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February 25th, 1944 (FRIDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Submarine HMS Tiptoe launched.

Corvette HMS Dumbarton Castle commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

GERMANY: Allied air forces have rounded off their "Big Week" of bombings with a double blow on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing plant. Following last night's USAAF raid, RAF Bomber Command sent 662 more aircraft against this target tonight. But the raid was a failure: only 22 aircraft reached the target, and 33 were shot down.

Strategic Air Operations in Europe:

* The Eighth Air Force flies two missions.

* * Mission 235: In the final "Big Week" mission, 4 targets in Germany are hit; 31 bombers and 3 fighters are lost.

* * * 268 B-17s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Augsburg and the industrial area at Stuttgart; 196 hit Augsburg and targets of opportunity and 50 hit Stuttgart; they claim 8-4-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost.

* * * 267 B-17s hit aviation industry targets at Regensburg and targets of opportunity; they claim 13-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost.

* * * 172 B-24s hit aviation industry targets at Furth and targets of opportunity; they claim 2-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-24s are lost.

* * Escort is provided by 73 P-38s, 687 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts and 139 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft: the P-47s claim 13-2-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-47 is lost; the P-51s claim 12-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft, 2 P-51s are lost. 

* * Mission 236: 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Grenoble, Toulouse, Chartres, Caen and Raismes, France at 2129-2335 hours without loss.

* Continuing coordinated attacks with the Eighth Air Force on European targets, Fifteenth Air Force B-17s with fighter escorts bomb the Regensburg, Germany, aircraft factory; enemy fighter opposition is heavy .

Other B-17s hit the air depot at Klagenfurt, Austria, and the dock area at Pola, Italy. B-24s attack the Fiume, Italy, marshalling yard and port and hit the Zell-am-See, Austria, railroad and Graz airfield and the port area at Zara, Yugoslavia; 30+ US aircraft are lost; they claim 90+ fighters shot down.

Tactical Air Operations in Europe:

* Major General Paul L Williams becomes Commanding General of the Ninth Air Force's IX Troop Carrier Command. 191 B-26 Marauders bomb Venlo, Saint-Trond, and Cambrai/Epinoy Airfields, France in a morning raid as a diversion in support of the VIII Bomber Command heavy bombers over Germany; 36 abort, mainly because of a navigational error; 164 B-26s dispatched against military targets in France during the afternoon are recalled because of bad weather.

* In Italy, Twelfth Air Force P-40s attack guns and troop concentrations east of Campoleone and in the Carroceto area; A-36 Apaches bomb the towns of Terracina and Sperlonga and roads in the area; P-40s also maintain patrols over Anzio.

 (Jack McKillop)

594 RAF bombers raid the aeroplane plant at Augsburg.

U-1276 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

ITALY: The destroyer HMS Inglefield is sunk at dusk off Anzio by a Hs293A Glide bomb and sinks very rapidly off Anzio at 41 26N 12 36E. There are 35 casualties and 157 survivors. (James Paterson and Alex Gordon)(108)

BURMA: The Tenth Air Force dispatches 8 B-25s and 4 P-51 Mustangs to attack bridges at Meza, Sinthe, and Natmauk, causing light damage to the bridges and destroying 3 locomotives and several railroad cars.

FRENCH INDOCHINA: 16 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s attack docks, railroad yards and warehouses at Hongay; in the harbor 1 large boat is sunk and another damaged; 2 P-40's hit a cargo vessel at Campha Port, leaving it sinking; 2 others bomb and strafe Weichow Island.

JAPAN: 3 Eleventh Air Force B-24s from Shemya Island in the Aleutians are over Matsuwa Island in the Kurile Islands shortly after midnight 24/25 February on a photographic reconnaissance and bomb run; the mission is not completed due to weather.

ADMIRALTY ISLANDS: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb Lorengau on Manus Island and Momote Airfield on Los Negros Island.

BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: The USN's Destroyer Division 90 (DesDiv 90) under Commander Edmund B. Taylor, bombards Rabaul on New Britain Island. 

