Kracium, S/Sgt Mack Sexton Jr, Sgt Jack G. Trueblood.
2nd Lts Donald E. Nason, Joseph J. Byser, Athan Anagnos, Charles D. Fiery; S/Sgt Buster T. Harrah, Sgts Ralph L. Lab, Raymond C. Beus, Paul W. Stonich, John R. Lantz, George A. Whitney.
Capt McDaniel and four crewmen flew on a weather ship detail - but does not count as a mission!
Homers uncle is part of the Billy Chason crew the fourth one listed. Six out of nine planes from the 533rd lost. Not good. The 8th Air Force diary entry for the day provides more information on the mission:
Mission 182. Three aviation industry targets in Germany are hit; fierce opposition estimated at 500 Luftwaffe fighters is encountered and 60 bombers and 5 fighters are lost.
1. 177 B-17's are dispatched to Oschersleben; 139 hit the primary and 20 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 174-32-63 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34 B-17's are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 83 damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 11 WIA and 349 MIA.
2. 114 B-17's are dispatched to Halberstadt; 52 hit the primary and 55 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 35-11-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17's are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 42 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 81 MIA. 177 P-47's and 44 Ninth Air Force P-51's escort; they claim 29-11-14 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47's are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 4 P-47's and 1 P-51 are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 2 MIA. Major James H Howard, a P-51 pilot of the 354th Fighter Group, shot down an Me 110 and then found himself the lone escort for a B-17 group being attacked by 30 Luftwaffe aircraft. For the next 30 minutes, he kept turning into the enemy fighters and firing until only one gun was firing; by this time, he was credited with 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft and saved the B-17's. Major Howard was awarded the Medal of Honor.
3. 234 B-17's and 138 B-24's are dispatched to Brunswick; 47 B-17's hit the primary, 114 hit Osnabruck, 25 hit Bielefeld, 22 hit Peine, 10 hit Herford and 1 hit Nienburg; no B-24's hit the primary, 58 hit Meppen, 1 hits Lingen and 7 hit other targets; they claim 19-17-16 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17's and 2 B-24's are lost, 1 each damaged beyond repair and 47 B-17's and 7 B-24's damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 176 MIA. This mission is escorted by 49 P-38's and 322 P-47's; they claim 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 2 P-47's are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 1 MIA. Among the PFF aircraft are 4 B-24's, this being the first time B-24's are used in this capacity.
The Chason crew all got out of the plane before it crashed. They would wind up at Stalag Luft I, at Barth, Germany.
Escorted bomber losses still high
Tuesday, January 11, 1944 www.onwar.com
Over Germany... The US 8th Air Force carries out a fighter escorted daylight raid on Oschersleben. A quarter of the 238 bombers are lost. The attrition effect on the defending German fighters is not reflected in this loss.
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces launch new attacks on Mozyr.
In Washington... President Roosevelt asks Congress for a new national service law to prevent damaging strikes and to mobilize the entire adult population for war.
In New Guinea... Elements of the US 32nd Division, at Saidor, complete repairs to the airfield.
January 11th, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The Soviet government has replied to the declaration by the Polish government in exile on relations between the two countries with a note suggesting that the Curzon Line, the frontier proposed by the Allies in 1919, could form the basis of a settlement. This would amount to the annexation of areas of eastern Poland into the Soviet Union.
Corvettes HMS Bamborough Castle and Pevensey Castle launched.
GERMANY: As part of the strategic bombing of the German aircraft industry, the USAAF raids Brunswick, Aschersleben and Halberstadt; 42 aircraft are lost and 125 damaged.
Over Oschersleben, Lieutenant Colonel James H. Howard (U.S. Army Air Corps) displays conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the Luftwaffe.
He is the leader of a group of P-51 aircraft providing support for a heavy bomber formation on a long-range mission deep in German territory. As his group met the bombers in the target area the bomber force is attacked by numerous Luftwaffe fighters. Colonel Howard, with his group, at once engages his enemy and personally destroys a German Me-110.
