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April 12th, 1943 (MONDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Westminster: Sir Kingsley Wood, the chancellor of the exchequer, turned the tax screw more tightly on Britain in a budget which will raise an extra 100 million without altering income tax. Beer, spirits, tobacco and entertainment will all cost more - beer 1/3 a pint, whisky 1/5/6 a bottle, wine and extra 1/- a bottle, and cigarettes 2/4 for 20. Entertainment tax will increase the price of 1/6 cinema tickets to 1/9 and add 1/- to the cost of a stall in West End theatres.

Purchase tax is removed from all utility cloth and textiles, including towels, furnishings, linen and handkerchiefs. But on all luxury goods, such as fur coats, silk dresses or fabrics, leather bags and suitcases, gramophone records and musical instruments, gold and silver watches and clocks, cosmetics, perfume and jewellery (real or imitation), the tax is increased to an unprecedented 100%.

The cost of the war is estimated this year at 5,756 million, of which half will be raised in tax amounting to 2,900 million. National Savings bring in 30 million a week, making a total of 4,600 million saved by the end of last year.

A Board of 5 officers of the US Eighth Air Force and 1 of the Royal Air Force complete formulation of a plan for the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) from the United Kingdom in accordance with the mission prescribed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) in the Casablanca Directive. (Jack McKillop)

ITALY: Ninth Air Force B-24s sent to attack Naples harbour, are prevented by bad weather from bombing the primary target. About half return without bombing while the others hit Cosenza and Crotone. Other heavy bombers of the same group, in a subsequent mission, bomb Naples and the secondary target of Pizzo. (Jack McKillop)

SICILY: RAF Liberators, under operational control of the US IX Bomber Command, are dispatched against Palermo. The primary target is attacked, in spite of total cloud cover, but most of bomb tonnage is dropped in Messina, Italy harbour. Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17s bomb the harbour at Trapani and hit shipping in the Straits of Sicily. (Jack McKillop)

POLAND: The Germans announce the discovery of mass graves at the Katyn Forest containing 4,100 Polish Officers.

Rastenburg: Hitler, perhaps unwittingly, signs an order making Martin Bormann his secretary.

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Stalin writes to Churchill that he is delighted by the damage done to German industrial centres.

TUNISIA: Sousse falls to the Allies.
NASAF B-17s bomb the harbour at Bizerte. Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) B-25s and A-20s bomb airfields at Oudna and Sainte-Made du Zit; other tactical aircraft hit enemy movements and fly sweep and reconnaissance throughout NE Tunisia following the attack during the night of 11/12 Apr by British aircraft, mainly in the Enfidaville, Zaghouan, and Bou Ficha areas. (Jack McKillop)

LIBYA: Sahara Desert: An air-sea rescue operation is being mounted from the US air base at Benghazi to scour the Mediterranean for survivors from a crashed Liberator. The eight surviving crew members are making a desperate attempt to walk home in the blazing heat of the Sahara desert. A simple, yet tragic, navigational error seems likely to cost the lives of the crew of Lady be Good.

Leaving markers along their trail, the crew are dying off day by day as they head  north. Their water has run out. Their captain has written in his diary: "Still praying, eyes bad, lost all our wgt [sic], aching all over." 

BURMA: 9 Tenth Air Force B-25s hit the airfield at Magwe while P-40s bomb and strafe the ammunition and supply dump at Walawbum. Fourteenth Air Force P-40s based in China strafe more than 20 vehicles 25 mi (40 km) E of Loiwing. (Jack McKillop)

SOLOMON ISLANDS: Single Thirteenth Air Force B-24s continue snooper strikes, hitting Kahili Airfield on Bougainville twice during the evening. (Jack McKillop)

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Fifth Air Force B-24s and B-17 pound the airfields at Rabaul and Gasmata, shipping in the Saint George Channel, and targets of opportunity in the Ubili and Talasea areas. (Jack McKillop)

NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-24s and B-17s hit shipping in Hansa Bay, the airfields at Lae and Nubia and Bogia harbour. B-24's, operating individually, attack several targets, scoring hits on the Madang dock area and at Toeal. 

Japanese aircraft, 43 Mitsubishi G4M, Navy Type 1 Attack Bombers (Allied Code Name "Betty") escorted by 131 fighters, attack Port Moresby. 

The bombing destroyers 3 B-25s, an RAAF Beaufighter and several fuel dumps as well as the runways of 3 airfields. Fifth Air Force pilots shoot down 17 "Betty" bombers and 10 fighters; 2 P-39Airacobras are shot down.  (Jack McKillop)

PACIFIC OCEAN: Submarine USS Flying Fish (SS-229) sinks a Japanese merchant cargo ship at the eastern entrance to Tsugaru Strait, just off Shiriyazaki, northern Honshu. (Jack McKillop)

TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 3 B-25s, 24 P-40s, and 13 P-38s of the US Eleventh Air Force fly 7 missions to Kiska Island. The fighters also strafe Little Kiska. AA fire damages 1 P-40 and 1 P-38; the P-38 force-lands safely. (Jack McKillop)

U.S.A.: During WW II, the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) produced numerous documents, most commonly known are the Intelligence Bulletins. The Military Intelligence Special Series continues with "German Military Abbreviations." (William L. Howard)

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