Destroyer Squadron 12 (DesRon 12) under Captain Rodger W. Simpson, en route to bombard Kavieng on New Ireland Island and its airstrips, shipping, and fortifications, encounters a Japanese army cargo ship. In the ensuing action, destroyers USS Farenholt (DD-491), USS Buchanan (DD-484), USS Lansdowne (DD- 486), USS Woodworth (DD-460), and USS Lardner (DD-487) sink the enemy freighter. Japanese shore batteries subsequently give DesRon 12 a warm reception, damaging USS Buchanan and USS Farenholt. 

The Thirteenth Air Force attacks targets on New Britain Island. P-39Airacobras on armed reconnaissance bomb an AA position at Monoitu, hit the Aitara area, and attack a barge in the Cape Gazelle area; 20+ B-25s hit Matupi and Rapopo Airfield; and 21 B-24s and 17 P-38s follow shortly with another strike on Rapopo Airfield. (Jack McKillop)

CAROLINE ISLANDS: Seventh AIr Force B-24s from Abemama and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands bomb Ponape Island.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force aircraft based in the Gilberts attack three atolls; P-40s flying from Makin Island bomb and strafe targets at Jaluit Atoll while B-25s from Tarawa Atoll and Abemama Island bomb Mille and Wotje Atolls.

NEW GUINEA: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb the Alexishafen-Madang, areas while A-20s bomb airfields at Alexishafen. 

PACIFIC OCEAN: USN submarines sink two fleet tankers, an army cargo ship, and a merchant cargo ship. (Jack McKillop)

CANADA: Destroyer HMCS Columbia rammed a cliff in fog at Motion Bay, Newfoundland due to faulty radar. Repairs to make her seaworthy for towing were carried out in Bay Bulls in May. In Sep 44 she was taken to Liverpool, NS, where she served as an ammunition depot ship. She was paid off on 12 Jun 45 and sold for scrap later the same year.

Lieutenant Jack Eardely Koyl RCNVR, HMC 3rd LCI(L) Flotilla, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 26 February 1944 and London Gazette of 25 January 1944, the citation read: "For gallant and distinguished services and untiring devotion to duty in operations, which led to the capture of Sicily by Allied Forces." He also received a Mention in Despatches on 26 Feb 44. Awarded as per Canada Gazette of 26 February 1944 and London Gazette of 21 December 1943, the citation read: "For good service in the first landing of troops on the mainland of Italy." Jack Koyl was born at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He joined the Volunteer Reserve and was commissioned at a Lt. (Temporary) on 18 Aug 41. He was assigned to the HMC 3rd LCI(L) Flotilla on 21 Jan 44. After his service in Sicily and Italy, Lt. Koyl was assigned to HMCS Prince Robert, a Prince-class anti-aircraft ship on 23 Apr 44. He was demobilized on 20 Oct 45.

HMC MTB 460 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

NEWFOUNDLAND: Frigate HMCS Montreal departed St John's for EG C-4 in Londonderry. (Dave Shirlaw)

U.S.A.:

Escort carrier USS Rudyerd Bay commissioned.

Destroyer USS O'Brien commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

ARGENTINA: President Ramirez resigned and was succeeded by General Edelmiro Farrell. (Dave Shirlaw)

ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-91 is sunk in position 48.12N, 40.56W by the British destroyers HMS Affleck, Gore and Gould. 36 dead and 16 survivors. (Alex Gordon)

Whilst escorting convoy JW.57 to Murmansk, destroyer HMS Mahratta takes a hit from a Zaunkönig fired by U-990 (Kapitanleutnant Hubert Nordheimer) and then one more torpedo and sinks at 2055. The destroyer explodes and sinks within minutes. Despite the fact that destroyers HMS Impulsive and Wanderer are quickly on the scene there are 220 casualties and just 16 survivors in the freezing waters. The commander, ten officers and 209 ratings lost their lives. Location: 280 miles West of the North Cape at 71 17N 13 30E. (Alex Gordon and Dave Shirlaw)(108)

U-601 sunk in the Arctic Ocean NW of Narvik, Norway, in position 70.26N, 12.40E, by depth charges from an RAF 210 Sqn Catalina aircraft. 51 dead (all hands lost). (Dave Shirlaw)

 

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