New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia talks about egg, fish, and potato prices, the campaign against tuberculosis, and other topics...
New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia talks about egg, fish, and potato prices, the campaign against tuberculosis, and other topics...
From history.com: Americans launch Operation Persecution in the Pacific:
Allied forces land in the Hollandia area of New Guinea. The Japanese occupiers, only 15,000 in number, many of whom were on administrative duty, fight for more than three months against ludicrous odds at great cost: When the battle for the northern coast of New Guinea was finally won by the Allies, 12,811 Japanese were dead, compared with 527 Americans.
From World War II Today: H.F. Norman at Kohima:
At 09.30 hours Corporal Judges and his section consisting of Privates Johnson,Thrussel and myself, as well as Corporal Veal’s section, went onto the road to help evacuate the wounded Indians, BORs, walking and stretcher cases. It was my job to look at the stretcher cases. If they were dead I had to send the Indian stretcher bearers round the back of the feature where they put the bodies in a heap to be buried later.…
The 5th Air Force were engaged in missions against the Japanese in New Guinea and New Britain.... There was a warning that there was a weather front moving in during the mission – but the orders were to go ahead anyway. Probably no one could have anticipated just how severe that tropical storm could possibly be. In the end it proved to be the cause of the worst operational loss suffered by the 5th Air Force in a single day, including combat losses. It is believed to be the biggest single weather-related loss in aviation history. 1st Lt. Calvin Wire was flying a P-38, escorting the bombers. It was only on the return trip they experienced problems:
From World War II Today: Edward Young: One of Our Submarines:
04.58. Dived eighteen miles ESE of Port Blair. Ran in at four knots.
- Sighted merchant ship steering eastward from Port Blair, escorted by same “screen” as for previous day’s target, namely one destroyer, one submarine-chaser and one other AS vessel rather like a river gunboat. At ﬁrst I thought, pessimistically, that the target was the ship I had attacked yesterday, but on closer examination she was seen to be larger, about 4,000 tons, with a large derrick for’ard which the other ship did not have. Moreover, asdic counted 9 5 revs with reciprocating H.E., and the smoke was coming out of the funnel in typical coal-burning fashion.
NEW YORK, Thursday—Tuesday morning, I had the great joy of breakfasting with our oldest son, and he had seen our youngest boy who is now somewhere at sea. It is exciting when a loved one appears out of space, so to speak, and even though you do not get much opportunity to talk, except at meals or in the middle of the night, since the rest of the day must be spent at the department, a glimpse gives you a chance to renew contacts and hear a great deal of news which never gets to you in letters.
NEW DELHI: Japanese troops along the Assam front massed their strongest concentrations around Kohima this week, threatening Dimapur, on the railway line which supplies Allied bases in Assam and Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell's troops in the Mogaung Valley.
Turned in our Mackinaws today. Did a few other odd jobs and worked on my clothing requisitions. Guess we will be going back in the lines soon. The 30th Inf. moved up last night and the 15th is ready to go. We went to a show tonight. Paulet Goddard and Fred MacMurry in “Standing Room Only” About half way through the picture, the machine broke. Tough luck, as it was a swell picture. Had a big mail call. Wrote a few letters and went to bed.
From World War II Today: Ursula von Kardoff: Easter: A‘macabre idyll’ in a ‘grotesque’ Berlin:
Easter in this grotesque city! I sat in brilliant sunshine in the most extraordinary place imaginable, just behind the Reichstag. Before the war they cleared a great open space on which they were going to build Party offices of one kind and another.
This is Easter Sunday and the touch of spring I was looking for has really begun to appear in Washington.
This is the season when we are reminded that faith and hope are a part of our religion. And surely this year, and at this particular season, we need both as part of our everyday consciousness.
American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.
