Skip to comments.ALLIES 6 MILES BEYOND CISTERNA; THREATEN GERMANS’ ‘ROME LINE’ (5/27/44)
Posted on 05/27/2014 4:13:47 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
#1 I Love You Bing Crosby
#2 Ill Get By - Harry James, with Dick Haymes (reissue of 1941 recording)
#3 San Fernando Valley - Bing Crosby
#4 - Holiday for Strings David Rose
#5 Long Ago (and Far Away Dick Haymes, with Helen Forrest
#6 - Long Ago (and Far Away Jo Stafford
#7 - Ill Get By - Ink Spots
#8 - Ill Be Seeing You Bing Crosby
#9 - Its Love Love Love - Guy Lombardo, with the Skip Nelson Trio
#10 - I Love You Jo Stafford
Americans land on Biak
Saturday, May 27, 1944 www.onwar.com
In New Guinea... On Biak Island, the US 41st Infantry Division (General Fuller) lands near Bosnek. Naval escort for the landing is provided by cruisers and destroyers under the command of Admiral Fechteler. The forces of Admiral Crutchley and Admiral Berkey provide support. The Japanese garrison, led by Colonel Kuzume, numbers about 11,000 men but it does not resist the landings. On the mainland, American troops make limited gains in their advance toward Sarmi.
In Italy... German forces counterattack around Artena but the US 3rd Division (part of the 6th Corps) holds on to the town.
May 27th, 1944 (SATURDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: The Allies abandon plans to land paratroopers on the central Cotentin peninsula following “Ultra” intelligence of heavy German reinforcements in the area.
Frigate HMS Enard Bay laid down.
The USAAF’s Eighth Air Force in England flies three missions:
- Mission 373: 1,126 bombers and 710 fighters in six forces are dispatched against rail targets in France and Germany and gun batteries in France; 24 bombers and 7 fighters are lost; the fighters claim 35.5-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 9-0-2 on the ground:
1. 344 B-17 Flying Fortresses are dispatched to marshalling yards at Ludwigshafen (150 bomb) and Mannheim (125 bomb); 18 hit Lachen/Apeyerdorf, 19 hit the Mannheim area and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 12 B-17s are lost.
Personal Memory: On this mission Beiser and I were assigned to position number six in the low squadron “Purple Heart Corner.” The target was Mannheim, Germany, a heavily defended city on the Rhine River. Our secondary target was nearby Ludwigshafen if Mannheim was socked in. The 303rd Bomb Group supplied thirty Seven (!) B-17s, all loaded with ten 500 pound bombs. Ten minutes before the target the codeword for visual bombing (Studhorse) was given. This means that the 41st Wing would separate and bomb by groups instead of Wing for an all or nothing hit. Flak was quite heavy and the air sparkled with chaff that we and others had dropped, but the weather was CAVU and the Germans preferred to aim visually instead of by radar. In my diary I have underlined “Very Lucky” as we didn’t get a scratch! A Milk run to a Flak City in my diary. We were over enemy territory over three and a half hours. Score: Three Milk Runs and one other. (Dick Johnson)
2. 269 B-17s are dispatched to marshalling yards at Karlsruhe (98 bomb) and Strasbourg, France (49 bomb) and aviation factory at Strasbourg/Meinau, France (53 bomb); seven B-17s are lost.
3. 69 of 86 B-24s bomb an aviation factory at Woippy, France; three others hit targets of opportunity.
4. 369 B-24s are dispatched to marshalling yards at Saarbrucken (145 bomb), Neunkirchen (66 bomb) and Kons/Karthus (72 bomb); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; five B-24s are lost.
5. 36 of 40 B-17s bomb Fecamp gun battery, France without loss.
6. 18 of 18 B-24s bomb St Valery, France without loss.
Escort is provided by 170 P-38s, 238 P-47 Thunderbolts and 302 P-51 Mustangs; one P-38 is lost; P-47s claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-0-0 on the ground without loss; P-51s claim 34.5-1-4 aircraft in the air and 7-0-2 on the ground with the loss of six P-51s. 425 Ninth Air Force aircraft also support the mission; they claim 4-0-0 with the loss of one.
- Mission 374: 24 P-47s hit a barge convoy between Willenstadt and Meerije,
The Netherlands; two barges are destroyed.
- Mission 375: three B-17s drop leaflets in Belgium and France without loss.
The USAAF’s Ninth Air Force in England dispatches about 590 B-26 Marauders to attack railroads, bridges, and marshalling yards in France. P-47s bomb targets in northwestern Europe.
