July 30th, 1943 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: The US Eighth Air Force's VIII Air Support Command and VIII Bomber Command fly missions from England.
- B-26B Marauders of the VIII Air Support Command VIII fly Missions 10A and 10B against 2 airfields with the loss of 1 bomber. Woensdrecht Airfield, The Netherlands is bombed by 11 aircraft at 0657 hours; 1 B-26 is lost. In the second mission, 24 B-26Bs are dispatched to Wevelghem Airfield at Courtrai, France but the mission is recalled because the escorting fighters are fog bound on the ground.
- B-17s of the VIII Bomber Command fly Mission 80 in two forces against the aviation industry at Kassel, Germany. In the first force, 94 B-17s bomb the Bettenhausen Fieseler Works between 0910-0917 hours; 6 B-17s are lost. In second force 40 B-17s attack the Waldau Fieseler Works between 0925-0928 hours; 6 B-17s are lost. 107 P-47 Thunderbolts with auxiliary tanks escort these raids and they surprise the attacking Luftwaffe fighters over Bocholt, Germany as the enemy is not yet accustomed to fighter escort penetration beyond the coastal fringe. P-47 pilots claim 25 Luftwaffe aircraft shot down; 7 P-47s are lost. (Jack McKillop)
Frigate HMS Glenarm commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: Polar Fleet and White Sea Flotilla: MS "T-911" (ex-RT-76 "Astrahan") - by U-boat, at Novaya Zemla area (Sergey Anisimov)(69)
ITALY: Milan: Thousands of workers downed tools here today to march through the streets demanding peace. Soldiers charged with enforcing martial law - which prohibits strikes and demonstrations - refused to open fire. Guards stood back and watched as an angry mob stormed the Cellari prison and freed hundreds of anti-Fascist prisoners. Small knots of fanatical Fascists, one of them Mussolini's nephew, Vito, have barricaded themselves in Milan's Fascist headquarters, and there are reports of lynchings from other parts of the country. Events have moved at an extraordinary pace since Mussolini was deposed five days ago. Not one of Mussolini's ministers remains in Marshal Badoglio's new cabinet. Fascist prefects are being removed from their posts. Troops are being recalled from the Adriatic to enforce martial law, and there are reports of fighting between Italian and German soldiers in Trieste and Udine.
Adolf Hitler learns that Italy is buying time before
negotiating surrender terms with the Allies in light of Mussolini's fall from
power. When Mussolini was ousted from power and arrested by his own police,
Hitler had gathered Göring, Goebbels,Himmler, Rommel, and the commander in
chief of the German navy, Karl Doenitz, at his headquarters to reveal the plans
of action he had already been formulating. Among them:
(1) Operation Oak, in which Mussolini would be rescued from captivity;
(2) the occupation of Rome by German forces and the reinstallation of Mussolini and his fascist
(3) Operation Black, the German occupation of all Italy; and
(4) Operation Axis, the destruction of the Italian fleet to prevent it from being commandeered for Allied use. Hitler's advisor urge caution because the Italian government had not formally surrendered. The Germans had received assurances from Mussolini's successor, General Badoglio, that Italy would continue to fight at Germany's side but today, Hitler receives a message from his security police chief in Zagreb that an Italian general had confided to a Croat general that Italy's assurances of loyalty to Germany were "designed merely to gain time for the conclusion of negotiations with the enemy."
Hitler has reacted swiftly, closing Alpine passes and ordering Field Marshal Rommel to assemble eight divisions to ensure that bridges and tunnels are not demolished.
As Sicily is poised to fall, the next strategic move must clearly be the invasion of the Italian mainland. After Il Duce's downfall, Allied commanders will be anxious to move quickly before the Germans can establish strong defensive positions in the mountainous centre of the country.
Badoglio is treading a shaky tightrope. General Eisenhower has offered to free Italian prisoners of war if Italy ceases co-operation with the Germans. The new prime minister wants to take his country out of the war; but whether he can take the war out of Italy remains to be seen.
