Skip to comments.U.S. BOMBING OF HAMM RAIL YARDS CAPS RECORD WEEK’S AIR ASSAULT (4/23/44)
Posted on 04/23/2014 4:17:27 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The News of the Week in Review
Fifteen News Questions 10
Wasting His Breath (cartoon) 11
British Isles Guard Vital Invasion Secrets (Daniell) 12-13
Cut Off! (cartoon) 13
The Many-Sided Attack on Japans Empire (map) 14
Japan Must Now Meet Attack in All Sectors (Baldwin) 15
Bombers Strike at Strategic Centers of Europes Railway Network (map) 17
Great Railway System Aids German Defense (Middleton) 18
Report from the Nation (by Lawrence Dame, Virginius Dabney, James E. Crown, Louther S. Horne, Roland M. Jones, and Lawrence E. Davies) 19-20
Coming Home to Roost (cartoon) 20
Answers to Fifteen News Questions 20
Germans counterattack in Estonia
Sunday, April 23, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Eastern Front... German forces of Army Group North counterattack southwest of Narva.
In New Guinea... Advancing US forces capture Hollandia without a fight; Tadji airfield is also taken. The advance inland encounters resistance near the village of Sabron. There is congestion on the beachheads.
In Egypt... In port at Alexandria, a communist inspired mutiny aboard 5 Greek warships is suppressed by loyal Greek forces. A total of 50 casualties are reported.
April 23rd, 1944 (SUNDAY)
ARCTIC SEA: U-307 met U-703 in the Arctic Sea and provided them with a needed spare part. (Dave Shirlaw)
BALTIC SEA: During the Baltic exercises U-1169 lost one man off Pillau. [Matrosengefreiter Alfred Friedl]. (Dave Shirlaw)
EGYPT: Alexandria: Greek officers board three striking warships, with the loss of 50 lives.
BURMA: Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 48 3:05 Flight Time Hailakandi, Assam to Indaw, Burma. Bombed Japanese troop concentration and strafed village. My last mission with Lt/Col R. T. Smith. note: This is an expanded version of the mission>
At 1300 hours 8 B-25 Hs, escorted by 10 P-51B fighters took off from Hailakandi on what was the most ruthless, yet necessary, raids I had ever been on. Our objective was a Burmese village on the North shore of Indaw Lake. A Chindit column was advancing from the main stronghold, the roadblock at Mawlu. They needed the water here for drinking. We arrived over our target at 1500 hours. The weather was fair, but with poor visibility because of the haze from burning forest fires abundant this time of year throughout Burma.
Our aircraft “Barbie III,” led the first flight over the target and released our fragmentation cluster bombs (para-frags) at an altitude of about two hundred feet. Our bomb cover was good and fires immediately broke out in several parts of the village. Captain Sinskie led his formation over next, but released his incendiary clusters too late and they overshot by two hundred yards. Captain Ziegler came over last and dropped his para-frags. They covered the entire town and more fires immediately came into view. Smoke rose to 2,000 feet. The fighters came in last and dive bombed a small group of huts about one-half mile northwest of our target. They were carrying two five hundred General Purpose bombs per aircraft.
As soon as the fighters finished and got altitude above us, R. T. ordered two flights into our gunnery pattern and we commenced strafing the village. Our . 75 mm shells tore into the thatched buildings and literally exploded them into a thousand pieces. I would hear the heavy rattle of our six . 50 calibre machine guns and the dull thud and jolt of our cannon, a thousand yards away a hut (basha) would explode in a red flash and black smoke. I could see our tracers hitting the ground and ricocheting into the air. They appeared to eat their way into a basha. We averaged three burst of machine gun fire and three cannon shells per run. After each aircraft had made two passes, we concentrated our fire on the basha area the fighters had dive bombed. Two runs were made on these and then we started working over the flat bushy stretch of ground starting at the lake edge and then into town. This area contained trenches and dugouts which I strafed from my turret as we pulled out from a run. I could see no results from my fire. (Chuck Baisden)
NEW GUINEA: US Forces occupy Hollandia. Subsidiary landings at Aitape are continuing as well.
Corvettes HMCS Trentonian, Lindsay and Louisburg departed Halifax to join Western Approaches Command. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Destroyers USS Mannert L Abele and Strong launched.
Destroyer USS Keppler laid down.
Submarine USS Blower launched.
Destroyer escort USS Charles E Brannon launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-193 listed as missing in the Bay of Biscay. No explanation exists for its loss. 59 dead (all hands lost).
Destroyer HS Salamis (ex-HMS Boreas) lost a gun mount in heavy weather in Atlantic Ocean. (Dave Shirlaw)
Oh, too bad ... Cardinal O’Connell died. I’d forgotten he was still alive.
For the first time since last July, it is all quiet on the Eastern Front.
The Soviets have not yet officially called off their attack on Romania and local German counter strokes are continuing in the Targul-Frumos area. The official order to go over to defense will come May 2. But for the most part, fighting has died down. Stalin is going to give the giant meatgrinder a rest while the Red Army gets ready for summer.
Things will pick up again after the Allies invade Europe.
The daily bombings of the bypassed Japanese atolls in the Eastern Marshall Islands continues. I’ve lost count of how many consecutive days of bombing we’ve seen. I always had the impression that we bypassed these places and just sort of forgot about them while the Japanese sat there and starved.
It looks like we didn’t exactly leave them alone to bask in the sun on a tropical beach.
I know there’s a war going on and all, but why does it seem almost boring without Patton in there stirring things up?
Last month we bagged 133 Japanese planes and this month we will go even better if the Japs oblige by sending more aircraft to Burma. I hope they do.
Many people probably think that trash talk was something invented by athletes a few years ago. But it seems to have long run deep in the American blood.
Poor old Patton. In command of a rubber army.
Yeah, but not for long.
He sure has a way of stepping into it though and he'll do it again before it's over.
The Army is making sure the Germans know he is in England and has a new command. The deception campaign is in full swing.
This has been quite an education for me too. I had the impression there were two great carrier raids on Truk that neutralized the place. From these posts we see near daily bombing. There can’t be much left to bypass. Nimitz was making darn sure nothing threatening would be to his rear when he leaps to the Marianas.
I suppose the Japs thought it a weakness, but the devotion of our fighting men to each other beat their devotion to an emperor.
A red letter day for Hanson Baldwin. His column forecasting another amphibious leap is published the day troops come ashore at Hollandia and Aitape. He also has figured out the Marianas are probably next for Nimitz who could bypass the now useless base at Truk.
Hmm? The B-25 made quite an effective gunship. I suspect B-25Gs are what was being flown in the above mission due to the 75mm cannon and six .50 caliber machineguns. The B-25s were heavily field modified but I suspect the author meant the planes on this mission had six .50's rather than six forward firing .50s but they may have been field modified with 6 foward firing .50s.
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