75 Years Ago—May 20, 1943: US Tenth Fleet established in Washington, DC under Adm. Ernest King to control shore-based antisubmarine operations in the Atlantic, the only US fleet without ships. US War Ration Book Three is distributed by mail.
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
75 Years Ago—May 19, 1943: German U-boat U-954 sunk in North Atlantic by British sloop Sennen and British frigate Jed; all hands lost, including Peter Dönitz, son of Adm. Karl Dönitz. First (piloted) flight of US Navy attack drone TDN-1, Traverse City, MI.
75 Years Ago—May 18, 1943: On Attu, southern and northern landing forces of the US Army link. Allies begin major air offensive against island of Pantelleria between Sicily and Tunisia.
75 Years Ago—May 17, 1943: The crew of B-17 Memphis Belle becomes the first entire crew to complete a 25-mission tour in the US Eighth Air Force in England. On Attu in the Aleutians, US Army secures Holtz Bay and Jarmin Pass.
75 Years Ago—May 16, 1943: RAF’s Dambuster Raid: 19 modified Lancaster bombers destroy the Möhne and Eder dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley with “bouncing bombs,” causing severe flooding. Germans crush Jewish ghetto uprising in Warsaw; 13,000 killed in uprising, 50,000 captured.
75 Years Ago—May 15, 1943: Germans launch fifth offensive against Tito’s Partisans in Yugoslavia. US Army ends experiment in using “bat bombs” as bats burn down newly constructed, unoccupied Carlsbad Army Air Base, NM; plan was for bats carrying incendiary bombs to be dropped over Japan, where they would roost under eaves and destroy buildings.
75 Years Ago—May 14, 1943: Australian hospital ship Centaur is sunk by Japanese sub I-177 off Brisbane, 268 killed. US Eighth Air Force in England launches first mission with over 200 bombers and first with Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers.
75 Years Ago—May 13, 1943: Official surrender of Axis forces to the Allies in Tunisia, placing all of North Africa in Allied hands. Four new bomb groups begin operations with the US Eighth Air Force in England, doubling strength (94th, 95th, 96th, and 351st Bombardment Groups with B-17s). B-17 Hell’s Angels of the 303rd Bombardment… Read more »
75 Years Ago—May 12, 1943: German and Italian troops surrender in Tunisia, ending the campaign in North Africa; Allies take 225,000 prisoners. British First Arakan Campaign in Burma ends as Indian troops evacuate Maungdaw.
75 Years Ago—May 11, 1943: US Army 7th Infantry Division lands on Attu in the Aleutians, at Massacre and Holtz Bays and at Alexai Point; heavy opposition from the Japanese; this is the only WWII land battle on US territory.