Skip to comments.FIRST U.S. FIGHTERS REACH BERLIN, BOMBERS HIT FRENCH AIRFIELDS (3/4/44)
Posted on 03/04/2014 4:37:26 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
You should see the Home Secretarys minute about a national day of prayer for Overlord. I think there are serious dangers in drawing attention to the coming shock in this way, especially as no one can know when it is going to be. We have to be very much on our guard against unduly depressing the troops.*
* See minute of February 22.
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
#1 - Besame Mucho Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen
#2 - My Heart Tells Me - Glen Gray, with Eugenie Baird
#3 - Mairzy Doats Merry Macs
#4 Shoo Shoo Baby - Ella Mae Morse, with orchestra
#5 Shoo Shoo Baby - Andrews Sisters
#6 - Star Eyes - Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen
#7 - Holiday for Strings David Rose
#8 I Couldnt Sleep a Wink Last Night Frank Sinatra
#9 Mairzy Doats Al Trace, with Red Maddox
#10 - Speak Low Guy Lombardo, with Billy Leach
Soviet offensive in Ukraine
Saturday, March 4, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces launch a new series of attacks in the Ukraine. The forces of 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov) attack from the north and east of Tarnopol.
In the Admiralty Islands... US Task Force 74 (Crutchley) shells Japanese batteries on Hauwei and Ndrilo. These guns have hampered American access to Seeadler Bay.
March 4th, 1944 (SATURDAY)
FRANCE: 219 B-24’s are dispatched to hit French airfields; 62 hit Bergerac Airfield, 60 hit the Chateau-Bernard Airfied at Cognac; 41 hit Landes de Bussac Airfield and 1 hits La Roche Airfield. The group participating were the 44th, 93d, 389th, 392d, 445th, 446th 448th, 453d and 458th Bombardment Groups (Heavy). Fighter support consisted of 34 P-38’s, 185 P-47’s and 88 P-51’s.
GERMANY: The 8th AF headed to Berlin.
The first American bombers and fighters appear over Berlin. The raid had been cancelled because of weather. One group proceeded to the target with fighter escort. Göring later said, “When I saw the American fighters over Berlin I knew the jig was up.” (Hal Turrell)
Bombers are escorted by P-38J Lightnings, but many of the 249 B-17s dispatched hit other targets in Bonn, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt because of bas weather and poor visibility over much of the continent.
Today’s 1200-mile round trip was made under heavy flak, but there was no sign of Luftwaffe interceptors. Even so, out of 502 bombers and 720 fighters, 39 were lost.
A recall message was received and most of the bombers turned back. The lead aircraft for the 95th BG, “I’ll Be Around”, was piloted that day by Alvin Brown, with squadron leader(?) Grif Mumford on board as a command pilot. The radio operator of the aircraft received the message, but told Mumford:
(1) the message had the wrong salutation codes at the beginning, and
(2) the signal was too strong and clear to have originated in England
and was therefore a fake message sent by the Germans. Mumford elected to continue the mission, and the 95th BG, accompanied by elements of the 100th BG (if memory serves, 29 B-17s in all) proceeded on to Berlin. They were met by P-51s of the 357th FG. (Dennis Sparks)
POLAND: Krakow: Governor Hans Frank reminds a Nazi meeting: “The Jews are a race which must be wiped out. Whenever we catch one, he will be exterminated.”
BARENTS SEA: U-472 sunk SE of Bear Island, Norway, in position 73.05N, 26.40E, by gunfire and rockets from destroyer HMS Onslaught and 816 Sqn Swordfish aircraft from escort carrier HMS Chaser. 23 dead and 30 survivors.
U-703 attacked Convoy RA-57 near Kola Inlet with a spread of FAT torpedoes and sank SS Empire Tourist. At 1545 hours, U-703 fired a Gnat and heard a detonation after 3 minutes 10 seconds, which was observed by destroyer HMS Milne. This destroyer then attacked the U-boat with depth charges for several hours. The master, 41 crewmembers, 23 gunners, two signalmen and one naval personnel from the Empire Tourist were picked up by minesweeper HMS Gleaner and landed at Aultbea, Loch Ewe.
U.S.S.R.: The Red Army pushes German forces back across the river Bug, except for a pocket at Uman.
ITALY: Anzio: There is a lull in the fighting giving the Germans time to rally their forces for defence.
BURMA: “Merril’s Marauders” go into action for the first time, erecting a roadblock at Walawbaum, in Hukawng Valley, as part of a move to take Myitkyina and re-open the Burma Road.
Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 17 3:05 flight time Hailakandi, Assam to Lonkin, Burma Photo mission of landing strip. The following is from my memory of the occasion, written in my journal at a later date. The photos taken showed the field covered with logs. At that time it was thought the logs were placed there by the Japanese to prevent landings. The results caused much concern with the brass. There was some talk that the mission had been compromised. The force going was diverted to another field. Later it was determined that the Burmese had placed them there to dry out.
