Skip to comments.ALLIED FLEET ATTACKS SUMATRA; CARRIER PLANES BLAST AIR BASES (4/21/44)
Posted on 04/21/2014 4:15:17 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
US Navy bombards New Guinea
Friday, April 21, 1944 www.onwar.com
In New Guinea... US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) attacks Wakde Island, Sawar, Sarmi and Hollandia. The American force includes 12 carriers and cruisers. Aircraft strike during the day and cruisers bombard the Japanese positions at night.
Over Occupied Europe... British bombers drop a total of 4500 tons of bombs on four rail junctions: Cologne, La Chappelle (Paris), Lens and Ottignies (Brussels).
In Liberated Italy... Marshal Badoglio forms a coalition government.
April 21st, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Corvette HMCS Mayflower completed work ups and departed for Greenock to join Western Approaches Command for invasion duties. As was the case before Operation TORCH, the concentration of naval power before Operation NEPTUNE required adjustments in convoy scheduling and escort arrangements. The average size of the ONS convoys for 1944 was 38 ships. In the period between Apr and Sep 44, the average ONS convoy size was 92 ships, with seven that numbered over 100 ships. This included the ‘monster’ convoy ON-249 of 153 merchant ships. Only one ship was lost to enemy action during this period.
HMCS Hespeler departed Londonderry, to join the escort for the 111-ship Liverpool to New York City Convoy ONS-233. The convoy arrived safely in New York on 09 May 44.
Destroyer HMS Hogue launched.
Frigate HMS Awe commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
FRANCE: Paris: The Sacrè Couer at Montmartre is damaged in an air raid.
236 Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauders and 34 A-20s attack gun positions, coastal defences and V-weapons sites at Etaples, at Berck-sur-Mer, near Doullens, and in the Saint-Omer, Abbeville, and Amiens area; 4 B-26s are lost.
BELGIUM: ; 175+ Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts dive-bomb marshalling yards and concentrations at Montignies-sur-Sambre, Hasselt, Namur, and Haine-Saint-Pierre (France).
U-2324 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
ITALY: Naples: Marshal Pietro Badoglio forms a coalition government.
Twelfth Air Force A-20s blast an ammunition dump while P-47s attack train, rail lines, and motor transport behind enemy lines; other P-47s, along with P-40s and A-36 Apaches, attack railway lines and trains between Rome and Terni, between Rome and Tivoli, and between Orte and Attigliano; hit a motor transport concentration northeast of Rome; and attack several bivouac areas and gun positions in the battle areas.
ROMANIA: 100+ Fifteenth Air Force B-24s bomb marshalling yards at Bucharest; all 17 bomb groups dispatched are recalled due to bad weather but 7 groups fail to receive the recall signal; 150+ P-38s and P-51s are dispatched as escort; 40+ rendezvous with the B-24s and battle some 30 enemy fighters that attack the bomber force; the other fighters, failing to meet the bombers, engage about 40 enemy fighters; the bombers and fighters claim 35 aerial combat victories; 10 US aircraft are shot down.
U.S.S.R.: Black Sea Fleet: (Sergey Anisimov)(69)Submarine loss.”L-6” - by surface ships, North to Constanta.
German Colonel-General (Generaloberst) Ferdinand Schorner begs Hitler to evacuate the 17th German-Romanian Army from Sevastopol. Once again, Hitler ignores a top military commander. He orders “Fortress Sevastopol” to hold out for eight weeks to discourage Turkey from joining the Allies. Hitler doesn’t know that the Turks have already decided to remain neutral. (Mikko Härmeinen)
BURMA: Lt. Carter Harman of the 1st Air Commando made the first helicopter combat rescue in military history flying a Sikorsky YR-4, when he made 4 separate flights some ten miles into Japanese held territory to take out a light plane pilot who had made an emergency landing along with three wounded British soldiers. The underpowered aircraft would only take one passenger at a time. (Chuck Baisden)
The Tenth Air Force dispatches 12 B-25s and 14 P-51 Mustangs to attack Indaw and Mawlu, causing several fires in supply dumps and in the general target areas; 12 B-25s bomb the camp and supply area at Kamaing. 8 B-24s bomb storage and fuel dumps at Lashio and bomb Namtu; 13 B-24s bomb Maymyo while 5 B-25s knock out 3 bridges in the Tangon area; and 4 P-51s knock out a bridge at Shweli.
Twelve Fourteenth Air Force P-40s fly armed reconnaissance over roads, strafing bridges, buildings, steamrollers, trucks, and troops in areas around Takaw, Bhamo, Loiwing, Kutkai, Hsenwi, and Lashio; at least 3 steamrollers and 7 trucks are destroyed.
Air Commando Combat Mission No. 47 2:55 Flight Time. Bombed Japanese troops at Mawlu for the 4th day in a row. (Chuck Baisden)
NEW GUINEA: The US TF 58 attacks Japanese airbases at Sawar, Sarmi, Wakde Island and Hollandia to pave the way for tomorrow’s landings.
Amplifying the above, Task Forces 58 and 78 begin a preinvasion aerial bombardment. Fighters from Task Group 58.1 attack Wakde Island and Sarmi at dawn and then surface vessels and aircraft of the two Task Forces attack Aitape, Hollandia, airfields in the Hollandia area and Wakde Islands. Many Japanese aircraft are strafed on the ground but the fuel has been removed from them and few burn.