The whole thing below the fold:
An assault across the Perekop Isthmus was launched on 8 April by elements of the 4th Ukrainian Front's 2nd Guards and 51st Armies. The 17th Army defended but was unable to stop the advance. Kerch was reached by the Separate Coastal Army on 11 April; Simferopol, about 37 mi (60 km) northeast of Sevastopol, followed two days later. The 17th Army was retreating toward Sevastopol by 16 April, with remaining Axis forces in the Crimea concentrating around the city by the end of the third week of April.
Rudolf Vrba escapes from Auschwitz...
Written by hand or dictated in Slovak between 25 and 27 April 1944 by Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, two Slovak Jews who had escaped from Auschwitz.... The report represents one of the first attempts to estimate the numbers being killed in the camp, and one of the earliest and most detailed description of the gas chambers. The first full English-language publication of the report was in November 1944 by the United States War Refugee Board. The original is kept in the War Refugee Board archives of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in New York....
Wingate Killed In Air Crash: Maj. Gen. Orde Charles Wingate's world famous "Chindits" fought on to preserve the Wingate tradition in Burma this week as arrangements were made for the final disposal of the remains of their leader.
On 5 April 1944, the target was the M/Y and Oil Refineries at Ploesti, Roumania, The main purpose of this raid was to knock out the transportation system so badly needed fuel could not reach the German line to the east; and they did just that. They had a nice bomb run and the bomb pattern covered the adjacent oil refinery doing great damage and starting huge fires.
Rest Base in the Pacific
April 2, 1944
I’ve been a Marine exactly two years today
I’ve been thinking [of sending] you the story of Namur for quite some time. I guess I didn’t because of censorship, and because a great deal of what I saw wasn’t nice and orderly and safe – that is, after all, the traditional view that one is supposed to impress on the loved ones at home. Of course they know it isn’t that way, just as well as you do, but they don’t want to sound as though they’re worrying themselves to death. Maybe it’s the realistic age we’re living in that makes the change – not blatantly so, as were the 20’s – but quietly, factually – simply accepting facts, though unpleasant, because of a desire to know rather than an attempt to seek a new thrill – a violent sensation – The Sun Also Rises – cut away another inhibition – lay bare a few more nerves.
Under command of Admiral R. A. Spruance, Commander Fifth Fleet, a powerful force of the Pacific Fleet, including carriers, fast battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, attacked the Western Carolines. On 30 and 31 March, carrier-based planes struck at the Palau group with shipping as primary target. They sank 3 destroyers, 17 freighters, 5 oilers and 3 small vessels, and damaged 17 additional ships. The planes also bombed the airfields, but they did not entirely stop Japanese air activity. At the same time, our aircraft mined the waters around Palau in order to immobilize enemy shipping in the area. Part of the force struck Yap and Ulithi on 31 March and Woleai on 1 April.
Although the carrier aircraft encountered active air opposition over the Palau area on both days, they quickly overcame it. Enemy planes approached the task force on the evening of 29 March and 30 March but were destroyed or driven off by the combat air patrols. During the three days' operation our plane losses were 25 in combat, while the enemy had 114 planes destroyed in combat and 46 on the ground. These attacks were successful in obtaining the desired effect, and the operation in New Guinea went forward without opposition from the Western Carolines.
After a number of complicated conferences we were broken down into small parties according to the landing craft we were to join. The training document concerned is entitled Allocation of units to ship and landing craft ( by units) and Landing Table Index. I have it still in my war album.
Victoria Helen McCrae Duncan (25 November 1897 – 6 December 1956) was a Scottish medium best known as the last person to be imprisoned under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735....
As the Red Army approached from the East the Nazis began to close down the remaining Jewish ghettoes left in eastern Europe. There were tensions within the Nazi high command. Some argued that the remaining jews were needed as a work force, others were ideologically committed to killing all Jews.
The survivors of the Kovno ghetto, the largest of the Jewish ghettoes established in Lithuania by the Nazis, knew that their only chance of survival lay in being able to provide a useful service to the Germans. The Germans had no space for anyone who could not work – the young, the old and the infirm.
