Skip to comments.U.S. FORCE RIPS BASE 1,300 MILES FROM TOKYO; AMERICANS MAKE A JUNCTION ON NEW BRITAIN (2/24/44)
Posted on 02/24/2014 4:07:48 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
Marianas Blasted (Horne) 2-3
Chennault Eager to Bomb Japanese 3
7,000 of Foe Slain in Victory of U.S. in West New Britain (Kluckhohn) 4
Burma Japanese Lose on 2 Fronts 5
Japanese Picked Up Trying to Escape from Marshalls (photo) 5
House Votes Down Bill on Citizenship 5
Our Airmen Leaving a Trail of Destruction behind Them at Wewak (photo) 6
Brazil Makes Bid for Soviet Accord 6
Russians Near Dno 7
Germans Regroup in Beachhead Area (Bracker) 8
War News Summarized 8
Sweden Plans Moscow Protest Charging Bombing of Stockholm 9
Stockholm after it Received a Mystery Bombing (photo) 9
Hitler Said to Order Losing Officers Shot 9
Boats off Anzio under Steady Fire 10
Latest War Casualties 12
Generous Idealism is Urged by Mayor 13
Planning Wins Battles (Baldwin) 13
The Texts of the Days Communiques on the Fighting in Various War Zones 14-15
London is Bombed 4th Straight Night (Graham) 15
Americans overrun Eniwetok
Wednesday, February 23, 1944 www.onwar.com
In the Marshall Islands... Japanese resistance on Parry Island ends. American forces complete the occupation of Eniwetok Atoll. US losses are 300 killed and 750 wounded. The Japanese garrison has been wiped out. Out of 3400 troops, there are 66 prisoners.
On the Eastern Front... In the north, Red Army forces take Strugi Krasnyye, midway between Luga and Pskov. Attacks begin toward Dno as well.
In the Mariana Islands... American aircraft raid Rota, Tinian and Saipan. The US forces are from Task Group 58.3 (Sherman) and Task Group 58.2 (Montgomery). The attack sinks 20,000 tons of Japanese shipping.
In Italy... At Anzio, General Truscott replaces General Lucas as commander of the US 6th Corps.
February 24th, 1944 (THURSDAY)
EUROPE: This is the start of “Big Week” which really lasts until March 6,1944 which broke the back of the Luftwaffe. The 445th Bomb Group endured four and one half hours of fighter attack and lost 13 out of 25 airplanes. Yet they accurately destroyed the Goather Wagonwerke which produced the ME210. The Luftwaffe never recovered from the loss of almost 500 experienced fighter pilots that week. Most of them fell to the guns of the 8th Fighter Command. (Hal Turrel)
238 of 266 B-17s dispatched hit Schweinfurt; 11 are lost. 295 of 304 B-17s dispatched hit Rostock and targets of opportunity; 5 aircraft are lost. 213 of 239 B-24s dispatched hit the factory and airfield at Gotha and targets of opportunity; 33 B-24s are lost.
UNITED KINGDOM: Merchant ship Fort Stikine, sails from the Mersey. Her destination is “secret” but her cargo clearly marked for Karachi and Bombay. On deck are crated gliders, whilst below, her Bombay cargo includes crated aircraft and shells, torpedoes, mines, rockets, magnesium and bombs totalling 1,400 tons of explosive. Also on board, in No. 2 ‘tween deck, were 124 bars of gold worth nearly one million pounds. (78)
Kirkby, Lancashire: Mr. Richard Arthur Samuel Bywater (b.1913), civil servant, led the task of removing 17,000 possibly defective bomb fuses from a factory after a fatal blast on 22 February. (George Cross)
Corvette HMCS Copper Cliff launched Blyth.
Submarines HMS Varne and Supreme launched.
Corvette HMCS Huntsville (ex-HMS Wolvesey Castle) launched Troon, Scotland.
Corvette HMCS Petrolia (ex-HMS Sherborne Castle) launched Belfast.
Minesweeper HMS Octavia commissioned.
GERMANY: U-1054 launched.
FINLAND: The prime minister says that Finland is prepared to make peace immediately with Russia, subject to conditions.
ARCTIC OCEAN: U-713 sunk in the Arctic NW of Narvik, Norway, in position 69.27N, 04.53E, by depth charges from destroyer HMS Keppel. 50 dead (all hands lost).
