75 Years Ago—Oct. 16, 1943: After transfer from Italy, US Ninth Air Force is re-formed as a tactical force at Sunninghill, England under Lt. Gen. Lewis Brereton (Eighth Air Force to be a strategic force). US-built Lend-Lease destroyer escorts, transferred to the Royal Navy (which calls them frigates), enter combat for the first time, escorting… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
75 Years Ago—Oct. 15, 1943: British Fourteenth Army activated in India under Lt. Gen. Sir William Slim.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 14, 1943: Schweinfurt mission: US Eighth Air Force sends 291 B-17s (plus 29 B-24s flying a diversion) to bomb ball-bearings plant at Schweinfurt, Germany, 60 B-17s lost; heavy losses lead to temporary suspension of daytime bombing without fighter escort. Luftwaffe Oberleutnant Walter Nowotny becomes the first fighter pilot in the world with… Read more »
75 Years Ago—Oct. 13, 1943: US Fifth Army crosses Volturno River in Italy, securing beachhead and valley. Italy declares war on Germany.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 12, 1943: Portugal allows Allies to use air and naval bases in the Azores. US Fifth Air Force & Royal Australian Air Force begin major assault on Rabaul, New Britain, key to Japan’s South Pacific defense; 349 bombers strike, sinking 5 ships.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 11, 1943: Vice Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher succeeds Thomas Kinkaid over North Pacific Area. World Series concludes: New York Yankees defeat St. Louis Cardinals four games to one.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 10, 1943: Gen. Franco of Spain orders “Blue” Division of Spanish volunteers serving in German army back to Spain; a few thousand disobey and remain. A German time bomb in Naples kills 23 US combat engineers.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 9, 1943: US Eighth Air Force sends 378 B-17 and B-24 bombers to bomb Marienburg, Anklam, Danzig, and Gdynia—their longest mission to date, which allows them to surprise the Germans.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 8, 1943: In Italy, US occupies Caserta Palace, future Headquarters of US Fifth Army.
75 Years Ago—Oct. 7, 1943: Japanese execute all 98 US civilian construction POWs on Wake Island in reprisal for US air raids. First German time bomb explodes in Naples, in the main post office, leading to 70 casualties; more bombs will explode over the next 3 weeks. Movie premiere of Lassie Come Home, starring Roddy… Read more »