On the night of 22nd March, 1944, two officers and 13 men of a special reconnaissance battalion disembarked from some United States Navy boats and landed on the Italian coast about 100 kilometres north of La Spezia. The front at the time was at Cassino with a further front at the Anzio beach head. The place of disembarkation was therefore 250 miles behind the then established front.
On 23 March 1944, a column of the German 11th Company, 3rd Battalion, SS Police Regiment 'Bozen', was attacked by an ambush of Partisans while marching and singing on a prescribed route that led through the Piazza di Spagna into the narrow street of Via Rasella. Organized by the Nazis to intimidate and suppress the Resistance, the battalion had been raised in October 1943 from ethnic German-speakers of the northern Italian province of South Tyrol, a territory that Hitler had annexed to the German Reich after the September "betrayal" by the Italian government. Many of its citizens had since opted for German citizenship. The soldiers of the battalion were veterans of the Italian Army who had seen action on the Russian Front and had chosen service in the SS rather than face another tour in the East with the Wehrmacht.
The weather outside was as grim as it could be – well below freezing with lots of snow – so I dressed accordingly: long-johns, long-sleeved vest, thick pullover from my parcel, greatcoat and cloth cap. Our pockets were stuffed with matches, escape rations, maps, a compass, a tin oil light and tin can hopeful for any hot drink. Gloves, spare socks and some toiletries completed the kit; we thought we looked bad enough without having to add a few days stubble to our convict-like appearance.
From our experience in China we were conﬁdent of the success of the night attack, but we had to expect that a mass of bullets from the overwhelming enemy automatic weapons would result in much greater casualties.
When 8th Company broke through the enemy front line, 5th and 6th tried to advance, but very ﬁerce enemy ﬁring made their progress impossible. Under a strong counter—attack the commander and most soldiers of 8th Company were killed or wounded. Though we wanted to advance we could not even lift our heads because of the heavy ﬁre which we had never before experienced.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill): The object of giving medals, stars and ribbons is to give pride and pleasure to those who have deserved them. At the same time a distinction is something which everybody does not possess. If all have it it is of less value. There must, therefore, be heartburnings and disappointments on the border line. A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.
Stalag Luft III (Stammlager Luft, or main camp for aircrew) was a Luftwaffe-run prisoner-of-war camp during World War II that housed captured air force servicemen. It was in the German province of Lower Silesia near the town of Sagan (now Żagań in Poland), 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Berlin. The site was selected because it would be difficult to escape by tunneling.
The occupation of Hungary by Nazi German forces during World War II, as it was ordered by Hitler on 12 March 1944.... The Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Kállay, with the knowledge and approval of Regent Miklós Horthy, had been discussing an armistice with the Allies. German dictator Adolf Hitler found out about these discussions and... ordered German troops to... capture critical Hungarian facilities....
The mission this day would see the 392nd suffer its heaviest losses, both aircraft and aircrew members, of any individual raid ever flown during its combat experience in World War II. Before the mission was completed, (14) aircraft and crews would be lost and (9) other ships damaged by fighters and flak, all totaling (154) casualties....
The ocean voyage from Fiji took more than a week, and on December 28, 1943, the convoy bearing the men of Company G arrived at Bougainville, and disembarked at Empress Augusta Bay. Allied forces had established a semi-circular perimeter in the jungle protecting three precious airfields. The Japanese forces on the island were entrenched further inland, but more importantly, were cut off from resupply and reinforcement by strong Allied naval and air presence.
: Farragut, Idaho, Military Museum: "Nestled at the foot of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in the Bitterroot Mountain Range and named for Admiral David Glassgow Farragut, a Civil War Naval Hero, Farragut, Idaho welcomed its first Naval recruits on 17 September 1942.
From then until 10 March 1945 when the last class graduated, Farragut was the second-largest U. S. naval training station in the world. It was also one of if not the largest employer in Idaho. During the 30 months it was operational, Farragut trained 293,381 recruits and over 25,000 service school attendees.