HMCS Rosthern departed Londonderry to begin training ship duties in Halifax. (Tom Carlson)
U-3003 laid down.
BALTIC SEA: U-24 fought a surface battle with 2 Soviet patrol boats, losing 1 man dead and 2 wounded. [Matrosenobergefreiter Johann Wölbitsch].
ITALY: Artena is held by the 3rd Division in the face of German counterattacks.
The USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force dispatches almost 700 bombers to hit France; B-17s bomb the marshalling yard at Avignon while B-24s bomb airfields at Montpellier and Salon and marshalling yards at Nimes, Marseille/St Charles and Marseille/La Blancharde; escort is provided by P-38s and P-51s.
NEW GUINEA: The US 41st Division lands at Biak.
Operation HORLICKS commences. The USAAF’s Fifth Air Force dispatches 170+ B-24s and B-25s to bomb Babo Airfield and Biak Island. This is followed by a naval bombardment by heavy and light cruisers and destroyers of the U.S. Navy’s Task Groups 77.2 and 77.3. The U.S. 41st Infantry Division (minus) then lands on Biak Island in Geelvink Bay. The first wave lands exactly as planned, but strong currents carry subsequent units well west of their designated landing beaches. Fortunately, only nominal Japanese resistance is encountered because the landings catch the Japanese flat-footed. After securing the beachhead, the soldiers gain control of a trail over ridges to the inland plateau to the north.
HMCS Rosthern departed Londonderry to begin training ship duties in Halifax
Frigate HMCS Fort Erie (ex-HMCS La Tuque) launched Levis, Province of Quebec.
Tug HMCS Beaverton commissioned Montreal, Province of Quebec.
Corvette HMCS St Lambert commissioned.
Tug HMCS Luceville assigned to Pictou , Nova Scotia.
Tug HMCS Colville assigned to Sydney , Nova Scotia.
Corvette HMCS Rosthern departed Londonderry for training ship duties Halifax
U.S.A.: Coast Guard manned Army vessel FS-178 was commissioned. On 1 August 1945, she had finished discharging a cargo of chemical warfare equipment from Morotai, and was ordered dry-docked in ARD-9, Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, New Guinea, to clean and paint the hull. She departed drydock on the 3rd and on the 8th was underway for Milne Bay, New Guinea, where she arrived on the 12th and loaded 39 tons of life rafts for Finschaven and Hollandia arriving at the former place on the 14th to discharge 20 rafts and pick up mail and at the latter place on the 18th to unload the remainder before anchoring until the 28th at Challenge Cove, Hollandia. On that date she received a cargo of mail for Biak and proceeded there independently arriving at Sorido Lagoon on the 30th to discharge mail and load ammunition for Zamboanga, Philippine Islands. She departed next morning for Zamboanga, Philippine Islands. (The above is believed to furnish a fairly representative cross section of the day-to-day operations of Coast Guard manned FS’s in the Southwest Pacific area.) The FS-178 was decommissioned on 16 October 1945.
Destroyer USS Southerland laid down
Submarine USS Toro laid down
Escort carriers USS Attu and Munda launched
Destroyer escorts USS Halloran and Hodges commissioned
Frigates USS Pueblo and Grand Island commissioned
Submarine USS Becuna commissioned
Minesweeper USS Counsel commissioned.
Submarines USS Besugo, Blackfin and Spadefish laid down.
Destroyer escorts USS Amick and Atherton launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-292 sunk west of Trondheim, in position 62.37N, 00.57E, by depth charges from an RAF 59 Sqn Liberator. 51 dead (all hands lost).
There is nothing funny about the Wheaties ad today.
The exchanges between Nimitz and King regarding possible fleet engagements in Operation Forager caught my eye. There has been some controversy about Spruance’s conduct in the upcoming Battle of the Philippine Sea. He had two potentially conflicting objectives: defense of the amphibious landing forces at Saipan and the destruction of the Japanese Fleet. Looking at the notes in Nimitz’ diary of the exchanges between Nimitz and King, it looks like there wasn’t a clear unity of opinion even at the top of the American naval command in the final planning for the operation.
I’d like to read the actual notes exchanged between Nimitz and King sometime.
KNITTING OF AMERICAS PREDICTED BY DEWEY:
Governor Tells Latin Group of Dwindling Barriers
Governor Dewey ... made a prediction that the barriers of language differences between the United States and the Central and South American Nations “will soon dwindle if not disappear entirely.”
