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April 5th, 1944 (WEDNESDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: As the cross-Channel invasion plans at last begin to unfold in an atmospheric of mounting tension, the British Isles are being sealed off from the outside world. All military leave has been stopped, and mail and telephone communications are allowed only under the strictest supervision.

There have been a few shocks. In Chicago a postal packet burst open in the main post office sorting department. It was found to contain top-secret papers about the invasion plans. It turned out that a sergeant in the US Army HQ in London had posted them to his sister by mistake, instead of putting them in the out-tray.

More seriously, a senior US officer, a West Point class-mate of Eisenhower, went to a reception at Claridge's hotel and boasted about the invasion date. He has been shipped back to the US and reduced in rank. General Patton, enjoying another party, believed he was in safe company and let drop an injudicious hint or two. He has survived.

In Germany, it is believed that the invasion is imminent. Press reports speak of massive daily bombardments of coastal defences by hundreds of Allied planes.

FRANCE: The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 288: 21 B-24s dispatched hit V-weapon sites at St Pol/Siracourt without loss; heavy clouds and the failure of blind-bombing equipment cause other B-24s to return to base without bombing. 50 P-47s escort the B-24s without loss. (Jack McKillop)

GERMANY: The Eighth Air Force flies Mission 289: 96 P-38s, 236 P-47 Thunderbolts and 124 P-51 Mustangs are dispatched to attack airfields in Germany; heavy cloud hinders most groups: 1 P-38s is lost; P-47s claim 2-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-47 is lost; P-51s claim 96-4-120 aircraft, 7 P-51s are lost. (Jack McKillop)

U.S.S.R.: Malinovski's forces reach Razdelnaya cutting the rail route from Odessa for the German forces there.

Soviet troops enter Tarnopol.

ITALY: Weather precludes all light and medium bomber action by the Twelfth Air Force; P-40s hit the Colleferro railway station, several fuel dumps, and gun positions in the US Fifth Army battle areas; A-36 Apaches bomb Formia, and railway stations northwest of Rome and in the Frosinone area. (Jack McKillop)

ROMANIA: The Fifteenth Air Force dispatches 95 B-17s and 135 B-24s against marshalling yards at Ploesti. Five B-24s are lost. (Jack McKillop)

YUGOSLAVIA: The Fifteenth Air Force dispatches B-17s and B-24s to attack marshalling yards. The B-17s bomb a marshalling yard at Nis while the B-24s hit a marshalling yard at Leskovac. (Jack McKillop)

BURMA: 13 Tenth Air Force B-24s bomb the railroad from Moulmein to Kanchanaburi, destroying 3 bridges, damaging several others, and causing much damage to track and railroad cars. (Jack McKillop)

EAST INDIES: Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb Koepang on Timor Island. (Jack McKillop)

FRENCH INDOCHINA: Fourteenth Air Force P-40s from Yungning, China pound a railroad siding at Na Cham destroying 8 boxcars and a considerable amount of track. (Jack McKillop)

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Seventh Air Force B-25s from Tarawa Atoll hit Maloelap Atoll, bomb up again at Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, and hit Jaluit Atoll during the return trip. (Jack McKillop)

NEW GUINEA: 270+ Fifth Air Force B-24s, B-25s, A-20s and P-38s hit Hollandia town and dock area and villages and stores around Humboldt Bay; P-47s and P-40s blast numerous targets in the Hansa Bay-Bogia and Wewak areas; and B-24s hit Kaimana and Efman Island. (Jack McKillop)

SOLOMON ISLANDS: 12 Thirteenth Air Force B-25s pound Kara on Bougainville. (Jack McKillop)

U.S.A.: Wendell Wilkie withdraws from the presidential race.

 

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