The aviation composition of these two Task Forces is:
USS Bataan (CVL-29) with Light Carrier Air Group Fifty (CVLG-50)
USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) with CVLG-24
USS Cowpens (CVL-25) with CVLG-22
USS Hornet (CV-12) with Carrier Air Group Two (CVG-2) TG 58.2
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) with CVG-8
USS Cabot (CVL-28) with CVLG-29
USS Monterey (CVL-26) with CVLG-30
USS Yorktown (CV-10) with CVG-5
USS Enterprise (CV-6) with CVG-10
USS Langley (CVL-27) with CVLG-32
USS Lexington (CV-16) with CVG-16
USS Princeton (CVL-23) with CVLG-23
USS Chenango (CVE-28) with Escort Carrier Air Group Thirty Five (CVEG-35)
USS Sangamon (CVE-26) with CVEG-37
USS Santee (CVE-29) with CVEG-26
USS Suwannee (CVE-27) with Composite Squadron Three (VC-3) TG 78.2
USS Coral Sea (CVE-57) with VC-33
USS Corregidor (CVE-58) with VC-41
USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) with VC-7
USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62) with VC-63 (Jack McKillop)
21 Fifth Air Force B-24s bomb airstrips on Noemfoor Island, Schouten Islands while about 320 B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s hit numerous targets in the Tadji, Wewak, and Madang areas.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: In spite of heavy weather in the Bismarck Archipelago, 24 Thirteenth Air Force B-25s bomb the Matupi supply area on New Britain Island.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s based on Abemama Island use Majuro Atoll as a shuttle base to bomb Jaluit and Maloelap Atolls.
CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-24s from Kwajalein Atoll hit Wotje Atoll while B-24s from Eniwetok Atoll, staging through Kwajalein, bomb Truk Atoll. B-25s from Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, bomb Ponape Island.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: 11 Thirteenth Air Force P-39Airacobras, closed out of Rabaul, New Britain Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, bomb Tinputs Harbor on Bougainville Island.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Poundmaker launched Montreal, Province of Quebec. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyer USS Frank E Evans laid down.
Destroyer minelayer USS Henry A Wiley launched.
Destroyer escort USS Conklin commissioned.
Submarine USS Croaker commissioned.
Minesweeper USS Mainstay commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Thetis Bay commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: 2 men died when they were stranded topside during an emergency dive by U-860 to avoid an incoming aircraft. [Matrosengefreiter Alfons Robalewsky, Bootsmaat Rudolf Versic]. (Dave Shirlaw)
44,000 dead after 28 months of war averages about 1,600 killed per month.
In the next 16 months -- April 1944 to August 1945, another 373,000 died = over 23,000 per month.
The war's heavy lifting has just gotten started...
“Another U.S. Ace Missing”
Capt. Duane W. Beeson Lost
He was sent to a prison camp and eventually liberated, but died from a brain tumor in 1947, aged 26.
APRIL 21...XMTN 10...MUSIC...1111111
Thankyou thankyou thankyou!
Greetings everybody! Meet the girl who put the 'O' in Ptomaine! This is Ann back at the microphone and presenting Radio Tokyo's special program for listeners in Australia and the South Pacific. How's my Orphan Family, have you been good Boys?..alright, then, we'll have some music...a tango to start with.. 'I Kiss Your Hand Madame!
And that got rid of the formalities. Although you boys will have to improve your hand kissing technique, and a shave would help. Never mind, let's have a song....here's the Australian singer, Peter Dawson, doing a mighty good job with 'Old Man River'.
Thank you Mr. Dawson...This is Radio Tokyo calling and presenting a special program for our friends 'Down Underneath the Southern Cross! I've got a tango mood tonight so here we go again, this time its a tango by Albeniz, played by Barnabas von Geczy and Orchestra.
One more item and then we'll have your news from the American Home Front....a stranger this time..Grace Moore in Musetta's Waltz from 'La Boheme'.
And now here is your news announcer to read you the news from the American Home front.. Come on in!..
TED READS A.H.F. NEWS....
Thankyou thankyou etc.. And that brings us back to music again...any latecomers listening? Well you're sharing Radio Tokyo's regular program for Australia and the South Pacific... Dangerous enemy propaganda so beware? Our next propagandist is Arthur Fiedler with the Boston Pops Orchestra playing Ketelby's 'In a Persian Market'. After this one it will be time for your News Highlights and then the Zero Hour with its music from the USA. In the meanwhile..the Boston Pops!...please to listening!
'IN A PERSIAN MARKET (V JK 53-A & B)
NEWSHIGHLIGHTS - ZERO HOUR - COMMENTARY 7 mins...Sign off.
“44,000 dead after 28 months of war averages about 1,600 killed per month.”
What’s amazing is that the Germans were losing close to 1,600 killed in action every day on the Eastern Front. Every day from June 41 to May 45.
He was shot down while strafing an airfield and was taken prisoner. He survived the war but died in 1947 of a brain tumor.
Whoops! Didn't notice you already did your lesson.
I get a kick out of knowing the future.