ITALY: Subadar Subramanian (b.?), Madras Sappers and Miners, died when he threw himself onto a mine to shield others. (George Cross)
GREECE: During test firing with the machine gun from U-453 at the base in Salamis were two men killed (not crewmembers).
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Cape Breton departed Halifax to join EG-6 in UK.
U.S.A.: Norfolk, Virginia: Josephine “Joe” Doolittle, the wife of Lt-Gen James Harold Doolittle, Commanding General of the US Eighth Air Force, breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow and christens the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La.
The USS INTREPID, crippled by a Japanese torpedo one week ago, stands into Pearl Harbor after having maintained direction with a jury-rigged sail. (Skip Guidry)
Minesweepers USS Roselle and Ruddy laid down.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-257 (KptLt. Heinz Rahe, CO) is sunk in approximate position 47.19N, 26.00W, by depth charges from the Canadian River Class frigate HMCS Waskesiu (K330), LCdr. James Philip Fraser, RCNR, CO, and the British frigate HMS Nene (K272). 30 dead and 19 survivors.
Waskesiu was part of Escort Group 6, operating in support of convoy SC-153. Waskesiu detected the submarine on Asdic shortly after 02:00 and, although the Group Commander was convinced the contact was non-sub, LCdr. Fraser (an ex-RCMP marine division officer) was persuaded by his Asdic operators to persist. Waskesiu conducted many hedgehog and depth charge attacks until 05:50, when the submarine surfaced. The ship engaged the submarine with guns and closed to ram but the submarine avoided and manoeuvred away. The submarine sank a few moments later. Due to the darkness and rough seas, only 19 of U-257’s 49 crewmembers were rescued. KptLt. Rahe was seen to throw his lifejacket and one-man raft to survivors and re-entered the boat just moments before it sank.
[According to a crew member on the HMCS Waskesiu the HMS Nene only participated in picking up survivors while the Canadian frigate dropped the depth charges, after both frigates had picked up an ASDIC signal that the Canadians insisted was a U-boat, that sank the boat.] (Alex Gordon)
German submarine U-761 was detected by PBY-5A Catalinas from VP-63, now based at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Port Lyautey, French Morocco, during an attempt to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar. The two VP-63 aircraft used their MAD gear to detect, track, and assist in the sinking of U-761, the first sinking of a submarine aided by MAD equipment. The U-boat was attacked by an RAF Catalina Mk. IB of No. 202 Squadron, based at Gibraltar, and a PV-1 Ventura of USN Bombing Squadron One Hundred Twenty Seven (VB-127) also based at NAF Port Lyautey. The crew of the VB-127 Ventura, assisted in the kill by dropping depth charges on U-761 when it surfaced. Following the attack by VB-127 PV-1, the U-boat was scuttled in the mid-Atlantic near Tangier, in position 35.55N, 0545W, in view of approaching British destroyers. Nine of the 57 men aboard were lost; the 48 survivors, including the captain, were picked up by HMS Anthony and HMS Wishart.
"A Quart of Milk for Each Hottentot," from the citizens of New York. Sheesh. Sounds like the current mayor.
Oops. The onwar.com entry above is from yesterday.
British capture Nyakyedyauk Pass
Thursday, February 24, 1944 www.onwar.com
In Burma... British forces capture the Nyakyedyauk Pass.
On the Eastern Front... In the north, forces of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front capture the rail junction of Dno, east of Pskov. Meanwhile, Rogachev falls to forces of the 2nd Belorussian Front.
In New Guinea... American forces reach Biliau near Cape Iris.
Over Britain... The ninth Luftwaffe bombing raid on London is carried out since the beginning of the “Little Blitz” on January 21st. A total of 129 German bombers have been lost since this operation began.
Sometime in this period, my Grandfather is wounded by artillery, and ends up being evacuated back to Germany in May. His Hiwi Engineering Company is destroyed at Narva and Courland.
He said the refugees streaming west during the retreat to Narva were the biggest problem they faced, with tens of thousands fleeing from the oncoming Soviets. You won’t read that one in many history books.
Rumors of the death of German Col. Gen. Georg Lindemann are greatly exaggerated. He will continue in command of 18th Army, and in a few weeks will be promoted to command of Army Group North. During the crushing Soviet summer offensive in a few months, Lindemann will be relieved and spend the rest of the war as a garrison commander in Denmark. After the war, Lindemann will live quietly in retirement until his death in 1963.