“The barriers of distance are well on the way to being abolished, thanks to the development of air transport,” he went on. “Actually, there will be far more in common between us of the North and you of South and Central America than ever before.
“I look forward to the day when it shall become a matter of course for our young people to learn Spanish and Portuguese before they study any other foreign tongues.”
Is this a Jeb Bush campaign release, or from 1944? I think Gov. Dewey is thinking about importing Latin Americans to do the “jobs Americans won’t do,” post-War. This fits with his assumption that Americans will need to learn Spanish or Portuguese, rather than Latin Americans’ learning English: he expects the well-off, employer-class students to be able to learn the language of their servants, not the other way around.
The white elites of Latin America are happy to cooperate in the plan to ship their excess dark-skinned citizenry to El Norte.
Page 13, Wheaties gun violence. Oh my.
There are some differences in the situation in 1944, but what was done then did lay the groundwork for our problems.
During the first half of the 20th century, our border with Mexico was fairly porous. People could travel across the border with relative ease and immigration was not really an issue, as a lot of historic Mexican families in Texas and the Southwest lived on both sides of the border. Also, Mexico had a fairly stable population.
World War II began the change to the new situation we see today. The United States war economy became a massive black hole for labor, any labor. The young men went to war, and “Rosie the Riveter” worked in the airplane factories, munitions plants and shipyards. The economics of the war drove large internal migrations. For example, the Firestone plant here in Noblesville Indiana (since shut down) was a war plant. To get the work force, Firestone went down to Lee County Virginia, in the heart of Appalachia. Hundreds of hillbillys came north, and to this day, Noblesville is referred to as “Nobletucky.”
The same economic forces led to the massive immigration of unskilled Mexican farm workers. The porous border allowed them to come north, and since America needed the workers, there were no questions asked. Nobody wondered whether or not they would stay after the war. I think it was sort of assumed that they would just go back to Mexico, but instead they stayed and more or less replaced all the Okies in the California produce fields. And as with every other ethnic group that came to the United States, they invited the relatives from the old country.
So the pattern of freely entering the United States for work was set, and then Mexico’s population exploded in the 1960s. By the 1980s, there were literally millions of Mexicans wanting work, and they came here to find it. Why not? That’s exactly what their fathers and grandfathers had done, no questions asked.
But this time it was different. Now instead of thousands, it was millions. And not all of them came to work. Many came to sponge off LBJ’s great society. And they did not assimilate as other immigrant groups had done. The ties to the old country were not completely severed; instead of having to cross an ocean, they just had to cross a shallow river.
Dewey doesn’t see all this happening. He sees a dynamic of the porous border not changing. A few thousand Mexicans come to the United States to do physical labor, a few thousand Americans go south to do business in Mexico. Seems like a fair deal. It just didn’t turn out that way.
Good analysis. However, I think it’s possible that people like Dewey and Rockefeller anticipated the future labor market a little more. It certainly wasn’t realistic to expect that the population would all move back to where they came from when the war ended.
Additionally, in 1944 we’re at the tail end of a period of very low birthrates in the U.S. “National managers” like Dewey might have expected this to continue, resulting in a long-term labor shortage that would need to be filled by mass immigration.
“Unveiling of Women Causes a Syrian Riot”
Ho-hum...nothing new in 70 years, it seems!
There’s at least one post to that effect on practically every thread. It’s astounding how recent 1944 really is!
Unveiling of Women Causes a Syrian Riot
Nothing new...except that the US is backing the guys who are rioting?
Isn't it a bit far and dangerous for a little inter-islands steamer to be sailing to the Philippines?
Those old establishment types have no idea just how busy those GI Joe’s are gonna get when they come home and start making babies.
Anoreth went across the Pacific on a little Coast Guard ship.
No, they don’t! I read a book about demography recently, and the author cited statistics about the Baby Boom, which occurred not only in the United States but through Europe, included occupied Germany. It also observed that religious participation coincided with the increase in the birthrate.
At this stage in the war I would think it a bit dangerous for a carrier task force with BB escort to sail to the Philippines.
Good point. The Philippines are about to become the center of the Pacific conflict.
Re:US Coast Guard Vessel ....The War was over on the 15th of August 1945. So, going to the Philippines on August 30, 1945 is no big deal.
Oh, yeah - 1945. Never mind.
Re: Coast Guard Ship...It was commissioned in May of 1944, but the trip log printed here was for August “1945”... not 1944.
Whoops! Missed that part about it being another year from now.
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