Note. General Wingate had not wanted any flying over this particular area prior to the night glider assault landings, but on a hunch Colonel Cochran sent us as a lone B-25 to fly over and photograph the field and our flight did pay off. It would have been a disaster had the flight gone as planned. (Chuck Baisden)
JAPAN: All students are mobilised.
ADMIRALTY ISLANDS: US forces arrive to reinforce the Los Negros beach-head.
U.S.A.: “Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much)” by Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra with vocals by Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen reaches Number 1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the U.S. This song, which debuted on the charts on 15 January 1944, was charted for 23 weeks, was Number 1 for 7 weeks and was ranked Number 4 for the year 1944.
Corvette HMCS Agassiz completed forecastle extension refit New York.
Destroyer USS Leutze commissioned.
Frigate USS Sausalito commissioned.
Submarine USS Sterlet commissioned.
Destroyer escorts USS Doyle C Barnes and Jobb launched.
Not much variety in the musical tastes ... two versions of “Shoo Shoo Baby” and two versions of “Mairzy Doats.” People say contemporary music is mindless, but “Mairzy Doats” and “Besame Mucho” are right up there.
“Sforza for Fiume as Seat of League (Sulzberger) 6-7”
Some interesting stuff in Count Sforza’s proposals, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out all that great.
Count Sforza will be Italian Foreign Minister after the war 1947-51.
Very interesting, thanks!
Page 5: Benzadrine used to keep flyers awake.
Benzadrne was a racemic mixture of dextro and levo amphetamine.
The dextro version is 10 times more potent than the levo version in the human brain.
The Germans were using methamphetamine regularly.
Page 4, right flank of the American line at Anzio, very linear in shape, must be a railroad line?
Or an inaccurately drawn line. According to the map Cougar posted at reply #14 on February 28 the allies are behind the Mussolini Canal, which meanders north-south.
“Roosevelt Links Pipeline to Needs 17”
Roosevelt promotes Saudi pipeline needs!
“Bombers are escorted by P-38J Lightnings, but many of the 249 B-17s dispatched hit other targets in Bonn, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt because of bas weather and poor visibility over much of the continent.”
The final 210 J models, designated P-38J-25-LO, alleviated the compressibility problem through the addition of a set of electrically actuated dive recovery flaps just outboard of the engines on the bottom centerline of the wings. With these improvements, a USAAF pilot reported a dive speed of almost 600 mph (970 km/h), although the indicated air speed was later corrected for compressibility error, and the actual dive speed was lower. Lockheed manufactured over 200 retrofit modification kits to be installed on P-38J-10-LO and J-20-LO already in Europe, but the USAAF C-54 carrying them was shot down by an RAF pilot who mistook the Douglas transport for a German Focke-Wulf Condor. Unfortunately the loss of the kits came during Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier’s four-month morale-boosting tour of P-38 bases. Flying a new Lightning named “Snafuperman” modified to full P-38J-25-LO specs at Lockheed’s modification center near Belfast, LeVier captured the pilots’ full attention by routinely performing maneuvers during March 1944 that common Eighth Air Force wisdom held to be suicidal. It proved too little too late because the decision had already been made to re-equip with Mustangs.
Interesting article on giving the flight crews Benzedrine to keep them awake on long missions. The Germans have been giving their troops Pervitin (same thing) for a few years now. There were two things about the article I found interesting; one is what they said, and the other is what they didn’t. What they said is that the Benzies didn’t make you a “superman,” although I’m sure it felt like it.
The other interesting thing is what the good doctor didn’t say. He didn’t say it was safe.
I noticed that as well. I recall reading that stimulants were used in Vietnam, too.
Everything was used in Vietnam. Not all of it was provided by the Army doctors.
Wasn't it all essentially methamphetamine which the Japanese also give their troops and which was invented by a Japanese scientist in the early part of the 20th century?
There is that, but I did read that stimulants were distributed by the Army. My high school history teacher was an infantry officer Vietnam vet. When he learned I was interested (my father was a Navy officer vet), he gave me books about Vietnam all year and had me give reports on them.
Once the bulb on the filmstrip project blew out, and he yelled, “Incoming!” and dived under a desk. I had a lot of nightmares that year.
In pill form, they called it Pervatin but also mixed it with chocolate.
Mr. Hazelett, may he Rest in Peace, was my 8th grade math teacher. He was a Korean war vet, and had some serious PTSD. He spoke with a stammer. The kids knew he had “shell shock” and at least once a month when he was writing a problem on the chalkboard with his back to the class, some kid would drop a textbook on the floor just to watch him jump or dive.
Even though I had my cruel phase, I never dreamed of doing that to Mr. Hazelett and was disgusted when the other kids did. That he had to endure that just to earn a living still makes me very sad to this day.
