Skip to comments.PRESIDENT ASKS CIVILIAN DRAFT TO BAR STRIKES; U.S. PLANES IN GREAT BATTLE (1/12/44)
Posted on 01/12/2014 5:48:29 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
12 January. An enemy patrol of about twenty men attacked our outpost at Bilau. Reports were confirmed that natives led this patrol to our position. The outpost repulsed the attack but withdrew across the Mot River, which was now in flood.
About twelve inches of rain fell during this single night. It made the roads into quagmires. And besides this, the high seas and heavy surfs impeded supply and hindered reconnaissance.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Soviets capture Sarny
Wednesday, January 12, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Sarny within former Polish territory.
In Italy... US 5th Army forces (particularly 34th Division) capture Cervaro and advance toward Cassino. To the north, the Free French Corps begins attacks toward Sant’Elia.
January 12th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Scotland: Loch Ewe: The 20 ships of convoy JW-56 sail for Murmansk.
Frigate HMS Inglis commissioned.
Destroyer HMS Trafalgar launched.
POLAND: The Red Army envelops Sarny, in prewar Poland, and take it from the rear.
U.S.S.R.: The Germans counter-attack around Vinnitsa, southwest of Kiev.
ITALY: British General Harold Alexander, Commander in Chief 15th Army Group, directs the U.S. Fifth Army to impose maximum losses on the Germans south of Rome and to clear Rome; advance to the general line Civitavecchia-Viterbo-Terni and later to Pisa-Pistoia-Florence. The long-range objective of the British Eighth Army is the Faenza-Ravenna region. The importance of speed is stressed.
U.S. Fifth Army orders the U.S. VI Corps (Lieutenant General John Lucas) to land in the Anzio-Nettuno area at H Hour (0200 hours) on D Day (22 January) and drive on Colli Laziali. In the U.S. II Corps area, the 2d Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, overruns Cervaro; other units of the division continue to clear hills near the town towards Cassino. On the right flank of II Corps, Task Force B reaches Capraro Hill. The French Expeditionary Force, with the 3d Algerian Division on the left and the 2d Moroccan Division on the right, opens a drive toward St. Elia and makes steady progress.
USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and B-26 Marauders bomb the Giulianova railway bridge and attack a dam and road bridge; P-40s hit enemy defensive positions at San Biagio Saracinesa, Sant’ Elia Fiumerapido, Monte Trocchio, and Atina, and bomb Vallerotonda; and A-36 Apaches attack the Avezzano railroad yards, a village near Atina, railroad facilities at Cisterna di Latina, and numerous trucks and train cars in the Rome area.
USAAF Fifteenth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts fly a fighter sweep in the Rome area, strafing the marshalling yard at Teramo and buildings between the Tronto and Tesino Rivers.
Forty nine RAF No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group aircraft attack targets of opportunity during the night of 12/13 January.
YUGOSLAVIA: USAAF Twelfth Air Force P-40s attack a vessel in the Krka River.
FRENCH MOROCCO: Marrakesh: General de Gaulle flew into Morocco today to meet the British prime minister at the villa where he had been convalescing for a few weeks. Mr. Churchill was in fine form, and when de Gaulle asked him if he still painted he replied: “I am too weak for that, but I am strong enough to wage war.” The two imperious leaders made jokes at each other’s expense but managed to agree on Franco-British co-operation for victory. The Prime Minister requests an end to the prosecution of General Peyrouton and General Boisson, the former Governors General of French West Africa and Algeria respectively. Churchill cites guarantees made to the defendants by himself and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in exchange for their cooperation at the time of the North Africa landings. DeGaulle declines to interfere with what he considers an internal French matter. It was Peyrouton who had signed DeGaulle’s death warrant in 1940.
ALGERIA: The U.S. Seventh Army planning group under Brigadier General Garrison H. Davidson moves from Sicily to Algiers to work on plans for Operation ANVIL, the invasion of southern France.
BURMA: Over 20 USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and P-38 Lightnings hit the marshalling yard at Letpadan, damaging warehouses, engine sheds, and other buildings; the fighters also strafe Myohaung, setting three3 buildings afire.
THAILAND: Fourteen USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb the Bangsue marshalling yard at Bangkok.
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators and B-25 Mitchells attack the Alexishafen area and A-20 Havocs hit Warai.
EAST INDIES: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators attack Balikpapan, Borneo and ; Makassar, Celebes Island, both in the Netherlands East Indies, and Dili, Portugese Timor.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: The Arawe beachhead, New Britain Island, is now strengthened by Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and Company F, 158th Infantry Regiment.
On New Britain Island, USAAF Thirteenth Air Force bombers attack airfields at Rabaul: 13 B-25 Mitchells bomb Vunakanau Airfield in the early morning, 19 B-24 Liberators, with an escort of about 50 fighters, attack the airstrip and other targets at Tobera and 16 B-24 Liberators hit Lakunai Airfield during the night of 12/13 January.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Twenty one USAAF Seventh Air Force A-24 Dauntlesses from Makin Island, Gilbert Islands dive-bomb antiaircraft positions and the storage area on Mille Atoll and 20 supporting P-39 Airacobras strafe runways.