Sir William Davison (by Private Notice) asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the refusal by the Government of Eire of the American request supported by Great Britain that Axis Consular and Diplomatic representatives should be removed from Eire having regard to the serious danger to the Allies in connection with the forthcoming invasion of Europe in having a centre of espionage within the British Isles, he is satisfied that the steps recently taken to minimise the danger are adequate, and if not what other measures the Government have in view.
This Day in History: "On this day, Britain announces that all travel between Ireland and the United Kingdom is suspended, the result of the Irish government's refusal to expel Axis-power diplomats within its borders.
In 1922, an independent Irish republic was established after generations of conflict between Ireland and Britain. One of the conditions of that agreement was that Britain would retain control of three naval bases along the Irish coast in order to continue Ireland's defense. But as war loomed in the late 1930s, Irish Prime Minister Eamon de Valera negotiated an agreement that ended the British occupation of those naval bases; Ireland had declared a pre-emptive state of neutrality in any European war, and the presence of the Royal Navy on independent Irish soil violated that neutrality. De Valera did not want Ireland to become an object of attacks aimed at Britain.
First medical evacuation helicopters deployed to "Broadway" in Burma:
From World War II Today: : The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:—
No. 13068 Sepoy (acting Naik) Nand Singh, 11th Sikh Regiment, Indian Army.
In Burma on the night of the 11th/12th March, 1944, a Japanese platoon about 40 strong with Medium and Light Machine-Guns and a Grenade Discharger infiltrated into the Battalion position covering the main Maungdaw-Buthidaung road and occupied a dominating position where they dug fox- holes and underground trenches on the precipitous sides of the hill.
David Vogel was born on May 15, 1891 in the town of Satanov in the Podolia region in the Russian Pale of Settlement. The family spoke Yiddish.... Moving to Vienna in 1912, he spent his time loitering, sitting in cafes and teaching Hebrew to make ends meet.... During World War I he was arrested as a Russian enemy alien and spent time in internment camps. Towards the end of the war, he began publishing impressionist poems.... In 1925, he settled in Paris, where he wrote prose and poetry, and married a second time. In 1929, he and his wife, Nada Adler, immigrated to Palestine, where their daughter, Tamar, was born. After spending time in Poland and Berlin, the family returned to Paris. When World War II erupted, Vogel and his daughter fled to southeastern France where Nada was recuperating in a sanatorium. He was interned as an Austrian citizen and freed in 1940 when the Nazis occupied France....
Moscow has condemned a statement by the U.S. Embassy in Estonia that called the Soviet air attack on Nazi-held Tallinn in 1944 an act of "foreign occupation," the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
From World War II Today: Group Captain JRD Graham over France:
It was exhilarating to skim just above the fields and trees of the French countryside but we had to be alert all the time, not only for signs of enemy aircraft but also to ensure that we didn’t fly into a power line or a tree. This sort of flying soon had us both perspiring freely. Periodically we altered course twenty or thirty degrees one way or the other to confuse any alert German look-outs as to the direction of our flight.
Friday night the Cabinet dinner was given to the President in the White House, and afterwards under Staff Sergeant Virgil Fox's direction, Sergeant Donald Benjamin, Corporal Glenn Darwin and Private First Class Erno Valasek gave us a delightful program like those they give in the various hospitals. Then we were shown some war films.
One detail we were spared: we didn’t have to weigh anything or anybody. That had been done, down to ounces. Apart from heavy weapons, reserve ammunition and radio sets, we were going to carry everything on our backs. For seven months we had been waging a furious but indecisive battle in an attempt to give the soldier the means to fight and eat, and at the same time allow him to walk and run.
Not before or since the bizarre disaster aboard Italian freight train No. 8017 has such an incident occurred. Because it happened during W. W. II the details were censored.... The Balvano Limited was not involved in a collision, nor was it bombed, strafed, or derailed, yet the loss of life within one tragic hour made it one of the major rail disasters of the century.