January 7th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: Major James Stewart of the USAAF, better known as the star of The Philadelphia Story, brought his Liberators back intact today from a daylight mission on Ludwigshaven, despite being set upon by enemy fighters. Stewart, leading 48 bombers of 445th Group based at Tibenham in Norfolk, had completed his mission when he saw that the 389th Group, the lead group of the raid's original 420 bombers, had taken a wrong bearing home, across German fighter airfields in France. Radio contact was lost, so he decided to follow and gave fire cover. Owing to Stewart's action, only eight of the strayed Liberators were lost.
in the tow of submarine HMS Syrtis, miniature submarine X-22 is run down by her
and sunk, when Syrtis reverses course to search for a man washed overboard. All
3 of the crew of X-22 are lost. Location: Pentland Firth, Scotland.
Frigate HMS Taff commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)FRANCE: Paris: Eugčne Deloncle, a leading member of the RNP and Parisian gangster employed by the Germans is shot by a squad of his former SD accomplices at his apartment, also wounding his son. His wife and assistant, Jacques Corrčze, are then accused of the crime.
South-eastern FRANCE: Allied advisers parachute in to train Resistance fighter for guerrilla warfare after the invasion of Europe.
Thirty five USAAF Ninth Air Force B-26 Marauders bomb Maupertus Airfield at Cherbourg. Bad weather restricts further operations. (Jack McKillop)
During the night of 7/8 January, the USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 179: five B-17 Flying Fortresses drop 1.08 million leaflets on Paris, Chartres, Caen and Evreux without loss.
GERMANY: The USAAF Eighth Air Force flies Mission 178: 351 of 382 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 69 of 120 B-24s hit the I G Farben synthetic oil plant at Ludwigshafen; they claim 30-6-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; five B-17 Flying Fortresses and 17 B-24s are lost. Four other aircraft bomb targets of opportunity. (Jack McKillop)
During the night of 7/8 December, RAF Bomber Command dispatches Mosquitos to bomb Duisburg (four hit the Vereinigte Stahl steel factory and one bombs the city) and Krefeld (three attack the Edelstahlwerke steel factory and three bomb the city). (Jack McKillop)
Southern ITALY: The British X Corps and the US II Corps have broken through the Germans' winter defensive line. The village of San Vittore fell yesterday and today, after a vicious battle, the Germans were driven off Monte Porchia. But the British 46th Division has been forced back after several attempts to get its tanks across the flooded river Peccia; no longer do the Allies talk of a "jolly romp to Rome."
Every yard of this mountainous terrain has to be fought for against a Wehrmacht which has recovered quickly from the loss of its Italian allies and shows no sign of retreating to a defensive line north of the Italian capital. However, a major Allied attack is imminent.
General Mark Clark is anxious to draw off the maximum number of German reserves before the seaborne landings at Anzio planned for January 22. The Germans have meanwhile established defensive positions at the far end of the Liri valley - in the mountains overlooking Cassino.
In the U.S. Fifth Army's II Corps area, Mt. Porchia falls to Task Force A of the 1st Armoured Division, making nearby Cedro Hill, in the British X Corps zone, untenable for the Germans. The 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division, occupies Mt. La Chiaia and continues west, clearing Hill 224 and Cicerelli Hill, between Mt. La Chiaia and Highway 6 while the 168th Infantry Regiment gains control of a ridge northeast of La Chiaia, contributing to success of the 135th Infantry Regiment. The right flank column of Task Force B, 1st Special Service Force, takes Mt. Majo early in the day and holds it against a series of counterattacks while column on the left attempts to reduce Hill 1109, overlooking Cervaro, without success. (Jack McKillop)
USAAF Twelfth Air Force B-25 Mitchells strike Perugia Airfield; A-20 Havocs hit defenses in close support of the US Fifth Army; B-26 Marauders hit the marshalling yards at Foligno and Arezzo and attack a bridge at Roccasecca; A-36 Apaches hit gun positions, trucks, and trains in the Cervaro-Aquino-Cassino area, bomb the Aquino station, and hit the Velletri railway yards; P-40s give close support in the Monte Maio, Monte La Chiaia, Monte Porchia, and Cedro Hill areas as the US Fifth Army drives toward the Rapido River. (Jack McKillop)