USN PB4Y-1 Liberator of Bombing Squadrons One Hundred Eight and One Hundred Nine (VB-108 and VB-109) bomb Japanese shipping in Kwajalein lagoon, sinking a gunboat. Aerial minelaying operations continue as five PBY-5 Catalinas, flying from Tarawa, mine Tokowa and Torappu channels and the south entrance to Maleolap; one Catalina goes on to bomb Jabor but is forced down by antiaircraft fire 6 miles (9,7 kilometers) east of Jaluit.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The U.S. Americal Division completes their movement to Bougainville Island.
On Bougainville Island, three flights of USAAF Thirteenth Air Force P-39 Airacobras bomb and strafe Teop, Inus Point, Numa Numa, and Piano Mission; other aircraft on armed reconnaissance and sweeps hit several targets of opportunity throughout the Bougainville area.
PACIFIC OCEAN: Submarine U.S.S. Albacore (SS-218), sailing through the waters between Truk and the Admiralty Islands on her eighth patrol, conducts a twilight periscope attack firing eight fish. The Japanese vessel XPG Choko Maru #2 (2629T) is rocked by four torpedoes about 350 miles southwest of Truk in position 03°30’N, 147°27’E. Albacore’s attack also apparently damages PGM Hayabusa-Tei #4 (25T). The motor gunboat had been under tow by Choko Maru #2 proceeding from Truk to Rabaul. Gunfire from a Japanese escort latter scuttles the gunboat in position 03°37’N, 147°27’E.
Submarine U.S.S. Hake (SS-256), on her third patrol cruising at night on the surface in the northern reaches of the Philippine Sea, fires four torpedoes at XAPV Nigitsu Maru (9547T). Two torpedoes hit and down goes the aircraft transport south of the Daito Islands in position 23°15’N, 132°49’E. (Chris Sauder)
U.S.A.: Leighton McCarthy presented his letters of credentials to President Roosevelt as the first Canadian Ambassador to the United States.
War Department planners in Washington, considering the matter of a new directive for the South East Asia Command (SEAC), reject Operation CULVERIN, the assault on Sumatra, and favor opening of a land route to China.
The advance part of the U.S. Third Army leaves Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to embark for the European Theater of Operations.
Alfred Hitchcock’s war drama film “Lifeboat” opens at the Astor Theater in New York City. The film stars Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, and Walter Slezak. The plot involves several survivors of a torpedoed ship in the same lifeboat with one of the men who sank it. The film is nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Director but wins none.
Minesweeper USS Devastator commissioned.
Destroyer escorts USS Marsh and Price commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Rudyerd Bay launched.
Destroyer escorts USS George A Johnson and Metivier launched.
Submarine USS Lagarto laid down.
Escort carrier USS Makin Island laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Tabberer and Robert F Keller laid down.
Battle of Tassafaronga
Main article: Battle of Tassafaronga
With the repaired carrier, New Orleans sailed to Fiji early in November 1942, then proceeded to Espiritu Santo, arriving on 27 November to return to action in the Solomons. With four other cruisers and six destroyers, she fought in the Battle of Tassafaronga on the night of 30 November, engaging a Japanese destroyer-transport force. When the flagship Minneapolis was struck by two torpedoes, New Orleans, next astern, was forced to sheer away to avoid collision, and ran into the track of a torpedo which detonated the ship’s forward magazines and gasoline tanks. This explosion severed 150 ft (46 m) of her bow just forward of turret No. 2. The severed bow, including Turret No. 1, swung around the port side and punched several holes in the length of New Orleans’ hull before sinking at the stern and damaging the port inboard propeller. With one quarter of her length gone, slowed to 2 kn (2.3 mph; 3.7 km/h), and blazing forward, the ship fought for survival. Individual acts of heroism and self-sacrifice along with skillful seamanship kept her afloat, and under her own power she entered Tulagi Harbor near daybreak on 1 December. The crew Camouflaged their ship from air attack, jury-rigged a bow of coconut logs, and worked furiously clearing away wreckage. Eleven days later, New Orleans sailed stern first to avoid sinking to Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney, Australia, arriving on 24 December. At Cockatoo, the damaged propeller was replaced and other repairs were made including the installation of a temporary stub bow. On 7 March 1943, she left Sydney for Puget Sound Navy Yard, sailing backward the entire voyage, where a new bow was fitted, interestingly enough with the use of Minneapolis’s No. 2 Turret. All battle damage was repaired and she was given a major refit and overhaul. She continued to sail with the back portion (aft) riveted and the front portion (bow) welded.
I wonder what the record is for sailing backwards from Australia to the U.S.
More pics here.
“coconut log bow”
The ingenuity of that generation was nothing short of spectacular.
yeah, ditto what Homer said. Thanks for the info on the cruiser.
I see some Harvard professor is organizing a defeatist movement called “Peace Now.” Some things just never change.