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Today in World War II History—June 13, 1943

75 Years Ago—June 13, 1943: Japanese end campaign in central China after heavy losses.

Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest III (great-grandson of Confederate general) is killed in US Eighth Air Force raid on Kiel, Germany, the first US general killed in the war in Europe.

2 Responses to “Today in World War II History—June 13, 1943”

  1. Robert B. Woods

    My uncle, S/Sgt. Walter P. Drotleff was the engineer on the plane that carried the General.

    Brig. Gen. Forrest was blamed for he huge loss of B-17s that mission. He designed and ordered the use of a flat formation instead of the proven box formation. The gunners couldn’t clear others to return fire. Also he ordered the use of a “new” oil that “wouldn’t freeze” at high altitude. 60% of the guns were frozen and wouldn’t fire.

    The 95th Bomb Group lost 11 aircraft and 10 crews that day among the 26 B-17s that were lost. There was only one survivor from the lead plane that carried the General.

    I am the last family survivor that knew my uncle.

    • Sarah Sundin

      Thank you for sharing, Robert. What a tragedy that mission was – I wasn’t aware of Forrest’s role in it. Thank you for letting me know.