SICILY: Near Santo Stefano and Troina, US forces are fighting heavily. British forces capture Catenanouva, Sicily. German forces are trapped in the north-east.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: While patrolling to the north of Corsica, a B-26 Marauder of No. 14 Squadron RAF based in Egypt and piloted by Group Captain Dick Maydwell. encounters a German Me 323, six-engined transport aircraft flying unescorted low over the sea. He manoeuvres his B-26 to allow his gunners to open fire and three engines are set on fire. The massive aircraft, described by Maydwell's navigator as looking like "a block of flats", crash landed on the shore. The crew escaped unhurt and Maydwell held his fire. (Henry Sirotin)
NEW GUINEA: Mount Tambu: Corporal "Bull" Allen goes forward under heavy fire 12 times to rescue wounded American soldiers. He will be awarded the Military Medal. (Michael Alexander)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: The US Thirteenth Air Force dispatches 9 B-24s, with an escort of 16 P-38 Lightnings and P-40s and 46 US Marine F4U Corsairs, to bomb the airfield on Ballale Island. (Jack McKillop)
TERRITORY OF ALASKA: ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: The US destroyers
USS Farragut (DD-348) and USS Hull (DD-35) bombard the Gertrude Cove and main camp areas
of Kiska Island. The action is futile; all of the Japanese troops have been
evacuated. (Jack McKillop)
US ignorance about the Japanese departure may be prolonged, as the island is usually shrouded in heavy cloud making reconnaissance difficult and encouraging bombers to climb to high altitudes.
The 47-minute short film "Report from the Aleutians" is released in the U.S. This official documentary, narrated by John Huston, describes the mission of US forces on an island of the Aleutians, from which US bombers are attacking the Japanese occupied island of Kiska. The movie includes footage of a bombing raid over Kiska with B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators. (Jack McKillop)
Destroyer USS Brush laid down.
Frigate USS Charlottesville launched.
Destroyer USS Uhlmann launched.
Destroyer USS Franks commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The German submarine U-230 lays mines off the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay in the US. Meanwhile the German Navy loses six submarines:
- U-43 is sunk south-west of the Azores, in position 34.57N, 35.11W, by a Fido homing torpedo from a US Navy F4F Wildcats and TBF Avenger of Composite Squadron Twenty Nine (VC-29) in the escort aircraft carrier USS Santee (CVE-29). All hands on the U-boat (55 men) are lost. U-43 was supposed to rendezvous with U-403 and then go on and sow mines off Lagos, Nigeria.
- U-375 is sunk in the western Mediterranean north-west of Malta, in position 36.40N, 12.28E, by depth charges from the US submarine chaser USS PC 624. All hands on the U-boat (46 men) are lost.
- U-461 is sunk in the Bay of Biscay north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain at 45.33N, 10.48W, by a Royal Australian Air Force Sunderland Mk III of No. 461 Squadron based at Pembroke Dock, Wales. 15 of the 68 men on the U-boat survive.
Amazing numbering coincidence. The Sunderland aircraft which sank U-461 had the individual code letter U and so using the style of the RAF was listed in Squadron records as U/461. Thus U/461 sank U-461.
The 461 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force unit. The captain (pilot in command) of Sunderland U/461 was Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Dudley Marrows. The aircraft was based at the RAF flying-boat station Pembroke Dock. The attack also involved U-462 and U-504, with other aircraft including two Liberators, two Halifaxes, and a Catalina. Both those boats were eventually sunk by surface ships on the same day.
- U-462 is sunk by a Royal Air Force Halifax Mk II of No. 502 Squadron based at Holmsley South, Hampshire, England, and gunfire from the British sloops HMS Wren, HMS Kite, HMS Woodpecker, HMS Wild Goose and HMS Woodcock in the Bay of Biscay at 45.33N, 10.58W. 65 of the 65 crewman on the U-boat survive.
- U-504 is sunk at 1543 hours in the North Atlantic north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain,
in position 45.33N, 10.56W, by depth charges from the British Sloops HMS Kite, HMS
Woodpecker, HMS Wren and HMS Wild Goose. All hands, 53 men, on the U-boat are lost.
- U-591 is sunk in the South Atlantic near Pernambuco, Brazil, in position 08.36S, 34.34W, by depth charges from a US Navy PV-1 Ventura coded "B-10" of Bombing Squadron One Hundred Twenty Seven (VB-127) based at Natal, Brazil. 28 of the 47 man crew survive including the captain. They are picked up by the gunboat USS Saucy (PG-65, ex-HMS Arabis)
U-604 attacked by a Liberator aircraft (VB-129) on 30 July and both the IWO and the Boatswain were killed in action. [Oberleutnant zur See Frank Aschmann and Oberbootsmaat Herbert Lurz]. (Dave Shirlaw)
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