Twenty one USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses, with P-38 Lightning escort, bomb a torpedo plant at Fiume. (Jack McKillop)
During the night of 7/8 December, 26 heavy bombers of the RAF No. 205 (Heavy Bomber) Group bomb the aircraft plant at Reggio-Emelia. (Jack McKillop)
U.S.S.R.: Moscow announces a breakthrough on the 60-mile (97 kilometre) front in the Kirovograd sector. Kirovograd is practically surrounded. (Jack McKillop)
YUGOSLAVIA: Eight USAAF Fifteenth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses bomb the port area at Split. (Jack McKillop)
CEYLON: Admiral Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Commander Southeast Asia Command, drops plans for Operation CUDGEL, small-scale operation in the Arakan coastal sector of Burma. (Jack McKillop)
JAPAN: Imperial General Headquarters authorizes the Southern Army to secure positions in the Imphal area of India when the opportunity presents itself. (Jack McKillop)
CHINA: Four USAAF Fourteenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and six P-40s sink two large boats on the Yangtze River south of Hukow and sink a large powerboat, a barge, and a small ore craft at Shihhweiyao; 11 P-38 Lightnings claim between 30 and 40 sampans destroyed along the river from Hankow to Chiuchiang; and two B-25s on a sea sweep claim a 300-foot (91 meter) passenger vessel sunk south of Hong Kong. (Jack McKillop)
BURMA: Seven USAAF Tenth Air Force B-25 Mitchells and 15 P-38 Lightnings attack the Lanywa area, hitting the oil plant and storage tanks, causing several fires, and strafe several antiaircraft positions while 19 A-36 Apaches and P-51 Mustangs bomb supply and troop concentrations at Nanyaseik. (Jack McKillop)
NEW GUINEA: In Northeast New Guinea, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators, B-25 Mitchells, P-39 Airacobras, and P-47 Thunderbolts attack the Alexishafen-Madang area, hit Erima, Bogadjim, and targets along the Bogadjim Road, attack positions from Weber Point to Vincke Point, and strafe huts and barges near Sidor. (Jack McKillop)
EAST INDIES: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators hit Boela on Ceram, Netherlands East Indies. (Jack McKillop)
ADMIRALTY ISLANDS: USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators hit Lorengau, Manus Island.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: On New Britain Island, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb the Cape Gloucester area and A-20 Havocs hit forces near Arawe. (Jack McKillop)
About 150 USMC and USN SBD Dauntlesses and TBF Avengers, escorted by 72 fighters, attack targets on the Cape Saint George area, New Ireland Island. USAAF Thirteenth Air Force B-24 Liberators bomb Vunakanau Airfield on New Britain Island. (Jack McKillop)
PACIFIC OCEAN: The submarine U.S.S. Kingfish (SS-234), on her sixth patrol, is patrolling the waters off Palawan. At position 9-27N 117-36E, she attacks on the surface at night using her radar. Of the four torpedoes fired, two fish hit the vessel and sink the C-AO Fushimi Maru #3 (4289T). (Chris Sauder)
CANADA: HMC MTB 727 commissioned.
Frigate HMCS Royalmount laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Frigate USS Gladwyne launched.
Submarine USS Perch commissioned.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: River
class frigate HMS Tweed (K 250), part of Escort Group 5, takes a Zaunkönig hit from
Rudolf Bahr) and sinks within two minutes. There are 52 survivors. Location:
West of Cape Ortegal at 44 18N 21 19W. (Alex Gordon)(108)
River class frigate HMCS
Waskesiu was narrowly missed by a Zaunkönig
torpedo, which carried on to strike sister ship HMS Tweed. TWEED sinks within two
minutes. There are 52 survivors. Location: West of Cape Ortegal at 44 18N 21 19W. Both were part of Escort Group 6, which
had been carrying out 'offensive ASW
sweeps' in the Bay of Biscay. The attack was conducted by
Kapitanleutnant Rudolf Bahr, CO. (Alex Gordon
and Dave Shirlaw)(108)
U-107 was attacked four times (at 0008hrs, 0040hrs, 0104hrs, and 0120hrs) by Liberator aircraft, and replied each time with AA guns. The boat suffered no damage.
U-343 shot down RAF 36 Sqn Wellington. The boat survived a swamp operation, shooting down one of its attackers. (Dave Shirlaw)
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