April 4th, 1944 (TUESDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: DeGaulle announces the Committee of National Liberation. Of the various appointments, two are communists.
Early in the morning the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards launch six of their amphibious Valentine 'Duplex Drive' (DD) tanks from landing craft for a live-firing rehearsal for D-Day.
The weather is marginal at launch but later deteriorated, resulting in the loss of the tanks and six lives.
ROMANIA: 350 U.S. Fifteenth Air Force B-17s and B-24s attack Bucharest; both hit marshalling yards and the B-24s also hit an air depot; 110 P-38s support of the mission; between 150 and 200 enemy fighters attack the bombers, shooting down 10; the bombers and escorts claim 50+ aircraft destroyed in combat. This is the first mission to Romanian support of the Soviet Army's drive across the Balkans.
POLAND: An Allied reconnaissance aircraft photographs part of the Auschwitz death camp.
ITALY: U.S. Twelfth Air Force medium bomber missions are aborted due to weather but A-20s manage to bomb an ammunition dump and fighter-bombers bomb Terracina and Formia, attack a bridge and several vehicles during armed reconnaissance of the Rome-Orte area, bomb Itri and Fondi, hit numerous gun positions, a railway station, a bivouac area, and a vehicle concentration, and attack targets of opportunity between Atina and Cassino.
ALGERIA: Algiers: General de Gaulle takes control of the Free French armed forces, squeezing General Giraud off the Committee of National Liberation.
He said tonight on Free French radio: "The efforts of all Frenchmen must depend on a single leadership." Giraud, has been offered the role of inspector-general.
EGYPT: The Greek Army Brigade mutinies.
BURMA: The IJA 31st Division is in action against the British at Kohima. The British force is in need of supplies.
The U.S. Tenth Air Force dispatches 120+ fighter-bombers and 4 B-25s to hit rail lines, storage areas and Japanese held villages around Mogaung and Myitkyina and support ground forces near Kamaing and Myitkyina; during the night of 4/5 Apr, 14 B-24s bomb the Moulmein railroad yards and jetties and hit a Japanese HQ nearby at Nagorn Sawarn; and 25 P-51s and P-38s attack Aungban and Anisakan Airfields.
NEW GUINEA: 50+ U.S. Fifth Air Force B-24s pound the Wewak area; and 12 P-39s hit villages, bridges and wooded areas along the coast from Cape Gourdon to Bogia.
PACIFIC OCEAN: The first Royal Navy combat missions with the Vought Corsair night fighter are flown from HMS Victorious. (Jack McKillop)
The Japanese lose a submarine (by accidental flooding), a provision ship and two army cargo ships. (Jack McKillop)
SOLOMON ISLANDS: 12 U.S. Thirteenth Air Force P-40s hit a barge hideout in Gazelle Harbour, Bougainville Island; 10 B-25s (rained out of Rabaul, New Britain Island) bomb Buka Airfield on Buka Island, 23 P-39s hit the Aitara area, and 11 P-40s bomb the Mamaregu barge hideout; 24 P-38s pound Mamagata, Dio Dio, and the Miwo River area; and ground support missions along Empress Augusta Bay are carried out by a variety of fighters.
CAROLINE ISLANDS: U.S. Seventh Air Force B-24s, flying out of the Gilbert Islands, bomb Truk Atoll during the night of 4/5 April and B-25s, from Abemama Island and Tarawa Atoll, follow-up during the day with raids on Ponape Island, and Jaluit and Maloelap Atolls
U.S.A.: USAAF orders 1,000 P-80As; delivery of the first 500 was to be completed by the end of 1945; the remaining 500 were to be delivered by February 1946. Because of the introduction of jets by the Luftwaffe, the P-80 program was given the same high priority as the B-29 program. (Jack McKillop)
HQ Twentieth Air Force is activated in Washington, DC. General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold is named Commanding General and he retains that position until the Twentieth moves to the Pacific in July 1945. It has been decided by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that this strategic air force will not be assigned to a theatre commander but rather, operations will be controlled by Washington.
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