Skip to comments.FRENCH PACE NEW GAINS IN ITALY; AMERICANS SURGE OVER KEY ROAD (5/16/44)
Posted on 05/16/2014 4:23:36 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
* Dateline, London. Baldwin reveals he has crossed the Atlantic on an escort carrier. His pieces have appeared in the news on all but two days in May, so he must have left a big stack of articles for the paper to publish during his journey.
Allies advance in Italy
Tuesday, May 16, 1944 www.onwar.com
Allied column in the Liri Valley [photo at link]
In Italy... Most Allied forces of the US 5th Army meet reduced resistance to their ongoing offensive. Only the Polish 2nd Corps, at Cassino, continues to have difficulty. The British 13th Corps and the Canadian 1st Corps, in the Liri Valley, are advancing toward Pontecorvo and Piumarola. The US 2nd Corps advances along the western coast. The French Expeditionary Corps capture Monte Petrella and advance toward Monte Revole.
In New Guinea... American forces move from Hollandia toward Wadke Island.
On the Eastern Front... Soviet aircraft bomb railway targets in Minsk.
In London... The Allies sign agreements with Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway concerning their administration during the immediate post-liberation period.
In the Norwegian Sea... British Coastal Command planes are active against German submarines. A total of 5 U-boats are sunk off Norway, and 3 others seriously damaged, between May 16 and May 31.
May 16th, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: With the liberation of their countries rapidly approaching, the the exiled governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway today agreed to give Allied military commanders a free hand in administering territories after the Germans have been expelled. Norway, a close neighbour of the Soviet Union, signed a separate pact with Moscow.
Agreements signed in London give the commanders “such measures of supreme responsibility and authority over the civil administration as may be required by the military situation.” The arrangements are temporary, and the exiled governments will take over as soon as the military situation permits. Talks are now being held with General de Gaulle’s Free French on the administration of liberated areas of France.
GERMANY: Field Marshal Ernest Milch orders the long-range bombardment of England with FZG-76 (V1) missiles.
U-2327 laid down.
NORWAY: An RAF Sunderland sinks U-240.
BALTIC SEA: U-24 encountered a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea, but neither boat attacked.
ITALY: Axis defences at Cassino are crumbling. The Polish II Corps are attacking against German parachute troops. These elite troops hold while the Poles sustain heavy casualties.
Cassino: Fusilier Francis Arthur Jefferson (1921-82), Lancs Fusiliers, smashed a counter-attack when, under blistering fire, he knocked out one tank and forced another to retreat. (Victoria Cross)
BURMA: Japanese resistance at Kohima is broken.
Air Commando Combat Mission N0. 58 Flight time not logged. Hailakandi to Silhet, Assam to Hopin, Burma. Mission was to destroyed one of our C-47 that had crash-landed with classified equipment aboard. We arrived over the area to find both Japanese and Chindit patrols were engaged in a fire fight. As we circled a Japanese fighter mad a pass at us from 6 o’clock level and broke off at to 3 o’clock when I fired a burst at him from the tail turret. Both guns jammed after the first burst. He had us cold turkey but think he was worried about our fighter top cover or maybe my tracers came close enough to discourage him from continuing his attack. We had no fighter cover on this mission and never did attempt to destroy the C-47 transport.
Notes: I flew as a spare gunner on this flight and it was to be the last combat mission for me in W.W.II. A few days later we packed our gear and left Hailakandi for Asonsol, India (We had another name for the place). A month later I was on my way back to the USA. I was offered a Warrant Office Jr. grade to stay but I had enough of the war and India and I had got sort of attached to my six stripes as a Master Sgt.
Did not fly as a combat crew man again until 1951 when my first flight in a B-29 was a combat mission to North Korea. Although I had been an instructor at Lowry AFB, CO teaching B-29 gunnery systems, I had lot to learn as to being a crewman on that magnificent bomber. (Chuck Baisden)
WAKE ISLAND USAAF’s Seventh Air Force B-24s based on Kwajalein Atoll bomb the island.
CANADA: Frigate HMCS Beacon Hill commissioned.
Minesweeper USS Tercel laid down.
Escort carrier USS Bougainville launched.
Submarine USS Sea Cat commissioned.
Destroyer USS Collett commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Melvin R Nawman commissioned.
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-314 was commissioned at New York with LTJG F. H. James, USCGR, as her first commanding officer. He was succeeded on 18 September 1945 by LTJG F. A. Ziemba, USCGR, who in turn was succeeded on 19 November 1945, by LT B. T. Bassford, USCGR. She departed New York on 21 June 1944 for the Southwest Pacific where she operated during the war.
Re the picture, “Youths Were Among First German Soldiers to be Captured.”
Interesting view of baby-faced boys, but they have awfully neat hair-dos for guys who were on the front lines around Cassino. Could the photographer have cleaned them up and posed them?
On page 12 Baldwin talks about “Baby Flat Tops”, saying that what they lack in size & strenghth, they make up in spirit.
He predicts their increasing future importance.
Iirc, one of those hot-shot pilots took off from the deck of a “Baby Flat Top” and landed right in the White House some years later.
Now that’s the spirit!
we packed our gear and left Hailakandi for Asonsol, India (We had another name for the place)
I think I worked that out! LOL!
I’ve been to the Museum of Science and Industry and the U505 several times. They recently gave her a good overhaul.
And wasn’t there a Bum Fuq Egypt?
I think Bum Fuq Egypt is military slang for a really nasty middle of nowhere. I don't think there is such a place in Egypt. At least that's been my understanding.
When I was at Hospital Corps school in San Diego and us newly minted docs were speculating on duty stations, the one referred to with that uncouth name was Naval Hospital Barstow, out in the California desert.
After months of hard fighting, what were you expecting, something like this?
The guy in the front looks like he has helmet hair.
I didn’t expect them to look like they just came from the hairdresser. Kind of plump in the cheeks, too, but maybe they hadn’t been at the front very long
There is a photo I remember seeing years ago of a German paratrooper taken captive at Cassino. I tried to finding it but couldn't. That photo showed a filthy young man who clearly had experienced an extended period of hard fighting. No caption was required to see that his adrenalin pump had run dry and pervatin no longer had effect. His dazed expression was one of complete and utter exhaustion.
Kind of plump in the cheeks, too, but maybe they hadnt been at the front very long
I thought the same thing and remembered an article Homer posted from North Africa of a German POW who said his father instructed him to take the first opportunity to surrender.
Thanks, that's interesting. I'd probably suggest something similar to my sons, under the circumstances.
See page 5 article from 4/14/43 class notes and student discussion.
Thank you. I understand much more of what was happening then, since I’ve read “An Army At Dawn.”