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Today in World War II History—July 11, 1943

American transport SS Robert Rowan exploding after being hit by German Ju 88 bombers, Gela, Sicily, 11 July 1943—all 421 aboard survive (US Army Signal Corps photo)

American transport SS Robert Rowan exploding after being hit by German Ju 88 bombers, Gela, Sicily, 11 July 1943—all 421 aboard survive (US Army Signal Corps photo)

75 Years Ago—July 11, 1943: German Luftwaffe bombers attack Allied invasion fleet off Sicily.

On the heels of Luftwaffe attack, US ships fire on US C-47s loaded with paratroopers, one of the worst fratricidal incidents of the war; 23 C-47s lost, 318 casualties.

At Gela, Sicily, US cruisers and destroyers halt a German armored counterattack.

American Red Cross field director James Shaw rescues men from sinking landing ship USS LST-158 off Licata, Sicily under German air attack; he will be awarded the Silver Star, the first for a Red Cross member in WWII.

Light cruiser USS Boise firing on armored forces near Gela, Sicily as USS LST-325 approaches landing beaches, 11 Jul 1943 (US National Archives)

Light cruiser USS Boise firing on armored forces near Gela, Sicily as USS LST-325 approaches landing beaches, 11 Jul 1943 (US National Archives)

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