As a result of this attack Col. Howard lost contact with his group, and at once returned to the level of the bomber formation. He then sees that the bombers are being heavily attacked by enemy airplanes and that no other friendly fighters are at hand. While Col. Howard could have waited to attempt to assemble his group before engaging the enemy, he chose instead to attack single-handed a formation of more than 30 German airplanes. With utter disregard for his own safety he immediately pressed home determined attacks for some 30 minutes, during which time he destroyed 3 enemy airplanes and probably destroyed and damaged others. Toward the end of this engagement 3 of his guns went out of action and his fuel supply was becoming dangerously low. Despite these handicaps and the almost insuperable odds against him, Col. Howard continued his aggressive action in an attempt to protect the bombers from the numerous fighters. (MOH) (William L. Howard)
U-246, U-1006 commissioned.
ITALY: Verona: Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law and the former foreign minister, was led in front of a firing squad in the prison here today and shot for treason. Four other fascist ex-leaders were executed with him and 13 others were sentenced in their absence on 8 January.
Ciano’s “crime” was to vote with his fellow-Fascists to oust Mussolini from office last July. Ciano and his wife, Edda, were lured to Bavaria last August by a report that their children were in danger. They had been promised safe conduct to Spain - only to be handed to Italy’s new puppet Fascist government. Marshal Emilio de Bono, once one of the Duce’s stauncest supporters, was also shot.
NEW GUINEA: The airfield at Siador, becomes operational after repairs.
PACIFIC: HMS Tally Ho, one of the Royal Navy submarine flotilla based at Trincomalee, caught the Japanese light cruiser Kuma in the Malacca Strait, one of the very few large Japanese warships then operating in the area, and sank her with two torpedo hits.
Japanese submarine I-11 is lost. There is some dispute as to whether she was sunk by the USS NICHOLAS (DD-449) or lost to mines. (Marc James Small)(220, 221 and 222)
MARSHALL ISLANDS: US aircraft attack Japanese shipping and military bases on Kwajalein atoll as part of preparations for an operation to take the islands.
U.S.A.: Washington: President Roosevelt in his State of the Union message to Congress today announced some controversial new “win-the-war” proposals. He wants to introduce a national service law which will put every able-bodied man and woman at the service of the government. There are to be some exceptions, but no details of these are available yet.
The point of the law is not so much to increase the armed forces as to “prevent strikes” by giving the government new powers over workers at home. Trade union leaders described the law tonight as “quack medicine”. They attacked the “evils inherent” in compulsory labour. And they said that the law would not be effective. They pointed out that strikes in Britain are increasing, despite legal controls over labour; Britain had more strikes in the first nine months of 1943 than in all of 1942.
Escort carrier USS Hoggatt Bay commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Doyle C Barnes laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Stafford and Richard W Suesens launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The first US attack with forward-firing rockets is made today against a U-boat by two TBF-1C Avengers of Composite Squadron 58 (VC-58) from the escort carrier USS Block Island (CVE-21).
Corvette HMCS Lunenburg attacked by U-953 Oblt Karl-Heinz Marbach Commanding Officer, 50N-18W, the attack was unsuccessful and there was no further contact.
SS Triona damaged by U-532 at 00.03N, 80.43E - Grid LO 52.
The quality of the men at this POW camp during and after the was is amazing. It highlights the incredible loss of the quality of those who perished. (Not sure about the fighter pilot who had the first gender reassignment surgery in the UK...shell shock?)
List at this link is much longer and includes many of those who inspired the Great Escape:
Nicholas Alkemade, RAF rear-gunner who survived a fall of 18,000 feet (5,500 m) without a parachute when his aircraft was shot down in March 1944.
He fell 18,000 feet (5,500 m) to the ground below.
“His fall was broken by pine trees and a soft snow cover on the ground. He was able to move his arms and legs and suffered only a sprained leg.”
Bernard Barker, United States Air Force bombardier, later famous as a Watergate burglar.
Jimmy Buckley, British Fleet Air Arm pilot and escape organiser (known as “Big X” note that a character in the film The Great Escape is also so named, but has a different fate).
John J Carroll, P38 Pilot 55th Fighter Group, shot down over Holland, 1943, Later Vice president of Knorr Broadcasting WKNR (KEENER) Detroit. Later,Owner Operator of Carroll Broadcasting Inc.
Roberta Cowell, RAF fighter pilot, and later the first British person to undergo Sex reassignment surgery
(Insanely tortured Wiki-bio describes how “she” fought as a fighter pilot during WWII long before “gender-reassignment”)
Harry Day, British Royal Air Force Wing Commander and Senior British Officer at this and numerous other camps, survivor of the “Great Escape”.