As for the execution orders for losing officers, that was really more of a Soviet deal. Hitler will sack officers who lose and/or don’t follow orders, but he doesn’t have them shot. Now, if there is a hint of disloyalty after July 20, 1944, that’s another matter.
The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 5:34 am
Last Modified: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 7:00 am
NEWPORT, R.I. — The U.S. Naval War College has released a trove of World War II information by posting online the operational diary kept by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz during the war against Japan.
The more than 4,000 pages includes a running estimate of the situation for every day of the war in the Pacific compiled by Nimitz's planning staff, starting with Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
It is posted at www.usnwc.edu/graybook .
War College professor John Hattendorf says it's the only such document to survive from the war.
Nimitz was commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. He graduated from the War College in Rhode Island and lectured there several times.
The diary was declassified in 1972 but was relatively inaccessible at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington.
Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com
I haven’t been able to open the pdf file at http://usnwc.edu/Academics/Library/Naval-Historical-Collection.aspx#items/show/849 yet.
Any volunteers to post the admiral’s daily entries to our news posts?
Occasionally the Rogers Peet ads show drawings of officers looking sharp in their tailored uniforms. I don’t remember seeing any carrying golf bags.
I was not able to load it either. The 1944 section is pretty big, ~37MB. I wish they had chopped it down by month to make it more digestible.
More like 121 MB. I emailed them to request smaller chunks. Maybe if they get enough requests they will do it.
I will see if I can break up the files into smaller chunks using Adobe software and make them available to the WWII folks.
I've only begun to read Volume-1, it is totally fascinating with much new information, at least to me.
24 February (Oahu Date) Task Groups 58.2 (ESSEX, YORKTOWN, BELLEAU WOOD) and 58.3 (BUNKER HILL, i,MONTEREY, COWPENS) of Rear Admiral Mitscher' s Task Force (58) made two air strikes against SAIPAN-TINIAN on 22 Feb and, concurrently, a 12-plane fighter strike on GUAL1. The task force, having been sighted during its approach on the afternoon of 21 Feb, received almost continuous air attacks throughout the night of 21 Feb and during the forenoon of 22 Feb; the force relentlessly pushed its attack against the opposing defense, and bombed and strafed aircraft and radio installations, fuel oil storage, and shipping in the harbors. Reports give the following estimate of ships sunk: 4 AK and 1 PC; 2 tugs and 5 small escorts were damaged. A total of 136 aircraft was reported destroyed. Of these, 87 were destroyed on the ground; of the remaining 48, 29 were shot down in combat over the target, 14 were shot down by ships' gunfire, and 5 were shot down by CAP. Our losses were 1 VF(N), 4 VF, and 1 TBF. The force started its retirement at 1600, 22 Feb. Our ships suffered no combat damage; however, the ALABAMAs 5-inch Mount 9 fired into the back of Mount 5; this accident resulted in 5 being killed and 11 wounded, 2 seriously. Rear Admiral Mitscher states: "This battle is historic for courage and determination of purpose."
Land based air strikes (under TF 57) on 24 Feb were directed against KUSAIE, WOTJE, TAROA, MILLE, and EMIDJ. 19 tons of bombs were dropped in the barrack, radio station, and wharf areas of KUSAIE, resulting in large explosions; 25 tons fired the barrack area of EMIDJ; the remaining bombings were of moderate intensity and produced moderate damage; no plane loss was reported. A searcher over NAURU received heavy A/A and reports runways 1 and 2 operational.
TAMBOR reports sinking 3 AKs for a total of 20,500 tons and 1 9500-ton AO during the period 29 Jan to 3 Feb on the route between JAPAN and the PHILIPPINES.
GRAYBACK reports two more MARUs sunk on 24 Feb in the same general area as that of the TAMBOR.
In the South Pacific, bombardment by destroyers continued in the KAVIENG-RABAUL- DUKE OF YORK ISLAND areas.
Thank you very much. This promises to be a wonderful new source of information.
Me likey. Keep this stuff coming!
Anyone know the reason for the one year interval between taking the Marshalls and the Marianas?
Seems like we are on a roll in 1944 yet it’s 1945 before we move any more significant distance NW.