I had a Navy Korean War vet for World History in the 8th grade. My mother called him “Fuller the Fascist,” so I guess he was pretty darn militaristic even for a military family. A well-organized instructor, though.
My algebra teacher - guess it was 8th grade ... 1979 or so? - had taught at the Naval Academy. He had a pistol in his briefcase. Great teacher - I’m no math mind, but I totally nailed Algebra I.
Mr. Kosaveach was my 9th Grade World History teacher. He absolutely hated communism. Probably because he was Polish. He showed us lots of anti-communist movies and the like. Unfortunately for him, I was the crazy class clown. I could get away with it because my older brother had Mr. Kosaveach three years earlier, and somehow his textbook didn’t get returned at the end of the year. By the time I took world history, I had already read the text several times, and knew it as well as Mr. K did. Not only that, I knew where there were errors in the text and could point them out while I was clowning around.
I drove Mr. K and his poor student teacher nuts. They really didn’t know what to do with me.
“Die Starkende Schokolade” means “The Fortified Chocolate.”
I’m sure it was...
In my district, the whole Class of 1984 was kind of like that. We'd fallen into a time-warp where we were taught phonics and grammar, so we could read and think. Also math facts.
We got away with some stuff in high school because we were getting the test scores that made the administration look good. Nothing major ... stuff like eating our lunch outside when it was against the rules ... oh, wild kids!
My parents would never have put up with any behavior that showed up on your record.
On the grade scales of A to F I routinely got A’s in the history classes. On the conduct scales of 1 to 5 Mr. K gave me 1’s.
By the time I got to AP US History in 1975-6, I had matured a bit. And I liked Mr. Taylor; he had been a college professor and was teaching High School history, but at a college level. I got a 5 on my US History AP exam.
I remember when we had a class discussion in US History at the close of the unit on the Depression. Mr. Taylor asked “Everyone had money and was prosperous in the 1920’s, and then by 1933, everyone was broke. Where did the money go?” It was meant to trigger the discussion for the rest of the class. After a moment of reflection, I simply said: “The money was never there; it was all speculation and debt.” There total silence, including Mr. Taylor. His planned 50 minute discussion had lasted less than a minute.
I got a 5 on the AP History exam, too. Then I sold my notes to future classes ;-).
My father said he’d never been taught the kind of source analysis we did for the AP History exam until he got to Naval Postgraduate School in the late 60s. “Who is the author? What is his agenda? How does he want us to react to his article?”
We did that in Mr. Taylor’s class, too. I didn’t think it was that big a deal; that’s just the way I naturally thought. I rarely accepted what I read at face value, I was always looking for an agenda. Either I’m paranoid or just a natural critical thinker. I have to bite my tongue when I watch the news with Mrs. henkster; my analysis is often a little too critical for her.
That wasn’t the way I naturally thought. I was a nice, obedient daughter who didn’t argue with my parents, didn’t argue in school, and got straight A’s by repeating what I was taught.
I started learning to think in Capt. Mitchell’s class. I remember when my friend and I both got A’s on an essay test, even though we’d given opposite answers to the question, because we both backed our answers with information from the chapter. The same information, in fact! It emphasized something OldTax-lady likes to say, “Always be positive, even if you’re wrong.”
I’m mighty critical and cynical about a lot of things here in my middle age. I try not to emphasize the negative too much with my children. They’ll learn it when they need it.
Those are some pretty poorly drawn lines. The American right flank is defended by using the natural barrier, the Mussolini Canal as a front line. The north front there isn’t exactly straight either.
Naw, this stuff couldn't be bad for you!
I got a newbie teacher who had been assigned world history but really wasn’t into it. Being in my smart alec phase I often corrected her and/or the text. I would have hated to have me in that class. :-))
You may recall this case from the sensational posts last fall. Lonergan was a party boy and occaisional lover of Mrs. Burton Lonergan's father, who made a fortune brewing beer. The father was a playboy himself.
Lonergan was rejected for service because of his homosexuality, but was taken as a cadet by the RCAF. He traveled to New York ostensibly to see his son. When his wife returned in the morning from a night on the town some kinky make up sex turned into Lonergan beating his wife to death.
Lonergan was parolled in the 1960's and spent the rest of his life in Canada.
The son survived into adulthood and inherited all of granddad's money.
That girl looks entirely too happy.
I’ll bet her hygeine is terrible, her room is a pig sty, she rides a rusty beat up tricycle, her boyfriend is in “time out” and she sold off all her dolls and toys for some more inhalers.
I shudder to think what that would do to my 4-year-old.
New York Post article from 2012 says he changed his name, too!
He took Burton, his mother’s name, didn’t he?
I didn’t get that far. A child showed up exhibiting prurient curiosity.